Monday, September 29, 2003

The Plame issue has flared up again; Atrios suggests that going to the phone records might be the answer, and Calpundit has been doing a series of pieces on the issue tied together by one common theme: He's really, really, really ticked.

Meanwhile, Instapundit appears to be engaged in a desperate rear-guard defense of the administration, first complaining that the issue is "too complicated to understand", then calling it "farfetched", then quoting a piece by Jane Galt that tries to minimize the damage by comparing this to the witchhunt surrounding Clinton and attempting to pin it on irrational "Bush haters", Krauthammer style.

Personally, this doesn't smell like Lewinsky to me. It smells like Watergate; thanks to Bush's dwindling approval ratings, it may just end up that way, too. After all, a year ago Republicans who wanted to dump Bush would be slitting their own electoral throats. Now, it may be seppuku not to.

Edit: Dsquared wrote an excellent little reasoning set on this over in the comments thread for Galt's post:

Surely simple analysis of the meanings of the words involved can clear up the question of "was she an undercover agent?"

There are only two ways to not be an undercover CIA agent:

1) Not being a CIA agent
2) Not being undercover

If 1) were true, there would be no issue here, but it certainly looks like she was.

Since there is doubt about 1), 2) cannot be true.
A few of Galt's commentators were trying to say "it doesn't matter if she was outed, because she probably worked behind a desk". Even if she did, though, the question of whether someone is covert or not depends on whether their work is secret, not on what that work consists of.

And for the record: those that argue that this is remotely comparable to hiding oral sex are either deliberately disingenuous or are roving re-election squaddies.

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