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RIP, Richard Cohen

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No he's not dead, just his credibility.

I used to love this guy. He was one of the best op ed writers in the country. Now, I don't know what he is. His op ed in Thursday's Washington Post about how Patrick Fitzgerald should just quit and go home... What, did karl Rove kidnap Cohen's cat?

To wit:

This is rarely considered a crime. In the Plame case, it might technically be one, but it was not the intent of anyone to out a CIA agent and have her assassinated (which happened once) but to assassinate the character of her husband. This is an entirely different thing. She got hit by a ricochet.
Ok, that's just stupid. No one would write such a thing unless they truly had no idea what it means to work with classified information or the intelligence community or in the entire field of foreign affairs. ANYONE who has dealt with highly classified information and CIA agents, and I have from my time on the Hill and during a summer job at State, is acutely aware that outing the identity of an undercover CIA agent - let alone one who works on weapons of mass destruction issues in the Middle East - is an extremely dangerous venture. I mean, it's hard to even explain what an obvious self-explanatory point this is.

To suggest that their intent wasn't to kill her is like suggesting that when your husbands shoots a gun at your head his intent was only to scare you because he was pissed off. Well, maybe it was. But he was also quite aware that the end result was going to be your death.

Then there's this little paragraph:
More is at stake here than bringing down Karl Rove or some other White House apparatchik, or even settling some score with Miller, who is sometimes accused of taking this nation to war in Iraq all by herself. The greater issue is control of information. If anything good comes out of the Iraq war, it has to be a realization that bad things can happen to good people when the administration -- any administration -- is in sole control of knowledge and those who know the truth are afraid to speak up. This -- this creepy silence -- will be the consequence of dusting off rarely used statutes to still the tongues of leakers and intimidate the press in its pursuit of truth, fame and choice restaurant tables. Apres Miller comes moi.
Actually, what we learnged as a result of this war is that our media isn't worth a hill of beans. The Washington Post, YOUR NEWSPAPER MR. COHEN, suggested in an editorial that only partisan critics would allege that the Bush administration intentionally lied about the WMD in Iraq. Now that we know this to be true, and are on the verge of having proof of a criminal conspiracy to do the same, you suddenly aren't interested because we're supposed to trust YOU to get the job done for us. Uh huh. We trusted you for five years. Look where it got us.

Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.

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