Friday, March 16, 2007

Libby Trial Redux - The Plame Wilson Hearing

image credit: IASL
This is a view of the north coast of New Zealand. It's looking better all the time.

I don't have much to say about this that hasn't already been said by others. Valerie Plame Wilson testified this morning to the House Oversight Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman. It was a day full of revelations, mostly of the sordid kind:

  • Valerie Wilson testified that she was, indeed, a covert agent of the CIA. Much of what she did is still classified, but one of the areas she was working on was weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

  • The White House conducted no investigation into how this leak occured, in contrast to their public statements.

  • Valerie didn't send Joe Wilson to Niger (thanks Colorado Bob). She just passed along the request from the CIA, as this article explains.

  • Most employees of the U.S. government or its contractors would have been disciplined or fired for doing what Cheney, Libby, and others in the White House did. Even Victoria Toensing admits that this is "sometimes" the case.

  • Victoria Toensing is a barking lunatic.

Taylor Marsh has videos of Mrs. Wilson's testimony. I'll look at it later. Meanwhile, there's lots of color commentary at No Quarter and Firedoglake. The latter, along with Daily Kos, have live blogging of the hearings.

Listening to these hearings, particularly the insane nonsense of Ms. Toensing, is enough to give one a very sour view of human nature. There's only so much rationalization and falsehood one can watch from one's government before one is forced to consider just how people like this could have been allowed anywhere near real power. But then, there were positives as well:

  • There are representatives like Henry Waxman, who really gets that it's our country, and they're just running it for us.

  • There are people like Valerie Wilson out there, who do dangerous work to the best of their ability, and it makes us better informed and safer. They often do that work in spite of whatever machinations might be going on above their pay grade.

  • There are honest people in the strangest places. Mark Zaid, the other lawyer who was testifying alongside Toensing, answered questions from both sides honestly. The facts he spoke of made points for both sides, but in the end it was pretty clear that the Republicans trying to defend the White House's conduct really didn't have a leg to stand on. Zaid's profile at Sourcewatch should make it clear why I found this unexpected.

I think Rep. Elijah Cummings summed up the whole Plamegate saga nicely today. I'm paraphrasing, but the substance of what he said was:

I hope we don’t lose sight of the fact that someone who risked her life for her country has lost her job - the thing she loved to do.

That's his emphasis, by the way. She risked her life to do something she apparently loved, and that made us and the rest of the world safer. Then those clowns who run the White House took it away from her, and us, because they were eager to discredit or punish her husband for calling them out on their lies.

That those people seem to be unashamed of what they've done is something I don't want to think about right now. I was just starting to feel optimistic again about my species.

UPDATE: I should add that Larry Johnson did another wonderful job of dismantling right wing talking points disseminated by Investors Business Daily and the inaptly named American Thinker yesterday at No Quarter.

UPDATE2: I fixed a bunch of links. They should work now.

UPDATE3: New bullet point.

UPDATE4: SusanUnPC writes tonight at No Quarter:

While it was an honor to hear her testimony today, I wish I had never heard of Valerie Plame Wilson. And I wish she were still doing her job. It sickens me that Bush administration officials, for the most base political reasons, destroyed the career of this woman who was doing the work I, and all of you, were counting on.

The Hearing's Revelations -- Why They Matter

Read the rest. It's good.



You have a way with words :
"Barking Lunatic"



One more bullet point :
She didn't send Joe to Africa.

Cujo359 said...

Somehow "barking lunatic" just fits the theme of this blog, no?

The other bullet point was, indeed true Valerie didn't "send" Joe Wilson to Niger. It was something many of us realized before. She didn't even sit in on Joe's meeting with the CIA. She just passed the request to Joe prior to his meeting with the CIA.

JEP said...

Came over to beg your forgiveness for mixing up your blogname with "K" on Larry's blog, I was shamefully skimming whenI should have been thoroughly reading your post.

Don't hold it against me, I tend to shoot first and ask questions later, but I'm still a good progressive, not a neocon with a scattergun.


JEP said...

Geez, and that itme I didn't even get the cujo (cufo) part right, sorry again!!!