Ex-CIA Agent, Candidate for Congress, and Antisemite?

Valerie Plame is running for Congress (in the Democratic primary) for the third district of New Mexico. Yair Rosenberg writes about her as follows: “Many know Plame as a former CIA officer who rose to anti-war fame in 2003. (Her cover was blown [by Bush-Cheney aide Scooter Libby] after her then-husband, diplomat Joseph Wilson, publicly questioned the U.S. rationale for going to war in Iraq.)” 

She’s recently posted a video pushing her candidacy, and some of my friends have been wowed by her. A couple of years ago, however, Plame was discovered to have shared tweets with blatantly antisemitic content. The Forward reported on this earlier this year:

One early obstacle for Plame Wilson, should she choose to run, is an anti-Semitism controversy: She was criticized in September 2017 for tweeting links to anti-Semitic articles, including a column titled “American Jews Are Driving America’s Wars” and another called “The Dancing Israelis” that insinuated the Mossad was involved in the 9/11 attacks. Plame at first defended her sharing of the “Jews drive wars” article, arguing, “many neocon hawks ARE Jewish.”  

Here are the two tweets that were discovered, one from 2017 and another from 2015:

After her tweets were discovered, she apologized:

(JTA) — Former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson resigned from the board of the Ploughshares Fund days after she retweeted an article accusing American Jews of pushing the U.S. into a war with Iran. 

Wilson, who[se] paternal grandfather was Jewish, made the announcement on Sunday in a series of tweets. “Actions have consequences, and while I have been honored to serve on the board of the Ploughshares Fund…to avoid detracting from their mission, I have resigned,” Wilson said in consecutive tweets. “I take full responsibility for my thoughtless and hurtful actions, and there are no excuses for what I did.” 

She also tweeted that she was “horrified and ashamed” for retweeting articles from the Unz Review website “without closely examining content and authors.” 

The article, titled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars,” included several anti-Semitic tropes including that American Jews are guilty of dual loyalty to Israel, and that Jews control the media, the entertainment industry and politics. 

Ploughshares Fund, where Wilson has served as a board member, issued a statement condemning Wilson’s original tweet of the article. Ploughshares works to reduce nuclear threats and to prevent a new arms race.

Yair Rosenberg’s comments are apposite here:

At the time, Plame defended her tweet, calling the article “provocative, but thoughtful.” She later apologized, claiming that she hadn’t read the piece whose contents she’d just been defending. Of course, given that the headline—which she tweeted—was “America’s Jews are Driving America’s Wars,” this was not a very convincing excuse. Moreover, as the indefatigable journalist Yashar Ali quickly uncovered, this was not the first time Plame had shared anti-Semitic material. In another instance, she had promoted the notorious conspiracy theory that a group of Israelis celebrated while 9/11 transpired (a canard that candidate Donald Trump later revived and applied to Muslims). 

She linked to the first article named in Rosenberg’s article on September 21, 2017 – that’s the one that forced her to resign from the board of Ploughshares and delete her Twitter account. The second one, about 9/11, was from 2015.

Both of these articles were published in the Unz Review, which is published by Ron Unz. It’s clear that she didn’t suddenly discover this “news” source in September 2017, since she also tweeted an Unz piece, “The Dancing Israelis,” promoting the conspiracy theory about five Israelis supposedly celebrating the 9/11 attacks.

Both articles were written by Philip Geraldi, a prolific contributor to the Unz Review, and an obvious antisemite and Holocaust denier. Here’s a sample of his Holocaust denial:

The imposed holocaust narrative is full of holes and contradictions in terms of who was killed and how, but it is impossible for genuine academics to critique it if they want to stay employed. Books like Wiesel’s “Night” are largely works of fiction. The narrative exists to perpetuate the belief in Jewish suffering, which brings with it a number of practical advantages….

Third, holocaust guilt is used in the United States to counter any criticism of what Israel and Jewish groups are up to, as they use their wealth and access to power to corrupt America’s institutions and drive the country to needless wars. One might well ask, when confronted by the taxpayer funded holocaust museums that appear to spring up like mushrooms, why so much interest in a possible crime that has nothing to do with the United States? 

Why was Valerie Plame reading and posting articles by Philip Geraldi? His antisemitism is hardly hidden in these articles. I don’t believe her apology that she hadn’t “closely examined content and authors” — something obviously drew her to Geraldi’s articles, and to the Unz Review itself. Why was someone who claims to be a progressive even reading the Unz Review? It’s not a progressive publication. Plame may have a Jewish grandfather, but that doesn’t seem to have sensitized her to the existence of antisemitism. If I lived in New Mexico, I wouldn’t vote for her — and I’m certainly not giving her any money.