Monday, October 24, 2005

Another "Ah-ha!" moment 

You know, given all the time and energy going into the leak investigation, I had been starting to wonder whether Plame's work on WDM was purely the coincidental, ironic, "hey, who wouldda guessed it" meme that is always portrayed as being. Here Justin Raimondo lays down the scenario:
Until now, I have never understood why, in the name of all that's holy, Scooter and his cabal went after Valerie Plame, the wife of the man they supposedly sought revenge on. It seems remarkably petty and small-minded, even for a neocon. . . A hissy fit on Scooter's part doesn't quite qualify. There is, on the other hand, another possible explanation, less emotional and more cold-blooded, one that – in the context of recent developments – makes a certain amount of sense… Remember, the [Niger] forgeries were exposed in early March 2003. The New York Times published Wilson's now famous "What I Didn't Find in Africa" op-ed on July 6, 2003 – and we now know that Scooter and the gang were homing in on Wilson even before his piece appeared. We also know that Ms. Plame wasn't the only deep-cover CIA agent outed by Scooter and the Cheney-ites: she worked through a CIA front company, Brewster Jennings & Associates, engaged in anti-proliferation work, whose activities were aborted by Plame's exposure. In one fell swoop, an entire group of undercover CIA experts on nuclear weapons proliferation was neutralized . . . Everyone assumes Libby and his co-conspirators were really after Wilson, but this now seems unwarranted, especially in light of Fitzgerald's reported focus on the Niger uranium forgeries. If this question of the forgeries is now within Fitzgerald's purview, it opens up the possibility that the conspirators really were after Plame on her own account. If Plame and her associates were hot on the trail of whoever forged the Niger uranium documents, by neutralizing Brewster Jennings & Associates the Libby cabal closed one possible route to uncovering their schemes . . .
Well, and I suppose they were just so pleased with themselves at the time -- thinking they were neutralizing both Wilson AND Plame in one blow.
But there's more. Ramimondo also connects the leak investigation to the recent flap over Syria:
The U.S. is ratcheting up its campaign against Syria, even as the principal proponents of confronting Damascus – Libby, Hadley, Hannah, Wurmser, et al. – find themselves in Fitzgerald's sights. In effect, the prosecutor is running a race with the War Party: can they provoke a war with Syria before he brings charges? . . . The War Party has its own prosecutor, UN "investigator" Detlev Mehlis, currently trumping up charges against the next candidate for "regime change" in the Middle East: Syria. Mehlis operates under none of the constraints of the U.S. legal system . . . His report is full of uncorroborated testimony from unknown witnesses of unknowable veracity, and in places reads more like a political polemic than a legal document. I defy anyone to read it and come to any definite conclusion other than that Lebanon is one vast snakepit we would do well to stay out of. Yet drawing American troops into the Levant is precisely what the neocons are counting on to distract the American people from their treason, in a "wag the dog" scenario so bold it leaves one breathless. According to Joshua Landis, the respected scholar of Syrian politics and culture who resides in Damascus, the very people who fear indictments the most are behind this new push for war: "I have it on good authority that Steven Hadley, the director of the US National Security Council, called the President of the Italian senate to asked [sic] if he had a candidate to replace Bashar al-Assad as President of Syria. The Italians were horrified. Italy is one of Syria's biggest trading partners so it seemed a reasonable place to ask! This is what Washington has been up to." . . . We're on the Middle Eastern escalator, as I've said before: there is no way to contain the conflict we've unleashed in Iraq . . . The neocons know they're running a marathon, desperately trying to outrun the consequences of their own trail of deception. Will the truth catch up with Hadley, Ledeen, et al., before they can do any more damage to American interests in the Middle East – and spill more blood?
See the Raimondo article for the links to the background documents.

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