The Spectacle Blog

Re: Dems Still Chasing Plamegate Dragon

By on 6.21.08 | 12:10PM

Yesterday I observed that, in questioning former Bush spokesman Scott McClellan, Democrats were ignoring the fact that it was Richard Armitage who told Bob Novak that Valerie Plame was a CIA employee. Now, Mary Katharine Ham has quantified the media's role in obscuring this fact:

Google News Search for the following, when sorted according to date:
"scott mcclellan" + "bush" = 110 news results in the last 24 hours
"scott mcclellan" + "cheney" = 86 news results in the last 24 hours
"scott mcclellan" + "libby" = 80 news results in the last 24 hours
"scott mcclellan" + "rove" = 41 news results in the last 24 hours
"scott mcclellan" + "armitage" = 4 news results in the last 24 hours

More importantly, perhaps, both the Democrats and their media allies are still pushing the central fallacy of the Plamegate narrative, namely, that there was something malevolent or illegal in the revelation of Plame's identity.

As Novak relates in his book, he asked Armitage a perfectly reasonable question: Why would the CIA send Joe Wilson, a retired diplomat with no previous intelligence experience, to investigate the reports that Saddam was seeking "yellowcake" uranium ore from Niger? Armitage's answer was that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and she suggested him for the trip. As Novak explains, he checked with CIA Director George Tenet (a Clinton administration hold-over) to see if revealing Plame's identity would be a problem, and Tenet did not say that Plame's identity was secret. (Which it wasn't.)

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