Tuesday, July 12, 2005

KEVIN DRUM has a most excellent response to the Republican's current efforts to discredit Joseph Wilson as a way of diverting attention from that spotlight Karl Rove is standing in:

As longtime fans will remember, the story that first gave Plamegate real legs appeared in the Washington Post about two months after the original Robert Novak column that mentioned Plame and the David Corn column that called attention to it. Here's what it said:

Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife...."Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.

Got that? Two White House officials. Phone calls to at least six reporters. This wasn't just a single offhand comment at the end of a phone call with Matt Cooper about welfare reform. It was Karl Rove and someone else systematically making sure they mentioned Plame to every reporter they talked to.

Yep, got it. It's not about a Democratic smear campaign; it's not about Joseph Wilson supporting John Kerry in the election; it's not about who sent Wilson to Niger. It's about Joseph Wilson standing up in public and saying a key piece of Bush administration intelligence was wrong. It's about Wilson implying that Bush lied (which he did, of course) and politically damaging him. It's about retaliating viciously (and illegally) against the guy who tells everyone that the emperor has no clothes on.

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