December 30, 2016

"If Donald J. Trump decides as president to throw a whistle-blower in jail for trying to talk to a reporter, or gets the F.B.I. to spy on a journalist..."

"... he will have one man to thank for bequeathing him such expansive power: Barack Obama," writes James Risen in the NYT.
Over the past eight years, the [Obama] administration has prosecuted nine cases involving whistle-blowers and leakers, compared with only three by all previous administrations combined. It has repeatedly used the Espionage Act, a relic of World War I-era red-baiting, not to prosecute spies but to go after government officials who talked to journalists.

Under Mr. Obama, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. have spied on reporters by monitoring their phone records, labeled one journalist an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case for simply doing reporting and issued subpoenas to other reporters to try to force them to reveal their sources and testify in criminal cases.

I experienced this pressure firsthand....
Now that the power must be handed over to Trump, it's time to put a spotlight on all of Obama's overreaching.
The administration’s heavy-handed approach represents a sharp break with tradition. For decades, official Washington did next to nothing to stop leaks....

Things began to change in the Bush era, particularly after the Valerie Plame case. The 2003 outing of Ms. Plame as a covert C.I.A. operative led to a criminal leak investigation, which in turn led to a series of high-profile Washington journalists’ being subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury and name the officials who had told them about her identity. Judith Miller, then a New York Times reporter, went to jail for nearly three months before finally testifying in the case.

The Plame case began to break down the informal understanding between the government and the news media that leaks would not be taken seriously....
But isn't that what the liberal media demanded at the time?

Fortunately, power shifts from one party to the other. That's some kind of safeguard. If you exaggerate your power, your successor will have exaggerated power.

Unfortunately, people are short-sighted.

61 comments:

Hunter said...

But isn't that what the liberal media demanded at the time?

Right. The media was demanding investigations and clamoring to know who leaked the information... when they thought it was Karl Rove.

When it turned out to be Armitage -- one of the renegades in Powell's renegade State Dept. whom they liked and praised -- it was immediately dropped with no further reflection on what had just happened, what precedent it may have set, or anything else.

Of course it would take 10 years, fast forward through the Obama administration who can do no wrong, and to the looming specter of a Trumpitler administration for them to ever again think or care about this issue.

khesanh0802 said...

It's amazing how much the shoe hurts when you put it on the other foot. Regardless of who is in office the press should - but won't - remember their role is pretty much adversarial. We are going to find out a lot of subversive BS that has been going on in the Obama administration.

Speaking of shoes-on-other-feet the wailing and gnashing of teeth we will hear as the Dems suffer from Harry Reid invoking the nuclear option on appointments will be marvelous. Can you spell schadenfreude?!?

Mark said...

Patrick Fitzgerald knew early on that it was Richard Armitage, who was under Colin Powell, who disclosed Plame. That should have been the end of it.

The rest and vast majority of the investigation was a farcical exercise in prosecutorial get-you by Fitzgerald (who was from Obama's Chicago). Kind of like what you are seeing in university kangaroo courts and the Obama Administration in general.

YoungHegelian said...

I'm apologize in advance for starting off this thread with such a rude tone, but it really is amazing how many left-leaning/liberal groups just shamelessly sucked cock for the Obama administration. Like the most submissive of bottoms, there was no abuse that he could dish out to them that they wouldn't come crawling back for more.

Was it white guilt? Was it the Left's profound loathing for the other side that made any dissent from their party line to be the equivalent of consorting with evil? That'll be for future historians to work out.

All I know is when Glenn Greenwald is a voice of reason & moderation among journalists it's time to step back & reconsider how we got to this impasse.

traditionalguy said...

Espionage Act prosecutions. Big deal. That just terrorizes the press. Which figures. Mullah Obama got his advice on how to use Terrorism from Iranians and Hillary got her's from the Saudis.

DJT will Just turn them over to Putin.

Bruce Hayden said...

The press has no excuse here. They are the ones who enabled Dem operatives Plame and Wilson. And pushed the Bush Administration into investigating what was, essentially, a political dispute, as if it involved national secrets. It all revolved around the question, that the Dems didn't want answered, of why the Bush Administration sent Wilson, a known Dem operative, on the trip to Niger, after he used that trip to write an attack piece on them in the NYT. The answer, of course, was that his wife, Plame, a former CIA spy, pushed his name at that agency. The reality, of course, was that she was no longer covert, no longer abroad, and likely, being married to the author of that article, to never be covert or go undercover again. Never mind though. The MSM took the lead, pretending that her identity had been blown, and screaming for high level scalps. Despite it having been a Dem dirty trick in the first place.

Unknown said...

It is going to be rough, for the democrat media. HAH...

Matthew Sablan said...

The left is used to the right not putting the shoe on the other foot. Compare borking nominees to garlanding them. Reid and his team actually had the audacity to suggest Republican senators restore minority power, and some Republicans considered it. Trump will serve as a cautionary tale to them that they will heed up to the next Democrat president.

Xmas said...

@Hunter,

And then they made a movie that made it seem like it was still Scooter Libby that leaked Valerie Plame's CIA's employment.

Sebastian said...

"Things began to change in the Bush era." This passive phrasing is misleading. The change came at the behest of Dems trying to hurt Bush and his allies as the icing on their own dirty trick.

rcocean said...

Interesting. Would someone explain to me what "Red-baiting" is. As far as I can tell, its when someone does anything to stop Communism or criticizes Communism. And its supposed to be bad thing because, what? Communism was/is so good?

Bruce Hayden said...

The other thing to keep in mind about Espionage Act prosecutions is that under Obama, they were highly political. Not only were leakers against his Administration prosecuted, but his DoJ also protected those on his side - maybe nowhere more obviously than in the non-prosecuution of Crooked Hillary Clinton, and her very likely thousands of Espionage Act violations from when she was Sec. of State running her own illegal email server, to which she had her minions in her Dept. routinely forward classified documents, and where she apparently also communicated with POTUS (who was using an alias). It was so egregious that she apparently had her (uncleared) maid print out emails for her containing classified information. And, yet, wasn't prosecuted, despite a fairly straight forward case of at least gross negligence (and likely actual intent), while, of course, leakers were routinely being prosecuted for much less.

Once written, twice... said...

Ann, within a year you will be embarrassed that you did not do one critical post about Trump during his rise in 2016.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

As usual, the comments over at the NYT are priceless.

Original Mike said...

Presumably, everybody's seen this, but it's too delicious not to post. The look on those faces...

"Can you spell schadenfreude?!?"

I'm learning.

Hunter said...

rcocean said...
Interesting. Would someone explain to me what "Red-baiting" is. As far as I can tell, its when someone does anything to stop Communism or criticizes Communism.

Also, "red-baiting" is supposed to be the reason the Espionage Act was passed in June 1917, four months before the Bolsheviks took power. What am I missing?

YoungHegelian said...

@Once,

You really are a clueless wonder, aren't you?

You realize that you are every conservative's stereotype of a clueless liberal. Never a reasoned argument, just an interjection where we're all supposed to marvel at your moral profundity. Disdain for those who disagree with you, yet absolutely no explanation of the foundations of your moral preening.

As least there are still some lefties like Cookie, who still can form cogent arguments.

Paul Snively said...

rcocean: Interesting. Would someone explain to me what "Red-baiting" is. As far as I can tell, its when someone does anything to stop Communism or criticizes Communism. And its supposed to be bad thing because, what? Communism was/is so good?

Yeah, the column almost lost me there, too. Post-Venona decrypts, there's actually no longer an excuse to use the phrases "red-baiting" or "McCarthyism," as if there had been no Communist infiltration of the State or Treasury departments, or as if the Rosenbergs weren't correctly executed for treason.

As left-of-center libertarian Eric Raymond wrote:

"The most paranoid and xenophobic conservatives of the Cold War were, painful though this is to admit, the closest to the truth in estimating the magnitude and subtlety of Soviet subversion. Liberal anticommunists (like myself in the 1970s) thought we were being judicious and fair-minded when we dismissed half of the Right’s complaint as crude blather. We were wrong; the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss really were guilty, the Hollywood Ten really were Stalinist tools, and all of Joseph McCarthy’s rants about 'Communists in the State Department' were essentially true. The Venona transcripts and other new material leave no room for reasonable doubt on this score."

There's nothing to add to that. Full stop.

Mark said...

Well, well, well. What do you know? The things you learn at Wikipedia. Trivia question --

So who was it that first appointed the abuse-of-power Patrick Fitzgerald to the Office of Special Counsel, giving him plenary authority?

None other than James Comey.

Robert Cook said...

"The press has no excuse here. They are the ones who enabled Dem operatives Plame and Wilson. And pushed the Bush Administration into investigating what was, essentially, a political dispute, as if it involved national secrets. It all revolved around the question, that the Dems didn't want answered, of why the Bush Administration sent Wilson, a known Dem operative, on the trip to Niger, after he used that trip to write an attack piece on them in the NYT. The answer, of course, was that his wife, Plame, a former CIA spy, pushed his name at that agency. The reality, of course, was that she was no longer covert, no longer abroad, and likely, being married to the author of that article, to never be covert or go undercover again."

So much here that is wrong. Plame and Wilson "Dem operatives"? How so?

Plame was no longer covert? According to whom?

The Bush Administration didn't send Wilson, the CIA did, who had been asked by Cheney's office to investigate allegations Hussein had bought (or sought) yellow cake Uranium in Niger. Wilson was sent because he knew the country and knew government officials in the country, as he had been previously posted there by the US government as a general services officer.

Wilson wrote an attack piece? Simply writing a rebuttal to untrue claims made by the White House is an attack? I guess you think any actual journalism is "attack journalism," given that true reporting will always seek to uncover the lies of government.

chuck said...

> But isn't that what the liberal media demanded at the time?

Why yes, yes it was. Fancy that.

glenn said...

Another big media moron self identifies.

TWW said...

"Now that the power must be handed over to Trump, it's time to put a spotlight on all of Obama's overreaching."

The most incredible, tone-deaf, 'Wet streets cause rain' sentence I have read in a long, long time.

n.n said...

I wonder if Obama is Deep Plunger who overflowed Clinton's WaterCloset.

FullMoon said...

Once written, twice... said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Ann, within a year you will be embarrassed that you did not do one critical post about Trump during his rise in 2016.


Seem to remember AA going overboard after the "grab 'em by the pussy" thing. Maybe you missed it.

Rance Fasoldt said...

Let's remember that Patrick Fitzgerald spent millions pursuing "the leak," when he knew from the beginning that Richard Armitage was the leak in the Valerie Plame case, finally convicting Scooter Libby - but NOT as the leak. His whole case against Libby is suspect, as is his using taxpayer funds to support it.

Roy Jacobsen said...

"Unfortunately, people are short-sighted."

Though profoundly obvious (even more so than water is wet), this bears repeating.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...So much here that is wrong. Plame and Wilson "Dem operatives"? How so?

Really? Dumb way to start, man.
Wilson was a Congressional Fellow working for Al Gore & Tom Foley. He was a Special Assistant to Bill Clinton and under Clinton got his job as Senior Director for African Affairs for the NSC. He gave money to Gore's campaign (and a little money to Bush's), to Ted Kennedy, to Rangel and then...to Kerry. He associated himself with the anti-Iraq group Win Without War, a group supported mostly by Dems.

But let's get back to Kerry. Wilson campainged with Kerry, traveling to at least 6 states according to the WashPo. Wilson had a website, restorehonesty.com, that was paid for by the Kerry campaign. Wilson was an advisor to Kerry's campaign...although about midway through Kerry dropped all references to Wilson (and that website was shut down). Wilson was a featured speaker at the Campaign for America's Future "Take Back America" conference (what a racist/deplorable theme!)...a central Dem. group.

Shall I go on? If you want to argue that he was a strictly centrist/non-partisan dude who just suddenly got converted to a strongly-Dem operative by the unique and irresistable charm of on John F'in Kerry I guess you can...but I don't think many people will buy it, Cook.

Robert Cook said...

@Hoodlum Doodlum:

So...being a Democrat working for the election of his party's candidates makes him a "Dem operative?" Did his accurate refutation of Bush administration claims constitute a "Dem dirty trick?" You're grasping at plastic straws.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Should we talk about Wilson's credibility? Let's, briefly.

Why did Kerry drop Wilson from the campaign? Well, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Report unanimously concluded that Wilson misrepresented pre-war intelligence assessments. Oh, and the British government inquiry on intelligence (using MI6 info) concluded the same. It's entirely possible Wilson felt there wasn't enough evidence to show that Hussein was trying to purchase yellowcake--and if he'd have left it at that, he'd have been fine. He didn't, though: Wilson argued that the intelligence community agreed with him, when in fact they did not. Reviews of intelligence from that time show that they did not. When Wilson claimed his was the majority view at the time he was wrong, and had to know he was wrong...which makes that a lie. That lie was exposed, and Wilson's claims were discredited. So Kerry dropped him.

What else? Oh! Wilson claimed to have insider info proving that the leak of his wife's name to Novak was either from or was directed by the RNC. Since the leaker was Richard Armitage...yep, Wilson was wrong about that, too, and wrong in a way that just happened wrongly to smear the Republicans/Bush. Credibility, you know?


Here's a fun article from 2003: LA Times: A "Big Cat" With Nothing to Lose

Excerpt:
There is now no incentive for Hussein to comply with the inspectors or to refrain from using weapons of mass destruction to defend himself if the United States comes after him.

And he will use them; we should be under no illusion about that.


Whoa, look at that, a scaremongering claim that Hussein has and will use weapons of mass destruction. Which bloodthirsty cooked-intelligence neocon liar was making that claim? Oh, why, it's by Joseph Wilson! Funny.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Cook - knew that you would rise to the bait.

Plame, at the time, was working at CIA headquarters. Apparently, everyone in their neighborhood, as well as their friends, knew that she worked there. Which means that if she had been covert in the past, she wasn't at that time, flying a desk at Langley. With Wilson's article in the NYT, her chances of ever going undercover again disappeared.

Wilson had worked as a Congressional Fellow for AlGore and Tom Foley, and Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton and Senior Director for African Affairs for his National Security Council. Plus, he had routinely contributed to Dem candidates, such as Ted Kennedy. Not the sort of person who should have been allowed to take such a sensitive trip, given his past political associations.

Sydney said...

It seems to me the Obama Administration persecuted honest journalists who were trying to do their jobs by keeping the politicians accountable, but promoted others who were their shills. A good, honest journalist could do the whole country a grand favor by publishing a piece on Journolist past and present. Let us know what happened to Journolist and who it's members are and where they are writing now so we know who the dishonest players are. Then maybe we the people will care if you get a raw deal from the government.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Cook - no, merely contributing to Dem candidates does not make you a Dem operative. But, that wasn't all of what Wilson did. He worked for Gore, Foley, and Clinton in positions that are typically reserved for party loyalists and operatives.

Bob Ellison said...

"If you exaggerate your power, your successor will have exaggerated power."

The 22nd Amendment seems to be a repudiation of FDR's four terms and accompanying abuse of power. The very existence of the FEC seems to be a repudiation of Watergate and the Nixon campaign's behavior.

The reaction to power abuse depends on the fervor with which the incoming powerful seeks reform. The post-Obama-abuse group has some anger in its belly, maybe.

Ron said...

Short sighted? People have the attention span of fleas!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...Did his accurate refutation of Bush administration claims constitute a "Dem dirty trick?"

Accurate? That's what's called begging the question, Robert.

Here's one: Wilson's story about himself is that he was moved to speak out because of Bush's "16 words" in the 2003 State of the Union. The SOTU was in late Jan, Wilson's NYT OpEd ran in early July. The invasion of Iraq was around March - May.
So, did Wilson make any statements relating to weapons of mass destruction before the invasion occurred? You know, since he claims now to have felt, and advised others, that no WMDs existed?

Good question, Hoodlum. The LATimes OpEd I linked in my previous post was from Feb 2003--after Bush's SOTU--and Wilson in it agrees that Hussein has WMDs (Wilson argues against an invasion because Hussein would USE the WMDs if invaded)! No objection to the "16 words" there.
Here is a transcript of an interview Wilson did with Bill Moyers in Feb 2003. (Lots of non-Dem operatives give interviews with Bill Moyers, naturally). Here's a quote from that interview:
MOYERS: President Bush’s recent speech to the American Enterprise Institute, he said, let me quote it to you. "The danger posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons cannot be ignored or wished away." You agree with that?

WILSON: I agree with that. Sure.

MOYERS: "The danger must be confronted." You agree with that? "We would hope that the Iraqi regime will meet the demands of the United Nations and disarm fully and peacefully. If it does not, we are prepared to disarm Iraq by force. Either way, this danger will be removed. The safety of the American people depends on ending this direct and growing threat." You agree with that?

WILSON: I agree with that. Sure. The President goes on to say in that speech as he did in the State of the Union Address is we will liberate Iraq from a brutal dictator. All of which is true. But the only thing Saddam Hussein hears in this speech or the State of the Union Address is, "He’s coming to kill me. He doesn’t care if I have weapons of mass destruction or not. His objective is to come and overthrow my regime and to kill me." And that then does not provide any incentive whatsoever to disarm.


Hmm, again, Wilson's talking about Hussein having WMDs, and agreeing with Bush that Hussein (and his WMDs) pose a danger that must be removed. Weird, isn't it, that a few months later Wilson will say that he always believed Hussein had no WMDs, that Hussein posed no threat, and that the invasion was based on a lie that Hussein did have WMDs?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Another? Sure. The context for this one is the publication of intelligence showing that some of the Niger yellowcake documents were forgeries. This is a transcript of an interview Wilson did in March 2003 with CNN.

Excerpt:
SAN MIGUEL: So how do you play this, then? I mean, what, do you admit it, do you just move on? Do you try to get these things verified if you do believe, indeed, that Iraq was trying to buy this material from Niger? I mean, how do you handle this? What's the damage control on this?

WILSON: I have no idea. I'm not in the government. I would not want to be doing damage control on this. I think you probably just fess up and try to move on and say there's sufficient other evidence to convict Saddam of being involved in the nuclear arms trade.

So, that's pretty clear--in March of 2003 Wilson chastised the Bush Admin (Colin Powell) for using forged documents as part of the case against Hussein...but says that if he were in the Admin he'd admit to that mistake and still argue that there's enough other evidence of Hussein "being involved in the nuclear arms trade." That's pretty specific, and it shows that Wilson's talk around that time about Hussein having WMDs almost certainly includes a belief that Hussein had or was trying to acquire nuclear material for WMDs.
Of course, after the invasion, Wilson's NYT OpEd and subsequent statements all say that Wilson never believed any of that. Funny.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The irony of all of this is that if Wilson really did believe that Hussien wasn't involved in and attempt to obtain yellowcake (and therefore didn't have any) then Wilson's assessment would have been correct where the professional assessment of the US & British intelligence agencies (and others) were incorrect. If that had been his story, "I was right and they were all wrong" he could have defended it and made himself look smart.
That wasn't enough, though: that would have damaged the intelligence agencies but not Bush/the Bush Admin. If that's the goal (a goal a dem. operative would have, natch) then you have to go further and say something like "no one at the time thought this could be true, the intelligence agencies thought Hussein didn't have WMDs, it was therefore only by lying and not going along with the professional assessments of the intelligence agencies that the lying Bush Admin was able to lie us into war."
But that's not sustainable, that's not true! The record shows Wilson himself thought Hussein had WMDs, so an allegation that one one thought Hussein did just doesn't work. Wilson's self-mythologizing and the revisionist Media view notwithstanding, many sober intelligence assessments at the time concluded Hussein had WMDs and was a threat to use them. Most of those assessments were wrong, but they existed.

That's the problem--it wasn't enough to say "Bush was Wrong and People Died," the Left had to have, needed to have "Bush LIED and People Died." But that, itself, is a lie, and provably so.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Anyway the point is the Media version of Wilson and Plame is bullshit.
If I were of the Left I'd have just said "everyone knows Wilson was discredited" and left it at that, but since I'm not I felt the need to give an argument with specific examples and evidence.
Sorry for the length and/or disrupting the conversation, there.

Tim said...

Dear God people are stupid. Plame was no more covert than any .secretary in DC. and outed by Armitrage. I blame Bush for letting Libby hang but I blame the Dems for their disgraceful politics. It hasn't changed for the better either.

narciso said...

Wilson was working with the alamoudi clan at rock creek partners, he had very good connections with cogema, the firm that would have been responsible to the yellow cake leakage

narciso said...

Armitage was involved with cavity, one of the cotractirs at Abe ghraib, he along with Powell and scowcroft were involved in the Caspian oil play in baku

narciso said...

Ironically when Armitage was in the crosshaurs of the Christi's, who came to his defense but scooter lobby, no good deed.

FullMoon said...

HoodlumDoodlum said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Anyway the point is the Media version of Wilson and Plame is bullshit.
If I were of the Left I'd have just said "everyone knows Wilson was discredited" and left it at that, but since I'm not I felt the need to give an argument with specific examples and evidence.


Would be great for Trump to pardon Libby, baiting press into criticizing him for it, then the truth becomes known. Alternate media much larger now than in the past.

FullMoon said...

im said...

Dear God people are stupid. Plame was no more covert than any .secretary in DC. and outed by Armitrage. I blame Bush for letting Libby hang but I blame the Dems for their disgraceful politics. It hasn't changed for the better either.


Yep, lost some respect for Bush on that one. Armitage cowardly for not coming forward.

narciso said...

She had burned by ames and/or Hanson, and the Cuban govt also had her file.

Now some years ago, risen put a target on the back of a customs officer who had contacts with the sunni islamist group in baluch

Sebastian said...

Sorry, but "people" are not "short-sighted" or "stupid." Progs know exactly what they are doing. People believe exactly what they want to believe. The MSM help exactly as they need to help. It may be stupid in the sense that it backfires, that it causes prog losses, but the obfuscation, the denial of reality, the deliberate lying, the historical fakery are all calculated.

D.D. Driver said...

And yet...

The big news story this month was based upon unnamed CIA sources *leaking* information to the NY Times and Washington Post about the CIA's internal conclusions about "Russian hacking." But the Administration doesn't seem to care about those leaks.

Leakers are only bad if he or she reveals something that the guy in charge doesn't want the public to know about.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Instead of a giant excerpt, just read this from the WashPo in 2005 - Husband Is Conspicuous in Leak Case (by those hardcore Repubs Dana Milank and Walter Pincus).
They do their best to be evenhanded but have to cover Wilson's decision to act as a...well, Dem. operative is one shorthand for it...as well as his multiple incorrect or disputed assertions.

Rob McLean said...

It's amazing how much the shoe hurts when you put it on the other foot.

Cognitive dissonance is a thing. It's amazing how often otherwise intelligent people have told me, with a perfectly straight face and a perfectly clear mind, that X is OK for the good guys but not the bad guys...because, after all, the good guys are better than the bad guys, QED.

Boxty said...

Looking at our government, academia, media, and entertainment industry, the red-baiters were correct and we didn't go far enough in rooting the commies and socialists out of our institutions while we had the chance. I hope Trump triple downs on the Espionage Act if it was indeed intended to go after the pinkos in our society.

Mick said...




George Washington foresaw it all about the destruction of the Republic by Political parties, and foresaw the rise of a foreigner like the Usurper Obama, the Narcissistic deranged man-child:

"I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

"Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another."

---George Washington's Farewell Address

Bruce Hayden said...

Augmenting my previous post about Wilson - there are apparently roughly 4,000 political appointees in any Administration. Of those, maybe 1,000 require Senate confirmation. The others are just appointed by the President. These political jobs are reserved, almost exclusively, for party faithful. Wilson was highly placed in one of those jobs in the Clinton Administration. And, it wasn't one where he had to live in Nebraska, but rather, just the opposite, where his primary (the National Security Advisor) served in the White House, with maybe the best access to POTUS of any of his advisors. About as close as you can get to the center of power. Wilson was likely separated from Clinton by that single person, and probably had opportunities to brief him directly. Which is maybe a long way of saying that he had a (political) job in the Clinton Administration that would not have been given to a Republican, but rather, was reserved for Dem party loyalists.

And, yes, the CIA sent him. But the question was why? Why would they send someone that close to the Clinton, Gore, etc. on such a sensitive mission? The answer, of course, was that it was no accident. Rather, his desk bound wife at the CIA pushed his name. That was the real news story - how a Dem loyalist (and operative) could be pushed into such a sensitive position in a Republican Administration. And, why was it important? Because the biases of someone writing such a hit piece in the NYT needs their biases exposed. Was it just bad luck? Likely not, given that she pushed his name to her CIA bosses.

Larry J said...

"Can you spell schadenfreude?!?"

Schadenboner"

Josephbleau said...

"Plame, at the time, was working at CIA headquarters. Apparently, everyone in their neighborhood, as well as their friends, knew that she worked there. Which means that if she had been covert in the past, she wasn't at that time, flying a desk at Langley." Per Mr. Hayden's comment above, Plame drove in the gate at Langley to go to her desk. She would have been regularly photographed by the agents of dozens of adversarial nations casually parked by the road. If she had been given a foreign cover she would have been toast, so Armitage did no real harm to her. Armitage reported his "outing" to SOS Colin Powell but he seems to have considered it unnecessary to go public with it, perhaps he reported it to Fitzpatrick, who never charged the guilty but instead punished the innocent for Libby claiming he did not remember things, like Hillary did not things remember later. I remember an interview with one of Libby's jurors who said We couldn't get Chaney or Bush so we needed to get someone else. I am from Chicago and at one time thought Fitzpatrick was a good guy, he is a despotic nightmare.

Michael K said...

Cookie, I don;t even want to copy the devastating rebuttal your stupid comment brought forth. I am impressed at how many people know the history of these lies.

Michael said...

The Valerie Plame case was a giant nothing-burger from the start. The only reason any journalists were subpoenaed was that Bush, who was trying (successfully, in the end) to win a war, was essentially forced to appoint what turned out to be a runaway special prosecutor, whom the Left cheered on. The worst we could have under Trump is a case of the biter bit.

Josephbleau said...

Correction, Fitzgerald, not Fitzpatrick, all us Irish must look alike.

JAORE said...

I respected Powell before this incident. He knew Armitage was the source. He could have gone public early, but chose to protect his boy. When the prosecutor went after Libby he should have put an end to the persecution/prosecution.

Neighborhood Retail Alliance said...

Fitzgerald represents the absolute worst of the American justice system. He also orchestrated the railroading of Lord Conrad Black and his fictitious $500 million "kelptocracy." Black was acquitted on anything to do with this supposed scam-but was convicted on honest services "fraud" and served 3 and 1/2 years before the Supreme Court vacated the conviction and declared the statute unconstitutional-with Justices Scalia and Ginsburg both in agreement.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12410425-a-matter-of-principle