It is not a crime in the United States for political partisans to join together in a plan to discredit their political adversaries. It is something that is done everyday. Last week, for example, Lanny Davis, Jim Benjamin, Sandy Berger and some of the other usual Clinton campers were out in force, transparently part of a unified effort – to borrow the Washington Post’s above phrasing – to discredit former FBI Director Louie Freeh for his statements critical of President Clinton’s national security record. Similarly, Democrats are out there every day with their talking points, joining together in an effort to discredit the Bush administration on everything from hurricanes to Haliburton.
Of course, Messrs. Pincus and Kurtz would never call any of that a “conspiracy.” They would call it “politics,” and they’d be right. But it is no different from White House officials rolling out a strategy to discredit Wilson, a committed enemy of the President’s foreign policy who made stunning public misrepresentations about how he came to be sent to Niger, what he found when he got there, and what happened when he got back – fabrications that were unabashedly designed to use a public platform he should never have been given to turn the American people against the war effort.
From the beginning of this case I have thought that the most interesting issue involved is one of motivation. In particular, it seems to me that only the most rabid of Bush haters (and therefore many Democratics and members of the extreme Left)--those who would believe this Administration capable of anything, no matter how depraved or insane--could possibly argue that there was a deliberate attempt to "punish" Joseph Wilson for speaking out against them by outing a CIA operative who happened to be his wife. Punish? Sorry, that is simply not credible.
Administration officials were not interested in punishing Wilson (who has been in this entire affair what could best be described as a "serial liar") as much as they were in discrediting what he had to say. And one way to discredit his credentials as a disinterested party was his "connection" to the CIA via his wife, who was the person who arranged for him to go on the secret mission to Niger-- not the VP office as he initially claimed.
What would be the point of anyone in the Bush Administration in "outing" Valerie Plame as an undercover agent? As has been demonstrated repeatedly, she was hardly "under cover" and it was well-known in Washington circles that she was employed by the CIA and was Wilson's wife.
In my correspondence with AJ Strata, who has kept on top of this story, he makes this comment:
The assumption that has to be made to support the idea outing Plame would punish Wilson and shut him up assumes Bush and his administration are bumbling fools who can not argue a point and win but must apply force and threats. The entire basis of this theory points to the anti-Bush crowd projecting.
Couldn't have said it better myself, AJ.
Projection as it turns out, seems to be the preferred psychological defense mechanism of the Left these days--as illustrated in this ridiculous article that asserts that Republicans have "normalized treason".
Its author needs to get a grip and realize how much he is revealing about his own perverrted motivations and his own hatred.
I await with bated breath Fitzgerald's findings in this matter.