Third Party & Independents Archives

The Problem With Blogging

I love everyone having access to discuss and expand upon the traditional journalism as we have seen over the past few years. However there is a dark side to this freedom that results in inaccurate or wildly theoretical opinion being presented and built upon as fact. No greater example of this can be seen than with the recent explosion in the blogosphere of damning but questionable articles concerning the Plame case.

The result of this situation is that it makes it that much harder to find actual facts when searching out the truth of just about any political event. I have spent hours yesterday and today trying to piece together what I can factually about what exactly was said and ‘proven’ and I have seen a lot of just plain wrong information stated factually. Then someone else takes what was posted on one blog and uses it as a basis for their writing on another, not bothering to check out the facts first, and we end up with the electronic equivalent of the telephone game!

Unfortunately, while most bloggers may realize this and just find it an anomaly that we must accept while ‘getting out the truth’, many of the people who read these blogs and do not bother checking facts and understanding that we are many times just expressing opinion. Instead they use the information presented as a source of factual news information. And once someone gets something in their heads as a fact, especially one that reinforces their opinions and predispositions, it’s almost impossible to change their views when we find out that the information is not completely accurate.

For example, the story that came out the other day was that Fitzgerald stated in a brief that Libby testified that Bush declassified some information in order to repudiate the false claims by Wilson regarding Iraq’s attempt to obtain nuclear material from Niger. As stated by the Washington Post:

In the new filing, he [Fitzgerald] did not allege that Bush authorized that disclosure [of Plame's role at the CIA], and he said Bush was "unaware of the role" that Libby, then Cheney's chief of staff, played in discussing her name with a number of reporters.

However, because many people do not really understand the nuances of the legal play going on and what this may or may not mean to the investigation, we are seeing people now stating, as fact, that Bush authorized Libby to release Plame’s name and function at the CIA to the press. This has not been proven. I’m still trying to find if this is even suggested. Yet, now thousands of people now believe this to be a factual event and are calling (once again) for Bush to resign.

Is it true? Well, I don’t know. I don’t see the proof of it yet but I’m not suggesting that there is no way this could be true once the facts are eventually presented to us. But as long as the case can be made and presented in a way that people will believe it to be true, it will be damaging. It will place information into the heads of many and they will regard it as fact whether it turns out to be true or not.

Many bloggers wish to be taken seriously. Many want to be seen as the new media, replacing the tired and poorly functioning apparatus of the national news media as we compete for presenting clear unbiased information to the public. However, in a zeal to be the first or most sensational ‘reporters’ of information, many are stepping across the real need for responsible journalism and ensuring that the information we present to people are factual. And the real trouble is instead of policing ourselves, we are relying upon the readers to determine if what we are presenting are opinions or facts.

We, as bloggers, MUST to a better job of vetting our information, of ensuring that we present facts when writing as we are being factual and when we are writing opinion that we identify it as such. Unless we do this, blogging as an industry will become nothing more than a scoffed at medium that will never be taken seriously. Too many people will find that what we are presenting as facts are not and what one bad blogger may do will then be attributed to all bloggers in general.

As one of those people who want their articles to be taken seriously when presented as such, I call upon all bloggers to try to police their own words and make sure that the line between fact and opinion is clearly defined, not just in this case and by liberal writers but by conservative and independents as well. It is only when we can be taken seriously that our industry will flourish and rival the trust that many still give to the traditional news mediums.

This is my opinion.

Posted by Rhinehold at April 8, 2006 5:28 PM
Comments
Comment #139157

I applaud your call for reason and responsibility. Unfortunately with emotions running so hot, most posts have a winner take all mentatility.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 8, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #139180

I have an issue with your article. While I do believe it is a good idea to improve news reporting in general, I do not believe people should blame their news sources for their own gullibility. In reality, most people were asking for a reason to call for Bush’s resignation. The willingness to be fooled is their own fault.

Posted by: Zeek at April 8, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #139181

I’m not saying that they aren’t at fault for choosing to believe faulty reporting, I just feel that we, as bloggers, have a responsibility to do a better job at identifying to the reader what is fact and what is opinion. People will choose to believe what they wish and look for any type of ‘facts’ to back that up, but should we be making that easy for them?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 8, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #139195

Here, Rhinehold - let me sum up the thing plainly and reasonably for you:

1.) [Prologue] Joseph Wilson served in the State Department under George Herbert Walker Bush in the country of Iraq. He was later the U.S. ambassador to Gabon, which is quite close to and shares a common language with Niger. Whilst there, he made many contacts within the Nigerian government. Which is why:

2.) [Still Prologue] Wilsons wife, Valerie, was an agent at the CIA: she had held different positions in the agency over the years, from non-classified analytical work to undercover operational work. At the time of the big dustup, she was a Control Operator - “Control” - over a group of agents in foreign countries - “Assets” = “Agents” and “Cutouts” - tasked with aquiring intelligence on terrorist organisations seeking Weapons Of Mass Destruction. For this task, her status was Under Cover: Top Secret. None of her neighbours and few of her close relatives knew she even worked for the CIA.

3.) When questions arose over a spurious document (the signature at the bottom belonged to a Nigerian official who had been Dead some years before the date on the document…) seeming to indicate an effort by Iraq to purchase “yellow cake” Uranium from Niger, Wilson was suggested by supervisors at the CIA, who then broached the idea to Valerie Wilson as a likely individual to corroborate or disprove the information.

4.) Wilson was dispatched to Niger, where he determined, through his contacts, that the document and the information contained within it was spurious. He returned to the United States, and gave his report to the appropriate officials.

5.) When the results of his report were not used, and instead he kept seeing the Bush Administration citing the phony document as an excuse to justify the invasion of Iraq, Wilson grew angry and wrote his famous op-ed piece “What I Didn’t Find In Africa

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0706-02.htm

for the New York Times.

6.) Angry at Wilson’s refusal to “play along,” the Bush Administration decided to both intimidate him and his wife, and dissuade other potential whilstleblowers from following his example. They did so by shopping around his wife’s identity as an officer at the CIA. Conservative columnist Bob Novak was all to happy to oblige.

7.) The result of this Political Payback was that Valerie Wilson’s entire worlwide operation (looking for terrorists trying to aquire weapons of mass-destruction, remember) was forced to close up. The cover organisation “Brewster Jennings And Associates,” was junked. Hundreds of agents and cutouts (persons who, while not formally Agents, volunteer to provide information or services to the CIA either for recompense, the promise of American Citizenship, or their own moral beliefs) in foreign countries became Targets: many had to flee; some were exiled; some were imprisoned; and some are now feared to have been assassinated by either their own governments or terrorist organisations they had infiltrated.

Now, should anyone doubt either Ms. Wilson’s status at the CIA when she (and her incredibly important programme) were outed for purely Political Payback, they should read the comments of Robert Baer, the former CIA operative who was the inspiration for the character in “Syriana.” He points out that Valerie Plame was a NOC: the most Secret of Secret Operatives, acting under “non-official cover.” “Non-Official Cover” is Spookese for “Should you or any of your operatives be captured or killed, the Agency will disavow all knowledge of your existence.” The NOC is James Bond; it is Jim Phelps and his crew; it is the character discussed in the movie “The Recruit,” starring Al Pacino. It ain’t no Party; it ain’t no Disco; and it sure as hell ain’t no Fooling Around.

The word Treason comes to mind - and just won’t go away.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 8, 2006 7:17 PM
Comment #139197

I was right there with you until point ‘7’ when you state ‘the Bush administration’.

Sorry, there is no proof of this, this is your OPINION and the point of my article. We know that Libby was the one to do this and we have no proof, including Fitzgerald who states this in his brief, that Bush was involved in this in any way.

When you can show me that Bush authorized the release of Plame’s identity to the media, I’ll call for his head as well. You can’t, you give me your opinion and ask me to accept it as fact. I will not do so.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 8, 2006 7:26 PM
Comment #139206

Rhinehold

I don’t think you can blame only bloggers. The MSM made the issue very hard to understand. I had to listen to CCN three times before I understood that Libby was NOT talking about the Plame affair when he mentioned the disclosures.

Also the Dem machine did its best to cloud the issue. BLoggers were no worse. I think that many people wanted it to be true and that is why the wrote so quick.

It is also a hard area to understand. Most people don’t understand the nature of classified documents. They watch a lot of spy movies and get their feeling from them.

As more information about Iraq comes out, we are getting a better idea of what really happened and who knew what and when.

Posted by: Jack at April 8, 2006 7:51 PM
Comment #139208

Jack,

Yeah, I have seen a lot of that as well, but the mainstream media already have editors and other mechanisms designed to stop a lot of it. The fact that they aren’t is why I believe we NEED this type of reporting going on, I just want to make sure that WE also attempt to be better than them, to ‘rise above the fray’ instead of wallowing in it with glee.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 8, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #139217

Jeff Gannon
George Deutsch
Ben Domenech
Howard Kaloogian

Find out the common theme on these names Rhinehold and post me in the morning…

Posted by: Aldous at April 8, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #139229

reinhold…..go back and read your response to Betty’s……..and you can see just how it starts. Just a simple slip….but you( I must “assume”) believe what you wrote……an insignificant slip of the finger and the change from the number 6, where the statement is you’re questioning…..to a 7, where there is nothing relevent stated.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 8, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #139230

You are absolutely right that bloggers should make a better effort to get it right.
However even the news (particularly MSM news) is reported with a slant. Which is one reason many in the bloggosphere were defending or demanding, depending on their personal slant when this story was reported. That is what lawyers do to win over juries and that is what bloggers do to push their position.

Posted by: Theway2k at April 8, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #139231

Sandra,

You are correct, I meant to reference item 6, not 7. Thanks for catching that for me.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 8, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #139238
an insignificant slip of the finger and the change from the number 6, where the statement is you’re questioning…..to a 7, where there is nothing relevent stated.

“Nothing Relevant?”

Oh, Sandra, you wound me! (And our nation’s Security…)

I think it is extremely relevant that a top-secret operation, of which Valerie Wilson was the Control, to prevent weapons of mass-destruction falling into terrorist hands was dismantled wholesale in order to score a Political Point! Jesus! How much more Relevant does it GET??! It’s also relevant in that her Status at CIA has been mischaracterised continuously (and, right here on WatchBlog this very day) by Right Wing Talking-Points Spinners in order to lie to Americans about the severity of the damage! People have been killed for this in foreign countries! And both Ms. Wilson’s status as a NOC and the severity of the damage done to her Operation has been chronicled and verified by agents who worked alongside her: senior agents who have managed their own NOC Operations over the years.

“Not Relevant?”

???????

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 8, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #139242

Betty,

Please show me the link to the information backing up your assertion to the nature of the plan that was dismantled. It would make an interesting read and I would like to check on the verasity and add it to my flies.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 8, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #139243

Eh, files (sorry for any confusion my typo made)

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 8, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #139249

Betty….wow….see how it starts to snowball…..my referral to relevency was not meant for any other reason than just that one sentence of Rhinehold’s……he was trying to make a point, inadvertently typed the wrong number, and smart-ass that I am at times, couldn’t let it get past me. Sorry for the confusion, and it was not meant in any way to minimalize your post ! I absolutely agree with you.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 8, 2006 10:35 PM
Comment #139252

the comments of Robert Baer, the former CIA operative who was the inspiration for the character in “Syriana.”
The NOC is James Bond; it is Jim Phelps and his crew; it is the character discussed in the movie “The Recruit,” starring Al Pacino.
Posted by Ms. Burke

Wow! George Clooney, 007, Mission Impossible AND Al Pacino! That’s an Entertainment Tonight homerun plus 1! This must be serious news.

The words too much time on your hands comes to mind.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 8, 2006 10:52 PM
Comment #139258

Sorry, Sandra. My bad. I once was far less combative and hair-triggered than I am now. You might say that all of the Crimes Against Humanity committed over the past Six Years have driven me mad with anguish. On the other hand, I believe that such a response is perfectly Sane, for a genuinely patriotic American… And I am no Party Hack: it’s the evil of Conservatism that I fight, and they prosper only by Lies and Misdirection. All that is necessary for Evil to prosper is that Good People do nothing. And so my keyboard-finger twitches… My apologies.


Rhinehold:

On the assumtion that your request is genuine and not some sort of ill-thought PsyOps, read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Plame

(And please, don’t get Too Excited over the “disclaimer” above the article: if you search Google [using the Advanced search, which allows for Phrases] for “Robert Baer” and “Valerie” you will soon discover plenty of corroborative Links. The “disclaimer” is caused by Spinners disputing anything they don’t like.)

Here are a few excerpts.

(From Patrick Fitzgerald):

Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community. Valerie Wilson’s friends, neighbors, college classmates had no idea she had another life. The fact that she was a CIA officer was not well-known, for her protection or for the benefit of all us. It’s important that a CIA officer’s identity be protected, that it be protected not just for the officer, but for the nation’s security. Valerie Wilson’s cover was blown in July 2003. The first sign of that cover being blown was when Mr. Novak published a column on July 14th, 2003.

(From the New York Times):

But within the C.I.A., the exposure of Ms. Plame is now considered an even greater instance of treachery. Ms. Plame, a specialist in non-conventional weapons who worked overseas, had “nonofficial cover,” and was what in C.I.A. parlance is called a NOC, the most difficult kind of false identity for the agency to create. While most undercover agency officers disguise their real profession by pretending to be American embassy diplomats or other United States government employees, Ms. Plame passed herself off as a private energy expert. Intelligence experts said that NOCs have especially dangerous jobs.

Here is a Wikipedia link for Brewster Jennings (read between the lines):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewster_Jennings_&_Associates


From David Ensor, Security Expert, on CNN:

Some of them [NOCs], like Plame, use loose cover, a false job. Others, under deep cover, use false names as well. Complete fictional identities with forged documents, even disguises. But NOCs are also much more vulnerable than regular spies. Intelligence sources developed by a CIA undercover officer are immediately in question if that officer is exposed.

After her name appeared in Robert Novak’s column, at lease two foreign governments reportedly assigned their spy catchers to figure out whether Plame had ever worked on their soil and if so, what she’d done there.

And that is where the most damage was likely done, other agents tracking down Valerie Plame Wilson’s contact and sources and shutting them down.


Now Rhinehold, I know that you lean towards the Right - just a liddle bit, eh? Liddle bit? [chucks cheek in the manner of Robert DeNiro]

But I’m going to give you something now: a prize I am not generally found handing out, so don’t abuse my trust or my charity. I’m going to give you the Benefit Of The Doubt:

Even though you tend to slice on your path through life, I want you to thinnk of this solely as an American Patriot. Can you seriously condone it? Can you truly be moved to defend and excuse it? Are you willing to ignore it? To score a Political Point?

Because, if you are, then I have misplaced my trust, and yielded you a prize you do not deserve.

Be a mensch, Rhinehold: stand with your accursed enemy Betty and denounce this treason loudly and clearly. Let your alpenhorn voice soar through America’s Purple Mountain’s Majesty from sea to oil-slicked sea. You will win points with God if you can bring yourself to do so. And I will praise you: I will state quite clearly that you are not as much of a spinmeister dittohead as I have conceived you to be. Don’t be a cardboard cutout for the likes of Tricky Dick Cheney, my “Libertarian” friend: if you thought Government was hard on your back, just wait until you see what Unrestrained Commerce can do to you! C’mon: pull the Truth Trigger. Join with me against this Vile Evil. I’m waiting to be surprised.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 8, 2006 11:23 PM
Comment #139265

I thought that I would Try capitalizing every 3 or 4 Words in this Comment in the Style of Ms. Burke’s post to see if it made Statements more Suspenseful and Creditable. Instead I keep getting the Image of Captain Kirk delivering a Dramatic Line.

Anyone who visits the Plame link above would do well not to ignore the warning that the neutrality of the info is not in question. There are insinuations aplenty, however whenever statements approach a legally actionable position the speakers retreat so fast there is a rush of air.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 9, 2006 12:24 AM
Comment #139282

It may not have been said officially, but it’s hard to believe Plame is not included in the information Bush told Cheney told Libby to leak.

What has been confirmed is that Bush was leaking intelligence showing that Hussien had been trying to acquire nuclear material after that intelligence had been largely shown to be faulty.

So whether he put our men at risk or just lied to this country about the reasons for going to war I see no reason to put too fine a point on any of it. If it’s not true let him deny it. Either way, he should be canned.

Posted by: Max at April 9, 2006 2:14 AM
Comment #139297

Max,

The information released showed that unlike the assertions that Joe Wilson made, there was an attempt by Iraq to aquire nuclear materials, at least that was the opinion of intelligence community at the time. He did not release ‘false’ information.

Second, why is it hard to believe? Fitzgerald has stated that he believes that Bush did not direct or authorize Libby to release Plame’s name, what makes you more knowledgable about the matter than Fitzgerald?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 9, 2006 3:35 AM
Comment #139304

Rhinehold,
Great Post! Yes, IMHO Blogging brings out the best in all of us. Sure, sometimes our posts are limited due to the Societal Limits placed on being Politically Correct in our grammer; however, as Betty and you just proved in this post that if a person is going to put up a statement than they should know that they better be able to back up their argument with either Common Knowledge or Cold Hard Facts.

On the subject of how Plame’s name was leaked. Does anybody know how to access the Iraq Team (WHIP I think) of the White House Minutes? Although I am not sure the notes are in the public domain, would not Common Sense state that these Members of President Bush’s Staff had direct or indirect conversations based on the facts?

Nevertheless, the Democrats might want to keep their lips dry because IMHO America does not need a repeat of the 1970’s. And yes, that is the Republicans weak link in November. Lose the House and place the President at Risk of turning over all information. Hum, it is nice to be politically independent and ready to change Washington even if both Party’s need to be VOID-ed.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 9, 2006 4:41 AM
Comment #139309

Rhinehold reminds me of the ax murderer, with the bloody ax still dripping with blood, screaming: “You have no proof!!”, or perhaps the child with a chocolate smeared face saying, “I don’t know who ate the candy, Mommy.”

Bush now gets to have his lawyers and Rove define the meaning of “is” and “sex” all over again.

“Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings”

I doubt that treason will ever be charged or any such impeachable offense, after all, it’s politics, not law.

I nominate Rhinehold for the “methinks something is rotten in Denmark” flyswatter award. There are no mistakes in life, only Fruedian slips.

Posted by: gergle at April 9, 2006 5:09 AM
Comment #139312

So, I’m being compared to an axe murderer now since I choose to want proof of a sitting president’s wrongdoing before wanting him impeached?

Wow, what a state politics is in these days…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 9, 2006 5:22 AM
Comment #139315

Haven’t you heard? Change is the order of the day.

Or should I say Change is the Order of The Day?

Posted by: goodkingned at April 9, 2006 5:30 AM
Comment #139316

I don’t mind change, it’s what voting booths are for…

If you don’t like who is president or who is running the country, simply offer up someone worthy of voting for. Thta hasn’t happened for a while though… :(

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 9, 2006 5:38 AM
Comment #139320

It’s too early to tell, but it looks like the dems are not considering any fresh alternatives for prez. I am open to a democratic candidate if they offer an new and improved version.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 9, 2006 6:50 AM
Comment #139322

Rheinhold,

Excellent post. Though bloggers do share a responsibility for policing themselves and maintaining a decent standard of credibility, I for one am thrilled that there is a fresh way to view, review, and analyze current events. Though I vehemently disagree with many who post on various blogs, I would much rather hear and consider their various viewpoints rather than just have the MSM or Faux spew it all over me.

Blogging indeed is the ‘double-edged sword’ which many media outlets have been in the past. I do, however, feel that those who post on blogs are more interested in current events than the average citizen, and therefore may hold themselves to a higher standard. (that’s not an assertion, I said “hope”, however naive that may sound)

Regardless, in my current situation, decent weblogs such as this have been a real Godsend. Without this kind of analysis and counterpoint, I would have to rely on Xin Hua and CCTV (China Central TV) to get informed. HA…talk about your MSM!

Posted by: Beijing Rob at April 9, 2006 8:06 AM
Comment #139330

Rhinehold, in a secret government, proof is a very elusive, and often unobtainable thing. Which leaves those outside and most inside it with only one option, conjecture and preponderance of what little evidence there is to make up their minds.

It appears the evidence does point to a leak of Plame’s identity coming from the White House. That is as far as the evidence trail goes. And I might add, the Bush administration will most likely try to insure that it stays that way.

So, when harm to our nation occurs from within the White House, and our secret government will not reveal anything more about it, what are folks to do? Me, in the wake of this most secretive government, I will hold the manager of it responsible.

That means Bush is responsible, unless he proves otherwise. That is the only route available to the people, when the goverment reserves the right to function in secrecy and without oversight as intended by the founding Fathers. We are talking opinion here, not jail time.

Outside the judicial system, innocence need not be presumed until proof of guilt. In a secret government, GUILT should be assumed unless, and until, the SECRET government vindicates itself othewise. That is the price for secret government. Ask the Chinese. They know all about this.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 9, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #139405

With government, especially when it is as corrupt and secretive as now (and in the past), and the given fact that government is always trying to grow more corrupt, all that it does must be scrutinized.

Sometimes, it is necessary to allege or suspect abuse when conditions are ripe for abuse. Especially when most of those suspicions are so often proved to be true, and often underestimated how widespread the corruption really was. Never underestimate the power of power to corrupt.

For instance, we all know government is FOR SALE.
We all know there are unethiccal back-room deals being made daily.
We all know newcomers to congress can’t ever pass any badly-needed, common-sense reforms, because incumbents will punish outnumbered newcomers that don’t accept the status quo.
We all know they are votin’ on pork-barrel, corporate welfare, graft, and bribing voters with the voters own money.
We all we have been lied to many times (every year).

We are justified to distrust government.
Government deserves that distrust.
Without that distrust, tyranny would thrive.

Now, that does not mean we should all run about slandering everyone. After all, it is usually unnecessary, since members of congress provide us with ample examples of unethical and irresponsible behavior.

For instance, someone was saying the other day that they didn’t send irresponsible incubments to D.C. The Representative in question was Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). Well, Citizens Against Government Waste rate congress persons each year on their fiscal responsibility. 100% is a good score, meaning the congress person is considered responsible. Needless to say, that is a very rare score. However, Lynn Woolsey scored 0% (that’s right: ZERO), along these other knaves that scored a big fat goose egg in CCAGW’s ratings:
In the Senate there were four: Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).
In the House, there were eight representatives who scored zeros: Reps. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), Steven Lynch (D-Mass.), Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii), John Olver (D-Mass.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D- Calif.), Diane Watson (D-Calif.), Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
_________
But, there’s more, and which justifies our suspicions, and demonstrates why voters should always keep a very close eye on government …

Aside from Lynn Woolsey’s voting record, which requires some explaining, in Jul-2003, Tina Phan, age 17 at the time, was a victim of a rape in July of 2003. Stewart Pearson, a 20 yr old punk, using a rag soaked in toilet bowl cleanser and Ajax, smothered Tina with it. Trying to fight off the effects of the chemicals of the rag and the stronger knife wielding Pearson, she was eventually overpowered. Tina Phan was then raped and brutalized. Tina Phan later told police that Stewart Pearson told her he had committed this crime before and would do it again. Pearson initially denied raping Tina Phan but later pled guilty to rape if they dropped the other charges of assault and sodomy.

Then, on 2-DEC-2003, U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) abused the power of her office and wrote a letter (on official U.S. Representative letter head) on behalf of rapist, Stewart Pearson, the son of Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s aide. It did not matter to Lynn Woolsey that Stewart Pearson pled guilty to rape. In a letter written on her official congressional stationery, she asked the judge to consider mitigating cirumstances and show leniency. The judge ignored the letter, and sentenced Pearson to eight years in prison.

Well, how sleezy can you get? Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) abused the power of her office by writig a letter (on official U.S. Representative letter head) to a judge on behalf of rapist, Stewart Pearson, the son of Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s aide, asking for special faovrs.

How revealing ?

Woolsey noted further that rapist Stewart Pearson had volunteered for her campaign, as if stuffing envelopes for her majesty, Lynn Woolsey, somehow mitigated the violence he committed against Tina Phan-whose promising life Woolsey didn’t bother to show an ounce of concern for at all.

Thankfully, the judge ignored Lynn Woolsey and sentenced Pearson to eight years in prison.

And, that is not merely anectdotal evidence. This crap goes on all the time.

Hence, if people are suspicious, there is a very justified reason for it.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 9, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #139417

No, Rhinehold, with your petulent answers I think you fit the lying child smeared with chocolate when you act as an apologist for something so completely phony.

Posted by: gergle at April 9, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #139420

“The information released showed that unlike the assertions that Joe Wilson made, there was an attempt by Iraq to aquire nuclear materials, at least that was the opinion of intelligence community at the time. He did not release ‘false’ information.”

Bush released information he knew to be seriously in doubt. How is that not lying? Especially when considering that this “non-lie” was a major reason for the death of some 2800 Americans in Iraq…?

(If you want to know where this info comes from - I posted it in the DEM column earlier. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/washington/09leak.html?hp&ex=1144641600&en=bc85efcb03b580b2&ei=5094&partner=homepage )

The title of the article is: Iraq Findings Leaked by Cheney’s Aide Were Dispute

hmmm… now why do you think they chose the more secretive way of releasing this information… hmmm.

Posted by: tony at April 9, 2006 6:55 PM
Comment #139445

I thought that I would Try capitalizing every 3 or 4 Words in this Comment …

Oh, you mean like the Founders did, in the Declaration Of Independence and the Constitution?

How flattering! Thank you.

[sneers] Conformist.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 9, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #139446

… Still waiting for Rhinehold to accept my Challenge …

Waiting … and waiting … and waiting …

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 9, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #139483

Betty,
Remember, you must play nice with others if you are to be politically correct.

David,
Could you tell me when Our Political Leaders lost the fine art of deniability for the President’s Actions? Talk about a good reason to VOID the House of Representatives because I want to hear a Republican attempt to denfend these actions as being “Above Board.” Could you imagine Rush and Hannity if Clinton would of got caught doing these same actions?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 10, 2006 1:24 AM
Comment #139522

Rhinehold-
The original declassified NIE was sanitized of many of the qualifiers, caveats, and hedged conclusions, and shaped into something much more assertive and certain. This is known to be fact.

In that light, even if Bush did not authorize the Plame leak, he did authorize a leak meant to reinforce what he had already done: hype the threat. Bush did a lot of things to make sure that he would control who got information and who didn’t.

The fact that all that softening and hedging was removed from the NIE is important because Bush had restricted the flow of classified information to a handful of House members and Senators, and those who had the chance to know how weak the evidence really was could not say, and could not justify to voters actions taken on information they couldn’t reveal. This restriction of information was even true of our intelligence committees, among whom only the top members were allowed to know the full truth.

Pre-emptive war requires a rather high burden of proof, and the American people would not have supported this war had they gotten the sense that the threat was simply a ghost in the media machine, a phantom of political persuasion. They would have rightly needed more evidence, and Bush’s push for war would have been blunted.

You can argue about the morality of invading or not invading, but what about the morality of using deception to draw people into making a decision that could get many of them killed, and which, if it backfires, could risks the lives and welfare of so many more Americans. War is one of the riskiest things a country can get into, and this president got us into this one without telling us the full truth.

It pains me that you don’t understand that there are rational grounds for disliking this president, than in fact those feed the emotional hatred that comes from my party’s direction. Some of us agreed with his plan when we only knew what he wanted us to know. We sided with him on those things of our own free will, because of what we believed we knew. For me, the point at which I began to assent to this war was the point at which Colin Powell gave his methodical briefing to the UN, laying out a rational case. I didn’t know at the time, though, that Powell had spent the day ripping out whole pages from the report in the days before, at one point throwing the material across the table and calling it shit. Had I known the truth, I would have opposed the war until Bush had gotten better evidence, or found a way to justify it on other grounds.

Do you understand? Do you acknowledge that one can feel betrayed by a government when it draws you deliberately into making a decision on life and death issues ill-informed?

As for the materials in Iraq, it’s important to understand the difference between Saddam wanting something and being unable to get it, and him actually having access. What Wilson did in fact find was that the mines were heavily controlled by interests who would not have permitted the sale, much less the transfer. Now, you could interpret this information any way you want to. But the point of what Bush said was dependent on other claims he had made as to to the revival of the nuclear weapons program. A quick check of the facts would have revealed that the evidence did not support a revival.

As for Wilson’s other claims, they are identical to the IAEA’s report, in part because he may have gotten the two confused. He was shown documents describing the Niger documents themselves, so a year or so from then, he might have misattributed the source. It’s actually one of the most common forms of memory failure. One indication of the truth of this is that Wilson’s claims as to documents were vindicated, even if he wasn’t really the source.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2006 8:12 AM
Comment #139523
It pains me that you don’t understand that there are rational grounds for disliking this president, than in fact those feed the emotional hatred that comes from my party’s direction.

I’m not sure where you get this, I dislike this president as well and understand many who dislike him for their own reasons. I just am concerned that dislike turns into hatred or spinning events to convince others who may not dislike him at the expense of bypassing facts and rewriting history.

That is my main concern. Of course anyone can dislike this president for all kinds of reasons, just as they disliked Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, etc…

I am totally opposed to many of the civil rights violations going on, not just with the war on terror but also on drugs and the RICO statutes that many of the Patriot Act was based upon. The out of control spending from someone who claims to be a small business president is worse, to me, than the spending done by Clinton since it was expected from him. The prevention of allowing people to live their lives as they see fit simply because a book that has been written and rewritten and misquoted for 2000 years violates every sensible and libertarian bone in my body, etc, etc…

As for whether Hussain was able to get material from Niger, it is very disturbing and bolstering of the argument of his mindset that he was trying to obtain them. But that’s been debated and talked about for months/years, we just disagree on the need for the action that I still believe was the proper one to take (but implemented HORRIBLY).

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 10, 2006 8:31 AM
Comment #139554

Rhinehold, I think history will likely fall on your side of the argument that invading Iraq was the right choice but its implementation was botched. Especially in light of Saddam’s ambiguity on whether WMD still existed or not, likely in the hope that the belief that they could still exist would be a deterrent to invasion, and the possibility they didn’t exist would also forestall invasion until proof was found. Saddam walked the fence on that and took a huge gamble that he could have it both ways.

I still believe containment would have been cheaper for America in every way than invasion. Bush’s acting as if the taxpayer was an unlimited resource for funding any and all of his desires and policies was and will continue to prove to be disastrous for the American people.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 10, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #139557

One of the things that I think made many people like myself willing to take Bush’s case for war seriously was the fact that we agree with your take on it: Hussein needed to be dealt with. Our dislike of what happened stems from your very own complaint: that Bush messed up the execution of that, inviting worse things to happen.

The importance of Niger was in how Bush justified the war, and how he decided to fight it. As for the rewriting of history, that is necessary to the extent because much of the history we were given in the first place was false. Error makes a necessity of revision.

The Plame affair takes on emotional resonance because the story there is an Administration betraying National Security interests it claims to value highly to avoid a blow to their political fortunes. It only makes it worse that the blow to their political fortunes was self-inflicted; failure to perform job duties mixes in with the abuse of power and the betrayal of responsibilities. It’s a nasty knot of bad character traits.

I think the problem comes when you accept at face value the arguments that our allegations are spurious. You need to look deeper than that, and bypass the spin if you can. We can’t be the only one’s asking questions here on the left. You folks have to ask your own questions, too, or else you’ll be the tools of the leaders you find so abhorrent.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #139615

I’m sorry about the leak above; it’s a confirmation of the Leak story as is, not a confirmation of the Valerie Wilson leak being Bush’s responsiblity.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #139617

Stephen, its a pervasive misunderstanding going around.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 10, 2006 3:48 PM
Comment #139625

From CNN today:

“WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush said Monday that he had declassified intelligence documents in 2003 to help explain his administration’s reasons for going to war in Iraq.

“I thought it was important for people to get a better sense of what I was saying in my speeches,” Bush said, answering a question from an audience member at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. “And I felt I could do so without jeopardizing ongoing intelligence matters.”

Bush said he had authorized the release of the documents because some Americans questioned his reasons for going to war.

“So I wanted people to see the truth,” he said. “And I thought it made sense for people to see the truth.”

—-

But - when you see the information Bush agreed to “leak”, and you don’t any attempt at all from Bush to show both sides of the debate… The information he “leaked” was in question, and to ignore that to help build a case for WAR seems extremely callous and inhumane. To me, the argument is no longer about Plame, although that will continnue, it is now the admitted fact that Bush sold us a bill of goods he knew was wrong simply to get his way. No, it’s not illegal as far as I know, but can anyone reading this here support Bush in this? It’s one of the most disgusting displays of disreguard for our military lives I’ve ever seen.

Posted by: tony at April 10, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #139634

Rhinehold -

To me, this gets to the argument you present in this post, but it’s not the bloggers who play loose with the facts (or fail to investigate them) - it’s the White House. 2800 American lives lost for a war we were never allowed to truly debate or discuss.

Posted by: tony at April 10, 2006 4:25 PM
Comment #139651
Remember, you must play nice with others if you are to be politically correct.

Henry: I used to Play Nice. But I have painted on the woad and sung my death-song now: there can be no truck with Fascists, be they Original, Classic, Neo-, or Crypto-.

I think it was the Rigged Election and subsequent coup d’état that did it for me: no more Ms. Nice Girl.

And I am in deadly earnest when I say that if the Ballot Box can no longer be relied upon, then perhaps the Bullet Box should be accessed by The People once again.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 10, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #139658

careful Betty - this Administration makes 184 look like a work of fiction… I imagine you’d look horrible in Gitmo Orange.

Posted by: tony at April 10, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #139660

Ok… that should read 1984. Sorry.

Posted by: tony at April 10, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #139662

Betty Burke-
My policy is to keep insulting material to a minimum, and not merely on account of the site’s policy. A great deal of my approach comes from my observation that the entire purpose of having these debates is persuasion, and the targets of this persuasive exercise, if you’re really serious about it, you shouldn’t be too quick to alienate others. I think calm cases that excite passions are superior to furious arguments that tend to merely roll eyes.

I think it’s important to understand that the Classified NIE was full of hedgings and equivocations that the publically available version never had.

It’s important to understand that Bush’s defense and Rebuttal lent support to a case that many knew of these people knew already had chronic problems. If they had not known of these issues, the hedges and caveats of the original NIE would not have been removed. There would have been no motive to. Ultimately this is not merely about the President’s revelation of national secrets, but his doing so as part of a conscious effort to deflect legitimate inquiry into how he justified a war to the American people- in short, the national security risk he took with this sudden so-called declassification was taken to cover his political backside. That’s what makes it so objectionable.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2006 6:02 PM
Comment #139685

Rhinehold:

…we are seeing people now stating, as fact, that Bush authorized Libby to release Plame’s name and function at the CIA to the press.

Such as who? I’ve seen lots of people conjecturing or opining or speculating this, but none stating it as fact. Stinks like a strawman. Give an example. please.

I absolutely agree that many people are making more of the latest tawdry revelations about this leakage than it deserves.

I hereby stipulate the following:

1) It has not been conclusively alleged that Bush or Cheney divulged information they legally should not have.

2) It has not been conclusively alleged that Bush or Cheney retaliated against Wilson or Plame for not going along with the forged Niger uranium evidence.

3) It has not been conclusively alleged that Bush or Cheney lied about any aspect of the case for the Iraqi war.

When I say “It has not been conclusively alleged…”, I mean that in my opinion there is a reasonable doubt or a technical reason these things have not been plausibly attributed to Bush or Cheney, that those who persist in accusing them of these things are wrong to do so.

Having said that, it seems to me they are both caught in their own rhetoric about zero tolerance for leakers and about their professionalism regarding homeland security.

Bush himself in 2003 articulated a zero-tolerance policy on leaks. Yet, whether the information divulged by Libby was classified or not, and whether he was authorized to out Plame or not, by definition he leaked the information with the approval of the President and Vice-President - it doesn’t have to be classified to be a leak.

At the same time, Bush and Cheney blame the CIA (and Tenet took the blame) for faulty intelligence leading up to the Iraq war. Yet, if the information leaked by Libby with respect to the forged Niger uranium memo had been released in context, it would not have proved to be such a powerful support for the war. This is why those of us who are and were Iraq WMD skeptics call the evidence “cherry-picked”.

So, I don’t know that you can really blame people for believing what they do. At this stage of the game, I find it hard to believe anything anyone in the Bush administration has to say, such as this, in the words our president himself:

“I wanted people to see what some of those statements were based on. I wanted people to see the truth. I thought it made sense for people to see the truth. That’s why I declassified the document,” he said.

Unfortunately, it was not the truth; he knew it wasn’t the truth when he had Libby leak it. And even though he knows it was not the truth, he persists in calling it the truth.

Posted by: wanna_be_jack at April 10, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #139691

I forgot to mention one thing in my previous rant:

Here’s what else Bush said today

“I know here in Washington prevention means force,” Bush said at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. “It doesn’t mean force, necessarily. In this case, it means diplomacy.”

Who (for one minute) believes that? If so, why? What possible reason would you have for believing he’s not preparing to invade Iran, including using nukes, other than the fact that the military already has its hands pretty full with two other ill-advised, ill-planned, ill-prepared wars?

Posted by: wanna_be_jack at April 10, 2006 7:28 PM
Comment #139780

Actually, Stephen, the thing which makes it So Objectionable is that King George II asked, “Will no rid me of this turbulent Ambassador!?” and his henchmen, acting on orders from Dick Rasputin, hurried to intimidate Wilson and dissuade others from daring to blow the figurative Whistle, as he had done. And they did so by compromising an extremely important clandestine intelligence operation which spanned the globe and was comprised of dozens of U.S. agents, and hundreds of foreign agents and “cutouts” - all of whom were put at risk of exposure - merely to accomplish a political goal.

Now there is a word for that, and the word is Treason. It is an offence punishable by Death.

You will forgive me if I am not “polite” when addressing Traitors and those who defend and support them.

You will forgive me when I am not “polite” to Fascists - of any stripe: Classical, Neo-, or Crypto-. I am done being Polite to Fascists and pretending that there is some Moral Equivalency between my position and theirs. There is not. There is no “Debate” which the Fascists have an equal Side in: being Fascists, they are not for debating politely; they are for imprisoning and exterminating.

Being “polite” to Fascists has a long history filled with sorrow and pain: when one engages in Polite Debate with them, it always ends in Body Bags and Secret Prisons, Refugees and Rapine, War and Destruction.

You will forgive me - with this nation and the World in the state they are in now: with the American Goverment seriously considering a Nuclear First Strike against a foreign power - if I am not “polite” with the insane jackals who - 35% of the present population or not - support and defend this madness.

The time for Polite Debate is over. Now is the time for Exposure and Trials and Revolution. Thomas Jefferson thought this nation would need a revolution every five to ten years to keep it Free. Obviously (and As Usual), he was correct.

No more Polite Debate with Nazis! No more Polite Debate with Fundamentalist Maniacs! No more “Journalistic Objectivity” accorded to War Profiteers and Thieves and Oppressors!

(One day, Stephen, if you are not careful, you will Politely Debate yourself into Exile; the intellectuals are a threat to this gang of blackguards: or did you not Learn your History Lessons?)

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 11, 2006 1:43 AM
Comment #139787

Ms. Burke:

Everytime you address the implications of the Plame leak, you seem to know more and more details of the covert operation. The information I’ve seen has been very murky and devoid of details. Yet in a few more postings, I’m sure that you will have all the relevant parties email addresses and you can warn them yourself.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 11, 2006 3:07 AM
Comment #139822

goodkingned -

Way to attack the messenger without bringing up a single point for discussion. You seem to know an equal amount to simple discount Betty’s points.

Posted by: tony at April 11, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #139834

Betty,
Attempt growing up knowing why both political parties are wrong, but not being able to explain how their Ideology does not measure up to the Principles and Standards estasblished by the Founding Fathers and the Documents that make up “We the People.”

Yes, the President or one of his Staff did play “The Word Game” and according to what I am hearing from the President it is still going on. However, by using our power of observation and knowledge of the Human Language in being Politically Correct than maybe “We the People” can get past the Democrat and Republican spin masters so that the President can be asked the Politically Unalienable Correct Questions.

For example in 2003, the President claimed he did not know who leaked classified information. However, today the President is claiming that he declassified the information so that the American Public could know the Truth. Now being Politically Correct, is it not Right and True that if the President knew he declassified this information in 2003 than his statements in 2003 were Politically Wrong? Or was he using the Power of the President to forward his side of the political debate to go to War which is also Political Wrong. Therefore, using the Baseball terms everyone seems to enjoy I say that the President is one political swing away from striking out on this issue.

Now, if you want to start a political revolution than you may be interested in supporting VOID.org and forcing the Politrical Policies to be debated based on the Ideology of being Politically Unalienable Correct Regardless of Race, Color, or Creed acording to the Vison set forth by The Founding Fathers of America. Let see the Rapitalists of Society take “We the Consumers” on in a Public Debate were what is provable as Right & True by the Spoken Word of Man is the Judge, Jury, and Executioner(sp) and the Honor/Pride is restored to the American Spirit so the Our Children’s Children can spread the Wings of the Human Spirit and discover what is on the otherside of a Society that functions being Politically Unalienable Correct (PUC) by the Children of the 21st Century.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 11, 2006 10:20 AM
Comment #139949
I love everyone having access to discuss and expand upon the traditional journalism as we have seen over the past few years. However there is a dark side to this freedom that results in inaccurate or wildly theoretical opinion being presented and built upon as fact.

Wildly theoretical? The prosecutor for the case even suggested this was a part of the information leaked. I use the word leaked rather than disclassified, because legal or not, I just don’t know how else to classify information being given to a reporter under the cloak of secrecy. Anyway, all the news articles are referring to Plame, so it’s just us blogging types that are even questioning it.

Posted by: Max at April 11, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #140003

Tony:

You’re absolutely right. I did fire a cheap shot at Ms. Burke. I shouldn’t have let my frustation at seeing the spread of what I consider misinformation regarding the consequences of Plame’s id being reported lead me to take the low road. I apologize to one and all including Ms. Burke.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 11, 2006 6:58 PM
Comment #140097

Betty-
To put it plainly, The partisan approach works mainly when preaching to the choir, and if you’re only preaching to the choir, you’re wasting your time and effort on those who do not need to be convinced.

If you want to talk to anybody else, if you want to win the margins game that is politics, you have to be willing consider that rational people can disagree with you. It’s not about being nice, it’s about being disarming. It’s about getting people to admit despite themselves that you might be right, and repeatedly doing so in such a way that they come closer to your point of view.

It’s the strength of weak ties. A while back, I did an entry on the applications of Small World theory to politics. They’ve found that you’re more likely to get crucial networking connections from people you’re merely acquainted with, rather than your close friends. Why? because your close friends are close friends with each other, more often than not.

Modern politics often neglects this. People appeal to their bases rather than taking care of the party as whole, maintaining the casual agreements that underly the unity of a party’s coalition.

Believe me, I’m no shrinking violet, and I can give as good as I get, but I’d just as soon influence people through difficult to deny facts than easy to disregard insults.

Let the issues be what motivates people, not hatred of another side. You’ll find the guilty leaders become hated soon enough. The upside is that you’ve gotten your new friend to agree with it.

Ultimately, for liberalism to rebound in this country, we have to reconquer the consensus

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2006 11:58 PM
Comment #140128

tony and goodkingned:

I thank both of you: but I do not require any Apology. I hereby invite anyone who frequents this forum to take their best shot at me and Damn The “Rules.”

I am no masochist: I simply believe that there should be no Rules when it comes to Free Expression.

If goodkingned wants to satirise me or even flame me to his little dittoheart’s content, I say “Bring It On! Bigtime.” He will come away more crispy-charred than I do, I’ll warrant. Maybe the poor sap’s never had an Irishwoman angry at him before! It’s an experience he will do well to survive. And I will not even break “the Rules” (much) in doing so: I will rely upon Facts, Logic, and the Moral High Ground to carry the day.


Stephen:

Yare yare, daze… Well if I’ve been driven into mad rage by the scum who are destroying the American Ideal, then I am no more so than Patrick Henry was. Let history judge my position.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 12, 2006 5:26 AM
Comment #140129

BTW goodkingned (and all):

My “knowledge” of the motivations behind the betrayal of Ms. Wilson’s career/status is based upon being both an observer of and a witness to History.

Richard Nixon ordered the burglary of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office for precisely the same reason that Cheney ordered the shopping of Valerie Wilson’s cover: it was both Payback for blowing the whistle and Intimidation against others who might follow suite. They did the same thing to Paul O’Neill when he revealed the Planning For The Iraq War in late January of 2001.

Here is a brief List of other similarities between the Nixon White House and the BushJr. White House:

- Nixon had a goon named Liddy who took political vengeance against Daniel Ellsberg.
- Bush had a goon named Libby who took political vengeance against Joseph Wilson.


- Nixon had a crooked Vice President who took money and ran up huge tabs in Foreign Bars.
- Bush has a crooked Vice President who made money running up huge tabs in Foreign Wars.


- Richard Nixon had Eighteen Lost Minutes on the secret Watergate Tapes.
- Bush had Seven Lost Minutes on the public 9/11 News Videotapes.


- The Nixon White House was ruled over by a foul-mouthed, secretive old man in failing health.
- The Bush White House is ruled over by a foul-mouthed, secretive old man in failing health…


- Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment for his many lies and crimes against the Constitution.
- Bush - Yet To Be Determined…


See ya on the flipside.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 12, 2006 5:37 AM
Comment #140150

Betty - I share your rage.

I’ve seen more than enough to know where Bush falls on the truth-o-meter. He’s the

ProWar-NegotiationIsForWimps-WiresToTheTesticles-StayTheCourse-MissionAccomplished-Katrina…YAWN…huh?-REPsControlEverythingButItAlwaysSomeoneElsesFault-GitmoAGoGo-Joe!

Is it 2008 yet?

Posted by: tony at April 12, 2006 8:10 AM
Comment #140164

Ms. Burke:

I’ve lived a little also. As I understand the system of managing native covert operatives (what Plame was supposed to be doing), the US agent establishes contacts while in country and maintains contact with those operatives while they are active. The number of operatives managed by a handler diminishes over time as the operatives are no longer active. Plame has been operating in the US for a number of years, although she may have had some remaining native operatives under her control, it is likely that the number and importance of her stable has diminished over time. Your postings do not reflect this dynamic.

This is my supposition, but I suspect that Plame’s importance in this theatre of operations has diminished significantly. Official statements that I have seen recognize her status as active prior to her reassignment to the States and inactive at the time of the leak. Perhaps you have seen other statements from credible sources, but I haven’t seen evidence of that.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 12, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #140286

Must be good to be king, Ned.

Posted by: ray at April 12, 2006 8:11 PM
Comment #140303

Former Senior Agent Robert Baer says that he maintains contacts in the Agency, and that Valerie Wilson was an active Control right up until the time that Brewster Jennings was compromised. (Which makes logical sense, since the Agency only decommissioned it after the Novak column appeared: normally they would do so immediately after the Cover Organisation has served its purpose.) His internal sources indicate that at least two Assets have been “disappeared” (likely executed) by foreign goverments, and that others had to flee once their cover was exposed.

If this had happened under a Democratic Administration, you would be screaming “Treason” from the highest mountaintop you could find, and you know it.

So puh-leeeze: let’s stop the Spin, and do What’s Right For America, shall we?

Or is Party Solidarity more important than that?

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 12, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #140341

Must be good to be king, Ned.
Posted by: ray

Good days, bad days, you know.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 13, 2006 12:39 AM
Comment #140342

Ms. Burke:

I have no way of evaluating the credibility of former Senior Agent Robert Baer. I have looked at your links and found them to be partisan. In the absence of nonpartisan evidence I prefer to not jump to assumptions.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 13, 2006 12:43 AM
Comment #140362

Goodkingned,
The mark for any Elected Official or someone working in an Oficial Capacity is the Show of any Wrong Doing. Thus, the violation of The Law was already done the moment that the President did not come forward in 2003 and state publicly that he declassified the Leaked Information. Why else would We be talking about this same subject today in 2005 if the President did the Right Thing?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 13, 2006 2:11 AM
Comment #140381

I don’t think that President Bush did anything wrong to influence the 2000 election result, yet that issue is still active in liberal circles. I’ve no doubt that whatever disclosures Bush made regarding the decision to declassify, it wouldn’t put this issue to bed for his opponents.

I wish I could say that there is no place for political manuervering in politics, but that is too naive a statement to make. The atmosphere in Washington was very divisive prior to the Iraq war and it was very much up in the air whether the US would suceed in securing the UN resolutions necessary to form the western alliance.

Given, the political environment and taking into consideration that Wilson was acting as a stooge for the old line interests in the State Department by making public assertions that could be characterized as misleading at best and untruthful at worst, I can understand the politics of the situation.

It was the consensus of the international intelligence community that Saddam had the capablity to be a great danger, not only in the middle east, but to the world. I still believe that weapons, personnel and chemical precursors were smuggled out of the country prior to the war.

Did Bush play nice? Not really, but the US was responding to a perceived threat and in the end, I think although he got a black eye, it was the best decision under the circumstances.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 13, 2006 5:15 AM
Comment #140609

goodkingned:

You find the text of (Republican) Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (in his indictment) and the New York Times to be Partisan…

Would you like another Kool-Aid? Can I tuck your Purple Shawl up for you? Adjust your Sneakers? Turn up Hannity for you on the telly?

Don’t worry, the Mother Ship will be by soon to transport you to Ronald Reagan’s Big Sky Ranch where everything is exactly as you want it to be…

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 14, 2006 6:35 AM
Comment #141127

You go girl! I love Betty!

Posted by: gergle at April 16, 2006 11:14 PM
Comment #141292

*blush*

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 17, 2006 7:58 PM
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