Saturday, September 02, 2006
The Plame Truth Makes Strange Bedfellows
It is a strange day indeed when I find myself aligned with a man of the left, a self proclaimed socialist, Christopher Hitchens.
While I haven’t fully researched Mr. Hitchens’ stance on abortion, the death penalty, immigration, border security, equality vs. liberty, tax reform, welfare, the myth of “separation of church and state in the Constitution”, the debate over English immersion vs. bilingual education, universal health care and more…there is at least one area…where we stand in full agreement. We both have a love and passion for the truth.
While listening to Dennis Prager’s radio show on Wednesday, my jaw dropped as Christopher Hitchens shared the information that was recently revealed as to whom the true source of the CIA Plame leak was. I shook my head with disbelief and wanted to say, “You go boy”…as Christopher detailed of the facts that have come to light…and information from his many years of research to expose the lies and the liars for what they are.
That may seem like strong language…to out and out call someone a liar. But when you hear the lies that were perpetuated and how other people were smeared and painted as villains in the liberal mainstream press…while the man who actually leaked Ms. Plame’s name to the press shut up, sat back and watched, I think you’ll understand. I use “man” cautiously…because there was nothing denoting courage, character or anything remotely reflecting the character of someone I would feel comfortable attributing the title of “man”.
That person…is none other than Richard Armitage.
Just to review a few facts.
In January 2002, former Ambassador Joe Wilson was sent to Niger by the CIA to investigate claims that back in 1999 Iraqi Ambassador Wissam al-Zahawie went to Niger on a shopping trip for yellowcake uranium. After his trip to Niger Joe Wilson reported, “It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place.”
Back in January 2003, George Bush during his State of the Union address, unleashed a firestorm of debate, controversy and “investigation” by the press when he uttered the words “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” He gave this statement to support and justify the United States going to war against Iraq.
The press and prominent persons on the left (frequently one and the same) in their usual rush to judgment, without fully investigating the facts, repeatedly called George Bush a “liar”. They alleged that George Bush had lied in his quest and desire to go to war with Iraq and bring down Saddam Hussein. They went to battle against George Bush…and as time and facts would later reveal, they would stop at nothing to oppose the President whom they so fiercely disagree and even hate.
In July 2003, journalist Robert Novak reported that Joe Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame was "an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction." He further went on to state that, “Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him (Joe Wilson) to Niger to investigate the Italian report.”
That column unleashed hysterics and cries that the Bush White House had outed CIA operative Valerie Plame to settle a score. They made serious charges that this act was “a possible breach of national security; it is a potential violation of law. Under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, it is a crime for anyone who has access to classified information to disclose intentionally information identifying a covert agent.”
What ensued was scandal and investigation. In December of 2003, Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed Special Investigator to investigate the “unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee’s identity.
In October 2005…the Fitzgerald investigation ended with the indictment of L. Lewis Libby, Assistant/Chief of Staff to Vice President to Dick Cheney. The charges: Count One Obstruction of Justice, Count Two False Statement, Count Three False Statement, Count Four Perjury, and Count Five Perjury.
During this two year time frame…numerous people came under a cloud of suspicion as unfounded and false allegations swirled about them. Some of those include President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, but none more so than the man the left wing press loves to hate Chief of Staff Karl Rove.
Our country was sided tracked and focused on what turned out to be a non-issue. Valerie Plame was not an active covert CIA agent under the guidelines covered by the law and disclosing her name did not violate the law.
Many people paid the price as Fitzgerald pursued this rabbit trial. Journalist Judith Miller spent twelve weeks in jail for contempt of court. Lewis Libby was hung out to dry and charged on five counts, none of which are the original charge of disclosing the name of a CIA operative. Bush, Cheney and Rove among others were pilloried. The press was almost distraught when Karl Rove did not come under indictment. They followed him and hounded him for months.
All the while…Richard Armitage knew that he was the true source that leaked Valerie Plame’s name as a CIA operative. Richard Armitage sat back and watched as people’s names were wrongly drug through the mud, and their lives made a living hell.
Richard Armitage could have saved our country this ongoing scandal which only served to distract us from the real enemy Islamic Fascist Terrorists. He let us pursue a lie…at great expense. None more so than those who those who were under suspicion for something that they did not do.
How much did this investigation cost our country? How much did it cost to imprison Judith Miller? How can you repay her for twelve weeks of her life sitting in jail…while you Mr. Armitage sat on your duff and didn’t say a word.
Richard Armitage…your actions and lack thereof are despicable. I find your silence contemptible. You have displayed zero courage…and your lack of character is astounding.
Serving this country should be considered a privilege by the few who get to serve at the level you were at. You have proved yourself unworthy of the title Deputy Secretary of State. Richard Armitage you are a picture of cowardice to the “nth degree”.
People hung in the wind, were accused of false allegations and kept under suspicion for over two years. There was an enormous cost and others paid the price for your actions and silence. My only regret is that you can not be prosecuted…because disclosing Ms. Plame’s name was not a crime. But make no mistake…your actions were immoral.
How do you sleep at night Richard? What are you thinking when you look in the mirror? How do you look people in eye?
Being that you shared this information with then Secretary of State Colin Powell and he too failed to bring forth the truth speaks very poorly of both of you. You are both complicit in your silence. Both of you were underhanded as you sought to undermine the President. Not just in this instance but when other leaks were made to the press that countermanded the President’s policies and decisions.
Absolutely there is room for disagreement on Iraq, on the war and how it should be executed. But the right way to do it would have been to step down from your post and then present your case. Make an argument, present the facts, you opinions and reasoning. Have an open, honest dialogue. But that would actually courage wouldn’t it? You would need to be a “stand up kind of guy”...certainly not words that would describe you.
I agreed with and did support the removal of Saddam Hussein from power because he was a danger and supported terrorists. But now I have more than a few doubts about how we have executed the war in Iraq. I believe we overreached, underestimated…and did not take into full account the opposition that we would face as a result of cultural differences. I have reservations with the idea that democracy can take hold in Arab and Muslim countries. Freedom, liberty and personal responsibility go hand in hand with the Judeo Christian values that our country was founded on. Freedom and liberty are in stark contrast with Islam and Sharia Law.
But I’ll end this with a question. Richard Armitage…where is your apology? Where is your statement acknowledging your wrongdoing and cowardly silence?
The press got it wrong. The leaking of Valarie Plame’s name did not come from someone who wanted to get back at her. Nor get back at Joe Wilson for presenting a report that conflicted with evidence that supported the war in Iraq. It came from a well known critic of President George Bush and his stance on Iraq, Richard Armitage.
Instead the press ran with lies. The lie that Iraq was not attempting to purchase yellowcake uranium (which has since been proven true) and the lie that senior administration officials had broken the law by disclosing Ms. Plame’s name out of a desire for revenge has been kept alive by the liberal mainstream press. In their hatred of George Bush and desire to do anything to bring him down…the press resorted to the very tactics which they accused the Bush administration of.
Dear members of the press…time for you to look in the mirror boys and girls. That same hand that points a finger at Bush...has three more pointing right back at you. When will we hear acknowledgement of wrong doing and an apology? On that one I can safely wager on.
Being a liberal means never having to say you’re sorry.
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