Not to be obtuse here, but apparently I am way behind the curve on the latest lefty talking point - just what is "The Smear" against Joe Wilson that the ruthless, vile, vicious, evil-vile, ruthless BushCo implemented against Joe Wilson?
John Kerry mentions it:
This trial revealed a no-holds barred White House attack machine aimed at anyone who stood in the way of their march to war with Iraq. It is time for President Bush to live up to his own promises and hold accountable anyone else who participated in this smear.
And Digby offers this:
But let's not forget what we know about our friend Karl Rove. There's no doubt he participated eagerly in the smear against Wilson...
The smear... could that be the claim that Wilson's wife was involved in sending him to Niger? My goodness, let's hear from Special Counsel Fitzgerald:
What was important? Who sent him? The question who sent him was hugely important because they wanted everyone to know it wasn’t the Vice President.
What was the answer to the important question who sent him? The wife. That’s what they understood. So Wilson’s wife was an answer, a fact, an argument, the type of thing that the defendant remembers.
Oooh, Fitzgerald joining in The Smear! Awkward. Of course, Bob Grenier of the CIA as well as Bill Harlow of the CIA press office (as recounted by Cathie Martin at the trial) said that Ms. Plame was involved with the decision to send her husband. Here is the Libby indictment:
7. On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask about the origin and circumstances of Wilson's trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.
Anyway, if the assertion that the wife was involved in sending him was "The Smear", I would love to know - just trying to keep up.
And I do know that back in the day, when Joe Wilson still denied his wife was involved, he called it a smear - here he is in Matt Cooper's "War":
In an interview with TIME, Wilson, who served as an ambassador to Gabon and as a senior American diplomat in Baghdad under the current president's father, angrily said that his wife had nothing to do with his trip to Africa. "That is bulls__t. That is absolutely not the case," Wilson told TIME. "I met with between six and eight analysts and operators from CIA and elsewhere [before the Feb 2002 trip]. None of the people in that meeting did I know, and they took the decision to send me. This is a smear job."
Is Wilson still denying that? I haven't really kept up since the Kerry campaign dumped him in 2004 (this link has special outrage appeal).
Oh well - just let me know how we Swift-Boated Wilson, thanks.