The Democrats and the New York Times were sceaming that the outing of a CIA agent was an extremely serious issue during time of war and must be investigated. A Special Prosecutor was called for. Nay screamed for. Our national security had been compromised and those responsible for the outing must be punished.
The mosquito-level buzz had become a traffic helicopter roar after the CIA's referral to the Justice Department had been leaked to Andrea Mitchell. (Somebody subpoena her to reveal her source!)
And now, after almost two years of investigation by special prosecutor Fitzgerald, we are awaiting the indictment(s) of administration officials.
On Larry King Live last night, Bob Woodward was one of the guests discussing the Plame Outing case. Woodward, who has a knack for finding and using credible sources that, it seems, nobody else has access to, dropped a little bombshell:
They did a damage assessment within the CIA, looking at what this did that Joe Wilson's wife was outed. And turned out it was quite minimal damage. They did not have to pull anyone out undercover abroad. They didn't have to resettle anyone. There was no physical danger to anyone and there was just some embarrassment.Two years, unknown cost to the taxpayer, an administration distracted (in time of war, no less), possible criminal charges against administration officials, for "just some embarrassment?". Oy.
The political question, which isn't Fitzgerald's job to answer, still hasn't been settled in the minds of the public. Well, at least in the minds of the media: Was Wilson's wife outed for political revenge? or was it all a mistake made by an administration in its attempt to set the record straight because it was Wilson who twisted the truth?
And it's this political question that has been behind the countless conversations in the blogosphere these past two years which, to me, have been a positive corollary to the process of the investigation. But these discussions, which brought to light several intriguing questions concerning the case for war, have been totally ignored by the press. The discussions in the blogosphere were beneficial to all participants and raised the level of awareness, on both sides, of factors in play prior to the war. This raised awareness could have been beneficial to the public at large as well.
But the press never seemed to be all that curious about factors behind the so-called outing, choosing instead to continuously air their preferred narrative of revenge and look no deeper. The investigation gave them the perfect opportunity to do some investigating of their own but they shrugged their shoulders. Perhaps they were simply lazy, or perhaps they knew what they'd find and simply didn't want to go there.
Just the Superficial Facts, Ma'am.
We, the citizens, deserve better.