Ron Rosenbaum

Anyone Remember Richard Armitage? Beam Him Up, Scotty

It’s hard for me to figure out whether it’s willful ignorance,or stupidity.Can we get this straight people? it’s been abundantly established that Valerie Plame’s CIA role was first leaked to the media–to Bob Novak the first one to publish it–by Richard Armitage, a State Department aide to Colin Powell who opposed the Bush Iraq war plans. Not by Scooter Libby who was convicted of lying about conversations with reporters about Plame, but only in response to their questions. The amazing dsingenuous way some reporters continue to disingenously write that Libby “talked to reporters about Plame”, gives the impression he buttonholed them and outed her, while Armitage’s role in actually blowing her cover is ignored.

Poor confused Scotty M. has his knickers in a twist because Bush declassified an NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) on Iraq and he somehow thinks, or those who misread him think, this proves Bush authorized the leak of Plame’s identity. Bush may be faulted for selected leaking of a declassified NIE. But nobody got upset when Bush declassified the (now discredited) Iranian nuke NIE last fall, because it happened to agree with their uninformed view of the subject.(U.S. intelligence, which has a proven record of being wrong about just about everything suddenly becomes infallible when it agrees with their political stance).

Both Scotty and some of his suddenly sycophantic media stenographers conflate the release of the Iraq NIE with the leaking of Plame’s identity. Not true. Plame was not in the NIE. Armitage leaked Plame’s cover. But his name is almost entirely absent from the shocked, shocked coverage of the suddenly noble Scotty’s “revelations”. On the evidence of his statements on the subject he may be too stupid or ignorant to know the difference between the NIE leak and the Plame leak. That’s no excuse for those writing about this.