Wednesday, October 01, 2003

BUT IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR PLAME STUFF: Arthur Silber's analysis is the best I've seen:

Remember Occam's Razor: look for the simplest explanation. The White House was very upset with Wilson, because he was raising a lot of uncomfortable questions about a particular claim in the administration's case for war. Forget for a moment what you may think of the merits of those questions: the point is the White House was very unhappy about it, especially when many people were starting to question a number of aspects of the administration's case. So the White House wanted to put a lid on this kind of thing. Not on Wilson specifically; it was obviously too late for that. But the White House wanted to discourage anyone else who might be similarly inclined in the future. So they needed to send a message.

And the message would have to involve Wilson, since he was the main person causing trouble at the moment. If other people saw what happened to
him (or someone close to him) after he talked about what he knew, then they'd think twice before raising any uncomfortable questions they might be privy to. So Wilson, or those very close to him, had to be the target. But what do they hit him with?

And that's exactly where you look for the simple explanation. Maybe if Wilson or his wife had been a nasty drunk who got into fights in public but it hadn't gotten any publicity, they would have used that. Or they would have used the fact that Wilson or his wife had once been convicted (or even accused) of a crime. Or...well, fill in the blank. But maybe they didn't have any of that. They probably didn't; both Wilson and his wife have been in the limelight for quite a while now, and we haven't heard about anything like that (and they're both in government service anyway, so it's not very likely that something along those lines is going to turn up). So they used Wilson's wife's undercover status -- because that was what they had. And maybe that's all they had. And it had the nice bonus of perhaps placing in doubt Wilson's qualifications for being picked for that trip to Africa. I don't think anybody sat around trying to figure out how to "out" a CIA agent. Again, that's looking at it backwards. That just happened to be the information they had. They ended up outing a CIA agent, because that may well have been all they had to work with, all they had to deliver the message they wanted to deliver.

READ THE WHOLE THING. HEH. INDEED. Can we just mush that all into an acronym when we're doing the Instapundit-snark, like LOL or LMFAO? RTWTHI. It doesn't mean anything else yet--here's your chance, bloggers! Not that Glenn doesn't deserve the snark this time--he has not been all over this.

The best Plame post title so far, by the way, is Jim Henley's Plame On. I wanted to run with "Is This Burning (Burning) An Eternal Plame" but was shouted down in blogger press club.

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