Sunday, October 17, 2004

Bob Novak: For shame, for shame

Karl Rove, President Bush’s senior political advisor, recently went before a grand jury to testify about whether or not this administration illegally leaked the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame.

As part of the investigation into the incident Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condi Rice have all been interviewed in order to identify the source of the leak.

At the center of the controversy are CNN’s Bob Novak and former ambassador Joseph Wilson. Back in 2003 Wilson wrote an op-ed piece critical of the Bush administration’s contention that Iraq was getting enriched uranium from Niger. Wilson himself was sent to investigate the claim, supposedly at the recommendation of his wife, and found no such evidence. After Wilson wrote his editorial syndicated columnist and political pundit Novak wrote his own article wherein he revealed the identity of Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame.

This was clearly a bit of payback on the part of Bob Novak and he should be ashamed. Novak steadfastly refuses to divulge the source of the info regarding Plame but the fact remains that it wasn’t necessary to reveal the name of a covert CIA employee to affect retribution for Wilson’s critique of the Bush administration.

At the root of the problem is the Bush administration illegally leaking classified information in a fit of political vengeance. Supposedly administration officials leaked Plame’s identity to at least six different reporters, including Novak. This in and of itself is reprehensible. It is frightening to think that Bush’s cronies would hang a CIA operative out to dry out of spite. But what is even more disturbing is how Novak capitalized on covert info to forward his vendetta against Wilson.

If the administration official who leaked confidential information can be identified he/she should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

And what of Bob Novak? He should hide his head in shame. He endangered the life of a CIA operative by revealing her name. He put the national security of our nation in jeopardy because of vengeful purpose. Novak is nothing better than a Bush boot licker and spiteful demagogue.