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(DV) Random: The Stench of the Plame Affair







The Stench of the Plame Affair
The Obfuscation of Justice 

by Jack Random
February 22, 2007

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Early in the movie Philadelphia, there is a poignant moment when the attorney portrayed by Denzel Washington first confronts potential client Tom Hanks with the request:


“Explain it to me like I’m seven years old.”


Though I may have misquoted, that line has been running through my mind as I’ve observed the unfolding of a peculiar form of justice in the trial of Lewis “Scooter” Libby.


For those who reside on melting icecaps, without access to media, the Libby perjury-obstruction trial is a surrogate proceeding for a vast cornucopia of crimes committed by the White House in the falsification of the case for war with Iraq.


What is incredibly clear from repeated testimony is that vice president Dick Cheney was ground zero in a determined and concerted effort to defame former ambassador Joe Wilson for having the audacity to challenge the bogus administration claim of an Iraq-Niger yellow cake uranium connection.


That the claim was demonstrably false is undeniable yet the media seems to have converged on the Washington Post’s dubious and self-serving assertion that Wilson’s challenge was false. The argument seems to center on Wilson’s assertion that he was sent to Niger at the vice president’s behest. Because Wilson was only indirectly sent at the vice president’s behest, the Post vindicates its own soft-pedaling of the story and incredibly blames Wilson for outing his own wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame.


It had nothing whatsoever to do with Post editor Bob Woodward’s belated admission that he was one of the recipients of the White House smear campaign. Whatever made them think that a cheerleader for the war would be a suitable “fence” for White House propaganda?


Where I come from, that is called mendacity.


The programmed obfuscation of the truth proceeds with the revelation that presumed “good guy” Richard Armitage, assistant secretary of defense to Colin Powell, was among the first to expose the identity of Wilson’s wife as an agent. How we arrived at the conclusion that either Armitage or his boss were good guys and therefore incapable of engaging in a White House smear campaign, is mystifying.


Colin Powell was fully capable of presenting a case for war he knew to be “bullshit” to the United Nations Security Counsel on the eve of invasion. It is hardly inconceivable that Daddy Warbucks, a seasoned intelligence expert, would score a few points with the VP gang by nonchalantly revealing the identity of a covert agent of intense media interest on the understanding that he was (of course) completely unaware of her protected status.


Where I come from, that is called incredible.


The final sticking point in this grand obfuscation scheme is the revelation that Dick Cheney somehow managed to get the president to declassify highly guarded documents without public notice to shield himself and his lair from criminal culpability.


Someone explain it to me as if I’m seven years old. How does the instant and anonymous declassification of secret documents clear any official of the deliberate outing of a CIA operative?


In a White House that is already on record punishing analysts and agents who do not produce twisted, tainted and falsified intelligence to support the mandates of pre-ordained policies, what would be the consequences of knowing that the chief executive could compromise your security on a whim?


If this is the state of American law on protecting its most valued human assets, then every operative, agent and analyst has been served notice they will be called upon to produce whatever “intelligence” the administration desires.


So it seems this whole masquerade is just another opportunity for the White House to bend the law to its own maleficent purposes.


Everyone connected to this case carries the stench of criminal conduct, cover-up, negligence or complicity.


Tell me again, like I’m a seven-year-old, why isn’t Dick Cheney on trial as the mastermind of this conspiratorial scourge?


Somebody tell me, like I’m seven years old, why Richard Armitage, Robert Novak and the president, himself, are not called to the witness stand to tell what they know?


What reasons did the vice president give when he persuaded his boss to declassify the critical documents? If he told the truth, then the president is culpable. If he lied, then the hammer falls on the VP.


No one has suggested that Scooter Libby is stupid. He would not lie, intentionally and repeatedly, if there were no crime to cover up.


The tears of defense attorney Theodore Wells aside, Scooter Libby is not an unknowing victim in this scheme. It is neither conjecture nor speculation: CIA agent Valerie Plame was maliciously exposed in a political vendetta campaign. She is the forgotten victim in this sordid affair.


So tell me once more, like I’m seven years old, why are we supposed to admire the grim determination of chief prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald?

Jack Random is the author of Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press) the Jazzman Chronicles, Volumes I and II (City Lights Books). The Chronicles have been published by CounterPunch, the Albion Monitor, Buzzle, Dissident Voice and others. Visit his website: Random Jack.

Other Articles by Jack Random

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* J’ Accuse!: Israeli Crimes Against Humanity
* Liberation Ramble South of the Border
* Haditha, Zarqawi & the Politics of Distraction
* Misconceptions in the Immigration Debate: What Would Crazy Horse Do?
* Requiem for American Democracy
* Paradigm Shift: Embracing the Power of Green
* Remember the Bastille: A Response to Mickey Z
* Designated Fall Guy: Replacing Rummy
* Libertad Y Justicia Para Todo!: Liberty and Justice For All
* Barry Bonds and the Steroids Saga
* Defiling the Grave of an American Hero: The Censoring of Rachel Corrie
* Starving the Beast: Programmed Ineptitude
* Constitutional Suspension: An Abdication of Democracy
* Right and Responsibility Depictions of the Prophet Mohammed
* Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan: Challenging the Pro-War Democrats
* The State of the Union: A Stumbling Illusion of Strength
* The Presidential Power Grab
* Surrealistic Pillow: The West Virginia Mining Disaster
* Pataki & Bloomberg: How to Bust a Union
* The Imperial President and the NSA Spying Scandal
* France and the Burning Embers of Repression
* The Activist Court & the Neoconservative Agenda
* The Agnew Factor: Clearing the Impeachment Path
* Iraq and New Orleans: The ABCs of Police Lawlessness
* The Age of Catastrophe: Preparing for Disaster
* No Tears for Rehnquist: The Legacy of a Chief Justice
* Zero Tolerance: Bush Gets Tough as New Orleans Suffers
* Hugo Chavez and the American Slug: Pat Robertson’s Call for Assassination
* The Lie of a Strong Economy (Beneath the Towers of Avarice)
* Fooled Again: Major Party Turnabout
* The New War Candidate: Major Paul Hackett for Congress
* Free Judy! The Fine Art of Calling a Bluff
* Executive Blackmail: The Betrayal of Democracy in Haiti
* Blame the Democrats & Move On: The Federalist Court
* Against the Wind: The Inevitable End of the Iraqi Occupation
* London and Madrid: Reflections on the War on Terror
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* Schizo Scherzo: The Last Waltz
* The Last Throes: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
* Impeach Bush -- US Out Now!
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* The Gates of Hell: Occupied Iraq
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