Friday, July 14, 2006

A digression

Valerie [Plame] Wilson's back in the news, and in the midst of a discussion I realized there's a question that's never been asked (AFAIK) which could shed immense light on the whole issue of her 'exposure'.

When did Valerie Plame resign from Brewster and Jennings?

From the "I don't know she's a NOC" point of view:

We know she worked for the company as an energy consultant from its inception in 1994 to AT LEAST 1997. We know she'd been pulled back to the United States in 1996, but she was still working for B&J when she first met Wilson at a dance held at the Venezuelan Ambassador's embassy in DC. So she didn't "leave the company and come home". Which means the neighbors and cocktail circuit knew her for at least a while as Valerie Plame of Brewster and Jennings. The reason THAT is critical is the still-ongoing claim that "really", the people in the know knew she worked in some way for the CIA because she drove to Langley every day for work and all of that stuff.

If Valerie Wilson nee Plame took maternity leave from B&J in 2000, it pretty well kills that line of thought, because is strongly supports the allegation that she (and the CIA) was still maintaining the NOC status for future use.

Let me add a separate point. Because of a pet theory I'll not say the reverse is true - that if she left B&J shortly after marrying it means she was giving up the NOC. No, to chase that I'll want to know what the issuer name was for the paychecks that went to her bank every month. If it was US government, then yes. If it was from yet another company, or more in support of my theory she didn't GET a paycheck, the NOC is sustained.

What, didn't get a paycheck? Yep. Way back in the archives (if it's still there) is my pet theory. Wilson's consulting company was a new NOC base. Plame's paycheck could be a 'monthly retainer fee'. Trips overseas for her are done by having Wilson see a client, and she coming along to continue enjoying the international jet-set life to which she'd become accustomed. Who pays attention to the businessman's wife who's playing tourist or seeing old friends?

Now the full breadth of my suspicion is that the paycheck will read from Wilson's consulting company. Remember, the husband gave up his secure wage and retirement benefits just a few years short of being eligible for them to start his own company. When that happens, already employed wives typically do one of two things: Keep their own paycheck and benefits as a safety net; join their husband as a partner/employee to help make it work. Valerie Wilson was an energy consultant with several years of experience. Putting that niche skill and her personal contacts (old friends and acquaintances) to use helping the husband's business succeed just makes sense. But I can't prove it, and I'm not sure I want to do so. It just works, simply and cleanly.

All that said, I've started looking for the answer to one simple question.

When did Valerie Plame/Wilson resign from Brewster and Jennings?


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