There was a science fiction show once, about a secret agent who could change his appearance at will, as in reshaping his face and body into whatever he desired. He returned home after a long career but nobody would accept him, since he was nothing like the man he used to be. The thing is, you see, he had been so many different people so many times for so long, he couldn’t remember who he really was. He was compelled to choose one of his lies for his real life.
That, put simply, is Valerie Plame. The legend from the Left is that Ms. Plame was a hard-working honest servant of the U.S. Intelligence Community, made an innocent vcitim of the evil Bush regime, because her husband, the equally hard-working and noble Joe Wilson, caught the President in a lie. Makes a good storyline, and I rather expect Michael Moore will get around to making a movie about her. It meets the Moore Standard, after all - zero facts but the MSM doesn’t care.
The facts are very much a different story, and one the Democrats are not likely to push into production. To begin with, Joe Wilson is a documented liar, and one know to have a large mean grudge against the Bush Administration. For example, Wilson not only gave numerous interviews to the press about a confidential trip to Niger to investigate the question about whether Saddam Hussein’s regime attempted to purchase enriched Uranium, but he also declared that Bush was lying to say that Iraq had been attempting to acquire uranium from Africa. The evidence later showed that while Wilson focused on a single suspect document, which was never promoted by the Bush Administration, he withheld information known to the CIA, which supported the contention that Saddam had in fact been attempting to find sources fo enriched uranium. Wilson also hid the fact that his wife was the major influence which arranged for his government-paid trip, to such a point that the CIA did not enforce its normal secrecy requirements, which allowed Wilson to spend his time with press interviews and photo ops, instead of a debriefing and balanced evaluation of the facts.
What happened next was essentially a paranoid feud, the immature and egotistical Wilson representing both the paranoia and the malice in this instance. When the White House declined to respond in kind to his taunts and insults, Wilson went to Capitol Hill, and found a willing audience on the Democrat side of the aisle, which colored the debate on pre-War intelligence and poised to rewrite the history of the decision to go to war again in Iraq. The careful observer would have noted (and many did) that Wilson was unable to back up his claims with evidence, and that his screeds were actually no more than a bitter attempt to damage enemies.
On to Valerie Plame. To hear the MSM, the Plame issue was driven by a desire to punish Joe Wilson for criticizing the War in Iraq, which led to the exposure of his wife, an undercover CIA agent. The reality is different. First, it has been confirmed that Plame was not a field agent for the CIA, at least during the time in question, but a desk employee whose work was in no way related to field operations. Also, it is understood now that Wilson’s inadvisable trip for the CIA was made possible by his wife’s recommendation. And several intelligence reports have supported the fact, that reports of Saddam’s attempts to obtain nuclear material were true, which proved Wilson’s claims false. Further, two major intelligence reviews confirmed that the Bush Administration neither falsified nor manipulated intelligence data.
The facts, however, have not kept Wilson and his allies from pressing their hatred of the President well past the point of obsession. This is both good and bad. The first bit of bad news, is evidenced by the Libby indictment. Fitzgerald himself has admitted that Libby was not indicted in any direct consequence of the Plame investigation, but claims it was necessary to indict Libby, even though the facts suggest that honest error and confusion are more likely than malice or intent to deceive. With Woodward stepping forward to point another finger, again with nothing to show connection to the alleged “outing” of Plame, yet taken up eagerly by people enjoying the role of Grand Inquisitor. It’s one thing for Congress or the Justice Department to investigate known crimes and clear evidence, but quite another to pursue fishing expeditions for high-profile trophies. On the plus side, while the War in Iraq, the central issue in the 2004 Federal Election, was controversial and complex in many aspects, the sheer hysteria manifested by the Left cost them vital support from voters unwilling to grant power to a party so blind to basic facts. As the 2006 mid-term elections begin their primary cycle, it is a bad idea for Democrats to believe that the claim of “Bush Lied” will lead to election success, since it has already failed in a test bearing more directly on the President. Democrats chuckle at low published Job Approval numbers for the President, but fail to observe vital differences in the respondent pool from 2004, and also fail to note the distinction between happiness at the present condition, and commitment to see the mission completed. The 403-3 vote last night shows that even the most rabid Democrats generally understand that the American people are not at all keen on a ‘cut & run’ strategy, and since the Democrats have decided to once again polarize the issue, it forces people to mostly support the President. It shows a true disconnect on the Left, that they are able to comprehend that attacks on the President are not likely to sway the voters they need most, yet they refuse to rein in their most obnoxious members. Bear in mind, the difference between outrageous statements made on the Right and on the Left, is that on the Right the extremists do not hold office, while the most malicious and deceptive statements are repeated by Democrats in office, who know full well that the claims they make are neither truthful, nor do they serve the needs of the nation.
It is sadly true as well, however, that should the Democrats find some way to take control of the House of Representatives, they would be likely to try to impeach President Bush. While I consider this unlikely in the extreme to actually happen, because it is a possibility it must be considered and defenses manned. The facts have been presented many times already, so that while the Democrats can make noise on the WMD question, they cannot seriously hope to find evidence to support a claim that the decision made by the President, and approved by the Congress, was anything but honest and legitimate.
This brings us back to the Plame affair. To the unbiased observer, the claim that Plame was somehow the innocent victim of a conspiracy must seem laughable. After all, the Wilsons held press conferences, a photo shoot with ‘Vanity Fair’ magazine, a book deal, and countless television appearances, yet they continue to claim that their privacy is precious to them, and that they are simple, unassuming people. There is no question that while the President’s decision was supported by the available evidence at the time, Wilson’s motive for attacking the President was no better than a vendetta. The “evidence” not only does not lie, it has more than proven that Joe Wilson is nothing but lies. But the Democrats and the MSM have done an effective job of keeping the character of the Wilsons out of sight, and alleging connections through innuendo and rumor. Washington D.C. has always been a town full of whispers, and far more liberal in its politics than almost anywhere else in the country. The Democrats have effectively conceded that while they can taunt and insult the President, nothing in five years of slander has worked against him, so they are focusing on Vice-President Cheney. If the Democrats can get Cheney to resign as VP, expect the MSM to start trying to compare Cheney to Agnew, and to start hinting that Bush has something to hide.
Why do this, if it is so unlikely? For one thing, Democrats think they have a chance in 2006. Mathematically, that’s correct, and we Republicans had better not be too casual about protecting the House majority. But if opinion polls are not so great for President Bush, they are abysmal for the Congress, and especially for Democrats. The Democrats generally understand that they are very unlikely to take control of Congress in 2006. But if they can put pressure on Cheney, some Democrats hope they can force him to resign; stress after all, could lead to a stroke or heart attack, to which Cheney is unfortunately more susceptible than most men, and I am sorry to have to say there are Democrats who would like to deliberately cause a health condition which threatened the life of the Vice-President, in order to make him quit. Other Democrats would like for Cheney to stay on, knowing that if he resigns at a time when things are going well and the President is popular, the new Vice-President (Rice, perhaps) would immediately be considered the GOP front-runner (by the MSM) and make things harder for the Democrats to take the White House in 2008. if they keep the heat on Cheney, he has to stay put to show he is not going to be chased off by the attacks on him. So, the attacks on Cheney right now are supported by both factions on the Left. This, in the Democrats’ mind, could lead to a tarnished President and VP when the 2006 elections take place, strengthening the Democrats’ place in Congress, and leading to potential sweep in 2008, with Democrats retaking control of the House and Senate as well as the White House. I will let the reader decide how realistic that ambition should be counted, but caution us to defeat the attacks and prove the character of the men making them.