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Washington Post: End of an Affair

It turns out that the person who exposed CIA agent Valerie Plame was not out to punish her husband.

WE’RE RELUCTANT to return to the subject of former CIA employee Valerie Plame because of our oft-stated belief that far too much attention and debate in Washington has been devoted to her story and that of her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, over the past three years. But all those who have opined on this affair ought to take note of the not-so-surprising disclosure that the primary source of the newspaper column in which Ms. Plame’s cover as an agent was purportedly blown in 2003 was former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage.

Mr. Armitage was one of the Bush administration officials who supported the invasion of Iraq only reluctantly. He was a political rival of the White House and Pentagon officials who championed the war and whom Mr. Wilson accused of twisting intelligence about Iraq and then plotting to destroy him. Unaware that Ms. Plame’s identity was classified information, Mr. Armitage reportedly passed it along to columnist Robert D. Novak “in an offhand manner, virtually as gossip,” according to a story this week by the Post’s R. Jeffrey.

Smith, who quoted a former colleague of Mr. Armitage.

It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House — that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame’s identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson — is untrue. The partisan clamor that followed the raising of that allegation by Mr. Wilson in the summer of 2003 led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, a costly and prolonged investigation, and the indictment of Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, on charges of perjury. All of that might have been avoided had Mr. Armitage’s identity been known three years ago.

That’s not to say that Mr. Libby and other White House officials are blameless. As prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has reported, when Mr. Wilson charged that intelligence about Iraq had been twisted to make a case for war, Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney reacted by inquiring about Ms. Plame’s role in recommending Mr. Wilson for a CIA-sponsored trip to Niger, where he investigated reports that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium. Mr. Libby then allegedly disclosed Ms. Plame’s identity to journalists and lied to a grand jury when he said he had learned of her identity from one of those reporters. Mr. Libby and his boss, Mr. Cheney, were trying to discredit Mr. Wilson; if Mr. Fitzgerald’s account is correct, they were careless about handling information that was classified.

Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame’s CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming — falsely, as it turned out — that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush’s closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It’s unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.

So, after many years of bashing President Bush and Karl Rove for orchestrating a political “hit job” against Joe Wilson’s wife, the Washington Post comes out with this MEA CULPA.

Flap reprinted the entire editorial piece because the MSM and the Left blogs have been reticent to highlight the fact that Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame are indeed self-serving LIARS whose agenda was to HIT the Bush Administration.

What a surprise the LEFT uses some sad characters to try to destroy Bush. But, the Lefty dominated MSM should at least publish APOLOGIA for their mistaken attempts to besmirch the president.

What about it New York Times?

Now, for Scooter Libby……

Blogosphere:

Captain Ed has An Exclamation Point On The Plame Denouement

Allah comments

Michelle Malkin has PlameOut: An Emily Litella moment

Flopping Aces: The End Is In Sight 

Previous:

CIA Leak Case Watch: Blogosphere Scrub of PLAME OUT at Daily Kos

Michael Ramirez on CIA Leak Case – Plame Out

CIA Leak Case Watch: Witch Hunt by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald

CIA Leak Case Watch: Was it Richard Armitage?

CIA Leak Case Watch: Karl Rove Won’t Be Charged in CIA Leak Case

Plamegate Watch: Valerie Plame Cashes IN


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14 Responses to “CIA Leak Case Watch: Unfortunate That So Many People Took Joseph Wilson Seriously”
  1. Tyler says:

    Hi Flap –

    Thanks for the note. I don’t have time today for the back and forth, but I’ll leave a quick reply. This editorial in WaPo that makes leap-of-faith conclusions doesn’t exonerate Rove and Libby. Rove and Libby were still leaking national security information in the same time period. This editorial you cite really does nothing to dispel that there was what you call a “political hit job” – in fact, “they were careless about handling information that was classified”. Well hello, it was intentional, it’s a felony, and it potentially damaged national security. Trying to downplay it in an editorial doesn’t make it any less damaging. So you’re trying to shift the blame to Wilson, when there still clearly is a problem of leaking national security information from the White House. Is leaking national security information only a problem when it’s printed in the NY Times, or does it actually apply to the current residents of the White House?

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/090106Z.shtml

    “Keep in mind that Rove and Libby disseminated information about Plame to these reporters a week before Novak published his column identifying her. Since the Armitage reports surfaced last weekend, the media have seemingly ignored these facts and have tried to rewrite history by removing Rove and Libby’s culpability in the matter.

    The leak, Wilson contends, was a deliberate attempt to silence him because he publicly criticized the administration’s claims that Iraq tried to acquire uranium from Niger, which for all intents and purposes forced the White House to issue a mea culpa – a day before White House officials unmasked Plame to journalists – admitting that the infamous “16 words” in President Bush’s January 2003 State of the Union address pertaining to Niger and uranium should not have been in the speech.

    Whether Armitage came clean about his role in the leak to the Justice Department in October 2003, a claim Newsweek made last weekend, the fact remains that other senior administration officials were disclosing Plame’s covert CIA status to reporters in the same time frame. Since each instance of the leak would have constituted a separate crime, the Justice Department was bound to investigate whether officials knowingly leaked classified information, which under the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act would have constituted a felony.”

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  3. Flap says:

    Tyler,

    1. There was NO crime

    2. There was no orchestrated plot by Bushco to GET Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame

    3. Richard Armitage inadvertently “outed” Valerie Plame whose covert status had already expired.

    PLAME OUT……there is nothing there there.

    Like Flap has been saying all along……

    Cheers….

  4. Tyler says:

    Uh, OK, Flap. I guess Patrick Fitzgerald disagrees with you. Of course there were crimes – Fitz has a rock solid case against Libby. Going to smear him now too? And sure, outing her was inadvertent. Right. C’mon, you wanted a discussion, and then you dismissed me. Did you invite me to participate just so you can have a “token liberal” to dismiss?

  5. Flap says:

    Tyler,

    I thought you said you were a Libertarian and not a lefty/liberal? LOL…..

    And I thought that one is innocent until proven guilty. Scooter Libby has not been convicted of anything. And he is charged with lying under oath. He has not been charged with any underlying crime. Right?

    Prove to me and the readers here that Karl Rove did anything wrong? I mean besides kick the left’s ass in election after election .

    ALERT: Don’t take this so seriously…..

    Flap

  6. Tyler says:

    I am a Libertarian – its why I put “token liberal” in quotes.

    Perjury and obstruction of justice are not underlying. They are felonies, and they obfuscate what really happened, which is likely violations of national security.

    Count One – Obstruction of Justice
    Count Two – Perjury
    Count Three – Making False Statements Under Oath

    Leaking National Security = IOIYAR

    Rule Number Six applies to both of us, doesn’t it?

  7. Flap says:

    Tyler,

    You stated: “Perjury and obstruction of justice are not underlying. They are felonies, and they obfuscate what really happened, which is likely violations of national security.”

    Please provide evidence “on what really happened?”

    I think “violations of national security” is wishful speculation on your part.

    You do agree that Libby is innocent until proven guilty, right?

  8. Tyler says:

    Of course Libby is innocent until proven guilty. But he was indicted by a prosecutor whose reputation is beyond reproach, and highly regarded by both sides, who ALWAYS puts together rock-solid cases.

    A flashback to jog your memory:

    Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said during his news conference Friday (October 28, 2005) that the charges against Libby are a “very, very serious matter” and should not be dismissed simply because they do not deal with the underlying alleged crime of outing a CIA agent which started the process two years ago.

    “That talking point won’t fly,” Fitzgerald said flatly.

    Libby’s series of lies to the FBI and the grand jury amounted to throwing sand in the umpire’s eyes and prevented investigators from finding out the truth about how and why the name of Valerie Plame was leaked, he said. Obstruction of justice is a “very, very serious crime” and should not be regarded as less serious than the leak itself, he said, because “The truth is the engine of our judicial system.”

    Flap, do you disagree with Fitzgerald that these are serious crimes?

  9. Flap says:

    Obstruction of Justice and perjury is a serious crime.

    Just because a federal speical prosecutor says something does not make it a fact of guilt.

    I bet this case is dismissed.

  10. Tyler says:

    OK, i think we’re done here. Glad you agree the CIA leak case isn’t some Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy, but that there is actual merit to the case in the courts.

    have a great day.

  11. Flap says:

    Tyler,

    Thanks for coming on. But, a parting shot from Flap.

    It seems preposterous to me that the Anti- Iraq War LEFT for the last two years has harped on Karl Rove and Dick Cheney for some wide conspiracy to discredit Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. And for committing crimes

    Now, as it turns out, Richard Armitage, an anti-Iraq War critic from the anti-Iraq War State Department leaked Plame’s name inadvertently to an anti-Iraq War coumnist (Robert Novak).

    So, the Left’s rage was about NOTHING.

    Tyler, answer me this?

    Why did Kos sanitize his site of all of the Leftie Nutter rants of the past two years?

  12. The Media – Fast and Loose with the Facts…

    It’s funny, all the stories that the media seems to exaggerate, especially when it comes to either A) Race or B) President Bush.

    But when it finally comes down to getting to the truth of the matter, you normally find things are rarely what the med….

  13. htaft says:

    Tyler seemingly will not admit to the obvious: He is a Bush-hater. No amount of evil done to Bush is too much to him, and anything that can be seized upon to vilify Bush or anyone in his administration is probably true. The hallmark of independent thinking is a sense that the independent is neutral and without a predisposition to political bias. Tyler is on a mission. Joe Wilson and his wife are both political players. Mrs. Wilson could not possibly have sensed any, but political, value by inserting herself into a circumstance contrived by others who are her superiors in the CIA, whereby they use Mr.Wilson’s rather ordinary standing as a minor diplomat to research a question that was not tasked to the CIA by anyone. No written records of his efforts or findings. Why does that make me gag, but it doesn’t bother others at all? This is just a bunch of crap produced by a rogue CIA. Anyone who wishes to spend a second on it or anything associated with it is simply a political hack.

  14. Tyler says:

    Hi htaft –

    1) I am amused by your attempt to dismiss me as a “Bush-hater”. What I think of Bush really has nothing to do with this conversation. (I do think he is quite possibly the worst president in the history of our nation, but that doesn’t mean I “hate” him – my judgement is based on the empirical evidence I’ve seen over the last five years. I don’t believe I hate anyone.) Does the fact you are a “Bush-lover” not prejudice your opinions? Are you “independent” enough to even comment? Is anyone? How could someone comment on politics, and our polarized electorate, without having an opinion?

    2) what mission am I on? Flap emailed me personally to participate in this discussion.

    3) i didn’t make this about the Wilsons. My point was that Libby at the least, and likely Rove as well, leaked national security information and lied about it. Your comment did not address the substance of a single one of my comments.

    Thanks for participating, htaft. If you want to have a conversation based on facts we both interpret, then let’s do so. But to dismiss me as a “Bush-hater,” as you would dismiss anyone that disagrees with the administration or points out that a senior member of the administration was indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges, is laughable. Oh, don’t listen to what he has to say – it couldn’t possibly be valid because he hates Bush. Ha!

    Love,
    Tyler

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