Our friends at One Good Move have posted the video of last night’s 60 Minutes segment on the repercussions of outing CIA operative Valerie Plame. Doing what many in the press haven’t taken the time to, the producers of the program went to the effort to speak with her (now retired) CIA associates, who make it very clear that the actions of the Bush White House, not only put the lives of CIA operatives in jeopardy, and derailed Plame’s active investigations into weapons of mass destruction, but sent the message though foreign intelligence communities worldwide to be suspicious of the spouses of our Diplomats. (Plame, a covert CIA operative, is the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson.) Their exposing of her, in order to discredit her husband, ended her career, brought down Brewster Jennings, the CIA front company for which she worked, and put all of her international assets (and those of Brewster Jennings) in jeopardy. We joke about Rove and Libby being candidates for execution (as traitors), but the more I think about it, the less outlandish a possibility it really is. By outing Plame, for the purposes of gaining political advantage, they seriously crippled our intelligence gathering capabilities during a time a war. I don’t know that they could have done more damage by bombing a government facility. (And, no, I’m not suggesting we kill Rove and Libby if they’re found guilty. I oppose the death penalty. I’m just saying that their actions, it could be argued, were more damaging in the long-run than an act of domestic terrorism.)
And, here, tying it all into the ’04 election, are the words of Arianna Huffington:
Among the many facts that we learned from Patrick Fitzgerald’s press conference, one of the most dramatic came in response to a question about whether it was “worth keeping Judy Miller in jail for 85 days?”: “I would have wished nothing better,” Fitzgerald replied, “than, when the subpoenas were issued in August 2004, witnesses testified then. We would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005. No one would have [gone] to jail.”
Hmmm, October 2004. That was right before November 2004.
Does anyone doubt that if Patrick Fitzgerald held a press conference announcing five indictments against a key member of the Bush administration just before the last election it would have affected the outcome? Would the two men whose lies Libby was ultimately lying to cover up have been re-elected?
It hadn’t occurred to me before, but I suppose that it does make sense that Judy, by keeping her mouth shut and going to jail in order to protect Libby, did help Bush in his bid for reelection.
But don’t feel sorry for Judy – unlike most people getting out of jail, she isn’t finding it difficult to get work…. Word is she’s going to be the keynote speaker at the launch of Pajamas Media, a new on-line entity conceived of and financed by conservatives… And I’m sure she’ll get lots of air time on Fox News to pitch her book when it comes out.