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Friday, July 15, 2005

Joe Wilson: Are His Pants on Fire Yet?

As best I can recall, this will make my first post anywhere about the Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame kerfuffle.

After the 9/11 Commission roundly took Joe Wilson's "version" of his mission and report—and the circumstances under which he performed his mission to Niger—to task, all he had left to whine about was his complaint that "someone" in the administration had "outed" his wife, whom he claimed was a covert CIA agent at the time, and thus broke the law against doing so simply by revealing her name... oh, and the fact that she had arranged for his Niger junket, not the Vice President, as Wilson had claimed.

Well, it turns out Wilson knew he was lying about his wife being a covert agent, too. From CNN's "Wolf Blitzer Reports" July 14, 2005:

BLITZER: But the other argument that's been made against you is that you've sought to capitalize on this extravaganza, having that photo shoot with your wife, who was a clandestine officer of the CIA, and that you've tried to enrich yourself writing this book and all of that.

What do you make of those accusations, which are serious accusations, as you know, that have been leveled against you?

WILSON: My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity.

Of course, the law prohibiting revealing the identities of clandestine or covert agents does state that revealing a covert agent's identity within five years of an overseas assignment is a crime. And guess what? USA Today finally got up to speed yesterday with what most people knew two years ago: Plame had been out of the field living and raising a family, working in the U.S. at Langely for six years by the time Bob Novak mentioned her in 2003.

In The Politics of Truth, former ambassador Joseph Wilson writes that he and his future wife both returned from overseas assignments in June 1997. Neither spouse, a reading of the book indicates, was again stationed overseas. They appear to have remained in Washington, D.C., where they married and became parents of twins.

Six years later, in July 2003, the name of the CIA officer — Valerie Plame — was revealed by columnist Robert Novak.

I mention this before even attempting to address the substance of Joseph Wilson's charges against the administration (about its mention of Saddam Hussein's reported attempts to obtain yellowcake in Africa) to point out the fact that quite apart from the 9/11 Commission's gentlemanly labeling of Joseph Wilson as a liar (in typical political mush-speak), his harebrained charges against the administration—and flailing accusations against Karl Rove in particular—turn out to be based on circumstances that Wilson knew in advance disprove his assertions.

His character impeached by his own actions, there is simply nothing he can add to any discussion of policy, ethics or law concerning... anything.

Now, can we leave aside the breathless jabber about who knew what, when and from whom about a non-covert non-operative CIA employee and talk about the complete lack of moral fiber in the Mass Media Podpeople and their fellow travelers in the Moveon.org-dominated Democratic party, as well as the spineless, testosterone-deprived, gutless wonders in the Republican Party who don't have the stones to tand up and call a liar a liar in plain speech?

Both the phony, non-liberal reactionaries on the left and the pseudo-conservative liberal wannabes on the right disgust me. Who was it who said that they believed in a two party system but that they wished we had two different parties to the ones we have? Whoever it was, I'm with him.

Posted also at: Balanced News

Update #1 Gee I wish I'd said that. Jerry Pournelle, commenting at his Chaos Manor in Perspective, Current View, said (in part):

"In my judgment the attention being given to Mr. Wilson, given the track record of his achievements in his CIA assignment, is a bit odd. Why should I care what a Kerry staffer recommends about Republican strategists? Is it unpredictable?"

Update #2: The AP is still lying about the whole thing by telling a partial truth:

"Federal law prohibits government officials from divulging the identity of an undercover intelligence officer. But in order to bring charges, prosecutors must prove the official knew the officer was covert and nonetheless knowingly outed his or her identity."

Note the specific lapse: the time frame and description of what an "undercover operative" is that the law describes (and circumscribes). Keeping the description of the applicable law mushy, indistinct, serves to aid in keeping the story alive for the AP.

Leaving out significant chunks of pertinent information doesn't speak well of the AP, now does it?

Or how about this? Also from an AP report (reproduced in the WAPO),

"Bush has said he would fire anyone found to have leaked Plame's name."

Now, that's a bald-faced lie. What President Bush actually has said is this:

"There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of." [emphasis added]
That differs significantly from "Bush has said he would fire anyone found to have leaked Plame's name." In point of fact, Bush has said no such thing. It's a lie.

And that's why I hate (and it's not too strong a word) the Mass Media Podpeople, the moveon.org-dominated Democratic Party and the ball-less, spineless worms in the Republican Party: on the one side, any lie is permissible and on the other no lie is open to exposure. THE primary characteristic of evil is a culture of characteristic, habitual lies.

A pox on them all.