Friday | October 03, 2003
Plame Affair Merely a Symptom
By Meteor Blades
Count on the NY Daily News to give its unique slant to the Valerie Plame Affair: She’s cute.
WASHINGTON - The spy allegedly outed by a White House leaker is an attractive blond with Bond-girl looks who ran overseas operations and recruited agents for the CIA, sources told the Daily News yesterday. …
The mother of 3-year-old twins, Plame turns heads when she steps into a room, sources said.
"She has classic good looks: very shapely, long legs and blond shoulder-length hair," a source said. "She would be a star in her own Hollywood picture."
But, glitter aside, the paper also puts to rest the idiotic Rightist spin – including Novak’s - that Plame really wasn’t a covert operative.
Two former senior intelligence officials confirmed that Valerie Plame, 40, is an operations officer in the spy agency's directorate of operations - the clandestine service.
Plame "ran intelligence operations overseas," said Vincent Cannistraro, former CIA counterterrorism operations chief.
Her specialty in the agency's nonproliferation center was biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and "recruiting agents, sending them to areas where they could access information about proliferation matters, weapons of mass destruction," Cannistraro said. …
"Her assets may be at risk," [Cannistraro] said. "I think that's what justified the probe."
Insightful comments on dKos threads the past couple of days by Sara and Melanie have pointed out that the Plame Affair is just a symptom of continuing warfare between the White House, the Pentagon and the CIA.
Neoconservatives, in particular, have accused the Agency of having failed the nation, permitting planning for the attacks of 9-11 to go undetected. They were furious, too, that the CIA’s intelligence didn’t provide strong evidence that Iraq was the imminent threat that the neocons vociferously claimed it was. The dispute between the neocons and the established intelligence community didn’t begin when the World Trade Center towers crashed into lower Manhattan, however. The wrangling dates back to the 1980s when the Committee on the Present Danger was saying the Soviet Union was much more dangerous than the CIA claimed and publishing annual reports to prove it. Reports that turned out to be … exaggerations. Just like their “reports” on Iraq.
In his column in Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times, Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, takes up the neocon cudgel, the first blow being an oh-it's-just-politics attack on Democrats for their efforts to get to the bottom of the Plame Affair:
The Democrats seem to have learned a valuable lesson from Republicans about how to attack a popular president: First, take some complicated incident that no one outside the Beltway understands. Trumpet it as a "scandal." Denounce the president as the biggest scoundrel this side of Spiro Agnew. Demand that the FBI, an independent counsel, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and every gumshoe under the sun investigate this shocking breach of ethics. Then sit back and watch the election returns roll in.
No big deal here, folks. Tempest in a teacup. Just some silly partisanship.
Boot reserves the rest of his screed to firing some rounds in the neocon-CIA war.
In a recent Christian Science Monitor, Boot provided a nutshell view of the neocon world:
I think it's likely that the Gore administration would have invaded Afghanistan after 9/11. I think it's unlikely they would have invaded Iraq. That's the big difference.
That difference - in short, the refusal to follow the PNAC-Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive strikes – would have led to more 9-11s in the future, according to Boot.
Meanwhile, the fruits of the Doctrine are becoming all too plain:
In a 131-page report presented by the Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov yesterday at the meeting of the country's top military brass, on the map showing Russia’s threat perceptions Pakistan has been depicted as a politically unstable nation with nuclear weapons.
Afghanistan and US-occupied Iraq are also depicted as potential threats for Russia's security.
Presenting the latest military doctrine, Ivanov said that Russia reserves the right of preventive military strikes to thwart threats to its own vital interests or of its allies, including the protection of crucial transport arteries, and stability in the neighbouring countries.
Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.Posted October 03, 2003 12:00 AM | Comments (155)