Quick Question

Am I the only liberal blogger in this country who doesn’t give a damn about Plamegate? Someone played a political trick here; sources disagree on who, but the important thing is that no civilians were hurt, and in fact the worst thing that happened is that a NOC agent got her cover blown.

The same stupidity happened about 8 years ago with Clinton. Clinton instituted welfare reform, definitively proving he didn’t care about poor people except when they could vote for him. When Wes Clark suggested invading Serbia with ground troops to minimize civilian casualties, he rebuffed him and aerially bombed elementary schools. He bombed Iraq for no good reason, and had a Secretary of State who said it was okay to starve hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to death via sanctions. He signed off on DOMA.

And what did the media care about? An intern who gave him a blowjob.

Look, Bush is a horrendous President. The tonnage of the things he screwed up or deliberately did wrong could ignite a star by its sheer gravity. But having some connection to a CIA agent who got her cover blown is a non-issue. As far as I’m concerned, anything that’s bad for the CIA is good for the world unless proven otherwise, anyway. If it caused material harm to the Agency, then all the better.

10 Responses to Quick Question

  1. Alon Levy says:

    Testing, testing…

  2. […] At Abstract Nonsense, Alon Levy wonders why all of us liberals have our panties in a wad over the Valerie Plame affair. Not only has Bush done a lot worse than expose a single spy, but also Clinton also did worse. So why the outrage? […]

  3. SLC says:

    1. What is the source of Mr. Levys’ statement that Wesley Clark wanted to use ground forces to avoid collateral damage caused by the bombing campaign? It is my understanding that Clark wanted to use ground forces because his assessment was that the bombing campaign was not working. In fact, what eventually happened was that the KLA regrouped and became sufficiently threatening that the Serbian forces in Kosovo were forced to come out from their hiding places where they were vulnerable to aerial attack. That’s when most of the Serbian casualties occurred (in the last week of the campaign).

    2. My position on the use of force is as follows. If killing 1000 of the opposition will preserve the life of one American soldier, sailer, marine, or airman, my hand would not tremble at giving the order. I’m suspect that Mr. Levy, Gordo, Mike the mad biologist, Josh from Kansas, etc. will not be in agreement.

  4. Cameron says:

    So, there are two things to take issue with in your post, I think: 1) you seem to be asserting that if outing Plame lead to the killing or capture of additonal agents or contacts, we the public would have heard about this–I don’t see that this likely. 2) In claiming that hurting the CIA is good in itself, you seem to be claiming that the US has no need of an intelligence agency, which I don’t think is tenable. (I’ll agree, though, that the US does not need a criminally insane intelligence agency.)

  5. Alon Levy says:

    Cameron, the US needs an intelligence agency, and I’ll be thrilled if it finally gets one. What it doesn’t need is a state within a state that can’t do anything useful, routinely gets its predictions wrong, and seems to be successful only in replacing democratically-elected regimes with fascist ones.

  6. KH says:

    Short answer: no. Criticism of CIA may, however, be a bridge too far for most contemporary liberals. Enemy of my enemy & all that.

  7. Cameron says:

    I still don’t see how damaging our faux-intelligence agency tactically gets us any closer to creating a genuine intelligence agency. Even if their handlers are fools and/or crazy and/or crazy ideologues, moles still die when their handlers are outed. I think demanding an intelligence agency which is not ruled by sternly rightwing notions is our real hope, but watching the one we have fumble and fail obviously hasn’t gotten us what we want historically. An intelligence agency that doesn’t consider itself a paramilitary force would also be a good start, but as much as the actual military complains about company agents running around the battlefield and getting themselves killed, we’re no closer to starting on a new way. I think the thing to demand is a more coherent approach to secrecy, that defaults to transparency in a systematic way. Cheering when morally gray people die isn’t terribly useful–other morally gray people don’t actually care.

  8. Stentor says:

    I think that you’re missing the point a bit — the only reason the Plame scandal matters to 95% of the liberals who care about it is because they have been deluded into thinking it’s the magic bullet that will finally bring down the Bush regime. The same thing was true with conservatives and Clinton-Lewinsky.

  9. Alon Levy says:

    Well, I thought that ship had sailed when it became clear Rove wouldn’t be indicted.

  10. […] Stentor’s reply to my post about Democrats’ and liberals’ obsession with Valerie Plame got me thinking about the danger in attacking Bush primarily on issues of managerial competence and personal behavior, such as Katrina, gas prices, and Valerie Plame. It’s true that the mishandling of Katrina was a key factor behind Bush’s crash in popularity in late 2005, but it’s a fairly unusual case. And even it runs the danger of Republicans convincing the people that Congressional Democrats can’t do any better. […]

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