Drezner gets results from Howard Fineman!
Fineman’s Newsweek piece is the new “must read” on the Plame Game [Hey, he stole your line!!–ed. Get me Fox’s lawyers, stat!!]. Lots of good stuff, but what I’m pleased about are these grafs: The moment that piece hit the op-ed page of the New York Times, it was all-out war between the pro- and ...
Fineman's Newsweek piece is the new "must read" on the Plame Game [Hey, he stole your line!!--ed. Get me Fox's lawyers, stat!!]. Lots of good stuff, but what I'm pleased about are these grafs:
Fineman’s Newsweek piece is the new “must read” on the Plame Game [Hey, he stole your line!!–ed. Get me Fox’s lawyers, stat!!]. Lots of good stuff, but what I’m pleased about are these grafs:
The moment that piece hit the op-ed page of the New York Times, it was all-out war between the pro- and anti-war factions, and between the CIA and its critics. I am told by what I regard as a very reliable source inside the White House that aides there did, in fact, try to peddle the identity of Joe Wilson’s wife to several reporters. But the motive wasn’t revenge or intimidation so much as a desire to explain why, in their view, Wilson wasn’t a neutral investigator, but, a member of the CIA’s leave-Saddam-in-place team. And on Tenet’s part, it was time for payback—whatever his past relationship with the Bush’s had been. First, he and his agency had been humiliated, caught by the White House trying to distance themselves from the president’s speech. Then the CIA was forced to admit that it had signed off on the speech. Now one of its own investigations was coming under attack, as was one of its own undercover staffers.
This is basically what I said in my TNR piece from yesterday:
When different parts of the executive branch are locked in constant conflict, the result is a permissive environment. Officials become used to the notion that they will have to act as aggressively as possible to win an argument. Lines of communication between different parts of the executive branch become frayed or severed. Add weak oversight to the mix, and you have a situation in which bureaucratic entrepreneurs will be tempted to push their agendas to the point where ethical rules are violated–or laws are broken. In the Reagan administration, this management style contributed to the Iran-Contra fiasco. In the Bush administration, the battles over Iraq’s WMD program have led to open hostility between the Defense Department and the CIA. The leaks and counter-leaks over Nigerien yellowcake have escalated to the point where the Justice Department is investigating whether anyone in the White House violated federal law and jeopardized national security by outing the identity of an undercover CIA operative.
Advantage: Drezner!! UPDATE: Chris Sullentrop makes a similar point in this Slate essay.
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and the author of The Ideas Industry. Twitter: @dandrezner
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