Ambassador Wilson’s Wife

by Brian on October 1, 2003

This seems a little late to matter now, but NBC has adopted the following policy regarding references to Amb. Wilson’s wife. (See end of this piece.)

NBC News has decided not to report the name of the woman whose identity was revealed in Novak’s column. has removed her name from its coverage.

Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst who Kevin Drum quotes goes out of his way to follow the same policy in the extracts Kevin has. It’s hard to believe that anyone who had an interest in her activities could have missed the story by now, or could pick it up from any of us, but it’s not obviously a bad policy.



Doug 10.01.03 at 9:33 am

The Shorter NBC News:

“Darn horse!”

“Time to close the barn doors, I suppose.”


Dennis G. Jerz 10.01.03 at 10:38 am

Google the words Joseph Wilson biography (not in quotes) and tell me, what’s the first page? Then, scroll down to the bottom of that page. What do you see? “He is married to the former Valerie Plame and has two sons and two daughters.”

That page is dated 2002, and it was in the Wayback Machine when I checked it earlier today. It would make only slightly less sense to blackout the acronym of the organization for which she works — that’s the crucial bit of information.

That horse was dead before NBC opened the barn doors. (My name is a link to a longer discussion on my blog.)


Tom Scudder 10.01.03 at 12:11 pm

The tv news I’ve seen (CNN, BBC, and an odd compilation-of-american-news satellite channel called “Orbit News”) seems to be blanking out her face, which seems like an even better idea.


raj 10.01.03 at 12:38 pm

Apparently some other news outlets are now following the same policy. I thought it odd, considering the barn door aspect mentioned earlier.


Nabakov 10.01.03 at 3:00 pm

I hear Ms Plume’s a bit of a babe. When are we gona see the pics of her?

Inquiring and prurient minds want to know.


JP 10.01.03 at 3:10 pm

I hear Ms Plume’s a bit of a babe. When are we gona see the pics of her?

I wouldn’t doubt it. I’m sure that probably helps you succeed in the intelligence world – getting informants to open up to you and so forth.

Probably not a good idea to show her face on the news though, for obvious reasons. Although I could see Drudge doing it.


Dan the Man 10.01.03 at 4:02 pm

>>I hear Ms Plume’s a bit of a babe. When are we gonna
>>see the pics of her?

>I wouldn’t doubt it. I’m sure that probably helps you succeed
>in the intelligence world – getting informants to open up to
>you and so forth.

I’m quite certain it helps getting informants to open up.
Don’t any of you watch Alias?


Nabakov 10.01.03 at 5:28 pm

“I’m sure that probably helps you succeed in the intelligence world – getting informants to open up to you and so forth.”

Hey, I happen to like looking at hot chicks who work in intelligence (dated a couple of ’em m’self: ASIO and ONA, and yes they…so forthed)

…and I was never a success in the intelligence world. The highest ever level security pass I ever got issued with, I lost at at a Nick Cave concert – using it to chop up lines in the loo.

I trust now yer looking at Aus’s security through new eyes.

I’ll go lie down now with something cool and moist on my forehead.


Jon H 10.01.03 at 7:36 pm

It’s ironic that the CIA was going to have Jennifer Garner do recruiting videos, when some toad in the White House just outed a real babe agent.


JP 10.01.03 at 10:06 pm


I guess this is what you were referring to, Nabakov?

“As the world now knows, Wilson is married to Valerie Wilson, nee Plame. She is his third wife. She is 40, slim, blonde and the mother of their 3-year-old twins. In the photos in his office, she has the looks of a film star.”

Joe Wilson has it all, apparently…


JRoth 10.01.03 at 10:27 pm

The funniset thing to me was seeing FOX, in a staggeringly panderous piece, blur her face while insisting that the FACTS of the matter were that she was never undercover. So why the blur-out, hmm?

It was actually the worst piece of reporting I have ever seen – complete with authoritative quotes from the odious and worthless Cliff May. Egad. Terrifying that _anyone_ would get their news from such a source, much less a big chunk of the country.


bryan 10.02.03 at 3:43 pm

Well I wish people would stop linking to google searches about Joe Wilson as an argument for how you would find out about Valerie Plame. The argument sort of shows an ignorance about how this whole intarweb thingee works hey, or at least google’s place in it. Obviously any search results received now cannot be compared with what we would have gotten say a couple months ago.

Another thing is that someone wants to use google to find out about Valerie Plame, so what is their initial strategy, they search for Joseph Wilson biography right? And that tells them that she’s married to him!? That proves anyone would have been able to figure out immediately that she was a C.I.A operative by knowing who she was married to, searching on information about that guy, and finding out that she was married to him.

So what I would like to see is the search results for about three months ago on something one might have searched for on Valerie Plame, like maybe:
Valerie Plame biography, or Valerie Plame background, marriage Valerie Plame any of that stuff. Just as a way to gauge how easy it would be to even get to the point that a crazed paranoid would be likely to assume she was CIA.

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