Monday, 29 September 2003

Plame Blame Game

I really don’t know what to make of this whole Valerie Plame business—I remember reading the original Novak piece God-knows-how-long-ago and found it a bit of a head-scratcher (to say the least). And I’m no more enlightened now, perhaps in part because of the four Tylenol PM’s I took last night that somehow knocked me out for a good eighteen hours. So I’ll just point you to Daniel Drezner’s post, which (a) has a good collection of links and (b) displays an appropriate balance between outrage and confusion.

Saturday, 4 October 2003

More of the Plame Blame Game

Dan Drezner, as always, has the latest on the machinations surrounding the Plame/Wilson affair. I don’t have too much to add, since I’m immersed in a fun college football Saturday that has seen the David Cutcliffe Season Survival Meter (current value, as always, in the sidebar) skyrocket by no less than 25 points.

Sunday, 5 October 2003

Valerie Plame and the NOC list

Gary Farber points out a New York Times piece that, while going out of its way to kiss Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet’s ass, indicates Valerie Plame had a ‘non-official cover’, which is CIA-speak for “Plame posed as a civilian expert under her own name while actually working for the CIA.”

Now, assuming this is true, the obvious question is why anyone with Robert Novak’s phone number in their Rolodex would know this. Novak may have some cachet as a columnist, but his shifting politics over the years suggest he should have few friends in this—or any other—administration. It’s even more puzzling why her CIA job would apparently have been common knowledge in Washington circles if Plame did have a non-official cover—or, for that matter, why an undercover operative would draw attention to herself by making donations to political candidates that must be disclosed to the public by law.

Frankly, I think the only way this mess is going to get sorted out is if the FBI and/or Congress follow Glenn Reynolds’ suggestion and start subpeonaing the journalists involved in breaking this story, starting with Novak. And, if they don’t like it, maybe they should put the heat on their sources. And, in the end, I suspect these sources will look a heck of a lot more like David Kelley than Karl Rove—two small fish whose reputations were puffed up to make a story sound more sensational than it really was.

Thursday, 4 December 2003

Plame jumps the shark

The whole Valerie Plame business is rapidly approaching Theatre of the Absurd levels; Steven Taylor of PoliBlog and Glenn Reynolds have all the gory details. I’m not quite ready to proclaim the whole business “bogus,” but the bogosity meter is definitely edging toward 11 on the Spinal Tap scale.

Friday, 2 January 2004

The never-ending Plame controversy

Patio Pundit Martin Devon links a Michael Kinsley column that cuts to the heart of the Valerie Plame controversy: that if syphilocon columnist Robert Novak stopped protecting his alleged source, the story would be over and we could all go back to our own lives. Money graf:

The purpose of protecting the identity of leakers is to encourage future leaks. Leaks to journalists, and fear of leaks, can be an important restraint on misbehavior by powerful institutions and people. This serves the public interest. But there is no public interest in leaks that harm national security, or leaks that violate the law, or leaks intended to harm blameless individuals. There is no reason to want more of these kinds of leaks. So there is no reason to protect the identity of such bad-faith leakers.

Yes, but that wouldn’t be consistent with Novak’s personal interest in bringing down the faux-conservative apostates running the Bush administration, now would it?

Update: Juan Non-Volokh notes that we know less about what really went on than most pundits think, pointing to an account from today’s WaPo.

Also at Martin’s place: an amusing Slate column on faculty-student relationships by Laura Kipinis.

Tuesday, 24 August 2004


Our long national nightmare, the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson saga, may finally be nearing an end. The Kerry front organizations left wing of the blogosphere claims there’s an indictment of “Scooter” Libby on the way, while the Bush stooges InstaPundit (and the Washington Post) reports that Libby is cooperating with investigators by waiving his right of confidentiality in dealings with Time reporter Matthew Cooper.

Tuesday, 15 February 2005

Stare decisis and all that

Nice to see the appellate courts still wasting time on claims of reporters’ privilege; it’s only been 33 years since Branzburg v. Hayes after all. And, if we’re really lucky, this means the stupid Valerie Plame business will be settled once and for all… of course, I’ve said that before. (þ: OTB)