NOVAKGATE VII

Newsweek has several pieces on the Plame affair in the current issue. Most notable are pieces by Howard Fineman and Evan Thomas and Michael Isikoff.

Fineman explains that the scandal is a complex game of political intrigue:

I’ll stipulate that it is a felony to disclose the name of an undercover CIA operative who has been posted overseas in recent years. That’s what the statute says. But the now infamous outing of Victoria Plame isn’t primarily an issue of law. It’s about a lot of other things, like: the ongoing war between the CIA and the vice president’s office; the long, complex relationship between George Tenet and the Bush family; the tinge of arrogance among some (as yet unidentified) members of Bush’s team; and, ominously for the president, a breakdown in discipline among his spin doctors, who, in the old days, always wrote the same prescription.

Factional disputes, some 20-odd years old, all came to the surface here: What to do about Iraq; the CIA vs. the VP’s office; the relationship between George Tenet and the Bush familiy; Rove vs. anti-Rove forces; and Republican vs. Democrat.

Thomas and Isikoff have a longer piece on the nature of leaking in Washington and explaining why they think this particular story may have legs.

FILED UNDER: US Politics,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.