The Plame Game Endgame
Tonight on Special Report with Britt Hume, columnist Robert Novak may reveal who his primary source was in the release of the name of Valerie Plame as the individual who recommended her husband, Joseph Wilson, IV for a trip to Niger in 2002 to investigate whether Saddam Hussein was attempting to acquire uranium from that nation in violation of the 1991 cease-fire and UN Security Council resolutions.
By way of recap, Joe Wilson went to Niger at the behest of the CIA to investigate the issue. He hung around for about a week and found nothing, other than the results of a few conversations with a like-minded ambassador whose understanding of the situation seemed to support the story he later told in a New York Times opinion piece in 2003 after the Iraq invasion. In that piece, he claimed that he was sent to Niger at the behest of Vice President Dick Cheney, and that after he reported his findings, the Administration blew off his concerns because they did not fit the tail-wagging-the-dog fact pattern that he claims the Administration was trying to construct. At that point, the question likely floating around the White House was, "Who the *heck* is this guy?" to offer the polite version. And in an effort to correct the record, it was released to Novak that it wasn't Cheney requesting Wilson's services, but rather his own wife who was a desk officer at the CIA. What fell from that was Wilson crying foul, claiming that his wife was a CIA operative and that the White House blew her cover, endangered national security by doing that, and put him through "27 months of hell" where he was given tons of adoring media attention, wrote a book, appeared in a gigantic photo shoot and profile with Vanity Fair, and even had shots taken of Valerie in her knickers for Time magazine. Ignoring the fact that the vast share of the hideous exposure that put the Wilson-Plames through "hell" was done voluntarily by the braggart Joe Wilson, using his wife as his stepstool to political fame and quasi-relevance, a victim never had it so good. Then came a federal investigation which seems to have netted only one person on a dubious perjury charge.
But now it seems that Bob Novak is prepared to release the name of his chief informant. He has already made known that Karl Rove was a confirming source, after Novak called Rove and relayed the story he later broke. And there are a few things that can be garnered from this:
1. Patrick Fitzgerald has not brought any charges against that person (H.T. Drudge). It would be public information if he had, that person's name is already known to him, and the time would have long passed for him to do so. The point being that no crime was committed in releasing Plame's name, as Wilson has long claimed.
2. Per the above-linked Novak piece, the source was not a "political gunslinger" which may indicate that the person had no ax to grind, other than letting the truth be known.
This is really the final nail in Joe Wilson's political coffin. No crime committed and no wrong done--other than blowing the lid off of his false righteousness and emotional claims of harm done to his family--as he paraded them before reporters' cameras for his own political purposes.
It is important that we know the details of this story, mainly because nothing about it appears classified, but also because the Administration's honesty and those of it's vociferous critics are at issue. If we have a liar in our midst, it would be helpful to know who it is. The left, led by Wilson has never ceased to claim that that President and Vice President are liars.
But the facts that have emerged from this investigation, namely a debunking of that op-ed piece and the excoriation of Wilson's book by a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee Report have done the same damage to Wilson and his supporters that they intended to do to the President. And I can't imagine the release of this source's name being anything particularly helpful to Wilson's already embarrassingly discredited cause.