Billmon of Whiskey Bar has just been on fire with Plamegate. His level of disgust with “the Cheney Administration” rises with every post; with each I think he cannot possibly handle much more of it (he had a famous retirement period last year). Today is an instant classic; read the whole thing.
But one thing has been completely revealed by the evidence that’s already come to light, and that’s the stinking cesspool of bigtime journalism as presently practiced in Washington — a cesspool in which Karl Rove may be the king of the pond, but which is also home to plenty of little toadies willing to help him do his dirty business.
We already knew that Rove and Novak are sleazy pieces of shit who should be flushed down the Potomac (after obtaining the necessary hazardous waste dumping permits, of course.) But what we’re also learning is just how little it takes these days to out an undercover CIA operative working on critical issues of nuclear nonproliferation. A few quick phone calls, a little rumor mongering, and voila! an entire intelligence network, built up over years, can be flushed right down the toilet.
The real scandal, in other words, may not be that Rove and his journalistic cronies knew Plame was a NOC, but that they didn’t really care — not if it was going to get in the way of a good smear, or a juicy tidbit for the “inside the beltway” column.
And for that they should all be in the dock — and would be, too, if stupidity and petty careerism were felony offenses.