Reverse Rosenberg
July 13, 2006 8:13 PM   Subscribe

How many US citizens (including, but not limited to, employees of US espionage) lost their lives, careers or had family members hurt or killed as a direct or indirect result of Valerie Plame's cover status being blown?

I hear different numbers, from zero on up. I'm curious to know if there is impartial substantive or circumstantial evidence that suggests citizens other than Plame were adversely affected by her outing. This may include "civilians" who were killed by domestic or overseas terrorist, NGO or government activities that could have been prevented by not outing a covert agent.
posted by Mr. Six to Law & Government (11 answers total)
I would highly presume this information is classified.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 8:17 PM on July 13, 2006

Though I'm fairly sure that the number is nonzero, between classified clandestine contacts and those who died due to a second/third/fourth degree of consequent events, there is probably no way to tell.

Though as MonkeySaltedNuts says, perhaps certain people with a very high security clearance may be able to make an educated guess.

I think you also framed your question a bit too narrowly, Mr. Six. I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of those who have lost their lives (or had other very, very bad things happen) were her non-US citizen contacts in the countries that she'd been in -- many known to have associated with her in these other countries were instantly suspected collaborators, and have since probably met with 'accidents' or were disappeared.
posted by chimaera at 8:28 PM on July 13, 2006

her non-US citizen contacts in the countries that she'd been in

Not only should you count her contacts, but you have to realize that Plame's cover was as an employee of an energy consulting firm. Which means that anyone tied to the firm is considered compromised. All the other agents with the same cover. All of those agents' contacts. Anyone working with those contacts. And on down the chain...
posted by frogan at 8:33 PM on July 13, 2006

Response by poster: For example, any information that might corroborate, directly or indirectly, the circumstantial evidence laid out here.
posted by Mr. Six at 8:34 PM on July 13, 2006

Response by poster: Which means that anyone tied to the firm is considered compromised.

Were any citizens killed, died under mysterious circumstances or "disappeared"?
posted by Mr. Six at 8:35 PM on July 13, 2006

an entire corporation was reveled as a CIA front. So basically everyone who worked there would now be suspected as being a Spy. Obviously we don't know anything about how many people were killed, etc, we probably won't know for 50 years or more.
posted by delmoi at 9:24 PM on July 13, 2006

Best answer: Given how poor our human intelligence is reputed to be these days, you might also want to come up with an estimate of lives that might be lost because of the reduction in our inteligence gathering capacity as a result of the outing.

This assumes that the CIA, on balance, preserves more lives than it takes by virtue of its covert operations, by, for example, avoiding full shooting wars, or by being aware of impending hostilities and being able to deal with hostilities before they have a chance to gain too much bloody momentum. Or, you know, heading off a large terrorist attack.
posted by Good Brain at 9:57 PM on July 13, 2006

Why the fixation with "citizens?" We call them people. Unless voters are your only concern, in which case it might interest you to know that citizenship was not a universal voting requirement in America until much more recently in its history. "Noncitizens voted from 1776 until 1926 in forty states and federal territories in local, state and even federal elections."

I'm getting tired of people talking as if the Constitution only protects the rights of citizens.
posted by NortonDC at 5:55 AM on July 14, 2006

I've been following the story & I haven't seen any mention of deaths directly attributable to the outing so far.
posted by scalefree at 6:28 AM on July 14, 2006

As chimaera, frogan, and delmoi said, the issue isn't so much how many "US Citizens" were affected by the Plame Affair, but that after her 'outing', anyone (American or foreign) linked to her overseas activities or the front company that was her cover is now likely to be suspected as an American intelligence asset (to however many degrees of linkage) by a reasonable foreign intelligence service or terrorist group.
posted by SenshiNeko at 1:48 PM on July 14, 2006

Zero. She was a desk jockey.
posted by freeflytim at 6:42 PM on July 15, 2006

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