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Dear Mr. Michael Miner,
Apropos of your piece in the August 20 Reader on journalistic privilege, the Fitzgerald investigation/grand jury proceedings, and the Valerie Plame case:
I’m divided; I agree that there is little or no moral, legal, or constitutional cause for covering for “Bush’s scum” (your term, but I concur), even under current journalist-protection laws; still, what if they got the info from a third party?
Re: the Plame case. The WSJ editorial page, that model of close, careful reasoning, has in recent months referred to Joe Wilson as a “fraud.” (This week, of course, they were busy chiming in with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in attacking Kerry’s integrity and courage.) Apparently the current right-wing line is that if Valerie Plame, as an agency operative, happened to suggest her husband as a candidate for the mission to Niger to her company superiors (his modest credentials, in the eyes of the Bushie character assassins and their flacks in the press, only being a career of competent and able diplomatic postings in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and praise for his courage during gulf war I by none other than Poppy himself, father of the current occupant), then she must have exerted undue influence. Never mind that she had no hand in making the final decision to send Wilson–she didn’t have the authority. She was an operative, without high rank in either the agency, the State Department (ostensibly the seat of diplomacy, although it has been emasculated by Cheney/Rumsfeld with GWB’s help in this administration), or the White House. Apparently merely suggesting him was grounds for suspicion, and his subsequent negative report and NYT op-ed piece sufficient grounds for outing her in violation of national law and basic decency. So we see how the Bush family culture, bent on winning elections and maintaining power, has its own set of values once again. Incidentally, the front page of the Washington Post today (8/19) exposed the fraudulence of the Swift Boat Veterans for “Truth” and their chief spokesman. Not that this will stop the Bushies. Kerry denounced moveon.org’s latest ad attacking GWB and his national guard service, but of course GWB and his campaign did not dissociate themselves from the attacks on Kerry. What’s most frustrating is that about half of those who will vote in this election don’t know, care, or pay attention and will vote for this guy anyway.