Sunday, November 06, 2005

Good Questions to Ask

A little while ago I mentioned the gang that couldn’t indict straight and discussed the investigation of the “outing” of Valerie Plame. This is an issue from which wiser heads in the opposition should be distancing themselves. They are going to look increasingly petty and ridiculous as more intellectual news sources start repeatedly pointing out that obstruction of justice isn’t possible if there is no crime that has been committed. The Wall Street Journal has an opinion piece that really highlights the questions that folks should be asking: Can I Say "I Told You So?"

I’m more than willing to establish an attitude of intolerance for perjury and I don’t like politicians who lie to me, the people they represent or the courts. But, there is room for “misremembering” in life, particularly when one works in the high intensity environment at the top of government. The bothersome aspect, however, is the entrapment that seems to be on the way to becoming standard operating procedure. We find an inflammatory incident. We demand an “independent” counsel to investigate it. The counsel spends millions, compiles masses of testimony, creates months of headlines and eventually is hoist on the petard of demands for indictments. If there’s going to be no indictment at the end, how can he possibly justify all the money, subpoenas, news coverage and expectations of bringing down the mighty?

The first and most essential aspect of the whole Plame business doesn’t revolve around Vice-President Cheney, Karl Rove and “Scooter.” The first and really the only relevant question should be whether or not Valerie Plame was, at the time of the Robert Novak editorial, a covert CIA operative. If she wasn’t, and I don’t think working an analyst desk at Langley qualifies as actual cloak and dagger stuff, then the whole mess is a wheelbarrow full of barn muck.

The muck, however, should be useful for plastering all over the next braying politico who demands immediate resignations of all of those at the White House who endangered the covertness of the Vanity Fair cover couple.

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