Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 29, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

NRO KNOWS WHO'S TO BLAME FOR THE PLAME AFFAIR!....Clifford May has a pretty pathetic piece in NRO today saying that the Valerie Plame affair is no big deal because, honestly darling, everybody who was anybody in Washington knew she was a CIA agent already. This is followed by 500 words saying that the real issue isn't that political operatives in the White House jeopardized national security by exposing the identity of an undercover CIA agent in order to gain petty revenge. No, the real issue is that her husband is a Bush basher and therefore entirely untrustworthy.

Anyway, I thought that was pretty pathetic until I read Mark Levin's piece in the same issue. He writes that gasp! Joe Wilson "voluntarily drew attention to himself", and therefore his wife got what she deserved:

While I'm all in favor of investigating national-security-related leaks, we'll never know if foreign-intelligence agencies, among others, had already learned of Plame's position thanks to the attention her husband drew to himself by taking the Niger fact-finding assignment in the first place. Like it or not, Wilson bears some responsibility for his wife's predicament.

It's not the White House's fault at all! It's Joe Wilson's fault!

You have to admire the chutzpah if nothing else. But hey, unlike May, at least Levin makes a pro forma nod toward being "all in favor" of investigating national security related leaks. Glad to hear it, Mark.

What a disgrace. Between the two of them there's not even a whisper, not even the barest nod, that perhaps the White House shouldn't have done what it did. And we're supposed to believe that these berhawks actually care a fig about national security?

A note to conservatives about the Plame affair: I know you don't want to hear this from me, but stonewalling just isn't going to work here, and it's going to make you look like dronish partisan hacks when the full truth comes out as it will. This is not partisan sniping, it's the real deal, and you should at least pretend that you think it's a bad thing.

Just don't say I didn't warn you, OK?

Kevin Drum 12:36 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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