Ah, the plot thickens in the Valerie Plame spy leak case. And this is but one of several juicy scandals brewing for the Bush White House including the case of the disappearing WMD and the disappearing service in the Alabama Air National Guard. One can only hope that they’ll keep those scandals coming through Election Day. C’mon Bushites, ’tis but a small thing I ask!
For those who’d like a clear and comprehensive summary of the Plame case (at least what was known up to July, 2003), go over and visit: The Story of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame at the Daily Rant. Vanity Fair published another great story, Double Exposure, (January 2004) that includes an interview with Plame and lots of interesting personal background about her. Jim Gilliam posts the Vanity Fair story in its entirety in his blog.
The list of those interviewed by the FBI regarding the Plame leak reads like a Who’s Who of Bush Administration power players. Anxiety Takes Hold of Presidential Aides Caught Up in Leak Inquiry in the February 12th issue of the New York Times lists those who’ve spoken with the FBI:
Officials interviewed include Karl Rove, Bush’s senior adviser; McClellan; Matalin; Levine; White House communications director Dan Bartlett; former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer; I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff; and Cathie Martin, a Cheney aide, according to the sources.
Bush Aides Testify in Leak Probe in the Feburary 9th edition of the Washington Post enumerates those who’ve testified before the grand jury:
Scott McClellan, Mr. Bush’s press secretary; Claire Buchan, a deputy press secretary; Mary Matalin, a former top adviser to Mr. Cheney; and Adam Levine, a former White House communications aide have trooped in to answer questions from the grand jury.
And the questioning hasn’t been polite. The Post story says:
In at least a few cases, the FBI questioning was portrayed as very aggressive, with agents homing in on specific conversations with journalists. “Even witnesses that they describe as being potentially helpful are being treated as adversaries,” a source close to the investigation said.
Lest anyone doubt the zeal or seriousness with which Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor is pursuing the case, Top Bush Aide Is Questioned in C.I.A. Leak (NYT, February 10th) tells us that:
Prosecutors have emphasized the seriousness of the case, informing the White House employees that they are “subjects” of the inquiry. In legal terminology, a subject is in potentially greater jeopardy of being accused of a crime than a witness. But a subject is in a less threatening situation than a target, someone who may expect to be charged.
Finally, I’m having trouble figuring out just what the vindictive leaker hoped to accomplish in betraying Valerie Plame’s identity. Presumably, he or she was angry at Joseph Wilson for his “going public” about the Niger uranium hoax. Then, why wouldn’t they do something that hurt Wilson directly? Why would they go after his wife for God’s sake? This indicates that the motive was pure revenge; and revenge in this Mafia-like White House is a family affair. If I can’t destroy the traitor I want, then I go after those near and dear to him…his wife. Sounds like this plotting belongs in a Sicilian blood feud rather than our nation’s capital. Dick Cheney as Don Correleone anyone?