Who's to Blame for Valerie Plame?

In his office with its towering view of midtown Manhattan, Pearlstine boasted that if I’d been writing for Time or Fortune, or any other Time Inc. publication, he would have backed me all the way to the Supreme Court. “We take the First Amendment very seriously around here,” he said.

I couldn’t help but recall this conversation when Pearlstine announced last week that Time Inc. would comply with a court order to hand over subpoenaed records to a special prosecutor and grand jury looking into the Valerie Plame affair. Pearlstine, who in a June 30 memo to Time staffers called it “the most difficult decision” he has “made in more than 36 years in the news business,” was forced to act when the Supreme Court decided not to review a lower court ruling that held the reporters in contempt. —Who’s to Blame for Valerie Plame? (Wired)

Here’s a flashback to October 2003, where I wondered whether the whole Plame affair was a farce. At the time, the accusation came in two flavors. One concerned the publication of the name of Joe Wilson’s wife, and the other concerned the outing of Plame as a CIA agent. A biography of Wilson on the mideast.org website said he was married to Valerie Plame, though it did not mention her name [oops] profession. (That page has been taken down, but it’s still available via the Wayback Machine.)