Plamegate: Cutting Through the Crap

Josh Marshall and others are tryin' to be responsible, dancing around the conclusion we all already know:

Blowing Valerie Plame's CIA cover was the act of vindictive, small-minded people.

George Bush Jr. and Karl Rove are vindictive, small-minded people.


One thing that's clear in all this: how susceptible everyone is to BushCo's sleazy memes. Even liberal columnists keep putting the Plame affair in terms of the importance of the "sixteen words." Everyone talks as if it's the only troubling statement the Administration made in the run-up to war, and that's why Wilson's debunking of it was so critical. Crap, the speech (and Powell's speech to the UN) were full of inaccuracies, half-truths and innuendos; it wasn't just one problematic sentence. The al Qaeda link, nukes, anthrax, SCUDs: all lies to whip up the monkeymass. Here's an AP article listing all the claims about Saddam that turned out not to be true.

- tom moody 9-30-2003 8:58 am

Mr. Moody's comments are full in inaccuracies. There is nothing in either President Bush's speech or Sec. Powell's speech that cannot be documented or backed up with actual intelligence data. The now imfamous "16 words" were true then as they remain true today...British intelligence has NOT disputed its own report that the President used.

Valerie Plame's cover blown? She is not now nor was she ever "undercover." She was an analyst. She doesn't go around making contacts in covert operations and gather intelligence or participate in car chases! She "analyzes" data...that's her job. And if her identity should be so secret, why does her husband mention her employment with the CIA in his own biographical data???
- wk_atlanta (guest) 10-02-2003 5:01 pm

Post the URL for Wilson's biography mentioning Valerie Plame's employment with the CIA and I'll consider your other undocumented statements as well. Otherwise no thanks.
- jim 10-02-2003 5:50 pm

Mr. wk_atlanta, your dedication to a President who doesn't give doo doo about you is touching. A few years from now he'll be sitting poolside back at the Midland Racquet Club, drinking mai tais and laughing at your ass.

To everyone else: I'm getting hammered by search requests for "Valerie Plame Photo." The wingnuts appear to be agitated.

At my drycleaners, where Fox is always on, the proprietor says to me: "So, do you think Novak should resign?" The talking heads were yammering about whether journalists should reveal their sources. I guess that's the Rove talking points--make journalists the issue.

I replied: "I don't think journalistic integrity is what's important here. It looks as if the White House broke federal law out of pure spite." The drycleaner guy looked at me blankly. He had no idea what I was talking about. Oh, to be ignorant.

- tom moody 10-02-2003 10:00 pm

Mmmmmm ... puuure spite.
- mark 10-02-2003 11:31 pm

Joshua Marshall keeps saying things like this: "As Iíve said before, Iím convinced that the White House will eventually rue the day the president didnít just do the right thing on day one: find the culprits, fire them and move on."

Duh, man, Bush is the culprit! I don't know if Marshall's being naive, faux-naive, or just trying insanely hard to appear "balanced." Here's how it went down: Rove said (about Wilson): "We're gonna fuck him like he's never been fucked before!" and Bush said "Let's do it." End of story.

- tom moody 10-12-2003 7:07 pm

Except saying that ("We're gonna fuck him....") isn't really a crime. So it's not the end of the story. Actually pinning the crime of leaking a CIA agent's identity on someone (it won't be Bush) is going to take some work. And some ability to appear "balanced." I think Marshall is doing a good job pushing the story forward.

But yes, I also have some big troubles with his early pro war stance, etc....
- jim 10-12-2003 7:24 pm

I should have said:

Rove said (about Wilson): "We're gonna fuck him like he's never been fucked before!" and Bush said "Let's do it." And then they did it. End of story.

Agreed, Marshall's been doing good work on this. Unfortunately, I think the Republicans have succeeded in turning this into a "partisan politics as usual" story. The real outrage is the Iraq war; instead of turning up the burner on that, lefty pols and pundits are playing bureaucratic checkers over Plame. It's frustrating as hell.

- tom moody 10-12-2003 9:43 pm

I sense the story is dying ...

--- Meet the Press: Iraq, Ahnold, Dem debate

--- Face the Nation: Ahnold, Ahnold, Ahnold, handicapping the Dem primary

--- This Week with entirely too much George Will: John Kerry, Pope-a-rama, Lackawanna Six.

I knew Watergate. Watergate was a friend of mine. Revenge-gate is no Watergate.

I'm still struggling to understand how to peel the layers of gauze from the eyes of the average American. But perhaps that's not the answer. The California election shows it's not about "reality" --- it's about "Reality!!!(tm) brand infotainment ... where we remind you, if it's quality infotainment, it's Reality!!!(tm)".

2004 isn't about opening the eyes of a slumbering public to the harsh light of truth, it's about voting Dubya off the island. This particular act of mendacity is too technical and too inside-the-beltway to capture the imagination of the tv nation.
- mark 10-12-2003 11:27 pm

I'd say it's a fairly straightforward(ly nasty) story, but the White House succeeded in (1) making it seem like a partisan attack, (2) saying the damage from the "outing" wasn't clear, and (3) framing it as a journalistic protection-of-sources issue. The press backed off because of (3)--they always freak out about revealing sources--and allowed the story to get bogged down in obfuscations under (1) and (2). BushCo can't fight a war (oops, sorry, "win the peace") or run a country, but they sure can spin.

- tom moody 10-13-2003 2:40 am

wilsongate linkfest
- mark 10-14-2003 2:07 am

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