GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Monday, October 31, 2005

Hitchens on the Plame Affair...

There's something fishy about this so-called scandal...
Mr. Fitzgerald, therefore, seems to have decided to act "as if." He conducts himself as if Ms. Plame's identity was not widely known, as if she were working under "non official cover" (NOC), as if national security had been compromised, and as if one or even two catch-all laws had been broken. By this merely hypothetical standard, he has performed exceedingly well, even if rather long-windedly, before pulling up his essentially empty net.

However, what if one proposes an alternative "what if" narrative? What if Mr. Wilson spoke falsely when he asserted that his wife, who was not in fact under "non-official cover," had nothing to do with his visit to Niger? What if he was wrong in stating that Iraqi envoys had never even expressed an interest in Niger's only export? (Most European intelligence services stand by their story that there was indeed such a Baathist initiative.) What if his main friends in Niger were the very people he was supposed to be investigating?

Well, in that event, and after he had awarded himself some space on an op-ed page, what was to inhibit an employee of the Bush administration from calling attention to these facts, and letting reporters decide for themselves? The CIA had proven itself untrustworthy or incompetent on numerous occasions before, during and after the crisis of Sept. 11, 2001. Why should it be the only agency of the government that can invoke the law, broken or (as in this case) unbroken, to protect itself from leaks while protecting its own leakers?

2 Comments:

Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Well, I realize Plame wasn't actually a NOC AT THE MOMENT THE STORY CAME OUT, but please. Letting governments worldwide know that she USED to be a NOC is pretty bad.

And I just love it when commentators claim that her work for the CIA was "widely known". Beyond her husband, no one in Plame's FAMILY knew she worked for the CIA. When Wilson's own brother and sister-in-law found out their first reaction was "Wow, I wonder if Joe knew this!!!"

All I know is that intelligence services throughout the world are going over everything Plame did in their countries with a fine tooth comb, trying to learn how to spot a CIA NOC. All her sources are now useless, the front company she worked for had to be scrubbed (and other agents working for it pulled out) and several CIA agents have reported what a huge problem it is that suddenly any ambassador's wife is a suspected CIA operative (which is probably a HUGE problem, since some of them probably were!). Average people may not think that exposing the methods of agents in the field, bringing down front companies, and exposing CIA assets still "in country" is a big deal, but the C.I.A. seems pretty pissed, and they weren't big fans of the Bush administration to begin with. Must be fun running a war when your main intelligence agency hates your guts.

The only reason this isn't the biggest scandal of the Bush administration is that the CIA (generally) knows how to keep it's mouth shut (unlike White House staffers) and so their keeping mum about how many assets have been compromised, how many agents needed to be pulled in, and how many CIA methods needed to be abandoned after Plame's identity came out in the paper. If something like this had happened to any department OTHER than the nation's secret keepers, there'd be Hell to pay.

Ironic, isn't it.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The above is nonsense. The CIA has been constantly trying to undermine the Iraq war, that's the true scandal today. There's been more leaking of classified information on their side than the small and truthful amount given out by the Bush Administration. There's also been false information given out. On top of which, there's inside work between Plame and her husband, who then decides, rather than properly reporting to authorities, to fight against Bush with dishonest op-eds in the NYT. People who put our military at risk deserve far worse than being outed.

4:56 PM  

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