The revelation that Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was the original source of the leak which ‘outed’ former covert CIA operative Valerie Plame and not Bush Administration Vice President Dick Cheney, Chiefs of Staff Karl Rove or Scooter Libby has surprised Washington watchers this week, even those within the White House themselves. Apparently, Bush higher ups were so convinced it was one of them that their immediate reaction was to go into “Code Red-Stonewall”, the highest Oval Office alert category. The alert, which was initiated in December 2003, was downgraded yesterday to “Code Yellow-Spin”, the normal state of affairs. Since President George W. Bush first took office in 2001 “Code Green-Open Government” has never been in effect.
Newly named Unnamed White House Source Jellico A. .Nudder, speaking on the condition of anonymity said, “I gotta admit, we were all a little surprised that it turned out to be Dick Armitage. I mean, I know the guy’s a gossipy old hen and all, but the whole thing just seemed so…Karl (White House Chief of Staff Rove). Of course, Scooter thought it was Rove, Rove thought it was Scooter, Dick Cheney figured it was both of them and George Bush just couldn’t figure out why Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson didn’t have the same last name if they were married. Still, he was all for covering it up…hell, he’s signed an Executive Order making publishing his lunch menu’s a national security risk. Top secret hot dogs with mac. & cheese. Jesus.”
So a reverse ‘boy who cried wolf’ scenario began. Everyone assumed that someone close to them just had to be the leak and was refusing to admit he or she was the wolf. As it turns out, Dick Armitage didn’t even know he was the leak until Conservative commentator Bob Novak, the guy who first published Plame’s identity, told him, thus increasing America’s confidence in the intellectual savvy of the diplomats at the State Department by tenfold.
So now the focus shifts off someone in the Administration naming a covert CIA agent knowingly and with malice for the purpose of revenge to A) a senior State Department official too stupid to realize he was giving away state secrets and B) an Administration so used to breaking the law that even when they’re not they’re so sure they are that they’ll risk a perjury indictment to cover it up and finally C) an Administration so bent on achieving their goals that won’t even listen to anyone in their own government if what they say goes against those goals. In other words, business as usual.