Wilson Threatens to Unmask the Unmaskers

Adam at The Likely Story — a fine weblog which had escaped my attention but which joins the blogroll forthwith — finds two new mass-media references to the Plame affair, one of them with potentially important news.

The editors of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer * calls the affair “a cancer somewhere in the Bush Administration” (echoing the language John Dean used about the Watergate cover-up) and call for an investigation. (Adam doesn’t mention a similar editorial in the Berkshire Eagle *. That should give the Tanglewood audience something to talk about during intermission.)

David Ballingrud in the St. Petersburg Times * reports that Joseph Wilson “thinks he knows” the identities of the people who unmasked his wife, but isn’t ready “yet” to name them, hoping that an FBI or Congressional investigation will bring them to light. Adam at The Likely Story takes that to be a threat that Wilson will make a public accusation if there is no investigation or only a perfunctory one.

One again, real reporting and tough commentary on this affair are coming out in secondary news outlets, not as dependent on leaks and with less to lose in terms of access to important officials than the major dailies or newsmagazines.

Any reporter or Senate staffer who wants to know whether the FBI or anyone else is actually looking in to this matter now has an easy way to find out. A Google News search for “Joseph C. Wilson” pops up the Ballingrud story. Anyone investigating the matter with any sort of diligence would find that story, and ask Wilson who he thinks the bad guys are. So call Wilson this Friday and see if he’s had a phone call or a visit. If not, you know what to do next.

Yesterday, I was somewhat discouraged: without major media coverage, I didn’t see how minority Senators could force any real investigation. Now I think this matter won’t be allowed to die.

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: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com