I meant to link to this terrific post by Ed Morrissey before my computer started acting up, and I can’t not link to it, now, because I simply adore his righteous and exquisite wrath:
The more I think about this, the angrier I get — and not just at Patrick Fitzgerald. Richard Armitage confessed to the DoJ in October 2003, and then sat on his ass for the next three years as the media and the Left play this into a paranoid fantasy of conspiracies and revenge. I know Armitage dislikes Rove, Libby, Cheney, and Bush, but what kind of man sits around while the world accuses people of a “crime” that he himself committed? Armitage did nothing while the nation spent years and millions of dollars chasing a series of red herrings, never speaking out to remove the mystery and end the witch hunt. Even three years later, Armitage hasn’t mustered the testicular fortitude to publicly admit that he leaked Plame’s identity and status; he has Isikoff and Corn do it for him.
Armitage should be through in politics, but he’ll catch on with a presidential campaign this year. Watch very carefully to see which one has him as an “advisor” on foreign affairs. It’ll reflect poorly on the candidate who continues an association with this bitter apparatchik.
I know that the Plame/Wilson Lie-la-palooza has become for many a confusing and unsatisfying story that makes the eyes glaze over, but as it sinks into the amorphous bubbling puddle of slime from which it originated, it’s not a bad thing to catch up on some of the story’s last vapors. Here we see Ed looking at the winners and losers of the story and deciding that Karl Rove came away smelling rather rosy:
No one touched by the Plame scandal came out unburdened in some way, if in nothing else but public reputation. Rove may be the only one whose reputation has been enhanced by the collapse of the Plame meme.
Christopher Hitchens has the definitive smack-down on the whole sordid affair – and it’s a must read. I have now presented thousands of words of evidence and argument to the effect that, yes, the Saddam Hussein regime did send an important Iraqi nuclear diplomat to Niger in early 1999. And I have not so far received any rebuttal from any source on this crucial point of contention. But there was always another layer to the Joseph Wilson fantasy. Easy enough as it was to prove that he had completely missed the West African evidence that was staring him in the face, there remained the charge that his nonreport on a real threat had led to a government-sponsored vendetta against him and his wife, Valerie Plame.
Armitage identified himself to Colin Powell as Novak’s source before the Fitzgerald inquiry had even been set on foot. The whole thing could—and should—have ended right there.
(Read on…oh, read on, it is so well done, and so mind-boggling, particularly to know that the Bush administration suffered through much of this because the WH counsel wanted to play by the book. Playing by the book doesn’t seem to work, in DC.) When reading Hitchens’ piece, be sure to read all of his links, and if you’re smart you’re put them in your hard-drive to haul out someday in the future when the whole story is spun into something a thousand degrees off from the truth.
I’d like to see a serious investigation into this whole mess, but I doubt it will ever happen. I’d like to see Valerie and Joe – feted, lionized, honored and protected by the press all these years – testifying to something under oath. But I’d like to see 30 again, too. Hell, I’d like to see some information about Mary McCarthy’s leaks out of the CIA, and about what it was Sandy Berger spirited out of the National Archives in his pants…but these days information is tough to come by…unless you’re looking for the secret and classified means by which we are trying to defeat worldwide terrorism. And prosecution for screwing around with the government, national policies and the public safety is unheard of. I was going to use a more vulgar word that “screwing” but thought better of it. Circumstances do deserve a stronger, more vulgar word, though.
Don’t miss, also, the remarkable Tom Maguire’s thoughtful piece and his current look at reportage in the WaPo and some look-backs. And then finish off with tireless AJ Strata’s compilation of Fitzgerald’s very poor showing. I’m sad to see a Regis Graduate exposed as such a staggering mediocrity. UPDATE: AJ has even more, here.
As I knew he would, Flopping Aces comes up with a winner of a post on this subject, reminding Corn that “internets are forever,” by highlighting the very assured opinion the writer offered in 2003 against his much milder current conclusions:
Conspiracy theorist–moi? Where have I proposed a conspiracy theory? I have noted from the first that the leak might be evidence of a White House crime.
Ahhhh, but Mr. Corn ought to realize the power of the internet. Things never die on the web. Here he is in 2003:
The Wilson smear was a thuggish act. Bush and his crew abused and misused intelligence to make their case for war. Now there is evidence Bushies used classified information and put the nation’s counter-proliferation efforts at risk merely to settle a score. It is a sign that with this gang politics trumps national security.
This really doesnt read like he is saying there MIGHT be a White House crime does it?
Why no. No, it does not. And like me, Aces believes it’s time for Pat Fitzgerald to sit down and answer a few questions. I’d like congress to ask him about the time and money (years and millions) spent on an investigation which should have been closed some days after it had been opened. It’s all going to go away, and very quickly, of course…no matter how much the blogs try to keep inquiries alive, because this is too embarrassing for too many people, and the WH seems disinterested in squeezing.
Kate O Beirne writes:
For almost three years, at every minor twist or turn of Plamegate, there were media stakeouts at the offices and homes of of the suspected leakers that invariably made the evening news and played in constant loops on cable. So who’s on Armitage driveway duty? Richard Armitage isn’t being hounded to answer questions about his role in Plamegate because the media wishes he had no role.
Yup. I don’t hear anyone on the left calling him a “traitor,” either.