Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Here's a fun contest:
Can you our readers find any example of denunciations of Richard Armitage's leak of Valerie Plame's name by a) Democratic officeholders or b) MSM columnists or c) left-wing bloggers?
I did some Google searching this evening and came up pretty much blank.
So here's the paradox:
We hear on the one hand that this leak represents a cloud over the vice presidency - a scandal - a threat to national security - possible grounds for impeachment.
And then on the other hand: not one word of condemnation of the person who actually did the leaking!
Here is David Corn of the Nation, who along with Michael Isikoff broke the Armitage story, grudgingly trying to avoid acknowledging the glaringly obvious
The Plame leak in Novak's column has long been cited by Bush administration critics as a deliberate act of payback, orchestrated to punish and/or discredit Joe Wilson after he charged that the Bush administration had misled the American public about the prewar intelligence. The Armitage news does not fit neatly into that framework.
No, it sure does not fit. In fact, it smashes the framework to splinters.
In case you have not read it, here's a transcript of the Armitage leak, as taken from Bob Woodward's own tapes.
Woodward: Well it was Joe Wilson who was sent by the agency, isn’t it?
Armitage: His wife works for the agency.
Woodward: Why doesn’t that come out? Why does that have to be a big secret?
Armitage: (over) Everybody knows it.
Woodward: Everyone knows?
Armitage: Yeah. And they know ’cause Joe Wilson’s been calling everybody. He’s pissed off ’cause he was designated as a low level guy went out to look at it. So he’s all pissed off.
Woodward: But why would they send him?
Armitage: Because his wife’s an analyst at the agency.
Woodward: It’s still weird.
Armitage: He — he’s perfect. She — she, this is what she does. She’s a WMD analyst out there.
Woodward: Oh, she is.
Armitage: (over) Yeah.
Woodward: Oh, I see. I didn’t think…
Armitage: (over) "I know who’ll look at it." Yeah, see?
Woodward: Oh. She’s the chief WMD…?
Armitage: No. She’s not the…
Woodward: But high enough up that she could say, "oh, yeah, hubby will go."
Armitage: Yeah. She knows [garbled].
Woodward: Was she out there with him, when he was…?
Armitage: (over) No, not to my knowledge. I don’t know if she was out there. But his wife’s in the agency as a WMD analyst. How about that?
And here's an mp3 file recording.
This conversation took place on June 13, 2003. About a month later, Armitage had a similar conversation with Robert Novak. And it was that conversation that led to the printing of Plame's name.
Yet that conversation seems to excite the ire of precisely no one. Not Harry Reid. Not Chuck Schumer. Not the leftie bloggers. Not Paul Krugman. Not even the Wilsons themselves.
And doesn't this utter collapse of interest before the actual facts of the scandal imply ... well ... a certain bad faith on the part of the Plameologists? If the secret mattered, should it not matter whoever spilled it? But no - when it was imagined that the secret was spilled by Karl Rove, then it was the biggest national-security scandal since the Rosenberg case. When the culprit was exposed as Richard Armitage - well then, an embarrassed silence descended on the scandal. Armitage? That's no use! And so we have this elaborate pretense, culminating in Patrick Fitzgerald's charge to the jury, that Armitage never existed at all.
03/06 09:11 PM