The Chicago Sun Times has published an editorial by Mark Steyn. It’s beyond belief. Check it out below the fold.

Karl Rove? Please. I couldn’t care less. This week finds me thousands of miles from the Beltway in what I believe the ABC World News Tonight map designates as the Rest Of The Planet, an obscure beat the media can’t seem to spare a correspondent for. But even if I was with the rest of the navel-gazers inside the Beltway I wouldn’t be interested in who ”leaked” the name of CIA employee Valerie Plame to the press. As her weirdly self-obsesssed husband Joseph C. Wilson IV conceded on CNN the other day, she wasn’t a ”clandestine officer” and, indeed, hadn’t been one for six years. So one can only ”leak” her name in the sense that one can ”leak” the name of the checkout clerk at Home Depot.

First of all, and I’ll say it again, all CIA officers are undercover. It doesn’t matter whether they sit at a desk reading Chinese newspapers and tell their friends they work at the State Department, or whether they live in Tashkent and pretend to work for a non-governmental organization. You can’t blow their cover either way. But as Media Matters points out, Wilson never admitted what Steyn claims he admitted:

In a July 15 article reporting new details in the ongoing criminal investigation into the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame’s identity, the AP distorted a remark by former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV to falsely report that Wilson “acknowledged his wife was no longer in an undercover job at the time Novak’s column first identified her.” In fact, Wilson merely emphasized that his wife’s cover was blown at the moment when columnist Robert D. Novak revealed her identity in a July 2003 column.

More Steyn:

Back when Woodrow Wilson was running for president, he had a campaign song called ”Wilson, That’s All.” If only. With Joe Wilson, it’s never all. He keeps coming back like a song. But in the real world there’s only one scandal in this whole wretched business — that the CIA, as part of its institutional obstruction of the administration, set up a pathetic ”fact-finding mission” that would be considered a joke by any serious intelligence agency and compounded it by sending, at the behest of his wife, a shrill politically motivated poseur who, for the sake of 15 minutes’ celebrity on the cable gabfest circuit, misled the nation about what he found.

Valerie Wilson had no authority to order or command her husband be selected for the job. So, it is totally inaccurate to say that Wilson was sent at her behest. She cited his qualifications, but it wasn’t her decision.

And if anything is a joke, it is the Vice-President refusing to accept the conclusion of the CIA that the Niger document was a piece of worthless shit, and making them go through the farce of sending Mr. Wilson to prove there was no truth to a third-rate forgery.

This controversy began, you’ll recall, because Wilson objected to a line in the president’s State of the Union speech that British intelligence had discovered that Iraq had been trying to acquire ”yellowcake” — i.e., weaponized uranium — from Africa. This assertion made Bush, in Wilson’s incisive analysis, a ”liar” and Cheney a ”lying sonofabitch.”

I’d say Wilson has it right.

In fact, the only lying sonafabitch turned out to be Yellowcake Joe. Just about everybody on the face of the earth except Wilson, the White House press corps and the crowd accepts that Saddam was indeed trying to acquire uranium from Africa. Don’t take my word for it; it’s the conclusion of the Senate intelligence report, Lord Butler’s report in the United Kingdom, MI6, French intelligence, other European services — and, come to that, the original CIA report based on Joe Wilson’s own briefing to them.

It’s not too surprising that there was information circulating about Saddam attempting to attain uranium from Niger and the Congo. There was a concerted effort to make that false allegation stick, and there is every reason to believe that the effort was made out of the Vice-President’s office. Now that we know Saddam had no nuclear program at all, we also know that these yellowcake stories were false and fabricated.

Why Yellowcake Joe then wrote an article for the New York Times misrepresenting what he’d been told by senior figures from Major Wanke’s regime in Niger is known only to him.

Just read Kevin Drum’s takedown from 2004.

[snip]What we have here is, in effect, the old standby plot of lame Hollywood conspiracy thrillers: rogue elements within the CIA attempting to destabilize the elected government. If the left’s view of the world is now so insanely upside-down that that’s the side they want to be on, good for them. But ”leaking” the name of Wilson’s wife and promoter within the CIA didn’t ”endanger her life” or ”compromise her mission.” Au contraire, exposing the nature of this fraudulent, compromised mission might conceivably prevent the American people having their lives endangered.

First of all, the leak destroyed an innocent woman’s career prospects. She can still work as an analyst, but her days as an operations officer are over. Secondly, we don’t know whether the leak put her life in danger, but we can be sure it endangered her lifetime network of sources. It also exposed other officers that ‘worked’ at her cover company. How is that going to conceiveably save American lives?

Here’s the thing: They’re still pulling body parts from London’s Tube tunnels. Too far away for you? No local angle? OK, how about this? Magdy el-Nashar. He’s a 33-year old Egyptian arrested Friday morning in Cairo, and thought to be what they call a ”little emir” — i.e., the head honcho in the local terrorist cell, the one who fires up the suicide bombers. Until his timely disappearance, he was a biochemist studying at Leeds University and it’s in his apartment the London bombs were made. Previously he was at North Carolina State University.

Ah, yes, when you run out of distortion and lies, play the terrorism card. What does the London bombing have to do with uranium from Niger?

So this time round he blew up London rather than Washington. Next time, who knows? Who cares? Here’s another fellow you don’t read much about in America: Kamel Bourgass. He had a plan to unleash ricin in London. Fortunately, the cops got wind of that one and three months ago he was convicted and jailed. Just suppose, instead of the British police raiding Bourgass’ apartment but missing el-Nashar’s, it had been the other way around, and ricin had been released in aerosol form on the Tube.

I can just imagine the carnage. But, again, how does destroying a front-company that is running down bad guys looking for ricin helpful to preventing the release of ricin in the tubes?

[snip]What’s this really about? It’s not difficult. A big chunk of the American elites have decided there is no war; it’s all a racket got up by Bush and Cheney. And, even if there is a war somewhere or other, wherever it is, it’s not where Bush says it is. Iraq is a ”distraction” from Afghanistan — and, if there were no Iraq, Afghanistan would be a distraction from Niger, and Niger’s a distraction from Valerie Plame’s next photo shoot for Vanity Fair.

There is a war. It’s a civil war in Iraq. And it’s a cultural/political war in America. Some of us think we are losing the war in Iraq.

Some of us can’t understand why it’s a jaw-dropping sin to commit adultery and lie about it, but it is just fine to start a war justified with fabricated evidence, and then to lose that war. If Iran is going to train the Iraqi army, I think we’ve already given up on any of the high-minded goals this war was supposed to accomplish.

The police have found the suicide bomber’s head in the rubble of the London bus, and Iran is enriching uranium. The only distraction here is the pitiful parochialism of our political culture.

Rove is a distraction. There are bigger criminals than Rove. But Mark Steyn’s horseshit commentary is a distraction too. How can the Chicago Sun-Times print this drivel?

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