Sunday, October 23, 2005

BACKWARD AND FORWARD Twenty-eight posts have run under the "Plame Watch" heading here at CONTRAPOSITIVE over the last two years. Those posts stretch back to the first month of the blog's existence, and include a seventeen month hiatus between February 2004 and July 2005.

It's been a long road.

This week, though, the Plame affair is likely to reach a decisive moment. Still, it's important to keep in mind that no reliable information has emerged about what is likely to happen.

Yes--there's been a lot of chatter in recent weeks from "lawyers involved in the case." But a careful reading of news reports citing legal sources make it clear that these lawyers don't work in Patrick Fitzgerald's office.

And in this case, Fitzgerald's lawyers are the only lawyers that matter.

(The one reporter who does seem to have prosecution sources--Murray Waas--has been more or less silent on the issue of indictments.)

All of which is a long way of saying it's a live possibility that no one will be charged in the leak probe.

So it's worth facing up to that possibility. But it's also worth taking a moment to return to the issue at the center of the Plame matter, and to remember what we've learned.

Namely: Karl Rove and Lewis Libby outed a CIA operative working on WMD issues for political gain.

Either they knew she was covert and allowed politics to trump national security or they didn't know her covert status and, in feats of staggeringly bad judgment, acted without considering the consequences of their behavior.

If the latter is true (and that's the charitable interpretation), their security clearances should have immediately been revoked.

Even if they emerge from next week uncharged, they should be fired.

That they have been able to survive and thrive in the Bush administration--even after their dangerous behavior became public--isn't surprising. But is should be a scandal.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.