Sunday, October 23, 2005

You Think?

In the past month or so, the corporate media finally decided that the Plame affair was a story that was worth covering, but only because one of their own had gotten caught up in the story (rather than reporting it) and went to jail for refusing to cooperate with the Special Counsel's investigation.

Now the coverage has mostly been about which White House personality or personalities will be indicted, presumably for perjury or for obstruction of justice. What has been missing in the blizzard of ink and electrons is what actually the whole sordid mess was about: the extent to which this regime would go to haul this country into the misbegotten war in Iraq.

Finally, two years after the identification of Joseph Wilson's wife as a CIA agent, and more than two and a half years after the start of the invasion of Iraq, the NY Times printed an article which implies (although never states directly)that the background of the scandal was to discredit war critics in the most drastic way possible.

The legal and political stakes are of the highest order, but the investigation into the disclosure of a covert C.I.A. officer's identity is also just one skirmish in the continuing battle over the Bush administration's justification for the war in Iraq.

That fight has preoccupied the White House for more than three years, repeatedly threatening President Bush's credibility and political standing, and has again put the spotlight on Vice President Dick Cheney, who assumed a critical role in assembling and analyzing the evidence about Iraq's weapons programs.

The dispute over the rationale for the war has led to upheaval in the intelligence agencies, left Democrats divided about how aggressively to break with the White House and exposed deep rifts in the administration and among Republicans.

Mr. Cheney's focus on the threat from Iraq has put some of his aides, especially I. Lewis Libby Jr., his chief of staff, in the middle of an investigation by a special prosecutor into the leak of the C.I.A. operative's name. According to lawyers in the case, Mr. Libby remains under scrutiny this week in the investigation stemming from his effort to rebut criticism by Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former diplomat, that the administration had twisted intelligence about Iraq's nuclear program.

Mr. Libby has become emblematic of the broader Iraq debate, cast by supporters as a loyal aide working diligently to set the record straight, and by critics as someone working to smear or undermine the credibility of a politically potent opponent.

...the White House's insistence that there were other compelling reasons for deposing Saddam Hussein, including spreading democracy and denying Al Qaeda a haven, have only inflamed critics of the war.

"There's a daisy chain that stems from the fact that no weapons of mass destruction have been found," said Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.
[Emphasis added]

It's simple folks: when someone dared to point out that the avowed reason for going to war (the "smoking gun as mushroom cloud" meme) was simply not accurate, the WH machine engaged to drastically smear Wilson in such a fashion that other critics, including those in the intelligence community, would find it wise to just shut the hell up.

The result? Nearly 2,000 dead American service men and women, thousands of Iraqi dead, a weakened CIA (offset by a strengthened Pentagon intelligence order now poised to work domestically), a pulverized economy, and a loss of credibility in the world.

This isn't just about 'outing' a CIA agent. It's about letting the US go down the drain just to justify a weak and inept leader's pipe dream about besting his father in Iraq and just to 'secure' Middle East Oil.

Where was the corporate media three years ago when it might have made a difference?


Post a Comment

<< Home