Wednesday, March 07, 2007

WashPost's Libby Conviction Idiotorial

There's no other word for it. Fred Hiatt didn't write an editorial, he wrote an idiotorial. (via Atrios)

Hiatt makes several false claims about Wilson:
"he claimed to have debunked evidence that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger; suggested that he had been dispatched by Mr. Cheney to look into the matter; and alleged that his report had circulated at the highest levels of the administration."
After making up things that Joe Wilson claimed, Hiatt then went on to say that an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee found that Wilson was wrong about the things that Hiatt made up.

Here's what Wilson said about debunked allegations that Iraq attempted to obtain uranium from Niger:
"Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick ... felt she had already debunked them in her reports to Washington."
As for Wilson's own assessment:
" ... it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place."
Here's what Wilson said about Cheney's involvement in sending him to Niger:
"... Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. ... The vice president's office asked a serious question. I was asked to help formulate the answer."
And here's what Wilson said about who got his report:
"In early March, I arrived in Washington and promptly provided a detailed briefing to the C.I.A. I later shared my conclusions with the State Department African Affairs Bureau.

... Though I did not file a written report, there should be at least four documents in United States government archives confirming my mission. The documents should include the ambassador's report of my debriefing in Niamey, a separate report written by the embassy staff, a C.I.A. report summing up my trip, and a specific answer from the agency to the office of the vice president (this may have been delivered orally). While I have not seen any of these reports, I have spent enough time in government to know that this is standard operating procedure.

... I have every confidence that the answer I provided was circulated to the appropriate officials within our government.
[emphasis added]

So it was Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick who claimed to have debunked the allegations, which Wilson independently confirmed; it was Vice President Cheney's office which made a request of the CIA who made the request of Wilson; and Wilson gave an accurate accounting of who he reported to.

And that's just dealing with two small paragraphs of Hiatt's idiotorial!

Hiatt then goes on to claim Joe Wilson made up his wife's CIA status, that Mrs. Wilson was not a covert operative for the CIA based on the fact that no evidence was presented in the trial. Hiatt also makes a big deal out of the fact that no one has been indicted for leaking her name, thus proving there's no There there. First, such evidence would have been irrelevant to the case being prosecuted. Second, it's still classified. Third, even declassified, such evidence may never be presented at anyone's trial, as, without someone like Libby testifying that Rove and Cheney knowingly and intentionally outed Mrs. Wilson, it would be very difficult to prove the underlying crime.

However, there are plenty of sources that state that Valerie Plame was indeed a covert operative of the CIA who had worked overseas within the 5 years previous to her outing, including 11 CIA officials who testified for that bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee.

The biggest crime, according to Hiatt, was the damage done to journamalists.
One, Judith Miller of the New York Times, lost several court appeals and spent 85 days in jail before agreeing to testify. The damage done to journalists' ability to obtain information from confidential government sources has yet to be measured.
Is he effing kidding? Judith "Never Met a Corrupt Government Source I Wouldn't Be a Willing Dupe and Mouthpiece For" Miller? Try measuring the damage Judith "Queen of All Iraq" Miller has done to journalism and our country.

Mr. Hiatt was, at least, right about one thing: this idiotorial tells us nothing about Whitewater.

Talk about no There there.

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