Roger L. Simon

At the Valerie Plame Employment Office

On the brink of the evident indictment of ‘Scooter’ Libby, I am still trying to puzzle out the arcane and not so arcane motivations behind the endless Valerie Plame melodrama. What is clear to me is that if Libby and/or Rove did make false statements to a grand jury, they are not particularly bright fellows. On the other hand, a reputedly bright very recent former president lied blatantly under oath. Of course, that was about sex – not nearly as important a matter as national security – but I wonder.

A blood attack is nows going on by the Democrats on the Republicans – payback time. It’s hard to say the Repubs don’t deserve it. In any case, in both situations the principles seem to have been manoeuvred into their lies by the opposite side – the usual political gotcha game – not that that excuses anyone.

It’s obvious too that the Plame Affair is not at all about some minor not-so-covert CIA official, but about Iraq. It is a replaying of the war on other turf. The odd thing about this is that it has always struck me that Iraq could just as easily have been a Democratic Party war. Despite his present ultra-dovish position, Gore, who has often been a foreign policy hawk during his career, might easily have led the nation into the Iraq War had he been elected. His opinions now are dictated, in part, by his current constituency. This is no more than normal human behavior.

As the for the run-up to the war, in looking back I think it was a big game of charades that everybody understood. Despite what was said, the obvious US motivation was geo-political. We wanted the despot Saddam out of the Middle East and replaced by a democracy. The French and the Russians – never particularly interested in democracy in the first place – desperately wanted to keep their cash cow in office. Everybody knew this, so the dreaded WMDs had to be emphasized in front of the UN. Never mind that whether Saddam had nuclear and other such weapons now or later was essentially irrelevant as long as he was in power and able to use them, never mind the supposedly missing weapons could be hidden at this moment in Syria, Lebanon or Iran (or even Iraq of course), never mind that there actually is a fledgling democracy in Iraq seemingly applauded by a vast majority of Iraqis, the weapons have been pronounced non-existent and the war a mistake.

Of course the real mistake was this emphasis on WMDs instead of a more honest declaration of the what the war was really about – democracy. On that score it hasn’t fared that badly, all things considered. But still the focus must be kept on missing WMDs. The story behind the story is the forged Niger documents, which are currently under FBI investigation. Who knows where that will lead or how it will be spun? But I’ll place my bets it can all be filed under the category of employment.

UPDATE: Neo-neocon brings her therapist’s eye and brain to the feeding frenzy.