STEYN ON WILSON
Mark Steyn continues to be puzzled by the Novak-Wilson-Plame brouhaha.
And if you watch the network news that’s pretty much where the facts stop. The Independent summed up the angle most of the press seems to be interested in: ‘Disclosed CIA Officer Fears For Her Life’ — i.e., Ms Plame’s name was leaked in order to put her in danger. The implication seems to be that she’s on some top-secret mission but, like 007, travelling under her own name, perhaps as an innocuous businesswoman: ‘The name’s Plame. Valerie Plame. Universal Export.’
‘Very interesting, Ms Plame,’ replies Blofeld, stroking his cat, in whose litter tray lies the front page of that day’s Washington Post. ‘Any relation to the CIA agent of the same name?’
The notion that Ms Plame ‘fears for her life’ is somewhat undermined by the fact that her gabby hubby, currently on TV, radio and sympathetic websites 22 hours a day, is clearly having a ball, loving the attention and happy to yuk it up about how he and the missus have been ‘discussing who would play her in the movie’.
Even if you accept that it’s technically possible to leak something that’s widely known around town and published in the guy’s Who’s Who entry, if the object was to discredit Joe Wilson why leak the name of his wife? On his own, Wilson comes over like a total flake — not a sober striped-pants diplomat but a shaggy-maned ideologically driven kook whose hippie-lyric quotes make a lot more sense than his neocon-bashing diatribes for leftie dronefests like the Nation. This is a guy who says things like, ‘Neoconservatives and religious conservatives have hijacked this administration, and I consider myself on a personal mission to destroy both.’ He spends his days dreaming of the first sentence of his obituary: ‘Joseph C. Wilson IV, the Bush I administration political appointee who did the most damage to the Bush II administration.’ Imagine Michael Moore and his ego after dropping 300lbs on the Atkins diet and you’re close enough. By revealing the fact that Mrs Wilson is a cool blonde CIA agent, all you do is give her husband a credibility lacking in almost every aspect of his speech, mien and coiffure.
Indeed, the two Bush scandals–this and the “lies about WMD”–strain credulity. Even if you assigned the most absolutely venal intentions, neither make the slightest bit of sense politically. Even if they never thought they’d get caught, the anti-Wilson leak was bound to have virtually zero positive impact. And ginning up a war based on a pretext that could easily be proven untrue just in time for a re-election bid similarly makes no sense. So, either there’s more to both of these than meets the eye or this is the most politically inept administration in the history of the Republic.
(Hat tip: Reductio ad Absurdum)