Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Another fake-but-accurate story revealed - the "outing" of Valerie Plame

Now that liberal Democrats have made hay on the subject of the "outing" of Valerie Plame and "Scooter" Libby has been disgraced and lost his job. Now that Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame have made their desire to be covert into a never-ending series of newpaper and magazine interviews and articles and sought to be poster children for the idea that the Bush Administration had "done them wrong." Now that three years of this nonsense has gone on: The truth is coming out.

And it is all a bunch of BS. Deliberate and perhaps even criminal BS.

"...Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State in 2003, may be the missing link in the story that has been called "Plamegate." Said to be a notorious gossip, Armitage told several reporters about Valerie Plame's role with the CIA..."

'Newsweek' Says Armitage Was Plame Source for Both Novak and Woodward

NEW YORK - In an article at the Newsweek web site on Saturday, the magazine's Michael Isikoff declared that former Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, "outed" ex-CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to both columnist Robert Novak and Bob Woodward of The Washington Post.

Former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee claims that Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's former deputy, was the original source of the Plame leak.

In the latest issue of VANITY FAIR: "Woodward was in a tricky position. People close to him believe that he had learned about Plame from his friend Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's former deputy, who has been known to be critical of the administration and who has a blunt way of speaking. 'That Armitage is the likely source is a fair assumption,' former WASHINGTON POST editor Ben Bradlee said."

'I had heard about an e-mail that was sent that had a lot of unprintable language in it.'"


Plame Out - The ridiculous end to the scandal that distracted Washington.

By Christopher Hitchens

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006, at 1:02 PM ET

I had a feeling that I might slightly regret the title ("Case Closed") of my July 25 column on the Niger uranium story. I have now presented thousands of words of evidence and argument to the effect that, yes, the Saddam Hussein regime did send an important Iraqi nuclear diplomat to Niger in early 1999. And I have not so far received any rebuttal from any source on this crucial point of contention. But there was always another layer to the Joseph Wilson fantasy. Easy enough as it was to prove that he had completely missed the West African evidence that was staring him in the face, there remained the charge that his nonreport on a real threat had led to a government-sponsored vendetta against him and his wife, Valerie Plame.

In his July 12 column in the Washington Post, Robert Novak had already partly exposed this paranoid myth by stating plainly that nobody had leaked anything, or outed anyone, to him. On the contrary, it was he who approached sources within the administration and the CIA and not the other way around. But now we have the final word on who did disclose the name and occupation of Valerie Plame, and it turns out to be someone whose opposition to the Bush policy in Iraq has—like Robert Novak's—long been a byword in Washington. It is particularly satisfying that this admission comes from two of the journalists—Michael Isikoff and David Corn—who did the most to get the story wrong in the first place and the most to keep it going long beyond the span of its natural life...

Wait, read the rest of this article because the story gets even worse. All this time, adminstration foes knew the truth and allowed the millions of dollars of wasted investigations and charges and the irreparable damage to Scooter Libby. But read for yourself:

As most of us have long suspected, the man who told Novak about Valerie Plame was Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's deputy at the State Department and, with his boss, an assiduous underminer of the president's war policy. (His and Powell's—and George Tenet's—fingerprints are all over Bob Woodward's "insider" accounts of post-9/11 policy planning, which helps clear up another nonmystery: Woodward's revelation several months ago that he had known all along about the Wilson-Plame connection and considered it to be no big deal.) The Isikoff-Corn book, which is amusingly titled Hubris, solves this impossible problem of its authors' original "theory" by restating it in a passive voice:

The disclosures about Armitage, gleaned from interviews with colleagues, friends and lawyers directly involved in the case, underscore one of the ironies of the Plame investigation: that the initial leak, seized on by administration critics as evidence of how far the White House was willing to go to smear an opponent, came from a man who had no apparent intention of harming anyone.

In the stylistic world where disclosures are gleaned and ironies underscored, the nullity of the prose obscures the fact that any irony here is only at the authors' expense. It was Corn in particular who asserted—in a July 16, 2003, blog post credited with starting the entire distraction—that:

"The Wilson smear was a thuggish act. Bush and his crew abused and misused intelligence to make their case for war. Now there is evidence Bushies used classified information and put the nation's counter-proliferation efforts at risk merely to settle a score. It is a sign that with this gang politics trumps national security."

After you have noted that the Niger uranium connection was in fact based on intelligence that has turned out to be sound, you may also note that this heated moral tone ("thuggish," "gang") is now quite absent from the story. It turns out that the person who put Valerie Plame's identity into circulation was a staunch foe of regime change in Iraq. Oh, that's all right, then. But you have to laugh at the way Corn now so neutrally describes his own initial delusion as one that was "seized on by administration critics."

What does emerge from Hubris is further confirmation of what we knew all along: the extraordinary venom of the interdepartmental rivalry that has characterized this administration. In particular, the bureaucracy at the State Department and the CIA appear to have used the indiscretion of Armitage to revenge themselves on the "neoconservatives" who had been advocating the removal of Saddam Hussein. Armitage identified himself to Colin Powell as Novak's source before the Fitzgerald inquiry had even been set on foot. The whole thing could—and should—have ended right there. But now read this and rub your eyes: William Howard Taft, the State Department's lawyer who had been told about Armitage (and who had passed on the name to the Justice Department)

"also felt obligated to inform White House counsel Alberto Gonzales. But Powell and his aides feared the White House would then leak that Armitage had been Novak's source—possibly to embarrass State Department officials who had been unenthusiastic about Bush's Iraq policy. So Taft told Gonzales the bare minimum: that the State Department had passed some information about the case to Justice. He didn't mention Armitage. Taft asked if Gonzales wanted to know the details. The president's lawyer, playing the case by the book, said no, and Taft told him nothing more."

"[P]laying the case by the book" is, to phrase it mildly, not the way in which Isikoff and Corn customarily describe the conduct of the White House. In this instance, however, the evidence allows them no other choice. But there is more than one way in which a case can be played by the book. Under the terms of the appalling and unconstitutional Intelligence Identities Protection Act (see "A Nutty Little Law," my Slate column of July 26, 2005), the CIA can, in theory, "refer" any mention of itself to the Justice Department to see if the statute—denounced by The Nation and the New York Times when it was passed—has been broken. The bar here is quite high. Perhaps for that reason, Justice sat on the referral for two months after Novak's original column. But then, rather late in the day, at the end of September 2003, then-CIA Director George Tenet himself sent a letter demanding to know whether the law had been broken.

The answer to that question, as Patrick Fitzgerald has since determined, is "no." But there were plenty of senior people who had known that all along. And can one imagine anybody with a stronger motive to change the subject from CIA incompetence and to present a widely discredited agency as, instead, a victim, than Tenet himself? The man who kept the knowledge of the Minnesota flight schools to himself and who was facing every kind of investigation and obloquy finally saw a chance to change the subject. If there is any "irony" in the absurd and expensive and pointless brouhaha that followed, it is that he was abetted in this by so many who consider themselves "radical."

Here is an excerpt from the EIB Network:

Q: "...Listen, I have a question for you, Rush, about the Armitage thing. I recall President Bush stating he would bring the person who leaked this out to justice, and he would be prosecuted under the full extent of the law and they kept hammering him and, you know, this was a Dick Cheney retaliation because Dick Cheney was crossed by Armitage. Where is the Drive-By Media now asking, you know, for Armitage's head? Why isn't he indicted? Why isn't he under prosecution?"

RUSH: "Because -- (Laughing.) Look, no, no. Wait a second. In the first place, Armitage is gone from the state department, but the second part of your question really gets to the nub of it. There wasn't a crime! This is what I try to say, this is what I was saying and I made this point redundantly in the last segment. There wasn't a crime. Armitage wasn't indicted because he didn't know she wasn't covert. Nobody knew she was covert. She probably wasn't covert. Fitzgerald, the special counsel, said she wasn't covert, and nobody knew she was covert. Let me back up. There was no crime.

Let me stand up: "There was no crime!" So you can't indict anybody! The only way they can indict somebody is to have the crime created during the investigation, and that's what happened to poor old Scooter Libby. Real damage, real harm, to real people, to a real country, in time of war. Damage to an administration, Scooter Libby loses his job, now faces gazillions of dollars of legal fees. There was no crime, which is why Armitage can skate off into the sunset. If you're wondering, by the way, uh, ladies and gentlemen, whether Armitage and Powell are liberals... I know some people, because they worked in a Republican administration. Well, Richard Armitage is described by the Drive-By Media in published reports, just a big old bear, big old lovable guy, loved to gossip. He wouldn't ever hurt anybody. He did say that Bush and Cheney and Rove are jerks. But he wouldn't hurt anybody, just lovable little guy, big guy, loves gossip. What a cool dude!

Contrast that with how the drive-bys describe Rove and Cheney and Bush."

Why not go after Armitage? He's not aligned with Bush. Now everyone agrees that there was no crime committed by the administration since if one was committed, it was by anti-administration people within the State Department and Fitzgerald wouldn't want to go after them! Where are the apologies from the major news media now that this has been revealed? Where is the hour-long news special with the scoop on this story? Uh-huh. Thought so. Only when it makes Bush look bad, not good. What was I thinking???!!!

No comments: