Valerie Plame and the Politics of Cooking: Update 1

White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, the man who orchestrated George W. Bush’s rise to the presidency and formulates most of the Administrations policies regarding everything from abortion to attacking foreign countries has recently become the center of a firestorm regarding the naming of an undercover CIA agent, Valerie Plame. The public outing of an undercover agent is considered a crime of treason, so the odds are that Mr. Rove is guilty. Mr. Rove had earlier been named by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson as a possible suspect in the naming of Ms. Plame, who is his wife. Ms. Plame’s name was given to Conservative Columnist Robert Novak who dutifully reported it in is newspaper column.

Ambassador Wilson postulates that the outing of his wife was done in retaliation for a speech Wilson gave disputing the Administrations allegations that Iraq had tried to buy radioactive “yellowcake” from Niger. The CIA had sent Wilson to Niger to investigate the Administrations claims, but in the summer of 2002 he reported to the White House that he could find no evidence to support them and said so publicly. President George W. Bush however, despite the evidence to the contrary, still presented the yellowcake allegations as fact in his 2003 State of the Union address. Later, the White House would claim garbled intelligence showed that Saddam was attempting to buy not yellowcake, but cheesecake from Niger after the Iraqi President was wrongly told that that country had the worlds best cheesecake bakers, a mistake that cost him dearly, as we have seen.

While the public naming of a CIA operative is a Federal crime, the White House has come up with a novel defense. Unnamed White House Source Wegman (Pudgy) Waterhouse, speaking on the condition of anonymity said, “Well, of course naming a Central Intelligence Agency operative would be a crime, but that’s not what we thought Valerie Palme was. You see, we thought that Valeria Palme was an employee of The Culinary Institute of America, which is also known as the CIA. It’s a great cooking school located outside of Poughkeepsie, New York. I had a rack of lamb there in their restaurant that was to die for. The cabernet sauvignon was a bit corked I think but still, overall, it was great. The point is, there’s no crime in naming a chef is there? We had no idea she was a spy, after all, she was undercover, right? I mean, jeez.”

When asked if he thought that the White House would actually get away with that excuse Waterhouse, speaking on the condition of more anonymity replied, “Listen, we figured it this way: we got away with Dick Cheney using Enron executives to formulate our energy policy at the same time as they were ripping California off for billions, we took over Iraq because nineteen Saudi Arabians led by a guy who hate Saddam Hussein attacked us with airplanes, we just keep on denying that there’s any problem with the environment despite thousands of pages of scientific evidence to the contrary… and that’s just the first term. I mean, who would have thought that a stupid CIA agent would cause us this much trouble?”