Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Plame flame out

Way back when the Valerie Plame scandal broke, I thought it was much ado about nothing. In my initial view, the "outing" of Valerie Plame, a DC socialite cum CIA agent, was one of those stories that sounded a lot juicier than it really was.

But something funny on the way to Scooter Libby's indictment happened, as the story grew "legs" and got weirder with each passing month. A New York Times reporter goes to jail for protecting a source -- but that reporter is suspected of being in bed (literally) with members of the Administration. Robert Novak bizarrely storms off the set of a CNN news show with James Carville. Plame's husband, Joe Wilson, writes an influential op-ed in the Times but then is caught lying. Karl Rove is presumed to be the leaker, but isn't. Bob Woodward knows the source of the leak, but isn't telling. Patrick Fitzgerald indicts Cheney's chief of staff, the aforementioned Scooter, but maybe he shouldn't have. And as it turns out, the actual leaker -- Richard Armitage, a Colin Powell protege -- could have revealed himself whenever he chose.

What a bizarre, and ultimately overhyped, little scandal. And I bought into it. Oops.


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