'Plame Platoon' is AWOL on new leaks

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

IT SEEMS like only yesterday that every high-minded politician, pundit and professional activist was in high dudgeon about the threat posed to national security by the revelation that Valerie Plame was a spook. For daring to reveal a CIA operative's name — in wartime, no less! — they wanted someone frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs, preferably headed for the gallows.

Since then there have been some considerably more serious security breaches. Major media organs have broken news about secret prisons run by the CIA, the interrogation techniques employed therein, and the use of "renditions" to capture suspects, right down to the tail numbers of covert CIA aircraft. They have also reported on a secret National Security Agency program to monitor calls and e-mails from people in the U.S. to suspected terrorists abroad, and about the Pentagon's Counterintelligence Field Activity designed to protect military bases worldwide. — Max Boot — Los Angeles Times

51 comments:

markg8 said...

Max Boot your one stop shopping for rightwing talking points.

Let me rebut. It's not only detrimental to nat'l. security to out and end the career of a CIA operative working on non proliferation issues, it's illegal.

Conversely, risking your job and possibly your freedom by blowing the whistle on abuses of power, including secret illegal wiretap programs is one of the most courageous patriotic acts a person can make.

Heres' another one of his arguments:

"Ask yourself why there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since 2001. Not one. It's hard to know the exact reason we've been spared, but surely part of our good fortune should be attributed to the very measures — the Patriot Act, the NSA surveillance, the renditions, the enhanced interrogation techniques — that are now being pilloried by self-righteous journalists and lawmakers."

And here's Kevin Drum's response:

Of course, you might just as well ask yourself why there were no terrorist attacks on American soil in the four years before 9/11. The fact is, superhawks always claim their programs are vital to American security, and they almost always turn out to be wrong. We didn't need to intern Japanese-Americans during World War II, we didn't need Joe McCarthy's theatrics during the Cold War, and we didn't need COINTELPRO during the Vietnam War. And when the Church Committee outlawed the most egregious of our intelligence abuses in the 70s, guess what happened? The Soviet Union disintegrated a decade later. Turns out we didn't need that stuff after all. America is a lot stronger than its supposed defenders give it credit for.

In any case, Boot has succinctly expressed a talking point you can expect to hear a lot more of when al-Qaeda eventually mounts another successful attack on American soil, an act so likely as to be almost inevitable. No matter how big or how small that attack turns out to be, the hawks will rush to announce: it's the liberals' fault. It's your fault. It's my fault.

But never their fault. Never the fault of those who have so little faith in America's institutions in the first place. It's never their fault.

Peter UK said...

"It's not only detrimental to nat'l. security to out and end the career of a CIA operative working on non proliferation issues,"

What has stopped Plame from "working on non proliferation issues," a desk job is a desk job.
Plame was so covert she wore a false moustache and glasses when she went to the Langley canteen.

"Conversely, risking your job and possibly your freedom by blowing the whistle on abuses of power, including secret illegal wiretap programs is one of the most courageous patriotic acts a person can make."

Mo, not risking the lives of your countrymen for narrow partisan advantage trumps that.

"And when the Church Committee outlawed the most egregious of our intelligence abuses in the 70s, guess what happened?"

9/11.

"No matter how big or how small that attack turns out to be, the hawks will rush to announce: it's the liberals' fault. It's your fault. It's my fault."

Big of you to take all the blame markg8,but really,you are only an insignificant bit player.

markg8 said...

Um Kevin Drum writing there dimwit. It really is disappointing to come here looking for intelligent discourse and only finding you Peety.

Syl said...

There are three types of 'democrats' in this 'debate'.

(1)There are those who are genuinely concerned with national security and keeping Americans safe. They are a little worried about what is going on, but do, in all sincerety, hope its legal and Bush has the authority to do so to keep us safe.

(2)There are those who feel as (1) does and wants us to be safe. Furthermore they suspect Bush was acting within his powers as CiC. They figure no harm is being done and the program will continue anyway, so why not bitch and moan and make Bush look bad. It's just politics. They also believe the bitching and moaning will fire up the crazies and make sure the Dems get their votes.

(3)The crazies who really believe Bush is behaving like a dictator and has no authority whatsoever to do what he is doing...that is spying on innocent Americans, like themselves. This is the group that (2) is pandering to.

Groups (1) and (2) can be engaged in rational debate. Group 3 cannot.

Mark belongs to Group 3.

Peter UK said...

markg8,you are being repetitive again,you need to go back to the little boys at Kos and get your instructions.

Now let me explain,you are using the quote to rebut Boot,therefore you are associating yourself with the words.
That is what we do when we use quotes dimwit,use them to support an argument for or against a proposition.

..and who gives a bat's fart about Kevin Drum?

God you are stupid!

chuck said...

Um Kevin Drum writing there dimwit. It really is disappointing to come here looking for intelligent discourse and only finding you Peety.

Kevin Drum and intelligent discourse is an oxymoronic juxtaposition. He was one of the guys who prompted me to leave the Democratic Party.

Seneca the Younger said...

Um Kevin Drum writing there dimwit. It really is disappointing to come here looking for intelligent discourse and only finding you Peety.

Well, you don't seem to be having a great time with attribution yourself, mark.

markg8 said...

Well I dunno Peety I'll bet Drum gets far and away more traffic than this little conclave. I'd say the marketplace has placed his value pretty high.

And on that note let me cite another lefty blog, the 2004 Koufax Award winner for best writing Digby. Warning none of you here are gonna like it, but this is the way we see you. You really ought to read
the whole thing:

"There are the typical lies and obfuscations to which we've all become accustomed, of course, such as selectively citing passages of Supreme Court opinions that actually came to opposite conclusions and purposefully misconstruing Clinton and Carter's executive orders to imply that they had done the same thing. That's just par for the course.

But there are two things about this that do chap my hide and they are related. The first is that for 40 years --- and certainly for the last 25 since Reagan became president --- we have had to listen to endless blathering about how the Republicans want to "get the government out of your lives." "If someone says 'we're the government and we're here to help you' you should run." Rugged individualist Republicans, taking care of their own, not looking to the state to solve their problems like the betwetting girly men and manly girls on the left.

During the 90's the atmosphere was redolent with militia fevered, anti-government rhetoric that echoed throughout the right wing message infrastructure...

These were extremists, to be sure, but the language on the floor of the congress often echoed this kind of thinking. Tom Delay, for instance, called the EPA the "Gestapo of government ... a bunch of jack-booted thugs.”

They won elections in the west and the south by swaggering around extolling the blessed Bill Of Rights and the need to keep the federal government at arms length because Real Men and Women don't need no Democrat sissy nanny state and her Big Brother taking away their rights.

9/11 changed everything. Suddenly the he-men of WalMart and the NRA leaped into Big Brother's arms and shrieked "save me, save me! Do what ever you have to do, they're trying to kill us all!" They now look to Daddy Government not to discipline the children, but to check under the bed for them every night, reassure them that the boogeyman won't hurt them and then read them a nice bedtime story about spreading freedom and democracy. It turns out that underneath all this swaggering bravado, the Republicans aren't the Daddy party --- they're the baby party.

Of course, the right has traded on fear for so long that we can hardly remember a time when they didn't. If it isn't the commies, it's the hippies or the ATF or the terrorists.

This idea that we are living in a unique time that calls for special measures is what they always say. (And this current fantasy about the unique threat that proved our oceans couldn't protect us is particularly rich considering they fearmongered a communist threat of total annihilation for decades.) Often cooler heads are able to quell the worst excesses (like the fervent belief that we needed to launch a tactical nuclear war against the commies) and satisfy the right wing's other ongoing paranoid fantasy --- the left as a fifth column --- with silly, wasteful surveillance of animal rights groups or Quakers or former Beatles (along with pernicious surveillance of their partisan opponents.)

They are rhinestone cowboys who are scared to death and don't know how to contain their fear. So they lash out at their domestic political enemies, who they can bluster about and pretend to be tough, while hiding behind the military uniforms of their Big Brother and Preznit Daddy (which is a real stretch when it comes to Junior.)

The fact that they continue to win elections as being the tough guys perhaps says more about our puerile culture than anything else. They lash out like frightened children and too many people see that as courage or resolve.

Violent Islamic fundamentalism is a serious problem, not an existential threat. And it's a difficult problem that requires adults who can keep their heads about them when the terrorists put on their scary show, not big-for-their-age eight year olds staging a temper tantrum.

Peter UK said...

"I'll bet Drum gets far and away more traffic than this little conclave. I'd say the marketplace has placed his value pretty high."

"And on that note let me cite another lefty blog, the 2004 Koufax Award winner "

Sheesh markg8,your whole world is a computer screen,you poor sad bastard!

Peter UK said...

"Violent Islamic fundamentalism is a serious problem, not an existential threat. And it's a difficult problem that requires adults who can keep their heads about them when the terrorists put on their scary show, not big-for-their-age eight year olds staging a temper tantrum."

Adults who do this?
Are you in some kind or arrested development markg8 ?

markg8 said...

Peety do you ever think about how the things you write reflect on you? Try it, it'll keep you from sounding so silly.

markg8 said...

BTW you should hear my George C. Scott as George S. Patton impression. "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other poor bastard die for his." Quite impressive if I say so myself. The commanding presence and deep baritone voice works as well with recruiters as it does getting past receptionists to the decision maker in my day job. People jump out of my way when I say excuse me in a crowded bar too. Shame ya can't hear it squeeky.

Peter UK said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peter UK said...

and markg8,I was quoting you.
I'm intrigued,if you are so commanding why are you such a business failure..sorry it's because you are an idiot.

Specter said...

So let's see how your logic plays out Mark.

Who was hurt by the "outing" of Valerie "Vanity Fair" Plame? How did it endanger the security of the US?

Now - on the other hand. Picture this. Terrorist A is resident in the US and is talking to OSME bin about killing a few thousand innocent US civilians. But he reads about the NSA program in the NYT and lets OSME bin know to switch to another pre-paid phone. Now we lose track of both of them and people get killed. Who got hurt? Valerie Plame? Joe Wilson? No - citizens - innocent ones at that. How in the world can you apply such an obvious double standard?

Seneca the Younger said...

Mark, that seems like a really long quote to insert as a comment. Try to summarize, and quote the essential points instead of the whole thing. That'll improve your reputation with us, and you could use the practice putting things in your own words.

terrye said...

Well I think Valerie Plame should be fired for sending her lying drunk of a husband to Africa.

Was that unkind? I keep forgetting how big and bad and brave they are.

I am not going to go over the whole entire, sorry, silly, stupid, useless, inane, ridiculous, story of the inept, incompetent, dishonest, diplomat sent to Africa to drink sweet tea.

He then came back and told one story and then another story and then yet another story in spite of the fact that he was supposed to be on secret mission. Joe is a liar, enough said.

Now we have a bunch of folks caught in one screw up after another who apparently feel that CYA is the order of the day and so they are getting the Bushies in the hopes they can somehow save their sorry asses.

It is one thing to go after a political opponent. It is another thing to deliberately jeopardize national security to do it.

The Democrats are handling this the same way they handled Sandy Berger's pants....when it works to their benefit the rules apply, when it does not they don't..simple rule and rather pathological when you think about it.

Buddy Larsen said...

what a magnificent specimen, slapping away the dogs of our puerile culture while evading receptionists while writing a comment here every eleven or so seconds while getting right to the decision makers "chocolate or vanilla, kid? One scoop or two?"

Buddy Larsen said...

But, to your point, that the anti-government Right is suddenly pro-government, what about your lot, the pro-government party suddenly anti-government? Won't you at least share the cartoon panel with us?

terrye said...

Mark...You know if our little corner of the world is not good enough for you after hanging out with the elite, well all I can say is don't let the door hit in the ass on the way out honey.

Specter said...

Don't send him away. We still need comic relief.....

Buddy Larsen said...

...but he said he comes here for "intelligent discourse", so I think that's a compliment, right?

Peter UK said...

Specter,
Was that colonic relief?

Buddy Larsen said...

yes, let's not be enemas!

Buddy Larsen said...

can't we all be frenzied?

ex-democrat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ex-democrat said...

if you guys want to take a break from trying to reason with the pathologically unreasonable 9aka Irritable Troll Syndrome), you might want to check out Hindraker at Powerline doing much the same thing (regarding the NSA kerfuffle) with similar results: http://powerlineblog.com/archives/012624.php

Peter UK said...

Buddy,
I'll let that pass.

Peter UK said...

Though I found your plea very moving.

Peter UK said...

Terrye,
Of all the blog joints in all the towns in all the world, he walks into yours

Buddy Larsen said...

play it again, Sham.

Buddy Larsen said...

if you need me, just bristle.

Seneca the Younger said...

Of course, you might just as well ask yourself why there were no terrorist attacks on American soil in the four years before 9/11.

You could even ask if it's true — of course, if you did, you'd discover that there were multiple bombings of American embassies in August 1998 (three years and a month) and on the USS Cole in October 2000 (less than a year.)

And before you even mention it, yes, both embassies and Navy vessels are considered to be the sovereign territory of the United States.

Peter UK said...

"Round up the usual suspects."

Buddy Larsen said...

"Here's lookin' at your skid."

Peter UK said...

“You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust.”markg8

Buddy Larsen said...

You know, Rick, I have many enemies in the atmosphere, but somehow, just because you trust me, I despise you.
--MarxG8

Peter UK said...

You know Rick,just because everybody despises me does'nt mean I don't think I am commanding.
My mother loves me,she has taken the training wheels off my bike.markg8

Peter UK said...

“You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Pasadena, but somehow, just because I think it is in Utah you despise me, .”markg8

Seneca the Younger said...

Well I dunno Peety I'll bet Drum gets far and away more traffic than this little conclave. I'd say the marketplace has placed his value pretty high.

Today's educational moment: which classical fallacy are you using here, Mark?

Buddy Larsen said...

without looking, ad hoc, ergo post hoc?

Buddy Larsen said...

You know, Rick, I have many friends in Pasadena, and just because they despise it, they paid me to move me to Utah.
--Mark

Buddy Larsen said...

okay, I looked, it's "biased sample".

measuring every unit of income as a unit of population.

(Practical) Mark's site could have one Billionaire doner, and if popularity is measured by income, it will be more popular than a site with one-off a billion $1 donors.

Peter UK said...

Buddy,
The answer is "Its' Kevin Drum"

Buddy Larsen said...

George Sore-ass.

Buddy Larsen said...

"Biased Sample" (one form of)

5mm righters have 5k blogs
1mm lefters have .5k blogs
ratio favors left blog visits by 2:1

Buddy Larsen said...

Related, & ht InstaPundit

RogerA said...

Is it possible that idiots like Garrity actually believe the tripe they right? I mean, consider the possibilities.

RogerA said...

oops--right = write--and now Ms Plame is posing in her jammies with her dirt bag hubby, Garrity's posts have even more GRAVITAS--

Buddy Larsen said...

I don't think the garrity-types believe their hogwash. How could they? They're carnival barkers for the coalition of the illiterate and the deeply flawed. On commission.

Peter UK said...

Buddy,
I don't think you understand the depth of the problem,Mark Garrity bears the shame of the sin that dare not speak it's name.






Yes markg8 is a repressed Republican