Thursday, June 21, 2007

Scooter Libby - What He is The Fall Guy For?

Alright this is one of my "Soap Box Issues". It will be hard to make this one entertaining. So I will try to keep it short. With the sentencing of Scooter Libby and the subsequent topic of presidential pardons for him, Valerie Plame is back briefly in the spotlight.


The Valerie Plame Wilson story is a shining example of why I grew from a supporter of the current administration into an all out critic. From the first days in office the have demonstrated that they have no regard for America, the economy, democracy, or the core values of the system. From the obvious corruption of the Cheney oil executive meetings to blatant violation of constitutional rights with the wire tapping program, they have acted more like dictators then elected legislators. In this case it was done at the expense of at least two Americans who dedicated careers to improve and protect the country.


A quick recap, for those who don’t know who she is. Valerie Plame Wilson is the Ex-CIA agent. She was married to retired ambassador Joseph Wilson. Wilson was a highly regarded for his service which included time spent in Baghdad just before the first Gulf War. The point is that he knows his stuff. He had reliable contacts throughout the world.


Wilson was so well connected that the current Bush officials twice asked him to use his credibility to probe Nigerian officials about an unconfirmed intelligence report that claimed Niger had sold Iraq materials required to create nuclear fission, and continuing to a Nuclear weapon. (The illogical facts of this claim will have to be discussed in a future post.) Wilson, retired from government service at the time, agreed. He reported to the administration that the claims were unfounded and unlikely. A year later when Joseph Wilson watched as the administration used this unfounded intelligence to make a case for war, he wrote and op-ed piece denouncing their claim. The piece titled, "What I Didn't Find in Africa". In it he blasted the claims of the Bush propaganda machine about Iraq's nuclear capabilities.


The result was a personal attack on Joseph Wilson by destroying the career of his wife Valerie. Valerie status and depth of coverage are disputed. What is not disputed is that she was an agent, covered under the "top secret clearance" decree. She worked on issues related to determining threats from WMD. Her disclosure has never been justified.


The means by which it occurred was at the very least unorthodox. The Bush administration sent a top ranking cabinet member to meet with a journalist with a bias to usually agree with their policies, to "leak" it through the media. Even if there was a legitimate reason to declassify and expose a CIA agent with her level of clearance, their method is and never has been to do it through the media.


At the onset of the case President Bush claimed stated "anybody caught leaking the name of a CIA agent would be fired." Of course now we know that isn't true. The magnitude of his angst with the act that was implied by his statement was obviously over dramatic. Not only is Dick Cheney still working as his VP, but there is a strong belief that he will pardon Scooter Libby.


In the end the logic has to be rectified. At the time, The UN inspectors were begging for more time as they had found no evidence to back up the claims of a nuclear program. Saddam had turned over a 12,000 page document that was almost immediately condemned by the Bush administration with out the possible chance to read it, let alone compare and conduct intelligence connected to it. At the very time they were prodding and coercing the world into war with Iraq, they remained unconcerned with North Korea's threats to turn the US into a "Sea of fire". (Of course N. Korea has every right to be upset with US policies, but that is for another post.)


In the end, Joseph Wilson was right. Valerie Plames career was ended and the networks she was part of have collapsed. More then 3,500 Americans citizens have been killed, over 25,000 have been physically wounded, and all of them come back mentally effected. 75,000 Iraqis civilians directly caused by military action. It will never be known how many died to reduced conditions, lack of clean food and water, and lack of medical support. The whole Middle East has been changed, it is on fire. What if they had listened to Wilson? Who is going to pay for these Criminal acts of incompetence?


So if Scooter Libby is the "Fall Guy", this is what he is falling for. His sentence is mighty light.


"Military intelligence, Two words combined that don't make sense... Peace
Sells, But who's Buying"- Megadeath (Peace Sells)



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