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Thursday, 25 October, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 25 Oct 07, 06:35 PM

dna203.jpgWe begin with a disturbing Newsnight investigation into the reliability of DNA profiling - specifically the development of ever more sensitive techniques. The latest, called DNA Low Copy Number, can pick out the DNA from just a single human cell at a crime scene or on a weapon. But this technique, the technique at the heart of two high profile cases - the Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann - is itself under scrutiny. Our Science Editor Susan Watts has uncovered serious doubts about its use by the Forensic Science Service that developed it.

The United States has imposed sweeping new financial sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear programme. Washington says the measures will make it much harder for individuals and companies around the world to trade with Iran. We'll be analysing what's happening. And we hope to be joined by a leading member of the Pentagon Policy Board.

Most people have heard the name Valerie Plame, but almost no one has heard her story - until now. When her identity was published in a newspaper column four years ago, she was an undercover agent for the CIA. And when an investigation traced the leak of her name all the way to the White House, it became apparent this was no ordinary spy story. Her cover was blown after her husband, a former ambassador named Joe Wilson, criticized the White House about the Iraq war.

Watch tonight for the first UK broadcast interview with Valerie Plame - and read an extract from her book Fair Game. Part of the Newsnight Book Club.

As a statue of David Lloyd George is unveiled, opinion on Britain's World War I prime minister continues to be divided. In a letter to the Daily Telegraph ahead of the unveiling, playwright Harold Pinter, journalist John Pilger and former UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq, Denis Halliday, criticise its existence. They say that during his tenure - between 1916 and 1922 - he ordered bombing in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. But Lloyd George supporters praise him for leading the country to victory in World War I and say he was a pioneer for establishing the first stage of a welfare state.

Liberal Democrat leadership candidate, Chris Huhne, regards Lloyd George as his political hero. He'll be in debate with veteran Labour politician, Tony Benn. Lloyd George knew his father.

Newsnight Book Club - Fair Game by Valerie Plame Wilson

  • Newsnight
  • 25 Oct 07, 04:01 PM

plame203book.jpgThe latest entry into the Newsnight Book Club is Valerie Plame's Fair Game.

Valerie Plame Wilson is the woman at the centre of the scandal that, ultimately, led to the downfall, prosecution and conviction of the former White House chief of staff, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, for revealing her identity as a CIA spy.

In Fair Game, Valerie Plame Wilson tells her side of the story, and details her life as a spy. The following extract covers the moment her identity was revealed.

Watch Newsnight’s 2005 interview with Joseph Wilson

Fair Game is published by Simon & Schuster.

Sections of Fair Game have been blacked out. Ellipses within the following text – denoted by [------------] – indicate the places where the CIA has ordered cuts.

From Chapter 9 - Exposed

Our bedroom was just beginning to show the first hints of morning light on July 14 when Joe marched in, dropped the newspaper on the bed, and said in a tight voice, “Well, the SOB did it.” He set a steaming mug of coffee on my bedside table and left the room. What? I struggled to wake up. I sat up, switched on the lamp, and opened the Washington Post to the op-ed page; I didn’t know what I would find, but I knew it wouldn’t be good. Robert Novak had written in his column that “Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction.” The words were right there on the page, in black and white, but I could not take them in. I felt like I had been sucker-punched, hard, in the gut. Although we had known for several days that he had my name and knew where I worked, we never believed for a moment he would actually print it or that the Agency would allow it. It was surreal.

Continue reading "Newsnight Book Club - Fair Game by Valerie Plame Wilson"

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