Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

How has Robert Novak emerged unscathed?  1

Posted on October 1st, 2005. About News and Politics.

Previously posted on October 1, 2005 at:!1p1a54g1PSNkhyBLLbfi4i8A!112.entry

Most of us are familiar with the story. Joe Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, questioned President Bush’s claim that Saddam Hussein had attempted to purchase uranium in Africa. Then, in July 2003 columnist Robert Novak (also known, as Jon Stewart eloquently refers to him, as “The Douche Bag of Liberty”) publicly revealed the identity of Valerie Plame, Wilson’s wife, as a CIA agent in his news column. This might surprise some folks, but knowingly revealing the identity of a CIA operative is a federal offense. Even many of the fiercest members of the right were withholding comments as the truth later emerged – Newsweek revealed that Karl Rove had been a source that leaked Plame’s identity to the press. I wanted very much to believe that Rove and Novak would not get away with such criminal and, frankly, reprehensible behavior, and yet the cynical part of me knew that they would slide by, unscathed, as those connected with the Bush White House often seem to do.

The story vanished, attributable to the 24-hour news media’s inability to cover more than one story at a time (an exception is Lou Dobbs). First it was Cindy Sheehan, then Hurricane Katrina, then Hurricane Rita…but yesterday, the story emerged once more. Judith Miller, a New York Times reporter who also had a source of this information, but never actually published a story revealing Plame’s position, spent 85 days in prison for refusing to divulge this source. Yesterday she testified before the grand jury, naming her source as Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff. Libby’s attorneys claim that he signed a waiver a year ago granting permission for Miller to testify. Miller did not reveal his identity until she received a personal letter and phone call granting permission. So the question on many minds is – why did Miller sit in prison? What was the point?

While questions may circle Miller and Libby, Plame and Wilson, my question is still – what about Robert Novak? While he may have cooperated with the grand jury, he initially published the article about Valerie Plame. He knowingly revealed the identity of a CIA operative, and yet life goes on for him. We as a nation should not allow behavior such as this to go unpunished. CIA operatives place their lives on the line to ensure our security, and anonymity is essential to their job effectiveness as well as their safety. For Novak to have exposed Plame is outrageously (I’m about to use the right-wing’s phrase back at them) “un-American.”

It will be interesting to await prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s announcements over the next few weeks to months. Will Karl Rove and Scooter Libby have to answer for this? Rove still insists that he never specifically mentioned Plame’s name – he only revealed that Joe Wilson’s wife was a CIA agent. Since Joe Wilson has only one wife, it kind of makes you wonder… Does it concern anyone else that these folks are running our government?

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