Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Beginning Of The End?

The feeding frenzy is on in regards to the outing of Valerie Plame. Blood in the water, sharks arriving on the scene. The very conservative Washington Times joins in:
It is a natural instinct of any White House to hunker down when political opponents are making accusations of wrongdoing. This page supported the president in 2000 and anticipates doing so again in 2004. But this is beyond politics. It is a simple matter of right or wrong. And it is precisely at such moments that the moral and ethical measure of a statesmen is taken.

Indeed, this is a simple matter of right and wrong. At the root level. Beyond that, it stinks of the level of politics we have fallen to in America. What especially the right wing has stooped to, in its efforts to coopt democracy. I'm sick of it, and I'm glad that the Washington Times is also demanding action.

President Bush should have been all over this when it first arose months ago. Since he wasn't, he either is behind it, i.e. "in the loop", or not a moral or involved leader. This kind of leak, and for the sole purpose of revenge, is intolerable in the damage it could do. The lives it could put in danger. The operations, covers, and investigations it could jeopardize.

The worst part of it all is why they did it. Not at root for political revenge, but to defend a skewed and exaggerated case for war. Yes, the administration knew they had left parts of the case out, and thus felt that people like Wilson needed to be silenced, or punished, or made an example, so others wouldn't get the same idea. What idea? To communicate facts, and elicit the truth.

This is the tipping point of one of the greatest scandals in American history. A fradulent war. What I mean by this is not that Saddam Hussein is the preferable leader of Iraq, but that we initiated this action, this war, which has resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives and the suffering of countless millions, under false pretenses. We exaggerated and distorted the evidence in order to influence the American public (successfully) and the world (unsuccessfully) that this was a just and preferable action. This has tarnished the effort, the success, of an otherwise eminently justifiable (but case not made) goal of deposing a brutal dictator.

For us to have become the bad guys in this effort, to have ruined our name, reputation, and treasury over it, is tragic and absurd, not to mention wrong.

To have denigrated the UN and long time allies over disagreements, to deny the value of debate and discussion of arguments and ideas, to trash the name of leaders who were only following the opinions of their people, was wrong.

To have stonewalled on and manipulated the discussion of the true risks and costs of this war, while the economy lagged, record numbers of Americans were out of work, and huge tax cuts benefiting mainly the wealthy were enacted, and while veterans benefits were being proposed to be cut, was wrong.

To have dismissed millions of Americans on the streets protesting this war, including hundreds of thousands in New York, site of Ground Zero, as a "focus group", or as closet traitors, was wrong.

To then have traitorously outed the wife of a man as an undercover agent of the CIA, because he was telling the truth as he sees it, and endangering her connections and operations, to essentially try to squelch the truth, and to further a lie, was wrong.