Valerie Plame's Testimony

Robert Novak

7/14/2007 12:01:00 AM - Robert Novak

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Tom Davis, ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is puzzled by the House Intelligence Committee's claim that Valerie Plame Wilson has been consistent in her sworn testimony. He is asking the Intelligence Committee for documents to back up their contention.

Davis last month noted that Mrs. Wilson had testified to his committee that she, as a CIA employee, had not suggested the fact-finding mission to Niger by her husband, former Amb. Joseph Wilson. She earlier had told the Senate Intelligence Committee staff that she did not recall whether she made such a proposal. Davis also cited an internal CIA e-mail by her saying Wilson "may be in a position to assist."

Davis asked that Mrs. Wilson be recalled for testimony by his committee. Democratic Chairman Henry Waxman bucked the issue over to the House Intelligence Committee. When it responded she had been consistent in denying that she suggested her husband's mission, Davis was baffled in view of contradictory evidence.

THOMPSON'S POL

Randy Enwright, a Republican political consultant from Florida with ties to the Iowa presidential battleground, has been tapped as political director of Fred Thompson's forthcoming presidential campaign.

Based in Tallahassee, Enwright worked on George W. Bush's 2000 Florida campaign and has been the Republican National Committee's regional political director for Florida since then. In the early '90s, he was staff director of the Republican Party in Iowa, a state whose caucuses will kick off 2008 delegate selection. Enwright was executive director of the Florida party in 1995-1999 and adviser to Gov. Jeb Bush.

A footnote: Thompson insiders say published reports predicting the launch of his campaign on the Fourth of July were in error. They say they want to put all arrangements in place before formally announcing his candidacy.

ODD COUPLE

National leaders of veterans organizations who attended their monthly breakfast session with Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Nicholson Thursday were surprised by an extra guest: Rep. Bob Filner, the liberal Democrat from California who chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Filner, as the committee's ranking minority member, had criticized Nicholson in 2005-06. But when the Democrats took over Congress last year they buried the hatchet. The Republican Cabinet member and Democratic committee chairman since have jointly inspected veterans hospitals in San Diego and Chicago, and in August plan to travel together to Iraq.

The Nicholson-Filner cordiality contrasts with bitter public animosity between Filner and Rep. Steve Buyer of Indiana, the Veterans Committee's ranking Republican.

TAXER CLINTON

In a recent fund-raising appeal to small donors for Senate Democratic campaigns, Bill Clinton pushed a tax increase for upper income earners -- now including himself.

In a June 25 appeal asking contributions of "$50, $100 or even more," the former president declared: "I never had any money until I left the White House. But now that I'm a millionaire, I get more help from the federal government than anybody. I think it's inconsistent with the common good to give me huge tax cuts."

As president in 1993, Clinton pushed huge upper bracket tax increases through Congress. Republicans won control of the House in 1994 for the first time in 40 years.

TRICKING THE TRICKSTER

The "Yes Men," a left-wing acting troupe that specializes in public hoaxes, had the tables turned Wednesday when they tried to enter three right-of-center think tanks in Washington under false pretenses.

The group entered the Heritage Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute and Cato Institute, claiming to be filming a documentary on conservative economist Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose." At Cato, the think tank's employees detected the hoax and unlimbered cameras to interview the interviewers.

A footnote: The most notorious stunt by the "Yes Men" came in 2004, when one posed as a spokesman for Dow Chemical and gave a five-minute interview on BBC's world service to promise spending $12 billion to compensate victims of the 1984 Bhopal disaster by Dow's Union Carbide.