Wednesday, October 01, 2003

You can tell the conservatives are freaking about the Wilson scandal. Check out National Review (I don't link to them because they're lying liars and there's no need to give them yet ANOTHER outlet, certainly not my blog) editor Clifford May's reponse to Spencer Ackerman in The New Republic.
Red herring, get your red herrings!
As you say, The Washington Post has reported--based on anonymous sources--that six other reporters also were leaked to by the White House. So why did those reporters not report anything about Mrs. Wilson? Shouldn't they come forward now to help us sort out what actually happened? I know reporters protect their sources--but should they even protect criminals or those with criminal intent?

May assumes that because these reporters haven't spoken yet, they won't speak. he also assumes that all reporters have the same lack of ethics as Robert Novak. Besides, now that Alberto Gonzalez has named a few in his latest White House memo, May's point is moot.

Well, which journalists told him that? Why won't he say? Again, I know journalists have an obligation to protect their sources. But this is the first time I've ever heard that sources have an obligation to protect their journalists. (On "Nightline" Tuesday, Mr. Wilson told Ted Koppel that he would reveal the names to FBI investigators--but why not tell Ted?)

Cliff, have you ever heard of playing hardball? Of "either you fess up, or I'll spill the beans"? Wilson has no obligation to protect his sources, May is just making that up as a distraction. Just grasping at straws, left and right. Like the guy who's about to get mugged saying "look out behidn you!" and running. Look, here's more:

Ambassador Wilson told The Washington Post that he took a call from a reporter who quoted Mr. Rove as saying: "Joe Wilson's wife is fair game." Memo to Washington reporters: Has Karl Rove ever spoken like that in front of you? If not, isn't it time you directed a little of your famous skepticism toward Ambassador Wilson?

I think Ron Suskind could answer that one for you. here, I'll quote:

Eventually, I met with Rove. I arrived at his office a few minutes
early, just in time to witness the Rove Treatment, which, like LBJ’s
famous browbeating style, is becoming legend but is seldom reported.
Rove’s assistant, Susan Ralston, said he’d be just a minute. She’s very
nice, witty and polite. Over her shoulder was a small back room where
a few young men were toiling away. I squeezed into a chair near the
open door to Rove’s modest chamber, my back against his doorframe.

Inside, Rove was talking to an aide about some political stratagem in
some state that had gone awry and a political operative who had displeased him.
I paid it no mind and reviewed a jotted list of questions I hoped to
ask. But after a moment, it was like ignoring a tornado flinging
parked cars. "We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him.
We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!" As a reporter, you get around—curse words, anger, passionate intensity are not notable
events—but the ferocity, the bellicosity, the violent imputations
were, well, shocking. This went on without a break for a
minute or two. Then the aide slipped out looking a bit ashen,
and Rove, his face ruddy from the exertions of the past few moments,
looked at me and smiled a gentle, Clarence-the-Angel smile. "Come on in."

Rove's temper is legendary in Washington.

On a personal note, I did learn back in July that Mrs. Wilson worked for the CIA. That information was not leaked to me by the White House or anyone serving in government. Based on the way it was mentioned to me, I inferred that this fact was rather widely known.

Let's see, you're the editor of the National Review, you have close to ties to Republicans and Conservatives. What exactly about her employment were you told? I see you don't mention the fact that she was under deep cover? Why? Because she was undercover. And Novak and the White Hosue exposed her, and you know it, and you know it's illegal and indefensible and here you are flailing away like the marionette you are, you stupid stupid man.

You also need to explain to me why telling journalists that Ambassador Wilson's wife works for the CIA represents a "smear" of Mr. Wilson.

They were suggesting nepotism, implying that he wasn't qualified in and of himself. And that, as you know, is not the case. Just as you know exactly how this was a smear. And an intimidation campaign as well.

Shouldn't some investigative reporter try to find out how Ambassador Wilson has been earning his living since he left the Foreign Service (saying he's a "consultant" is not really adequate), whether any of his clients might have had an interest in U.S. policy toward Iraq, and whether there is any possibility of a conflict of interest?

When in doubt, fall back on yelling "traitor." Because that's what May is doing here. Cliffy, Norm wants to know why you're implying that Wilson spent the last few years building up startegic partnerships with Saddam Hussein while his country was under economic sanctions.
I think they're having a flag sale at Wal-mart, Cliff. You might want a few to shove up your ass to give your head some company.

That case remains troubling. Consider: Whether Saddam Hussein had purchased or was seeking to purchase uranium in Africa was a matter of vital national security. But the CIA did not send its top spy to get the answer. Evidently, they didn't send a CIA agent at all. Instead, they chose to send a retired Foreign Service officer, with no experience whatsoever as an investigator.

Some things you have to explain over nad over. Wilson had extensive experience with uranium and with Niger. We all know this.

And because Ambassador Wilson harbored strong partisan feelings--early this year he wrote that the Bush administration has "imperial ambitions" and that "America has entered on of its periods of historical madness"--don't you think he should have turned down the assignment? Wouldn't that have been the principled thing to do?

Dude, he gave to Kerry, he gave to W's campaign in 2000, and he gave to Gore: this is now common knowledge. He wrote both those comments in the original Times article, which you conveniently leave out. Why? Because you're a dishonest writer, grasping at straw trying to defend the indefensible, and you figure that because the people who read the National Review have are brainless sluggards, everyon else must be too.

According to Ambassador Wilson himself (writing in The New York Times) his "investigation" consisted of "eight days drinking sweet mint tea and meeting with dozens of people: current government officials, former government officials, people associated with the country's uranium business." At TNR, what would be the reaction to an investigative reporter who based his dispatches on such a probe? More to the point: Is this any way to run an intelligence organization? Doesn't that puzzle you? Why isn't anyone investigating this question? Isn't this the issue that should concern a serious journal such as TNR?

What, that he drank tea while interviewing people pertinent to the case? Cliff, why are you focusing on the tea instead of the people he interviewed? Oh, right: because it's another distraction. When you have no defense, distract distract distract. And no, my shoes aren't untied. You'd rather he was drinking gin, I suppose?
Red herring, more red herring!

Leaving those questions aside, the fact is that Mr. Wilson did undertake a mission on behalf of the CIA. Did he not sign a confidentiality agreement committing to the same level of secrecy as other agents of the CIA? If not, why not?

Maybe umm... because he wasn't a CIA agent? And umm... maybe because it wasn't a covert mission?

If so, did he violate that agreement? Was it not a breach of confidence when he wrote an op-ed for The New York Times accusing the administration for which he had undertaken this mission of exaggerating and misrepresenting evidence--in essence accusing the president of lying to get us into a war where Americans would be killed?

How is that a breach of confidence? Nice little sleight of hand: first May ponders whether Wilson signed an agreement of confidentiality, then writes as if such an agreement existed and was broken. Nice try. Too bad "almost" only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades.

By the way, it turns out Mr. Wilson was dead wrong. If Saddam had managed to illegally purchase uranium from Niger that would have been very bad news. Mr. Wilson says he found no evidence of such a purchase on his week-long visit to Niger. Fine--let's stipulate that his conclusion was solid. But even if Saddam was merely window shopping for uranium in Africa, that had to be seen as a problem--evidence of an active and on-going nuclear weapons program.

yes, but Saddam didn't purchase weapons from Niger. He wasn't window-shopping. You're right that if he was shopping around, it would have been a problem, but outside of a mental insititution, conjecture isn't reality.

And what President Bush said in his State of the Union was not that Saddam purchased uranium in Niger, only that British intelligence believed that Saddam had sought uranium in Africa. British intelligence did believe that. British intelligence continues to believe that. And last month an independent British parliamentary commission issued a report finding British intelligence's belief reasonable based on the evidence. (Predictably, most of the media took no interest in this report.)

Do we really have to get back into these Clintonian words games? We all KNOW what Bush meant when he talked about the uranium. And we all KNOW how much the speech was vetted just in case somethign came up so it could be blamed on the British. Besides, since when is MI6 the US's intelligence service? Our own CIA said the claims were false.

What information did/does Mr. Wilson have to refute British intelligence's conclusions? Don't you think someone ought to at least ask him?

They did you stupid shit. Wilson talked to everyone involved with Niger's uranium industry, including another US ambassador and an Army colonel, both of whom told him that the story was dead in ther water. And you KNOW that Cliff, you just figure that because not many other people do you can get away with bullshit polemic like this.

Now will you agree with me that it also would be wrong to take an issue of vital national security like this and attempt to turn it into a political football in order to score partisan points? And will you agree that there is some credible evidence to suggest, distressingly, that that is precisely what is happening here?

A crime was committed. By senior member of the administration. The criminal must be rooted out and prosecuted. And you know damn good and well how you conservative republican shit-eating, child-molesting fuckfaces used scandal as a political football.
Now go take some meds Cliffie and have a nice little dream about the antebellum south.