No, the Plame affair isn’t over

Both Glenn Reynolds and Tim Noah seem to think that Joseph Wilson’s mania for self-promotion has something to do with the issue of the criminal liability of those who betrayed his wife’s secret status. Nothing about the Plame scandal depends on believing Joseph Wilson or trusting his motives. The story isn’t about him, much as he and his enemies in the White House would like it to be. It’s not about her, either. It’s about two “top White House officials” who blew an undercover agent’s identity for political purposes, and who ought to be going to jail for it, and about the President of the United States, who has to this date not asked the people who work for him to come forward and say whether they were, or were not, responsible.

I’m still hoping (and betting) that the folks at the FBI and Main Justice handling this affair don’t live in the celebrity-dominated culture where everything is personal, but rather in the older, and to some people less interesting, world in which facts, laws, and even principles still matter.

Thanks to Matt Yglesias for the pointer.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

One thought on “No, the Plame affair isn’t over”

  1. Vanity Fair photo of Valerie Plame

    This page here at BFW has been getting a lot of hits today, as people search for the Valerie Plame/Joseph Wilson photo from the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair. That picture (copied from Slate): Stupid, stupid, stupid. The right-wing press…

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