Saturday, October 29, 2005

Much Ado About Nothing

The whole PlameGate thing is much ado about nothing. Yet I understand why the press is in a frenzy, as are the Democrats. Since Watergate, using the legal system against political opponents has become an art form, and no one is better at it than the Democrats and their fellow travelers in the mainstream media.

Yes, lying under oath is a big deal. Libby should have resigned... and he did. Too bad the Democrats and Bill Clinton didn't think that resigning was the appropriate thing for someone who has committed perjury to do. But, the Dems only hold Republicans up to a high standard. I guess that is a complement.

Note also that the reason Libby was caught in a lie is because every single other White House staffer who was questioned, including Rove, contradicted Libby's testimony. There was no stonewalling here, no Rose Garden press conferences defending the person under indictment. Instead, the president let it be known that an indictment would need to be followed by a resignation. Contrast that with William Jefferson Clinton's statement to Dick Morris after the latter warned him against the political and legal firestorm that would ensue if Clinton lied about Monica Lewinsky: "Well, I guess we'll just have to win, then."

And, speaking of lies, it should be obvious to anyone who can read the bipartisan 911 Commission Report that the biggest liar in the Plamegate scandal is none other than Joe Wilson, Ms. Plame's husband. His leak to Nicholas Kristol that started the furor over Iraqi attempts to buy yellowcake in Africa, his op-ed in the New York Times, and his testimony to the 911 Commission have all been proven to be riddled with lies. How about a little mainstream media focus on Mr. Wilson and his lies? How about indicting him for perjury in his testimony?

Re Libby being the first White House official to be charged with a crime since the days of Grant, how about Watergate? And, is the Clinton White House staff exempt because Monica plea-bargained, Bill committed perjury, and everyone else who faced indictment was either elected (Al Gore, for campaign law violations) or a Cabinet-level official, or resigned before they were indicted?

Libby was foolish to lie when it seems evident that he broke no law. The law in question describes outing an agent as a crime when that agent is undercover, the people who out that agent know the agent is undercover and that blowing the cover will endanger the agent's life, and they do it anyway. Valerie Plame Wilson's neighbors knew she worked for the CIA. The woman posed with her husband in 'Vanity Fair' magazine, for criminy's sake. Her cover had been blown years earlier; that's why she worked in-house as a WMD analyst.

What does this so-called 'scandal' prove about Democrats and Republicans? About honesty?

It proves is that the Democrats are more accomplished liars who, unlike the Republicans, rally around their fellow liars and mischaracterize and then deny the lie rather than forcing them to face the music. If only Libby had uttered "Valerie Plame!" during a moment of passion with Judy Miller. Then, he could use the Clinton defense: it's all about sex!

It proves that the Democrats and their fellow travelers in the mainstream media are intent on fighting the issue of whether we were justified in going to war in Iraq years after its relevancy has passed.

It proves that the Democrats would rather defeat George Bush than Al Quaeda and the Iraqi insurgents, and if it takes losing the War on Terror to win the White House, then that is the price they're willing to pay.

The scary thing it proves is that the CIA is effectively able to oppose the elected head of the executive branch, enough to at least politically damage the president and reduce his effectiveness at governing, and at worst to give his political opponents enough ammunition to hound the president or vice-president from office. This isn't Allende's Chile in 1973. This is America, at war, in 2005, and elements in the CIA have actively worked to cripple the president's ability to govern.

The anti-war Left blames Bush, calling him a liar because he supposedly went to war based on false intelligence. Funny, (not so funny, really) how that intelligence came from the CIA... the same source of the current scandal.