May 26, 2014

The White House inadvertently exposes the name of the CIA’s top officer in Kabul.

"The disclosure marked a rare instance in which a CIA officer working overseas had his cover — the secrecy meant to protect his actual identity — pierced by his own government."
The only other recent case came under significantly different circumstances, when former CIA operative Valerie Plame was exposed as officials of the George W. Bush administration sought to discredit her husband, a former ambassador and fierce critic of the decision to invade Iraq.
Valerie Plame was exposed. Nice use of the passive voice there by The Washington Post! As the top comment over there says:
So... Bush never actually outed a CIA agent —  Richard Armitage did — but that didn't stop the Left from engaging in a two year witchhunt. But Obama can out CIA agents with impunity, I guess, no investigation required?
To refresh your recollection about Armitage and Plame, here's Christopher Hitchens, writing in August 2006, about "The ridiculous end to the scandal that distracted Washington."
As most of us have long suspected, the man who told Novak about Valerie Plame was Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's deputy at the State Department and, with his boss, an assiduous underminer of the president's war policy. (His and Powell's—and George Tenet's—fingerprints are all over Bob Woodward's "insider" accounts of post-9/11 policy planning, which helps clear up another nonmystery: Woodward's revelation several months ago that he had known all along about the Wilson-Plame connection and considered it to be no big deal.) The Isikoff-Corn book, which is amusingly titled Hubris, solves this impossible problem of its authors' original "theory" by restating it in a passive voice:
The disclosures about Armitage, gleaned from interviews with colleagues, friends and lawyers directly involved in the case, underscore one of the ironies of the Plame investigation: that the initial leak, seized on by administration critics as evidence of how far the White House was willing to go to smear an opponent, came from a man who had no apparent intention of harming anyone.
Boldface added. My "Nice use of the passive voice" above was written before I dug into the Armitage background and found the old Hitchens article calling Isikoff and Corn on their use of the passive voice.

IN THE COMMENTS: Jimbino observes that the paragraph Hitchens points to does not contain what is technically called "the passive voice." I think Hitchens meant the hiding of human agency by making "The disclosures" and "the initial leak" the subjects of clauses.

99 comments:

Fen said...

Remember how OUTRAGED Garage was over Valerie Plame? Lets see how honest he is....

The Drill SGT said...

The WH National Security Staff should be called a 'joke', if it wasn't such a serious business. Nobody in the operation has anything like an appreciation of other than the short term political advantages to be gained by a use of our National Security apparatus. The Military is just a stage prop, like fake Roman columns.

In this case, the majesty of His Majesty is enhanced by having all these military, intel and State professional kneeling at the throne as supplicants. Who cares if a man and his family are now in deadly peril...

Original Mike said...

"The Isikoff-Corn book, which is amusingly titled Hubris, solves this impossible problem of its authors' original "theory" by restating it in a passive voice:"

Yeah, but it doesn't "solve" it to anyone with a brain, which one assumes is most of those reading a dry, political book written by Isikoff and Corn. Erog, they're lying to themselves and their own ilk. Sad.

furious_a said...

Scooter Libby was unavailable for comment.

Big Mike said...

This administration can't even do a press release without putting lives at risk. Incompetence? This administration would have to up its game considerably to reach that level.

jimbino said...

Fine, except that there is NO passive voice in that paragraph.

Passive voice is characterized by the verb "to be" in its various forms followed by a past participle.

Passive voice would include:

"Valerie Plame was outed."
"Firing of Colin Powell is being considered."

You'll find extensive discussion of your fake "passive voice" over at Language Log.

furious_a said...

Nice use of the passive voice there by The Washington Post

Best way to avoid having to assign or accept accountability.

Beta Rube said...

Obama will read about this in the newspaper, same as the rest of us.

Then he'll get "mad as hell".

Then he'll play 18.

tim maguire said...

Funny how it's always glossed over that it was never established that Valerie Plame was, in fact, a covert agent at the time of her "outing."

Her current position was not covert, her possible covert status rested on certain rules about when the status lifts on former covert agents. To this day, there has been no determination that she was covert.

I characterized the investigation at the time as akin to investigating a liquor store robbery without first determining whether any liquor stores had been robbed.

traditionalguy said...

Surrendering Afghanistan and Iraq to Iran under the table takes time. But in the end Muslim brothers will be thankful to Obama for it.

That silly CIA fights on America's side against Muslim warriors. So what should they expect from our Muslim loving President? A Betrayal, of course.

Krumhorn said...

Apart from Dear Leader's ceaseless incompetence, it must be a relief to Leaky Leahy that he wasn't called upon to perform this service for the team. He's usually not happy unless an asset in the field is killed.

- Krumhorn

Ann Althouse said...

@Jimbino

What's the relevant difference between your example, "Valerie Plame was outed," and the WaPo's "Valerie Plame was exposed" that I pointed to?

I guess you're referring to the "passive voice" Hitchens refers to, where "the disclosures" and "the initial leak" are the subjects doing the action, instead of a human actor. Human responsibility is hidden.

He did say "a passive voice," not "the passive voice." He's gone and can't defend himself, so perhaps he didn't mean to reference a restrictive grammatical term but the rhetorical choice to hide human agency.

Annie said...

Inadvertent? I doubt it. But it could be a good way to fire someone they couldn't fire otherwise. To root out one more of those they don't like or knows too much and replace with their own inexperienced lock-stepper.
It's the Chicago way.

Hagar said...

It is very difficult to forgive Colin Powell and Richard Armitage for sitting still and letting the Justice Dept. prosecute Scooter Libby (and that for lying about who told him, Scooter Libby, that Valerie Plame also was Mrs. Joseph C. Wilson IV - not whom he told.)

Perhaps the FBI requested that they keep quiet, but I do not think that would be valid request, and in no way would there be anything the FBI could do to the Secretary of State and his No. 2 man, especially since they would have been doing the right thing, even if such a request was valid.

n.n said...

Another warning shot fired. Politics is a filthy business.

MadisonMan said...

Mistakes were made.

jimbino said...

Disclosing human agency has nothing to do with the passive voice. Human agency can be disclosed using the passive voice, as in "Valerie Plame was outed by Armitage," and active voice can hide the human agency, as in "It was an event that led to the outing of Valerie Plame."

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Another and bigger(?) screwup is the fact Obama was snubbed by Karsai?

How could the advance work be so incompetent?

Jason said...

Outing Plane, who hadn't even been in the field for years and who was driving around with a Foggy Bottom parking sticker on her car, was such a grave offense that Democrats included it on an Impeachment bill that got 166 Dem votes in the House.

Quaestor said...

He did say "a passive voice," not "the passive voice." He's gone and can't defend himself, so perhaps he didn't mean to reference a restrictive grammatical term but the rhetorical choice to hide human agency.

While we're on about grammar this nit-picking does point out the importance of the definite article.

Michael K said...

"It is very difficult to forgive Colin Powell and Richard Armitage for sitting still and letting the Justice Dept. prosecute Scooter Libby"

The left was salivating at the thought of "getting" Cheney. They settled for Libby and, while I hold no brief for Libby (He was part of the Marc Rich pardon scheme with Holder), Cheney was right, and Bush wrong, about "leaving wounded on the battlefield."

Buh's father knew better and pardoned Weinberger before Walsh could get to him.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Maybe Obama's just trying to see what it takes to get impeached around here...

Ann Althouse said...

"Human agency can be disclosed using the passive voice, as in "Valerie Plame was outed by Armitage,""

Human agency is subordinated when you do that. It switches the subject and the object around.

The thing about focusing on the construction called the passive voice is that some people believe you should avoid it, but the real question is when should you avoid it and when is it good?

Sometimes the erstwhile object should be the main focus. For example, if you were trying to find out who was outed by Armitage, it would be good to say "Valerie Plame was outed by Armitage," but where we know who was outed and the question is who did the outing, then it's not good to use the construction that subordinates Armitage.

Sometimes the passive voice is just lazy writing, not taking the time to put the best words in the best order. Sometimes it's a way to be sneaky, but there are other forms of sneakiness that actually take effort and read as vivid, like when you say "Shots rang out" (or "Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night"). Law schools teach students to notice that sort of thing.

Anyway, "passive voice" is a term of art, and I didn't misuse it as a technical term, though I didn't notice that Hitchens did. And I deployed it not just because it was used, but because it was used to hide human agency, which is when it's bad.

Ann Althouse said...

"While we're on about grammar this nit-picking does point out the importance of the definite article."

Yeah. I meant to do that.

Carnifex said...

I'm glad we're discussing the nuances of language, as opposed to the most incompetent regime ever to hold the White House in its butter covered fingers, while trying to squeeze the American people into dictatorship. The problem of squeezing with a butter covered hand is all the little shit bits that squirt out of your fist. These shit bits are the lives of Americans.

Carnifex said...

I'm glad we're discussing the nuances of language, as opposed to the most incompetent regime ever to hold the White House in its butter covered fingers, while trying to squeeze the American people into dictatorship. The problem of squeezing with a butter covered hand is all the little shit bits that squirt out of your fist. These shit bits are the lives of Americans.

jimbino said...

I think your point is that politicians and reporters use various devices to obscure responsibility, one of which is the passive voice.

But, all in all, there's a big difference between

"In the case of Bengazi, errors were made"

and

"In the case of Bengazi, errors were made by people [who were] appointed by me."

Gahrie said...

Maybe Obama's just trying to see what it takes to get impeached around here...

There is literally nothing Obama could do that would result in his impeachment.

The democrat Party has no honor nor shame, they will support him to the bitter end.

Bruce Hayden said...

I can't even get outraged at this, despite knowing that I should have.

We had Joe Wilson, an open opponent of the Bush Administration, getting a CIA gig, and then getting an article in a top paper slamming said Bush Administration. So, how did he get the gig, with his background. Inquiring minds wanted to know. The answer, of course, is that his wife at the CIA put his name and qualifications into the hat. Whoops. She was just outed. No - her husband outed her with that article slamming the Bush Administration. It was natural for Republicans to question why he got the gig in the first place, given his partisan background. And, everything else is history, with Scooter Libby convicted of lying about not remembering something that he was assumed to have remembered. How many people in the Obama Administration would be convicted felons if they were being held to the same standard? I would suggest quite a few. Not Biden, of course, and maybe not his boss.

jr565 said...

I expect someone to be frog-marched out of the white house. Oh wait, that won't happen and there won't even be an investigation?
Color me surprised!

jimbino said...

The definite article is not always essential. The same effect can be denoted by using upper case.

compare:

The Grapes of Wrath with Grapes of Wrath.

The Book of Revelations with Revelations.

The Night to Remember with A Night to Remember.

Furthermore, the definite article is not definitive. "Passive voice" is a term of art in grammar; if you mean something else, you should use "passive construction" or simply say "construction that hides the actor."

Similarly, "China enjoys the comparative advantage of producing steel more cheaply than the USA" and "China enjoys a comparative advantage in producing steel more cheaply than the USA" are often both wrong, seeing that "comparative advantage" is a term of art in economics and does not mean "competive advantage," which was no doubt intended.

Drago said...

The Post and the left in general knowingly employ these rhetorical devices since they invested so much capital into assigning specific responsibility for the (BS) plame "leak" to Cheney himself.

Can't very well let the cat out of the bag that they have been full of crap all this time.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

It is difficult to believe how many Obama fuck-ups there have been. In this case, past performance IS indicative of future results.

Paco Wové said...

Another interesting language tidbit – I don't think I've ever heard of an agent's cover being "pierced" before. I guess the WaPo decided that sounded less damaging than saying his cover was blown, which I believe is the usual verb employed in such circumstances.

jacksonjay said...

Let us not forget that scumbag Patty Fitzgerald. Patty needed a scalp so he prosecuted Libby even though he knew that Libby wasn't the leaker!

Patty also managed to put Blogo away while protecting Rahmbo, Axlerod and Valerie!

Lawyers! Geez!

Fen said...

where oh where did Garage run off too? Outing CIA agents is pet peeve, I'm sure he'll weigh in on this soon.....

hombre said...

Nothing to see here. Just more incompetence from the most incompetent Administration in recent history.

Paul said...

This is all Bush's fault!

See if Bush had not let the door open by letting the economy slip in his last 9 months of office, out of a 8 year run, then Obama would not have been elected and we would not have a fucking idiot for president.

And never mind people voted for Obama twice, it's still Bush's fault.

John henry said...

Ghahrie,

I think you are right, there is nothing Obie could do that would get him impeached.

I would add, by Repos.

I think the problem is that this is an unscrewable pooch. Any repos who argue for impeachment would be reviled as racists and nothing would happen.

I think the only way Obie could be impeached would be if a group of Demmies were to initiate proceedings.

They may be getting close to the point.

They are in for a massive stomping in November. The ones left might impeach just to protect themselves in 2016.

I would not count on it, though.

I would be sorry to see him impeached. I would like his presidency to stand as a monument to failure with no asterisk.

I would not mind seeing him resign, though.

Joe O'Biden will be a great comic relief as Prez.

John Henry

John henry said...

Paco:

I think "blown" would remind to many people of Bill and Hilary.

Can we petition the Pope to make them the patron saints of oral sex? They would both be perfect.

John Henry

Robert Cook said...

Richard Armitage revealed Plame's name as intentional payback by Bush and/or (more likely) Cheney for the column her husband published in the NYTimes disputing Bush Administration claims regarding Hussein having sought uranium from Niger. I don't know whether Armitage was in on the plan or whether (as seems very possible) he was simply used as a dupe by the people he worked for, but his revelation of Plame's status was not a mere happenstance, an oops, we goofed! lapse, not merely an unfortunate coincidence.

jr565 said...

Bruce Hayden wrote:
We had Joe Wilson, an open opponent of the Bush Administration, getting a CIA gig, and then getting an article in a top paper slamming said Bush Administration

and Joe Wilson didn't even debunk the point made by Bush.
It was nothing but a political smear. And Scooter Libby had to take the fall for what was known to be an accidental outing by Armitage.

James Pawlak said...

This is only one, small. part of the Obama Administration plan to weaken and destroy the USA.

Some call it TREASON.

khesanh0802 said...

…. and Valerie Plame was stationed at Langley at the time. This poor bastard is in theater. Jesus, what incompetence!

Drago said...

Robert Cook: "Richard Armitage revealed Plame's name as intentional payback by Bush and/or (more likely) Cheney for the column her husband published in the NYTimes disputing Bush Administration claims regarding Hussein having sought uranium from Niger."

This is a lie.

An hilarious one at that.

But, as a leftist, cookie is forced to continue the fiction that Cheney and Bush were directly responsible for the "plame" event since the left spent years directly lying to us in saying, point blank, that Cheney was behind it.

Up next, cookie continues to defend his fiction that Reagan conspired with the Iranian radicals to keep kidnapped US Citizens imprisoned in order
to win an election.

There is literally nothing a leftist will not lie about.

Repeatedly.

libertariansafetyguy said...

Riddle me this... How can a government that can't be trusted with the secret identity of a CIA Section Chief in a #@&$ing war zone be trusted with every ounce of my cell phone and internet communications?

gk1 said...

Like the obama adminstration intentional leaking of
operational details on how we got Bin Laden, the lefts outrage on this latest fuckup will be predictably mute. Fen's law in action yet again. The left does not believe in the things it routinely lectures the rest of us on.

Drago said...

Cook: "I don't know whether Armitage was in on the plan or whether (as seems very possible) he was simply used as a dupe by the people he worked for, but his revelation of Plame's status was not a mere happenstance, an oops, we goofed! lapse, not merely an unfortunate coincidence"

We know precisely what occurred. And by whom.

Cookie and the lefts ignorance regarding the facts of this imbroglio is a purposeful and studied one.

They want to blame Bush/Cheney.

They need to blame Bush/Cheney.

They spent 8 years telling us everything single thing that happened in the world were the fault of Bush/Cheney.

Now the left has spent 5+ years and counting telling us that nothing that has happened under the obama admin has been obama's fault/responsibility because "headwinds, atm's, japanese reactors, the gov't is too big and complex for anyone to run it", etc.

What's even more amusing is that Armitage and his pals at state were steadfastly opposed to Bush Iraq policy. Novak himself opposed the Iraq campaign!

Opposed.

What Robert Novak was trying to get to is why in the hell the CIA would send someone so out of place and lacking in contacts and context to Africa to track down the "truth" of the British intelligence claim that the Hussein regime had been attempting to procure yellow cake from Niger. Wilson had no nuclear expertise (Zero), no recent contacts in Africa and no (Zero) intelligence background.

Armitage was the one who told Novak that the dept that sent Wilson was one in which Wilson's wife, Plame, worked in the CIA.

Talk about a setup.

Interesting to note is to this day, to this very day, British intelligence stands by their insider accounts of Husseins attempts to procure yellow cake from Niger.

And that all predated Bush becoming President.

We should all remember that for a long time the left was also specifically blamed Rove for the publicizing Plames role.

Similar to the lefts tactics of "who's running the republican party this week?!" schtick.

It's always such a menagerie of leftist BS accusations.

Up next: The Kochs were behind it all!!!

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Let's say that George Bush or Dick Cheney had been forced to resign because of Joe Wilson's relevations. And then we found out he might have been fronting for his spouse Valerie Plame, a CIA agent.

Or let's say they lost the next election due to the back door involvement of a CIA agent.

Hagar said...

Libby did get rattled and said Tim Russert had told him, which was a lie and very foolish, since there was no way Russert would back him on that, even if it had been true.

Libby should have said he didn't remember; there were so many people talking about it by that time, which was very likely quite close to the truth anyway.

And Valerie Plame was in no danger of losing invitations to cocktail parties over this; to the contrary, she would stand to gain being the little heroine of the moment.
This whole thing was a "dirty tricks" operation by factions in the CIA and State Dept. working together, and Powell and Armitage could - and should - have pricked the bubble before it ever got started.

AMDG said...

How did Armitage learn of Plane's background?

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
"Richard Armitage revealed Plame's name as intentional payback by Bush and/or (more likely) Cheney for the column her husband published in the NYTimes disputing Bush Administration claims regarding Hussein having sought uranium from Niger."

Bush didn't say Niger. Bush said Africa. There was a forged document about Niger, but that wasn't the only intel that suggesting that there was an attempted purchase in Niger. And there was also a suggestion that Iraq sought uranium from the Congo, which is in Africa.
And the forged document didn't form the basis for the claim made by Bush.
Also Wilson said that Iraq hadn't ACQUIRED uranium from Niger. But Bush said SOUGHT not ACQUIRE.
As per the Butler report:
“… on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government’s dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 [see above] was well-founded.”
So, did Wilson make a trip to the Congo to debunk that claim that I'm not aware of?

Get it right.

Hagar said...

Armitage - #2 man at State

and that was Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.

Quaestor said...

I don't think I've ever heard of an agent's cover being "pierced" before. I guess the WaPo decided that sounded less damaging than saying his cover was blown, which I believe is the usual verb employed in such circumstances.

Good point. None of us, least of all WaPo media writers, know what the CIA in-house technical term for what has happened. What we think we know derives from the glossary invented by D. J. M. Cornwell in the guise John le Carré. In his novels to blow meant to expose, accidentally or deliberately, one of your own agency's operations or operatives to an enemy counter-intelligence agency, as in "Who blew Jim Prideaux?" To pierce is to uncover the identity of an enemy spy or the existence of an intelligence operation, as in "The evidence from Grigoriev will help Smiley pierce Karla and his 13th Directorate."

In their effort to disconnect this nascent scandal from the Valerie Plame case (Mustn't use the verb "blown!") the editors chose a verb with the opposite meaning to what they intended.

Anonymous said...

I'm more dumbstruck by the apparent passivity of whoever in the administration is supposed to vet stuff like this prior to public release. The WaPo article makes it sound like that didn't happen here because the list came from the military as a trusted source and therefore was not double-checked.

The other possibility is the list was double-checked and whoever did it isn't competent enough at their job to realize a problem that both a reporter and Twitter figured out in pretty short order. Either way, not a good display of national security.

Fen said...

Cook: Richard Armitage revealed Plame's name as intentional payback by Bush and/or (more likely) Cheney for the column her husband published in the NYTimes

Nope. Valerie Plame's name came up because everyone was wondering how a partisan hack like Joe Wilson got assigned to such an important mission.

Turns out nepotism was the answer. IF 1) Wilson wasn't such an imbecile re foreign affairs OR 2) Valerie Plame hadn't recommended her own husband, THEN Plame would have never been "outed".

Fen said...

Still no sign of Garage. He must be too outraged to post. Yes, thats it.

Fen said...

There was a forged document about Niger, but that wasn't the only intel that suggesting that there was an attempted purchase in Niger.

Worse, the forged document was included in the real ones. Thats a critical point because its a standard Soviet propaganda tactic - seed the truth with a lie so that its all considered false. Why would they need to that?

Fen said...

And its hysterical that the Althouse commentariat knows more about this than Wapo or the NYTs.

RecChief said...

obama violates the constitution and other laws at will. usually with the left in this country cheering him on. This disclosure means nothing to them.

Fen's Law.

Charlie Martin said...

While we're on about grammar this nit-picking does point out the importance of the definite article.

Or a definite article.

Robert Cook said...

"Now the left has spent 5+ years and counting telling us that nothing that has happened under the obama admin has been obama's fault/responsibility because...."

Everything that's happened under Obama's tenure--essentially a continuation of and expansion on the Bush administration--is his fault. He's as much a war criminal, mass murderer, and destroyer of our republic as were Bush and Cheney.

Hagar said...

Cookie, Cookie,
Richard Armitage is nobody's dupe, and least of all the Bush administration's.

And even he had not expected that telling Novak about her would be any big deal. It was her husband, Joe Wilson, who grabbed that and added it to the yellowcake brouhaha to keep the media frenzy going.
One really must have some admiration for Mr. Wilson's audacity and skill in generating this very successful guerrilla action against his own government from nothing but moonshine and horsefeathers!

Michael K said...

"Libby did get rattled and said Tim Russert had told him, which was a lie and very foolish, since there was no way Russert would back him on that, even if it had been true."

Actually, there are several versions of what Russert said. He also said he did mention the fact of Plame's status.

This whole thing was an attempt to take Cheney down. He was, and is, hated by the left even more than Bush.

David said...

Just a simple mistake. An error. Unfortunate but these things do happen.

Unless of course the WH wants this station chief out of Kabul and maybe out of the service. Or worse.

Don't discount it.

Hagar said...

I remember reading in the Journal that the Wilson's plunked down 3½ million dollars for their new digs in Santa Fe.

Hagar said...

I must have missed something. I never knew there actually was a possibility that Libby got it from Russert.

What I read at the time was that it was Cheney who had told him, which was quite embarrassing for a chief of staff, and of course it also was Libby's duty to protect Cheney, so when they sprang that on him, he just had a brain fart and blurted out the first name that came to mind.

My personal theory for who told Cheney - based on no evidence whatever - is that it was Mary Cheney who had been to a State-CIA party and heard them bragging about what a number they were pulling on the administration, and then she went to Sunday dinner with the folks, and the subject came up, and Mary said, "But Daddy, I have heard that ...."

jr565 said...

If I fault Bush for anything is that he didn't pardon Scootr alibis. I realize it would look like he was pardoning a friend and therfore smack of a conflict of onterest, but Armitage went to jail because of a conflict of interest. Namely the attempt within the CIA to discredit Bush for political reasons. That who
E investigation was garbage. Once Armitage said "oops, I think it was me" that should have ended it. If the special prosecutor wanted to jail Armitage, that would have been his prerogative, but he didn't. And as such, Libby too the fall for nothing.

Actually, considering it just happened on his watch, OBAMA should pardon Scooter retroactively. Considering he wanst us to bury it under the rug and not hire a special prosecutor it might be nice if he forgave the past administration which he pilloried over the same accident.
OR, let's do the special prosecutor thing and we can be sure to make it as political as the dems did.

Paul said...

"Unless of course the WH wants this station chief out of Kabul and maybe out of the service. Or worse."

David, might be true but...

THE CIA BELIEVES IN PAYBACK.

And thus, there will be payback for Prez. Screwup's screwup.

Skeptical Voter said...

"inadvertently" my bleeding ass.

Paco Wové said...

"the Wilson's plunked down 3½ million dollars for their new digs in Santa Fe"

Like cats, the elite always land on their feet. J. Wilson is now lending his name to some enterprise called Jarch Management Group, which "considers investment opportunities in countries in Africa that are undergoing and may undergo sovereignty changes such as changes in international borders, and the creation of new countries out of current ones", according to its web site.

Anonymous said...

The Libby-Plame canard is a marker either of a nave or an ignoramus.

Robert Cook said...

"My personal theory for who told Cheney - based on no evidence whatever - is that it was Mary Cheney who had been to a State-CIA party and heard them bragging about what a number they were pulling on the administration, and then she went to Sunday dinner with the folks, and the subject came up, and Mary said, 'But Daddy, I have heard that ....'"

Hahahahaha!

Yeah...mm hmm...I'm sure that's how it happened. I'm sure Cheney didn't call for everything that was known about Joseph Wilson to be put on his desk ASAP so he could find a way to fuck Wilson. No chance at all it happened that way, no sir.

holdfast said...

"Hagar said...and that was Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV."

So? Ambassadors die all the time. Ain't no thang.

MadisonMan said...

Still no sign of Garage. He must be too outraged to post. Yes, thats it.

Or he's been enjoying just the best Memorial Day weekend weatherwise I can remember.

Thanks. I needed that.

Brn said...

Actually, Hitchens' paragraph does contain a passive verb: The clause "seized on by administration critics as evidence of how far the White House was willing to go to smear an opponent" is in the passive voice. It doesn't have the copular verb, but that isn't absolutely required for a verb to be passive. Language Log links to an example on this page that shows that: http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/grammar/passives.html - search for the paragraph that begins "And amusingly".

In this case, it is easy to see that the verb is passive if you write that clause to be a separate sentence: "The initial leak was seized on by administration critics..."

Hyphenated American said...

Does anyone wonder why Scooter Libby could not do Louis Lerner and claim the 5th? Note that disclosure about Wilson's wife work at CIA is a far less political issue than say Obama's IRS illegally targeting conservative groups for 3 years before the presidential elections.

Hyphenated American said...

"I'm sure Cheney didn't call for everything that was known about Joseph Wilson to be put on his desk ASAP so he could find a way to fuck Wilson. No chance at all it happened that way, no sir."

Disclosure of his wife work for the CIA was the best thing that happened to him.

tim in vermont said...

I used to sort of respect Cookie, even though I disagreed with him, he usually has the selected facts that he presents in order, but now I find out he is a Plame truther. That is pretty funny. He hates Cheney so much it blinds him.

Hey Cookie, here is a joke I made up for my liberal friends about Bush and Cheney, you may be one of the last people to laugh at it.

How did W know when his wife was having her monthly?

Cheney's ---- tasted funny.

We probably find it funny for different reasons. I see it as a commentary on BDS.

Hagar said...

But Joe Wilson did not get fucked, Cookie. To the contrary, he made his fortune with this caper, and the Wilsons look to be living happily ever after.
Santa Fe is a very nice place to live for wealthy liberals.

KBK said...

@Brn beat me to it. The passive voice was used, artfully indeed, in the clause containing "seized", eliding "was".

The Drill SGT said...

Hyphenated American said...
Does anyone wonder why Scooter Libby could not do Louis Lerner and claim the 5th?


Probably because the WH Chief of Staff or Bush told the staff to cooperate and meant it, unlike the Obama Admin.

Imagine the scenario

1. WH says they are cooperating
2. Scooter takes 5th
3. Fitzgerald leaks same to press for pressure
4. NYT etal pillories Bush for coverup
5. Scooter fired

Anonymous said...

Not Obama's fault: he only first learned of the existence of the CIA when he, like other folk, read about it in the news.

Will said...

Obama was planning to play golf all weekend, but the heat of the VA scandal required that he spend $4million taxpayer funds to go make a Commercial that showed him getting applauded by polite troops as he spouted platitudes about respect belied by 6 years of Obama administration behavior.

The short notice meant all those little Oberlin transgender interns didn't have time to properly vet the list and a heinous mistake was made due to typical Team Obama incompetence. Attention to detail, even life or death, doesn't matter when you have a transformational presidency going on. Misspell reset in Russian? No biggie!

So Obama spent $4 million taxpayer funds to fly 20 hours, threw on a Bomber jacket, spouted a few inanities and nothing will change. It was just a PR stunt because of the VA scandal.

At West Point this week you can bet your bottom $7 Trillion, however, that he will say "When I was in Afghanistan earlier this week..." because it's all about the selfie and hash tag and not how he's been a miserable failure for 5 years

Outing an important CIA asset that prob took years to position was just a side benefit that those Oberlin interns can brag about.

Brennan said...

Too bad the press alerted the White House before publishing the list. The President could have learned about the disclosure of a Kabul CIA Station Chief the way he learns about everything - in the morning papers.

Robert Cook said...

"...now I find out (Cook) is a Plame truther...."

?!

"Plame truther?" Is there such a thing? The truth about the Plame affair is straightforward and undisputed, except by those who dissemble and distort (and to those who believe the dissembling and distortions) in their effort to absolve the Bush/Cheney cabal for their betrayal of the wife of the man who publicly took issue with one of their fabrications meant to scare America into accepting and approving the illegal attack on Iraq.

The Drill SGT said...

Will said: Outing an important CIA asset that prob took years to position was just a side benefit that those Oberlin interns can brag about.

To be fair, there were likely lots of people in Kabul who knew that the deputy Asst Cultural Officer was a Spook. Just not where he stood in the pecking order.

It does however reinforce the meme that the only considerations in WH National Security decisions are political ones. e.g. what is good next week for Obama, not what is good in the next decade for the USA.

holdfast said...

I particularly liked the part of his speech where he said that he would not allow the hard-fought gains to be wasted. Because that's exactly what he did in Iraq with his failure to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement, and it's almost certainly going to be the end-game in Afghanistan too. Not to mention the complete mess that HIS war-on-the-cheap (Libya) has turned into.

Drago said...

Cookie: ""Plame truther?" Is there such a thing?"

Followed by this:

Cookie: "The truth about the Plame affair is straightforward and undisputed,...."

Yes it is!

Cookie continues: ".... except by those who dissemble and distort (and to those who believe the dissembling and distortions) in their effort to absolve the Bush/Cheney cabal for their betrayal of the wife of the man who publicly took issue with one of their fabrications meant to scare America into accepting and approving the illegal attack on Iraq."

LOL

So the state dept flunky Armitage, who OPPOSED the Bush/Cheney policy in Iraq, working for a Sec of State who also OPPOSED the Bush/Cheney policy in Iraq, exposed Plame as the person who got Wilson assigned on this mission in a leak to a reporter who OPPOSED the Bush/Cheney policy in Iraq!!

And all this proves that the "Bush/Cheney cabal" was behind it!!

Cookie is a Plame truther.

QED

He is also an "October Surprise" Truther.

He is no doubt also a 9-11 Truther (how could he not?).

Thanks for the laugh cookie.

I'll bet your students think you are swell and so radically cool and so "cutting edge"!!

Hilarious.

West said...

Anne.

Thanks for standing up for Chris H. as regards his identification of the passive voice. I've been over at the language log several times, and while a fascinating place, they tend to be a little, shall we say - literal.

Robert Cook said...

"Thanks for the laugh cookie.

"I'll bet your students think you are swell and so radically cool and so 'cutting edge'!!"


Drago,

I've been told I look "professorial," but I am not a teacher of any kind and never have been.

Drago said...

Cookie: "I've been told I look "professorial," but I am not a teacher of any kind and never have been."

Off topic, but fun, what is it that makes you look professorial?

Corduroy blazer with elbow patches? Distinguished beard with perhaps a little grey at the temples?

I'm thinking of all my professors and I don't know if I ever had one I would characterize as "professorial" looking.

Further, is it just me or does the term "professorial" seem to generally apply to men only?

TBlakely said...

Something totally overlooked in the Plame mess was that there were CIA agents involved in an attempt to influence a US Presidential election. No serious CIA investigation is going to send a partisan Senator to do serious intel work. Also, agents who are involved in such work have to sign a non-disclosure agreement something Plame's husband didn't do.

So you have a cabal at the CIA sending a fake 'agent' to Africa to 'investigate' claims about Yellowcake being sold to Iraq and then after said 'investigation' the 'agent' is set loose on national political talk shows stating that it was all a deception used by the Bush administration in their year-long 'rush to war'.

Somehow if the political parties were reversed the media would be clamoring about CIA 'meddling'.

Robert Cook said...

"Off topic, but fun, what is it that makes you look professorial?

Corduroy blazer with elbow patches? Distinguished beard with perhaps a little grey at the temples?"


I don't wear corduroy blazers--with or without elbow patches--or have grey temples, or a distinguished beard, so it must be something else.

Original Mike said...

He is no doubt also a 9-11 Truther (how could he not?)."

He's made comments in the past that indicate he is. When asked directly, he avoids answering.

Rusty said...

Cookie: "I've been told I look "professorial," but I am not a teacher of any kind and never have been.

Neither do the ladies on the corner, but I have their sincerest assurances that they're professionals as well.

Kirk Parker said...

Cookie rarely fails to satisfy!

Robert Cook said...

"He's made comments in the past that indicate he is. When asked directly, he avoids answering."

Who, me? No.

I've never said any such thing and I've never avoided answering direct questions about it.

What I've said is that we don't know all that happened on 9/11, and the "official" story is, at best, woefully incomplete. The government has certainly covered up a lot that it knows that they don't want us to know, if only to obuscate their staggering failure to prevent or mitigate the attacks. I don't think the Bush administration was behind the 9/11 attacks. (Isn't that what the 9/11 Truthers believe?)

Original Mike said...

" I don't think the Bush administration was behind the 9/11 attacks. (Isn't that what the 9/11 Truthers believe?)"

Noted. Good to hear.