21 Dec 2005

The Silence of the Plame Platoon

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Max Boot writing in the LA Times notes the left’s hypocritical double standard on leaking. Robert Novak’s mention of Valerie Plame’s employment has been treated in every MSM outlet, and throughout the leftwing Blogosphere, as the gravest intelligence-related crime in US history since Benedict Arnold tried selling West Point to the British. On the other hand, an endless succession of intelligence leaks far more damaging to US interests, emanating from the anti-Bush administration conspiracy of pouting spooks not only never receives the slightest criticism, but instead, in each and every case, the revelation is promoted as a government scandal revealed by crusading journalists, assisted by righteously distressed officials, whose identities must be kept secret.

IT SEEMS like only yesterday that every high-minded politician, pundit and professional activist was in high dudgeon about the threat posed to national security by the revelation that Valerie Plame was a spook. For daring to reveal a CIA operative’s name — in wartime, no less! — they wanted someone frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs, preferably headed for the gallows.

Since then there have been some considerably more serious security breaches. Major media organs have broken news about secret prisons run by the CIA, the interrogation techniques employed therein, and the use of “renditions” to capture suspects, right down to the tail numbers of covert CIA aircraft. They have also reported on a secret National Security Agency program to monitor calls and e-mails from people in the U.S. to suspected terrorists abroad, and about the Pentagon’s Counterintelligence Field Activity designed to protect military bases worldwide.

Most of these are highly classified programs whose revelation could provide real aid to our enemies — far more aid than revealing the name of a CIA officer who worked more or less openly at Langley, Va. We don’t know what damage the latest leaks may have done, but we do know that past leaks about U.S. successes in tracking cellphones led Al Qaeda leaders to shun those devices.

So I eagerly await the righteous indignation from the Plame Platoon about the spilling of secrets in wartime and its impassioned calls for an independent counsel to prosecute the leakers. And wait … And wait …

Hat tip to Scott Johnson at Power Line.


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