Tuesday :: Mar 6, 2007

Libby Verdict A Black Eye For Washington Post

by Steve

After you take a look at Howard Fineman's analysis of what the Libby verdict means, let's take a walk down memory lane and see what those bastions of the Fourth Estate, the Washington Post, have said about the Libby case.

"Judy Miller should not be in jail. I think the judge and the special prosecutor in this alleged CIA leak case made a mistake. It's really vital to have confidential sources. I think Judy Miller is doing the right thing. And I think she should be freed and they should reconsider this."
--Bob Woodward, July 13, 2005 on “Scarborough Country”
“Now, there are a couple of things that I think are true. First of all, this began not as somebody launching a smear campaign that it actually -- when the story comes out, I'm quite confident we're going to find out that it started kind of as gossip, as chatter, and that somebody learned that Joe Wilson's wife had worked at the CIA and helped him get this job going to Niger to see if there was an Iraq/Niger uranium deal.”
--Bob Woodward, October 27, 2005 “Larry King Live”
“I have written almost nothing about the Wilson-Plame case, because it seemed overblown to me from the start. Wilson's claim in a New York Times op-ed about his memo on the supposed Iraqi purchase of uranium yellowcake from Niger; the Robert D. Novak column naming Plame as the person who had recommended Wilson to check up on the reported sale; the call for a special prosecutor and the lengthy interrogation that led to the jailing of Judith Miller of the New York Times and the deposition of several other reporters; and, finally, the indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff -- all of this struck me as being a tempest in a teapot.”
--David Broder, September 7, 2006

It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House -- that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame's identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson -- is untrue. The partisan clamor that followed the raising of that allegation by Mr. Wilson in the summer of 2003 led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, a costly and prolonged investigation, and the indictment of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on charges of perjury. All of that might have been avoided had Mr. Armitage's identity been known three years ago.

Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.
--Washington Post editorial, September 1, 2006

What good is a free press when the elite think more of cocktail weenies than they do about scrutinizing government?

Steve :: 12:33 PM :: Comments (13) :: Digg It!