October 02, 2003


Plame, Plame, Plame. Who cares about the Plame? I’ve got more important things to worry about. Like yesterday I took all this flu medication and fell asleep watching The Cartoon Network. When I woke up a few hours later I was consumed by two thoughts:

1. If you drew a chalk square on the street, and surrounded it with police barriers, people would think SpongeBob had been murdered.

2. What happens to non-close friends who call him TC? What sanctions, if any, are imposed?

Anyway. Plame. Comments at this Jane Galt post point to interesting things, maybe:

The Washington Post (“Hunting for the Next Watergate since ‘74!”) reports that “Novak published her maiden name, Plame, which she had used overseas and has not been using publicly.” Yet Joseph Wilson’s Middle East Institute biography includes this: “He is married to the former Valerie Plame and has two sons and two daughters.”

A small matter, I guess, and not central to the whole secret CIA identity issue. Still, I think there’s a possibility this dispute will work in Bush’s favour. The Plame controversy -- fuzzy, inside-the-Beltway, no clear targets -- has dulled the bolder “Bush Lied About the War!” theme, and turned down the volume on any bad news out of Iraq.

(Galt tip via covert operative John S.)

UPDATE. Is Scooter Libby to blame? Personally, my money’s on Segway Benny or Tricycle Jones.

ANOTHER UPDATE. Yes, this is destroying Bush:

Mr Bush's re-election bid received almost $US5.5 million in donations yesterday, a record single-day take for his campaign that included about $US3.8 million from the Chicago fundraiser at which he spoke about the leaks scandal.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 2, 2003 02:04 PM

"Boss, de Plame, de Plane"

Tatoo, Fantasy Island

Posted by: wallace at October 2, 2003 at 02:23 PM

The name "Plame" is not so bad. It could be much worse than that.

Posted by: Evil Pundit at October 2, 2003 at 02:35 PM

Nobody noticed when Novak mention her name in July. So for two months, the man who labored hardest to expose his wife as a CIA agent was none other than Joseph "Yellowcake" Wilson - The very same man who condemned Bush after Wilson conducted his "investigation" of Niger nuclear activities from the hotel's pool.

Posted by: pefectsense at October 2, 2003 at 02:37 PM

Who gives a dead badger about this allegation? Only those hate Bush folks. Wilson is an extremist of the type only the Cookie Pushers at State can turn out (makes you wonder about what our diplomats are like doesn't it?). If this is such a terrible crime I have no doubt all these journalists will be happy to give up the criminal that did this horrible thing. If they don't care enough to, why should I care?

Posted by: TJ Jackson at October 2, 2003 at 02:49 PM


Timmy thinks there's a possibility this will work in Bush's favour...

Just like Rocca's suspension worked in the Magpies favour?

I admire your optimism, Timmy. Keep dreaming.

Posted by: A Token Lefty at October 2, 2003 at 03:12 PM

Dead badger????

Anyway--yes, this is extremely serious. The allegation, which is undisputed, is tantamount to a charge of treason. Those muslims in Cuba may have some Episcopalian companians soon. Those Americans who think this a trifle thought a cum-stained blouse the most important story of the 1990's.

Posted by: jeff at October 2, 2003 at 03:21 PM

Not optimism, Token. Just an observation.

If I was trying to make political mileage against Bush, I'd be using a more sharply-drawn (or better explained) scandal than this. This is too Whitewatery.

Posted by: tim at October 2, 2003 at 03:24 PM

Still, a govt official naming a CIA agent for political purposes has to be pretty serious thing to do. If indeed that is what's happening. The best thing Bush can do morally and politically is find out what happened and break some heads.

Posted by: James Hamilton at October 2, 2003 at 03:39 PM

It's hard to tell if she was an analyst or an undercover op. If she was undercover, whoever leaked her name should be prosecuted.

However, this makes things seem *very* fishy:

"Nobody noticed when Novak mention her name in July. So for two months, the man who labored hardest to expose his wife as a CIA agent was none other than Joseph "Yellowcake" Wilson ... "

He has reasons to want to get Bush. If he was really so upset about his wife's cover being blown, why did he open his mouth and draw so much attention to it?

I hope they get some sort of panel together to investigate this soon. I can't stand hearing about it much longer.
TC was one of my favorite cartoons to watch growing up. It came on right after 'The Jetsons'.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at October 2, 2003 at 03:57 PM

Perhaps he made a fuss about it because it'd been published in a major daily, represented a serious breach of the law, was meant as personal retribution for his behaviour, and he didn't want them to get away with it...?

Posted by: Lyndon at October 2, 2003 at 05:13 PM


Posted by: roscoe p coltrane at October 2, 2003 at 08:12 PM

damn! you beat me to the fantasy island thing! sorry wally!

Posted by: roscoe p coltrane at October 2, 2003 at 08:14 PM

Former Ambassador Joe Wilson, friend and protege of Pres Bush Snr, reckons that Karl Rove done it. 'It' or breaching CIA security is high treason, rates as a felony and is punishable by a $50k fine or ten years in the slammer.

This issue promises to be Dubya's Watergate. At some point somebody big is going to sing to save their own skin. Maybe we'll be entertained by a new Deepthroat along the way.

Posted by: bluedog at October 2, 2003 at 08:15 PM

And to think I never even made the Fantasy Island connection. Could the healing have begun?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 2, 2003 at 09:54 PM

"This issue promises to be Dubya's Watergate"

Dang, I was still waiting for the whole Enron thing to bring about the untimely end of the Bush II Administration...

Posted by: Dave T. at October 2, 2003 at 11:56 PM

This issue promises to be Dubya's Watergate. At some point somebody big is going to sing to save their own skin. Maybe we'll be entertained by a new Deepthroat along the way.

Speaking of Fantasy Island...

Dave: Oh, it will, you can just bet on that {snicker}

Posted by: Tongue Boy at October 3, 2003 at 12:39 AM

In order for this to be Watergate, wouldn't Bush have had to order this? Wouldn't he have to attempt a coverup? There (so far) has not been the slightest hint of anything like that (keep dreaming though).

Bush has all but thrown the White House open for inspection.

Perhaps the evidence can be found in the same spot as the Rose Law firm billing records turned up. Hopefully it won't take 3 years to find.

Posted by: Kelly at October 3, 2003 at 01:56 AM

I don't think that link accurately portrays how easily Johnson wilted under scrutiny. Johnson says "I know who the leak is" and Pat Buchanan (one time Nixon aide, far right wing presidential candidate) nearly jumped out of his seat and threw the bright interrogation lights on Johnson. It was rather uncomfortable to watch...

Posted by: Matt from Vegas at October 3, 2003 at 02:42 AM

Legally, the CIA is under the executive branch (The White House), and was created by executive order. It exists at the pleasure of the President. All security clearances legally emmanate from an executive order of the President.

How could it POSSIBLY be illegal for the White House to reveal the identity of an agent?

It's mind boggling - there isn't even a sniff of any harm having come to anyone other than to Plame, and i'm sure she'll still get the goldbricking civil servant retirement package... It isn't any worse than a dingbat administrative error.

The LACK of controversy will likely bother the press into a link-fabricating tizzy!

Posted by: Joe in DC at October 3, 2003 at 04:20 AM

No, Dave T. Enron was supposed to be a bigger story than 9/11. It was Bush's statement that British intelligence claimed Iraq was after uranium that was supposed to be Dubya's Watergate.

Oh, and I think the Brutal Iraqi Summer is over now. How long before we're supposed to forget about that?

Posted by: John Nowak at October 3, 2003 at 05:38 AM

Where-as Wes Clarke,or another Dem contender, come election day, will still be puzzling what a campaign fund looks like, apart from a cheque for 20 cents.

Posted by: d at October 3, 2003 at 09:34 AM