Topic: Couldn't be so...
Hints and Rumors: Judy's Secret and the JAG Protest
Arianna Huffington, that odd woman who lives a few miles away - in Brentwood, where OJ Simpson didn't commit murder (detailed comments on just who she is from March are here) - has a fairly new and fairly slick group blog, The Huffington Post. It went live in early May and has been wildly uneven, with posts from Hollywood folks and sportscasters and whatnot - and some solid political stuff. But Deepak Chopra? Please. But it has been settling down. The posts are getting longer and more substantial, and the news links are first-rate. One of the shorter but fine posts Thursday, July 28 was from Harry Shearer, providing a link to a video clip of George Bush walking away from a group of reporters, and with his back to them, flipping them off royally. The contempt shown is pretty amusing. (Snarky comments on this can be found at Wonkette.)
But Huffington's post of July 28 is the one raising eyebrows. She reports that inside the New York Times there's a lot of talk that places their jailed reporter, Judith Miller, at the center of the CIA leak scandal.
Assume Huffington knows folks who work there. Huffington says after Joe Wilson's op-ed appeared on July 6, Miller went ballistic, checked out Wilson with her CIA contacts, found out about his wife, and then passed along the information to Scooter Libby in the White House.
Wow. The Miller woman started it all? She obtained the information on Valerie Plame from one of her good friends in the intelligence community and then passed it on to Libby who then passed it on to Rove?
That's the contention:
So MILLER felt threatened and got the ball rolling! Cool. (Huffington doesn't mention the big man at State who was in charge of all the WMD investigation was John Bolton, who would have known Plame's work, and might have been the insider Miller called.)
Huffington really liked Frank Rich's July 17 column on these matters - he was on the right track - but he didn't go far enough.
The plot thickens. Or Huffington is way off base.
As for the plot thickening, well, in the Times of July 28 - the same day - Douglas Jehl is reporting there may be a third Bush administration official - in addition to Karl Rove and Scooter Libby - who was actively pushing the Plame story to reporters after Wilson's July 6 op-ed appeared. Lots of folks have now noted this idea, but no one knows who "the third man" could be. The deal here is that Walter Pincus of the Washington Post is the latest reporter to say that information about Valerie Plame's role at the CIA was volunteered to him by senior administration officials.
Geez. As Mark Kleiman comments:
Wait. The Times refuses to talk to its own reporter? They give him a "no comment?"
Something is up. God know what it is.
Could it be the whole thing got stared because a reporter got ticked off and called on her buddies in the administration to go get the guy? Maybe.
Of course that doesn't change the fact someone did the dead - they gleefully blew the agent's cover to score political points, and to warn anyone else who might have any ideas about making the president, or Judith Miller, look bad.
A crime? At least didn't directly order the cold-blooded murder of up to fifty-six of their pesky opponents who knew too much, as Bill and Hilary Clinton did. (No, I don't believe that, but it has been asserted.) Will THAT be the final defense? At least we didn't murder anyone?
But the Times ran another Bush-bashing news item that opened with this: "Senior military lawyers lodged vigorous and detailed dissents in early 2003 as an administration legal task force concluded that President Bush had authority as commander in chief to order harsh interrogations of prisoners at Guant?namo Bay, Cuba, newly disclosed documents show."
They're reporting our own military was angry that they were being asked to participate in what amounted to torture, and didn't fell that was right? Seems so. (The actual JAG memos can be found here.) It seems these embarrassing memos were classified for a long time, for obvious reasons - and because folks like and respect military lawyers, given Tom Cruise in "A Few Good Men" and that JAG television show, the longest-running drama on CBS. Having real JAG lawyers say something stinks is not good at all.
Andrew Sullivan gets on his high horse about these newly-released memos -here -
I'll buy that. Praetorian? Yep.
Curiously I just wrote this to someone I know real well, an officer now serving in Baghdad, who tells me we're doing the right thing over there, and making things better:
So maybe what I saw at this fellow's graduation at West Point was no fluke. These JAG officers are good men too, trying to do the right thing.
But thinking about this - how it plays out in the future - one has to concede that the fates won't decide. The voters will - and the likes of Rove and whoever is the equivalent on the left (if there is one) will work over the voters with this ploy or that, and the media will ride along for the most part, clueless, or stand up now and then and point out bullshit, and perhaps there'll will be another massive attack that will make everyone all fearful and angry (but at whom or what this time?) - and then... who knows?