In an editorial deliciously entitled "End of an Affair," the Washington Post today puts the blame for Plamegate squarely where it belongs, on the shoulders of Valerie Plame's husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV. (However, the now-revealed source of the leak to Robert Novak, Richard Armitage, must be asked why he maintained silence while Vice Presidential Chielf of Staff I Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted and then New York Times Reporter Judith Miller languished in jail for 85 days.) Some excerpts:
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.(HT: Instapundit)
Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.
Will the New York Times now apologize to Mr. Libby, its former reporter Ms. Miller, or its reading public? Probably not--being the New York Times means never having to say you're sorry. And has anyone looked to see how this story is being spun on the Huffington Post or the Daily Kos?
Lowell adds: Faithful Hedgehog readers know that we have been following this travesty from its beginning. Here's a portal to all those posts. For the Washington Post, of all papers, to come out this strongly is the absolute final nail in Joe Wilson's "credibility coffin." No one should ever again believe Mr. Wilson about any matter of national security or diplomacy.