Saturday, October 29, 2005

When Will This End?

When will Joseph Wilson and his wife go away? That's what I want to know. I've really had quite enough of these ego-maniacal, dissembling, faux-patriots and media exploiters. Today, I ran across a preview of Wilson's upcoming appearance on 60 Minutes. Wilson is now playing the injured, put-upon do-gooder in claiming that his wife Valerie has been threatened due to the leaking of her identity as a CIA agent.

“There have been specific threats [against Plame]. Beyond that I just can’t go,” Wilson tells [Ed]Bradley. Wilson says he and his wife have discussed security for her with “several agencies”... Upon finding out about the leak of her name, “she felt like she'd been hit in the stomach. It took her breath away,” said Wilson. Then she methodically went to work, he says, “making lists of what she had to do to ensure that her assets, her projects, her programs and her operations were protected.” Wilson tells Bradley, contrary to reports that many knew Plame was in the CIA, that only he and three other people knew. “Well, very few people outside the intelligence community [knew she was CIA]. Her parents and her brother, essentially,” says Wilson.


Yes, I suppose that if I had been an exposed CIA operative, one of the first things I would put on my list of to-dos to "ensure that my assets, projects, programs and operations were protected" is to be profiled in Vanity Fair magazine replete with a splashy photospread.

Next I would make an appearance at "the National Press Club in downtown Washington, D.C.," where I would appear "wearing a sharp cream pantsuit" at a "lunch given by The Nation magazine's foundation and the Fertel Foundation to present the first Ron Ridenhour Award for Truth-Telling to [my] husband, Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV." During the luncheon, Joe as I call him, would weep "openly on the podium as he looked [ me] straight in the eye and declare, "If I could give you back your anonymity ... " He would swallow, unable to speak for a few seconds. He would then continue by saying "You are the most wonderful person I know. And I'm sorry this has been brought on you." I would also tear up. And the the room would be electrified. Moments later Joe would recover. He would conclude his remarks with the climax everyone had been waiting for. "Let me introduce you to my wife, [Sim]," he'd say. And then the crowd would roar and Joe and I would stand together at the podium, basking in the glow of its approval. This is what we'd always secretly wanted but never thought was possible. I'd whisper to Joe that he ought to write a book to exploit the pecuniary bonanza that surely awaits. Yes, I think that would be one of the best ways to protect national security, myself, my family and the intelligence assets I had been cultivating while at the Agency.

But let me be a little more specific. In the Vanity Fair article, I'd be sure to mention my three-year-old twins, Trevor and Samantha. I'd say that my father, Samuel, lives with my mother in a suburb of Philly. I'd mention friends like Janet Angstadt and Todd Sesler. I would also be sure to invite the reporter over for dinner and she would observe that my "kitchen was undergoing renovation, but, like the rest of [my] house, it was immaculate. A plate of Brie, French bread, and grapes [would be] left to nibble from while [I] prepared pasta and salad in the kitchen." I'd allow the reporter to reveal that I "live in the Palisades, an affluent neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on the fringe of Georgetown." And if that kind of information weren't enough to really ensure my security, I would point out for the benefit of would-be evildoers that "the back of [my] house has a stunning view of the Washington Monument." Additionally, I would reveal something that might surprise some of VF's readers in light of the scandal surrounding the exposure of my identity. Yes, I would explain, when Joe and I were on our third or fourth date and involved in a "heavy make-out session," I stopped and said that I had something to tell him. I was very conflicted and very nervous, thinking of everything that had gone into getting me to that point, such as money and training. But I was, I explained, undercover in the C.I.A. Indeed. So I blew my own cover on a third or fourth date in the heat of passion. Is there a way we can simultaneously schedule the ceremony for my Medal of Freedom and the awarding of my settlement check from Scooter Libby and Official A? I'm just worried that I won't have time to get home to set the Brie out and bring it to room temperature before everyone arrives for the soiree. So if we could combine the two, that would be really convenient.

If Scooter Libby or anyone else knowingly worked to blow Plame's cover or misled or impeded the investigation of such an act, he (and/or they) should be punished and condemned in the harshest possible terms. I have no problem with the the application of justice in such matters. But spare me the "wife's been threatened" faux victim crap. The Wilsons don't come out smelling much better in all of this. Going the high-profile route would seem antithetical to serious concerns about the security of Plame, her family and intelligence assets. But it's not just that red-herring. The Wilsons have exploited the situation at every turn, passing themselves off as patriots when in reality they are media whores who have become a version of Cindy Sheehan re-packaged for a different target audience. They're better dressed and more intellectual, but their antics aren't any less transparent or cheap than Sheehan's or Tanya Harding's.

If Libby and others have broken the law or acted unethically, then let the chips fall where they may. But could we please stop the nauseating hero-worship of these frauds?

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