Monday, July 11, 2005
Remember where this story started: With Joe Wilson writing a New York Times op-Ed. That op-Ed moved the Iraq story forward: Wilson wasn't just some pundit impugning the veracity of the White House. Instead, he was a seasoned diplomat questioning the credibility of the administration's characterizations of pre-war intelligence from a position of first-hand knowledge.
So the questions Wilson was raising were likely to be taken seriously by the press. And they went right to the heart--not just of the advisability--but of the legitimacy of the Iraq invasion: He was blowing the whistle on the administration's blinkered approach to Iraq intelligence, and the White House was understandably eager to unblow that whistle.
A calculation was made: If it took outing a CIA agent to squelch off the discussion before it really got going, so be it. Insulating the Bush administration from charges of having gone to war under false pretenses was what mattered most.
So there's no phone sex here, no late night pizzas. Just national security, abuse of power, and the legitimacy of a war in which 1,755 American soldiers have died.