Plame Scandal


"Let us forget for the moment that nuclear power spreads radioactive pollution, presents a target for terrorists and leaves us with waste that no government wants to handle...

"The first "even if" is a big one. Private insurers will not cover the risk [of nuclear accidents]. Three international conventions limit investors' liability and oblige governments to pick up the bill. According to a report commissioned by the European parliament, the costs of a large-scale nuclear accident range from $100bn to $6.6 trillion. They would have to be met by taxpayers...

"He begins by examining the terms of reference used by people such as King, who compare nuclear power "only with a central power plant burning coal or natural gas"... None of them can compete with windpower... let alone with two far cheaper resources: cogeneration of heat and power, and efficient use of electricity".

"Ten cents of investment, Lovins shows, will buy either 1 kilowatt-hour of nuclear electricity, 1.2-1.7 of windpower, 2.2-6.5 of small-scale cogeneration or up to 10 of energy efficiency...

"Already the market is voting with its wallet. "In 2004 alone," Lovins notes, "Spain and Germany each added as much wind capacity--2bn watts--as nuclear power is adding worldwide in each year of this decade." Although the nuclear industry in the US has guzzled 33 times as much government money as wind and has "enjoyed a regulatory system of its own design for a quarter century", it hasn't fulfilled a single new order from the electricity companies since 1973" (George Monbiot. "Scientific spin doctor." Guardian Weekkly, Nov. 4, 2005: 5).


"The indictment special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald unveiled the day his grand jury expired focused on four instances when Lews "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, allegedly lied to FBI agents or grand jurors about his role in the CIA leak affair. Fitzgerald outlined serious charges but did not address the central issues of the scandal, such as which administration official initially outed Valerie Wilson, née Plame, to columnist Bob Novak; how the leaker learned of her CIA position; why that person disseminated this classified information to one or more reporters; what Bush, Cheney and other officials knew about the leak (before and after it occurred); and why Bush and others at the White House at first denied Karl Rove and Libby were "involved", though both were (Rove reportedly confirmed the leak for Novak). The indictment did expose, without elaboration, Cheney's part in an effort to undermine Valerie Wilson's husband, who had challenged the Administration's misleading claim that Saddam Hussein had been shopping for weapons-grade uranium in Niger...

"... the indictment.... also reveals that while Libby was gathering information on the Wilsons, the first indication he received that Valerie Wilson might be a covert officer came from Cheney. Why was he rooting out material on Valerie Wilson on his own? Who at the CIA told Cheney about her, and what did he or she say about her position?...

"Fitzgerald's investigation has not been the appropriate vehicle for discovering and disseminating the truth. Much more is needed. Democrats can call for Rove's dismissal. He did violate government rules on handling classified information and Bush's self-proclaimed ethics standards by sharing Valerie Wilson's CIA employment status with at least two reporters (Novak and Time's Matt Cooper). But Bush has stuck with Rove through thick and slime. Besides, firing him would be easier for Bush than disclosing the entire truth about the leak and the war" (David Corn. "After the Libby Indictment." The Nation, Nov. 21, 2005: 4).


"...a special counsel has reached directly into the White House and, for the first time since 1875, indicted an official who works there: the Vice President's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, who was trying to suppress the truth about the war by punishing a truth-teller, Ambassador Joseph Wilson...

"As the fantasy explodes, new aspects of the machinery of falsehood are being brought into view. The willful, concerted, energetic tenacity of the defense of fiction is notable. The twenty-two pages of Libby's indictment portray the office of the Vice President Cheney skillfully and relentlessly deploying all its resources to protect the single false allegation that Iraq was purchasing uranium in Niger before the war. Cheney and his team worked for weeks to marshal the information and minisinformation with which to smear Wilson" (Jonathan Schell. "Faith and Fraud." The Nation, Nov. 21, 2005: 11).


"... the indictment of I. Lewis Libby... After five years of one of the most arrogant and lawless Administrations in the nation's history, at last an ounce of accountability" (Matthew Rothschild. "The Hour of Indictment." The Progressive, Dec. 2005: 4).


Colby Glass, MLIS