First things first: lie, cheat, then steal
Fred Thompson has painted himself as craven and ridiculous as the rest of the Republican zealots who have already declared that Scooter Libby has been oh, so wronged by a charade masquerading as justice. In a recent speech, Thompson spouted all the usual nonsense that has long since been discredited and, in a brazen act of howling ignorance about the Plame outing, added a few of his own maledictions to the already zesty mix of idiocy. For instance, Thompson has no idea why Joe Wilson was sent to Nigeria. None. That's a new one. Usually, we hear that Wilson was sent to Niger because "his wife sent him on a boondoggle." To Niger. That's not usually high on the list of crony destination resorts. The golfing, I hear, is not very good.
All of this is tempered, as it always is by the GOP caterers of "the base," with lofty talk of "the rule of law." With no sense of irony, Thompson compounds the irony, with interest, by stating that
It is a sad irony that a nation that is so dedicated to the rule of law is doing so much to undermine the respect for it,and then proceeds to pine for the release of Scooter Libby from the unbridled viciousness of ... the law. Oh, yeah, it is indeed election season.
In response to the egregious misinformation being doled out by various GOP presidential candidates -- declared or otherwise -- a group of former CIA officers crafted a letter to the Republican National Committee, asking that these candidates, even those not officially declared, to stop misrepresenting the CIA leak case and, for god's sake, to please stop lying about the covert status of Valerie Plame.
As former intelligence officers -- most of us have served the United States in undercover positions -- we are saddened and appalled by the recent public comments of former Senator Fred Thompson, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former Governor Mitt Romney -- one a potential candidate and the other two declared candidates for the Republican nomination for president -- with respect to the perjury and obstruction of justice conviction of Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.This group of CIA officials hold Thompson, in particular, to the burning fires of truth:
These men misrepresent the case against Mr. Libby and call into question the integrity of a respected Federal Judge and U.S. attorney. Their positions with respect to the just and fair punishment meted out to Mr. Libby raise serious questions about their commitment to the rule of law free of partisan bias.
We are particularly concerned by the recent speech by Fred Thompson ...They reveal the rickety raft of Thompson's misapprehensions about the Plame case and excoriate the nascent good ol' boy for his blasé disregard of the facts of the matter.
The factual errors in Mr. Thompson's statement are almost as egregious as his partisan view that perjury and obstruction of justice are not serious crimes. For example, Thompson states that there is something implausible about sending Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate reports that Iraq was trying to buy yellow cake uranium.I think Fred ought to address the criticism ladled out by no less than eight former CIA operatives in his private journal, no? I for one would love to see what ol' Fred can come up with. Maybe he'll just tie 'em to the bumper of his pick-up and haul 'em round the mean streets for a spell.
In fact, Ambassador Wilson was uniquely qualified for the mission. Having served as the acting Ambassador in Iraq and faced down Saddam Hussein, Ambassador Wilson also was the Director of Africa in the National Security Council and had served as an Ambassador in west Africa and monitored the uranium mining activity of the country where he was stationed.
And don't worry Fred. You've still got a Justice Department at your Republican disposal and, of course, Diebold if it comes down to a crunch.