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It's all so confusing this "criminalization of politics" and "a prosecutor run-amok." Some Republicans tell me, and each other, that "the Valerie Plame-Wilson thing is all so messy. It's no big deal, right?" Their faces do weird twitchy things when they say that.
Now I see that Patrick Fitzgerald has a website to help explain his job. But it's all words. Boo! Hiss! Aren't stories with pictures so much easier to understand?
Here, Mr. Fitzgerald, here you go...
A story of secrets and no-nos and Scary Mad people.
Mrs. Wilson is a good person. She works for the President of the United States. She needs to find and keep secrets so she can catch bad guys. It's a hard job because secrets are heavy. Most of the time she just pretends to be a mommy with a normal job. But if bad people find out her secrets, she can't just run and hide because they are big. And heavy. So, Sshhh!
These are Mrs. Wilson's secret job friends.
They carry big heavy secrets, too. They work in far away countries and look for bad people also. They have to pretend not to know Mrs. Wilson's secret job. And she has to pretend not to know their secret jobs.
If one person tells about their secret job, then bad guys will think all that person's friends have secrets, too. The bad guys will hurt Mrs. Wilson and her friends to hide their bad-guy secrets. Nobody likes to make their friends hurt and sad.
This is Mrs. Wilson's husband.
He knows lots and lots of people in Africa and is good at secrets, too. That's why Mrs. Wilson's bosses asked him to go talk to some important African people.
The important people told him some American grown-ups lied to get what they wanted. When Mr. Wilson got home, he wrote a story about how it's not nice to fib, especially for grown-ups. Especially fibs that hurt people or make them die.
This is Mr. Leaker.
Mr. Leaker has inappropriate behavior. He didn't like the secrets Mr. Wilson learned when he went to Africa. When Mr. Wilson told the truth about Africa, Mr. Leaker and his Scary friends got mad. They got Scary Mad. So Mr. Leaker told everybody about Mrs. Wilson's secret job to get even with Mr. Wilson. That was dumb. Mr. Leaker broke the law by telling. He made Mrs. Wilson sad. He made everybody at Mrs. Wilson's work upset and sad and worried.
There are other Leaky people, too.
This is Mr. Rove. He helps the President of our country do his work. The President's job is to listen to all the people and help and protect them. Sometimes he gets really excited or tired and forgets to pay attention. One of Mr. Rove's jobs is to tell the President what to remember and what to say and who not to listen to.
Some people think Mr. Rove said "Don't listen to Mrs. Wilson's husband." Some people think Mr. Rove said Mrs. Wilson's husband should watch his Ps and Qs and stop tattling on the President. But Mrs Wilson's husband was right. Mr Rove was really mad anyway. Scary Mad.
So Mr. Rove decided to have a private meeting with his good friend, Scooter.
This is Scooter. He is kind of drippy and leaky. Scooter works for the Vice President of our country. One of Scooter's jobs is to make sure nobody messes up the Vice President's ideas.
One day, lots of people died in some tall buildings. That was terrible. The President and the Vice President and Mr. Rove and Scooter went after the bad guys. And Mrs. Wilson helped.
But it was hard to finish. They couldn't find the Bad Guy Boss called "Osama." That's why they decided to go after another mean guy instead. His name was "Saddam." But he was already in time out. And he didn't hurt the people in the buildings. That didn't matter to Scooter or his friend, the Vice President. They had an election coming up and needed something new to talk about. They needed something new to scare people into voting for them.
So Scooter and his Scary Mad friends told lots of scary fibs to get people upset at Saddam. It worked. Lots of newspaper reporters believed the fibs and told Americans to believe them too. Then we had a war. Some of the fibs were about Africa. When Mr. Wilson told about the war fibs, the Vice President and Mr. Rove and Scooter got Scary Mad. Since they already knew some reporters who would believe their fibs, they told those news reporters one more tall story.
This is Ms. Miller.
Ms. Miller writes stories for a famous newspaper. She likes scary stories and tales about dying. She likes them a lot. Sometimes the stories have mistakes and her bosses have to say "Sorry!" Ms. Miller makes lots of mistakes. She doesn't like to say "Sorry!" But she really likes to feel special. She likes to play pretend. She likes Mr. Leaker. And Scooter and Mr. Rove.
This is Mr. Novak.
Mr. Novak also writes news stories. He looks scary. He talks grumpy. Mr. Novak loves secrets. He likes secrets so much, sometimes he makes them up.
One day, Mr. Leaker talked to Mr. Novak. Mr. Leaker told about Mrs. Wilson's secret job looking for bad guys. That was wrong. Mr. Novak got mad at Mrs. Wilson's husband for tattling on Mr. Leaker's Africa lies. Mrs. Wilson's husband did the right thing.
Mr. Novak got so mad, he told millions of people about Mrs. Wilson's secret job. That was wrong, too. Because even the bad guys heard it. Mr. Novak calls Mrs. Wilson "a target." That means Mrs. Wilson is in danger.
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Sometimes Mrs. Wilson has to go deep underground for her job. It's dangerous down there, and she can't leave because of all her heavy secrets. This is Mr. Leaker and Mr. Rove and Scooter and Mr. Novak all leaking on Mrs. Wilson. This is very inappropriate behavior, isn't it? Ms. Miller says she doesn't want to help this time. She just wants to watch. And clap.
Somebody help Mrs. Wilson!
Wait! Wait, Mrs. Wilson! Somebody is coming to help.
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Yes, Mrs. Wilson is brave. But Mr. Novak is not. He's scared. Mr. Leaker is scared, too. All the grown-ups who lied about Africa and the War with Saddam are scared. That's because they told a lot of fibs and pretended to care about protecting people. But they really only cared about themselves and about feeling important and about hiding their goof-ups. The war with Saddam became a really big goof-up, just like Mrs. Wilson's husband said it was. He said they didn't do their homework. So they told his wife's secrets.
The police heard about this inappropriate behavior. Now Mr. Rove and Scooter and Mr. Novak and Ms. Miller and the President and the Vice President and all their Scary Mad friends are worried.
They're worried because Mr. Fitzgerald is coming.
This is Mr. Fitzgerald.
His work friends call him The Irish Bulldog. They call him that because he doesn't let go of bad people. Mr. Fitzgerald is like a policeman, except he also gets to decide if you get video games or a room-mate in jail. He doesn't like inappropriate behavior. He doesn't like lies. Especially lies that hurt people or make them die. Mr. Fitzgerald finds out Truth.
Mr. Fitzgerald will help the secret job people.
Mr. Fitzgerald will help Mrs. Wilson.
Go Mr. Fitzgerald, Go!
- The End -
of part one
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In Part Two of our story, we'll meet some of the Scary Mad friends of Scooter and Mr. Rove and the President and Vice President. People call these friends Neocons. They play scary pretend a lot, even though they are grown-ups. But sometimes, pretend turns into fibs that hurt, doesn't it?
Mr. Fitzgerald is learning lots of things about the Scary Mad friends right now.
Until next time then, go, Mr. Fitzgerald! Go!