Karl the Leaker
To the Editor:
Whoever blew the cover of CIA operative Valerie Plame struck a severe blow to our national security, an act of treason done for political revenge (Editorial, July 14th issue). Valerie Plame was in charge of a network of operatives that kept track of terrorists and those who might give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists for the Southeast Asia region.
Her husband, Joseph Wilson, was responsible for the discovery and exposure of forged memos that suggested Iraq was getting "yellowcake," a material necessary for the production of nuclear weapons. Though this administration knew the memos were forged, they were cited by the president in his inaugural address as one of the reasons the country "had" to go to war.
The White House is now refusing to answer questions about the sources who outed Plame and blew the cover of a CIA operaton, putting those operatives' lives in grave danger. Karl Rove has admitted through his lawyer that he confirmed Plame's identity and CIA status to two reporters. Our national security has been sorely compromised. Why hasn't Rove been fired as President Bush promised?
To the Editor:
Plame-gate is noteworthy not just because of its revelations about the depths to which this administration will go to get even with its critics, but also because journalism, contrary to its many apologists, has come in for its share of righteous derision. The assertion which many journalists have made, namely that Judith Miller's willingness to go to jail was somehow the finest example of high-minded, principled journalism, is ridiculous (as Scott McClellan might say).
Miller, who served as the administration's shill by peddling phony intelligence about WMD during the run-up to the war, was obviously targeted as a willing instrument of yet another administration manipulation - the outing of Valerie Plame as revenge for the egg her husband left on our otherwise inerrant president's face by debunking the famous "16 words" of his state of his 2003 union speech regarding Saddam's seeking nuclear materials from Africa.
Miller's protection of the person who, by revealing Plame's identity as a covert operative, may have committed a crime, is nothing less than an act of complicity in the crime. This certainly doesn't make her a candidate to be the poster child for journalistic integrity. She was not standing up for any noble cause by shielding a potential criminal, and she had neither the right to grant her source confidentiality nor any obligation to honor it.
If she had accepted a murderer's invitation to witness his criminal act, would anyone seriously assert that she would (or should) be permitted to maintain the confidentiality of the murderer's identity? The lesson for journalists is quite clear - choose your causes célèbre (and your sources) carefully.
Martin H. Aussenberg
To the Editor:
Hypocrisy is common in politics, but President Bush and his cronies have brought it to new heights. Until recently, the president had repeatedly promised to fire anyone guilty of leaking information about Valerie Plame's CIA connection. Now that it's obvious that one of the leakers was none other than Karl Rove, the ethical standard has been changed to include only those who have been convicted of a crime.
Too bad so many serious issues are at stake, otherwise, we could laugh at the continued buffoonery of the Bush administration without regard for the serious consequences.
B. Keith English
More Free Thoughts
To the Editor:
In response to the article "Get Smart" (July 14th issue) on the lecture sponsored by the Memphis Freethought Alliance: Barbara Forrest, the speaker who opposes the "intelligent design" movement, calls the movement a "creationist" one, yet many non-creationist scientists are pro-intelligent design.
Operational science employs empirical testing, observation, falsification, and repetition. If this is the only definition of science, then Darwin's models of evolution are not science either. There are many areas of science that cannot be tested, observed, or repeated, including certain fossils, alleged universe origins, alleged evolutionary transitions, archaeology, quarks, electrons, etc.
Intelligent design fits into the category of abductive inference. That is, it is the best explanation, given certain phenomena. Darwinism also fits into this form of science. Forrest throws out the baby with the bathwater in rejecting intelligent design.
The science of Intelligent Design fits into the category of Abductive Inference. That is, it is the best explanation, given certain phenomena. Darwinism also fits into this form of science.Forrest throws out the 'baby with the bathwater' in rejecting intelligent design.