In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 2, 2005 / 30 Tishrei, 5766

Wanted: A redeeming character

By Jonathan Turley

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, has given the Valerie Plame scandal the pre-requisite indictee, a face for this ongoing drama. What is more troubling, however, has been the absence of a heroic or even positive figure.

On its face, this affair had all of the elements of a blockbuster political drama. An embattled president is accused of lying to the American people to take the country to war. Shadowy political operatives launch a campaign to punish the man who uncovered the lie by destroying the career of his wife, a covert CIA operative. Indeed, even the name — the Valerie Plame affair — carried a certain sexy and intriguing appeal. By this point, Washington should be crawling with book and movie agents except for the one missing element: a single redeeming character.

The Wilsons

Initially, it appeared that the scandal would have two ready-made heroes in the Wilsons. Former ambassador Joseph Wilson had publicly revealed that there was no evidence to support the president's claim that Saddam Hussein had sought to buy weapons-grade uranium in Niger — a critical justification for the Iraq war. In the firestorm that followed, political figures struck back — not at Wilson, but at his wife by discussing her position as a CIA officer.

Handsome and successful, the Wilsons seemed the perfect characters. Yet, they soon began to fade as heroic figures. The toothy couple posed for pictures in a Vanity Fair spread a few months after her identity was revealed. The photo of the two preening in a Jaguar convertible with the White House in the background seemed a curious choice for a covert operative worried about her identity. Then there was their financial support for President Bush's opponents. In the end, they seemed more Beltway bandits than citizen soldiers.

President Bush

While he first appeared a villain due to his use of false information to justify the war, President Bush appeared to rehabilitate his character when the scandal broke. He steadfastly vowed that he would fire anyone involved in the disclosure of Plame's identity and the White House stressed this bright line commitment to ethics in later press briefings. Bush, however, quickly backpedaled on his promise when it became clear that Libby and presidential adviser Karl Rove were involved — despite denials of such involvement by the White House. The result was a nosebleed of a drop from a zero-tolerance policy to something more befitting Jimmy Hoffa: The president would only fire his aides if they were actually convicted of a crime. Since such convicts would almost certainly be incarcerated, the new pledge was rightfully denounced as a meaningless, if not ridiculous, gesture.

Judith Miller

As the Wilsons declined as inspiring figures, New York Times reporter Judith Miller seemed to step forward to take the high ground. Ordered to reveal her sources on the Plame affair, Miller refused and went to jail for 85 days in the name of journalistic privilege. Many columnists, including myself, wrote in support of her stand.

Despite the public support, Miller's emergence as First Amendment heroine always seemed a bit too well-timed. Her career was in the Dumpster because of her controversial coverage and conduct during the Iraq invasion. Miller had written extensively in support of the administration claims of a WMD program in Iraq.

After her reporting was found to be wrong (and The New York Times issued an apology for the coverage to its readers), Miller seemed a bit too eager to go to jail. This suspicion was recently confirmed when she finally agreed to reveal her source: Libby. For those following the scandal, the revelation was itself scandalous. Libby had previously signed a waiver of confidentiality, and later his attorneys personally reaffirmed the waiver to Miller's legal team.

Various other reporters accepted the waiver and testified. Only Miller refused. It is now clear that there was no reason for Miller to go to jail, and her heroic stand appears to be a type of Joan-of-Arc syndrome. Even her editors recently accused Miller of misleading them on her true role and "entanglements" with Libby.

To make matters worse, Miller agreed to identify him as a "former Hill staffer." Calling Libby a former Hill staffer is like anonymously quoting Vice President Cheney as a "former rancher." It was designed to shield the involvement of one of the highest administration officials.

Miller's discrediting left the cast of this drama devoid of a positive figure. For their parts, Libby and Rove struggled to prove that they may have been unethical but they were not technically criminal in their conduct.

Columnist Robert Novak, who first revealed Plame's identity, has admitted that a CIA source asked him not to reveal her name. Still, Novak chose to do so in a clearly senseless act. Novak then refused to tell other journalists whether he has cooperated with prosecutors. His decision to out Plame has now ended her career and embroiled the Bush administration in a two-year scandal that cost millions to investigate.

The Plame affair now looks like a political version of Murder on the Orient Express, where we find in the end that everyone harbored a dark motive and contributed to the final deed.

Perhaps it is as good as a Beltway drama gets, but it would have been nice if we had even a minor character left at the end worth caring about.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan Turley is a law professor at George Washington University. Click here to visit his website. Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, Jonathan Turley