Friday, September 01, 2006

Pants on Fire?

The Washington Post editorializes on the Valerie Plame/Richard Wilson/Nigerian uranium story:
It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House -- that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame's identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson -- is untrue. The partisan clamor that followed the raising of that allegation by Mr. Wilson in the summer of 2003 led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, a costly and prolonged investigation, and the indictment of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on charges of perjury. All of that might have been avoided had Mr. Armitage's identity been known three years ago.

That's not to say that Mr. Libby and other White House officials are blameless...(W)hen Mr. Wilson charged that intelligence about Iraq had been twisted to make a case for war, Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney reacted by inquiring about Ms. Plame's role in recommending Mr. Wilson for a CIA-sponsored trip to Niger, where he investigated reports that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium. Mr. Libby then allegedly disclosed Ms. Plame's identity to journalists and lied to a grand jury when he said he had learned of her identity from one of those reporters. Mr. Libby and his boss, Mr. Cheney, were trying to discredit Mr. Wilson; if Mr. Fitzgerald's account is correct, they were careless about handling information that was classified.

Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.
I bet he won't have any trouble getting invited to plenty of cocktail parties tho. He served his purpose: doing for the Democrats what Monica Lewinski did for the Republicans: He distracted the Administration from serious business. The difference is that the Republicans' business was conducting a global war against Islamist fascism.

Thanks, Ambassador Wilson.

And by the way, so far as I know, no one involved has ever explained why Mr. Wilson was not required- as is routine- to sign a non-disclosure agreement before going to Niger for the CIA. If he had, he never could have written the column which started all this. Was that an 'oversight" or did someone really just screw up the paperwork?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fitzgerald does sound qualified

Investor's Business Daily takes a dim view of the Plame Affair investigation:
Plamegate: Patrick Fitzgerald's three-year manhunt to track down who blew Valerie Plame's CIA "cover" has been exposed as a costly sham....

Fitzgerald knew in the early days of his politicized witch hunt that no crime was committed. No one intentionally revealed the identity of a truly covert agent. Yet he made a reporter, Miller, spend nearly 90 days in jail for refusing to reveal her source.

Meanwhile, Fitzgerald refused to reveal to the public the true source. From top to bottom, this has been one of the most disgraceful abuses of prosecutorial power in this country's history. That it's taking place at a time of war only magnifies its sordidness.

We wouldn't be surprised if Fitzgerald ran for high elective office in the next few years — likely as a Democrat. The Plame case proves he can bend the truth with the proficiency of the slickest of pols.
Seems like it's time to ask Mr. Fitzgerald some questions, and demand answers. Still, would the NY Times put them on the front page?

I wonder if he will get to sit next to Jimmy Carter at the next Democratic National Convention. Surely he has been nearly as useful as Michael Moore.