At issue here is not simply Powell and Armitage’s deception and undermining of their commander in chief. There was a victim, one whom neither Powell or Armitage has ever apologized to. The person who ultimately paid the price for this was Scooter Libby. Had the president and the country known about Armitage, a special prosecutor would never have been appointed. Libby was eventually convicted on the basis of a he-said-he-said dispute between his recollection and that of the late Tim Russert. (Charges concerning Libby’s alleged comments to Judy Miller were dismissed, and he was acquitted on the count involving Matt Cooper.) A compelling case for Libby’s innocence can be found in this account by Stan Crock.
Powell may be peeved at being fingered by Cheney. But on this one Cheney has him dead to rights. The Plame is a blot on his record and that of Armitage. Maybe it is time to own up and make amends rather than bristling at Libby’s former boss.