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WaPo: Plamegate flameout

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by basso, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/31/AR2006083101460.html

    yo, mcmarky! if i'm not mistaken, i've made this point myself, for some time.

    --
    End of an Affair
    It turns out that the person who exposed CIA agent Valerie Plame was not out to punish her husband.

    Friday, September 1, 2006; A20

    WE'RE RELUCTANT to return to the subject of former CIA employee Valerie Plame because of our oft-stated belief that far too much attention and debate in Washington has been devoted to her story and that of her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, over the past three years. But all those who have opined on this affair ought to take note of the not-so-surprising disclosure that the primary source of the newspaper column in which Ms. Plame's cover as an agent was purportedly blown in 2003 was former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage.

    Mr. Armitage was one of the Bush administration officials who supported the invasion of Iraq only reluctantly. He was a political rival of the White House and Pentagon officials who championed the war and whom Mr. Wilson accused of twisting intelligence about Iraq and then plotting to destroy him. Unaware that Ms. Plame's identity was classified information, Mr. Armitage reportedly passed it along to columnist Robert D. Novak "in an offhand manner, virtually as gossip," according to a story this week by the Post's R. Jeffrey

    Smith, who quoted a former colleague of Mr. Armitage.

    It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House -- that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame's identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson -- is untrue. The partisan clamor that followed the raising of that allegation by Mr. Wilson in the summer of 2003 led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, a costly and prolonged investigation, and the indictment of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on charges of perjury. All of that might have been avoided had Mr. Armitage's identity been known three years ago.

    That's not to say that Mr. Libby and other White House officials are blameless. As prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has reported, when Mr. Wilson charged that intelligence about Iraq had been twisted to make a case for war, Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney reacted by inquiring about Ms. Plame's role in recommending Mr. Wilson for a CIA-sponsored trip to Niger, where he investigated reports that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium. Mr. Libby then allegedly disclosed Ms. Plame's identity to journalists and lied to a grand jury when he said he had learned of her identity from one of those reporters. Mr. Libby and his boss, Mr. Cheney, were trying to discredit Mr. Wilson; if Mr. Fitzgerald's account is correct, they were careless about handling information that was classified.

    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.
     
  2. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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  3. ROXRAN

    ROXRAN Contributing Member

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    She looks like that actress on the "prettiest ugly" Spanish soap opera my wife keeps watching...BTW, I watch some parts only@!
     
  4. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Basso, long time little see, without having read your post, the article you posted, or even remotely followed this story for months, I will chalk this one up for you.

    Congrats.

    On a similar note, is there any coincidence with respect to your sudden disappearance and the current, final, disastrous turn of les affaires etrangeres de Bush, a subject to which you have devoted the bulk of your BBS life, as the "bush doctrine" lies in flaming, poop covered tatters on the on the Port-o-let floor?

    Just wondering.....
     
  5. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    sadly no, the truth is much more prosaic. been spending a lot of time at mog, and just got tired of arguing with 14 y/os. how different the past three years might have been had there been a semblance of serious debate in this country about national security, rather than the plame tripe, but i guess when you're desparate, you grasp at any lies you can. truth outs, yo.
     
  6. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    Interesting opinion/ editorial article from the WaPo ~ I am a little curious who in fact penned this particular bit of writing.

    The amazing thing IMHO is that lunatic fringe liberal Patrick Fitzgerald continues the investigation in light of such a powerful OP/ED article.
     
  7. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Let me get this straight: you the same person who regularly labeled anybody who disagrees with you as a "fifth columnist" or "fellow traveler", for the treasonous act of taking positions that you disagree with, are saying that mean kids on the internet is what is r****ding the country, not the corruption and incompetence of the folks who control, and have controlled, congress, the courts, the executive, etc etc etc?

    Let me just say that's about the funniest basso post ever, well, at least until search comes back.
     
  8. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    You've been arguing with 14 year old music lovers, so you decided to post here again?? basso, if you had had a semblance of serious debate here about national security and the policies of your lover-boy that can do no wrong, George W., you could have gotten much more out of D&D, and wouldn't have had to subject yourself to youth music mania. Not only that, but you've missed out on the endless summer, never ending threads of the China Defenders. More fun than a root canal. :)


    Oh, and the Plame Affair is not over, despite whoever wrote the editorial for the Post. As has been pointed out to me over and over, whenever someone has disagreed with me here about something, it is merely an opinion. An opinion in a newspaper you have gone out of your way to disparage in the past when one of us quoted it. Why should we pay attention to it now, when you didn't think we should before?

    Regardless, it's good to see you again, basso.



    Keep D&D Civil.
     
  9. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    actually no, that's not what i'm saying, but as always, i do appreciate men of straw, and their fellow, uhmm, cowardly lions. i am saying that i have yet to hear a single coherent, practical arguement for how we should approach the twin threats of islamic fascism, for lack of a better word, and terrorism, from anyone one the left. that goes not just for cc.net, but for the media, memebers of congress, etc. plenty of "frivolous" criticism, in hitchen's felicitous turn of phrase, but no concrete ideas of what one mght do different.

    for instance, sam my man, how might you approach the impending nuclear arming of iran? there are no good choices, imho, but, and i'm assuming here that you would agree a nuclear iran is a bad thing, and one also assumes constructive engagement is a chimera, there are three basic approaches:

    1) work with the international community, until such time as it becomes apparent engagement has failed, iran goes nuclear, and then w/ a variation on MAD, attempt some form of containment.

    2) work with the international community, until such time as it becomes apparent engagement has failed, iran goes nuclear, then launch a first strike.

    3) work with the international community, until such time as it becomes apparent engagement <i>will</i> fail, but before iran goes nuclear, lauch a prememptive (non-nuclear) strike to take out irans nuclear capability, ala Osirik/1981, but on a much larger scale.

    each approach is fraught with dangers- which would you choose, or would you just trust in the good graces of amandijahd?
     
  10. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    I would handle Iran by blowing the cover of a CIA operative who had an inside track monitoring the situation and other terrorists in the middle east.
     
  11. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    I'll respond to this, if I may, basso. I've no doubt that Sam is out bellowing arias in full throttle. ;)

    As you may have noticed in the past, I've been one of those "bellowing" about the threat of Iran and their nuke program in the past. Since then, after some thought, I've come to an epiphany... namely, do nothing serious, in a military way, until George Bush is out of office. Having shown his gross incompetence in foreign affairs, over and over again post-Afghanistan, (and before 9/11, by ignoring the warnings of the Clinton administration, but I digress) and having seen George praise and promote those largely responsible for said stupidities, instead of firing them, I strongly feel that such a serious decision can and should await a new administration that, regardless of which political party that President may belong to, will assuredly not be George W. Bush, and would have to make more intelligent and informed decisions, being less stupid a near impossibility. In my opinion.




    Keep D&D Civil
     
  12. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    That's because you an Hitchens are too busy conducting purges to bother too listen; Coherent strategies for the war on terror - ignored, or belittled, by you, yet vindicated by future events - have come from, inter alia: Richard Clarke, The Army War College's rather lengthy monograph on global security strategy from a few years ago, Murtha's redeployment to Afghanistan idea, which has slid back into anarchy while you're too busy being better than us) - hell even John Kerry was essentialy correct in stating that the detection of terrorist plots is far more dependent on law enforcement than on millitary force. Scotland yard has stopped a lot more plots vs. the US than the Special Air Service this year.

    In fact, I sugguest you go to www.slate.com and read any number of Fred Kaplan's articles from the last five years, many of which contain a lot of prescient insights and observations.

    Once again, as a microcosm of the entire approach, you live in your own reality where you only perceive what you want to hear.

    Let's put the shoe on the other foot, other than "stay the course" [aside-what is the course?] what is it that you and the rest of the neo-cons have planned? Plan A - drop some bombs, send in the minimal number of troops, and then hope that an athenian, pro-western, pro-israeli, democray blooms overnight which sets off a domino effect of peace and love - has failed, miserably. What is Plan B?

    Not sure, I would lean towards 1, especially with economic sanctions that are relatively well enforced. They worked in the past as far as stifling development, and they can work again. Yes, I'm sure now you will point out that the "oil for food" program suffered from corruption - so what? Very few large multimillion dollar programs didn't. What they did do was handicap the lving hell out of the regime, to the point where geting them removed was the top priority, and force their nuclear program into hiatus. I consider that a livable scenario.

    The problem with this of course is that it's hard to build consensus when you blow your capital in the first place - which the US has done by making itself (needlesly) a political pariah among most voters of the world, which is a far cry from global attitudes on Sept 12. However I would still try it.

    There's also a massive problem with your first strike scenario given that our knowledge of where, when, and how to first strike is, by all accounts, seriously incomplete. I think you would agree that an unsuccessful first strike that doesn't accomplish anything, and results in int'l and domestic PR victories for the Iranian regime is probably the worst possible scenario of all.
     
  13. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    that's one option i suppose- of course there's the risk iran goes nukular before w leaves office.
     
  14. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    I'll take that risk, gladly. Intelligence estimates are 5-10 years. I would guess more in the 5 year range. Certainly, we should be able to have a new President before things have to get serious in a hurry.



    Keep D&D Civil.
     
  15. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    i'm not sure how you can suggest scotland yard has stopped a lot more plots than the US. IIRC, since the WOT began, there have been more successful attacks on british soil than on US. that feels like at least some measure of success.


    didn't say i have a plan, only that there's a very real international crisis abrew, and i'm unaware of any coherent approach from the frivolous side of the aisle



    of course there's a massive problem with a first strike, but i do believe we will have to fight them sooner or later, and i'd rather do it when we're the only one with nukes. if we have the luxury of waiting for the next US regime, i'm fine with that, but i'm unconvinced we do. and i think you're a lot more concerned with iranian PR victories than i am- i'd rather have military victories- pr be damned.

    but suppose we do follow #1, as you tenatively advocate, would not a nuclear iran prompt a nuclear arms race in the mideast? saudia arabia, egypt, turkey would get them at a minimum. do you think for a minute if iran had nukes they would refrain from giving them to their proxies hezbollah and hamas? what happens then? as i said, no good options.
     
  16. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    I'm referring, rather obviously, to the August 10 airline plot. Not surprisingly, the most dangerious individuals in terms of domestic attacks rae not illeterate pakistani tribesman or even iraqi militants, as those types tend to stick out like a sore thumb over here.



    Again, the fact that you in particular are unaware of alternative approaches is a matter of your own choosing in this instance.



    Really? You do know that IRanian PR victories solidify support for a regime that is dangerous and translate to greater leverage on their side (see, e.g., the Iraq war). That's a matter of concern to me and I think for you too.

    Unfortunately in the case of arms race, as long as the Israelis have nuclear arms I think its impossible for there not to be one going on. Perhaps an all nuclear mideast would be more stable (putting aside the question of arms falling into non-state hands)? An unconventional thought, pardon the pun, but, at least one example, a fully nuclear South Asia, once unthinkable and thought of as catastrophic, has led to rapprochement rather than escalation. For example, pakistani connected militants, much like in hezbollah in Israel, orchestrated bombings in Bombay recently. The response of Singh and the indian gov was not to launch nuclear missiles on Islamabad or start blowing up infrastructure to teach the Paks a lesson.
     
  17. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    i'm not worried about israel blowing up hamas w/ nukes, i'm concerned about the opposite. and i think iran, guided as it is by fundamentalists w/ a death wish, are decidedly less rational (a prerequisite for MAD to work), than your average pak general.
     
  18. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    basso you're incredible. you claim that chasing down this leak this leak was a waste of time and trying to link it to the white house was a waste of time when the country should have been having a serious debate on national security when you support a party that spent eight year trying to pull down clinton on the most trite charges. you're truly unbelievable, not to mention the fact that this guy whatever his motives were was still a part of the bush administration.
     
  19. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    as far as what we can do on the war on terror and the nuclear situation in iran, the first mistake we made was labeling countries the axis of evil and ruining all diplomatic relations with countries that don't see eye to eye with us.
     
  20. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    Armitage fesses up, plamegate flames out:

    --
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/07/w...ddf580dc7&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

    Armitage Says He Was the Source in C.I.A. Leak
    By DAVID JOHNSTON

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 — Expressing regret for his actions and apologies to his administration colleagues, Richard L. Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, confirmed today that he was the source who first told a columnist about the intelligence officer at the center of the C.I.A. leak case.

    “It was a terrible error on my part,” Mr. Armitage said in an interview. He added, “ There wasn’t a day when I didn’t feel like I had let down the President, the Secretary of State, my colleagues, my family and the Wilsons. I value my ability to keep state secrets. This was bad and I really felt badly about this.”

    Mr. Armitage also confirmed that he was the anonymous government official who talked to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in June 2003 about Valerie Plame Wilson, the C.I.A. officer, in what is the first known conversation between an administration official and a journalist concerning her.

    Mr. Armitage, who has been criticized for keeping his silence for nearly three years, said he had wanted to disclose his role as soon as he realized that he was the main source for Robert D. Novak’s column, published on July 14, 2003, which identified Ms. Wilson as a C.I.A. intelligence officer.

    But he said held back at the request of Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor. “He requested that I remain silent,” Mr. Armitage, said.

    Expressing irritation over assertions in some newspaper editorials and on some Internet blogs that, by his silence, he had been disloyal to the Bush administration, Mr. Armitage said that he had followed Mr. Bush’s repeated instruction to administration officials to cooperate with the Fitzgerald inquiry.

    “I felt like I was doing exactly what he wanted,” he said.

    Mr. Armitage testified three times to the grand jury, the last time in December 2005. “I was never subpoenaed,” he said. “I was a cooperating witness from the beginning.”

    He said he never hired a lawyer and did not believe that he needed one. “I had made an inadvertent mistake, but a mistake in any event. I deserved whatever was coming to me. And I didn’t need an attorney to tell the truth.”

    Earlier this week, after news reports identified him as the source, Mr. Armitage said that Mr. Fitzgerald consented to his publicly disclosing his role. Mr. Fitzgerald had sent Mr. Armitage a letter in February, notifying him that the inquiry into his activities had been closed.

    Mr. Novak’s July 2003 column led the C.I.A. to request an investigation into the leak, a move that resulted in the appointment of Mr. Fitzgerald. After nearly two years of investigation, that inquiry led to the indictment of I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, on obstruction charges.

    Mr. Armitage said he first told authorities about his conversation with Mr. Novak in October 2003, when he read in a subsequent column by Mr. Novak what he believed was a reference to him. That meant Mr. Armitage’s role was known to the Justice Department almost from the outset of the inquiry, two months before Mr. Fitzgerald was named special counsel in the case.

    The confirmation of Mr. Armitage’s role, long the subject of media speculation, shows that the initial disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s identify did not originate from the White House as part of a concerted political attack, but was divulged by a senior State Department official who was not regarded as a close political ally of Vice President Dick Cheney.

    Mr. Armitage said he did not tell prosecutors about his conversation with Mr. Woodward until the fall of 2005 because he had forgotten about it. Mr. Armitage said he did not recall the June 2003 conversation until Mr. Woodward called to remind him about it following Mr. Fitzgerald’s news conference announcing of Mr. Libby’s indictment.
     

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