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As Scootergate erupted in Washington, we heard a familiar mantra: “The coverup is worse than the crime.”

I beg to differ.

Prosecutors may find the coverup easier to prove. Politicians might find the coverup easier to use as a bludgeon on their opponents.

But the crime is even worse than the coverup.

The crime in Watergate was that Nixon’s crowd was paying for a sophisticated operation to spy on and disrupt his political opponents.

The “crime” in Monicagate was that Clinton was getting oral sex in the White House from a woman young enough to be his daughter.

The crime in Scootergate – it seems to me – is that the Bush/Cheney crowd was willing to unmask and endanger a covert CIA agent as a way of retaliating against a critic of the Iraq War.

Democrats in Washington want to go two ways:

•Attack Bush’s people for lying to a prosecutor. At least, they wanted to do this until Karl Rove, the Big Enchilada, seemed to skate away from indictment.

•Make the story that Bush, et al lied about WMDs. Problem is, the Democrats swallowed that WMD line, too. They even helped sell it at the time.

Where’s the outrage of supposed patriots when high federal officials apparently conspire among themselves to out a secret intelligence agent – just to get back at somebody who’s criticizing them publicly?

Some might dare call it treason.


Posted in: National Democrats
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One comment on “It’s the Crime, Stupid

  1. gpearce says:

    I’m sick of supposedly respectable figures pretending to believe this garbage about an administration ‘vendetta’ against Joe Wilson. I can’t believe anyone with an IQ over forty and any knowledge at all of the American political system would actually swallow the Democrat line about Valerie Plame’s ‘cover,’ such as it was, being deliberately blown by administration officials as retaliation for the lies of her pathetic husband.

    The facts of this case are simple and well-known. The CIA (at Valerie Plame’s suggestion) sent Joe Wilson to Niger to investigate reports of Iraqi attempts to purchase yellowcake. He came back and gave an ambiguous oral report, which those who heard it say supported, rather than refuted, the case for Iraqi intrigue in Niger. Later on Wilson wrote editorials, anonymously at first but later under his own name, claiming that he had ‘disproven’ any Iraqi attempt to buy yellowcake in Niger and that the administration deliberately ignored his ‘report.’ He made a number of other false claims about evidence he had seen disproving the Iraqi connection, and was exposed as a liar by the Congressional committee investigating pre-war intelligence.

    When Lying Joe went public, the administration had not only the right, but the OBLIGATION to speak to reporters about his trip to set the record straight, and that fairly included pointing out the fact that the trip was a product of undue influence by his wife, and quite possibly had more to do with the CIA’s institutional interests in undermining the administration than getting to the truth about Iraq and yellowcake.

    Mr. Fitzgerald’s investigation has to date released no evidence whatsoever indicating that anyone in the administration told any reporter that Valerie Plame was an undercover agent, or worked in any secret or covert capacity. Lots of people knew that Plame worked at the CIA; whatever covert status she may have had years ago was not revealed in the initial Robert Novak column which started the mess (he referred to her as an ‘operative’), and wasn’t confirmed in public until Joe Wilson did so by responding angrily to the column. The CIA itself effectively blew Plame’s cover by calling Novak before his column came out to ask him not to run it.

    There needs to be an investigation of how the CIA handled this from the beginning. How was Joe Wilson selected to go on this trip, what did he actually do there, why didn’t the CIA get a written report from him, why wasn’t he required to sign the standard non-disclosure statement about his CIA-sponsored activities, what exactly is (and was) Plame’s status at the CIA, who called Robert Novak and confirmed that she was a spy, and why was that done, rather than the standard ‘will-not-confirm-or-deny’ routine?

    This is only the tip of the iceberg. Whatever mistakes the administration may have made here, when the history of this sorry episode is finally written I believe we will see that the true scoundrels have been the liars and Democrat opportunists who have knowingly twisted the facts to falsely accuse the administration of the terrible crime of treason. Shades of Joe McCarthy.

    Comment by Jim Stegall — November 4, 2005 @ 12:10 pm

    its about this nation being deliberately LIED into an immoral illegal war that has destroyed the credibility of this nation worldwide and left many of our soldiers crippled with the legacy of depleted uranium and the taxpayers mired even deeper in debt.


    Comment by Beyond Treason — November 5, 2005 @ 5:39 am

    The only deliberate lies are the ones being told by cowards such as ‘beyond treason’ and others of his ilk. Their hatred of this administration has rendered them blind to reason and put them into a de facto alliance with America’s worst enemies.

    While Americans should always be free to question their government’s conduct of national security affairs, including war, what’s happening today on the left isn’t ‘questioning.’ It’s using a war and the deaths of young Americans to advance their own political agenda. These people WANT the U.S. to suffer a defeat. They are not just un-American; they are anti-American.

    I was as surprised as anyone to see that no significant stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. But I don’t feel the least bit “lied” to about it. Iraq DID have them before, and every intelligence agency in the world believed that Iraq still had them at the time the war began. The only reasonable interpretation of Iraq’s stiff-arming of the U.N. inspection teams was that the weapons were still there and were being hidden. Even today the anti-American left can’t tell us what happened to the chemical stockpiles that the U.N. had previously located but are now missing.

    No one in his right mind can believe that the administration lied about WMD. When anti-American demogogues like ‘beyond treason’ continue to repeat that lie, they commit the very crime of which they accuse the administration. The shameless politicians who parrot these lies should be considered beyond the pale, just as Joe McCarthy finally was. They, and their supporters, are cut from the same cloth.

    Comment by Jim Stegall — November 5, 2005 @ 5:11 pm

    I feel sadly compelled to respond to the comments of Jim Stegall on this thread. Sad, because we are still fighting over these terrible things and people like Jim seem completely willing to spin and name call rather than accept reality.

    The facts of this case are very sad and we must remember what it was like during the run up to the war in Iraq. Many Americans were and still are afraid of massive terrorist attacks. We felt strengthened by our quick victory in Afghanistan and it made sense that the same thing might happen in Iraq. That is, if we assumed the two places were the same.

    As Jim calls people “cowards” and “anti-American” for their opinions, he may want to remember what it was like as we approached the war in Iraq. When the administration described uranium tubes and said they could only be used for making nuclear weapons, we pointed out that our own nuclear weapons experts said the tubes could not be used for that purpose. When we pointed that out, we were called anti-American and cowards, just like Jim still does now.

    When the administration talked about yellow-cake in Niger, we pointed out that the documents supporting that accusation were so obviously faked that the Italian newspaper that obtained them would not even publish them. When that was pointed out, we were called anti-American and cowards. We were told that we loved Saddam and that we should leave America and become human shields.

    The list goes on and on, and most of the American public has now come to the conclusion that the White House intentionally misled us about justification for the war. Maybe they didn’t “lie” about the intelligence and evidence, but they certainly took liberties with the truth.

    But, Jim, feel free to continue to call many of us cowards and anti-American. It appears to be what you do best and represents the worst of American politics today, on both the left and the right.

    Some of us, though, will try to look beyond partisan rhetoric and name calling. Although that is getting harder and harder to do.

    Comment by A Sad Moderate — November 5, 2005 @ 11:06 pm

    Look at all that this administration has been accused of. Did you not even bother to read the post that preceeded mine? Did you not even bother to read the post that started this thread? The ones doing the lying are those who claim we were misled into this war. Can’t you see how hypocritical your reasoning is? Why is it that people on the left can invent conspiracies (Bush stole the election, Cheney tried to smear Wilson, etc.) and call it nothing more than ‘patriots holding their government accountable,’ yet when others call them on it with the facts they are ac
    cused of stiffling debate, being partisan, etc.

    When I see people deliberately lying about U.S. policy (regardless of the administration involved, by the way) in a way that hurts U.S. interests and makes winning this war more difficult, I will call them on it. That necessarily involves calling them what they are: liars, anti-American, and in the case of those who don’t have the guts to sign their own names to their posted opinions, cowards. You want a free pass for those on your side of the arguement, and frankly, that’s what you’ve been used to getting until now. Not any more.

    By the way, there was (and still is) debate among specialists in the field as to what those aluminum tubes were for. That fact was fully disclosed in the media and discussed on all the cable news networks BEFORE we went to war. And the faked documents from Niger had absolutely nothing to do with the administration’s case for it’s accusations of Iraqi nuclear ambitions. They were never cited by the administration as proof of Iraqi efforts to buy yellowcake. I can’t believe you don’t know that.

    Comment by Jim Stegall — November 5, 2005 @ 11:55 pm

    Yes, I read the preceding text and messages. The one who called for Cheney’s impeachment is no more than your (less than intellectual) polar opposite. That type of post should be disregarded as what it was, a simple trolling expedition.

    I agree with one of your statements in that when I see people deliberately lying in a way that hurts U.S. interests I will call them on it. And that’s why I responded to your post.

    When the administration says that the ONLY thing those tubes can be used for is nuclear weapons, despite our own nuclear labs saying otherwise, I will call them on it. Your own admission that there are questions around the matter already contradicts the administrations statements to the public prior to the war.

    When the administration asserts without reservation that Atta met with Saddam’s people in Prague despite all evidence to the contrary, I do say that was a known lie.

    I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but it appears that you think reporting that the intelligence was intentionally misleading leads to unnecessary difficulty in prosecuting this war. Perhaps you should look further back and suggest that it was the intentional misdeeds leading us into war that make it difficult. Exercising our rights to free speech is not only an option, it is mandatory, especially when those in leadership positions mislead the American people, whether those leaders be on the right or left.

    You can continue to call me coward, anti-American or whatever you want. That is your right. And I am free to believe what I will about people who bully others despite the facts being contrary to their positions.

    For recent reading…

    Comment by A Sad Moderate — November 6, 2005 @ 3:55 pm

    I do not believe that anyone in the administration said that the aluminum tubes could ONLY be used for processing nuclear fuel. If you have such a quote, please let me know what it is, who said it, and when. The administration claimed prior to the war that Czech intelligence reported to them that Mohammed Atta had met in Prague with Iraqi agents. The last I heard, the Czech Republic stands by that assesment. Again, if you can prove that that meeting never happened and that the administration knew it never happened, please do so. If you can’t, your arguement falls apart.

    Finally, if you have any other proof, any other proof at all, that the administration DELIBERATELY LIED in any way about the evidence for Iraqi non-compliance with the U.N. resolutions regarding weapons of mass destruction, by all means present it to the public, in this forum or any other. All I have heard from you and the rest of the anti-American lunatic left is accusations, conspiracy theories, and spurious charges that don’t hold up to disinterested scrutiny. For your own mental health, you should say goodbye to Howard Dean, Michael Moore, Dick Durbin, and the others and get out of the fevor swamp of the lunatic left as soon as possible–whoever you are.

    Comment by Jim Stegall — November 6, 2005 @ 6:12 pm

    I was trying to be as polite as possible. We both disagree on this issue. You choose to attack people’s IQ and call them cowards and anti-American. Merely because I question the administration’s claims and justifications for WMD in Iraq, you have erroneously made the assumption that I subscribe to and trust those individuals on the left that you mentioned. Why does merely questioning the claims of the administration require one to sit on a partisan bench? Can we merely demand accountability from those in government, regardless of which party they say they represent?

    As for the Atta in Prague stuff, the 9/11 commission and our own intelligence agencies have and previously refuted that Atta was there. You can find the 9/11 commission statement about the matter in their book, and I already linked for you more recent comments on the matter.

    As for the “only” comment, please read below. Or, if you like, you can get a transcript from Condi Rice’s statements on Meet the Press.

    “The tubes, Rice said, “are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.””

    So, how do you want it? You yourself said that there was disagreement on the aluminum tubes. However, the administration made statements that there was no other use. If you had made your statement back in 2003 (as I did then), people would have called you a traitor and anti-American. Feel better?

    Honestly, I believe that rational people can justify the invasion of Iraq. He is and was a bad guy who deserved what he got. My problem is that our administration used shady and deceptive tactics when making the case for the war. And I find that despicable.

    I don’t know if you are a Christian Jim, but I am. And I spend time trying to get non-believers to join the faith and at least investigate belief. The top thing that we run into is that non-believers look at what Christians do, rather than what Jesus taught. And they see the hypocrisy and judgementality of Christians and that pushes them further away.

    In a similar vein, I see this administration talking about values and virtue. But their actions are contradictory to their words. Yes, they are politicians. But when you talk a good game, and blast the opponents for being deceptive and as liars, then you should try to avoid doing the same things.
    Regards, Jim.

    Comment by A Sad Moderate — November 6, 2005 @ 7:02 pm

    Do you really see no difference between “only be used for making nuclear weapons” (what you say the administration said) and “are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs” (Condi’s quote)? Condi’s statement implies that other uses are possible, though not optimal or advisable. Thus your statement above “the administration made statements that there was no other use” is wrong. Since you had access to the quote in question, I have to assume that you are deliberately distorting the administration’s claim about the tubes. In short, you are bearing false witness.

    Yes, I choose to call people cowards–when they do and say cowardly things, just as I call them anti-American when they do and say anti-American things. But mostly I call them liars when they accuse others of treason (as the originator of this thread did) when they know full well that it’s not true.

    What I don’t do is make up spurious accusations and throw them out hoping that some will stick, a technique that has become the mainstream left’s modus operandi lately. I know that there are some people on the right who do the same thing–recall the tantrums a few nuts threw over Vince Foster’s suicide during the Clinton administration. But at least the vast majority of the right
    had the good sense and common decency to avoid being associated with that crowd, and when solid evidence of administration wrong-doing did not develop, they let it go. Contrast that with what the left is doing today. Did you see “Farenhiet 9-11″? Caught a Cindy Sheehan rally lately? These wackos are accepted on the left, and reported on sympathetically in the media, as if they were paragons of propriety. And yet, to their everlasting shame, hardly any prominent Democrat ever criticizes a word they say.

    It’s wrong, and I am angry about it, and I’m not going to igonore it

    Comment by Jim Stegall — November 6, 2005 @ 9:41 pm

    Color me baffled Jim. When Condi says that the tubes are really only suited for a purpose that our own experts say they are not, it is me that is bearing false witness and not you that is spinning.

    Good day, Jim. I’ll not be wasting any more of my time with you.

    Comment by A Sad Moderate — November 7, 2005 @ 8:55 am

    Good riddance.

    Our experts were divided over the use of the tubes. They did not rule out their use for weapons programs. When experts in a narrow field present their findings to policy makers, complete with the inevitable caveats, it’s up to policy makers to put it all together and use their best judgement to arrive at a position. The official position of the United States Government on WMD in Iraq was that Saddam had them. This was the same position the Clinton administration had arrived at using much of the same evidence. It is the position that all of the western powers’ intelligence agencies arrived at, even those of countries that did not support the war such as France, Germany, and Russia. Did President Bush somehow trick all these other actors into lying for him? Jeez, even his most ardent supporters don’t claim that God-like ability for him.

    Turns out, we (and you, and everyone else) were wrong. That doesn’t make George Bush or anyone in his administration a liar. It’s also absolutely irrelevant (although we do need to correct the flaws in our intelligence gathering and sorting that led to the mistakes). The invasion and subsequent rebuilding of Iraq, while difficult and costly, will turn out (IS turning out) to be a good thing for America, Iraq, and the Middle East in general.

    Comment by Jim Stegall — November 7, 2005 @ 8:53 pm

    Did you see last weeks Zogby poll showing that 55% of the American people would support the impeachment of George W. Bush if it is proven that that his neo-con cabal LIED this nation into the Iraq war?

    Curiously, the supposedly liberal News and Observer did not have any coverage of this growing sentiment to remove these men from office.

    Comment by Beyond Treason — November 9, 2005 @ 5:50 am

    Of course the people would want to impeach a president (ANY president) who lied the country into war. That’s hardly news, and maybe that’s why the N&O didn’t cover it.

    You can dream all you like, but you can’t change history to suit your fantasies. Eventually this administration’s critics will have to “submit to the discipline of reasonable logic” (William F. Buckley’s words) and admit that their case is unfounded.

    Comment by Jim Stegall — November 9, 2005 @ 9:31 am

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