Monday, July 18, 2005

So Much for Patriotism

The Republican party, believing itself the avatar of all that is good and patriotic and Christian in American life, is frantically busy making excuses for why it was good and patriotic and Christian to out a CIA agent, all so Dubya could have his terrible, horrible, stupid, very bad, no good war. As Kos puts it:

It is quite instructive and shocking, even with this administration, that the outing of a CIA agent, her front company, and god knows how many other agents and operations, is met with a collective shrug from wingnut circles. While a blow job gave them the vapors, a genuine breach of national security gives them no pause, gives them no reason to abandon "the architect". Political power trumps everything -- even the safety of our nation.

Given what we know of the case, we know that Rove violated his non-disclose agreement. We know that Rove acted unethically, without regard to the consequences of his actions. Whether a crime has been committed remains to be seen, but shouldn't matter a whit.

The technical letter of the law isn't a shield from accountability, an antidote to endangering national security, an amnesiac from the lies McClellan -- and by extension Bush and Co -- spewed to the American people two years ago.

Right-thinking people -- even Republicans -- should look at these unfolding events with horror. I would certainly feel betrayed and angry if a Democratic administration thusly endangered national security and undermined our non-proliferation efforts. I wouldn't make apologies for it. I wouldn't rationalize it, attempt to distract with irrelevant, tangential points. I would demand accountability.

But to modern-day Republicans and their apologists, they can do no wrong. No Republican's action is worthy of scorn or censure. They are perfect. Flawless. Immune to error. Godlike.

It isn't a new Repug attitude, either. Repugs shrugged when Ronnie Raygun traded weapons for hostages; he now has a peculiar god-like status just short of Jesus in Republican circles, a kind of junior fourth member of the Trinity. As for Democrats, they are consigned to the outer darkness. Evidently there was a belief in the White House that Joe Wilson could Not Be Trusted because he was a "Democrat," this in spite of his service in Republican administrations and donations to Republican politicians. In the LA Times (via Digby):

Prosecutors investigating whether White House officials illegally leaked the identity of Wilson's wife, a CIA officer who had worked undercover, have been told that Bush's top political strategist, Karl Rove, and I. Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, were especially intent on undercutting Wilson's credibility, according to a person familiar with the inquiry.

While lower-level White House staff members typically handle most contacts with the media, Rove and Libby began personally communicating with reporters about Wilson, prosecutors were told.

A source directly familiar with information provided to prosecutors said Rove's interest was so strong that it prompted questions in the White House. When asked at one point why he was pursuing the diplomat so aggressively, Rove responded: "He's a Democrat."

So therefore he had to be lying about yellowcake, right? Right?

As it happens, Joe Wilson was telling the truth. But it was a truth inconvenient for God's Own Party and the war they lusted for. So to attack Wilson, they "outed" his wife - and all of her contacts in foreign countries, some of whom are now presumably dead. But what are a few deaths to the Repugs. They seem to thrive on it.

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