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May 02, 2006

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eric

Woodward is indulging in extremes by comparing this to Ames and Hanssen. He sets up a strawman (I don't see any cite for "people have compared") that I have never seen substatiated, with which he then makes an unqualified jump where he uses this comparison to prove that there was no damage. And who benefits from this exaggeration?

Andrea Mitchell. Can we have a little detail on what she considers to be "real damage"? A lot of this stuff is secret, so we won't know until umpteen motions and years into the future, so is it possible she herself is exaggerating or has been fed a line?

I realize that this story turns on myriad interpretations and subtle semantic biases, but it would be nice if all sides of this issue would spend some time shining a flashlight on the subtleties that they like or overlook while at the same time railing harshly against the likes of Mr. Shuster, calling him (or Luskin) idiots and weasels when they turn a phrase against our own preferred interpretation. There's a lot of choosing sides going on, and I think the consequence of this is that people have decided that the story is going to have a particular ending and set themselves up to construct interpretations of every development that support those outcomes. Thus the battle lines are drawn and the exchanges become as predictable as thousand-year-old invasion cries.

cdm

What Eric said. I am one of the many many people who follows this story reasonably closely, but not obsessively. I read pretty much all the Plame postings here and at firedoglake, for example, and a lot of the postings at other places. I have political opinions, of course, and I freely admit that I would like this investigation to turn out in a particular way. But that does not mean that I am convinced that it will, or even that it should, turn out that way.

I don't mean to complain. I am genuinely very grateful that TM and emptywheel and fdl and all the others are putting so much time and energy into decoding this affair for people like me. But I would love to see more engagement between the two sides (i.e., beyond the occasional appearance in comment threads), and more willingness on both sides to question their own preconceptions. (That goes for commenters as well, btw.)

Cecil Turner

I realize that this story turns on myriad interpretations and subtle semantic biases, but it would be nice if all sides of this issue would spend some time shining a flashlight on the subtleties that they like or overlook while at the same time railing harshly against the likes of Mr. Shuster, calling him (or Luskin) idiots and weasels when they turn a phrase against our own preferred interpretation.

This isn't about "subtleties." It's about Dowdified quotes, e.g.:

  • Fitzgerald
    Mr. Libby testified that he was authorized to disclose information about the NIE to the press by his superiors.
  • Shuster:
    Mr. Libby testified that he was authorized to disclose information to the press by his superiors.
And bald-faced lies:
  • Shuster:
    In their crucial July 8, 2003 meeting, Libby told her, quote, “one key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was vigorously trying to procure uranium.” But that was not a judgment at all, much less a key judgment, according to CIA officials who wrote the document. And they said the "vigorously trying to pursue" language was not in the document at all.
  • NIE:
    Iraq has about 500 metric tons of yellowcake1 and low enriched uranium at Tuwaitha, which is inspected annually by the IAEA. Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake; acquiring either would shorten the time Baghdad needs to produce nuclear weapons.
I'm not sure if you're trying to elevate Mitchell's "failure to elucidate" or Woodward's "strawman" to a direct misquote or false claim of fact, but it doesn't wash. They're not equivalent, nor is it close. I'm not sure how far to trust Mitchell or Woodward's assessment of the Plame outing damage (though I suspect if it were actually severe, we'd have heard about it from one of the myriad disgruntled leakers at CIA), but picking the opposite of whatever Shuster claims looks to be a pretty good bet.

Seixon

Shuster is a *Cough* liar *Cough*
Hm, must be coming down with something.

Tom Maguire

it would be nice if all sides of this issue would spend some time shining a flashlight on the subtleties that they like or overlook while at the same time railing harshly against the likes of Mr. Shuster, calling him (or Luskin) idiots and weasels...

I agree in principal, but stand with Mr. Turner on this particular example.

As to reasons to doubt Mitchell or Woodward - one might argue that given their owen apparent roles in this, they have a desire to minimize the impact of the leak.

BTW, this:

Woodward is indulging in extremes by comparing this to Ames and Hanssen. He sets up a strawman (I don't see any cite for "people have compared")...

is trumped by Joe Wilson himself, from the original David Corn column:

Without acknowledging whether she is a deep-cover CIA employee, Wilson says, "Naming her this way would have compromised every operation, every relationship, every network with which she had been associated in her entire career. This is the stuff of Kim Philby and Aldrich Ames."

https://www.thenation.com/blogs/capitalgames?bid=3&pid=823

Tom Maguire

I would love to see more engagement between the two sides (i.e., beyond the occasional appearance in comment threads), and more willingness on both sides to question their own preconceptions.

As a general comment, I think Jeralyn Merritt, the Anon Lib and Emptywheel do a good job of contemplating both sides of the evidence.

However, folks believe what they believe - if you sincerely think Rove is Satan's spawn, you are going to lean towards the Rovian conspiracy plots.

Tortoise

CT - in the second comparison, at least from the excerpt you provided, its not clear-cut that Shuster is the one who was lying. It's also possible that the "CIA officials who wrote the document" might have told him the "vigorously.." language was not in the document. Wrongly, of course, as you point out.

It could be a lie, by either Shuster or the "CIA official". Or conceivably just a mistake or misstatement by the CIA official.

But there might also be a third option to consider: Perhaps the phrase was added to the draft later, by a subsequent editor, but the change went unnoticed by the original author.

Its probably a minor point, but I thought it might be interesting to consider. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about how the NIE was prepared to know whether there is any reasonable likelihood this could have happened, so perhaps I am way off base. Just a late night notion I will probably regret in the morning :o)

MayBee

I have to say that it makes no sense to me that Armitage, et al, would expose anyone they knew (or thought) was vital to our Iran intelligence.
She may well have been working on Iran (let's recall our intelligence work there has not always been superb), but if she were central to ANYTHING in that area, I don't believe for a minute the CIA would have protected her so poorly, or anyone in the admin (or State) would have discussed her so loosely.

Dwilkers

It is hardly over the top rhetoric to point out this isn't Ames or the Rosenbergs when Wilson and folks on the left says that it is repeatedly and people like FDL call it "traitorgate". I'm not sure why anyone would object to someone that tracks the story very closely pointing that out.

To me once again the Shuster thing points out the media's love of hype and headlines over informing their viewers or readers.

What is Shuster and MSNBC trying to communicate to viewers with this story, assuming even that it is true? Obviously, with all the Iran talk in the news and the diplomatic action at the UN they want you to believe something like;

"Here's one of the few the honest persons at the CIA (as opposed to the dishonest administration), that was working our highly important intelligence effort on Iran, which the (lying) administration wants us to believe actually IS trying to build a nuclear weapon (but we don't know because ol' honest Val isn't there to check them anymore), the efforts of which have been trashed because she was outed by the administration (deliberately, illegally) which has severely degraded our ability to protect ourselves by depriving us of her irreplaceable services."

That's the narrative they wanted people to hear. Nevermind that she was simply an analyst at Langley and hadn't left the country in years, wasn't meeting in alleys with secret Iranian nuke scientists or 'running double agents'. She was sitting at a desk in Langley.

Nice spin, but it isn't reporting news or informing anyone. Its amazing that they spend 24 hours a day broadcasting and can't explain in clear terms a moderately complicated story like this. To me it seems certain that someone will fill that niche someday to make a buck because there is clearly a market for it.

Tom Maguire

It's also possible that the "CIA officials who wrote the document" might have told him the "vigorously.." language was not in the document. Wrongly, of course, as you point out.

It could be a lie, by either Shuster or the "CIA official". Or conceivably just a mistake or misstatement by the CIA official.

Seeing as how Shuster was doing this "reporting" just a few weeks ago, he might have tried looking up the document online.

Or reading the SSCI

boris

Valerie arranged a phony CIA mission that went public.

That was never going to remain discreet.

Jeff

Thought you'd be particularly interested to hear that there's evidently a new 45-page filing from Team Libby in the media subcase - my meager Pacer skills are defied by this case, so I haven't seen it, can't find it.

Cecil Turner

It could be a lie, by either Shuster or the "CIA official". Or conceivably just a mistake or misstatement by the CIA official.

The thing has been declassified and posted on the web for nearly three years, now. It's hard to see how it could be an honest mistake on anyone's part, though I agree it could've originated with the anonymous CIA source (assuming he's real) and that's one reason I didn't attribute the lie to Shuster. However, even if Shuster didn't originate the misstatement, he's at best grossly negligent for failing to check the basic facts. (And a quick skim through the RawStory piece suggests it's neither isolated, nor plausibly accidental.)

Wonderland

Is is really that far-fetched? Isn't it true that Plame was working in the Directorate of Operations side of the CIA, and was a WMD analyst? I don't think these facts are in dispute (let me know if they are), so I can't see why it's so hard to believe that she worked on related Iranian issues.

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that she did, isn't that important? Here, we have America's new number 1 enemy, Iran, and a veteran CIA officer working in -- at the very least -- a classified capacity on analyzing its WMD capacity. And that officer's name and position get leaked to the press by administration officials in the midst of a political fracas over the President's statements about Iraq.

The "defense" from the AJ Stratas and Jeff Goldsteins of the world amounts to: well, they probably had a lot of other agents working on Iran, as well, so blowing Plame couldn't have actually hurt our intelligence capacities viz. Iran. This is a defense? That lots of people were and are working on Iran, and the Bushies wouldn't end the career of one of them if she were truly important to that effort, so no harm done?

To Tom's credit, he doesn't offer up such idiotic defenses. He simply refuses to grapple with what it means if Shuster's report is true by dismissing it outright and attaching himself to those vanguards of full disclosure and accuracy, Woodward and Mitchell.

kim

Well, when you consider the Turkish connection, and the deviousness of her husband, if it is true that she was working on Iran, then I would argue that it was a damn good idea to interrupt whatever monkey business she was up to.

Have you ever considered that Saddam may have considered us idiots because we had people like Joe representing us in Baghdad. Maybe we can't reason with Iran because of idiots like Plame.

The oppo may have opened a can of worms. We'd all really like to know just exactly what Val did.
==================================

Cecil Turner

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that she did, isn't that important?

What difference does it make if everyone knows the name of someone who analyzes WMD info from a desk at Langley? No, it's not important.

nittypig

Woodward is hardly disinterested in all of this. Hard to see how he wouldn't push the line that UGO's revelations weren't harmful.

Of course the huge problem here that hardly anyone in the press IS disinterested. I don't put nay credence at all in Russert's opinions on Plame, and you can't put much credence in Mitchell or Woodward either. They could all be implicated in one way or another.

kim

I'm waiting for Bush to call this bluff. Let's see your cards; just what was Val holding?
====================================

Wonderland

Cecil writes:

What difference does it make if everyone knows the name of someone who analyzes WMD info from a desk at Langley? No, it's not important.

So, I suppose you wouldn't be opposed to publicly releasing a list of names of everybody who works at the CIA Directorate of Operations in a classified capacity with a desk job at Langley? Because it's not important that those names remain secret, right?

kim

Next it will be Joe was involved in the uranium business because of his deep-seated desire for US energy independence.
====================================

kim

If it was so important, W, why did Joe flagrantly and publicly lie about a trip that would be inevitably sourced to that desk?

And who leaked Plame's name, anyway?
====================

Appalled Moderate

Wonderland:

Wilson's Wife is doing super-secret stuff with WMDs involving axis of evil. Why does Wilson escape blame for drawing attention to himself regarding a mission which involved WMDs and which his wife was involved in arranging? I don't hold any brief for Libby or lying before a grand jury, but I don't understand why your side (with some exceptions -- mark Kleiman) can't just accept that there is some contributory negligence from the Plame household.

richard mcenroe

Libby is in trouble since the judge has changed the courtoom oath to "Do you swear to tell the truthiness, as much of the truthiness as suits, and something of the truthiness, so help you Sulzberger?"

capt joe

Wonderland,

Well, it certainly hasn't bothered either the NYT or the Washington Post. They seem to release damaging detail on covert operations at will and actually win awards (even if the material turns out to be "faked"). Whenever they do it, you lefties send up a cheer. It seems rather hypocritical that you guys argue the rather lame status of Plame now.

kim

Creating reality for the base is so much fun, though.
================================

Florence Schmieg

David Shuster has been disgraceful in his reporting on Hardball about this. He has also been quite a sensationalist about Hurricane Katrina, reporting on Scarborough Country. I cannot credit much of what he says after watching him these last 6 months.

Chris Matthews has vested most of his credibility in this investigation being about Watergate-like crimes committed by Dick Cheney for sure and maybe the president. He will never let it go now no matter what. That whole network has become pathetic since the 2004 election. I don't watch it much anymore.

Sue

Am I the only one who remembers she was transitioning from CIA to State during the time that Joe was out running his mouth to Pincus and Kristoff? According to her lovely husband, anyway.

Wonderland

AM:

I agree that Wilson increased the risk of his wife's outing by publishing the op-ed. But, no matter what you think of Wilson, or his charges, you can't deny that (a) he genuinely believed the Administration has misled the country with respect to Iraq's nuclear program and (b) based on after-acquired evidence, the Administration did, at the very least, provide a skewed picture of the nuclear program. So, whether you agree with his message or not, he believed he had a duty to speak out, his wife's position notwithstanding. Second, there were plenty of ways for the Administration to defend themselves against his charges, and undermine his credibility, without burning his wife. But they decided to go "personal," as they usually do, and they burned Plame's job at the CIA in the process. That's problematic, and it has nothing to do with Wilson, and everything to do with the Rovean business model.

And Capt. Joe:

I don't care what the NYT and WaPo do. They're newspapers. Their job is to print news, and the classified stuff they've printed recently -- secret prisons, easvesdropping -- is news. They don't have an affirmative duty to withhold newsworthy information because its classified; in fact, they have the opposite affirmative duty, particularly in cases where governmental malfeasance has/may have occurred. Government officials, however, sign oaths requiring them to protect classified information. They should not be in the business of burning their own classified job-holders, especially to gain an advantage in a political dispute. At the very least, its gross negligence.

There's a big difference between the two.

Sue

https://foi.missouri.edu/iipa/secrets.html>Secrets of the Scandal Nicholas D. Kristoff

as Mrs. Wilson rose in the agency, she was already in transition away from undercover work to management, and to liaison roles with other intelligence agencies. So this year, even before she was outed, she was moving away from "noc" — which means non-official cover, like pretending to be a business executive. After passing as an energy analyst for Brewster-Jennings & Associates, a C.I.A. front company, she was switching to a new cover as a State Department official, affording her diplomatic protection without having "C.I.A." stamped on her forehead.

Sue

So, whether you agree with his message or not, he believed he had a duty to speak out, his wife's position notwithstanding.

Sure he did. Right after he made sure they weren't going to find anything.

Rick Ballard

"I don't watch it much anymore."

You've joined 99.99987% of the American population. The trampoline shows (bounce stupid ideas around for a half an hour with the highest bouncers going up to the 'big' newsreaders) are dying nicely although perhaps a bit too slowly. I believe that they'll be gone after November.

The Dems are just going to have to spend some additional money on their advertising rather than receiving it gratis.

maryrose

Florence:
I totally agree and also find it hard to watch Hardball anymore because of the agenda driven presentations.
This morning in the WSJ there is a pushback article from Bill Keller complaining about an article in WSJ and again defending the stories about NSA that His NYT leaked. He uses the words pondering and agonizing as though it took him a while to decide about it. I don't believe it but it looks good on paper in a CYA fashion for him. He must fear pending indictments.

maryrose

In a recent article in "US News and World Report" a big deal is made of the fact because the Senate Intelligence Committee is in Part 2 of its work on determining intelligence for the War in Iraq that it doesn't spend enough time working on intelligence in Iran. If Val was so involved in Iran programs wouldn't there be some report or record of her findings or work product? We need a statement from Porter Goss or Tenet telling us what her former responsibilities entailed.

Cecil Turner

So, I suppose you wouldn't be opposed to publicly releasing a list of names of everybody who works at the CIA Directorate of Operations in a classified capacity with a desk job at Langley? Because it's not important that those names remain secret, right?

Whether I'm opposed or not, it looks like they've already done something very close to that. And I'd particularly note this bit:

The official noted, however, that the CIA's credo has always been that "individuals are the first person responsible for their cover. If they can't keep their cover, then it's hard for anyone else to keep it. If someone filled out a credit report and put that down, that's just stupid."
I'd add introducing your hubby to an interagency meeting and subsequently having him write a NYT Op-ed on his secret CIA trip falls under the same "stupid" heading. (And appears to be the actual cause of her blown cover.)

But, no matter what you think of Wilson, or his charges, you can't deny that (a) he genuinely believed the Administration has misled the country with respect to Iraq's nuclear program and (b) based on after-acquired evidence, the Administration did, at the very least, provide a skewed picture of the nuclear program.

Bunkum. First, if Wilson "genuinely believed" he had a good story, why did he have to "sex it up" with forgery B.S., hide the bit about the 1999 meeting, and pretend he was sent at the VP's "behest"? And the primary bit of "after-acquired evidence" is the first bullet and main finding of the CIA's most authoritative report, under a big bold "High Confidence" label:

  • Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding, its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.
The "skewed picture" was wholly owned and operated by the same disgruntled CIA types now whining about misused intelligence.

Old Dad

Shuster has disgraced himself, and Matthews is desperate for ratings. Olberman, likewise. It's a silly CableLand drama with only tenuous connection to reality.

Until now, and that reality will be played out in court. Hope our journos are ready to play Hardball. I can see it now:

Shuster: But your honor, it's not lying. It's journalism. Look, our numbers were in the tank, and my producer said he'd can my sorry butt if I did't come up with something that we could sex up on air.

Neo

Just for the 98% of the world that don't follow this real closely ..

Am I now supposed to feel less safe that Ms Flame is no longer watching Iran work to assemble a nuclear device, than I was when Ms Flame was watching ?


This brings up another point that wasn't on the table before .. the story about the Clinton Administration allowing the leaking to the Iranians of a actual warhead design, that has been purposely doctored to have errors, which the Iranians sent on to their Russian nuclear mercenaries who caught the errors and said they could be fixed, but otherwise indicated that it was a sound design.
Was Ms. Flame involved in this fiasco ? If so, I think I'm safer now, thank you very much.

Foo Bar

I have a data point to offer regarding whether the Plame leak hurt national security. Dana Priest doesn't think it did much damage (follow the link and look at the chat question from Columbia, S.C.).

However, this nugget comes with a fair usage agreement. Anyone who uses this agrees not to turn around in the next breath and bash Dana Priest as the epitome of liberal media bias and someone who's looking to nail Bush any chance she gets. Wait 2 breaths, at least.

Let me save you the mental gymnastics many of you will need to assimilate this information. I guess normally Priest is overcome with Bush bias, but in this particular case the facts were so compelling that the tiny shred of conscience she has left won out. But otherwise this conscience is absent from her reporting, and aside from this completely anomalous instance she's all about selling out her country for a Pulitzer. That must be it!

kim

Now the diligent Fourth Estate can get busy informing the populace just exactly what Val did for the last twenty years. I can't wait to hear.
=============================

kim

Foo Bar, look again at the context. Dana was speaking in an attempt to minimize the damage to national securiy from her own disclosures.

Let's see if she joins the parade behind the newly constructed Plame/Iran bandwagon.
=============================

PeterUK

"Andrea Mitchell. Can we have a little detail on what she considers to be "real damage"?

It is worth bearing in mind that if Mitchell is so au fait with intelligence affairs,she probably knew Plame was CIA.

Davebo

You guys are all discussing this like it's March of 2003!

Look around folks, see the scoreboard. Whether or not Wilson is a swell guy, a true American hero as Bush I described him, or a total jerk he WAS STILL RIGHT.

Unless of course you think Valerie's last assignment involved sneaking into Iraq and stealing all those WMD's.

Aw heck, nevermind. Feel free to go back to predicting the date Wilson will be indicted.

Sue

Davebo,

Thank you. We were waiting on your permission to proceed.

Ted Barlow

Tom,

You seem to be arguing that, since David Shuster presented previous stories in a way that you didn't like, omitting exculpatory elements about the NIE vs Plame's identity, you can assume that any new stories that he covers are lies. I assume that he's in the doghouse forever.

But any political junkie could make a long list of reporters and commentators who framed a story in a way they didn't like. What if lefties just decided to ignore reporting from journalists who had committed some sin of omission against the lefty position in the past?

I mean, you just said that Shuster's story was that "Valerie Plame was the only person standing between us and a nuclear Iran." That's _not at all_ what Shuster says. You're clearly being hyperbolic; I don't think that you'd deny it. Wouldn't I be a fool to employ the Maguire Standard and brush you off any time you said something I didn't want to hear? I could just cite this post and call you a lying weasel. We'd be left in two hermetically-sealed bubbles of conflicting "facts", and it would be even harder to talk to each other.

Wouldn't that be fun?

P.S. Andrea Mitchell has had to actually take back some of what she said about the degree to which Plame's status was well-known. Shuster hasn't had to do that. Why in the world would I accept her vs. Shuster, other than the fact that Shuster flatters my bias and Mitchell flatters yours?

owl

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that she did, isn't that important? Here, we have America's new number 1 enemy, Iran, and a veteran CIA officer working in -- at the very least -- a classified capacity on analyzing its WMD capacity. And that officer's name and position get leaked to the press by administration officials in the midst of a political fracas over the President's statements about Iraq.

The magic words "veteran CIA officer". Try a dose of common sense and repeat after me that our gal Val decided to mix in politics and use hubby as the front. Did she attend EPIC speech? Eat breakfast and celebrate the 4th with reporters? They were both out shaking the political bushes using their 'creds' as the ammo. Now say "veteran CIA official" with a straight face.

Tomf

Ted:

It's not that Shuster omitted elements about the NEI it's that he made up his own
elements.

Big difference in "framing a story".

Jill

Shuster has agressively covered Clinton and Bush. He lost his job at Fox b/c they liked him when he was going after Clinton but they didn't like him when he starting going after Bush.

kim

Davebo, you should read Joe Wilson's 2/6/03 op-ed in the LATimes in which he opposed deposing Saddam because he feared Saddam would use his chemical and biological WMD on our troops.
=================================

Cecil Turner

I mean, you just said that Shuster's story was that "Valerie Plame was the only person standing between us and a nuclear Iran." That's _not at all_ what Shuster says.

Looked to me that was a lot like what he was saying:

"AND THE SOURCES ALLEGE THAT WHEN MRS. WILSON'S COVER WAS BLOWN, THE ADMINISTRATION'S ABILITY TO TRACK IRAN'S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS WAS DAMAGED AS WELL."
I could just cite this post and call you a lying weasel.

Again, we're asked to equate a slight overstatement (that was fairly obviously tongue-in-cheek), with leaving out pertinent parts of quotes or fundamentally misstating basic facts. Sorry, no sale.

kim

I don't think Barlow wanted to bargain anyway, just squeak.
====================================

Neo

Davebo: If you truely believe that Joe Wilson WAS STILL RIGHT, I suggest that you try to collect on this.

$5 for the first person who can name one thing, anything, Joseph Wilson found on his 2002 trip to Niger that proved "false" President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union statement, "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

No takers after 3 weeks.

larwyn

Hewitt on New Keller reply to WSJ:

NYT Editor Bill Keller: Slayer of Straw Men; Inventor of Privileges
by Hugh Hewitt

.......Here is the heart of the Keller argument:"


To believe that aggressive journalism is driven by liberal partisanship requires an awfully selective memory. (Ask Bill Clinton. Ask Congressman Mollohan.) The role of journalism on our side of the news/opinion divide, at least as we aspire to perform it, is not to be advocates for or against any president or any party or any cause. It is not to tell our readers what we think or what they should think, but to provide information and analysis that enables them to make up their own minds. We are sometimes too credulous, sometimes too cynical--in other words, we are human--but I think we get the balance right most of the time, and when we don't we feel an obligation to correct it.

In addition to fair treatment in the news pages, presidents are entitled to a respectful and attentive hearing, particularly when they make claims based on the safety of the country. In the case of the eavesdropping story, President Bush and other figures in his administration were given abundant opportunities to explain why they felt our information should not be published. We considered the evidence presented to us, agonized over it, delayed publication because of it. In the end, their case did not stand up to the evidence our reporters amassed, and we judged that the responsible course was to publish what we knew and let readers assess it themselves. You are welcome to question that judgment, but you have presented no basis for challenging it, let alone for attributing it to bad faith or animus toward the president.

"Reporting on ethical scandals surrounding one Democratic president and one Democratic Congressman provides an answer to the assertion that liberal partisans in top secret positions are leaking highly classified national security-endangering material in order to wound the president? That's not an argument a high school debater would offer.

Then Keller tells us two things it is the reporter's job not to do:"

(1)"not to be advocates for or against any president or any party or any cause;"
(2)"not to tell our readers what we think or what they should think."

https://hughhewitt.com/

Jon H

Tom writes: "I suppose I should note that Mitchell and Woodward have roles in this investigation which may prompt them to downplay the significance of the leak."

Maybe you should also note that Mitchell is married to someone who, until recently retiring, was part of the administration. And perhaps you could mention that Woodward is a stenographer for the White House, whose personal fortune (and future books) is heavily dependent on doing the bidding of the people in the administration.

Interesting that you picked two sources who are the least credible and most conflicted.

Sue

Wow. When we pick on reporters around here we are called delusional.

::grin::

sad

Sue

You get called other things at other sites. You are cracking me up!! You go girl!!!

Sue

Poor Shuster. So misunderstood. If had continued to just lie about Clinton he would still be at Fox.

Sue

Moi?

::grin::

larwyn

Shuster and the whole crowd operate under Keller's inventing of privileges.
Here's is the link and another snippet from Keller & Hugh:

NYT Editor Bill Keller: Slayer of Straw Men; Inventor of Privileges

.......Read Keller's statement in the WSJ. He asserts by implication that the Times is not restrained by these laws:"


In the case of the eavesdropping story, President Bush and other figures in his
administration were given abundant opportunities to explain why they felt our information should not be published. We considered the evidence presented to us, agonized over it, delayed publication because of it. In the end, their case did not stand up to the evidence our reporters amassed, and we judged that the responsible course was to publish what we knew and let readers assess it themselves.

There is no law in Keller's calculation. It doesn't exist. Or if it exists, it doesn't bind him, only mere mortals. He doesn't even mention the statutes. He can only defend his position by refusing to recognize their jurisdiction over him and his paper. He diverts attention from this self-serving statement of the case by substituting internal deliberation for external law.

Now the law has come round and questions are being raised about the possible legal guilt of the New York Times in publishing material that injured the national security. Keller is not pleased that anyone dares raise such questions:"

Suggest W, D and others read the entire post. Love to hear your justifications.

Tom Maguire

From Ted Barlow:

What if lefties just decided to ignore reporting from journalists who had committed some sin of omission against the lefty position in the past?

...Wouldn't I be a fool to employ the Maguire Standard and brush you off any time you said something I didn't want to hear?

I am not merely saying that Shuster is engaged in a bit of hyperbole. He was either lying and/or incompetent in two earlier stories, he is working with Chris Matthews, who only lives to see Cheney broguth down in the Plame debacle, and I have Mitchell, Woodward, and Priest saying, in effect, there is nothing to this.

The notion raised earlier, that I ought to address the issues raised by Shuster seems odd - wouldn't it make a bit more sense to ascertain if there is anything to it all first? Which is the point of the three countering reports.

As to the notion that lefties might just ignore certain reporters - don't they?

Try an NRO or Wash Times (sorry, Moony Times) link at a lefty site and judge the reaction.

Tom Maguire

From Davebo:

Whether or not Wilson is a swell guy, a true American hero as Bush I described him, or a total jerk he WAS STILL RIGHT.

So if Shuster reports tomorrow that Rove was conspiring with Martian invaders to out Valerie Plame, he will be right because Joe Wilson is a Great American?

Davebo, are you familiar with the phrase "non sequiteur"?

From Jon H:

Interesting that you picked two sources who are the least credible and most conflicted.

Gosh, "the most conflicted"? Even Matt Cooper, married to a dem strategist, is less conflicted? Who knew?

Cecil Turner

Is the Fed part of the Administration?

As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the U.S. Congress. It is considered an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government [. . .] Therefore, the Federal Reserve can be more accurately described as "independent within the government."
I'm also thinkin' Woodward's history suggests "Repub Admin Toady" [RAT] probably isn't entirely warranted.

Foo Bar

and Priest saying, in effect, there is nothing to this.

My lawyers tell me this constitutes an implicit but nonetheless binding acknowledgement of the usage agreement I outlined above :).

Or maybe TM already knew of Dana Priest's opinion and I am giving myself too much credit...

Tom Maguire

Foo Bar, don't sell yourself short - I had posted on that exchange a little while back, but read it today as if for the first time.

I still don't remember who I clipped it from...

Foo Bar

I still don't remember who I clipped it from...

Must have been some tireless, underappreciated right-winger with an unwavering commitment to defend the Bush administration day after day after day against shameless attacks by liberals.

Jake - but not the one

TM, I think you're wearing your colours on your sleeve on this one. Either she was an agent, or she wasnt't. If she was, she shouldn't have been outed. End of story.

The Company says she was. At least Fitz says the Company said that. Surely Fitz and the Company are good enough for you?

Jake

cathyf
The Company says she was.
The Company seems to be of two minds on this. Somebody seems to think that she was a "managerial type." In Dilbert the pointy-haired boss's boss is the woman with the beehive on her head. So is Val's hair in one point or two?

cathy :-)

boris

If she was, she shouldn't have been outed

Then why did Harlow (CIA) out her ??? Libby didn't. Rove Didn't. Cheney didn't. Bush didn't.

Valerie arranged a phoney CIA mission that went public.

That was never goin to stay discreet.

sad

********If she was, she shouldn't have been outed. End of story.*******

Check to see where and when she was first associated in public with Joe.

Bill in AZ

All Fitz said is that her status was "classified". Doesn't mean anything. My status in my large corporation is "classified" if an outsider asks. More Fizz bafflegab nonsense.

PeterUK

Look,if Val was an Avon lady,does the public have a right to know?

BTW Some nice picture of the">https://www.nathanslunch.com/images/luncheon/Nathans04%2520079.JPG&imgrefurl=https://www.nathanslunch.com/photos_lunch.htm&h=1536&w=2048&sz=661&tbnid=9aNaxg0N0RNweM:&tbnh=112&tbnw=150&hl=en&start=1&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dplame%2Bwilson%2Brestaurant%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-GB:official_s%26sa%3DN"> hunted pair

Cecil Turner

Either she was an agent, or she wasnt't. If she was, she shouldn't have been outed. End of story.

Gotta watch the terminology on this stuff. "Covert agent" is the term in the statute, but the normal meaning of the word is someone working for a foreign government. (A national working for his own government is an "officer.") In this case, if she was an agent, she should be in jail.

sad

what Cecil said

sad

Peter

How dare you not honor her right to privacy!!!!!! Her husband says she wants to remain out of the public eye!!!!!!

PeterUK

Sad,
Shre was probably meant to be hiding behind a copy of Joe's book that the waiter inadvertently left on the table.Unless,of course,Joe was leaving them as a tip.

maryrose

PeterUk:
Joe might as well leave them as a tip because he certainly isn't going to sell that many and this would be a good way to get his "book" out there.
Ot:
Nagin has new hurricane evac plan-Using busses and trains. Has he ever gotten all those busses out of the water. Also Convention center and Superdome will NOT be used for people.
NO DUH--

maryrose

I guess Nagin is no longer STUCK ON STUPID.
VOTE LAndrieu or PERISH!

sad

Maryrose

Busses were part of the plan for hurricane protection before Katrina. Is he pulling a Bob Hebeert here?

sad

Read this post and the comments for some great giggles. Be sure to note Kelly and the "lying, publicity seeking hairdo."

https://www.proteinwisdom.com/index.php/weblog/entry/20246/#158809

clarice

We're back in business!

Here's another sneak preview:
"
(1) Even the highly redacted notes she [Miller]provided Libby indicate she had Joe Wilson’s name and phone number in her notebook BEFORE she
first spoke to Libby;(And it doesn’t appear that Fitzgerald even questioned her about that. Why, after all, complicate an investigation with a predetermined outcome with inconvenient facts?)

(2) These same redacted notes suggest that Miller’s notation “Victoria Wilson” were made BEFORE her conversation with Libby on July 12, perhaps again from another source.
Notes on preceding pages, not provided to Libby, may allow the defendant to ascertain from whom Miller obtained these bits of information and whether she confused those conversations with her talks with Libby. Similar questions obtain from Miller’s redacted notes where in her account of the June 23 conversation she has recorded “(wife works in Bureau?”) and an entry in the July 8 notations “(wife works in Win Pac)”.Miller says she doesn’t recall the meaning of the question mark or parentheses, and Libby suggests these may show they were added later and from other sources.(Some careful note taking! )

(3) But even more curious is this. Her notebooks are replete with variant references to Ms. Plame: “Valerie Flame”,”Valery Plame”, Valerie P”, “VF?” and “Victoria Wilson—works in unit” (this last permutation appears pages away from the end of her July 8 Libby interview notes). All of these, of course, suggest a multiplicity of sources. Added to her conflicting recollections of what she said to the grand jury, I do not think she’ll prove to be a dream prosecution witness. On the other hand, she may prove one for the defense. Libby contends that given all the documentation about her notes, emails, etc. he may be able to show at trial that if the topic of Plame was raised at all it was by Miller as was any mention of Wilson and his trip and that further it is evidence that he neither knew nor had reason to believe at that time that Plame’s position was “classified” as it was so widely known in relevant government and press circles. Surely, it will be entertaining to watch Miss Run Amok and her bizarre note taking skills examined by real lawyers."


sad

And these notes were in Fitz' possession all along?

Nash

Steamin' crock of crap, TM. Woodward had no motivation to lie, cover-up and downplay all things Plame?

According to you, evidently not. Schuster say bad thing TM not like = not credible. Woodward say helpful thing TM like = credible.

I like how that works for you.

Intellectual rigor labels that hypocritical.

Syl

Nash

Schuster led you to believe Cheney authorized Libby to leak Plame. He thinks you're stupid and will fall for it. I wouldn't defend Schuster if I were you. Makes you sound like an abused wife.

Syl

You know, Jerry Nachman would have fired Schuster on the spot. Nobody cares about Jerry Nachman, nobody knows who he was, nobody mentioned it when he died. But he was news editor at MSNBC and died in, I think, 2003.

Sometime between Afghanistan and when Nachman died I was watching MSNBC and a news guy was reading a story in which (and I don't even remember what the subject was) he stated something that had been debunked early in the day.

Jerry Nachman came out onto the 'stage' pulled up a stool and corrected him--on air! And lectured him about how important it was to get facts right.

I don't know who took over at MSNBC after he died, I do know MSNBC has gotten terribly sloppy since Nachman died.

John Loki

I wonder if Valerie Plame had anything to do with this?

VIENNA: The CIA, using a double-agent Russian scientist, may have handed a blueprint for a nuclear bomb to Iran.

State of War by James Risen, the New York Times reporter who exposed the Bush administration's controversial domestic spying operation, claims the plans contained fatal flaws designed to derail Tehran's nuclear drive.

But the deliberate errors were so rudimentary they would have been easily fixed by sophisticated Russian nuclear scientists, the book said.

The operation, which took place during the Clinton administration in early 2000, was codenamed Operation Merlin and "may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA," according to Risen.

It called for the unnamed scientist, a defector from the Soviet nuclear programme, to offer Iran the blueprint for a "firing set" - the intricate mechanism which triggers the chain reaction needed for a nuclear explosion.

Iranian officials are expected to explain a decision to resume nuclear fuel research to the International Atomic Energy Agency in a meeting at IAEA headquarters as US froze the assets of two Iranian companies.

Germany and France warned Iran against the planned resumption of nuclear research and development work, saying this could endanger Iranian-EU talks designed to resolve a volatile dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

The West suspects that Iran, which calls for Israel's destruction, wants nuclear technology to build bombs. Iran says its atomic work aims solely to generate electricity and years of IAEA inquiries have found nothing to clearly disprove this.

Diplomats close to the IAEA said a delegation from Tehran was expected at agency headquarters in Vienna to brief some of its senior officials on what the fresh research and development would entail.

A European Union diplomat said Mohammad Saeedi, deputy director of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, would head the delegation and would meet IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

Iran has been combing Europe and ex-Soviet states for materials and expertise of potential use in making atom bombs, says a leaked intelligence report casting doubt on diplomacy to ease a crisis over Tehran's nuclear drive.

The intelligence assessment suggested the black market in nuclear technology remained strong and elusive despite the 2004 downfall of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who ran an international atomic smuggling network.

Asked about the report, leaked to Britain's Guardian newspaper, diplomats close to the IAEA cautioned that it offered no evidence Iran was obtaining products of exclusive use in building nuclear weapons.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said the Guardian story was designed to "negatively affect Iran's transparent measures and its cooperation with the IAEA."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Merlin

Cecil Turner

Schuster say bad thing TM not like = not credible.

Let's go over this one more time. Here's one of Shuster's offending bits:

Libby told her, quote, “one key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was vigorously trying to procure uranium.” But that was not a judgment at all, much less a key judgment, according to CIA officials who wrote the document. And they said ,the "vigorously trying to pursue" language was not in the document at all.

[Statements in bold are categorically false, in italics are misleading.]

The source for those first two falsehoods is Fitz's 4/5/06 Response:
Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was “vigorously trying to procure” uranium.
    Note that:
  1. this is obviously a paraphrase, not a quote; and,
  2. the word "one" does not appear.
Further, if he'd bothered to read the source document, he'd have noticed the title was "Key Judgments [from October 2002 NIE]" and probably concluded (correctly) that Fitz merely meant he was referring to that document. (I didn't have any trouble figuring it out.) Fitz cleared the point up with his 4/11/06 correction:
That sentence should read, "Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, some of the key judgments of the NIE, and that the NIE stated that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."
[Even though Shuster spouted a clear falsehood on the point, he had some help from Fitz, so we'll upgrade him to misleading.]

On to the actual NIE. The key judgment on uranium procurement reads:

. . . in the view of most agencies, Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.
  • Although we assess that Saddam does not yet have nuclear weapons or sufficient material to make any, he remains intent on acquiring them . . .
Obviously Shuster's point about uranium not being a key judgment is at best misleading. As to not being a judgment at all, that's pure bunk. On the specific "vigorously trying to procure" verbiage, we go to page 24:
  • Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake
Finally, the CIA officials who wrote the document fairly obviously refers to a Walter Pincus article, not direct input from actual CIA sources (and considering the challenged accuracy, obviously they didn't write all of it).

Reviewing the bidding, I make that 4 factual errors and 3 misleading statements all wrapped up in 3 sentences. Not bad, nice tight writing . . . but "credible"?

Intellectual rigor labels that hypocritical.

You've got an obviously false premise, in kindergarten phrasing, don't even bother checking how Shuster spells his name, and have the chutzpah to cite "intellectual rigor"? Dude, you're slayin' me.

Nash

Hey Cec, thanks for the name spellcheck on Shuster.

Fun to watch you and Syl each ignore my point to argue a strawman.

Syl and Cec: Shuster (again, I'm quite grateful to have you lead me in the path of name correctitude here, Cec) is wrong in everything because blah blah blah.

Problem is, Nash doesn't ever claim Shuster is his champion, so you two killed all those poor electrons for no reason whatsoever. Rather, Nash chides TM for being the ever-present hypocrite because TM says that Shuster is not credible because blah blah blah while presenting Woodward as unimpeachably credible, without noting until the final snarky comment that maybe, just maybe, perhaps, it might seem, some might say, it could conceivably be concluded, reasonable people might think, etc., that Woodward, being himself over his ass in the shit that is this story, is as to credibility as you insist Shuster is to credibility. And I didn't even get to the fun that is TM's other credible source: Mitchell. I mean, I have to ration how much fun I can have in just one day.

Um, folks: Sylvan. Sylvan. Sylvan. It will be of particular help to you, Cec, in getting to a writers' actual premise more accurately. They are quite innovative: they will teach you to link a subject to its verb and the verb to the object.

TM knows what I'm saying--he sort of anticipated it with that slight pass at a disclaimer. I'm calling him on the weakness of a long post premised on a hypocrisy which he acknowledges only at the end.

So, now we return this to your Shuster-ness, sports. Goferit. Show us some more of the ol' time intellectual rigor.

yers, Beanie

Cecil Turner

Nash doesn't ever claim Shuster is his champion, so you two killed all those poor electrons for no reason whatsoever.

Horse-puckey, Nash. Your premise was:

  • "Schuster say bad thing TM not like = not credible."
In fact, Shuster isn't credible because he can't get his facts straight. And it's obvious you are unwilling to dispute that contention.

You then follow with a perfectly idiotic tu quoque on Woodward, but can't even come up with specific to support the fallacious argument, ad hominem all concerned, and prattle about "intellectual rigor." "Goferit" indeed.

Nash

Sometimes, Cec, you show yourself to be a liar; othertimes, an ass; and frequently, foolish. But here you manage the trifecta:

Horse-puckey, Nash. Your premise was:

* "Schuster say bad thing TM not like = not credible."

Going back to my actual words:

Steamin' crock of crap, TM. Woodward had no motivation to lie, cover-up and downplay all things Plame?

According to you, evidently not. Schuster say bad thing TM not like = not credible. Woodward say helpful thing TM like = credible.

It takes a foolish liar to take the second sentence from my second graf, miss the parallelism between it and the sentence which follows and then hold that up as a strawman to knock down while ignoring the second sentence of the first graf along with the first sentence of the second graf which indicate what I'm actually arguing (and I repeat): that TM is hypocritical to say that Shuster is not credible while Woodward is, when (and TM actually understands what you apparently do not here, Cec) Woodward himself is an interested and at-risk player in this story, not a mere observer, and thus may have every reason to be untruthful in what he claims. As in, not credible. Only a foolish ass would call that tu quoque and fail to honestly assess that Nash's point is that TM is once again holding some people (those whose claims are are a threat to his thinking) to different standards than others (whose claims in this instance appear to support his thinking).


For the issue at hand--did burning Plame harm our country's efforts in keeping Iran from being able to go nuclear, any of the following verbal Venns is possible as far as you or I or TM know:

Woodward is accurate and Shuster is not accurate.
Woodward is accurate and Shuster is accurate.
Woodward is not accurate and Shuster is not accurate.
Woodward is not accurate and Shuster is accurate.

I do not care. I don't need Shuster to be accurate or inaccurate in order to point out the hypoocrisy that is TM's approach here, and as I said before, I didn't even get to Mitchell, his other unimpeachable authority.

So, having won the trifecta, you may continue to insist I am a water-carrier for Shuster when I have staked no such position. Having picked the winner on all three traits, you may continue to whine that I am being unkind to Woodward while TM himself acknowledges (in a teeny tiny way) that Woodward may not be believable.

You can collect your winnings at the window on the right. It is also the place to complain to management about how terrifically impolite I am being to you.

yers, Beanie.

Sue

Nash,

Maybe Cecil just proved his point about Shuster.

Going back to my actual words... and ... it takes a foolish liar to take the second sentence from my second graf

Just sayin'...

Cecil Turner

Sometimes, Cec, you show yourself to be a liar; othertimes, an ass; and frequently, foolish. But here you manage the trifecta:

Ah, the opening empty insult. Very nice. Is it okay if I skip over this part, and look for some actual content?

It takes a foolish liar to take the second sentence from my second graf, miss the parallelism . . .

Okay, let's be fair and take them in order:

  1. Steamin' crock of crap, TM.

    Very nice. Is there a point to that? Thought not.

  2. Woodward had no motivation to lie, cover-up and downplay all things Plame?

    Ah, the rhetorical question tu quoque. Does this affect Shuster's credibilty? Obviously not. That's why it's called "a fallacy."

  3. According to you, evidently not.

    More empty non-content.

  4. Schuster say bad thing TM not like = not credible.

    Ah, actual content. Ought not to be terribly surprising I started there. It's an actual contention that can be proven or disproven. In this case, disproven (fairly easily).

  5. Woodward say helpful thing TM like = credible.

    After disproving the one before, this "equation" doesn't work so well, does it? If Shuster's credibility is shredded because of multiple false statements, an equivalent argument against Woodward would have to show multiple false statements . . . which still wouldn't affect Shuster's credibility. I figured that one was obvious.

These were also nice:
Only a foolish ass
you may continue to whine
terrifically impolite I am being
yers, Beanie
Oh yeah, those really hurt. [Snort.] I suspect that if you had a better argument, you'd have made it.

Nash

Oh yeah, those really hurt.

I am amused that in a back-and-forth such as this, there is even the slightest chance you would actually think my object, or anyone's object for that matter, was to wound. In reality, I find you and some of your cohorts here too intelligent to actually believe that and am forced to conclude that here, you take on a pose comprising pure ego.

Thus, I will continue, as I have in the past, to go about these debates the same way you and many others do, with a modicum of information, a modicum of entertainment and a modicum of humor. (That being, of course, a grooved straight line if ever I tossed one.) Many times, as here, the information, humor and entertainment we toss in each other's general direction appears to be lost in transit and seems to be effective only in our own echo chamber. In most cases, as also here, I am quite certain that occurs willfully, meaning, you actually do entertain, amuse and educate me, and in spite of everything you may earnestly will, I know from experience that I have the same effect on others--if not you, someone else; if not here, somewhere else. So, it is not a concern for me. Is it truly such a concern for you?

And the charade of wounding me and being above wounding yourself? You can save yourself the effort Cecil and get back to actually entertaining and informing. The petulant pose is unseemly for someone who has in the past displayed wit and wisdom. As to claiming laurels based on preaching to a choir? Very, very brave.

topsecretk9

If Shuster's credibility is shredded because of multiple false statements, an equivalent argument against Woodward would have to show multiple false statements . . . which still wouldn't affect Shuster's credibility. I figured that one was obvious.

It was.

Cecil Turner

I know from experience that I have the same effect on others--if not you, someone else; if not here, somewhere else.

Me and here, Nash. I found it quite amusing. And my point on that bit was that when I brought up ad hominems you apparently thought I was complaining about impoliteness, when actually I was just pointing out your argument was fallacious.

And the charade of wounding me and being above wounding yourself?

Wounding, laurels, bravery, etc? I certainly hope not. And unless one of us sprains a pinkie on the keyboard, it doesn't strike me as terribly likely. (In fact, about as likely as Shuster telling a story straight.) Cheers.

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Wilson/Plame