Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Americans Fed Bad Information on Plame Lunacy

As the media continue to salivate over the possibility of an indictment of Scooter Libby, more slanted stories continue to misinform the public on what actually transpired in the run-up to our current media frenzy. Let’s take a closer look at this NBC story that purports to explain…

How the CIA leak case evolved

In the beginning, it was a fight over weapons of mass destruction: Did Saddam Hussein have them? Were they an imminent threat?

First of all, no one ever said they were an imminent threat. That is a slogan that the left has been running since the early days of the build up. In addition, it was never up to the United States to prove that Saddam had WMD. It was up to Saddam to prove that he didn’t. That fact is totally lost on all Democrats and some Republicans today. What should have been done in 1998 was finally undertaken in 2003.

Saddam miscalculated. Thinking that he had the UN Security Council on the take (Which he did), and having observed multiple bluffs from the United States in the previous five years, he had no inkling that America might be serious this time.

In his annual State of the Union speech a month before, President Bush accused Iraq of trying to buy uranium from Africa for weapons fuel.

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," Bush told Congress on Jan. 20, 2003.

Nothing wrong with those statements. So far so good. Here comes the onion.

But the CIA had checked that out a year earlier by sending a secret envoy. His name was Joseph Wilson. And his conclusion: It wasn't true. So Wilson began challenging the crucial evidence the White House was using to justify the invasion.

Left out is the entire narrative on how nothing that Wilson reported contradicted the British claims, which, it turns out, still hold. Nowhere is the fact that Wilson lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee when he stated that Dick Cheney sent him to Iraq noted. Nowhere is it stated that Wilson is a Democratic hack that has long opposed the President on a variety of issues. It gets better.

Flynt Leverett was working in the National Security Council at the time. He quit, in protest, just before the war. He says the Bush team had decided to fight back.

Ahh yes, quite the crime when American position in something as important as Iraq policy is being undermined through the printing of false information by a political operative of the opposition party. Wilson is a hero to the left for fighting, but the Administration is perceived as the Death Star for 'fighting back'.

"It was imperative to discredit Wilson, to discredit his argument that the WMD case might not be solid," says Leverett.

Had his arguments been true, that might be a legitimate case. When they are politically driven and false, why shouldn’t he be discredited?

Officials point out that Wilson occasionally inflated his role, and on some points, misstated his findings.

Well, there is that little nugget. Give NBC a small amount of credit for that sideways acknowledgement, though they leave out all details and hedge it with ‘Officials say’. Everything wrong with Wilson’s story is public record, yet the media as a whole continually ignore it. If Karl Rove and Scooter Libby contradicted one another somehow, we will get to the bottom of it and someone will be indicted. Good.

But why isn’t Wilson being charged with contempt of Congress? Why do the media continually promote the idea that Valerie Plame was ‘covert’, when clearly she was not? Why is the fact that a faction of the CIA sought to undermine the administration when it was their own screwed up intelligence that was faulty in the first place? Why is the media, which has made a living off of ‘outing’ undercover CIA operations, suddenly such a cheerleader for the CIA?

Sources say, to undermine Wilson, Bush aides told reporters he'd been sent to Africa through the influence of his wife, who worked at the CIA.

Ahh, those famous ‘sources’. That statement is written in such a way as to make it sound like the fact that ‘he'd been sent to Africa through the influence of his wife’ is something that ‘Bush aides’ made up, when in fact that is exactly what happened. Once again, the fact that ‘his wife’ was not covert is totally ignored, as that would undermine the entire gleeful idea that any information ‘reporters’ received about the current status of ‘his wife’ was classified, and therefore illegal.

That led to an investigation into whether they broke the law, either through leaks or in their testimony.

And there you have it. The second to last line of this article finally states the only relevant point related to these possible indictments, but not before again promoting the wrongheaded idea that it is ‘through leaks’ prior to what it really may be; ‘in their testimony’.

I don’t mean to pick on NBC. Just about every MSM article on the subject is similar. This one is actually sort of mild. But the media barrage of the same misinformation, and the reporting only of the part of the story that makes most journalists and their allies on the left feel good, is a sad testament to the state of the American news media today.