Monday, February 12, 2007

A Brief Reminder About the Libby Trial and the Coming Attack on Iran

Before this gets completely lost in the shuffle of our inexorable drive towards another war, I thought I should at least make a passing reference to this well-documented but little discussed fact. The very people who are now telling us that the supposed nuclear weapons threat posed by Iran is the most important thing in the world right now are the same people who saw fit to blow the cover of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame, who's main area of concentration was on, guess what, WMD proliferation issues in Iran.

According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.

Speaking under strict confidentiality, intelligence officials revealed heretofore unreported elements of Plame's work. Their accounts suggest that Plame's outing was more serious than has previously been reported and carries
grave implications for U.S. national security and its ability to monitor Iran's burgeoning nuclear program.

The Libby trial has revealed, in detail that would be shocking if we hadn't already been numbed beyond the capacity to feel shock by this administration, that there was a concerted effort to blow this agent's cover for purely political purposes (as opposed to some frivolous purpose like protecting the nation or something).

So how do we reconcile this? On the one hand we have a White House that tells us that Iran's nuclear program poses the gravest of threats to the safety of the US and the world. On the other hand, they seem to have felt perfectly at ease tossing out the window a CIA operation to counter Iran's efforts, outing not just Ms. Plame, but her entire under-cover operation, endangering the lives of any agents or cooperating individuals known to be associated with her and spoiling those assets for any future operations that may start up.

So, it seems Iran's programs are important enough to start a war over today, but they're not so important that we'd want to protect federal agents working to track them or anything. No, we can feel free to sacrifice them to BushCo's political calculus.

I find that so interesting. Maybe folks should talk about that more.