And now, ladies & gents, for what's rapidly becoming my weekly dose of political bile. My in-laws happened to have the TV on this past Sunday night when we were over there, and I walked into the living room just in time to see Katie Couric interviewing Valerie Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and now ex-CIA operative. Whose identity as a CIA agent was leaked to the press by the White House and who, it turns out, has finally been given clearance by her former employer (she left not long after the leak, being effectively "burned" for other intelligence work) to give her side of the story.
The ever-insightful David Corn does a nice write-up here, if you want the details, but I'll sum it up quick: despite what all the idiot talking-heads (Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Coulter, Novak, Goldberg; the list goes on) have declared over and over again, it seems that yes, Plame really was an undercover operative. That's "undercover," as in "not traveling under her true identity/job description in order to do secret stuff." She said it right there on TV, straight to Katie Couric, and y'know, Ms. Plame's the one who best knows what she did for a living for the past two decades, isn't she? I'm sure there'll be some out there who still doubt the reality of it, who'll smugly declare, "she's just a pencil-pusher, a desk jockey," but they're wrong. Absolutely, completely wrong. Period.
Oh, and some out there might know this -- the information's been floating around for a while now in the wake of the leak and the mess that's ensued -- but any guesses as to what Ms. Plame was working on in her undercover capacity? How about being operations chief for the Joint Task Force on Iraq of the CIA's covert Counterproliferation Division? Yes, that's right; not only did the White House and their media-scumbag pals burn a spook, but they burned one who just happened to be working on finding the same fucking Weapons of Mass Destruction we supposedly went to war to find. On top of that, it's come out recently that she was working on efforts to keep Iran from getting their own nukes, too. It'd be ironic, if it weren't so goddamn horrifying.
Here we are, threatened on all sides by terrorists who're trying -- if you buy the Bush crew's assertions -- to build or buy nukes any which way they can, but they chose to "out" a spy whose job it was to keep those nukes from falling into bad-guy hands. Valerie Plame wasn't a "desk jockey," she was fucking Jack Bauer, folks. And the White House blew her cover, thereby flushing any cloak-and-dagger operations she'd been a part of down the drain and endangering the lives of anybody who had A) worked with her or B) helped her as an intelligence asset. In one fell swoop, Colonel X's meeting with that nice young woman from that American consulting company changed from, say, innocent trade talks to a reason for a surprise visit from the secret police, followed by a long stay in a very dark place.
So, there it is, out in the public eye once and for all. The Bush administration outed a bona-fide spy to take a cheap shot at a guy (Joe Wilson) who refused to keep his mouth shut on the bullshit "evidence" they cooked up to start a war. They chose petty politics over national security, not to mention maybe, just maybe, saving lives. And that's a big-time, treason-level crime. Now that Plame's broken her silence, somebody needs to be nailed to the wall for this, and the higher up, the better (and no, Scooter Libby doesn't count; you haven't been punished for a damn thing if you get convicted & then immediately pardoned for the crime you committed, sorry).
The saddest part of all of this is that no one ever will. America, Land of the Kinda-Free, Home of the Blameless-for-Everything, hooray.
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