Carol Platt Liebau: Here's the <i>Real</I> Scandal

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Here's the Real Scandal

Check out Byron York's piece. It's a primer on how the press works. Note how self-dramatizing, self-congratulatory -- and how agenda driven -- Matthew Cooper (Profile in Courage) is. After HE called Karl Rove on welfare reform, they had a two-minute conversation about wmd, during which Rove warned Cooper against going out on a limb about Wilson's assertions (and indeed, the information did turn out to be wrong).

What did Rove get for his trouble? A story that wrongly implied that he had sought out reporters to wage "war" on liar Joseph Wilson.

What's more, apparently Rove "released" everyone from any confidentiality pledge in December of 2003. Cooper just created a dramatic, last minute story because it would sound better.

It seems that expecting journalists to be guardians of the truth is like depending on all lawyers to be the guardians of justice. Again, the real scandal in Washington is proven to be -- not what's illegal -- but how routine "business" is conducted . . . in this case, by the press.

Update: Check the comment below posted by angry lefty Jesse, who writes "Iraq really WAS trying to get uranium from Niger? No, it wasn't. Bush was the liar, not Wilson."

Hate to ruin your day, Jess -- but check out this 7/10/04 piece from The Washington Post, outlining the bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report that dispositively demonstrates that Wilson was a liar.

Money quote: "According to the former Niger mining minister, Wilson told his CIA contacts, Iraq tried to buy 400 tons of uranium in 1998." But thanks anyway for playing, Jesse.


Blogger Jesse Larner said...

Oh come on. First, you and York both state that Wilson was a liar and his charges disproved. So that means

Iraq really WAS trying to get uranium from Niger?

No, it wasn't. Bush was the liar, not Wilson.

Secondly, York writes:

"Look at the Cooper e-mail," Luskin continues. "Karl speaks to him on double super secret background...I don't think that you can read that e-mail and conclude that what Karl was trying to do was to get Cooper to publish the name of Wilson's wife."

Now are you and York THAT naive? Do you really think that Rove, the consummate political operator and master of dirty tricks (after all, he's the guy who bugged his own office to distract from his candidate's failing campaign and did the "push polling" on John McCain's "nonwhite child") gave this information to a reporter because he DIDN'T want the reporter to publish it? No, he just didn't want it known that the info came from him, Rove. Hence "double super secret background."

The guys really do put their own personal ambitions and radical political agenda before the national interest. Do you think that's OK, admirable even? Are you that much of a fanatic?

1:59 PM  
Blogger Jesse Larner said...

Sorry Carol, the yellowcake thing has been debunked by many more sources than Wilson, and an intelligence committee (even a "bipartisan" one, would be doing a lot of CYA.) Here's a report from a reporter who usually gets it right. Note the comments from IAEA officials.

By the way, I note that you call me an "angry lefty." As a matter of fact it fits, and you could get the "angry" part from my post. But where'd you get the "lefty"? It's correct -- but did you just assume that anyone who criticizes your beloved president or his consigliere Rove is of the left? You can't imagine that a person of right-wing beliefs could disagree with them, could be offended by scheming and dishonesty even if he agreed with their policies?

Or does disagreement with Bush automatically, in your world, mean "left"? I guess it makes things easier to assume that.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Jesse Larner said...

PS: As for your "money quote," Carol: Wilson's mission was to investigate whether there had actually been a preliminary agreement for Iraq to purchase yellowcake from Niger. It was NOT, and Wilson never said it was, to determine if Saddam had ever TRIED to obtain yellowcake from Niger. Here's Wilson's own published description of his mission, as posted at "In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's."

Yes, Saddam was trying to bust the sanctions. Saddam was a bad guy -- that no one denies (although you on the right often try to smear the left by implying that the left does deny it.)

By the way, I'm not necessarily opposed to the war in Iraq. What I am opposed to is the dishonesty with which Bush made the case, the dishonesty he continues to employ in describing the situation, the unbelievable incompetence and ignorance with which the war has been carried out, the barbaric torture practices that Bush has authorized, and his refusal to take ANY responsibility for ANYTHING. But my dilemma is not really, as some put, how to support the troops without supporting the war. It is how to support the war without supporting the president.

But I shouldn't have to explain all that. The fact is that you misrepresented the issue. What Wilson said -- and what Rove retaliated against him for, and endangered his wife for, and endangered other CIA assets and operations for, was NOT and never was presented as that Saddam did not seek and had not sought WMD. It was that there had never been --contrary to the British intelligence report that Bush relied on in his SOTU message, a report that the CIA had told his people repeatedly was unreliable --an agreement between Niger and Iraq for the transaction. And there wasn't. Wilson told the truth.

And you're avoiding the issue of Rove's willingness to harm the national interest in pursuit of petty political retaliation.

By the way, what difference does it make whether his wire recommended Wilson for the job or not?

6:44 PM  
Blogger LiberalsLoveAmericaToo said...

I have to say I agree with Jesse. What difference does it matter if his wife recommended him? That has little to do with the crux of this issue.

BTW, if you think Jesse sounds angry. You ought to know. When I do read your posts, you reek of anger. It must be easy to sit back from your California ranch and roll in your wealth while you critique everyone that disagrees with you. What are you doing to make America a better place? Liberals and conservatives both love this country. Some even want to work together but you just want to argue be nasty and always be correct.

1:36 PM  

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