As National Public Radio described the story behind Joe Wilson's amusingly titled
book, "The Politics of Truth" (available on the $1 table in fine bookstores
everywhere), in May 2004:
"Last July Wilson wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times saying that this
particular intelligence regarding Iraq was false. A week later, columnist Robert
Novak revealed that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative."
This is like saying: "John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan; Reagan later died." Every
word of that is true, but what it implies that Hinckley killed Reagan is
In the exact same way, the grand White House conspiracy promoted by Wilson and the
mainstream media cites chronological events to prove causation.
The media's conspiracy theory is:
(1) Wilson said Bush's famed "16 words" in his 2003 State of the Union address
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant
quantities of uranium from Africa" were a lie.
(2) Wilson's wife was then revealed to be an "undercover" spy at the CIA, exposing
Wilson and his family to danger.
(3) Therefore, she was "outed" by the White House as retaliation against Wilson for
calling Bush a liar.
Point 1 of liberals' conspiracy theory has been proved false since Britain's Butler
Commission reviewed its government's pre-war intelligence on Iraq and concluded
that "the British government had intelligence from several different sources
indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium."
It was again proved false when our own Senate Intelligence Committee also
concluded, in July 2004, that Saddam Hussein had sought uranium from Niger.
So there went the White House's motive for muddying up Wilson: Government
fact-finding commissions, here and in the United Kingdom, were muddying up Wilson
on their own simply by finding facts.
Point 2, that Wilson's wife was an undercover agent, has been proved false even to
the willfully blind since Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced the
conclusion to his pointless investigation last year, saying that Plame's employment
with the CIA was not undercover, but merely "classified."
Everything is "classified" at the CIA. They have no idea when 19 terrorists are
about to hijack commercial aircraft and slaughter 3,000 Americans, but the CIA is
very good at play-acting James Bond spy games.
How covert was Valerie Plame at the CIA? Her top-secret code name was "Valerie
All this should have been enough to end conspiracy theories of White House
skullduggery. But the nation's newsrooms simply continued asserting that someone in
the Bush White House had "outed" Valerie Plame, despite the fact that revealing her
employment with the CIA was not illegal.
Thus, as recently as January of this year, a New York Times editorial said the
issue of the "leak" about Wilson's wife, whom the Times called "a covert CIA
operative whose identity was leaked" (two strikes already), concerned "whether the
White House was using this information in an attempt to silence Mrs. Wilson's
husband, a critic of the Iraq invasion."
Wilson was more precise about the White House "leaker," variously naming Karl Rove,
Lewis Libby and Dick Cheney as the source. He even described "a meeting in the
suite of offices that the vice president occupies, chaired by either the vice
president or Mr. Libby," where, Wilson said, the decision was made to destroy him.
(If the secret plan hatched in the vice president's office was to send evil spirits
to enter Wilson's body and make him act like a fool, the plan worked brilliantly.)
Now it turns out, even Point 3 of liberals' conspiracy theory was false: The
original "leaker" of Plame's name to columnist Bob Novak not a crime was not
in the White House at all. It was Richard Armitage, a State Department official and
opponent of the Iraq war.
The information that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA had nothing to do with harming
Wilson. It did not come from the White House. It did not even come from someone who
supported the war in Iraq.
The rest of the world found out Armitage was Novak's source last week, something
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald knew from the first week of his
investigation. So what was Fitzgerald investigating?
Even people who think the president should not be subject to civil suits in office
do not deny that Bill Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky and lied about it
in a civil suit brought by Paula Jones. However irritating it is to liberals that
lying about sex under oath is a crime, there was a crime
that Ken Starr was investigating.
What was Fitzgerald investigating? Not only was there no underlying crime, there
was not even as the Times put it "an attempt to silence Mrs. Wilson's
husband" (or an attempt "to respond to people calling you a liar in The New York
Times," as normal people put it).
Fitzgerald's entire investigation was nothing but a perjury trap from beginning to
end for anyone who misremembered anything about who told whom what about a
low-level nobody at the CIA who happened to be married to a Walter Mitty