The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Maher, Plame, Cheney, and Patriotism

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Every now and again, some passionate soul lobs the “America-hater” grenade my way. This leaves me amazed. I’ve always found it baffling – the idea that those of us who ask, “Why do you think so?” or “Haven’t we seen this before?” have, therewith, committed the unforgivable sin.

It was with some relief that I read Bill Maher’s words on it. Maher—often too cynical for my taste—does sometimes say things so thought-provoking that you’re left wondering, “Yeah, why is that?”  Here’s an example, taken from the Scootergate fact set. I excerpt just a bit:

Valerie Plame was the CIA’s operational officer in charge of counter-proliferation. Which means she tracked loose nukes. So, when Bush said, as he once did, that his absolute, number-one priority was preventing terrorists from getting loose nukes, okay, that’s what she worked on. That’s what she devoted her life to … staying undercover for 20 years, maintaining two identities every [g**d***] day. This is extraordinary service to your country…

CIA agents are troops. [The “outing of Plame”] was a military assassination of one of our own … let’s not forget why they did it to her. Because Valerie Plame was married to this guy, Joe Wilson, who the Bush people hated because he busted them on one of their [b***s***] reasons for invading Iraq. … He was sent to the African country of Niger to see if Niger was selling nuclear fuel to Iraq. They weren’t. It was [b***s***], and he said so. Valerie Plame’s husband told the truth about their lie, so they were willing to jeopardize an entire network of spies to ruin her life. Wow, even the mob doesn’t go after your family.

Mark Twain said, “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” And I say Valerie Plame is a patriot because she spent her life serving her country. …

It would be a healthy thing for America to debate the morality of the CIA generally. But set that aside for the moment, and here’s what’s left: The Office of the Vice President ruins the career of a lifetime government servant and puts the lives of others at risk because her husband caught the VP in a lie.

It’s a classic power story, isn’t it? Little person catches heavy in a lie. Heavy decided to teach little guys everywhere a lesson. Little guy’s loved ones get hurt. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

I’ve never been in government. And I know we never get the whole story. But isn’t the big-guy-bullies-little-guy-to-cover-his-tracks thing—abuse, as we call it in families and schools—isn’t that something we’re against?  Isn’t exposing it in any society’s best interest?

And for those of us who are followers of Jesus, isn’t that a kind of abuse of power that he especially despised?


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Written by Monte

March 28, 2007 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Iraq, Politics

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