Conason writes of the new book by Corn and Isikoff, Hubris, which deals with the leaking of CIA NOC Valerie Plame's identity to the press by members of the Bush regime in retaliation for her husband's calling bullshit on the Iraq/Niger/Uranium lie.
Many pundits, talking heads, and even formerly respectable publications such as the Washington Post have jumped on the blame-the-victim bandwagon in the wake of the revelation that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had a hand in revealing Plame's identity as CIA to Robert Novak. They falsely label her husband, Joe Wilson, a liar and essentially argue that Plame deserved to have her intel work on WMD proliferation destroyed and her contacts and fellow agents still in the field endangered by way of her outing as a government agent.
Never mind that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is still under indictment for committing perjury before a Grand Jury, and that Karl Rove only barely escaped indictment himself in the leak investigation, which while ongoing has apparently all but ground to a halt. Never mind that Dick Cheney has been implicated, through notes he personally wrote down on a piece of newspaper, in the leaking of Plame's identity.
Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador, was dispatched to Niger to verify claims that Saddam Hussein had tried to acquire 'yellowcake' uranium from that country in developing nuclear weapons. Wilson came back debunking those claims, having discovered the intel allegedly proving the attempted transaction was based on crude forgeries.
That didn't stop George W. Bush and his fellow conspirators from using the bogus intel in their lies about Iraq, and in the January 2003 State of the Union address the Shrub lied saying British intel had confirmed Hussein had tried to acquire 'yellowcake' uranium from Africa.
Wilson, later that year and after the invasion and occupation of Iraq had commenced, wrote a piece calling bullshit on that very telling lie. In retaliation, the Bushies outed his wife as CIA to several members of the press, including Robert Novak (CNN), Judith Miller (NY Times) and Matthew Cooper (Time Magazine).
Valerie Plame was NOC, which stands for Non-Official Cover. It is different from official cover, under which a CIA agent pretends to be working for another branch of the government like the State Department. NOCs pretend to be private citizens, unattached to government, and they come and go from the field. Even when assigned to desk jobs, as Plame was when her identity was disclosed to the public via an all-too-willing Novak, NOCs have to maintain their cover to protect the work they've done as well as any contacts they made in the field and agents still working in the field. If their identities are disclosed, people can and often do come under serious risk of injury or even death.
So by outing Plame as a CIA NOC, the Bush regime jeopardized the lives of CIA agents still in the field who had worked with Plame, jeopardized the lives of her contacts, and compromised years of intel-gathering on WMD proliferation. All because they wanted to take revenge on her husband for exposing them as liars, and intimidate anyone else who might go public with solid, indisputable information proving the Bushies lied about Iraq.
Yet the Washington Post--the motherfucking WASHINGTON POST, after Hubris was published, jumped on Wilson and Plame and turned them into the bad guys, falsely accusing Wilson of lying and arguing that Plame deserved what happened to her.
Almost from the beginning of his investigation in December 2003, Mr. Fitzgerald has known about the blabby Armitage, who at least came clean promptly. But Mr. Fitzgerald, a Bush appointee of impeccable reputation, understood that the Armitage confession was of limited relevance—and it didn’t discourage the special counsel from conducting a thorough probe that uncovered a secretive, high-level effort, emanating from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, to discredit Joe Wilson and to use his wife’s two decades of undercover work for her country as a weapon against him. Indeed, the only reason Mr. Armitage knew about Valerie Wilson was that he had read a negative dossier on Joe Wilson prepared at the behest of Mr. Libby.On his blog, Mr. Corn, the Washington editor of The Nation, recently responded to the opinion-makers who were so eager to misuse his reporting to exonerate the White House. “As Hubris will make clear,” he wrote, “Rove’s leak (to Robert Novak and Matt Cooper) and Libby’s leak (to Judith Miller and Cooper) were part of a campaign to discredit former ambassador Joseph Wilson. That’s no conspiracy theory. The available evidence proves this point.”
So as usual the lazy mainstream media not only gets it wrong, but actually joins the lying, manipulative government in helping to discredit people who are telling the truth. Why is it left to independent media outlets and bloggers to investigate the lies emanating from Washington, D.C.? Why has the God-damned Washington Post, which investigated Watergate and helped take down a deceitful and corrupt sitting president who had broken the law and violated the Constitution, become nothing more than the willing tool of another one?