Monday, October 31, 2005

Wilson-Plame Affair: The Indictment of Scooter Libby

Sunday night’s broadcast of “60 Minutes” trotted out victim Joseph Wilson to once again repeat his absurd accusation. He claims that the administration recklessly revealed his wife’s CIA status for to punish him for his criticism of the War, and to serve as a warning that similar punishment would be meted out to the families of anyone else foolish enough to defy Bush’s policies. Vindictiveness, pure and simple, that’s what they’ve been telling us Republicans are about all along.

Wilson’s claim is an outrageous and patently insane analysis. It’s simply a more roundabout way of saying “BusHitler” or calling the president and anyone who supports his policies a bunch of Nazis. The left have been doing this a very long time, but now they think they have a CRIME that they can use as proof.

Well, I have to ask: If revealing Plame’s identity as a CIA employee were a prosecutable offense, and they can show that Libby is the source, WHY is he not being charged with that crime?

It’s been TWO FULL YEARS, Mr. Fitzgerald. At this late date it is inconceivable that the CIA and the Department of Justice can still be uncertain as to whether the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 would apply to Valerie Plame.

The 60 Minutes crew interviewed several people identified as former covert CIA operatives, who are now stepping into the limelight to give voice to their outrage at the revelation of Ms. Plame’s CIA status. One is struck by the contradiction here: if maintaining the veil of secrecy is meant to be a lifelong commitment among these agents, aren’t they further violating the trust of their fellows by coming forward? And how are we to assess the Bona Fides of these people expressing their outrage? Are we to simply take the word of the same crew of folks that so diligently assessed the memos showing Bush was drunk in Cancun for the Vietnam War? You might as well trust the people from “60 Minutes” to empty a bedpan. Even though they probably would get it right a good percentage of the time, their sloppy aim leaves a lot of messes to clean up.

As far as anyone has reported, Mr. Joseph Wilson has no credentials whatsoever as an intelligence GATHERER, ANALYST, OR OPERATIVE — covert or otherwise — much less as an expert in the area of nuclear materials clandestine acquisitions.

If Valerie Plame has spent her entire CIA career as an expert analyst investigating the gamut of Weapons of Mass Destruction, why was the task of visiting Niger to determine the validity of the challenged British intelligence reports assigned to her husband?

If the CIA had reason to suspect the British intelligence reports were faulty, WHY SEND A CONSPICUOUS AMATEUR SLEUTH?

If the CIA wished to confirm its priority as a professional and unimpeachable source of reliable data and analysis, WHY NOT SEND A credentialed intelligence agent to do the investigation?

How can I phrase this another way to underscore how utterly false and contrived this business seems? There’s something wrong here, and the authorities are all dancing around it like a crowd of stockbrokers trying not to step in a fresh cowpie on the sidewalk.

Scooter Libby’s experience is as a criminal defense lawyer and more recently an operative in DOMESTIC politics, without particular training in the arcana of clandestine international espionage. I can certainly imagine that someone like Libby might have decided to identify Plame without awareness of all the possible consequences. This is not remotely comparable to the calculating cynicism of Sandy Berger, Clinton’s former National Security Advisor, who had to be fully aware of the fabric of trust he violated in destroying the documents he stole from the National Archives to keep them from being disclosed to the 9-11 Commission.

But Berger copped a plea — I’m sorry… “negotiated a plea bargain” — and is serving no jail time for crimes against our country that would have put folks like you or me in a stone cell for a couple of decades.

Here’s a link to a Library of Congress summary of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, Public Law No: 97-200.

Take a look, but remember: to understand whether it applies to the Plame-Wilson affair, you still must have access to the CIA’s confidential employment history for Valerie Plame. Presumably, that information would have been the starting place for special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation.

So again I ask:

If revealing that Valerie Plame’s CIA connection is not a prosecutable offense, why was a special prosecution set up? Why impanel a Grand Jury? Why Coerce testimony from ANYONE, if “outing” Valerie Plame is not prosecutable?

The world outside our borders provides daily examples of Islamic Zealots’ relentless murder and bullying of people of all faiths. International Islamic outrages of just the last week: Three adolescent Christian girls beheaded in Indonesia; more than 59 Indians killed and 114 injured by at least three bombs placed in crowded markets and a bus in New Delhi, during a Hindu Festival of Lights; Truck bombs AIMED AT THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS CORPS IN THE HOTEL PALESTINE IN BAGHDAD. The pace of Islamic terrorism against the world is such that space simply does not allow a listing of the outrages dating back more than a few days.

But the Left acknowledges no evil but the American Right. This is most true of the American Left. Safe within the borders of their own country, protected by the government they casually describe as Nazis, the leaders of the Left describe events as though they’re seeing through a soda straw. According to them, all the evils of the world— despite Islam’s 14-century history of slaughtering its neighbors — can be attributed to the bungling or malevolence of Bush and his cronies. It’s as though there is no history before George W. Bush took office; the righteous rage that prompted the attacks of 9-11 was precipitated by George; the WMD issue was concocted by George; The terrorists of London are responding to the diplomatic blunders and warmongering lies of George; the ongoing Muslim massacre of black african animists and Christians in Darfur is somehow the fault of George; Even hurricanes and New Orleans corruption were spawned by George. The Left have learned the lesson that a lie repeated long and loudly enough will overwhelm the truth.

Such rampant hyperbole erodes reasoning ability as surely as a diet of ecstasy pills laced with Rohypnol. “Bush Lied; People Died” is a slogan that plainly alerts any with ears to hear, that the shouter is incapable of sorting out the complex logic needed to identify an exit from a toilet stall.