Perhaps the most persistent bit of scandal, if you can call a fabricated bit of liberal mythology a scandal, was the alleged outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame which the left contends was orchestrated by the Bush administration to punish her husband, Joe Wilson, for questioning the basis for the war in Iraq.
Liberals now accept this narrative as an article of faith, even to the point of it becoming a book, entitled Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent Was Betrayed by Her Own Government, and a movie of the same title starring (as you would expect) uber-liberal Sean Penn.
The problem? This narrative…isn’t entirely accurate. Timothy Carney explains:
If you made a movie about the government leaking the identity of a CIA agent, wouldn’t the movie feature the leaker or the reporter who printed the leak? Not if you were the makers of “Fair Game,” the new movie about Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. The leakers, you see, didn’t fit the film’s narrative about the Bush administration lying us into war.
My old boss Bob Novak reported that Wilson’s wife was a CIA operative. His original source was Richard Armitage, Bush’s deputy secretary of state. Inconveniently for the storyline of “Fair Game” — and the story the Left pushed for years — Novak and Armitage both opposed the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq.
It’s hard to argue that two Iraq War opponents got together and decided to punish Wilson for publicly questioning the case for war — especially when Novak was doing so long before Wilson was. And Armitage was a famous dove, even by State Department standards.
Given Hollywood’s bias against subtlety and complexity, the filmmakers had a choice: Lie about Novak and Armitage to make them Iraq hawks — or simply ignore them. The screenwriters chose the latter. Novak is mentioned only once, at the moment Plame reads the column. Armitage is mentioned only in the text epilogue in the closing credits.
Carney goes on to suggest that the Bush administration probably did ignore evidence inconvenient for its case for the invasion of Iraq, and that Bush administration staffer Scooter Libby probably did attempt to leak Plame’s identity as political retribution. These probablies, of course, are completely unsubstantiated and simply a matter of opinion. It was the anti-Iraq war Novak who identified Plame, and Iraq war opponent Richard Armitage who was Novak’s source.
What’s not opinion, what is actually fact, is that the narrative of the Plame affair as presented by Sean Penn and “Fair Game” is a total fairy tale.