Yesterday, I wrote about the attempt by some to resurrect the foul corpse of the Plame investigation. CNN was happy to bring Baron Samedi to the graveyard while the dynamic duo of Plame and Wilson keep trying the incantations in civil court. Today the Washington Post comes out with what reasonable people will consider the final word on this pumped up set of lies masquerading as a scandal.
It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House — that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame's identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson — is untrue. The partisan clamor that followed the raising of that allegation by Mr. Wilson in the summer of 2003 led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, a costly and prolonged investigation, and the indictment of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on charges of perjury. All of that might have been avoided had Mr. Armitage's identity been known three years ago.
That's not to say that Mr. Libby and other White House officials are blameless. As prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has reported, when Mr. Wilson charged that intelligence about Iraq had been twisted to make a case for war, Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney reacted by inquiring about Ms. Plame's role in recommending Mr. Wilson for a CIA-sponsored trip to Niger, where he investigated reports that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium. Mr. Libby then allegedly disclosed Ms. Plame's identity to journalists and lied to a grand jury when he said he had learned of her identity from one of those reporters. Mr. Libby and his boss, Mr. Cheney, were trying to discredit Mr. Wilson; if Mr. Fitzgerald's account is correct, they were careless about handling information that was classified.
Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson.
Now, while reasonable people may consider that the final word, the people who pimped this story endlessly and created the elaborate house of cards that was Plamegate have proven themselves completely lacking in reason. But salvation is at hand, folks. Obtain a copy of the WaPo editorial and roll it up into a tight tube. When someone raises the zombie of the Plame affair, apply the rolled up news paper sharply to the side of the zombie's head. After all, we have expert advice that that is the way to deal with zombies.