God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Friday, September 1, 2006

Is The Plame Game Finally Over? Can Joe Wilson Shut Up Now?

I meant to post on this bit of news when it broke earlier this week. The Plame Game has come to a rather dull conclusion. There was no Rovian conspiracy, no cloak & dagger antics, just a State Department official who only reluctantly agreed with President Bush's foreign policy and had no idea that Plame was covert. That official was Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's main dude at the State Department.

According to the Washington Post, the information on Valerie Plame (who was about as covert as Liberace doing the two-step with Little Richard at a country & western bar) was passed to Robert Novak by Armitage in an offhand manner "almost as gossip." If there was a conspiracy here, it was not to seek revenge on Joe Wilson, it was by Armitage (and perhaps Powell?) to undermine an administration they increasingly disagreed with. As the WaPo also notes, Joe Wilson shares a large chunk of the blame for ending his wife's CIA career:
Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.
I find it quite amusing that the person that did the most damage to Joe Wilson, was Joe Wilson. Christopher Hitchens has been on this story from the get go. You can read his summation of the non-scandal here, and the rest of his articles on the matter here.


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