Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A few words on the Plame affair

The AFP is almost incontinent with it's excitement over the possibility that the Special Prosecutor might be indicting people close to Bush over the Plame affair, but I tend to try to ignore that kind of unseemly glee. [Weirdly, minutes after I found this story on Yahoo's most popular, it had vanished, but I definitely saw it, so I'll still refer to it here.] Less easy to ignore (at least from my point of view) is this fascinating Varifrank post that resulted from someone actually reading Judith Miller's 2002 book, Germs : Biological Weapons and America's Secret War. It's a book I remember seeing on the library shelves at the time, but assiduously avoided, knowing that the better written it was, the more likely I'd suffer weeks of relentless nightmares. Aside from the fact that it was pretty clear that Iraq had WMD's, not in nuclear, but in easily accessible chemical, form, it also turns out that Judith Miller is spectacularly well connected. Her sources put her right up next to the CIA:

But here’s what I really want to say about this. If you read this book, which is excellently sourced with very good footnotes and cross-referenced to other materials, you know that Ms. Miller indeed knows a great many people who work in around intelligence, weapons of mass destruction and in the civil service that stays around no matter the administration. So, if she doesn’t know the person directly, then she knows the people they work closely with. Close enough I would gather to get a question answered in a few minutes. That being the case, how is it possible that with all the people she knew in Washington, in the White House, in the CIA in the military, that she didn’t know that Ambassador Wilson’s wife was in the CIA as well? It would not take very long to play a game of “six degrees of separation” with the people she has outlined in the book to come up with a direct link to Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson.
That being the case, Varifrank comes up with a lovely theory:
Could Richard Clarke be the source she is really protecting and the whole Libby/Rove connection simply a smokescreen to cover another trail that would lead to a far more damaging connection? That is, a rogue CIA organization that wishes to protect its power and cover up its large scale mistakes in regards to Iraq and the middle east?
I don't opine as to whether it's an accurate or a good theory, I just like it. Some last words from Varifrank:
Joseph Wilson it must be remembered, was making the case that people like Miller were inventing facts or even over representing the dangers that were posed by Saddam. Its clear when you read this book that Judy Miller must’ve taken that idea as a direct attack on her reputation as a reporter. So I ask you, based on this and other areas that Judy Miller reported and worked in for over 10 years, the extensive research into Weapons of Mass Destruction in the G.H.W. Bush, Clinton and the G.W. Bush administrations, how is it possible or even feasible for her to have not known who Valerie Plame was, given that her husband walked quiet literally through her crosshairs on the Niger case?
My suggestion? Read the whole Varifrank post (here) and, if you're not prone to nightmares, read Miller's book too -- only be sure to let me know what your conclusions are after reading it. Hat tip: The Anchoress