Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Bush, Media Whores Collude to Bury Plame Affair 


"[BUSH:] I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers,"

Just one big happy family! And "Due respect" is very, very nice, isn't it?

Meanwhile, a terrific headline in Isvest—WaPo from one Randall Mikkelsen: "White House Rules Out Three Aides In Leak Probe. Uh, no, Randy. The White didn't rule them out; they said they were ruled out. And they were "senior administration officials" not "aides"...

Yes, it's how the essential parts of this story keep getting lost. Let's try to help the SCLM find them:

  1. Plame was an operative (not an analyst) and it's a felony to reveal her identity.

  2. Her identity was shopped around to six different journalists/news organizations before Novak revealed it

  3. The felon who did the shopping was a senior administration official

  4. The motive was revenge by the White House on a whistleblower

So, what do we have instead of an investigation? Republican tactics 101: Change the subject. We have:

  1. Continued character assassination of both Plame and her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the whistleblower in the Niger yellowcake affair)

  2. The FBI rounding up the usual suspects here, there, and everywhere in the executive branch, except in the White House, where senior administration officials are to be found

  3. Continued mischaracterization of the issue as "leaking," when in fact the issue is revealing the identity of an intelligence operative
  4. Persistent characterization of the DOJ investigation as independent when in fact:

    1. White House Counsel Gonzales will decide what to turn over to DOJ, and what not to turn over (that was the 5:00 deadline today). And it's gong to take him at least two weeks to do that

    2. Ashcroft continues to refuse to recuse himself in The Plame Affair, even though he has done so for less cause in other cases

    3. Aschroft has to sign off on every subpoena, regardless of whether the "career prosecutors" are handling the case or not

  5. And Bush could solve the problem right away (and save the taxpayers a little money) simply by saying the following single sentence:

    If any journalists have given pledges of confidentiality to whoever revealed Valerie Plame's identity, I'm releasing them from those pledges.

    Maybe if he did that, one of the six people the White House felon shopped Plame's identity to might, just might, come fofward? How long will we be waiting for Bush to say that, I wonder?

Also, let's not forget that Plame was a WMD operative, which may provide an additional motive to revenge in the Affair. (This may help the MWs who just can't understand.)

Some have thought that the doctrine of preventive war depends on having good intelligence—about WMDs, for example. Not so; Bush already knows the wars he wants to fight; the PNAC lays it all out, as did the "Axis of Evil" speech. So the purpose of an intelligence agency (in Bush's view) is not to provide facts or analysis; rather, the purpose of the agency is provide cover for wars of choice that the administration has already decided to fight. (This is the operational definition of "faith-based intelligence.") However, not everyone in the intelligence community shares this view.

Plame was a WMD operative. There are real WMD concerns (i.e., nuclear, not fake like Iraq) with both North Korea and Iran.

Therefore, the felon in the The Plame Affair might have had an additional motive beyond revenge: to message to the WMD community that if they disagree with the White House, not only will their careers be destroyed, their lives (if they are operatives) will be endangered, as Plame's has been. It's a two-fer!

Finally, it looks like the White House defense starting to emerge Sure, Rove might have talked to a journalist about Plame, but only to "set the record straight," and only after her identity had already been revealed. The difference between a felony and standard operating procedure? I was about to say "a simple matter of timing," but that would imply that the Bush White House knows or cares about the distinction.

corrente SBL - New Location
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