Friday, July 22, 2005

Former CIA Officers Blast Bush Administration

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Nobody can lie quite like a Republican. Not that Democrats and liberals never lie... It's just that most of us carry the burden of heart and conscience, which limits our ability to do it as successfully as the conservatives manage to do.

Take the whole Rove/Plame case. They're all deployed with their Republican National Committee talking points and they are sticking to them with a teamwork that would make Vince Lombardi weep.

They've tried to do it with a one-two punch that starts with smearing Valerie Plame's husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson. If that's not getting sufficient traction, they try to marginalize Plame's role as a CIA operative to make Karl Rove look like a guy who slipped up, but with no real consequence.

While there's not an elected Republican to be found with enough guts to speak up about this, a group of 11 former CIA officers has sent an open letter to the Congress conveying their disgust.

You can read it at the link above, but here's some excerpts:

The disclosure of Ms. Plame´s name me was a shameful event in American history and, in our professional judgment, may have damaged U.S. national security and poses a threat to the ability of U.S. intelligence gathering using human sources. Any breach of the code of confidentiality and cover weakens the overall fabric of intelligence, and, directly or indirectly, jeopardizes the work and safety of intelligence workers and their sources.

The Republican National Committee has circulated talking points to supporters to use as part of a coordinated strategy to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife. As part of this campaign a common theme is the idea that Ambassador Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame was not undercover and deserved no protection.

[The letter than gives examples of these misleading talking points]
While we are pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an investigation and that the U.S. Attorney General has recused himself, we believe that the partisan attacks against Valerie Plame are sending a deeply discouraging message to the men and women who have agreed to work undercover for their nation's security.

We believe it is appropriate for the President to move proactively to dismiss from office or administratively punish any official who participated in any way in revealing Valerie Plame's status. Such an act by the President would send an unambiguous message that leaks of this nature will not be tolerated and would be consistent with his duties as the Commander-in-Chief.

It is signed by the former agents and was sent to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. While these two – and their respective minions -- are obviously the main audience for this letter, it was also copied to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

It's going to be tough for the mainstream media to focus on more than one story at a time with bombs going off in London, Judge John Roberts' nomination and the distinct possibility that another comely, white woman might go missing.

But let's hope they're learning to walk and chew gum at the same time.