Monday, July 25, 2005

The Plame Affair and Larry C. Johnson

Picture credit:
Excel web sharing - spreadsheet collaboration over the Internet made easy with BadBlueThe blogs on the left are wondering why no one seems to be covering Larry C. Johnson's testimony and Democratic radio address this weekend. Even the mainstream media seems to be ignoring the story. Bloomberg recaps:

A former CIA colleague of Valerie Plame and professed Republican gave the Democrats' weekly radio address, saying President George W. Bush broke his promise to fire whoever disclosed her identity as a covert agent. Larry C. Johnson, who described himself as a former Bush supporter, suggested that Bush put politics ahead of security when he ``flip-flopped'' on his pledge.

Is it just the fact that everyone has had their fill of the Plame affair? Is it the fact that Plame's role may have been disclosed by a journalist and not Karl Rove? Or is it just the fact that Johnson, who claims to have been a Republican in the past, has been on a veritable Bush-bashing world tour of late? And thereby compromised any claimed partisan neutrality?

Consider Johnson's recent activities. Hardly that of a neutral in the game of blue-state, red-state. And just who is Larry C. Johnson? Among other things, author of a New York Times article in July, 2001, which stated:

[Americans...] seem to believe that terrorism is the greatest threat to the United States and that it is becoming more widespread and lethal. They are likely to think that the United States is the most popular target of terrorists. And they almost certainly have the impression that extremist Islamic groups cause most terrorism...

--Larry C. Johnson, "The Declining Terrorist Threat," New York Times, July 10, 2001.

Hmmm. We're not exactly talking Kreskin here, are we?

According to the Center of Cooperative Research, Johnson was also quoted (courtesy of Al Jazeera, of course) as saying:

We've entered the world of George Orwell. I'm disgusted. The truth has to be told. We can't allow our leaders to use bogus information to justify war. [Sunday Herald, 6/8/03]

Yup. That sounds like the prototypical Bush-backer to me. And, confusingly, Johnson is also on record as seeming to approve of the war:

When you allow terrorists and their sponsors to go unchallenged, terrorists are able to mount an even deadlier threat to us. When you disrupt their bases, it affects their ability to carry out attacks... An attack on Iraq may not itself be a part of the war on terrorism, but it does affect American credibility. A successful campaign will cause other states to reassess the support they render to terrorism.

So... causing other states to reduce their support for terrorism... isn't part of the war on terror? Okay, I'm officially confused.

Here's a bit more of the Bush-backer:

With this White House, I see an outright pattern of bullying... We've seen it across different agencies, a pattern of going after anybody who's a critic. When people raise legitimate issues that may not be consistent with existing administration policy, those people are attacked and their character is impugned.

Yes, this appears to be the same Johnson who has appeared as an honored Outfoxed interviewee, courtesy of the geniuses at and the Center for American Progress.

Wilson and Plame get a little more P.R. (Slate / MSN)

And, I suppose it goes without saying this is the same Johnson who paid a visit to the wildly unprofitable Air America network for an Al ("I Hate Bernie Goldberg!") Franken.

President Bush has stated -- in pretty stark terms -- that if anyone in the White House committed a crime they'll be dealt with accordingly. I think his track record speaks for itself: Rove would be no exception. In an administration that has been remarkably scandal-free, I think we can let the investigatory phase wind down and the chips fall where they may. If Rove committed a crime, he should be charged with a crime.

And I'm shocked, shocked that Johnson isn't nearly as outraged over Democratic Senators outing a nine- or ten-figure classified satellite program. But I guess that's not worthy of mention while Johnson and Valerie Plame get their various personal publicity campaigns geared up.

No comments: