Who Should Get Medal for Outing Valerie Plame?

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Apropos of the letters: A bunch of lefties are writing in asking: "Why aren't you going to talk about Scott McClellan's new book?" — in which he says Bush lied when he assured McClellan that Libby and Rove weren't involved in the outing of Valerie Plame.

First, Scott McClellan has come out today and clarified earlier reports: Bush did not lie to him.

Second, I'm the guy who said a long, long time ago that whoever outed Valerie Plame should get a medal, and if it was Karl Rove I'd pin it on him myself.

"John, have you taken leave of your senses? Whoever did that should be put on trial for exposing a U.S. secret agent."

Well, most times, but not all, especially when the secret agent — if she actually was one — is actively working against an elected president's publicly stated policies from behind her veil of secrecy. This is about an anti-Bush cabal inside the CIA, something that should be rooted out. Ours is not a government of spies who pull political strings while in hiding and are never exposed because of their special status.

So did she pull strings? Her bosses say she did, that she set up the meetings which eventually led to her anti-war husband setting off to ostensibly establish a reason the president might use to underpin his war plans. Instead, her husband went on a mission so lackadaisical that it certainly was no surprise to his wife when he came home and said Saddam was not trying to buy nuke bomb material from Africa. If her husband had stumbled on Saddam's actual nuke bomb he would have denied ever seeing it.

And the fact that later subsequent reports from the CIA itself said her husband was wrong should also be noted.

In total, it was "Miss Spy" — Plame — and her former ambassador husband deciding they would tank the president's war plans by responding to the vice president's query with an answer the president and the vice president wouldn't like and would put them in the box, no matter what the actual facts in Africa were.

So I still want someone to get that medal. I just can't figure out which person deserves it most: Rove, Cheney, Armitage, Libby or Bush himself.

That's My Word.

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