Former CIA officer Valerie Plame, who was exposed after her husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson, criticized President Bush's pre-war intelligence on Iraq, will testify Friday before a House committee probing how the White House dealt with her identity.
Plame is expected to tell Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that she was, in fact, a classified undercover agent and that her career at the CIA was destroyed in the summer of 2003 when her name became public in a column written by Robert Novak.
Several of her CIA colleagues from the class of 1985, now retired, are gathering in Washington Thursday night to take her out to dinner.
Fellow former covert agents, Larry Johnson and Jim Marcinkowski, who have both spoken out publicly in support of Plame, are planning to dine with their now famous classmate at an undisclosed location.
Both Johnson and Marcinkowski also plan to attend the 10 a.m. hearing, Friday, in the Rayburn House Office Building. Plame's husband is not expected to be at the hearing.
Johnson tells NBC that Plame, who he says started at the agency as a covert officer with "official cover" meaning a diplomatic passport, became, at one point in her career, "a non-official cover officer." Johnson said that meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport, which he says is risky.
Her status at the CIA was never an issue at the CIA leak trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. The judge prevented the jury of hearing any testimony concerning what Plame's status was at the agency.
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald told reporters last week, after Libby was found guilty on four of the five counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, that Plame's "relationship with the CIA was classified. And I have 100 percent confidence in that information."
Fitzgerald has declined to brief members of the Oversight Committee who wanted to meet with him to ask whether senior White House officials, including Vice president Dick Cheney and Senior Adviser to the President Karl Rove, complied with the requirements governing the handling of classified information.
Fitzgerald responded that it would be inappropriate to offer his opinion about the "ultimate responsibility of senior White House officials for the disclosure of Ms. Plame's identity, or the sufficiency of the remedial measures that White House officials took after the leak."
In the three year CIA Leak investigation, no one has been charged with leaking Plame's name.
Novak testified at the Libby trial that he was passed the information about Wilson's wife from former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Libby's attorneys have said they will offer motions for a new trial, and if denied, they will appeal his conviction.
Libby is scheduled to be sentenced on June 5th.