It's going to be a lot of fun watching the nutcase conspiracy theories expand and implode.
-- The theory that the prisons never existed and were fabricated as part of a sting operation seems to have been originated by the inexplicably popular Captain's Quarters, based on self-serving denials by the countries that hosted the prisons.
Other conservative sites love the idea that the U.S. is so clever that it has ruined its international reputation as a protector of human rights and vastly energized terrorist recruiting efforts in an ingenious ploy to nail a mole.
-- Stingray ("A Blog for Salty Christians") thinks the prisons don't exist. (Bible: all literally, indisputably true. Prisons testified to by living, breathing people who were detained there: don't exist.)
-- Macsmind, in its post "Rockefeller Did You Teller", likes both the "there were no prisons" and "Rockefeller's behind it all" theories: This is much more than just the leak of CIA prisons - a story which in itself is false....
-- Michelle Malkin thinks Mary McCarthy sent Joe Wilson to Niger. So does Ace of Spades HQ, a blog notable mainly for bragging about wanting to slit people's throats.
-- Stop The ACLU gets the first part of its story right: During the Bush Administration, a nexus of politicians, government workers and members of the news media have worked overtime in leaking classified information....
but instead of pointing out the treachery of Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, and the President himself in leaking the National Intelligence Estimate, bemoaning the disclosure of Valerie Plame's identity (which blew not only her cover but the entire CIA front company she supposedly worked for), commenting on the news that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is seeking Karl Rove's indictment, or picking up on the new story that Condi Rice, too, has leaked classified information -- all good and true stuff! -- they instead drink the Kool-Aid:
From the secret terrorist prisons to the National Security Agency’s super-secret surveillance program, intelligence officials and the Bush Administration have had to watch their counterterrorism efforts neutralized for political reasons.
"Super secret surveillance system"? Does alliteration substitute for facts now? Hell, the NSA's "S.S.S.S." was revealed on the TV show "Alias" three years before the Times picked up the story!
And then, just for kicks, proceed to resurrect the old rightwing speculation that Jay Rockefeller, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee and a man who held his tongue about the NSA's illegal surveillance program, is secretly a leaker who's about to be brought down -- a story I debunked quite a while ago here.
-- Lifelike Pundits, in a permapost titled "The Democrats' Culture of Treason," buys into all the theories:
Mary McCarthy, Clinton/Burger appointee, belongs to the same club as Generals Clark and Zinni, worked in the same department of Valerie Plame. How far will this go? Senator Rockefeller?
So there you have it: like John Belushi begging Carrie Fisher not to blow him away in "The Blues Brothers" ("Honest... I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD"), the wingnuts trot out every conspiracy theory and excuse they can think of: McCarthy is a traitor for telling about the prisons, there aren't any prisons, it's all a sting, Jay Rockefeller's behind it all, the reporter's husband is behind it all, Joe Wilson is behind it all, Valerie Plame is behind it all, Bill Clinton (of course!) and Sandy Berger are behind it all, and most of all -- our leaks are good, your leaks are bad.
The one explanation they don't trot out? The simplest one, of course, the one that Occam's Razor suggests is the most likely: that maybe the prisons do exist, and they're illegal, immoral and unAmerican, and Mary McCarthy did precisely what we said, in the Nuremburg trials, that the Nazis should have done: courageously opposed her government when it violated human rights.
They're self-destructing right before our faces. Rove's about to be indicted, Condi's even getting tagged as a security risk, Bush and Cheney both lied to the special prosecutor. But unlike Jake Blues, they won't be able to wiggle out from under their string of ridiculous excuses by taking take off their Ray-Bans, smiling a big white smile, and getting us to fall in love with them all over again. Even Fox News admits Bush's approval numbers are at 33%, and it's only going to get worse.
Update: Congressional Democrats are suggesting there's a double standard on leaks. D'oh!
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