Wednesday, October 01, 2003

The Plame Game
As I understand it, these are the facts of the case: A 'senior White House official' (meaning someone whose name you would probably recognize) was talking to Bob Novak about Joe Wilson, and the official said something along the lines of "well, he only got the job because his wife (Valerie Plame) works for the CIA..." which led to a further disclosure of the facts, that she's an operative, works on WMD issues, etc. Bob calls the CIA, and the CIA, very understandably, doesn't say, "Yes, Bob, she's a spy", but very clearly tells him not to use her name. That's what's in the public record and is, so far, undisputed.

Other less sure, facts include that this same senior White House official actually told at least 5 other reporters about Plame's work for the CIA, but Bob's the only one who bit. But our source on that is an anonymous source, so it's hardly certain. On the other hand, no one from the White House has come forward to dispute it.

The results? We don't really know. To find out, we'd have to track down Plame's entire network of sources in countries like Pakistan, Russia, North Korea and dozens of similar places and check on their health. Not to mention all of the people she's met with who aren't sources. It's not hard to imagine that some of those people will die as a result of this disclosure. It's almost impossible to imagine that anyone who might have become a source will have second thoughts after reading about our indiscreet politician.

Joe Wilson went to Africa to learn the truth about whether one of our enemies was seeking nuclear weapons. His expenses were paid, but other than that, it was volunteer work. His wife placed herself at considerable risk to try and keep us all safe from nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. That's what patriotism looks like. The leaker, whoever he might be, dealt our intelligence-gathering capability a strong blow and place who knows how many lives at risk in order to politically damage Joe Wilson for having the temerity to speak the truth about what he found in Iraq. That's what cowardice looks like.

When you're dealing with an unethical, incompetent sumbitch in a professional setting, it's perfectly appropriate to go to that person's boss and register a complaint. We, the people, are the boss in this country, and it's about damn time we took these bastards out to the woodshed. Sorry for the mixed metaphor, but I'm pissed.

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