Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Hey Joe...

With the release of his new book, The Politics of Truth, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson has been making the rounds on the poli-talk circuit discussing the controversy at the heart of his book:

Who in the Bush administration leaked the fact that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was an undercover CIA operative after Wilson pointed out that the claim that Iraq sought uranium from Niger was false and had no business in President Bush's state of the union address?

Adding to the outrage over this blatantly illegal activity is that Plame's specialty was in the field of weapons of mass destruction non-proliferation. So, in essence, someone in the administration decided that sending a message to other would-be truth tellers was more important than the continued effort against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Of course, Wilson joins a growing list of former Bush administration officials who have been critical of the deceptive tactics, ideological blinders and hidden agendas within the White House. In all cases, the response has been a personal attack rather than a refutation of the arguments on the merits, which have been consistent in tone and substance. Now Wilson, who was described as a "true American hero" in 1991 by then President George H. W. Bush, will join the ranks of the career Republicans to be labeled disgruntled former employees, closet liberals, opportuning profit seekers, Kerry campaign operatives, etc.

In the book, Wilson suggests that the leak came from Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Other names mentioned by Wilson as possible sources of the leak are Karl Rove and Elliot Abrams. In response to these accusations last October, White House spokesman Scott Mclellan categorically denied the involvement of either Libby, Rove or Abrams. At the same time, the White House claims it does not know who leaked the information. This of course raises several questions:

How can you categorically deny the involvement of certain individuals if you don't know who leaked the information? Unless you know who committed the crime, or can rule out a suspect based on incontrovertible evidence, how can you say someone is innocent? What information does the White House have that would enable them to say, without a doubt, that is wasn't Libby, Rove or Abrams?

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