Sunday, October 30, 2005

Grown-up Conservatives: What's going on here?

From The American Conservative:

Who was behind the Niger uranium documents?

From the beginning, there has been little doubt in the intelligence community that the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame was part of a bigger story. That she was exposed in an attempt to discredit her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, is clear, but the drive to demonize Wilson cannot reasonably be attributed only to revenge. Rather, her identification likely grew out of an attempt to cover up the forging of documents alleging that Iraq attempted to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger.

What took place and why will not be known with any certainty until the details of the Fitzgerald investigation are revealed. (As we go to press, Fitzgerald has made no public statement.) But recent revelations in the Italian press, most notably in the pages of La Repubblica, along with information already on the public record, suggest a plausible scenario for the evolution of Plamegate.
It would have been extremely convenient for the administration, struggling to explain why Iraq was a threat, to be able to produce information from an unimpeachable “foreign intelligence source” to confirm the Iraqi worst-case.

The question remains: who forged the documents? The available evidence suggests that two candidates had access and motive: SISMI and the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans.


The possible forgery of the information by Defense Department employees would explain the viciousness of the attack on Valerie Plame and her husband. Wilson, when he denounced the forgeries in the New York Times in July 2003, turned an issue in which there was little public interest into something much bigger. The investigation continues, but the campaign against this lone detractor suggests that the administration was concerned about something far weightier than his critical op-ed.

A good overview of the forged docs-Plamegate links, worth a read. It is becoming apparent that while the relationship would be largely (but not wholly) tactical, progressives need to connect with the grown-ups in the GOP who are equally as repulsed by the authoritarian megalomaniacs who are driving the country off a cliff. I, for one, long for the day when we can resume having debates with paleocons and moderates that are based in facts and coherent philosophies rather than magical thinking.


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