September 4, 2006


The Plamegate Hall of Shame: Instead of Cheney or Rove or Libby, the real culprits are favorites of the Washington elite and the mainstream press. (Fred Barnes, 09/11/2006, Weekly Standard)

The rogues' gallery of those who acted badly in the CIA "leak" case turns out to be different from what the media led us to expect. Note that we put the word "leak" in quotation marks, because it's clear now there was no leak at all, just idle talk, and certainly no smear campaign against Joseph Wilson for criticizing President Bush's Iraq policy. It's as if a giant hoax were perpetrated on the country--by the media, by partisan opponents of the Bush administration, even by several Bush subordinates who betrayed the president and their White House colleagues. The hoax lingered for three years and is only now being fully exposed for what it was. Let's start at the top of the rogues' list:

* Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state under Colin Powell, was the first to reveal that Wilson's wife was a CIA employee. He blabbed carelessly to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, then to columnist Robert Novak, who mentioned it in a July 2003 column. Armitage, after admitting this to the FBI in October 2003, stood by silently year after year as Vice President Cheney, Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, and other White House officials were blamed for what he had done, and President Bush suffered politically. Loyalty is not Armitage's strong suit.

* Colin Powell, Bush's friend and secretary of state in the first Bush term, knew what Armitage had done and never let on. He met with Bush countless times as the White House was being pummeled in the media and by Demo crats for outing a CIA agent to take revenge on her husband. Bush called publicly for the leaker to be identified. Powell knew the identity, but remained silent. Some friend. [...]

[I]nstead of Cheney or Rove or Libby, the perennial targets of media wrath, the Plamegate Hall of Shame consists of favorites of the Washington elite and the mainstream press. The reaction, therefore, has been zero outrage and minimal coverage. The appropriate step for the press would be to investigate and then report in detail how it got the story so wrong, just as the New York Times and other media did when they reported incorrectly that WMD were in Saddam's arsenal in Iraq. Don't hold your breath for this.

The reality is that even if Secretary Powell had personally leaked it's not something that makes the first paragraph of his obit.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 4, 2006 7:41 PM

It's hard to believe adults, even though DC adults, could generate such a nonsensical myth.

I do think though that Wilson should be drawn and quartered for his role, which looks to be the originator.

The most disgusting thing to me was forcing the president of the US and his administration to disclaim those 16 words of truth from his SoU address. Admit they shouldn't have been there which in itself is wrong.

Posted by: Tom Wall at September 4, 2006 9:28 PM

The Plame Affaire won't lead off Powell's obit only because he failed to bring down the President. Had he succeeded, it would have been the top jewel in his crown.

Colin Powell is a disgrace and a traitor.

Posted by: erp at September 5, 2006 7:59 AM

On Saturday morning on NPR, Daniel Schoor said he was apologizing for getting the story completely wrong, but fudged at the end by saying that he "probably" had it wrong. Oy vey...

Posted by: Foos at September 5, 2006 1:29 PM

Russell Honore should have been named Secy. of State. It will take someone like that to clean out the Augean Stables.

Condi's plan to send diplomats to Africa and Asia is a good start, but does nothing to change the culture. The President (Bush or the next one) is going to need to roll some heads publicly for that to happen.

Perhaps McCain or Giuliani could appoint Rumsfeld Secy. of State.

Posted by: ratbert at September 5, 2006 5:41 PM