Friday, September 01, 2006

End of an Affair

End of an Affair:

"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.

[...]

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, the true story comes out at last. Wilson was a liar, there were attempts by Saddam to buy uranium, and Plame's name was leaked by a liberal anti-war State Department member as part of the State Department's and CIA's anti-Iraq war campaign. I'm going to start reading the liberal blogs who were calling for Rove to be "frog marched" out of the White House and see what kind of apologies they post.

No comments: