Plame’s prob­lem

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

A CIA panel has told for­mer em­ployee Va­lerie Plame she can’t write about her un­der­cover work for the agency, Newsweek re­ports.

The CIA po­si­tion threat­ens a lu­cra­tive book project. Mrs. Plame’s out­ing as a CIA of­fi­cer in July 2003 trig­gered a crim­i­nal probe that cul­mi­nates this week when Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney’s for­mer chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, goes on trial for per­jury and ob­struc­tion.

But in what could be a pre­cur­sor to a sep­a­rate le­gal bat­tle, Mrs. Plame re­cently hired a lawyer to chal­lenge the CIA Publi­ca­tions Re­view Board, which must clear writ­ings by for­mer em­ploy­ees. The panel re­fused Mrs. Plame per­mis­sion to even men­tion that she worked for the CIA be­cause she served as a “nonof­fi­cial cover” of­fi­cer (or NOC) pos­ing as a private busi­ness­woman, ac­cord­ing to an ad­viser to Mrs. Plame, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied be­cause of the is­sue’s sen­si­tiv­ity.

“She be­lieves this will ef­fec­tively gut the book,” the ad­viser told re­porter Michael Isikoff.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@wash­ing­ton­

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