Conservatives are rolling their eyes watching the political Left's outrage over the Valerie Plame identity controversy, wondering when it was exactly that liberals suddenly became the super patriots defending the virtues of the CIA. For a half century the American political Left has done everything in its power to undermine the national security of this country. Now we are to believe, as they wring their hands in agony and outrage -- outrage, I say! -- over Ms. Plame's outing, that they care? This goes beyond rank hypocrisy. It is intellectual dishonesty.
Let's visit the Left's record on national security matters. History is not kind. Where was the Left when the Rosenbergs, communists both, fed our nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union? Both were deep-fried for the treason they'd committed. Liberals tut-tutted then and tut-tut now, and don't tell me there aren't hardened leftists who favored giving nuclear weapons to the Soviets to thwart what they considered America's imperial ambitions. What of Alger Hiss, another Soviet spy who also committed treason against his country? To this day he remains a darling of the political Left. Up until the moment he died he was the Left's poster child for American national security oppression.
Rather than defend the integrity of the CIA, the American Left has done everything in its power to destroy it. It was Seymour Hersh and the New York Times that launched a campaign to paint the CIA as a "rogue elephant" agency back in 1974. Their efforts led to both houses of Congress, led by Democrats, working overtime during the Carter administration, to gut the agency's intelligence-gathering operations. Some liberals went further. CBS reporter Daniel Schorr lost his job when he leaked the secret House report on the CIA to the Village Voice, an action that outraged Americans but certainly pleased some folks at National Public Radio. They were pleased enough to hire him.
The Left's crusade against the CIA hit a wall when Ronald Reagan was elected, with anti-CIA stalwart senators like Frank Church sent packing along with Jimmy Carter. Reagan signed into law the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 -- the very law that is at the center of the Plame controversy. It was a liberal, long-time California Congressman Don Edwards, who pointed out that "No amount of tinkering, either with the statutory language itself or with the report, can render this bill constitutional." Only 32 members joined him in his dissension -- all liberal Democrats like Patricia Schroeder, John Conyers, and now-Sen. Charles Schumer.