Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Plame Gate Round-up

From Winds of Change on what the Senate Intelligence Committe Report said about Joe Wilson:

I see Instapundit as well as both the Associated Press and the Washington Post has already beaten me to the punch on this one, but it's a point that needs to be made. Joe Wilson is a liar and not a particularly good one at that. As the report, starting on p. 39 and going through p. 47 very carefully explains, the claims that Wilson during his media blitz and subsequent canonization as a representative of all that is righteous and pure within anti-war circles were every bit as misleading if not factually inaccurate as anything that one may charge that the administration had done. Even more so, I would argue, if only for the fact that he was making claims about a number of issues, for example the forged documents referring to Niger, of which he had no actual knowledge - a very polite way of saying that the man was blowing smoke out his ass.

National Review's Media Blog on the highs and lows of the New York Time's reporting on its own Judith Miller's involvement:

In what has been one of the most infuriating aspects for conservatives of the Times coverage of the Plame leak, editors and reporters have consistently avoided reporting the fact that Joseph Wilson lied on a number of key points after he became an outspoken critic of President Bush. Stephen Hayes highlighted one NYT whitewash from earlier this summer:

ON JULY 22, 2005, the New York Times published a lengthy, front-page article detailing the work of two senior Bush administration officials, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, on the Niger-uranium story. A seemingly exhaustive timeline ran alongside the piece. In 19 bullet points, the Times provided its readers in considerable detail with what it regarded as the highlights of the story. The timeline traces events from the initial request for more information on the alleged Iraqi inquiries in Africa to Joseph Wilson's trip to Niger; from the now-famous "16 words" in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union to the details of White House telephone logs; from Bush administration claims that Karl Rove was not involved in the leak to the naming of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, and on from there to the dates that White House officials testified before the grand jury.As I say, seemingly exhaustive. But there is one curious omission: July 7, 2004. On that date, the bipartisan Senate Select Intelligence Committee released a 511-page report on the intelligence that served as the foundation for the Bush administration's case for war in Iraq. The Senate report includes a 48-page section on Wilson that demonstrates, in painstaking detail, that virtually everything Joseph Wilson said publicly about his trip, from its origins to his conclusions, was false.
Well, the Times also included a timeline in its online package today, and guess which event got whitewashed out again? Judith Miller, in a first-person account of her testimony to the grand jury, explains why this constant whitewashing is such a problem: The Times has been Wilson’s biggest cheerleader:

Mr. Fitzgerald asked whether I ever pursued an article about Mr. Wilson and his wife. I told him I had not, though I considered her connection to the C.I.A. potentially newsworthy. I testified that I recalled recommending to editors that we pursue a story.Mr. Fitzgerald asked my reaction to Mr. Novak's column. I told the grand jury I was annoyed at having been beaten on a story. I said I felt that since The Times had run Mr. Wilson's original essay, it had an obligation to explore any allegation that undercut his credibility. At the same time, I added, I also believed that the newspaper needed to pursue the possibility that the White House was unfairly attacking a critic of the administration.
The reason Wilson’s wife was even an issue is because he lied when he said she had nothing to do with sending him to Niger, and definitely didn’t recommend him for the job, but the Senate report proved that she did exactly that. Why didn’t the Times let Miller write the story? The independent team tries to answer:

It is not clear why. Ms. Miller said in an interview that she "made a strong recommendation to my editor" that an article be pursued. "I was told no," she said. She would not identify the editor.Ms. Abramson, the Washington bureau chief at the time, said Ms. Miller never made any such recommendation.