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A convenient treason

With the Valerie Plame story back on the front burner, thanks to the Wilsons' absurd lawsuit (as I've said before, their testimony under oath during discovery should be both vastly educational and entertaining), I've been doing some thinking about the underlying principles behind the whole mess.

To hear their defenders speak, the public revelation that Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, had been a field agent for some time until her identity was exposed by the traitor Aldrich Ames, and since then had worked in the CIA headquarters for some years was a grave blow to our intelligence capabilities. According to the Wilsons and their supporters, this was the unwarranted violation of secrecy, ruining her career for purely political, vindictive motives.

I happen to believe that that is a load of codswallop, but for the sake of argument let's say that it's all true -- that Karl Rove, in his Machiavellian mind, was sorely wroth at Wilson for daring to speak the truth and attempting to untangle the web of lies Rove had woven in his bloodthirsty quest to go to war with Iraq and lashed out by starting a chain of events that ended up with the Wilsons being featured in Vanity Fair, landing a multi-million-dollar book deal, becoming the darlings of the Left, and suffering all sorts of other calamities and other indignities.

By that principle, then, the exposing of intelligence secrets for political reasons by anyone should be anathema to the Wilsons' supporters. If the termination of a single agent's career engenders such wrath, then the wholesale ruination of entire programs should drive them to sheer outrage.

Such programs, say, as the transport of certain high-value captive terrorists. Imagine how upset if someone were to announce the details of such programs, including the times and dates of specific flights, the CIA front companies used to conceal the moves, and even identify the aircraft involved by registry numbers.

Or, perhaps, these people were to discover that intelligence agencies, attempting to "connect the dots" and prevent future attacks, were sifting through international phone records, seeing just who was talking to certain people -- people we knew had connections to terrorists. Wouldn't that be something worth keeping quiet?

Or suppose that someone were to look into the administration's claims that they are tracking down the money trail of international terrorism, and see just what that involves. They discover that the US government has been, in accordance with American and international laws, been monitoring certain financial transactions through a European-based network, culling through legally-reported records and finding just how the terrorists financed their operations and moved money around. Were this perfectly-legal program to come to light, would that not cause vast harm to our efforts?

Apparently not.

It seems to me that any single one of these actions would cause far more harm to our nation than the mention that one CIA desk jockey had used her position to land her husband a gig that he would exploit for his own political ends. But the supporters of the Wilsons see this as high treason, while willfully ignoring such outrages as those above -- all of which can be laid at the feet of a single source:

The New York Times.

Will anyone who defends the Wilsons take up this challenge and denounce the Times? Can they explain why the case of the Wilsons is so outrageous, so egregious, while the Times' conduct is above reproach?


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Comments (17)

Jay,It's as simple... (Below threshold)

Jay,

It's as simple as this: the New York Times exposed something being done by the Bush administration. That's all it is.

Now for something really outrageous, how about the outing of over 20 CIA agents by an Italian newspaper, which compromised two CIA front companies?

Didn't the New York Time... (Below threshold)

Didn't the New York Times publish Wilson's lies?

Sure did!... (Below threshold)

Sure did!

"...her identity was expose... (Below threshold)

"...her identity was exposed by the traitor Aldrich Ames...."

Hmm. I don't remember getting that memo.

I don't think Rove v. NYT i... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

I don't think Rove v. NYT is the best comparison here. Rove, as a public official, has a obligations that are rather different from those of a media outlet.

--|PW|--

Hmm. I don't remember ge... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Hmm. I don't remember getting that memo.

You better start paying attention. There may be a test and you'd be in deep YKW.

Robert Novak said this on MTP yesterday and he doesn't just throw out BS.

I don't think Rove v. NY... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I don't think Rove v. NYT is the best comparison here. Rove, as a public official, has a obligations that are rather different from those of a media outlet.
True, but on the otherhand, the persons who gave NYT the information are much closer to Rove in comparison.

Plame was part of a large l... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Plame was part of a large list of NOCs exposed by Ames. They were all brought back because of it. (Oddly enough, Ames was caught via wiretaps that were conducted without warrants--but's that's ok because Clinton did it!).

It's why she was working a desk at Langley.

It's why her career as a NOC was over--long before any of the yellowcake incident occurred.

It's why it doesn't pass the smell test that the WH would bother to trash Wilson--an minor ambassador at the end of his career--or Plame--a former agent previously exposed and at the end of her career. There would be nothing to gain. These were not up and coming CIA or State Dept operatives.

However, if I were in the shoes of a couple of left leaning Washington insiders I might just cook up a plan to try and discredit a President just before an election. Expose the plan anonymously in the NYT and then volunteer to work for the Democratic candidate. I might even give newspapers one story and then, under oath in testimony to the Senate Intelligence committee, give an entirely different--and nearly opposite--account of what happened.

What is "codswallop?"... (Below threshold)
tarheelcon:

What is "codswallop?"

The Wilsons won't do it. Th... (Below threshold)
Tony:

The Wilsons won't do it. The Times is their mouthpiece and they wouldn't be enjoying their fifteenth minute of fame without it.

Plame wasn't just outed to ... (Below threshold)

Plame wasn't just outed to the Russians. She was also inadvertantly revealed to the Cubans due to some misdirected info by the CIA itself.

What is "<a href="http:/... (Below threshold)

What is "codswallop?"


As per the Boston Globe:</p... (Below threshold)
Marc:

As per the Boston Globe:

"Once before, Plame was caught up in a case illustrating how costly it can be for a CIA officer to be in danger of having her cover exposed.

The agency called Plame home in 1997 in fear that Aldrich Ames, the notorious Soviet mole inside the CIA, had revealed her true identity to his KGB handlers."

It's also worth noting that... (Below threshold)
langtry:

It's also worth noting that, even if Aldrich Ames hadn't outed Valerie Plame, other choices made by her and her husband would have removed her from any consideration inre field operations (which is quite different from being a covert spy, I might add).

Several years ago, Valerie Plame became the mother of twins. At her age such an event is unquestionably the result of IVF treatments. Anyone who has ever been through the rigorous, daily commitment to being 'shot-up-with hormones' knows it severly impacts your geographical mobility, let alone your stability of mood. This clealrly rules out anything other than being a "desk jockey", period.

Once the twins were born, her career path at CIA was at best stagnant if not in outright decline. Anyone here think the Ambassador would stay home with the kids so Mrs. Wilson can play Mata Hari? Hardly. But it didn't stop Joe from plumping his feathers with all and sundry about how his wife was a covert operative for the CIA (revealed in Vanity Fair long before Editor Graydon Carter realized the Bush-bashing value of the Plames).

High-powered couples like the Plames have a difficult time with the inevitable twilight of their careers. It's far more edifying to blame those whose careers are on the ascendant than to blame your occupational decline on your own choices and activities.

"...her identity was expose... (Below threshold)
hdw:

"...her identity was exposed by the traitor Aldrich Ames...."

She's suing him too... Right?

It never would have occurre... (Below threshold)

It never would have occurred to me to look up "codswallop" in the dictionary. I was certain it was a fabricated word. But now that I know, I intend to use it and you can't stop me.

Easy numbchuck.....she was ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Easy numbchuck.....she was outed by her own government. You hypocrites pee all over the Times and try to rationalize and justify the behavior of Chenet, Rove et al. it's pathetic. You sound like drunks in denial about your drinking. Ooops...that was probably not nice....might evern refer to the CIC.




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