Andrew Sullivan’s upset over WPS (Wilson-Plame Scandal). Finally.

After fighting it with every denial conversation he could come up with, he finally gets it:

It’s getting clearer. Valerie Plame was undercover and her outing was apparently deliberate and coordinated. If this pans out, it really is an outrageous piece of political malice. I may have misjudged this one at first, because I couldn’t quite see the motive behind it.

I’m still not totally clear, and it seems an extremely dumb and self-defeating tactic to me. But whatever the motive, if this is the nub of the story, the leakers need to be found, fired and prosecuted. I’ve written that before. But, listening to the Newshour testimony, my outrage level just went up a notch.

Now he’s got to come around on the bigger issue — it’s not just about leaking. It is a larger story of an administration that bullies those who raise questions. It is about a thuggish mentality that takes us back to the days of Nixon’s dirty tricks. It is about a government out of control and allergic to the truth.

The Discussion: 10 Comments

I’m not sure a truth-allergy-free government exists anywhere, which is why I’m a political cynic.

All the same, I may actually vote in the next election. For the first time ever. Probably for Donald Duck, as I’ve been threatening for years.


October 1, 2003 @ 10:48 am | Comment

Yeah, as I say, whenever you have government you have corruption, inevitably. It’s a matter of degree and complying with the checks and balances that make (made?) the US government one of the world’s least corrupt, especially considering its unbeliuevable wealth and power.

October 2, 2003 @ 12:43 am | Comment

Actually, Richard, it takes us back the the thuggish environment of the Clinton war-room and its treatment of inconvenient women. Except, it doesn’t. I still don’t see the evidence that this was a deliberate effort to punish Wilson.

October 2, 2003 @ 5:37 am | Comment

Conrad, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Mark Kleiman (pro-Iraq war and very sane) has been following this for the past 11 weeks and has helped convince me it was malicious and illegal. Even Sullivan agrees with those two points.

October 2, 2003 @ 7:04 am | Comment

Hmmm… being an incorrigible pussy-hound vs. lying and intimidating people over matters of national security.

Yep, I can sure see the parallel.

October 2, 2003 @ 12:23 pm | Comment

Sullivan is all over the map. I can’t figure out from one post to the next what the hell he thinks about this issue.

Kleiman, when not instructing others what to blog about, is seeing what he wants to see. Kleiman has always had a tendency to take an argument further than the evidence will support when it fits with his fondest dreams.

The evidence, so far, simply doesn’t support a charge of malicious retribution. I’m prepared to change my mind if confronted with actual facts, but its mostly speculation now. My best guess is that Novak asked aomeone (probably his source at the CIA) how the hell an anti-war loose cannon like Wilson got appointed to conduct the investigation. The CIA source gave Novak the info regarding Wilson’s wife — either out of carelessness or, more likely, to justify the obvious foul-up of sending Wilson. Novak then put that info to other sources at the White House and had it confirmed.

That may not be what actually happened, but it strikes me as the most likely scenerio. Tha malice angle really doesn’t make much sense. But, no matter what happened, it won’t affect Bush’s reelection in the least, because (1) Bush will never be tied directly to it and (2) the Dems are not going to nominate either of their only two conceivably electable candidates.

Reconcile yourself to four more years of Bush and then another 8 with a Republican in the White House after Hillary gets waxed. And, although you may not believe me, I’m no partisan Republican here. There’s a 50/50 chance I’d vote for Leiberman if he got the nomination . . . which he won’t.

October 2, 2003 @ 12:50 pm | Comment

Conrad, I would have certainly agreed with you only 8 weeks ago. Now I am really not so sure. Iraq is a mess, or is at least perceived to be (which is what matters, especially at election time). The economy is an even worse mess (and that can’t be argued). Don’t forget what America did to George Sr., despite his dazzling foreign policy victories, all because of the economy.

According to the best barometer we have — the polls — Bush is vulnerable. Maybe his re-election really is inevitable. Even so, I won’t resign myself to it. The Chinese Communist Party isn’t going away anytime soon either, but still I speak out against it.

(And don’t worry, I never thought of you as a partisan Republican, more as a somewhat-to-the-right moderate. As with Andrew Sullivan, I’m hoping you’ll come around soon and see the Liberal Light.)

October 2, 2003 @ 1:35 pm | Comment

When you look at the Bushies’ crushing lead in the only contest that really matters, i.e. fundraising, a GOP victory in 2004 does seem highly likely. Especially since Li’l George will not be facing a primary opponent, and will thus be able to funnel some of his war chest to Congressional and/or gubernatorial candidates, who will naturally turn the federal and state-level financial crises they’ve created to their own advantage — by blaming them on the Democrats.

A one-party state is in the offing.

However, I reserve the right not to see this as a good thing, except insofar as absolute GOP majorities nationwide will leave the Republicans with absolutely no one to blame for the economic and social calamity that will inevitably result.

October 2, 2003 @ 1:53 pm | Comment

It will still be a two party state. It’s just that one of the parties will have been convincingly repudiated by the voters.

Ain’t democracy a bitch?

October 3, 2003 @ 8:21 am | Comment

Conrad, Conrad, Conrad. Haven’t you been paying attention? Repeat after me: “America is a republic, not a democracy™!”

Translation from neo-con speak: Majority rules, but only if they vote the right way.

And, call me paranoid, but I strongly believe that a one-party state is precisely what the cons crave. There is ample evidence to the effect that many in the GOP feel that they have, quite literally, a divine right to rule.

October 3, 2003 @ 9:53 am | Comment

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