As people across the world become nervous about a possible escalation of the crisis in the Middle East, we should be grateful to Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson for providing us some much needed “comic relief.” While much evidence has come out about the White House’s clumsy attempt to discredit Mr. WIlson, no evidence has yet surfaced to buttress Mr. Wilson’s contention that White House officials used “their official positions to exact personal revenge.”
All they were doing was trying to show, what a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Report later confirmed, that Wilson was playing fast and loose with the facts, even misrepresenting the findings of his own mission to Niger.
While I think this suit will be dismissed even before it enters the discovery phase, it is amusing to contemplate how it might proceed. To rebut statements in the initial filing, the defense will quote extensively from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq. Plus, they may gain access to the results of Fitzgerald’s investigation and will get to depose Joe Wilson under oath.
With a good litigator handling that deposition, Wilson would finally have to handle tough questions and would likely break under pressure. The transcript might get leaked to conservative bloggers who would have a field day pointing out Wilson’s contradictions and doublespeak. Those contradictions would almost certainly force him and his wife to withdraw their lawsuit.
It is clear to me — and so many others — that this lawsuit is no more than a publicity stunt. Neither Wilson nor Plame has suffered because of the Administration’s efforts to discredit them. While revelations of Wilson’s dishonesty should have removed him from the public stage, Joe Wilson has become a folk hero of the angry left, receiving two standing ovations at YearlyKos, being paid hefty honoraria to speak at college campuses and appearing numerous times on television talk shows while publishing a book on his experiences. Gateway Pundit provides several photos of the many media appearances of the Wilsons where this supposedly unhappy pair are almost always smiling.
Even liberals are beginning to tire of the media-hungry twosome.
While Joe Wilson provides some comic relief at this anxious time, he reminds me of another discredited crackpot with an ideological ax to grind. Just as several left-wing groups continue to hold Mr. Wilson in high regard, so do anti-gay “family” groups cite the research of Paul Cameron although serious social scientists have found countless flaws in his methodology. While serious social scientists have discredited Cameron’s attempt to besmirch gay people, the Senate Intelligence Committee has discredited Wilson’s contention that President Bush deliberately deceived the American people.
Just as left-wingers will continue to cheer Joe Wilson because he offers the conclusions they want so will certain social conservatives continue to herald Paul Cameron, with one group prominently featuring one on his books on its web-page. When people like Cameron or Wilson are exposed as frauds, they should fall into disfavor. But, so helpful are their (discredited) conclusions to their ideological allies that those allies ignore the facts and continue to tout their findings.
With Wilson long since discredited and the Fitzgerald investigation winding down, Joe Wilson is making one last attempt to remain relevant. For one final moment, he’ll get a little more of the publicity he so loves. But, as the publicity of this latest media stunt fades and his lawsuit is exposed to greater scrutiny, he’ll become little more than a laughingstock, another pathetic man attempting to extend his time on center stage. Another unhappy ideologue, cherished only by the angriest advocates of his cause.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com