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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

 

Backbone Award: Ambassador Wilson & Agent Plame http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/09/30/cia.leak.politics/

posted by Trammell at Tuesday, September 30, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Well, we have our first double-winner: Ambassador Joe Wilson -- who won the award a few weeks ago -- and by logical extension, his spouse, CIA Agent Valerie Plame. There is simply no way to give Dean Nation's Backbone Award to anyone other than Plame and Wilson this week. Today, the Department of Justice (haha) finally launched a criminal investigation into the felony leak of Plame's identity. Despite some reports to the contrary, she was an undercover agent, but now that cover is blown. Then-President George H.W. Bush at the 1999 dedication ceremony for the George Bush Center for Intelligence (ironically named considering his son, eh?) stated:
"I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources," the former president said at the time. "They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors."
As regards Wilson and Plame, this isn't just about political backbone, this is about courage under fire, national security and the safety and lives of countless CIA agents and individuals. In other words, this shit is real shit, folks. Covert contacts have certainly been exposed, and many of them may already be dead. If not, they are useless, and their lives are worth next-to-nothing. So when you hear Wilson say things like...
"I want to see if we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs."
...you should know why. This isn't some harmless political leak. This is a dangerous and evil game, playing chicken with people's lives.

For exhaustive posts and links on this story, I strongly recommend having a double over at Billmon's Whiskey Bar. And, you can read more on the Plame Affair from Aziz at Dean Nation here and a statement from Dean and the campaign here. And, no e-mail that I know of, but you can contact Wilson here. If you do, let him know that you are a Dean supporter, and that Dean and Kerry supporters stand together in support of him, his wife Valerie Plame, and their family, and let him know about the award. You may also want to contact your Senator or perhaps your Member of Congress.

The Fruitcake this week goes to Bob Novak -- not because he originally reported this but because now he's trying to backpedal out of his own words and defend the administration officials who leaked him the info, claiming that "it's all politics" and such rubbish. Yup, Bob, you are right -- but the politics was the leak, not the investigation.

In Novak's honor, The Fruitcake has been re-named as The Spineless Jellyroll. After all, a treasonous felony is a treasonous felony! Now mind you, even assholes have first amendment rights and should be able to protect their sources, but what Novak doesn't seem to get is this: the story isn't that Plame was an agent, the story was that they chose to leak it as retaliation for Wilson's statements -- and that is a crime! Regardless of Wilson's initial motivations, was this an appropriate response? Of course not, nor was it legal, or moral, or ethical. It was, put plainly, evil.

Now, after doing their bidding, he's part of the story and feeling under fire -- poor thing. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, eh? For a couple of great posts on all of Novak's ludicrous excuse-making and story-changing, see Daily Kos here. To contact Robert Novak, write a a letter to the editor of The Chicago Sun-Times or make a comment on this form at Crossfire!

NOTE: I posted a much-abbreviated version of this column earlier, and comments 1-14 reflect only the earlier version. Much was added, but nothing was removed beyond, spelling, syntax repair and typographical correction.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.