If a senior White House staffer had intentionally outed an American spy during World War II, he'd have been shot.
It would be one thing for a senior adviser to the president to put the nation's security at risk during a time of war. That could be explained as an aberration - a quite serious one, no doubt - but a fluke nonetheless. But when the president himself refuses to keep his own word about firing that aberration, and when the entire Republican party rallies around that fluke and tries to minimize what is usually a capital offense during wartime, something is seriously wrong with that party and its leadership.
The Republican party's gift to the American people, and the Bush administration's legacy, will be the normalization of treason. They are trying to convince Americans that betraying our country during wartime for personal gain is no more serious than running a stop sign or going 60 in a 55 zone.
If a senior aide to the president had intentionally outed an American undercover agent during World War II, an agent whose work was central to our mission of defeating the Germans, that aide would very likely be put to death. While no one is yet arguing that Karl Rove be executed, it is the height of hypocrisy and hubris for the Republican party to attempt to minimize a crime that not only puts our troops at risk, but risks the lives of every American man, woman and child.
It is truly a sad day when the Republican party minimizes treason in a selfish attempt to defend a traitor. President Bush has yet to give a clear explanation as to why 2,000 Americans have given their lives in Iraq. But one thing is for sure. It wasn't to defend our right to treason.
Apparently the Republicans are making the rounds of the talk shows saying that political payback is common and should not be criminalized - that prosecuting someone responsible for the outing of an undercover agent is "criminalizing politics". For them it's all about politics, isn't it? Forget about protecting the American people. Forget about putting the welfare of the country above politics. You certainly won't get that from Republicans.
Remember: Plame was working undercover on the issue of weapons of mass destruction. Her work was vitally important to the security of our country. And they outed her. How could they????