Treasongate: Victoria Wilson and Victoria Plame
In previous posts I commented on the strange "Valerie Flame" notation in Judith Miller's notebook. In this post I briefly comment on the other weird notation in Miller's notes: "Victoria Wilson". Notably, there are many instances reported in the blogosphere of reporters or others also using the name "Victoria Plame" to refer to Valerie Plame.
Catnip at The Booman Tribune has rounded up some of these examples (including mentions by prominent reporters) - and there are more examples mentioned in the comments to that post. I checked with Joseph Wilson and he said he has no clue about how this strange name may have gotten in the public record.
Now, I have no idea how this inaccurate name appeared in the public record, but I decided to do an electronic search (eLibrary) to see if I could find anything relevant or interesting on this. I found this article by Douglas Jehl and David Stout in the New York Times (bold text is my emphasis):
A neighbor of the couple, David Tillotson, said on Wednesday that the news about Ms. Plame, although "an absolute shock," did not change his feelings about her and Mr. Wilson.
"They are the salt of the earth," Mr. Tillotson, a lawyer, said. "They're some of the finest people I've ever known in my life."
For the six years that they have been neighbors, Mr. Tillotson and his wife, Victoria, knew Mr. Wilson and Ms. Plame from pleasant dinners in each other's houses.
So, as I searched for someone called Victoria in an article referring to Joseph Wilson, this is the closest I came (other than, of course, articles using the name Victoria to name his wife): Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson had a neighbor called Victoria.
Let me point out that I personally believe this likely has nothing to do with how "Victoria Wilson" or "Victoria Plame" came about, but I thought it was something interesting to highlight. That said, we do need to understand how and why many reporters attributed the name Victoria Plame or Victoria Wilson to Valerie Plame because that will shed light on their sourcing.
What has become clear is that a significant number of journalists have been fed all kinds of information about Joseph Wilson and his wife - a lot of it being largely inaccurate. Which only makes their silence throughout 2003 and 2004 (and even now) more than disturbing. If not for Patrick Fitzgerald, we likely would not have found out about this travesty.