Two Bush administration officials commit a felony

Looks like the Valerie Plame case finally broke open this weekend.

http://www.calpundit.com/archives/002262.html

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

http://38.144.96.23/tacitus/archives/000946.html#000946

A “senior administration official” leaked to the Post that two “senior white house officials” told six journalists that Valerie Plame - the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson - was a CIA operative. One of the journalists, Robert Novak, printed this in an article.

Valerie is the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, that guy sent to Niger to see if Saddam really did try to get uranium. When he starting talking this summer about how he’d informed the administration the uranium from Niger thing was false, two administration officials revealed that his wife is a CIA operative in an attempt to discredit him.

For reference, revealing the identiy of an agent is a felony.

I say we lock up that weasel Novak along with all the White House bozos that did this. (And calling Novak a “journalist” is stretching things.)

Ok, so you have a guy who says it was stupid for Bush to leave in the dubious assertion that Saddam tried to buy uranium in Africa for all the reasons we now know, and it somehow discredits him that his wife is CIA? Why? I’d be more inclinded to believe him, thinking he might have inside information.

But yeah, if they have proof that these White House officials did blow her cover, those guys need to be fired. I wonder if Novak will give them up?

The discrediting thing comes from the charge that he only got the mission to West Africa because his CIA wife was pulling strings for him, he not being competent enough to do this sort of stuff on his own. At least, according to the sources, this was the angle that the leakers were trying to push on the reporters.

Troy

The person(s) who gave Valerie Plame’s name and job to the reports committed a felony – pure and simple. They should be arrested, and tried.

I really don’t know what they were trying to do either, as Mark says, it just doesn’t make much sense.

Now, here’s the thing – there’s a small amount of people that are called “senior administration officials”, and its pretty much full of names we know. Rove? Condi? Who? Someone committed a felony, and now we have to see what the Bush administration does. Cover-up? Spin? Do the right thing, come clean, fire, and arrest the offender?

No, do the usual thing: smirk, lie, act folksy and change the subject.

I can’t believe someone like Rice would plant information. Even if it was her idea, she’d have someone else do it. Unless she was really stupid.

It really is amazingly irresponsible. Valerie Plame could have been in peril of being arrested or worse as the result of this.

Circumstancial evidence points to Cheney and Rove; it’s harder to imagine the other guys doing it.

What’s the circumstancial evidence? Just curious I haven’t seen anything pointing to Cheney. I’ve seen some stuff pointing to Rove.

In some bizarre way maybe this will benefit the Bush administration by getting rid of two of it’s biggest liabilties

Cheney’s the guy they’ve used previously as a hit man on multiple occasions. Dunno.

Fired? Those guys need to do some time. This is literally a national security issue, if you don’t punish those guys, it leaves the door open for other people to do what they did. Those 2 officials were playing politics.

No, there aren’t. It all depends on how much the reporter is trying to inflate the story absent facts. I’m not saying I wouldn’t believe it, mind you, but before you all start burning Cheney in effigy for the nth time I would suggest waiting for something other than assumptions.

Well, as Marshall points out, there’s maybe 20 or so people who’d be described that way in usual journalistic practice.

Uh huh. And until its established that it’s Rove, Cheney, et al, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. At the very least they know better means of destroying a man’s career.

but before you all start burning Cheney in effigy for the nth time I would suggest waiting for something other than assumptions.

That’s like putting food in front of a hungry lion and telling him not to eat.

I would really characterize it more as a rabid poodle, but, yeah.

No, these people are backed into a corner and will fight to the death, scratching, clawing and biting at anything in order to survive.

How 'bout a pussy cat?

I’m sure they will do anything they can to link this with Bush and put the blame squarely on him.

Impeachment anyone?

Here’s a link from Dan Drezner who assisted the Bush folks in 2000 and now expresses what I think is the most serious concern about this issue:

http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/000767.html

If the Valerie Plame story is never verified then it will join the long list of unproven semi-conspiracy theories surrounding the Bush administration: Cheny & the energy companies on the committee, lack of evidence of WMDs, alleged falsehoods in Powell’s UN speech, Yellowcake-gate, the no-bid contracts for Brown & Root, alleged sweet deals for Haliburton, the doctoring of the fetal research reports, the doctoring of the environmental greenhouse gas report, the doctoring of the toxics report for NYC after 9/11, the alleged lying about the impact of the taxcuts as a stimulus and as a benefit to the rich/poor, and so on.

But just reading that list, you know the corollary: IF this turns out to be true and highly placed officials committed a felony, it’s highly likely to just be the tip of the iceberg, at least from a public perception standpoint. I for one would be much more willing to believe more of the items on that list if the Plame story ends up being verified (and if the officials are highly placed, not just disposable scapegoat flunkies). I believe this would create a snowball effect on the public: if the Bushies get caught in one major lie, there are many more where that came from. Plus as Drezner points out: they seem to have had so little provocation and so little to gain from the Plame story: if they outed Plame to embarrass Wilson in a weak and ineffective attempt at political revenge or political damage control, then what else have they done on more serious matters?

If this ends up being true and ends up hitting somebody in the Bush admin with name recognition amongst the public, then the Bush white house may well be irreparably damaged.

And if that all happens, then at what point will stalwart Bush defenders begin to re-evaluate? I personally feel there’s already evidence that the Bush admin is untrustworthy and manipulative (yeah, yeah I know, Clinton is a liar, etc, but Bush is the one is power NOW). Of course I started off disagreeing with Bush on policy. At what point does someone who agrees with Bush’s policies re-evalaute? Never? Or is there a breaking point?

Dan

If Bush is behind the commiting of a felony - a felony that threatens national security for petty political gain - hell yes, he should be impeached.

I actually don’t think he had anything to do with it; he’s not a vengeful, conniving guy.

He’s not stupid either, as some of you want to believe.

And I never voted for him, so I constantly re-evaluate him. Especially on the plethora of spending programs he’s signed into law. His commitment to fighting terrorism is probably the one thing I like about his ‘policies’ that should have been done a long time ago.