There is a widely-held myth that liberals have no place in their worldview for serious consideration of national security issues. Two seconds of thought should be enough for anyone to realize that is an insane myth. Of course we care deeply about keeping our families and communities secure. Who wouldn't? (Read on to find out the answer to that question.)
The question has always been how much the idiotic projects perpetrated with dismaying regularity by the spying classes, ice-cream-to-the-forehead-antics which have given the CIA and FBI such odious reputations over the years, have any value whatsoever in making us secure. And more ominously, whether at least some of their activities - like assasinations and the ignorant meddling in South Asia and the Middle East - have placed us into deeper peril.
So liberals like myself, who are pretty far removed from Intelligence activities, tend to have a very skeptical attitude towards the agencies. This is as it should be. A skeptical attitude by laypeople towards spies and spying is a bad thing only in a culture that is jonesing to descend into paranoia, the denouncing of neighbors, and isolation. Of course it's necessary, even crucial, to spy. But let's be very, very careful about it. Let's do it extremely well, and let's do it with a constant awareness of its dangers.
All of this is by way of introduction to the notorious Plame affair, notorious only because Novak and members of the Bush administration colluded in betraying their...No. Let's not talk about something as "abstract" as an entire country, where you see an ocean of faces, rather than individuals. Let's talk about that betrayal in the personal terms in which it should be discussed.
These unspeakable bastards - Novak, especially - betrayed your parents, your friends, and all your neighbors. Through their criminally irresponsible behavior, they quite literally made my daughter's life far more precarious than it had to be. And these scumbags are walking the streets, unpunished, unrepentant. And they dare to lecture me on my values, my patriotism, and my seriousness in protecting what I love.
What they did was to out a spy because her husband published something that seemed to call into actual question what everyone who knows how to interpret modern political speech already knew was one of Bush's most egregious lies: the Sixteen Words. (and yeah, I know the outing was all supposedly offhand at first; even accepting that, within milliseconds it was hardly so). They did it only partly to punish her husband and her, but that certainly was part of it. The real reason, of course, was to prevent other spies from telling what they know about the filthy, creepy, and utterly useless secret barbarities of the Bush administration, sadistic activity that has nothing to do with security and everything to do with their personal sexual perversions.
And now you know who doesn't care about keeping you and those you love safe. It isn't liberals.
I don't know Plame, but everything, literally everything I've encountered about her points to an individual who did a difficult job probably as well as it could be done and in a very real sense was helping to protect us. Until she was betrayed by a slimeball whose loyalties were not to his country but to something else, something truly evil. Opportunism? Fanatical ideology? His twisted sense of a "higher Truth" than man's law? Who knows or cares why he did it (except for the legal establishment of motive)? What matters is his betrayal.
Now I learn that Plame, in the course of actually protecting my wife and daughter and my friends, as well as your family and friends, endured genuine physical horror:
Because of a pending appeal in her freedom of speech case against the CIA, she cannot say anything about joining the CIA in September of 1985 fresh out of college. She cannot say anything about her initial impression of her Career Trainee classmates - such as Jim Marcinkowski, Brent Cavan, Mike "the Griz" Grimaldi, Precious Flower, and mois. She is proscribed from telling you about wandering the forests of Camp Peary learning land navigation and she certainly will not, at least for now, be able to tell you about being taken hostage and subjected to torture for two days.I maintain my wariness of spies, spying, and spy agencies. But good God, if this is true - and I see no reason to disbelieve it - it is not only a crime of the worst sort that the people who conspired to destroy her career remain unpunished. It is simply suicidal, on our part, that they continue to be rewarded while they make our country even more dangerous.
Man, these people make me sick to my stomach.