In 2003, during the Bush administration, the late Robert Novak wrote a story about then-dictator Saddam Hussein’ attept to acquire “yellow cake” (an ingredient needed to make weapons grade nuclear material) from the African nation of Niger. The story centered around former Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV. During the course of the story Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame Wilson was outed as a CIA operative. The disclosure of Plame’s activites as a working “covert” agent started a firestorm of criticism about the leak. It also unleashed a massive “witch hunt” for whoever revealed Plame’s name to Novak.
The Democrats and the mainstream media were screaming for someone’s head to roll because of the disclosure. Initially, Bush, Karl Rove (Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff), and Vice President Dick Cheney were the main targets of the scrutiny. One political pundit even stated that he wanted to see Karl Rove “frog marched in handcuffs across the White House lawn to prison.” The disclosure of a CIA’s covert agent was punishable by 3 years in a Federal prison and a $10K fine. The search for the leak was intense and finally resulted in a Special Federal Prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, being appointed with the blessing of both the Democrats and the mainstream media. The media and the Democrats were out for the Bush administration’s blood and a great scandal to boot.
Even though Fitzpatrick took 3 years to investigate, the only person charged with anything was “Scooter” Libby, Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff, for perjury. This happened even though Fitzgerald knew almost from the beginning that a deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage, was the source for Novak’s article. Novak, by the way, suffered NO consequences at all. Bush, Rove, and Cheney were all exonerated by Fitzgerald’s investigation in which Bush had given his full cooperation.
What does this story have to do with today? The intelligence leaks coming out of Washington D.C. lately are affecting not one person but entire ongoing operations. This means that the security of the United States itself and the lives of many people may be in jeopardy. The Obama administration’s release of information to 2 Hollywood producers about the covert mission that killed Osama Bin Laden (including the name of the Seal Team 6 commander, the drone “kill” program in Yemen, and a few other juicy tidbits that should not have been released) has created speculation that the Obama administration released this classified information to benefit Obama for his reelection campaign.
Bipartisan outrage is intense, and a Special Federal Prosecutor, outside the authority of Eric Holder’s Justice Department, needs to be appointed to find out what really happened and who is responsible. Whoever leaked this information needs to publically tried and sentenced to discourage any more ” loose cannons” from giving away state secrets for political gain. These leaks are far worse than the Valerie Plame/Wilson affair and need to be punished much more severly.
Let’s hope that justice and due diligence is pursued as eagerly as was the witch hunt from 2003-2006 for a source that was already known at the beginning of Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation. Let’s see if the mainstream media and the Democrats are as concerned about seeing justice served in this case as they were just a few short years ago. “Scooter” Libby paid one hell of a price for perjury (lying) back then. Will some from the much-worshipped Obama administration be held to the same “justice”, or is this too going to fall the way of other Obama scandals?
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