Plamegate: a retrospective

NadagateRather than me attempting to put it all together, I’ll just direct you to a blogger who already has. Meet Fat Steve (that’s what he calls himself!), who’s put together a pretty comprehensive history of Plamegate, and how this story has pretty much collapsed in the faces of the Bush haters.

Oh, and John Tierny at the NYTimes has convinced me (without trying) to start calling this non-scandal a better name: Nadagate. More from him on how this manufactured scandal has collapsed here.

More: Captain’s Quarter’s dissects and notes a few factual errors from the latest NYTimes article that discusses a State Dept. memo that allegedly circulated among senior administration officials such as former Sec. of State Colin Powell and former deputy Sec. of State Richard Armitage around the time of the Novak revelation about who recommended Joe Wilson. James Joyner references an LA Times piece that discusses the ‘categories of cover’ at the CIA and what Ms. Plame’s status perhaps was at the time of the alleged leak.

Also: Jack Kelly believes the outcome of all this is going to be sorely disappointing to liberal journalists and the Washington Post is reporting that Judith Miller may also be facing more jail time. My question is this: why won’t Judith Miller reveal her source? The newspaper she works for, the NYTimes, reported the following today:

In court papers filed earlier this month urging that Ms. Miller be jailed, Mr. Fitzgerald said that “the source in this case has waived confidentiality in writing.”

George Freeman, an assistant general counsel of The New York Times Company, said Ms. Miller would not say who that source was. “She has never received,” Mr. Freeman said, “what she considers an unambiguous, unequivocal and uncoerced waiver from anyone with whom she may have spoken.”

Mr. Freeman declined to say what efforts, if any, Ms. Miller and her lawyers have made to obtain a satisfactory waiver.

Asked whether Ms. Miller provided information about Ms. Wilson’s identity to the source to whom Mr. Fitzgerald referred, Mr. Freeman said: “Judy learned about Valerie Plame from a confidential source or sources whose identity she continues to protect to this day. If the suggestion is that she is covering up for her source or some fictitious source, that is preposterous. Given that she is suffering in jail, it is also mean-spirited.”

“[T]he source in this case has waived confidentiality in writing.” Who is Judith Miller trying to protect? Herself? Or Joe Wilson?

Even more: George Landrith gets to the heart of what this is really about here (hint: it’s not about “national security” as John Kerry has asserted):

So why all the acrimony and vitriol directed at Rove? Many Democrats are mad about losing all but one national election since 1994. They are furious that they could not beat George Bush or regain control of the House or Senate. Many blame Rove for their recent election woes. They want political revenge on the man they believe responsible for their misfortune.

Interestingly, Joseph Wilson was a consultant to the John Kerry campaign, and has been revealed as a charlatan and fraud by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The real reason Wilson went to Africa was political–to discredit the war in Iraq and impact the presidential election.

This entire CIA story is an amateur-hour game of “gotcha politics,” with the mainstream media having played a strong supporting role. If you ignore the truth and make up your own “facts,” it makes for interesting political theater.

Lots of feigned smoke. Lots of mirrors. Lots of carefully worded but empty allegations. But when the facts and the law are examined, it becomes clear that many Capitol Hill Democrats still prefer phony political theater to real public service.

Bang on.

Evening update: Well, of course Karl Rove “did it.” Evidence be damned. Why? Because he’s Karl Rove, of course.

In the meantime, Stephen Spruiell at NRO’s Media Blog makes the pretty convincing case that the Times should recuse itself of Nadagate coverage (great media blog, btw, and I recommend you bookmark it).

New!: Get your “covert operative” T-shirts here. (winks to Powerline and Betsy’s Page)