February 26, 2004

Midget Moles Won't Stay Whacked...or, NewsMax of the Left

It's a funny thing about the people who still see the Plame affair as emblematic of the monstrous evil of the Bush Administration. That is, even if the story is true, even if someone in the administration did uncover Plame, there are a whole bunch of other fishy things that happened. But the people who pretend to be appalled by a shocking attack on the brave men and women of the CIA, don't care about ANY OF IT. Not unless it can be used to hurt Bush. In fact the whole story started in just that partisan way, with Wilson instantly accusing Karl Rove of the deed, and later admitting he had not the least evidence of it.

SO, what are some other things that happened, which ought to ALSO be generating outrage, if those "outraged" parties were actually interested in national security?

How about the fact that the original article went almost unnoticed? The person who did the most to reveal that Plame was CIA was her husband, Joseph Wilson, who is bitterly partisan against Bush. It was Wilson who trumpeted the matter to the world. Wilson was using this supposedly sensitive information for partisan purposes. Why no outrage about that?

And the CIA confirmed Plame's identity to reporters. If her identity really was an important national security secret, why no outrage about that? And if it wasn't important, the whole story is nothing.

And Plame was supposedly doing sensitive stuff under her own name! And not living a low-profile life. What kind of national security malarky is that? Where's the outrage?

Wilson was sent by the CIA on a sensitive national security investigation to Niger, requested by the Bush Administration. And the minute he gets back, he writes a virulent anti-administration article in the NYT. Uh, is this how the noble CIA operates? So subtle, so secretive? Where's the outrage from people who claim to care about national security?

And the NYT's James Risen said his contacts in the CIA told him Wilson was sent because the CIA had no interest in finding yellowcake. In fact they apparently sabotaged the mission. Where's the outrage from our national security buffs? And even if Wilson had tried his best, the mission was set up to have almost no chance of success. Without money for bribes, without agents already in place, without even much time, there was no way he was going to pry out such extremely toxic information. Where's the outrage from those who are pretending to care about national security? (And there were some suspicious contacts between Iraq and Niger. It's still perfectly possible the yellowcake rumors were true. But our national security fans seem to have no interest in that either.)

And there's another reason I think the people hammering on this have no interest in truth. And that is (if in fact it happened) the most likely explanation for such a profitless move is pure stupidity. Remember when the Clintons were found to have boxes of the FBI records of Conservative notables stashed in the White House? It sounded dreadfully Nixonian! But in fact the guy who did it was a nitwit, and there was no conspiracy at all. Every administration has some flaky stuff happen�remember there are thousands of hastily-assembled people involved, and all of them operating at manic speed. Serious people let the matter drop�NewsMax is probably still frothing over it.

Serious people know the administration is doing its best in a very complex and difficult situation. And making mistakes like any human organization. Serious people offer constructive criticism and thoughtful commentary on the big picture. Partisan midgets see only the few details that fit their hobbyhorses, and ignore anything else.

Posted by John Weidner at February 26, 2004 7:41 PM
Weblog by John Weidner