Plame Case Thrown Out;
National Security Imperilled
A federal judge has thrown out the lawsuit of Valerie Plame Wilson against Bush administration figures Irv Lewis Libby, Karl Rove, Richard Bruce Cheney, and Richard Armitage. She sued them for conducting a campaign to out her in the press as an undercover operative and so ruining her career.
The judge interpreted Cheney Inc.’s outing of Plame as just politics and something to be expected of political office-holders. That is, he believed their story that they were just defending themselves politically from what they saw as a Central Intelligence Agency attempt to smear them and their Iraq War. He admitted that their methods were “unsavory.”
It is a ruling about the jurisdiction of the court and so something technical in the law about which I don’t feel qualified to comment. Just as a citizen, I cannot understand how committing what was essentially an act of treason (or trying very hard to) can be seen as part of the ordinary political duties of incumbents.
The judgment will be appealed to the Supreme Court, but given the coloration of that court, one hardly expects the justices to rule against Bush-Cheney.
But the world has a kind of karma, and the United States will be punished for what Cheney Inc. did to Plame Wilson.
Think about it. She worked against nuclear proliferation, including with regard to Iran,with a “non-official cover” (NOC). She was an undercover operative with extremely sensitive duties.
So what are the big security challenges facing the United States in the next decade? They include the regrouping of al-Qaeda and the threat of nuclear proliferation.
What the United States therefore needs most to secure our country is smart, knowledgeable, skilled and dedicated counter-terrorism and counter- proliferation professionals. Without such persons, we are in danger of being hit hard by smart, knowledgeable, skilled terrorists.
But here is the problem. If you are a NOC, you are living a lie. Your very identity as CIA would potentially put everyone around you in danger, especially your friends, contacts and the agents you are running in foreign countries. You yourself could easily be assassinated on a trip abroad if your identity became known.
So you would depend for your survival and for the survival of your friends and contacts on the US government’s willingness and ability to keep your identity secret. If you thought that the vice president might casually betray your identity if he thought it politically convenient to do so, you’d be crazy to put yourself in that position.
So, we’ve had the Plame Wilson affair, the profound hostility of Cheney Inc. to the reality-based CIA (for not going along with its fantasy machine), the Cheney project of blaming CIA director George Tenet for his own mistakes with regard to Iraq, and the changes and rotations in top personnel. Competent Middle East analysts like former Deputy Director of Intelligence Jami Miscik have been forced out.
So ask yourself, how many really smart competent people are going to volunteer to follow in Valerie Plame Wilson’s footsteps and take all those risks for a job that does not pay all that well, knowing that the Cheney sorts might at any moment ruin their lives for petty political reasons?
So Bush and Cheney have deeply damaged recruitment, morale and efforts among our counter-terrorism agencies at the same time that their greedy and duplicitous occupation of a major Arab Muslim country, Iraq, is generating a new terrorist threat against the American homeland. They are creating the perfect storm.
So the judge threw out the lawsuit. But we will all be paying the damages.
Bush-Cheney have disarmed us and galvanized the enemy. They are traitors, and if something happens to America, it will be in some important part their fault.