CIA IS THE BIG LOSER IN THE LIBBY/PLAME AFFAIR
Instapundit speaks out on this situation:
THE BIG LOSER in the Libby affair, it would seem to me, is the CIA. At least it will be if anyone pays attention.
Consider: Assuming that Valerie Plame was some sort of genuinely covert operative -- something that's not actually quite clear from the indictment -- the chain of events looks pretty damning: Wilson was sent to Africa on an investigative mission regarding nuclear weapons, but never asked to sign any sort of secrecy agreement(!). Wilson returns, reports, then publishes an oped in the New York Times (!!) about his mission. This pretty much ensures that people will start asking why he was sent, which leads to the fact that his wife arranged it. Once Wilson's oped appeared, Plame's covert status was in serious danger. Yet nobody seemed to care.
This leaves two possibilities. One is that the mission was intended to result in the New York Times oped all along, meaning that the CIA didn't care much about Plame's status, and was trying to meddle in domestic politics. This reflects very badly on the CIA.
The other possibility is that they're so clueless that they did this without any nefarious plan, because they're so inept, and so prone to cronyism and nepotism, that this is just business as usual. If so, the popular theory that the CIA couldn't find its own weenie with both hands and a flashlight would appear to have found some pretty strong support.
Either way, it seems to me that everyone involved with planning the Wilson mission should be fired. And it's obvious that the CIA, one way or another, needs a lot of work. (full post with some good links)
MORE from Power Line with a great excerpt from a New York Sun editorial:
If Ms. Plame didn't want her identity out, she shouldn't have gotten her husband a secret mission and then allowed him to wage a public campaign against the president's foreign policy. The leading prevaricator in this case is Mr. Wilson himself. He has accused Mr. Bush of falsely leading America to war. Mr. Bush had claimed "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Mr. Wilson drank tea in Niger for a week and said that Mr. Bush's claim was not true. But even after Mr. Wilson's objection, the July 2004 report by the British government's Butler Commission found that Mr. Bush's comment was "well-founded." In a July 2004 report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senators Roberts, Hatch, and Bond said of Mr. Wilson, "The former Ambassador, either by design or through ignorance, gave the American people and, for that matter, the world a version of events that was inaccurate, unsubstantiated, and misleading."