Joe Wilson Good! No, Joe Wilson Bad! Etc.

If you care about trivia like White House operatives exposing the identity of our own side’s anti-WMD-proliferation spooks (which, I’ll grant you, is nowhere near as important as amending the Constitution to deny the pink-triangle set the right to marry), then you doubtless already know about the latest developments in the Valerie Plame-outing story. But in case you’ve been too busy, here’s a quick roundup.

First, the Senate intelligence committee report on the CIA’s bogus Iraq data (yeah! it was all the damn CIA’s fault!) apparently asserted that Valerie Plame really did recommend husband Joe Wilson for the Niger investigation, and Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post wrote a story about it: Plame’s input is cited on Niger mission.

Then Joshua Marshall of Talking Points Memo did a fairly thorough attack on Schmidt (elsewhere attacked as being ad hominem, which may be a fair cop, but it’s still a fun piece): I’ll dispense with the literary prologue…

Various righties made lots of hay with the story, including this choice example from Donald Sensing: Prophecy fulfilled. (Update: Note, though, that Sensing wasn’t prophesying that Wilson would be found out to be untruthful, but rather that the legal investigation into the Plame outing “would go nowhere, lead to no indictments and would eventually just sputter away.” See his comment on this item for more.)

But not so fast; Josh Marshall has some analysis that spills much of the wind from Sensing’s sails: There’s been a rush of egregious commentary… And then the good little partisans at the WSJ’s OpinionJournal weblog weighed in with their own snark, and Marshall again went to bat to put their assertions in context: A Republican lobbyist friend just sent me a link…

But after all the sturm und drang, I think the best summary of the whole thing comes from the inimitable Fafnir of Fafblog (which is destined to displace some less-obsessive entry in my blogroll as soon as I can get around to it): How could you lie to me so, Joe Wilson!

Heh. And now I think we’re completely up to date.

10 Responses to “Joe Wilson Good! No, Joe Wilson Bad! Etc.”

  1. Former Fan Says:

    “If you care about trivia like White House operatives exposing the identity of our own sideís anti-WMD-proliferation spooks (which, Iíll grant you, is nowhere near as important as amending the Constitution to deny the pink-triangle set the right to marry)…”

    Gee, somehow I think that revealing a person’s identity and placing them in a potentially life-threatening situation as a result is a bit worse than letting the rainbow contingent not make a mockery of a religious institution. But, I suppose it’s easier to hold the rights of sodomites more sacred than human life when your life isn’t the one at risk.

    Everyone’s wrong. Constantly.

  2. Adam Says:

    Former Fan’s brain patterns are getting harder and harder to follow. I’ll just say, marriage is (unfortunately for the sake of debate) both a secular government-sanctioned contract and a religious institution. We’re talking about secular “marriage” here. (Or at least you are, Former Fan. John’s comment was, if I may possibly speak for him, just an ironic comic aside.) I think talking about sex with your pet box turtle is what “makes a mockery” of this issue, not committed couples trying to participate in the institution the right feels is so necessary for society.

    Well I’ve gotta go. My “Rights for Sodomites” group is coming over in a few minutes. We’re all a little stressed out over this FMA business, so we’re going to take a spin around the neighborhood in the Gay Recruitment Van. We just got in the new Kylie Minogue album, so we’re stoked about that. Plus, Mark says he has video of Colin Powell doing “YMCA” – in Indonesia! Fabulous!

  3. Adam Says:

    Sorry about the thread-hijacking rant there. :-) On point, what Joe Wilson said or didn’t say, and the White House’s reasons for outing Plame, don’t matter to the case being investigated. What matters is that they did it. No one’s disputing that, and all they can come up with otherwise are some half-assed fact-free assertions that she wasn’t undercover in the first place. Oh really? Prove it, crapweasels.

    Sorry – I got emotional again there. Gay men do that a lot.

  4. Former Fan Says:

    Wow, Adam chimes in with the childish, personal insults. Big surprise from the self-aggrading, infallible, god-like presence of Adam. Woe be unto he who sinks to the same level, for they aren’t privvy to such sacred debate tactics.

    Last I checked, Adam, this isn’t the playground. If you’re going to be childish, keep it to your own site. Adults read this one.

    While I don’t personally approve of homosexuality, I don’t care if you or anyone else is a homosexual. That’s your choice, and freedom of choice is a very near-and-dear freedom to me. I also don’t care for or against religion as it has proven to be both beneficial and detrimental to society. I do recognize FACTS though, and the FACT is that secular marriage arose from the religious institution. As such, without the religious institution there would be no marriage — and as homosexuality is a major antithesis to christianity (which just happened to be the religion of choice while the U.S. was being founded), homosexual marriage is pretty much out. Besides, as things were already amended, it seems that your arguments for your sexual preferences are moot.

    If you want to get married sooooo badly, do it. There’s plenty of secular churches and such which will perform the ceremonies. Just because it’s not official in the eyes of the government doesn’t mean it’s any less special — it just means you won’t get the tax benefits… and if that’s what you’re looking for, then you’re getting married for the wrong reasons.

    Now, Adam, can we get a spot of maturity from you if you’re going to respond?

    [/thread hijack]

  5. Adam Says:

    Sorry, FF. I’m not going to get into a gay marriage “debate” with you. Not on this thread, at least. I already apologized for camping on to your irrelevant tangent, and then tried to steer it back to Wilson and Plame. If you have anything to say about those topics, go ahead.

    For the record, I never insulted you. I did make fun of your non-sequitur tangent, though. Guilty as charged on that one.

  6. Donald Sensing Says:

    Thank you for the link. I think you misunderstood what the “prophecy” (prediction) I made about the Plame investigation was. I did not predict that Wilson would be found to be untruthful, as even the NYT now says he is. What I predicted – last autumn, mind – was that the legal investigation would go nowhere, lead to no indictments and would eventually just sputter away.

    I even at the time wrote that I thought it was more likely than not that Plame’s indentity was, or was supposed to be, protected, a position much less tenable now than I thought then due to the technical nature of the law concerned.

    I did say in my post you linked that it might be a little premature to claim my predicdtion has been borne out, but only a little. I stand by it. With Wilson’s credibility pretty much wrecked, the Dems’ interest in the investigation is dropping rapidly to near zero. And you can bet the Reps aren’t going to push it, either.

    Because this was a political investigation more than anything else, including of national security, once the political foundation is gone – and it is gone, truly – then this latest example of the decades-long Washington Two-Step will simply fade away.

  7. John Callender Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Reverend Sensing. I actually realized that that was the view you were expressing on your site, though I can see in hindsight that the item I posted could have created the impression that you were talking merely about Wilson’s credibility having been undermined by the Senate report, rather than about the consequences that his undermining would have on the Plame investigation. I’ve updated the item accordingly.

    I still find the contrast between what Joshua Marshall and you have written about this to be intriguing, and I’m very interested in seeing the extent to which subsequent events bear out your respective views. Almost from the beginning, you’ve been saying (if you’ll pardon my paraphrasing) that the Plame outing was really just normal DC-style politics, not really a big deal at all, due to disappear without much of a ripple. Meanwhile, Marshall, while not making outright predictions, has certainly been treating the story as being much more significant, with a real possibility of serious legal consequences for those involved.

    Within the next year or so I expect the question of which of you was right, and which was letting his personal political views distort his interpretation of events, will be much more clear. At this point I honestly don’t know which it is.

    Anyway, thanks again for your contribution to the debate on this, both here and on your weblog. I continue to visit and enjoy One Hand Clapping, even when it annoys me. :-)

  8. Donald Sensing Says:

    John, you have it right. And it won’t take a year to find out who is right, although honesty impels me to admit that I haven’t read much of what Josh M. has been writing about it, nor anyone else, for that matter. It’s just routine Washington politcal backstabbing. As I posted last fall, if the Establishment (both Dems and Reps) really wanted to find out who talked to Novak, they’d just subpoena him and be done with it. (SCOTUS long ago ruled that the 1st Amendment offers no shield against subpoenas.)

    Indeed, by Novak’s own admission, his conversation with a CIA PAO confirmed that the CIA didn’t want Plame’s name used in print, an egregious bungle by the PAO because it confirmed what Novak wanted to know.

    As I wrote last October:

    “Anonymously leaking information that damages the other party is too highly treasured by every political figure in Washington for any of them to call for Novakís subpoena. Every member of every administration and every member of Congress wants to be able to use reporters to advance his own or his partyís agenda and damage his opponents or the other party. …

    The political news business is information prostitution. Political figures want something that only reporters can provide: a protected way to spread dirt anonymously. And reporters want something that only the politicos can provide, inside information – a “scoop” – that puts them ahead of their competitors. The currency of exchange is information and promise of anonymity. …

    But be not deceived by the Dems calling for the heads of Novakís sources. The sources will almost certainly never be identified and everyone knows it. Even President Bush said so yesterday, and no one on either side of the aisle objected. The Demsí goal is not punishing the guilty sources, it is embarrassing the White House.

    But the record shows that “solving the case” is not what anyone, left or right, is truly seeking.”

    So say I still.

    (Sorry for such a long comment . . .)

  9. Adam Says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I *would* like to solve the case. And I think people on the right who care about national security should be just as concerned with outing an undercover agent as I am.

  10. Former Fan Says:

    Agreed, Adam. The extent of “national secutiy breach” which this (potentially) constitutes is beyond excuse. If I may be so shallow to compare this to a movie, does this not bear an almost creepy similarity to the infamous NOC list plot from “Mission: Impossible”?

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