Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Rove and the Morality of outing CIA agent Valorie Plame

cntodd reposts comments by Nathan Newman about the ambiguous moral implications of outing a CIA agent reproduced below

But making a principle that exposing CIA agents is always wrong sticks in my craw given the history of the national security state's cloak-and-dagger destruction of democracy around the world…The 1982 law which we are debating so fervently was, at least partially, designed to protect the identity of those assisting dictorships and helping to torture labor activists like those in Turkey. It might be sweet irony to see the Bush administration pilloried on these rightwing security state rules, but I can't with a straight face make violating that law the core sin by which to judge the administration.

While in general, I have the same ambivalence with regard to this issue of the identity of CIA spooks who may be involved in illegal activity, I think there is more to this case than people are mentioning.

As Juan Cole has pointed out, beyond the legal implications of Rove's smear tactics, there is a central question of morality and hypocrisy. Specifically, Valerie Plame worked in 'WMD,' presumably meaning she tracked the movement of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons technology.

If there is one department of the CIA that is doing legitamate work to non-violently prevent terrorism, it is probably Plame's department.

In short, it exposes the dishonesty and hypocrisy of this regime that while they are in a violent world-wide "war on terrorism," they are purposefully underminning the work of WMD related intelligence in the US in order to have a more firm grasp on the reigns of power in this country and in this world.

What conclusion can we then draw?

The wars that the US are involved in have little to do with security and WMD, and a whole lot to do with holding power.

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