Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Bush (and pals) Cover Up for Rove (and the CIA)

Am I missing something here? Reporter Miller is going to jail for not divulging her source who leaked Plame’s name as a CIA operative. Providing the name of a CIA agent can be a crime. Miller’s leaker may have put lives in danger committing a crime, and all in retribution for Plame’s husband Wilson’s editorial criticizing Bush’s State of the Union speech using faulty intelligence:

Wilson was sent to Africa by the Bush administration to investigate an intelligence claim that Saddam Hussein may have purchased yellowcake uranium from Niger in the late 1990s for use in nuclear weapons. Wilson said he could not verify the claim and criticized the administration for manipulating the intelligence to "exaggerate the Iraqi threat."--By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer

Meanwhile, Robert Novak walks around scott free in a state of semi-shock that there is such a fuss over doing what reporters do—quoting unnamed sources.

Novak, whose column cited as sources two unidentified senior Bush administration officials, has refused to say whether he has testified before the grand jury or been subpoenaed. Novak has said he "will reveal all" after the matter is resolved and that it is wrong for the government to jail journalists.–YOST, AP

Anonymous sources are the backbone of political reporting. Without those White House leaks, how would the press get wind of the gist of upcoming speeches, let alone major policy announcements etc. Life or death matters usually aren’t involved in these leaks, but in the case of the wanton release of classified information regarding an individual’s position who secretly gathers intelligence for the ultimate protection of American citizens—maybe that crosses the line of whether to keep quiet and follow the journalistic dictum of not revealing your source, lest you not be able to go to that source, or any other for that matter, again for inside info. Maybe in the case of whoever blew Plame’s cover, regardless of the baseless motivation, the blower should be acknowledged. Who cares if anonymous sources remain anonymous if they are jeopardizing our lives?

But beyond all of this, is that once again the smoke and mirrors of beltway shenanigans are providing enough media distraction to shield more important stories, including ones that are just developing momentum.

Much of the commentary on the press lately says the “mainstream media” (MSM) are not interested in relevance, only sensation, and that the investigative reporting success of Woodward and Bernstein on Watergate could not happen in today’s climate of celebrity awe.

Christopher Dickey, award-winning reporter and Newsweek Bureau Chief in Paris, who also happens to be my good friend, is certainly an example of the best of “MSM,” and he is also a great investigative reporter. His latest chase is on to the recent Italian indictments of several CIA agents in Milan relating to their abduction of a Muslim cleric. This Imam was a major terrorist suspect of Italian justice, which was thwarted by the CIA kidnapping.[see The Road to Rendition, Christopher Dickey, Newsweek]

Chris’s latest entry of his Shadowland” column follows up on his original story of the removal of the Imam to Egypt for questioning, and probably torture, with Chris’s burrowing into the movements of the various CIA operatives as they moved toward the day of the abduction.

The good news about this story is that it reads like a fictional spy novel.

Who doesn’t love a good spy story? Shadowy operatives, evil terrorists, dangerous betrayals and the future of the free world hanging in the balance. Throw in the suggestion of sinister conspiracies at the very top of government—and some sex, of course—and you’ve got a pretty good book to take to the beach.—Dickey

The bad news is the consequence of thoughtless action on the part of our government, even to the point of reckless war.

But when real U.S. officials start acting like they’re living a Robert Ludlum saga, then you’ve got problems. And the more documentation that surfaces about the mysterious abduction of a suspected Al Qaeda figure from the streets of Italy in February 2003, the more it looks like whoever in the administration ordered the snatch got carried away with the dangerous glamour of the moment.—Dickey

After reading “Bourne Again?” one may come to the conclusion that the real smoking gun at the Bush/Cheney impeachment hearings will be about planted intelligence prior to the Iraq invasion, and not the comings and goings of the likes of Robert Novak and Karl Rove.

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