(Orignially posted on Hawanja.com on 7/10/05, during the hieght of the Valerie Plame C.I.A. scandal)
Even if we win, we lose. Goddammit.
If any of you are regular readers of my little site here, then you've heard me bitch and moan about the injustice done to Valerie Plame, the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. For those of you who don't know, back before the phoney baloney Iraq war started Wilson gave a report basically stating that the claim that Iraq tried to buy Uranium yellow cake from Niger was total crapola, and somebody in the Bush White House decided to ruin his wife's carrer as a little payback. This was a big deal a few months ago but then everyone forgot about it. Well, let me rephrase that. The media forgot about it. On purpose.
Anyway, it looks like it's back now, with a vengance. I don't know how many people are following this story, what with terrorism, hurricanes, the G-8 summit going on, etc. But it appears now that the reporters who broke the story (and exposed Valerie Plame, thus ruining whatever network she had in place and putting her and the people she works with in extreme danger of retrebution) have been ordered to name the source of the information. And, as our full of shit government doesn't have any journalistic shield laws to speak of (which are usually reserved for the states,) one of the reporters (Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper) has been given permission by Time to testify, while the other (New York Times reporter Judith Miller) is going to the big house for a few months for sticking to her journalistic guns.
Now you would think this would be good news for those of us who want to see whoever it was that did this *cough* KARL ROVE *cough* out on his ass where he belongs for pulling this stunt. Becasue he deserves it and it's about time somebody in that administration gets held accountable for something. But under closer examination this is bad news for the rest of us for two reasons:
1) It will set precedent that any reporter who breaks a controversial story with an unamed source can be forced to reveal said source, thereby scaring potential whistle blowers and helping dirtbag politicians and corporations get away with even more bullshit.
2) It will enable our slowly-creeping-towards-a-police-state-government to get even more control over the media, like they need anymore that is.
I would like nothing more than to wake up and find who was responsible for the hit job on Valerie Plame on the front cover of the New York times, hiding his head under his jacket as they lead his ass to the slammer. But this isn't the way to do it. This is the same people taking advantage of the situation to get something they've wanted for a long time: Power to prosecute journalists for stories they don't like. This is censorship at it's most direct form.
We're supposed to be fighting terrorists, right? Now, that means in order to hunt them down and kill them we have to like, find out who they are and stuff. That essentially was Valerie Plame's job, investigating the whereabouts and capabilties of weapons of mass destruction in the middle east. It was her job to find out who the damn terrorists were, and if they actually had any suitcase nukes. So you would think it would be a little counter productive to oust her like that. Becasue if she's made public that blows any agents she may have working for her, also any people she might be getting info on, anyone who might be an informant for her, etc, essentially screwing up the whole operation. Why does this matter? BECASUE WE'RE SUPPOSED TO BE FIGHTING FUCKING TERRORISTS, GODDAMMIT! A lot of people tell me to support the troops becasue they're putting thier lives on the line everyday. Well people like Valerie Plame put their lives on the line to make this country safe too, even more so. Then somebody in the Bush White House decides to get even with her husband for telling the truth. And some of you voted for these people.
No doubt I'll get some more e-mail from people calling me a traitor about this, so let me put it in a way even conservatives can understand. Whoever ousted Valerie Plame is the real traitor. Whoever did it not only put her life in danger, but also your life, my life, and everyone else's life also. Becasue without intelligence, there is no war. Without information, there is no place to drop the bombs. Without our intelligence network working at it's full capacity without fear of asshole politicans using their identity for revenge against political dissidents we will never stop the terrorists. We can't kill the terrorists if we don't know who they are. Now do you see why this is such a big deal?
So, getting back on topic, it looks like it will finally come out who the hell is responsible for this is. Good, fuck'em. But the freaky part is that it's being done in such a way that from now on reporters are going to be scared of quoting confidential sources. This is very, very, very, very bad, for all of us. Becasue you won't see any muckracking investigative journalism anymore if everyone is too scared of being sued or thrown in jail to spill the beans. If you have to list and name every source for a story everytime you expose something that certain people won't like and people start getting put away for that, then you're not going to see those kinds of stories anymore. You're going to start seeing "happy" news. News that is inoffensive. News that is positive to those in power. News that doesn't step on anyone's toes. And as a result, news that is completely irrelevant. If you think the media is full of shit now, come back in five years.
The real sad part of all this is Judith Miller. See, she is one of those wacky psyco-right collumnists who beat the drumbeats for war and basically printed anything the necons told her. Now she's sticking to her journalistic principles (which she should do becasue it's the right thing) and those politicians who she trusted so much are taking advantage of her situation to ruin the power of journalists. You'd think that the White House would have her back since she is like one of thier staunchest supporters. Guess that shows the mindset here. Judith Miller is getting the spikey dildo in every which way possible. She's a tool, and is being used like one.
There are going to be larger implications from this. I am making a prediction now, so pay attention (becasue after all, I am right about everything.) Years from now people are going to look back at the outcome of this current piece of political theatre and see that it's the day the media officially stopped being the fourth branch of government. If Micheal Cooper and Judith Miller are forced to name thier sources then it's all over. The media will be officially powerless. All of us out in internet land already know the mainstream media is full of shit, the difference is now they will start acting like it. Expect to see news anchors dressed up like clowns anyday now.
We lose, and the fucking terrorists win. They just blew up London. Maybe if we weren't so busy shooting our own intelligence network in the foot somebody could have stopped them. Good job assholes.