I suppose I should say something about the whole Valerie Plame issue. For those not following, Valerie Plame is the wife of Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. Ambassador. Wilson made some statements critical of Bush’s war in Iraq, and shortly afterwards syndicated columnist Robert Novak revealed in his column that Plame was a deep-cover CIA operative.
First, this was extremely irresponsible. Plame was a CIA operative, who was actually investigating weapons of mass destruction, something the administration claims to be interested in. Exposing her destroyed years of work she had done. Second, it’s damaging. Now that Plame has been exposed, her life, and the lives of those who worked with her, are in jeopardy. I’m not a CIA operative (as far as you know), but I imagine that working in that world is not sitting around playing croquet and drinking tea. I imagine there are some dangerous players in that field who might not be happy to find out they’ve been talking to a CIA agent. Thirdly, it’s illegal. It’s a federal crime to reveal this information, for precisely the reasons I’ve listed above.
Novak claims he got the information straight from the White House. Insiders are pointing to either Karl Rove or Rove’s staff. In fact, Rove himself said to Hardball host Chris Matthews that Plame was “fair game”. As to why, well that’s easy. To try and silence other potential Bush critics. This was a message to any other officials thinking of saying anything bad about Bush: we’ll hurt you, and if we can’t hurt you, your family is fair game.
Surprising? Not for anyone who’s been getting news from virtually any other source than the mainstream media. The left-wing news sites I look at reported on this weeks ago. Also not surprising coming from the thugs and bullies who make up this administration. Just a day’s work for them.
So how are the administration and the media dealing with this potential Watergate? A Bush official accused of a Federal crime! My oh my! The answer, of course, is that it’s not going to go anywhere. We won’t get any kind of investigation nearly as in-depth as the one involving Clinton for years. But we can watch everyone reveal their true colors.
For the media, it’s obvious. Breaking the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 and jeopardizing the lives of an entire network of undercover agents isn’t nearly as sexy as, well, oral sex, even if it is a far worse crime (what with receiving oral sex from someone who isn’t your wife not being a crime and all.) So they’ll give this one a pass. Wake us when something involving pee-pees happens.
But if you recall, according to the Republicans, the whole Monica Whitewater thing wasn’t about sex, it was about PERJURY and THE LAW. Well suddenly the Law is no big deal. All of our get tough conservatives are bending over backwards to explain why this is no big deal. Here are the reasons:
- Everyone already KNEW Plame was a CIA agent. So her identity wasn’t REALLY exposed. If that’s the case, then why bother to do it? The only reason the issue came up was because Wilson was anti-Bush. Obviously SOMEONE thought that Plame’s identity was secret, or else it wouldn’t have been used to damage her and Wilson.
- Plame wasn’t REALLY an operative. Well, too bad, she was. And even if she wasn’t, she works for the CIA, her identity was secret, and it was exposed. Same law, same crime.
- Here’s the best one. Well, Wilson was very anti-Bush. He was a Democrat! So it’s okay. There you have it. Everything laid bare. It’s okay to commit a federal crime and endanger someone’s life and career if the spouse of that person is a Democrat. Being a democrat and contributing to Gore’s campaign is now a criminal act, apparently. Unfortunately, Wilson himself could be a donkey-raping serial killer and it wouldn’t change the fact that revealing his wife’s identity is a federal crime.
So that’s the administration’s supporters. All trying hard to explain why this particular incident isn’t worse than a blowjob. How about the administration itself? They must be panicking, right? Not so much.
First, if you remember, when Clinton’s misdeeds were being investigated, it was decided by Republicans that the Attorney General, Janet Reno, couldn’t run the investigation because, since she was appointed by Clinton, she would be biased. The only way a fair investigation could be had was to appoint a special prosecutor, Ken Starr. However, it seems that such concerns about bias are no longer valid, and the Republicans are just fine with Ashcroft’s Justice Department doing the investigation. In fact, this arrangement is so chummy that the Justice Department even gave the White House a day’s notice before the investigation so they could be sure to NOT delete any important emails or phone records! You know how it is when, unless you’re given warning, you just start throwing everything away, including possibly incriminating evidence. Thanks to this, Rove and his boys can be sure to hang on to every scrap of evidence that might tie this to them.
Like I said, true colors. For the administration, this is all just a game. “Fair game,” says Rove of Plame. They’ve already lied, stolen, cheated, and bullied, time for a little blackmail. Never mind that Plame and people she worked with are now endangered. Never mind that years of work looking into illegal WMDs — real work, not just pretending they’re somewhere and bombing that place — has been thrown out. Never mind that a crime was committed. It’s okay because they punished someone who wasn’t a team player. It’s embarrassing and disgusting, but pretty much just business as usual for this band of lowlifes who were going to bring ethics and dignity back to the White House.
For the supporters, we also see their true colors. All that shouting about how important the law is and how no man, including the President, is above it, all of that we now know (as if we didn’t before) was just a bunch of hooey. It was never about the law. It was never about morals and ethics, it was just about getting Clinton. When given a chance to prove they meant it, many of them blew it and instead stood by their man.
For the media, not only are they not pursuing this story as rabidly as the sex scandal (which, incidentally, Schwarzenegger is also getting somewhat of a pass on), we also got to see a little bit of their methods. Here’s the supposed liberal media, taking calls from the White House and just dumping the information straight into print. Does Novak know he helped commit a crime? Did he stop to think of the ramifications of his actions? Nah, it was more important to get a juicy piece of news than it was to protect national security.
So let this be a lesson to everyone. If you dare to vocally oppose Bush, your family is fair game, as is national security. No crime will be too big to commit to punish you, and no one will think any less of the administration for doing so. In fact, they’ll help defend Bush and his cronies. You’ll just have brought it on yourself for not supporting the team.