The Corner

Elections

Valerie Plame: Let’s Just Forget about that Anti-Semitism Thing

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson poses at the 36th American film festival in Deauville, France, September 9, 2010. (Vincent Kessler/Reuters)

Two things stand out in this new ad from Valerie Plame, who is running for Congress as a Democrat in New Mexico.

She declares, “Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff took revenge against my husband and leaked my identity. His name? Scooter Libby.”

This is false. Former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage acknowledged in 2006 that he was the source who first revealed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to syndicated columnist Robert Novak back in 2003.

Plame adds, “Guess who pardoned him last year?”

This is technically accurate, but a bit misleading. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was not prosecuted for leaking classified information; he was indicted on one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of making false statements when interviewed by FBI agents and two counts of perjury in his testimony before the grand jury. Libby and his lawyers argued that his inaccurate statements to the FBI reflected an inability to perfectly remember details of conversations from two years earlier.

He was convicted on four of the counts and acquitted on one charge of making false statements to the FBI. President Bush commuted the 30 months in prison portion of his sentence, but kept the felony conviction, sentence of two years of probation, and $250,000 fine. Libby completed 400 hours of community service. Trump pardoned Libby, effectively erasing the felony conviction from his record.

Plame then declares, “I come from Ukrainian Jewish immigrants.”

This is no doubt meant to be a shield against those who would bring up Plame’s claim earlier this year that she had no idea that an article entitled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars” from a website run by a Holocaust denier, which she retweeted in 2017, was anti-Semitic.

New Mexico’s Third Congressional District covers the northern third of the state, and scores a D+8 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index. Incumbent Democrat Ben Ray Luján is running for the U.S. Senate seat.

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