The Valerie Flame Name Game

Eriposte at Left Coaster has written a few pieces on Judith Miller's statements that she can't remember who told her about "Valerie Flame" or how that name got into her notes. Asptrader at Daily Kos has more on this, particularly Robert Novak's reference to "Valerie Flame" in this October 6, 2003 Human Events column. Novak's TownHall column on October 1 had the name spelled correctly as Valerie Plame. Or did it back then?

On October 1, 2003, legal affairs writer Tony Mauro used "Valerie Flame" when writing about Novak. (available on lexis.com)

Novak's sources seems to have had only venal motives in revealing Valerie Flame's name - specifically, undermining her husband's credibility.

But here's a new theory: WAPO reporter Dana Priest, who covered PlameGate in the beginning, did an online chat today for the paper. When asked who she thought Novak's second source might be, she replied:

Speaking as a reader, because I no longer cover this story, maybe Judy Miller was his original source and he got two officials to confirm a name he already had. It's just a guess.

Another option: Miller really did have two sources, and her second source was the same as Novak's undisclosed source.

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    Re: The Valerie Flame Name Game (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:12 PM EST
    I still think Billmon's theory is the most intriguing and plausible. I posted this on tuesday open thread. Billmon speculates about a great tinfoil hat theory that is actually plausible regarding Valerie Flame. A friend of his who is has gotten his english writings re-translated back into english from Hebrew often winds up with having Fs and Ps interchanged. Peh, the twentieth letter of the Hebrew language sounds both as P and F. The reason that I love the story is that it brings in Feith, Franklin and AIPAC who, I believe are certainly involved. billmon

    Re: The Valerie Flame Name Game (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:12 PM EST
    In a later post, Billmon retracted the theory and said it was wrong.

    Re: The Valerie Flame Name Game (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:12 PM EST
    Billmon corrects his post regarding the arabic letter for P, which according to a reader does not have the same phonetic slippage as the Hebrew letter Peh. Peh can certainly sound F or P. I do not know arabic so I assume that Billmons correction is accurate on that count. Even though billmon writes off the theory in his original post:
    Crazy, off-the-wall Tom Flocco-type stuff? Sure. WHICH IS WHY I'M NOT SAYING THAT IT HAPPENED. In fact it almost certainly didn't.
    I think that it still seems plausible given all the players involved. I'll wear my tinfoil hat to bed tonight.

    Re: The Valerie Flame Name Game (none / 0) (#4)
    by Patriot Daily on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:12 PM EST
    Two reporters received the name of Valerie Plame: Novak and Miller. However, instead of trying to find a shared source for Novak and Miller, maybe there were 2 different sources. Fleitz fits very nicely into the profile for Novak’s source, but not for Miller, for whom Libby seems the perfect candidate. Our theory is essentially that the misnomers of "Valerie Flame" and "Victoria Wilson" were intentional, as evidenced by their usage by several reporters. And, just as Libby had misnomers for his attributions, he used misnomers for the name of Wilson's wife to cover his tracks. A short paragraph from our theory: "Third, if Libby provided the misnomers to Miller it would be consistent with his similar actions of trying to cover-up his actions by requiring that Miller use 3 different attributions for the 3 meetings that they had on Plame. The attributions he provided to Miller were not accurate. While Libby could be characterized as a “senior administration official” or an “administration official,” it clearly is misleading to refer to him as a “former hill staffer.” These attributions were misnomers just as the names for Plame were a misnomer. It should be noted that the “Victoria Wilson” reference is not by accident. Several reporters, including Howard Fineman of Newsweek, referred to Valerie Plame as “Victoria Plame.” If the prosecutor does a trackback of the reporters who erroneously referred to Valerie Plame as Victoria, all roads may lead to Libby." link