I saw it 40 years ago, when the argument over facts (as opposed to the solution) of the Vietnam War had been settled: those who struggle to cobble together a case for perseverance, resort to contorting logic and distorting fact.
Thus it is with Wizard, whose comments are frequently welcomed in these pages.
To be honest, I can't tell from Wizard's September 02, 2006 post whether he is trying harder to swift-boat a diplomat with a distinguished and heroic career (Joe Wilson) or a Special Prosecutor with an equally distinguished career of effectiveness and incorruptibility (Patrick J. Fitzgerald).
Whichever the case, Wizard clearly thinks the Valerie Plame case begins and ends with Richard Armitage when he writes:
Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, knew the identity of the leaker from his very first day in the special counsel's chair, but kept the inquiry open for nearly two more years before indicting I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, on obstruction charges.Oh, Really? "Rich"?
Now, the question of whether Mr. Fitzgerald properly exercised his prosecutorial discretion in continuing to pursue possible wrongdoing in the case has become the subject of rich debate on editorial pages and in legal and political circles.
In the wake of his interrupted and uncompleted thought, Wizard tosses another inflammatory canard, which he also fails to substantiate:
...when Joe Wilson fanned the flames of his wife Valerie Plame's CIA status being revealed (which would have absolutely never happened if Wilson hadn't lied over and often about both the nature and results of his Niger investigation...
David Corn, co-author of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, the publication which first disclosed the Armitage leak, is including people like Wizard when he writes,
White House defenders are chortling. . . For some reason, they believe that the news from ‘Hubris’ that Richard Armitage was the original leaker means there was nothing to the CIA leak case. . . . Rove's leak (to Robert Novak and Matt Cooper) and Libby's leak (to Judith Miller and Cooper) were part of a campaign to discredit former ambassador Joseph Wilson. That's no conspiracy theory.Right. This is settled history. Also settled is that the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), the marketing arm of the White House whose purpose was to sell the 2003 invasion of Iraq to the public, also availed themselves of the instruments of state power to cover-up their defective marketing and to attack and smear those who weren't buying their un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI). In the case of Valerie Plame case, they went to such lengths as to out and destroy the career of a CIA NOC officer, ironically working on Iraqi WMD.
As with the Vietnam era, people like Wizard are engaging themselves in self-delusion in order not to take a position on Iraquagmire. We used to call it Byzantine Symmetry: if you can turn away from the writing on the wall long enough and fabricate argument that 'both sides are wrong', then 'neither are right' and one has given oneself an excuse for inaction while more blood and money swirl down the Mesopotamian toilet Bush has crafted.
Wizard, for all of his putative reasonableness, is still in need of an occasional Kool-Aid.