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Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Plame Made Simple
I'd like to add a bit more flesh to the Plame case, as it seems the story is beginning to get bogged down into technical culpabilities and niggling distinctions. Which is not to say that there's any merit to any of the arguments being put forward by the administration's would-be defenders: if Novak and the Washington Post stories that broke the story are correct, at least 6 felonies have been committed by "senior administration officials." But, as the media and their adoring fans are often sidetracked away from the main point of a story by shiny (or dull) objects, I thought it might be beneficial to bring up the context in which it occurred.
You see, boys and girls, the reason the administration got mad at Joe Wilson was because he didn't like them saying the opposite of what was contained in the report they asked him to write.
Wilson saw they didn't have any worthwhile evidence that Iraq was trying to buy yellowcake uranium in Africa, and he had just found out that the little bit of evidence they did have, which prompted them to send him to Africa in the first place, was laughably bogus. Then, in the most important speech of the year, the president puts in the part about yellowcake, implying that because of it, Iraq was an even bigger threat to us than we realized before. Wilson writes a rebuttal that was printed in the New York Times, and the White House outs his wife in retaliation.
Let's review what happened here, shall we?
1) The administration lied about the threat of Iraq and the African yellowcake business...
2) In the interest of getting us to
a) get over 300 US citizens killed and
b) kill thousands more Iraqis and
c) spend hundreds of billions of our dollars, and
d) ruin our international reputation...
in a war for which there was no justification whatsoever.
3) And when someone, the good Joe Wilson, came forward and told the truth to the best of his knowledge about the subject, they destroyed his wife's career and put possibly dozens of lives overseas at risk, not to mention committing one or more very serious crimes along the way.
The administration (certainly people within it, at least) wanted this war bad, so bad that they bent every piece of evidence they used to talk us into it. In the case of the yellowcake allegations, they bent it until it said the opposite of what Wilson's and other evidence did, until it broke and became a lie.
There is nothing remotely defensible about these leaks. People in the administration fucked Wilson because he wouldn't let them use his name to support their murderous lie. Is that simple enough for everybody?
[Edit: changed from "over 1,000" US citizens killed. That's just the number with limbs missing or other life-changing injuries.]