Calpundit continues to be vital reading for keeping up with Leak-gate. (It probably helps to keep Kevin's mind off of his state's downward spiral.)
The simple fact is that two high-level officials in the White House have betrayed their country and broken the law. Apologists for this treason, inside and outside the Bush administration, have adopted the strategy of the (failed) defenders of Baghdad. They have lit thousands of small oil fires, trying to fill the air with black smoke and confusion.
In this post, Kevin responds to one of the latest attempts at distraction — the idea that Joseph Wilson was "an open opponent of the U.S. war" and therefore ought not to have been sent to Niger on a fact-finding mission in February 2002.
Kevin deals with this rather thoroughly and precisely, but allow me to add a couple of points:
1. The war in Iraq began in March 2003. It was not possible for Joseph Wilson — or for anyone — to have been "an open opponent" of this war in February 2002. You cannot oppose a war that has not yet been declared, engaged or even fully conceived. Six months after Wilson's mission, in August of 2002, Donald Rumsfeld clucked at reporters, "Goodness gracious, what's all this talk about a war?" The administrations "product roll out" (as Andy Card called it) for the war on Iraq did not begin until September 2002.The only war going on in early '02 was the "war on terrorism" — which Wilson supported then and supports now. His wife, after all, is a footsoldier in that war. Or at least she was before her efforts and safety were jeopardized by the White House.
2. I really don't understand the apologists' strategy of attacking Wilson. The more they do it, the better he looks. His credentials are impressive. His personal history is uniquely well-suited to the mission for which he was selected. And by now he has clearly demonstrated that he won't back down or go away. The slime won't stick — they'll have to find another strategy.