Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 1, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

MORE ON PLAME....Former (overt) CIA analyst Mel Goodman is doing an online Q&A over at the Washington Post. A few miscellaneous excerpts:

....Novak was not used in the classic sense....he was quite willing to cooperate and was certainly called because the White House knew he would cooperate. At least half a dozen journalists refused to play this terrible game. President George Bush (the father in this case) called such leakers the "most insidious of traitors." Novak was merely what the Bolsheviks used to call a "useful idiot" in this case.

....I'm sure that CIA security is doing a full-scale review of all of the people who have been put at risk but there are few methods of protecting the foreign assets who have been compromised.....and these are the very people needed in any war against terrorism. That is why "reckless" is the only word to describe the performance of the Bush administration on this one.

....There is a great deal of anger and frustration [at the CIA] over the White House pressure tactics on intelligence assessments, the terrible handling of the Iraq-Niger story, Rumsfeld's pressure on Tenet, etc. etc. This is worse, however, because it compromises the careers of CIA officers and the lives of foreign assets. This is extremely serious business, particularly in a world where human intelligence could make all the difference.

....This is a time for bipartisan and select handling of a sensitive national security matter. The posturing must stop immediately and the stonewalling must end as well. An independent investigation is obviously needed.

....This is an issue that goes directly to the character and moral compass of this administration. The anger in the country is real and palpable, and professional Republicans who believe that this is a typical Washington foodfight are missing the point. I hope that it leads to an independent investigation of all intelligence problems that deal with how this country went to war in the first place.

....I've worked in Washington for the past 38 years, including 24 years at the CIA...and I know Ambassador Wilson....and I did not know that his wife was an agency employee. Let's face it....this was targetted information as part of a political vendetta....a pure act of revenge...again, no more and no less.

....We are all waiting for Deep Throat to be announced....there will be a shorter wait to see who gets frog-marched out of the White House, I believe.

More to come, I'm sure. The outrage is growing.

Kevin Drum 8:34 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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