David Corn Corrects Victoria Toensing’s False Testimony to Congress

Brian Zick

In Friday's hearings on the exposure of covert agent Valerie Plame, chief Libby bullshit piler Victoria Toensing actually declared under oath: "By the way, Bob Novak was not the first person to say she was covert. That was David Corn, who printed that she was covert. All Bob Novak did was call her an operative." David describes what he actually wrote: My piece raised the possibility that Valerie Wilson was a "nonofficial cover" officer (a.k.a. a NOC). This was only deduction on my part. Valerie Wilson was known to friends as an energy analyst for a private firm. If she indeed was a CIA officer, she would have to be a NOC, for CIA officers who operate under regular cover tell people they work for other government agencies (such as the State Department or the Pentagon). CIA officers under regular cover do not pretend to be businesspeople. My article did not state that she was a CIA official (NOC or non-NOC). In the column, I even raised the possibility that Novak had botched the story and that "the White House has wrongly branded" Valerie Wilson "as a CIA officer."Bottom line: I did not identify her as a "covert" officer or any other kind of CIA official. I merely speculated she was a NOC. That speculation was based on Novak's column. And given that Novak had already IDed her as a CIA "operative on weapons of mass destruction" (which happened to be a "covert" position within the agency), her cover--whether nonofficial or official--was blown to smithereens by the time I posted my article. David additionally reports Toensing's false description of the meaning of "covert agent" under the definitions of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. And he finishes with this little gem: As a lawyer, Toensing is probably aware that knowingly making a false statement to a congressional committee conducting an investigation or review is a federal crime. (See Title 18, Section 1001 of the U.S. Code.) The punishment is a fine and/or imprisonment of up to five years. To say that I identified Valerie Wilson as a "covert" officer is to make a false statement.

In These Times August 2022 Cover
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