Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 3, 2008

UNREPENTANT.... Robert Novak was asked, if he could do it all over again, whether he'd publish a column exposing the identity of an undercover CIA agent. Recently, he conceded that he "probably should have ignored" what he'd been told about Valarie Plame Wilson.

Now, however, Novak doesn't regret his misconduct at all.

"I'd go full speed ahead because of the hateful and beastly way in which my left-wing critics in the press and Congress tried to make a political affair out of it and tried to ruin me. My response now is this: The hell with you. They didn't ruin me. I have my faith, my family, and a good life. A lot of people love me -- or like me. So they failed. I would do the same thing over again because I don't think I hurt Valerie Plame whatsoever."

I guess it depends on the meaning of "hurt," doesn't it? Novak exposed her identity, ruined her career, and made it more difficult "for other CIA officers to recruit sources."

But I suppose that doesn't matter, because Novak believes his detractors were mean to him.

Classy.

Steve Benen 11:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (57)

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Comments

Novak's critics "tried to make a political affair out of it"?

The mind reels.

Posted by: shortstop on December 3, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

He should be thankful he's not in a federal penitentiary, where traitors like him belong.

Posted by: bdop4 on December 3, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I suppose that he's right, since it is all about him, after all.

Posted by: JM on December 3, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Oops. I read his quote first and I thought he was talking about how he was unrepentant about hitting that guy with his car. Might as well be.

Posted by: Five Feet High n Rising on December 3, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

This embalmed corpse is nothing more than A SECRETION OF SLIM OUT OF THE ASSHOLE OF LUCIFER HIMSELF ........

Posted by: stormskies on December 3, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Change a couple of words and it is exactly what W will be saying when he's asked what he would do over.

Posted by: martin on December 3, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Which brings up the perennial question: why does he still have a column? Sure, he is a zombie agent of the darker side of our political class. But, are there no souls left among the editorial decisionmakers? Oh, ...

Posted by: Eric on December 3, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Lemme get this straight. He outs Plame, then is (rightly, by the way) criticized for it. Therefore, he was justified in outing her, because people would THEN criticize him??? That's like saying the murderer was justified in killing someone, because the police were going to throw him in jail (for the murder).

And this qualifies as substantive conservative thought? The mind doesn't reel; the head spins until the neck is in a knot and I pass out from lack of blood/oxygen...

Posted by: artsmith on December 3, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

How about Novak shove off and go run over some more people in his Corvette?

Posted by: Franklin on December 3, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, well who really gives a shit about Robert Novak? He can keep yammering all he wants - he knows he's lucky he's not in prison right now.

Posted by: The Lucky Sea Men on December 3, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

I think Novak taught us (at least me) something we did not know. It is apparently completely legal to out a US undercover operative. Considering we can not succeed in our anti terrorism effort without clandestine operations I believe this is something we must rectify immediately. I hope the new Administration pushs legislation making the deliberate exposing of a US covert operative punishable to the extreme. My view has nothing to do with Novak other than the fact his sleazy conduct taught us it was only legal. I had always assumed what he, Rove, Liddy, etc did was treason.

Posted by: Layne on December 3, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

"I would do the same thing over again because I don't think I hurt Valerie Plame whatsoever."

The man's a traitor. He puts his own childish resentments above the security of the United States of America.

We used to know what to do with men like this.....

Posted by: Stefan on December 3, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Classy?

What did you expect from someone who is proud of the moniker "the prince of darkness"?

The one thing we'll never know is whether anyone died from Novakula's misconduct. There's a good chance that people did, and only a sociopath wouldn't have considered the possibility and been horrified in an "oh my god, what did I do?" way.

A lot of people like him, eh? a lot more think he's a hateful, spiteful ass.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on December 3, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

What an a-hole.

Posted by: in vino veritas on December 3, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

But...but, I thought outing a CIA operative was illegal.

g

Posted by: g on December 3, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

"I would do the same thing over again because I don't think I hurt Valerie Plame whatsoever."

I suppose that's true in the sense that she was safe in the U.S. when the s**t hit the post-- err fan.

OTOH, how would you like to be one of the assets she cultivated? You might easily be looking at a very short future.

And how would you like to be her replacement looking for more such assets in order to protect us from WMDs in the hands of bad people? I think your job just suddenly got much harder.

Posted by: Jim Ramsey on December 3, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop, the first commenter, hit the point I wanted to make.

For Novak to claim that this only became a political matter after he outed Plame - something that was clearly done for political reasons - is preposterous.

Posted by: TG Chicago on December 3, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

"beastly" Beastly?

Has Novack used Tucker Carlson as his designated drver, a tad, too much? Wimps on patrol.

Posted by: berttheclock on December 3, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

DOUCHEBAG!

Posted by: Cazart on December 3, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Considering it "only a political matter" is no different from Reagun saying the perps in Iran-Contra were "not criminals at heart".

Or, in the latest Nixon tapes about believing trashing and firebombing the Brookings Institute was a political matter, not a legal one.

Posted by: berttheclock on December 3, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

"I would do the same thing over again because I don't think I hurt Valerie Plame whatsoever."

Right, she got a book deal out of it...

One wonders how many people paid in blood over this, from other agents to potential assets to mere acquaintances who were seen with her around the globe. But that information is classified because reporting the actual damage done by these clowns would give be helping the terrorists.

At least Novak will go down in the history books, even the ones written by republicans, as the man who publicly outed a CIA agent. Funny how the shell game they played could only be played with a married woman who took her husbands name. They could have never pulled this with a single person or a man. They truly desecrated the sanctity of marriage.

Posted by: ScottW on December 3, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Further example of the meme that's sweeping conservativedom: sure our actions are heinous, but it's okay because the liberals are so mean to us!

Posted by: Waxon Waxoff on December 3, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Typical Republican. They aren't the party of ideas because they are the party of the intellectual dishonest and the ethically impaired.

Posted by: wonkie on December 3, 2008 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't matter that Novak "survived" the affair, or even that Valerie Plame did. What matters is the damage done to this country. Novak was used as a tool by the administration for political purposes that had some serious blowback. If he is OK by that, then f**k him.

Posted by: Marko on December 3, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Novak exposed her identity, ruined her career,...

Plame's stupid husband, and the CIA itself, exposed her identity by allowing "Yellowcake" Wilson to get his piece published.

She and the dork husband have since gotten extremely wealthy since her identity was exposed. I'm sure that cured any issues regarding her supposedly ruined career.

In a book she put out last year, Plame briefly mentions neither she nor her husband ever considered the possibility her husband's article would jeopardize her cover. Since she couldn't figure this out, her best days as a spy were long gone, and it was good that she was out. It probably improved the CIA dramatically.

...and made it more difficult "for other CIA officers to recruit sources."

It made it harder for Democrat operatives within the CIA to recruit new sets of leakers. In case anyone hasn't noticed, leaks from the CIA have dropped dramatically.

Novak didn't do anything wrong. The blame for her being outed rests entirely with the CIA. It was their job to protect Plame's covert status, including shutting up her husband. They didn't.

Posted by: SteveIL on December 3, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Novak

There's that selective patriotism again the right loves to wield. He really should be in jail.

Imagine the lynch mob if the same had been done by any liberal columnist you care to name.

Posted by: PS on December 3, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

i was going to post to say "well, the hell with you, bob novak, you scumbag, too," but then along came SteveIL, repeating the usual right-wing lies and piffle, so i can also say "the hell with you, SteveIL, you stupid sack of shit. how can one person be so stupid?"

Posted by: howard on December 3, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

@SteveIL: And if "Yellowcake" Wilson had done the same thing under, say, a Democratic administration, I would imagine that Al Gore would be in jail.

Posted by: Marko on December 3, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

I had always assumed what he, Rove, Liddy, etc did was treason.

You aren't alone -- Bush pere was on record agreeing with you long before this scandal.

And, as usual, what howard said.

Plame's stupid husband, and the CIA itself, exposed her identity by allowing "Yellowcake" Wilson to get his piece published.

The one revealing that Bush lied about Wilson's findings, you mean? How do you figure that?

Still, SteveIL's reaction shows how unsurprising it is that the know-nothing right condones outing a national security operative (notice how even Steve doesn't repeat the tired lie that she wasn't undercover, opining instead that she just deserved it), given how eager they are to condemn a national hero like Wilson -- who faced down Saddam from the US Embassy in the runup to the first Gulf War -- for disloyalty to Bush and Cheney.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on December 3, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Plame's stupid husband, and the CIA itself, exposed her identity by allowing "Yellowcake" Wilson to get his piece published.

Ah, SteveIL rewriting history again. You'd almost believe he really thinks Wilson's article wasn't true, wouldn't you?

By the way, Steve, where is that yellowcake you guys keep insisting you just know Saddam tried to buy, even if the country he tried to buy it from keeps changing every time someone actually investigates?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on December 3, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Steve IL

What was the source of Novaks information, this as you know was within the Bush administration, simply a payback for Wilson's op-ed article.

Steve IL, what do you get out of trying to protect a traitor?

Posted by: Ted76 on December 3, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Novak: "The hell with you."

Back 'atcha, d-bag.

Posted by: kc on December 3, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Novak was confirmed with having a brain tumor not long after he hit the bicyclist. Maybe he really doesn't know what he's saying?

Posted by: pol on December 3, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

ScottW is right that the outing of Plame damaged a lot more people than just her. Anyone who dealt with Plame or the international "company" she worked for were also exposed. Given the fact that she worked on traching WMD's, a lot of people had to have been endangered or worse. (The CIA can't or won't reveal if any lives were lost.)

As for Plame's "stupid husband", he was a well-known Washington diplomat so there was nothing unusual about his writing a column. Many diplomats and/or their spouses are actually CIA operatives. Do you really think they should hide from the public so that the executive branch won't out them? That in itself would raise suspicion.
Wilson is a true American hero. He was our acting ambassador to Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait. When Saddam threatened to execute anyone who was sheltering foreigners, Wilson publicly defied him by calling a press conference wearing a noose around his neck and said "If the choice is to allow American citizens to be taken hostage or to be executed, I will bring my own fucking rope." He refused to leave until all Americans were evacuated even though he was offered safe passage. No wonder he had the courage to criticize Bush and his fellow chicken hawks!

Posted by: BernieO on December 3, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

ScottW is right that the outing of Plame damaged a lot more people than just her. Anyone who dealt with Plame or the international "company" she worked for were also exposed.

IIRC, some people tried to claim she didn't really work for the CIA because she'd put Brewster Jennings & Associates as her employer on a donation form.

Of course, it turned out that Brewster Jennings was a CIA front company. Well, they were, until they had to be shut down because Novak didn't think they were a real front company and so Plame must have done something wrong by listing them as her employer.

Really, the douchiness just gets deeper the more Novak talks. He not only outed Valerie Plame, he ignorantly outed her front company and forced it to close down as well.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on December 3, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory said:

The one revealing that Bush lied about Wilson's findings, you mean? How do you figure that?

Bush never lied about those findings. It turns out Wilson's findings didn't convince anyone at the CIA to change CIA members' minds on whether or not there was an attempt by Saddam to buy uranium from Niger; some still believed it happened, others still believed it didn't. The Intelligence Committee's report on this that came out in 2004 bears this out. Wilson didn't lie in testimony to the Committee since he was sworn in under oath; but, Wilson lied everywhere else.

Still, SteveIL's reaction shows how unsurprising it is that the know-nothing right condones outing a national security operative (notice how even Steve doesn't repeat the tired lie that she wasn't undercover, opining instead that she just deserved it), given how eager they are to condemn a national hero like Wilson -- who faced down Saddam from the US Embassy in the runup to the first Gulf War -- for disloyalty to Bush and Cheney.

I don't condone outing a covert agent, nor do I think Plame deserved to be outed. But it was the actions of Wilson and the CIA that allowed Plame to be outed. And since Plame admitted she didn't think her husband's stupid piece might get her outed, then her effectiveness as a covert agent can be called into question, and the judgement she used to do her job sucked. It's not that Wilson, no national hero these last 5 years, was disloyal to the country. It's just that he started lying about his activities after he joined the Kerry campaign (yes, it's documented). He wanted to show his loyalty to his new boss.

Mnemosyne said:

You'd almost believe he really thinks Wilson's article wasn't true, wouldn't you?

It wasn't true. The Senate Intelligence report, plus the Robb-Silverman report, completely debunked Wilson's assertions that President Bush manipulated intelligence. Wilson tried to claim that Bush was asserting some kind of sale of uranium from Niger to Iraq, based on some forged documents. But Bush never said Iraq bought uranium, only that he was looking to buy it, which very well may have been the case. As I've mentioned earlier, many in the CIA still believed this. Wilson never mentioned in his piece about the the Iraqi delegation meeting with Niger officials in 1999, although he did know about it, as the Senate report showed. Therefore, Wilson is the one who has been the liar this whole time, except when he was under oath (fortunately for him).

By the way, Steve, where is that yellowcake you guys keep insisting you just know Saddam tried to buy, even if the country he tried to buy it from keeps changing every time someone actually investigates?

I have no idea what your talking about. I keep mentioning Niger because that is the country in question.

Posted by: SteveIL on December 3, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Novak was confirmed with having a brain tumor not long after he hit the bicyclist. Maybe he really doesn't know what he's saying? -- pol, @13:28

Novak *is* a tumor. Whether he has one... I'm not so sure. I think it was just an excuse to avoid responsibility for mowing down the cyclist. Novak doesn't "do" responsibility, no matter the circumstances (vide his quote today)

Posted by: exlibra on December 3, 2008 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Wilson tried to claim that Bush was asserting some kind of sale of uranium from Niger to Iraq, based on some forged documents. But Bush never said Iraq bought uranium, only that he was looking to buy it, which very well may have been the case.

So you're calling Colin Powell a liar and claiming that he lied to the press while he was still Secretary of State?

"Subsequently, when we looked at it more thoroughly and when-- I think it's, oh, a week or two later-- when I made my presentation to the United Nations, and we really went through every single thing we knew about all of the various issues with respect to weapons of mass destruction, we did not believe that it was appropriate to use that example anymore. It was not standing the test of time. And so I didn't use it, and we haven't used it since."

Interesting that you conflated the views of only three of the 17 Senators on the committee as being the conclusion of the entire report. They couldn't even get a majority on a majority-Republican panel to bash Wilson.

And you may not want to use the Washington Post as a neutral party. Just so you know.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on December 3, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

@SteveIL: So you really believe that Novak didn't get tipped off from the vice president's office that "Plame is fair game"? You somehow think Novak figured all this out based on Wilson's actions?

Here's the actual sequence of events:

a. President Bush used the "16 words" in his State of the Union address to justify invading Iraq.

b. Wilson refuted the "16 words" in his op-ed piece.

c. In retaliation, Vice President Cheney's office leaked Valerie Plame's name to several reporters, but Novak was the slimiest enough to be the first to print it.

The bottom line is, without those 16 words, congress probably would not have gone along with Bush's war plans. Whether the administration believed the 16 words to be true or not at the time is not the point. The point is this: When you go to war, you had better have a damn good reason for it, and you had better have rock-solid iron-clad evidence for it. Not "16 fucking words".

And then when you get called out for it by people like Wilson, the proper response is not to further endanger US assets by outing undercover CIA agents, who happen to be monitoring the WMDs that we just went to war over.

Do you get it now?

Posted by: Marko on December 3, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

The Senate Intelligence report, plus the Robb-Silverman report, completely debunked Wilson's assertions that President Bush manipulated intelligence.

Not quite -- three out of the 17 Senators claimed they had "debunked" Wilson. It's pretty sad when a majority-Republican committee can't even get their fellow Republicans on board for something that you say is so obvious, don't you think?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on December 3, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

D'oh! I was in moderation so long I'd forgotten I already made that point at 3:10 pm. Mea culpa. :-(

Posted by: Mnemosyne on December 3, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Oh Novak didn't do much harm.

He only compromised an operation that was tracking illegal movement of nuclear weapons materials.

No biggie, right?

I can only imagine how a liberal news-o-tainment guy would have been raked over the coals for treachery of that magnitude.

Posted by: klevenstein on December 3, 2008 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

So you're calling Colin Powell a liar and claiming that he lied to the press while he was still Secretary of State?

That's pretty rich, from Mnemosyne. Let's hear a bit more from Colin Powell in the same interview:

JOHN COCHRAN, ABC: Mr. Secretary, regarding that erroneous report last January that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium in Niger, does the administration owe Americans and, in fact, the world an apology for making that statement? And should the administration beat congress to the punch by making a detailed investigation and a detailed explanation of how something so important and so wrong got into a presidential address?

COLIN POWELL: I think this is very overwrought and overblown and overdrawn. Intelligence reports flow in from all over. Sometimes they are your... result of your own intelligence agencies at work; sometimes you get information from very capable foreign intelligence services. And you get the information, you analyze it. Sometimes it holds up. Sometimes it does not hold up. It's a moving train. And you keep trying to establish what is right and what is wrong. Very often it never comes out quite that clean. You have to make judgments.

And at the time of the president's state of the union address, a judgment was made that that was an appropriate statement for the president to make. It was no effort or attempt on the part of the president or anyone else in the administration to mislead or to deceive the American people. The president was presenting what seemed to be a reasonable statement at that time, and it didn't talk to Niger; it talked specifically about efforts to acquire uranium from nations that had it in Africa.

And Marko amuses with this:

a. President Bush used the "16 words" in his State of the Union address to justify invading Iraq.

b. Wilson refuted the "16 words" in his op-ed piece.

c. In retaliation, Vice President Cheney's office leaked Valerie Plame's name to several reporters, but Novak was the slimiest enough to be the first to print it.

Missing is (d) Cheney exhorts Powell and Armitage of State, both of whom are totally on the same page with him on Iraq, to punish Wilson by (1) having Armitage leak the "Wilson and wife" connection to Bob Woodward prior to Wilson's July 6 column, and (2) having Armitage follow-up by leaking the Wilson and wife tidbit to Novak.

All those seeming disputes between Cheney and Powell were just for show, yes?

Posted by: Tom Maguire on December 3, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Novak is a blowhard. Contrary to what he apparently believes, being a journalist doesn't mean printing anything you hear regardless of morals.

Posted by: Rabi on December 3, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Missing is (d)...

In the grand scheme of things, (d) is irrelevant. What is important (and you seem not to be able to grasp) is that we went to war over "16 words". And when the shit hit the fan, all the administration did was throw around more shit (via Novak).

I don't know how to simplify it any further than that. But thanks for playing.

Posted by: Marko on December 3, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Valerie Plame's cover was employment in an oil industry related company that was established as a CIA front company in Saudi Arabia at least 40 years ago. This was a rare deep and valuable asset to the US for keeping an eye on Persian Gulf and Saudi oil politics and business.

Remember that much of the investigation of the leak was held secret because she WAS valuable, and her cover was valuable. That cover is now blown. Everyone who worked for that company (Arab or American) is suspect and a lost or diminished asset.

Irrespective of whether Novak thinks Ms. Plame deserves no respect as a CIA agent or even as a fellow citizen, he and his source are responsible for undermining decades worth of US intelligence work in the region.

The cognitive dissonance is apparently so great for him, he must blame her because he cannot bear to consider the impact of his own actions.

She, on the other hand, cannot even refer to the value that was destroyed along with her career because she knows what is at stake.

Posted by: Quatrain Gleam on December 3, 2008 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Mnemosyne said:

Interesting that you conflated the views of only three of the 17 Senators on the committee as being the conclusion of the entire report. They couldn't even get a majority on a majority-Republican panel to bash Wilson.

Actually, I was using the information that came from the Part II on Niger, and section B. on the former ambassador. I didn't refer to anything from the "alternative views". I avoid using Wikipedia since it is wholly unreliable, as the entry you linked to is.

Marko said:

c. In retaliation, Vice President Cheney's office leaked Valerie Plame's name to several reporters, but Novak was the slimiest enough to be the first to print it.

And it's already come out that Novak's source was Richard Armitage of State, not anyone attached to Cheney. Come on, you can do better than that.

What is important (and you seem not to be able to grasp) is that we went to war over "16 words".

No, that's why you think the U.S. went to war. It was much more complicated than that.

Posted by: SteveIL on December 3, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

But it was the actions of Wilson and the CIA that allowed Plame to be outed.

Another lie. When Novak called the CIA for comment, they asked him not to print it. They obviosuly couldn't confirm for the record that she was a covert agent, but they did what they could to maintain her cover.

You're still trying to justify outing her on the grounds of Wilson's disloyalty to Bush, and that dog just won't hunt.

Posted by: Gregory on December 3, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

And it's already come out that Novak's source was Richard Armitage of State, not anyone attached to Cheney. Come on, you can do better than that.

Your own words damn you: 'Cheney exhorts Powell and Armitage of State, both of whom are totally on the same page with him on Iraq, to punish Wilson by (1) having Armitage leak the "Wilson and wife"'

No, that's why you think the U.S. went to war. It was much more complicated than that.

No, the "16 words" is why Congress supported the war. What the real reasons for the war are, we still don't really understand. Bush flip-flops on the reasons every other month. But, I imagine we will find out the real reason some day.

Posted by: Marko on December 3, 2008 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

So apparently the deadly brain tumor didn't bring forth any notions of humility or regret? I can wait.

Posted by: chascates on December 3, 2008 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory said:

Another lie. When Novak called the CIA for comment, they asked him not to print it. They obviosuly couldn't confirm for the record that she was a covert agent, but they did what they could to maintain her cover.

Immaterial. My point was that the CIA did allow Wilson to publish his falsehoods in the NYT a few days earlier, even though they knew his wife was covert. That's why Wilson and the CIA are responsible for Plame's outing.

And I'm not trying to justify her outing at all. I'm saying point the blame to the right people. It isn't Novak, it isn't Cheney, it isn't Rove, etc. And the reason Wilson did it was plainly obvious; he was working for the Kerry campaign.

Marko said:

"And it's already come out that Novak's source was Richard Armitage of State, not anyone attached to Cheney. Come on, you can do better than that."

Your own words damn you: 'Cheney exhorts Powell and Armitage of State, both of whom are totally on the same page with him on Iraq, to punish Wilson by (1) having Armitage leak the "Wilson and wife"'

Those weren't my words, but those of Mr. Maguire. I believe what Maguire was doing was giving you more of the ridiculous conspiracy theory liberals have been spewing for the last 5+ years. His last sentence:

All those seeming disputes between Cheney and Powell were just for show, yes?

is what really happened. Cheney and Powell (and Armitage) never agreed on Iraq, and got into vicious arguments over it. Maguire is saying it is impossible that Armitage would have done anything for Cheney, especially leaking the name of a covert agent. Armitage did that all on his own.

No, the "16 words" is why Congress supported the war.

I don't think so. Those 16 words came out in January, 2003. The Iraq AUMF was voted on three months earlier in October, 2002. Those 16 words are a convenient excuse by congressional Democrats who voted for the 2002 AUMF to blame the whole thing on the Republican President and avoid blame for themselves.

What the real reasons for the war are, we still don't really understand.

You still don't really understand the real reasons for the war; don't include me in your statement.

Bush flip-flops on the reasons every other month.

Actually, Bush has never flip-flopped on the reasons. Only congressional Democrats who voted for the 2002 AUMF, including 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry, and wanted to deflect any blame from themselves, flip-flopped on everything about their vote (why they voted yes, what they knew, what the reasons were, "I voted for the $87 billion before voting against it", etc.) to avoid being voted out of office. Pretty self-serving of these Democrats, don't you think?

Posted by: SteveIL on December 3, 2008 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Armitage wasn't the only source. Do you think Scooter Libby did all that cover-up for Armitage? Yeah, right.

Regarding the reasons for war: IIRC, it was because Iraq could potentially threaten us with WMDs: nukes and anthrax. When those weren't found, the reasons morphed into Iraqi Freedom. Americans have a hard time swallowing the amount of blood and treasure spent on Iraqi Freedom, so I'm not sure what the Cause Du Jour is.

But this is all sideshow. The real problem, as I stated earlier, and you choose to ignore, is this: When you go to war, you better have a good reason for it. We shouldn't have to play word games five years later to understand it.

And we don't need scumbags like Novak to blow his shit back in our face, either.

Posted by: Marko on December 3, 2008 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Marko said:

Armitage wasn't the only source. Do you think Scooter Libby did all that cover-up for Armitage? Yeah, right.

Immaterial. Novak didn't talk to Libby. Libby did all that cover-up to save his own hide, nobody else's. He was stupid and was rightly convicted for obstruction of justice (I didn't think so at the time of the conviction, but I was wrong and am now glad he was tried and convicted; no, I don't have a problem with Bush commuting his sentence).

IIRC, it was because Iraq could potentially threaten us with WMDs: nukes and anthrax. When those weren't found, the reasons morphed into Iraqi Freedom.

You really need to read all the reasons Bush gave to Congress, the American people, and the UN. It was much, much more than WMDs. Nothing was "morphed".

When you go to war, you better have a good reason for it. We shouldn't have to play word games five years later to understand it.

Then stop playing them.

As far as going to war for a good reason, it's not like this was the first time the U.S. went to war based on questionable reasons. The Spanish-American War was started based on the U.S. claiming the Spanish blew up the battleship U.S.S. Maine, which is still in doubt 110 years after the fact. U.S. incursions into Latin America between that war and 1934 by various Democratic and Republican Presidents. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Grenada by Reagan. Panama by Bush 41. Clinton's changing the scope of Operation Restore Hope in Somalia from a U.S. to a UN operation, and eventually 18 American soldiers were killed in Mogadishu, and the UN pulled out of Somalia to leave it remaining in shambles. Clinton bombing Serbia and Montenegro, without congressional approval. In my opinion, taking out Saddam Hussein and setting up Iraq as a democracy were good reasons, better reasons than some of the others I mentioned above.

Posted by: SteveIL on December 3, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Whether or not he hurt Valerie Plame is almost beside the point. What he did that has earned him a place in history at Benedict Arnold's right hand is to shut down the whole CIA program to investigate nuclear proliferation in countries that are not exactly on our bench. I believe at one time traitors were executed by a firing squad.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on December 3, 2008 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

SteveIl: what you think doesn't matter. On the substantive matter on making Americans tangibly safer from terrorists and nuclear weapons, Novak and Cheney made us all considerably less safe. Their cavalier use of Plame's occupation hurt us immeasurably and led to many deaths and detentions. In the grand scheme of things, the Iraq war has precipitated innumerable other issues that have made us economically unstable, less safe from jihadists, and lessened significantly our standing in the world. Sometimes a tumor is just karma. Bad doings, those guys.

Posted by: Sparko on December 4, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Immaterial. Novak didn't talk to Libby. Libby did all that cover-up to save his own hide, nobody else's.

He was protecting Addington and Cheney.

You really need to read all the reasons Bush gave to Congress, the American people, and the UN. It was much, much more than WMDs. Nothing was "morphed".

You really need to provide some links to back up your assertions.

As far as going to war for a good reason, it's not like this was the first time the U.S. went to war based on questionable reasons...

And you certainly point out a lot of boondoggles that Americans have suffered through in the past. Most of them were "minor incursions" that did not result into a disastrous quagmire, such as Vietnam. After that war, we learned to not get ourselves involved in major conflicts without a) a good reason; b) overwhelming force; c) clear objectives; and d) a clear exit strategy. The Bush Neocons chose to ignore all that and blindly rushed into a major war without a clue as to what they were doing.

You can justify it any way you want, but at the end of the day, nobody wanted this war except Bush. Not the Iraqis who lived there; not the Americans that fought it; and certainly not the rest of the region that has been destabilized ever since.

If you have anything else to add, I will give you the last word. I am moving on.

Posted by: Marko on December 4, 2008 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

Sparko said:

On the substantive matter on making Americans tangibly safer from terrorists and nuclear weapons, Novak and Cheney made us all considerably less safe.

No they didn't. As a matter of fact, it was around the time that Plame was outed that the U.S. exposed Iran's illegal nuclear program, forcing the Iranian theocrats to apply for that additional NPT protocol (which they signed, but have conveniently never ratified).

Their cavalier use of Plame's occupation hurt us immeasurably and led to many deaths and detentions.

Oh, really? Where? Despite the seeming liberal belief that Democratic talking points are "evidence", they aren't.

In the grand scheme of things, the Iraq war has precipitated innumerable other issues that have made us economically unstable, less safe from jihadists,...

Where have you been these last seven years after 9/11? If we are less safe from jihadists, the real evidence, like no jihadist terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in seven years, shows that we are more safe, not less. The economic stability is threatened by Social Security and Medicare, since those two programs by themselves cost more every year than the total the U.S. has spent on Iraq; add that all these bailouts are going to be more costly than Iraq.

...and lessened significantly our standing in the world.

Another crock. Under President Bush, the U.S. has its first real alliance with India. Libya gave up their nuclear ambitions (although Qaddafi has to be watched). A huge supporter of terrorism against the U.S. and others, Saddam Hussein, is dead, and his cronies are either in hiding, in prison, or are rotting corpses. Our relations with existing allies is stronger than ever, except for Australia, who were duped into electing a Parliament made up of a majority party of lying Marxists. In fact, it's only the Marxists who believe our standing in the world has gotten worse.

Posted by: SteveIL on December 4, 2008 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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