Memo to the GOP Spin Team: The Babe Just Kicked Your Ass
I knew the way they would play this one - I swear if I just got rid of all my morals, I could write for the Republican spin machine. For example, I sensed the Valerie Plame slant today would concentrate on her undeniable babe-like qualities. Drudge went with a cute little headline about how she was ready for her close-up, showing a picture that might have been a beauty pageant contestant primping for a shot at Miss Congeniality.
Then the Babe came in and kicked them in the balls. This was a real FOX, not the phony news kind. The spin on this had been allowed to go unchecked for way too long, but today it was time for the Mary Matalin set to take a seat along the wall and check out the Homecoming Queen.
You remember Mary Matalin, don't you? She'd been calling Joe Wilson a lying bozo, even while she worked for Dick Cheney. Well, here was Joe Wilson's wife testifying that it was Mary, Cheney, and all their little buddies who've really been lying. Wait, what's the administration phrase for that? Oh yeah, "Who've been having hazy memories."
One thing was immediately obvious that shredded the GOP case in an instant: Bozos don't land women like this. It was obvious who was credible, and even more important in the spin world, it was clear who was cool. Who would you rather hang out with at a party? Scooter Libby or Valerie Plame? When Valerie finished, the GOP talking points looked like a little pile of torn up cheerleading pompoms on the floor.
One talking point was that Valerie had been behind her husband's trip to Africa. This was a classic tactic by the family values, chicken-hawks to make Joe seem like a henpecked "girlie man" as Arnold loves to say. The only problem was that according to Valerie, it is not true. Oh, by the way, girlie men don't land women like this, either.
Next was the idea that she was not really a covert agent. Not only did Valerie say that she was and only a handful of people knew it at the time, she also said that whole networks of contacts and agents were lost because of the outing of her identity by members of the Bush administration. This made sense. In fact, even if she had retired the knowledge that she used to do this work puts her colleagues who haven't retired in extreme peril.
When spies are exposed, the results usually include lethal termination, and if Valerie's testimony is true, people who put their lives on the line for the United States were probably killed. Fortunately, for the GOP the real damage is classified to prevent more intelligence assets from being lost.
Now, from this testimony yesterday, does it sound like she was retired?
"In the run-up to the war with Iraq, I worked in the counter-proliferation division of the CIA, still as a covert official, whose affiliation with the CIA was classified." She worked on, "solid intelligence for senior policy makers on Iraq's presumed WMD programs. I also traveled to foreign countries on secret missions to find vital intelligence. I loved my career because I loved my country."
She was repeatedly and specifically asked if she had been on overseas CIA missions within the last 5 years - the statutory definition of covert. She said she had and a top CIA official backed her up.
That takes the magnitude of what happened here back to the original level of outrage, before the GOP spin machine played it down all these years. If she is to be believed, she risked her life for America. And the reason the Bush people would go to the extent of risking other people's lives? To keep the lid on their little box full of BS they were using to get us into Iraq.
It really is amazing how spin works. It dulls the truth so that when it finally comes out, it seems less serious. Yet, when you really ponder the damage these scoundrels did to the United States of America, this was a gigantic crime.
Are all potential assets in the future, going to worry that some political creeps in the White House might expose them if it suits their political agenda? This could have long-term implications for our national security.
Yes, Valerie says it destroyed her career and made her fear for the safety of her family. All to try and get back at Joe Wilson for saying the intelligence on Iraq was cooked - which it was. But what about the future? Bush and Cheney have harmed our ability to gather intelligence from now on. They have hurt America for reasons that are criminal. What do you call that? Let me sum it up:
To try and prevent their treasonous reasons for going to war from becoming known, Bush and friends committed more treason by selling out our undercover people. Sounds like an awful lot of treachery when you look at the end results. Meanwhile, the GOP is howling about the Scooter conviction saying it is unwarranted, when if justice had prevailed, every major player in the White House and at least one at the State Department would be in prison or worse. In that sense the spin worked.
All this should have been the story, but there was something else: Who won the battle of public opinion today? In our celebrity world, who had the star power? The politicians who lied us into a war, or the super-cool, beautiful agent? This was a bunch of bumbling losers versus one of those women in a James Bond film. You tell me.
I have to give the right wingers credit - they were correct about that: Valerie Plame is a total babe. It's tough to imagine that Ann Coulter is even from the same species.