Michael Barone seems to have an extraordinarily optimistic take on the Wilson/Plame affair; “Our Titus Oates.” Barone writes: “Joseph Wilson is our Titus Oates,” implying that he will at some time be widely recognized as a “notorious liar.” He also notes a few of the ironies that John has noted here:
Since 2003, many Democrats have embraced Joseph Wilson — just last week, Sen. Charles Schumer stood up with him at a press conference and demanded that Karl Rove’s security clearance be suspended.
The Democrats who were so outraged by Plame’s outing have not, to my knowledge, expressed outrage over The New York Times’ May 31 story outing a CIA-run airline, a story that may have put agents in more danger than Plame faced as a result of hers. Many Democrats have uncritically assumed that whoever leaked Plame’s name violated the 1982 statute, although it requires that the person doing so must have known about the agent’s covert status and have named the agent deliberately to endanger her, and that the person named must have served abroad in the previous five years.
Plame, according to Wilson’s book, returned from serving abroad in 1997 and, since then, was a desk officer in CIA headquarters in Langley, entering and leaving the building every day in public view.
Barone concludes on the optimistic note implicit in his analogy:
Shaftesbury’s championing of Titus Oates had grave consequences: He was confined for a time in the Tower of London and later fled to Amsterdam, where he died in exile.
Schumer’s and other Democrats’ championing of Joseph Wilson will not have such dire consequences. But voters may want to hold them accountable for allying themselves with today’s Titus Oates.
On the same subject, Lucianne reposts Mark Steyn’s Sunday Chicago Sun-Times column with the observation that it deserves an extra news cycle: “Plame security breach? It just ain’t so, Joe.” Here Steyn’s theatrical sense comes into play as he nails a key element of the farce:
[I]n the real world there’s only one scandal in this whole wretched business — that the CIA, as part of its institutional obstruction of the administration, set up a pathetic “fact-finding mission” that would be considered a joke by any serious intelligence agency and compounded it by sending, at the behest of his wife, a shrill politically motivated poseur who, for the sake of 15 minutes’ celebrity on the cable gabfest circuit, misled the nation about what he found.
Steyn does not pursue the “Black Sox” analogy suggested in the headline. Playing off Wilson’s condemnation of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, however, he declares that “the only lying sonafabitch turned out to be Yellowcake Joe.”