Friday, October 28, 2005

Just some embarrassment

A citizen rightly/wrongly accused the Bush administration of twisting intelligence to make a case for war. The administration in response/retaliation outed/revealed a CIA agent's identity accidentally/on purpose.

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.


RogerA said...

Syl--I think the issues are fairly straightforward: (1) if the press really investigated they would have to indict themselves for they are genuinely the foci of leaks, both receiving them and passing them to administration and administration critics alike; and (2) they would find the State INR and the CIA conducted its private bureaucratic campaign against a duly elected administration (and this type of behavior applies irrespective of which administration might be in power.) These two factors are simply inconsistent with the world view and prejudices of the MSM.

David Thomson said...

“Was Wilson's wife outed for political revenge?”

The very idea that Rove and Libby deliberately outed Valerie Plame is an insult to one’s common sense. Everybody knew that she was a mere pencil pusher at Langley. It’s kind of hard to “out” someone who lives a regular life in the Washington area. This is another clear example of the Republican hating MSM's bias. Joe Wilson thought up this nonsense and the idiot media jumped onto the bandwagon.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

The Democrats and the New York Times were sceaming...

I believe that's redundant.

Peter UK said...

Is it germane to raise the question concering the place of employment of Plame,since she used her influence to get her husband sent to Niger to investigate that of which he had no knowledge?
If Wilson had been sent on a world cruise, it would have been called corruption,certainly nepotism,the fact that he drew the short straw and went to Niger is irrelevant.
It is highly probable that the CIA could have produced an expert with a working knowledge of the language,somebody who was currently on salary.
This was highly irregular for a government agency and was bound to fuel speculation,certainly there would be a suspicion as to his wife's involvement by the mere fact that he was sent.
The lack of curiosity by the CIA concerning yellowcake production is astounding,especially since it is controlled by France.
Ignoring the fact that Iraqi Information Minister
Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf,had visited Niger earlier seems criminal.

Rick Ballard said...


I also list as curious the fact that COGEMA (the French nuclear fuel company) controls the production both in Niger and Gabon - where Valery's blabbohubby was Ambassador. What minimal experience that he had in the yellowcake field was derived through his contacts with COGEMA - which "quelle sorpres" has ties to TotalFinaElf - which has ties to Paribas. All with interlocking directorates and Paul Desmarais sitting right in the middle holding Maurice Strongs hand as he manipulates Kofi's puppet strings.

This ain't six degrees of separation stuff - this is "My God man, you can't marry her, she's your sister."

What a very small world this is.

terrye said...

This is it???

After 22 months, all they have is Libby said and Russert said Miller said and then Cooper said.....

Never mind.

gumshoe said...

terrye said...

This is it???

After 22 months, all they have is Libby said and Russert said Miller said and then Cooper said.....

Never mind.


and *still* no definitive
statement on Plame's NOC status.

unless you count the fact that no crime,relating to the original investigation's mandate,was found.

terrye said...


So it seems. Maybe she really was in transition.

Peter UK said...

A bit late - but why would Wilson go to Niger the head office is here.

COGEMA Resources Inc. Head Office
P .O. Box 9204
817 45th Street West
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 3X5
Telephone: (306) 244-2554
Facsimile: (306) 653-3883

Peter UK said...

Interesting list of TotalElfFina directors,not making Senate hearings or the front pages.
fiscal underground railway?