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   Open Season on The CIA

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7/27/2005 2:50 pm

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Entered 7/27/2005, Updated 7/27/2005

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On Tuesday I argued that the latest Republican PR strategy in the Plamegate affair is to plant seeds suggesting that even if Karl Rove did expose the identity of a covert CIA agent, perhaps that wasn't such a bad thing to do after all. Senate Intelligence Committee chair Pat Roberts appeared to be taking the lead in this strategy by ominously opening hearings on the "use of covert protections for CIA agents" — hearings that I suspect are designed mainly to ridicule the CIA for overusing the label "covert" as it pertains to, say, agents like Valerie Plame. In response, Pejman Yousefzadeh touchingly defended his fellow Republican's honor, claiming that perhaps Roberts wanted nothing more than to augment the use of covert protection for CIA operatives. D'oh! How could I have missed that obvious interpretation? The fact that Roberts has suddenly become interested in this subject at the exact same time that Karl Rove has been accused of exposing an undercover agent is, I guess, just a coincidence. In fact, perhaps Karl is in for a stern talking to from the senator from Kansas? Maybe. But I wouldn't bet the corner office on it. In fact, at about the same time I was writing my post, Christopher Hitchens was — in another of those surprising coincidences — writing an entire column contending that....we should repeal the law that makes it illegal to expose the identity of a CIA operative!


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