PlameGate: The Motivation
Cheney's long-time "War" with the CIA has been well documented. Today Juan Cole touches on Cheney's specific motivation for the Plame leak:
Cheney's circle saw Wilson's op-ed as treason and also appear to have believed that the CIA was out to make them the fall guys for the bad intel. So if they decided to send a signal to the CIA that its field officers were vulnerable and could be outed at will, that would make sense as a riposte.Cheney is a true believer in his own madness. He has consistently been the last to abandon the out-and-out lies like WMDs and Saddam links to Al Quaeda. Why? Because facts and reality to him are just inconvenient obstacles: he is chasing a dream, a vision of complete US global supremacy (nothing less will do). It is a fantasy Cheney has nurtured through decades of secretive, clandestine struggle. To imagine how he might handle an indictment in the Fitzgerald case, think of Jack Nicholson screaming at Tom Cruise: "You can't handle the truth!"
Rumsfeld is made from the same mould, an old Cold War warrior who finally has the power (or so he thinks) to win the battles that ended (though he refuses to accept it) back in the early 1990's.
Lies? Hell, these people have been juggling multiple lies, secrets, half-truths and every other kind of deception for half a century!
As Laura Rozen writes:
One thing we know from the Fitzgerald investigation: the campaign to discredit Joe Wilson by saying he had only gotten the trip to Niger as a boondoggle from his wife, a CIA officer, was part of a larger, concerted effort by officials from the White House and the Vice President's office to construct an alternative narrative of who was to blame for the Iraq WMD intelligence fiasco. Not the White House, but the CIA. Rove and Libby weren't just telling reporters, 'Cheney doesn't know anything about Wilson's trip.' No. They created a fuller, alternative narrative: 'Cheney didn't know anything about Wilson's trip to Niger, because Wilson only got the trip as a boondoggle from his wife who works on unconventional weapons at the CIA.' It may seem like an almost random side note that has cost them considerable trouble. But it wasn't random at all. As we know from recent reports surrounding the Fitzgerald investigation, the Vice President's office was leading an all-out propaganda war -- every bit as choreographed as the pre-war propaganda campaign by the same officials -- to blame the CIA for the fact that there weren't any WMD to be found in Iraq after all, and the chief stated reason for the war was collapsing. And it enlisted not just leaks to reporters about Valerie Plame to conduct that war against the CIA. It also enlisted key Republican officials in Congress, to buck up its narrative, and literally divert attention from the role of the White House and executive branch offices in citing truly dubious Iraq intelligence - some, including the Niger yellowcake claims, not supported by the intelligence community at all.Rozen fingers Pat Roberts, the chair of the Senate Select Intelligence committee, the committee that had promised to investigate how the US government got Iraq intelligence so wrong:
Roberts has literally been coordinating with Senate majority leader Frist and Cheney's office very closely on many aspects of the Senate Intelligence committee's supposed investigation of the intelligence, and in particular, working closely with Cheney's office on crafting the language defining the terms for the as-yet unfinished Phase II report. It hardly is surprising that Cheney took a big interest in what the Senate Select Intelligence committee might turn up in its investigation. But think about it. Here's the Congressional committee constitutionally mandated to provide oversight of all intelligence activities happening by the US government. And yet, here we have the Intelligence committee head coordinating to some degree with the Vice President's office, who we now know to be deeply involved in some of the most dubious of pre-war intelligence pronouncements, tasking, unconventional intel channels, and cherry picking, and at the forefront of a post-war campaign to slime Wilson and his CIA officer wife. When Congress is in cahoots with the administration in stifling oversight, who can investigate the investigators? Unfortunately, it's not in Fitzgerald's mandate.Rozen has more here.