(You can catch YearlyKos streaming via CSPAN 2
One of the major events of YearlyKos is the CIA Leak discussion panel, which includes Ambassador Joe Wilson. Considering that it was his wife that was outed by the White House, you can imagine that a lot of folks want to hear what he has to say.
The emphasis is made here that the story would never have been told if the traditional media were left to do the job -- it's the bloggosphere that broke this story and the bloggosphere that will continue to report on it. The mainstream media, as with many stories, is following the blogs' lead on this.
Joseph Wilson, aka Mr. Valarie Plame, said the following (rough transcript):
Plamegage, writ large, has neve beeen about me or my wife. One of the few accurate things about Novak's article is that he quoted me on that fact. It is a campaign to change the subject from the facts as presented in my article.
Who knows the name of the person who put the 16 words in the SOTU address? Who doesn't know my wife's name? The real question, is who put those lies in his State of the Union speech, and why did they do it?
Make no mistake about it, there is not decision more important in a society than whether to send its soldiers to kill or die for thir country. We have to make that decision based on the facts, not based on lies crafted to fit the pre-decided policy. The cost has been dear: 2500 US dead, 18,000 US woundedd, tens of thousands of Iraqi dead. We deserve to know why this decision was made, how it was made, and we deserve to hold the people who made those decisions to account. (applause) This is about war and why we wage it, not about Wilson.
This is also about how we conduct debate on those key issues that we make as a great society. This is about being open to a free and vigorous exchange of ideas, even if the people who enter the debate have inconvenient facts and inconvenient ideas.
I for one refuse to be intimidated, and if there's any example for what Valaire and I went through, it's that we must stand up to the school yard bullies, and that these decisions must be made with the consent of the people.
My article in the NYT 7/6/03 entitled "What I did not find in Africa," was not an act of moral or political courage, but of civic duty. It's what democracies do every day, whether it's a letter to your elected official or a letter to the newspaper. It is what underpins a democracy -- the willingnes and ability of a population to hold their officials to account. What makes this article notworthy is the context of how this narrative has played out -- that this administration was determined to see that their narative was the only narrative, and that dissent was crushed.
What should give us concern is that we find ourselves in the situation described by George Orwell: "In a time of universal deceit, the act of telling the truth is revolutionary." It's in that context that we have this discussion today. Thank you.
Other points made:
- This is a tragedy for journalism, but not beacuse people are being subpoenaed -- it's because the journalists aren't doing their damn job. They're presenting highly spun leaks or well known public information -- the exceptions are coming not from journliasts, but fromthe bloggosphere. Consider that if it were not for the bloggosphere, Judy Miller would be considered a great journalist instead of a shill, and Scooter Libby wouldn't have been indicted in all likelihood. This isn't just the Plame case -- this is the whole way the WH operates.
- We really don't know where this story is going to go. This could go nowhere. Only when this is done -- when the story fizzles out or when Bush is implicated and Rove is indicted -- will we know what we've done.
- A lot of news organizations are so conflicted about their roles in this -- since many of them are complicit -- that many are hoping this will just go away. Want to fix this? Let's try reclaiming the media
- Part of the bloggosphere obsession with this story is a motivation not to let happen to Treasongate what happened to Iran/Contra.
- The MSM is starting to figure out that the bloggosphere isn't just a bunch of 16 year olds. (Some of the bloggers on the panel have Ph. Ds or JDs.)
- VP was not the only member of her training class to go into NOC, nor is she the only NOC agent to be married to a diplomat. The Right Wing's assertion that she never should have married a diplomat if she wanted to retain her cover is a plain lie.
- The same goes for the assertion that no damage was done. The cases she was working on to prevent Iran's ability to develop nuclear technology were destroyed with this exposure. (Consider that this might be relevant to today's screaming Drudge headline.) The damage to the CIA's intel gathering and to our national security is profound; the GOP's defense of this treason is inexcusable.
- Some of the right-wing media's legal sources might benefit from some actual time in a courtroom. They've got the facts on Fitzgerald's investigation, the grand jury, Karl Rove's status in this investigation, etc., wrong, wrong, wrong. Suggestion to the media: go to the Federal grand jury room in DC on Wednesday and Friday, and see if Fitz is coming in. This might tell you something about the investigation.
Q: Every single top Republican at this point could be indicted for treason, etc. As they get backed up against the peril of imprisonment, what can we expect them to do?
A: There's no limit to what they could do.
A: (Wilson) I have great faith in the institution of democracy, and I've had great privalege to serve my country for 23 years. One of the things I take from this experience is that the minute that it became apparent that those who were engaged in compromising the ID of my life may have been engaged in breaking the law, a process came into effect to defend the law, my wife, and the Constitution. When Pat Fitzgerald was named, it served to reinforce the commitment of career officials to ensure that this remains a nation of laws. I remain confident that the rule of law will be successfully implemented.