by Henry on December 3, 2003

Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame appear in a photograph in next month’s _Vanity Fair_. Plame is not identifiable in the photograph. Therefore, according to Glenn Reynolds, the Plame affair is officially “bogus”:

bq. if you’re really an undercover spy, and really worried about national security, you don’t do this sort of thing

The obvious response: does this stricture apply to undercover spies who’ve already had their cover blown by scumball “senior officials” in the administration?

Reynolds goes on to say that the photo proves that either she is a publicity hound, or her husband is. Maybe true. But so what? The point which Reynolds and his dimwitted cronies don’t get, or, more precisely, don’t want to get, is that the Plame affair does _not_ fall or stand on Joseph Wilson’s personality. There’s substantial evidence from a variety of sources that some person or persons within the administration leaked Plame’s identity for partisan political purposes. And that’s pretty nasty. If a Democrat, or heaven forbid, a French political official, had leaked information on a CIA undercover operative’s identity, Reynolds would be slobbering all over it. Because it’s a senior administration official, he’s willing to turn whatever intellectual cartwheels are necessary to deny the evidence disconfirming his partisan and simplistic world view. It’s a rather pathetic sight.



Jimmy Doyle 12.03.03 at 6:27 pm

Hear, hear, Henry. Reynolds has substantial previous on this issue. Mark Kleiman put it well:

“Doesn’t the distinction between criminal behavior and lawful behavior mean anything to Professor Reynolds of the University of Tennessee Law School?…

“But here’s the most troublesome question, to those of us who have differed with Glenn in the past but thought he was basically a patriot and a lover of liberty, and that we were therefore basically on the same side:

“Now that we know that a serious crime was committed by people high up in the White House — a crime damaging to the national security, engaged in as a shoddy act of vicarious revenge on the wife of someone who had displeased them — why, in that situation, is Glenn giving advice to the Bush team on how to cover it up?”



Mrs Tilton 12.03.03 at 6:27 pm

Partisan and simplistic? Indeed.

So simplistic, for that matter, that it ought to be a doddle to write an application that would, fed with any set of facts, generate the expected InstaPundit response. Then we could all visit the InstaInstaPundit site to see what Reynolds would have said, and there’d be no need to pay any more attention to the sad oul bore himself.


Ted Barlow 12.03.03 at 6:41 pm

Instalogic makes the Paula Jones case extra-double-plus bogus. I’ll get my eraser out.


djw 12.03.03 at 7:20 pm

Well said. If Plame decided to kill 20 people, sell classified security information to Saddam Hussein and pose in Hustler this month, it wouldn’t change anything about what the Bush administration did BEFORE that fact. The logic here is staggering, especially for an alleged legal scholar.


Andrew Edwards 12.03.03 at 8:27 pm

That Instapost is just amazing.

Look. Wilson could be a self-promoter. He could be a Nazi for all I care. Doesn’t matter.

Let’s say it again:

Without Wilson saying or doing anything, the column written by Robert Novak implicates senior Bush officials in a criminal security breach.

Wilson is irrelevant to the story, as long as Novak’s column was factual. Plame is irrelevant, actually, except that she happens to be the victim.

Glenn: Stop blaming the victims. God.


Jeremy Osner` 12.03.03 at 8:31 pm

A bit off-topic — has anyone noticed that Novak has brought to light another violation of federal law by the GOP? His hard-hitting investigative journalism sniffs out the attempted bribery of Rep. Nick Smith during the recent house vote on Medicare. See TPM for details.


Dugger 12.03.03 at 8:49 pm

Give it up. Wilson is admitted liar (see Seattle statement on Rove) and left wing activist. We do not know who released Plame’s CIA employment status. Now your fake, shallow Jane Bond (a stateside desk-bound bureaucrat) is doing glossy national magazine spreads – probably wearing Danny Ortega designeer sunglasses. Boy she really must be an important SECRET agent. You guys thought this issue would be the orgasmic realization of your hate Bush fantasies and now it has imploded. Better go back to Cynthia McKinney. TA TA.


Jo Ma 12.03.03 at 9:03 pm

Indeed. It does seem that Henry and his chorus deny the evidence disconfirming his simplistic world view. It is a rather pathetic sight.


Arthur D. Hlavaty 12.03.03 at 9:07 pm

Right. And if Kobe Bryant’s defense time finds any evidence that the victim has any interest in a book contract, then he’s innocent, too.


Jimmy Doyle 12.03.03 at 9:08 pm

Re the last two comments. What d’you reckon: Hoaxes? Or just morons?


Jimmy Doyle 12.03.03 at 9:10 pm

Sorry; Mr Hlavaty posted while I was writing up mine. I was referring to ‘dugger’ and ‘jo ma,’ in case it wasn’t obvious.


Walt Pohl 12.03.03 at 9:21 pm

Dugger: Joseph Wilson is the man who, _while in Baghdad_ after Saddam Hussein basically threatened his life, dared Saddam to come and get him. You, on the other hand, are just some wuss with an internet connection.

Glenn Reynolds’ response is really astonishingly stupid. At this point Valerie Plame could pose in Playboy, and it wouldn’t make whoever sold her out any less of a criminal.


Dugger 12.03.03 at 10:58 pm


So what. Joe Wilson, the little partisan skunk, admitted publicly that he lied about Carl Rove and he’s been heavily involved with left wing political groups. He boo-hooed in public about his wife’s identity and job, and then poses in a national magazine with her. Any bells going off Walt?
You buy that crap because its an opportunity to smear a good man (Bush) and its Instapundit thats dumb? Wow!


ASG 12.03.03 at 11:04 pm

This is hilarious. “Substantial evidence” of “partisan political purposes”? What such purposes were served by the Plame leak? Criminal leak? No one has ever shown that Plame was covered by the identity protection policy, since she’d been out of action so long.

I gotta say, all the shots taken at Instapundit are pretty funny. The image they evoke is of gnats swarming around a horse.


ahem 12.03.03 at 11:15 pm

I gotta say, all the shots taken at Instapundit are pretty funny.

But not as funny as his inane acolytes.

The image they evoke is of gnats swarming around a horse

Nah: but the image of Instapundit fans is one of flies swarming around horseshit.


Keith M Ellis 12.03.03 at 11:39 pm

Hey, I don’t think there’s any denying that Wilson’s self-promotion leaves a bad taste in the mouth. And since he’s been pushing this story, it’s valid to be suspicious.

But, as Henry and others are saying, the bare facts of the story indicate at least unknowing wrongdoing on the part of someone in the Bush administration involving, perversly, national security issues regarding weapons proliferation. Period. If the shoe were on the other foot, you’d bet Instapundit et al would be outraged and clamoring for an indictment.

That of course doesn’t mean that they’d be right. Perhaps they wouldn’t be, and perhaps we’re not right to make such a big issue out of this.

But it’s still deserving of some scrutiny and sweeping it under the carpet, apologetics, and smear tactics by this administration and its defenders are, in a word, dishonest.


Walt Pohl 12.03.03 at 11:47 pm

Dugger: Shockingly, people in this country are still allowed to have opinions. Even Joseph Wilson. (In fact, especially Joseph Wilson, since, as I alluded to, he’s a goddamn American hero.)

What is there to say? Someone leaked Plame’s identity to the media to score political points. This isn’t something Wilson made up: this is a fact. (Now that her cover is blown, she’s free – like any other red-blooded American – to pose for nude pictures on the Internet, if she wants.) And yet no one has even been _fired_.

Asq: So your rule is that no one gets to criticize anyone more famous? I take it you’re not much of a sports fan.


roger 12.04.03 at 1:29 am

“I gotta say, all the shots taken at Instapundit are pretty funny. The image they evoke is of gnats swarming around a horse.”

Actually, the correct image is of only part of a horse.


Nate 12.04.03 at 2:14 am

Hey dugger…

how on earth do you know that Bush “is a good man”? Have you spent much time with him?

I don’t have much evidence about Bush’s personality. But I do have one bit of personal anecdotal evidence.

On December 1st George W. Bush attended fundraisers in Detroit MI and Newark NJ. I was connecting at Detroit International Airport to fly to Newark. Because they don’t let other airplanes fly too close to Air Force One and his flightpath was exactly our flightpath, we had to wait three freaking hours. That was several hundred people who had their days ruined and travel plans messed up. Some folks catching international flights at Newark had to rebook their international flights.

When I got home to NJ the first thing I did was check the Detroit Freepress to see what Bush was doing. It would have been okay if he were doing the business of America, you know, meeting the governor or pinning a medal on some kid from Deroit. But it was just some stupid $2000 a plate fundraiser. Same thing in Newark, another $2000 a plate fundraiser.

As far as I’m concerned, he should realize that flying around with the security procedures they have, these things are a real inconvenience to real people. I wouldn’t give him $2000 to run for reelection, but I don’t begrudge somebody who would. Just don’t take 3 hours of my life for that nonsense.


julia 12.04.03 at 1:17 pm

Hey, be fair. I’m sure Professor Reynolds was absolutely opposed to acting on any scandal involving Linda Tripp and Paula Jones, ’cause they didn’t exactly shun the spotlight.

Here’s a question: someone is after Wilson’s wife. The whole question (as Dana Milbanks said in the Post in the past week) has dropped completely off the radar screen, and shows no signs of returning.

The woman’s life was endangered, and now the whole thing is being disappeared because one of the president’s men is the felon who made it happen.

Isn’t it shocking that Wilson is looking for publicity? The nerve.


julia 12.04.03 at 1:19 pm

sorry, Milbank.


gnat 12.05.03 at 5:48 pm

Congrats! The non biased media successfully suppressed the Rockefeller Senate Intelligence Committee memo that suggested using said committee to attack the administration. (Even if doing so harmed national interests like the WOT)

No mention of that in Newsweek – ever

Five page lead story on the Plame thing however.

Comments on this entry are closed.