Saturday, October 15, 2005

While MSM and Ds Drool, Let's Review Facts

The MSM's template for the last several weeks has been that the Bush Administration is going down. Joined by the Ds, media elites are rapt with anticipation of Karl Rove's impending indictment.

There is a problem, of course. First, Rove has not been informed that he is a target of the investigation, per his lawyer.

Second, the whole story is not a tale of White House manipulation and mendacity, as the MSM would have it. The Weekly Standard summarizes the whole "Plame Affair" very nicely, albeit in considerable detail. Here's SWNID's summary of the summary:

  • Sourcing for the allegation that Saddam was seeking yellowcake from Niger was multiple, though like all intelligence, questionable.
  • The CIA acknowledged that it was not certain that Saddam tried to by yellowcake from Niger.
  • The CIA approved Bush Administration statements about Saddam seeking nukes, including the yellowcake allegation.
  • Joe Wilson (Mr. Valerie Plame) was but one investigator of the allegation.
  • Wilson was suggested to the CIA as an investigator by Plame.
  • Wilson's investigation was superficial. (a quote: "As for the actual memorandum, I never saw it. But news accounts have pointed out that the documents had glaring errors--they were signed, for example, by officials who were no longer in government--and were probably forged." As if the forgeries hadn't been part of an attempt to get yellowcake through Niger's system and into the hands of a country under UN sanctions!)
  • His finding was not that sales or attempted sales had not occurred but that he could not confirm the reliability of the evidence of such sales.
  • Wilson began to contact reporters in Washington on his own to insist that his findings of no yellowcake sales were definitive.
  • Wilson accelerated his campaign as time went on, and claimed that his wife had nothing to do with his trip.
  • That Wilson is Plame's wife was well known and well published.
  • That Plame worked for the CIA was known to anyone who followed her car as she drove to work at Langley in the mornings.
  • A mother of young children, Plame hadn't been a covert CIA operative in years, and for a crime to have been committed by the revelation of her identity, she had to have been currently active as a covert agent.
  • Lewis Libby and Karl Rove "outed" Plame not as retribution, like some crazy terrorist would kill her on the expressway to Langley, but to show how insignificant Wilson was in the whole chain of intelligence about Iraqi nukes.

The piece notes that the NY Times recently published what appears to be an exhaustive timeline of the case. But the Standard notes this about the Times:

But there is one curious omission: July 7, 2004. On that date, the bipartisan Senate Select Intelligence Committee released a 511-page report on the intelligence that served as the foundation for the Bush administration's case for war in Iraq. The Senate report includes a 48-page section on Wilson that demonstrates, in painstaking detail, that virtually everything Joseph Wilson said publicly about his trip, from its origins to his conclusions, was false.

Truth is, this isn't a very interesting story. It involves no great intrigue, just a lot of bureaucracy, the problem of proof, and the ambitions of a minor government official (remember than until the truthfulness of his story tanked, Wilson was being touted as a likely senior State Department official in the Kerry Administration, appeared regularly on news shows and was featured in the appropriately named Vanity Fair).

But the template is that Bush is going down, and Rove, his evil genius, is the first to go.

Well, we'll see.

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