kf's Big Plamegate Scoop
Pay attention this time, dammit!
Plame Simmers--The Antiliberalism of Fools: Finally, someone follows up on what kf thought was kf's Big Plamegate Scoop ** of 11/7/05: that the complaint Scooter Libby made to Tim Russert, in their crucial phone conversation of July 10, 2003, was the (to my mind wacky)charge that Chris Matthews or his cable show was somehow, in some sense, anti-Semitic. ... Maguire plausibly speculates that one reason Libby might have been so peculiarly enraged by Amb. Joseph Wilson's TV appearances*** is that Libby put Wilson into that same category. Remember, Matthews said to kf that
Catherine Martin, an aide in the vice president's office, once told him that "Scooter thinks anytime anybody uses the word 'neoconservative' it's anti-Semitic." [Emph added]
Maguire notes that if his speculation is right it makes Libby look more convictable of perjury but also more like a "lone gunman." ... Second thought: It not only makes Libby look more convictable of perjury. It makes him look more like someone who might just have been so enraged by Wilson that he'd do more or less what the left accuses him of having done--out Wilson's wife in an attempt to both discredit Wilson and punish him. Duh! It certainly provides an answer to the Why-Didn't-They-Just-Ignore-Wilson-He'd-Blow-Over question. I think I buried the lede. ...
** P.S.: I don't know why this explosive Watergate-level disclosure fell into an abyss of obscurity. Theories: a) I was too cautious and surrounded it with ass-covering caveats; b) I immediately buried it under a tedious 2,000-word post on reapportionment; c) the whole subject of anti-Semitism is so radioactive that nobody wants to talk about it. Serves me right for attempting journalism. What a pain! I'd forgotten. You have to call people up! Then you have to wait for them to call back. Then you have to talk to them. Then worry about libel. Then actually make another call to get the nonsensical B.S. pro-forma response from the big media company involved. I could have written four Chris Bangle items in the time it took. ... And all for what? ...You won't catch me making that mistake (reporting) again anytime soon. ... P.P.S.: At least it's being discussed by someone who's now bigger than Paul Krugman! (If you measure it over the right period.)
*** Backfill: What Wilson quote is most likely to have angered Libby? I'd nominate the following excerpt (again, via Maguire) from a discussion by Wilson at the Education for Peace in Iraq Center on June 14, 2003, about a month before Libby's call to Russert:
I think there are a number of issues at play; there's a number of competing agendas. One is the remaking of the map of the Middle East for Israeli security, and my fear is that when it becomes increasingly apparent that this was all done to make Sharon's life easier and that American soldiers are dying in order to make Sharon's life--enable Sharon to impose his terms upon the Palestinians that people will wonder why it is American boys and girls are dying for Israel and that will undercut a strategic relationship and a moral obligation that we've had towards Israel for 55 years. I think it's a terribly flawed strategy. [Emphasis added. Audio here at 13:33]
Of course, as Maguire points out, we don't know if Libby knew about this Wilson talk. [Don't you think that's anti-Semitic?--ed No. But a lot of people would.] 12:55 A.M. link
David Ignatius provides an optimistic and plausible interpretation of the recent Cairo meeting of Iraq factions. ... But do we really think that the planned Iraqi 6,000 man "Desert Protection Force" -- "pitched to Sunni tribal leaders as a way to liberate Anbar [province] from the Americans"-- will really rid Anbar of terrorists? From a distance it smells a bit like the ill-fated Fallujah Brigade. ... 12:58 A.M.
Aaron Sorkin interviews Maureen Dowd, and Elizabeth Snead finds one of them charming. 12:44 A.M.
Photograph of Judith Miller on the Slate home page by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.