Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Armitage did it: No charges of Treason yet

First the sordid facts:

In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush said: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Not long after, retired diplomat Joseph Wilson wrote in a new york times op-ed that he knew the president was lying since the CIA had sent him to Niger to see if Saddam had tried to buy uranium there. Wilson told columnist Robert Novak that he was chosen for the Niger mission at the request of Vice President Dick Cheney and that he found no evidence that Saddam had tried to buy uranium in Niger.

Wilson's charge marked the beginning of the "Bush lied" meme about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Then it all started falling apart for Wilson.

In his July 14, 2003 column, Robert Novak disclosed that Wilson had been sent instead at the insistence of his wife, Valerie Plame, who worked at the CIA.
At that point the drive-by-media (dbm - thanks Rush) added the charge of leaking the identity of Ms. Plame who had once been an undercover operative. The dbm screamed that the leaker had violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
Wilson blamed the leak on White House special assistant Karl Rove, claiming it was payback for his "whistle-blowing."

A special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, was appointed to investigate the charge. After two years Fitzgerald cleared Rove but indicted Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff to the vice president, on a charge of having lied to a grand jury about from whom he had learned of Ms. Plame's occupation. Not for leaking, but for fibbing. He is awaiting trial.

Democrats and the dbm would be happier if they had snared Rove or Cheney, but Libby wasn’t chopped liver. And the ‘Bush lied” meme rolled on.

Then it all started falling apart for Fitzgerald, the Democrats and the dbm.

It has now been disclosed that it was then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage who disclosed Ms. Plame's identity to Bob Novak. It turns out that Armitage told his boss, Secretary of State Colin Powell, about his leak in October, 2003, after a second Novak column. Two days later Powell said to a reporter: “We have been asked by the Justice Department, those who are conducting this investigation, to make ourselves available for any purpose that they have. We are doing our searches in response to the letter we received yesterday.”

Colin Powell was lying.

Fitzgerald knew in his first few days as Special Prosecutor that Armitage was the leaker and that the Intelligence Identities Act hadn't been violated. Yet he has persisted in a sham prosecution.

For more than three years, Rove and Libby have been accused, falsely, of being the source of the leak. Armitage and Powell knew the truth, but said nothing.

The reporters who revealed Armitage as the leaker claim that his motives were not malicious. He is "a well-known gossip who loves to dish and receive juicy tidbits about Washington characters" and "apparently hadn't thought through the possible implications of telling Novak about Plame's identity."

Let’s see if that claim holds water. Armitage is a well-known critic of the Bush White House and of the Iraq War. Powell, his boss and mentor, decided to withhold the information from the White House, because he “feared the White House would leak that Armitage had been Novak's source--possibly to embarrass State Department officials who had been unenthusiastic about Bush's Iraq policy."

Uh huh… sure. As Chris Hitchens said today, Powell was then acknowledged as the most over-rated man in America, and he was trying out for most over-rated man in the world.

Because Armitage did not come clean nearly 3 years ago, innocent White House officials were distracted from serving the country in order to participate in the investigation. Scooter Libby lost his job and was indicted for telling a fib (maybe). No crime was committed that warranted a Special Prosecutor or the expenditure of millions of dollars.

And after all that, investigations by the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Robb-Silberman Commission on prewar intelligence, and the British Butler Commission all concluded it was Wilson who was not telling the truth. Saddam had indeed tried to buy uranium in Africa. In fact Wilson himself had acknowledged as much to the CIA officers who debriefed him after his Niger trip. Wilson’s new york times piece was an outright lie intended to impede our conduct of the war.

After all the leaks of top secret information by the times and by sundry judges and congressmen, I no longer understand the meaning of treason. But it is my sense is that Armitage and Wilson have committed high crimes against the United States.

By the way, I have not revealed the names of the reporters who revealed Armitage’s crimes nor the name of their book. They were part of the “Bush lied” chorus and I refuse to give them any credit for finally coming clean (sort of).


Blogger fetching jen said...

So, who is responsible for apologizing to Scooter Libby? Will he be reinstated? How about Carl Rove? Any apologies to the evil puppermaster?

Not on your life. And isn't it funny how the DBM isn't reporting any of this story...

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what happens to Libby?
Powell? And the DBM’s?
Where are the apologies??


10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the consequences of lying or fibbing? And, is there
a difference between lying and fibbing?


7:23 AM  

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