In a discussion of the House committee testimony of outed CIA operative Valerie Plame on the March 16 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Republican strategist Edwina Rogers falsely claimed that Plame “had been in Vanity Fair before any of this came out, sitting in a Jaguar, and she did not get permission from the CIA, which is required.” Rogers said that posing in such a photo “was unacceptable for the CIA.” Rogers also claimed that Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who went to Niger to discover whether or not Saddam Hussein had sought to purchase uranium there, “had come back and didn't give the report to the CIA, but he turned it over in an op-ed to The New York Times.” According to Rogers, because of these alleged transgressions, Plame “was already in the hot seat with the CIA.” In fact, Plame's photos appeared in Vanity Fair several months after syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak's July 14, 2003, column disclosed her identity, and Wilson's July 6, 2003, Times op-ed appeared long after he delivered his report on Niger to the CIA. Host Neil Cavuto asked: “But she was in the hot seat -- she was in the hot seat after she was in the hot seat, right? I mean, after this stuff came out, right?” But he did not otherwise attempt to correct Rogers' timeline.
Plame and Wilson appeared in the January 2004 issue of Vanity Fair, and the pictures in which she and Wilson appeared “in a convertible Jaguar” were taken on November 18, 2003 -- a full four months after Robert Novak revealed Plame's identity in his column.
Media Matters for America has previously noted that a March 8, 2002, report by a CIA agent, entered into evidence in the trial of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, explained Wilson's findings in detail more than a year before Wilson's op-ed was published in the Times. In his op-ed, Wilson asserted that "[i]n early March, I arrived in Washington and promptly provided a detailed briefing to the C.I.A. I later shared my conclusions with the State Department African Affairs Bureau."
Media Matters also previously noted that on the October 11, 2005, edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, nationally syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham similarly suggested that White House senior adviser Karl Rove could not have outed Plame as an undercover agent because her identity was already known after she appeared “in Vanity Fair with her scarf and her sunglasses on.”
From the March 16 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
ROGERS: Well, I think it's really all about the money. We're talking about a third-rate CIA agent who had a government salary, and now she's out -- she could have transferred somewhere else within the CIA. She didn't have to leave. Probably the CIA wanted her to leave because she had already been in the press without their permission, in Vanity Fair in a convertible Jaguar, which was unacceptable for the CIA. And she had sent her husband to Niger, and he had come back and didn't give the report to the CIA, but he turned it over in an op-ed to The New York Times. So she was already in the hot seat with the CIA, and so now she's all about the money.
CAVUTO: But she was in the hot seat -- she was in the hot seat after she was in the hot seat, right? I mean, after this stuff came out, right?
ROGERS: Well, no, actually before. It's come out that she was considered kind of a mediocre agent at best, and she had been in Vanity Fair before any of this came out, sitting in a Jaguar, and she did not get permission from the CIA, which is required.
CAVUTO: So what are you saying is really going on here?
ROGERS: Well, I think that basically, the bottom line is that the Democrats lost in the court of law, so now they're trying to have this issue in the court of public opinion with the hearings, and special prosecutor Fitzgerald still hasn't shut down his operation. He knew very early on that there was no underlying legal issue here, and he just went after Scooter Libby. They had some previous history together that was not real positive. And it's very, very rare for a prosecutor to continue a case where there is no underlying charge and just try to get them in, he-said, she-said perjury charges. Most unusual.