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This is a default blog design by Earthlink. Enjoy it while you can, because I'm going to mangle play with it beyond all recognition.

1 Oct 03

Joe Hertzlinger says that Gedaliah ben Ahikam ben Shafan ‘was assassinated by the same type of nationalist bonehead who today blow up buses in Israel and NGO facilities in Iraq’. Not so: his killer, Yishmael ben Netaniah ben Elishama, was hired by King Baalis of Amman to do the deed. And he and his gang killed over a hundred more innocent people while they were about it, and kidnapped many more (Jeremiah 41). Kind of like if an Iranian or North Korean agent were to kill Bremer and a few hundred bystanders.
1 oct 03 @ 2:53 am edt

30 Sep 03

The Plame Game
OK, here's my theory on what's going on, which seems to fit all the facts that I'm aware of.

First, let's review what we (I) know:

  1. That Joseph Wilson's wife's name is Valerie Plame is not at all secret. It's in his bio at the Middle East Institute's web site.
  2. That she worked for the CIA seems to have been common knowledge.
  3. Novak's original article did not say that he learned this from his sources, whoever they are, and last I heard he still hasn't said so. He may have learned it from them, or he may simply have heard it around town.
  4. Nor has any other journalist yet confirmed that the fact that she worked for the CIA was being ‘shopped around’. CBS denies having got one of these calls, and Andrea Mitchell only got a call after Novak made it public knowledge.
  5. The only real evidence that she was indeed covert comes from the CIA, particularly from the fact that the CIA is asking for a DOJ investigation.
That's enough facts for now.

Now, what would explain all that's going on? What if she really was covert, but very few people knew that? After all, that's what's meant to happen to secrets. What if the person who ‘leaked’ the fact that she worked for the CIA didn't know that she was covert? Then they would have no reason to suspect that they shouldn't be talking about it, and didn't break any laws by doing so. And because this person didn't know it, Novak didn't know it either, so when the CIA didn't seem more than moderately concerned about him publishing her name, he decided to do so (which he had every right to do).

So it's now in print that Plame works for the CIA. BFD. But Wilson goes bananas, and complains loudly about Novak and Rove and ghodonlyknows who else endangering his wife's safety and blowing the nation's security to smithereens. Because he knows what she really does for the CIA. And because of his panic, now everyone else knows, or suspects, too. And his characterisation of what Novak was told gets conflated with what Novak actually printed, and suddenly everyone is talking about how Plame was Secret Agent Woman, and how terrible it is that the evil Karl Rove outed her for political reasons.

And now the shit truly hits the fan, and someone in the CIA realises that their operative has indeed been compromised. Now they need to blame it on someone.

OK, that's my theory. I don't know of any facts that contradict it. And it explains why the CIA is upset, without attributing either stupidity or criminality, let alone stupid criminality, to anyone in the White House.

30 sep 03 @ 1:55 am edt

24 Sep 03

Clark and Rove and Holtzman and Marshall
My first real post!

David Adesnik, guest blogging at The Volokh Conspiracy, reluctantly admits that ‘Josh Marshall seems to have caught the right-wing media red-handed in a disingenuous effort to discredit Wes Clark’.

In the referenced article, Marshall writes about the ‘Clark says Rove wouldn't return his calls’ piece by Howard Fineman.

He starts by saying that ‘Fineman's evidence is the say-so of Colorado's Republican Governor Bill Owens and one of his appointees, Marc Holtzman’, that ‘Owens is a Republican and he's close to Karl Rove and President Bush’ and therefore ‘might be advancing’ an agenda, and that ‘the story doesn't really add up on several other counts as well’. Then he cites Matthew Continetti's article in which he says that White House phone logs show that Clark never called Rove, at least at the White House.

Then he continues: ‘But wait a second. Do you see the problem here? Right. Clark isn't the one who's saying he put in calls to Karl Rove. Owens and Hotzman are saying it. So to the extent this means anything – and that's highly debatable – it discredits them, not him.’

But wait a second. Do you see the problem here? Right. Owens and Holtzman aren't saying that Clark called Rove, they're saying that Clark told them he called Rove, and that he ‘was dead serious’. Going back to the original Fineman piece, he quotes Holtzman as saying ‘He went into detail about his grievances. Clark wasn’t joking. We were really shocked’.

So the fact (if it is a fact) that the White House logs prove Clark never called Rove doesn't reflect at all on the credibility of Owens, Holtzman, Fineman, or Continetti. If Owens and Holtzman were telling the truth, and they correctly judged Clark's seriousness, then it does indeed discredit Clark. If they didn't, then this adds nothing to the story, because we wouldn't expect to find the call in the logs.

Now the core of the story – that Clark told Owens and Holtzman that he called Rove – seems undoubtedly true, since Clark himself confirmed it, claiming that it was a joke. And the phone logs seem to show (if that story is true) that Clark didn't in fact call Rove. The only question is whether Holtzman's judgement of Clark's state of mind is reliable, in which case Clark lied, or it's not reliable, in which case Holtzman is at worst an easy mark for a leg-pull.

24 sep 03 @ 3:02 am edt

My First Real Post
Is coming up in a bit. I still don't know which software I ultimately want to run on, but for now this is better than nothing. I'm about to experiment with LiveJournal as well, though.
24 sep 03 @ 2:20 am edt

2004.03.01 | 2004.02.01 | 2004.01.01 | 2003.12.01 | 2003.10.01 | 2003.09.01 | 2003.07.01

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