Saturday, September 02, 2006

Revisiting the Wilson Plame Affair

With the disclosure by Robert Novak that the primary source for his column that ignited this scandal was State Department official Richard Armitage we are now seeing an effort on the part of the Washington establishment to squelch the scandal.

For example, this editorial written Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, really tells us more about the conservative bent of the so-called liberal media that supported the Iraq war, than about the scandal.

That is in part because Armitage is considered very much the Washington insider, as this column by NY Times columnist David Brooks (requires subscription) makes clear:

"Finally, you must always remember that it’s better to be One of Us than One of Them. Washington attracts a community of smart public-service-oriented people. This permanent community has its own set of mores. It’s important to be politically temperate. ...

Members of the Washington community, like members of all decent communities, protect one another. Richard Armitage is a member of this community. ...."

I have edited out much of the Brooks spin, but the bottom line is that he is making every effort to minimize the notion that there was any wrongdoing. A more dispassionate (although still slanted to the Washington insider perspective) description of what is happening can be found here.

But the facts of this episode will not be so easily swept under the carpet. Take a look at this fiery posting on the blog Firedoglake with a link to this analysis by former CIA and State Department employee Larry Johnson.

He concludes thus:

"We must also remember that the Government sanctioned attack on the Wilsons is not an isolated event. Just ask former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill or National Security Advisor Richard Clarke. Add to this list the names of the two CIA Baghdad Chiefs of Station who were savaged for their prescient early warnings that Iraq was moving into a civil war. The Plame/Wilson affair stands as a stark reminder that President Bush and his minions prefer destroying those who call them to account for failed policies rather than admit error and take corrective measures that will serve the longterm interests of the United States. As we move towards a new war with Iran, we should not be surprised that people who know the truth are reluctant to come forward. If you choose to blow the whistle you are choosing career suicide and a full frontal assault on your character. In smearing the Wilsons, Bush and Cheney also are sliming America."

No comments: