Just One Minute parses the Valerie Plame testimony.
Was Ms. Plame covert?
From Matt Apuzzo:Plame also repeatedly described herself as a covert operative, a term that has multiple meanings. Plame said she worked undercover and traveled abroad on secret missions for the CIA.
But the word "covert" also has a legal definition requiring recent foreign service and active efforts to keep someone's identity secret. Critics of Fitzgerald's investigation said Plame did not meet that definition for several reasons and said that's why nobody was charged with the leak.
Also, none of the witnesses who testified at Libby's trial said it was clear that Plame's job was classified. However, Fitzgerald said flatly at the courthouse after the verdict that Plame's job was classified...
Plame said she wasn't a lawyer and didn't know what her legal status was but said it shouldn't have mattered to the officials who learned her identity.
"They all knew that I worked with the CIA," Plame said. "They might not have known what my status was but that alone - the fact that I worked for the CIA - should have put up a red flag."
She didn't know her legal status? She's so covert that not even she knows if she is covert! Oh, my - well, I don't know her status either. Maybe they call her the wind. (But they call the wind Mariah...)
So, it is Plame's assertion that even if she didn't fall into the legal definition of "covert" everybody knew she was and shame on them? I hate to break it to her, but this is the reason we have legal definitions; people have different interpretations of words and it can get pretty darn confusing if everybody gets to keep using their own (like the liberal definition of "lie" which means "I don't agree with you"). It wouldn't matter if the CIA had labelled Plame a pink elephant. If she didn't fit the legal definition of one, she's not.
UPDATE: Think Progress is still trying to peddle the line that Plame was covert. The headline reads:
Valerie Plame Confirms Her Covert Status Prior To Novak Leak
But the very first sentence of the post reads:
This morning, in her testimony under oath before the House Government and Oversight Committee, Valerie Plame Wilson asserted that she was in fact a covert officer...
There's a big difference in legal terms between assertion and confirmation. Not that the folks at Think Progress would let a little thing like accuracy get in the way of a good conspiracy.
Then there's this:
The right-wing, aided by the mainstream media, have engaged in an unhalting effort to spread false claims that Plame was not covert, despite the fact that the CIA, Plame’s former colleagues, and Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald have all previously reported that she was covert.
The problem is that Plame didn't meet the definition of covert that the law describes. This is the sort of distortion the left has engaged in from the beginning of this "investigation." And notice that the author Faiz doesn't bother linking to Libby's actual indictment, where Fitzgerald doesn't even claim Plame was covert. No, because if that were done, it would dismantle this silly argument that Mrs. Wilson was covert because she says so.