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by Larry C Johnson

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How low can they go?  I refer of course to the latest vitriol directed at Valerie and Joe Wilson by the likes of Christopher Hitchens and Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post, who claim that Joe Wilson, not Bush Administration officials, is responsible for destroying his wife's cover and exposing her as a CIA operative.  Hitchens battle with the bottle may account for his addled thinking, but what is Hiatt's excuse?  Both men perform like Cirque du Soleil contortionists in dreaming up excuses for the nutty and destructive policies and actions of the Bush Administration.  In watching their behavior we see a parallel with the devotees of Jim Jones who gathered in Guyana almost 30 years ago to drink poisoned kool aid.   

Let's focus on the Post's Fred Hiatt.  In today's Post editorial page, Hiatt writes:

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.

The claim that Joe Wilson's op-ed from July of 2003 was a pack of lies and misrepresented the truth is an old rightiwng, White House canard.  Here is what Joe Wilson said in the July 2003 op-ed:

Though I did not file a written report, there should be at least four documents in United States government archives confirming my mission. The documents should include the ambassador's report of my debriefing in Niamey, a separate report written by the embassy staff, a C.I.A. report summing up my trip, and a specific answer from the agency to the office of the vice president (this may have been delivered orally). While I have not seen any of these reports, I have spent enough time in government to know that this is standard operating procedure.

The question now is how that answer was or was not used by our political leadership. If my information was deemed inaccurate, I understand (though I would be very interested to know why). If, however, the information was ignored because it did not fit certain preconceptions about Iraq, then a legitimate argument can be made that we went to war under false pretenses.

False claim?  False claim my ass!  There were at least four reports.  We now know that the National Intelligence officer for Africa in January 2003 briefed the White House that the Iraq/Niger claim was bunk.  Even a partisan Senate Intelligence Committe report cites repeated efforts by the intelligence community to warn the President's advisors that reports claiming Iraq was trying to buy uranium, including British reoirts, were not credible.

What is so bizarre is that the White House did admit that it was wrong to put the infamous 16 words into the State of the Union Address (of course, they blamed the CIA), just days after Wilson's op-ed appeared.  If, as Hiatt claims, Wilson's op-ed was false, then why did the White House correct the record by confirming the substance of his claim? 

Hiatt also portrays an astonishing ignorance of national security affairs.  He offers up this goofiness referring to Joe Wilson's "culpability" for exposing his wife's job:

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.

Yes, why would the CIA send the former Director of Africa at the National Security Council, a former Ambassador to Gabon, and the last U.S. official to face down Saddam Hussein to Africa?  Because Joe Wilson was uniquely qualified to do the job.  Moreover, this is (or at least was) a common acitivity by the CIA.  My former boss at State Department, Ambassador Morris D. Busby, made at least two trips I know of at the behest of the CIA after leaving government because of his experience in dealing with terrorism, narcotics, and Latin America.  There are times when the CIA wants information and does not want to expose its own assets.

There was nothing on the public record or in any public document identifying Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA operative.  That information was classified.  Sending Joe on a mission to Africa does not point the finger at her.  Moreover, she did not make the decision to send him.  That is another of Hiatt's lies and is routinely echoed by rightwing hacks.  As Walter Pincus reported in the Washington Post in July 2005:

"They [the White House] said that his 2002 trip to Niger was a boondoggle arranged by his wife, but CIA officials say that is incorrect. One reason for the confusion about Plame's role is that she had arranged a trip for him to Niger three years earlier on an unrelated matter, CIA officials told The Washington Post." (Washington Post, )

Harlow, the former CIA spokesman, said in an interview yesterday that he testified last year before a grand jury about conversations he had with Novak at least three days before the column was published. He said he warned Novak, in the strongest terms he was permitted to use without revealing classified information, that Wilson's wife had not authorized the mission and that if he did write about it, her name should not be revealed. (Washington Post, 27 July 2005)

We are forced to revisit this nonsense because we have now learned that in addition to Libby and Rove, Richard Armitage also was shooting off his mouth about classified information.  Regardless of Armitage's role as an initial source for Novak, we are still left with the fact that Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Scooter Libby abused their power and were actively engaged in a coordinated effort to discredit Joe Wilson for his behind the scene efforts to alert the public to the falsehoods in the President's State of the Union address.

While Richard Armitage may have had no malicious intent, the same cannot be said for Cheney, Libby and Rove.  They knew exactly what they were doing.  According to The Washington Post, during the week of July 6, 2003, "two top White House officials disclosed Plame's identity to at least six Washington journalists."  Sometime after Novak's column appeared, Rove called Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball" and told him that Mr. Wilson's wife was "fair game."

And we have the document released by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald in United States v. Libby, that provides a copy of notes Cheney had written in the margins of Mr. Wilson's July 6 op-ed. In a court filing, Fitzgerald stated that the notes demonstrated that Cheney and Libby were "acutely focused" on the Wilson column and on rebutting his criticisms of the White House's handling of the Niger intelligence.  Those notes became the basis for Republican National Committee talking points circulated and repeated by Ken Mehlman and others.

Why is this relevant?  Today the Bush Administration is once again trying to manufacture a case for war.  They are calling critics of its policies on Iran and Iraq "appeasers" and decrying the lack of intelligence on Iran.   It is deja vu all over again to quote Yogi Berra.  They whine about a lack of intelligence on Iran but refuse to accept responsibility for their own role in destroying Valerie Plame's undercover work, which was focused on monitoring the flow of nuclear technology to Iran.  They may not have fully understood what Val was doing because of her cover status.  But that's the point.  They don't think these things true.  Their only goal is political survival. 

Perhpas the new attention on the Plame affair will fuel public support for accountability in government.  The gang of political thugs currently in the White House refuse to be held accountable for anything.  With the help of enablers like Fred Hiatt and Christopher Hitchens and others in the main stream media, it is no wonder that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld skate from disaster to disaster, oblivious to the field of debris left in their wake. 

We must also remember that the Government sanctioned attack on the Wilsons is not an isolated event.  Just ask former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill or National Security Advisor Richard Clarke.  Add to this list the names of the two CIA Baghdad Chiefs of Station who were savaged for their prescient early warnings that Iraq was moving into a civil war.  The Plame/Wilson affair stands as a stark reminder that President Bush and his minions prefer destroying those who call them to account for failed policies rather than admit error and take corrective measures that will serve the longterm interests of the United States.  As we move towards a new war with Iran, we should not be surprised that people who know the truth are reluctant to come forward.  If you choose to blow the whistle you are choosing career suicide and a full frontal assault on your character.  In smearing the Wilsons, Bush and Cheney also are sliming America.

Originally posted to L C Johnson on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 01:21 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yeah, Hiatt's hatchet job was a disgrace (32+ / 0-)

    There's a diary posted immediately before Larry's that reports that David Broder got sharply questioned by WaPo readers in the Live Chat at the WaPo website this afternoon.

  •  Hitchens drunk AGAIN? (27+ / 0-)

    Kevin Moore

    It's not patriotism to sit in silent submission to those who have led this country into the most serious foreign policy blunder in our history. AJC

    by Caldonia on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 01:19:06 PM PDT

    •  He was positively repulsive (32+ / 0-)

      on Bill Maher's show last week - treating Max Cleland like he was playing Alan Colmes to Hitchens' Hannity.

      I was surprised that Maher didn't intervene, not because of the slime he was spewing, but because he was so damn rude, talking over everyone else at the table non-stop. I don't care if he thought it was cute to give the audience the finger, but his behavior towards his fellow panelists was that of a self-involved, self-destructive, bottom-of-the-barrel drunk. Really disgusting.

      I know this was a little off-topic, but I needed to get it off my chest.

      The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Send Chris Owens to Congress!

      by sidnora on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:35:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i think it was wise Maher didn't intervene (15+ / 0-)

        sometimes you give people rope they hang themselves...

        Hitchens showed himself to be himself... i'd point you to this diary of mine for my take on the whole affair... I think he betrayed a central truth about the neocons and the war on terror - that truth is that they have already lost it on a personal level... they are terrified to the core

        If no-one around you understands start your own revolution and cut out the middle man...

        by ResponsibleAccountable on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:57:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point. (6+ / 0-)

          It was awfully hard to watch, though, with Sen. Cleland sitting there. But I guess he's had to deal with a whole lot worse than rude drunks.

          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Send Chris Owens to Congress!

          by sidnora on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:02:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They have a core? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Caldonia, viscerality

          Huh, I've never noticed that.  They seem to be a different breed, for whom a core is neither necessary or desired.  It would just get in the way of the detachment, the isolation from reality, the bubble-life.

          It's no disgrace not to be able to run a country nowadays, but it is a disgrace to keep on trying when you know you can't. ~ Will Rogers

          by vigilant meerkat on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:05:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A core (6+ / 0-)

            There is a phenomena in growing potatoes that is known as "hollow heart".  These guys aren't just rotten to the core, they have hollow heart.

            •  Hollow heart (3+ / 0-)

              I love it.  It's an apt description of what we all have observed -- that it is futile to appeal to them on a human level; they are incapable of comprehending what is being said.  

              It's no disgrace not to be able to run a country nowadays, but it is a disgrace to keep on trying when you know you can't. ~ Will Rogers

              by vigilant meerkat on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:24:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  they have their demons (16+ / 0-)

                to be sure not all the same for each of them... but they definitely are all eaten away in side by something so toxic it has left a void...

                ...with Hitchens I think it is alcohol fueled terror... with Bush it is a sociopathic sense of failure combined with entitlement leading to the worst sort of authoritarian revenge fantasies (i really think the guy is mentally ill - and that is not meant to be funny or using mentally ill as a slur implying that mental illness is inherently insulting)... etc.

                If no-one around you understands start your own revolution and cut out the middle man...

                by ResponsibleAccountable on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:30:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That void (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  trashablanca, godislove

                  is where some people have their spine. They never grew one. They depend on an exoskeleton defined by the "other." Without their invented, punished, shot at, slandered, dehumanized "other," they would be nothing but collapsed bags of hot, fetid air. Very, very dangerous people. The spineless ones have fucked things up for centuries.

                •  Amen, Lily of the Fields style (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I work at Paramount Pics in L.A. and on the lot people are talking about the demons and wanting to get rid of them. My son attended shock and awe to his great distress, and I speak my mind on the evils of this regime and now others are talking out loud on every stage on the lot. Getting all of them to vote is my mission.

                  That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. T. Roosevelt

                  by noblindeye on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 07:59:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Sick men, why do people watch them (0+ / 0-)

                  and why do they get so much air time. I was watching Kieth Oberman the day after his Rumsfeld takedown to support his truth telling. I don't watch much TV news, and as I flipped the channels, wow, I heard so many really sick men hyping up a war with Iran.

                  "Think" tank shills and TV hosts, just frothing at the mouth, most of what they were saying translated to an emotional chant kill, kill, kill. I had never seen this Glen Beck guy, what a gleeful, blood lusting psychopath. How do people like that get air time? What kind of culture do we have that viewers don't just break out in a cold sweat and vomit when they see these guys?

                  There is no real , but plenty of the non verbal, sweaty, tribal war chant, kill, kill, kill. O'Riley, Hannity, all cut from the same mold, why do people watch? How can these people live with themselves? How can people stand to keep watching them?

                  Our economy sucks up our environment, people, and government. Change it at Beyond Political Center

                  by Bob Guyer on Sat Sep 02, 2006 at 06:14:08 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I have a different take on this. (0+ / 0-)

                  I happen to agree that Bush is a sociopath, but one of the things about those people is, they never feel a sense of failure. When confronted with failure, sociopaths rationalize. Either it wasn't really a failure, or they were trying to accomplish the actual outcome all along.... they never even blame their failures on others, because in order to do that they'd have to admit the failure exists. Sociopaths believe that everything they do is successful, and if you don't agree it's because you don't understand the nature of their success.  Trust me on this, I have personal experience.

                  As far as Hitchens' demons are concerned, I think he worries most about the same thing as all the other wingnut "personalities": that the political climate will change and they will no longer be marketable. He may be more articulate and use longer words, but I think his place in the national debate is about the same as Coulter's.

                  The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Send Chris Owens to Congress!

                  by sidnora on Sat Sep 02, 2006 at 07:36:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  i deliberately used the word core not heart n/t (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Caldonia, victoria2dc

            If no-one around you understands start your own revolution and cut out the middle man...

            by ResponsibleAccountable on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:26:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Onions. n/t (0+ / 0-)

            Private life is all about managing pain. In business and government, this means externalizing and deferring costs whenever possible.

            by sxwarren on Sat Sep 02, 2006 at 05:42:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Read your diary (9+ / 0-)

          you may well be right about Hitchens and his ilk, but I don't think the inner circle of Bushco gave, or gives, a shit about capturing Bin Laden. That was all just a warm-up act for Iraq, as far as they were concerned.

          He's been far too useful to them as a boogeyman. And I don't think they're scared of him either. The only thing they're scared of is losing the election and their access to the bottomless honey-pot that is the US treasury.

          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Send Chris Owens to Congress!

          by sidnora on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:10:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i dunno (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Caldonia, snakelass

            i think a lot of them are genuinely terrified of the other... the faceless threat in the night that they have to put a face on... they are so clueless that that face became an Iraqi face for them... so convinced of their own inadequacies and inevitable inability to get Bin Laden they focused elsewhere...

            ...they didn't really close the deal getting Bin Laden, they caved in to his main demand (troops out of Saudi Arabia)...

            ...i think you can put too much credit on these guys... they are little, petty and delusional

            they focused on Iraq as they had a predetermined idea that this would help save them from the scary muslim enemy, but their non-capture of Bin Laden is the kinda thing that keeps shrinks in payments for years

            If no-one around you understands start your own revolution and cut out the middle man...

            by ResponsibleAccountable on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:33:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Mutual benefits for Bush, Bin Laden (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sidnora, Caldonia, godislove

            I believe it was no accident that Bin Laden released that videotape in October 2004, in effect reminding everyone that he was still out there.  He was doing his little bit to make sure that Bush would get re-elected, because Bush's war in Iraq has been a far more effective recruiting mechanism for jihad than anything Bin Laden has said or done in the last four years.

        •  Maher better watch that rope (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Caldonia, J Royce, godislove

          Comments at Atrios, 1 mine, 1 from a Jennifer

          Snow, Firewall Pirate | Homepage | 09.02.06 - 12:52 am says
          What is controversial about Bill Maher?

          Bill Maher let Hitchens get away with saying MoveON ran arBsuto is so Hitler ads...

          Once again that is godwin's law and the overton window rovian schmegma cubed or whatever,,,,

          The truth is, MoveOn has(had) a contest whereby it's members sent in ads to be voted upon for aire, to wit the Hitler one didn't make it, but the liars and obfuscators twisted it, and Hitch vomited that tripe all over Maher's set...

          Maher stared back at him and... (Blinked...) (Blinked...)

          Phucking Dickhead; get a job already, or do the one your being paid for by HBO to do, but don't expect me to believe your "blinks" were nothing more than letting Hitch jerk-off with his political theatre, and his hand gestures to Bill's audience-

          If I were in the audience, I would have wanted to pummel Maher, nearly as much as Hitch, which is so sad,,, and Maher better get on the wakethephuck up train, cause chances are I am not alone...

          That, IMHO, is what is wrong with Maher of late-

          Jennifer | Homepage | 09.02.06 - 1:16 am


          RF - that ain't the worst of it.

          Maher also allowed Hitchens to spread the contemptible lie that al-Zarqawi's presence in northern Iraq prior to the invasion proved a connection between Iraq and al-Quaeda. Maher's response was a weak "no there wasn't a connection" when it should have been that Zarqawi was in a part of Iraq not under Hussein's control, and that the Bush administration refused on at least 3 seperate occasions to take him out...all because they were continuing to use him as "evidence" for their claim of a link. So instead they left him alive to use as an excuse, and he went on to kill or engineer the killings of at least several hundred American soldiers.

          Maher had the opportunity to peel Hitchens' ass and show him for the shitheel he truly is, and instead just threw out some weak ass "oh huh!" response.

          ...we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings- John F. Kennedy

          by RF on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 10:43:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree with you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            on both. If Maher feels that his purpose is at all educative (which is debatable), he should be calling "bullshit" when he hears it. Also, as I pointed out at the start of this thread, it was his uncontrolled rudeness that really bothered me the most. I don't expect Maher to recruit liberal cheerleading teams for the panel, not least becasue it would be boring TV, but I think enforcement of a minimal standard of politeness wouldn't be out of place, especially when there are, like, Senators and such present. I don't care about language and such, but he should not allow his guests to behave as though they're on Hannity & Colmes and shout down anyone they disagree with. It also would have allowed Maher, or one of the other guests, openings in which to interject the truth.

            The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Send Chris Owens to Congress!

            by sidnora on Sat Sep 02, 2006 at 07:14:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  i agree, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caldonia, J Royce

        I didn't see the whole show, but what I did see of Hitchens repulsed me. I used to think he was intelligent, but now I think he is just a embittered man, who has a really nasty streak. His opinions have no value to me any longer.

    •  I used to like Hitchens (5+ / 0-)

      When he used to be an erudite defender of the poor and oppressed. In fact, his support for the Iraq War (TM) stems from those same instincts, but he sold his soul to the Republicans and can't find his way back to the light.

      From a simpler time (courtesy of The Onion), "Christopher Hitchens Forcibly Removed From Trailer Park After Drunken Confrontation With Common-Law Wife":

      Responding to a domestic-disturbance call, police arrived at the couple's double-wide trailer at approximately 2:15 p.m. to find Hitchens and Bodell throwing dishes at each other. When the officers attempted to remove Hitchens from the premises, the leftist intellectual became physically and verbally abusive toward the officers, calling them "shitkickers," "bitches," and "effete liberal apologists for the atrocities of late-stage capitalism."

      Having consumed what sources described as "a substantial amount of single-malt scotch," Hitchens then burst into tears, yelling, "That woman never understood me for who I am. I want to talk to [Harper's editor Lewis] Lapham. Lapham's the only one who understands me."

      Charged with disturbing the peace, Hitchens was taken to the Sparta police station at 3 p.m. and released four hours later.

      Little is known about Bodell, a heavy-set blonde who has been known to use several different surnames. According to sources familiar with the couple, the incident marks the third time in as many weeks that police have been forced to intervene in their volatile relationship.

      "We're down at the old Hitchens place probably twice a month at least," said Sgt. Wilson Vernon, the first of three officers to arrive at the scene. "Once his blood's up, old Hitch can get meaner than a three-legged coon hound. From what the neighbors told us about this latest incident, Noreen was all worked up, accusing him of drinking and womanizing. He was angry with her refusal to acknowledge that there is ample evidence to make a case for prosecuting Henry Kissinger as a war criminal. She just kept shouting, 'No, there ain't!'"

      What's the difference between Vietnam and Iraq? Bush knew how to get out of Vietnam.

      by strandedlad on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 05:20:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a drunk, and I take offense at being (6+ / 0-)

      compared to Christopher Hitchens.

      Man With No Name: You may run the risks, my friend, but I do the cutting. We cut down my percentage - uh, cigar? - liable to interfere with my aim.

      by Cartoon Peril on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 08:50:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Larry (51+ / 0-)

    for keeping on top of this.

    I didn't get it, but apparently Joe sent an email: (HT to Will Pitt)

    You may have seen this morning's editorial in the Post. It manages to recycle pretty much every lie and smear over the past three years in a last ditch effort to divert attention from the facts, and the role the Post itself played both in the march to war and in the leak (see Woodward).

    I know many of you are better versed in Plamegate than either Valerie or I and I also know that some of you will be addressing the editorial.

    I want to let you know how much Valerie and I continue to be buoyed by your support and your dedication to getting the truth out and holding the administration and its lackeys accountable for the terrible policies they have foisted on our country and on the world. We must keep fighting.

    As you think about this, our website ( has a copy of the letter I sent to the SSCI when its report first came out, challenging some of its conclusions. The LeftCoaster has a terrific study by eriposte on the whole Niger forgery case from beginning to end. Firedoglake and the Next Hurrah both have highly informative analyses of the case by skilled researchers and former prosecutors. I recommend them all as resoruces to jog memories. By this afternoon, I expect that our own team will have an updated set of talking points to distribute for your use as well.

    Each of you in one way or another has contributed to the public's (and in many cases our own) understanding of the issues from the beginning. Thank you for continuing to do so.

    Joe Wilson

  •  Thanks for this diary, Larry and for all you do (18+ / 0-)

    to expose the lies and liars who tell them.

    I do NOT see how the information about Armitage changes a single thing about the conspiracy to go after Joe Wilson. There is way too much evidence to show that there was indeed such a conspiracy, including Libby's own testimony before the GJ.

    Christopher Hitchens is totally not credible. He blew any credibility he had a long time ago.

    Resurrecting the lie and smears against Joe Wilson and his wife, will not work this time, imo.

    However, it is important to counter these lies as soon as they surface, imo. The WAPO has a history of publishing RNC talking points much to their shame.

    The fact is that like it or not, Libby is under indictment for his role in this affair .... and the pre-trial hearings have revealed a lot of information that is now on the record. Maybe the WAPO ought to do their job and take the time to read some of it.

    •  Yes! Thank you, Mr. Johnson... (11+ / 0-)

      I have found your words plain-spoken and inspiring.  I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your courage and patriotism in speaking up against this destructive regime.

      A small story:  On the Zogby board there is a very right wing writer and kool-aid drinker who, at the inception of the Wilson/Plame story, proclaimed that anyone who betrayed the identity of an agent should be hung.  He also stated that he had seen you speak and that you were "a Great American, a hero and the real deal."  Then he found out that it was Bush's cronies and that you were speaking out against them.  His position changed faster than a drunken round of twister...I suspect that post-hynotic suggestions are involved.  His new position is, of course, that Rove, did nothing wrong, that Plame was not covert and that Fitzgerald is a rogue mad-dog.  You, he won't talk about.

      Keep givin' 'em hell!!

      "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

      by mayan on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:43:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Mr. Johnson (10+ / 0-)

    I'm glad you're out there telling the truth, and taking no crap from Fred "Joe McCarthy" Hiatt, and Christopher "Brain Cells Killed by Booze" Hitchens.

    They're both lying GOP propagandists of the vilest sort.

  •  excellent post (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks for reminding us of the facts again.

  •  Recommended (6+ / 0-)

    Thank you more, Larry CJ. What nonsense. I hope the civil suit can someday stick a fork in this one. And the wingers never mention the "Double Super Secret Backgroud" or Cooper when they try to call this "done," do they? Such desparate bullshit.

  •  Larry, you're nitpicking (12+ / 0-)

    We all know that in this age of Tubes and the Wisdom of Crowds, credentials work against you. Joe Wilson's CV is his albatross. We're in a Golden Age of The Dilletante:

    Michael Dewayne Brown:

    Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

    Before joining the DHS/FEMA, Brown was the Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association, (IAHA), from 1989-2001. After numerous lawsuits were filed against the organization over disciplinary actions, Brown was forced to resign.

    George Deutsch, 24, Public Affairs Oficer, NASA

    The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé says he was an intern in the "war room" of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. A 2003 journalism [drop-out] of Texas A&M, he was also the public-affairs officer who sought more control over Dr. Hansen's public statements.

    We don't cut and run


    On compromise:
    "Confrontation fits our strategy. Polarization often has very beneficial results. If everything is handled through compromise and conciliation, if there are no real issues dividing us from the Democrats, why should the country change and [vote us into office]?" --The New Republic, June 3, 1985

    On patriotism:
    "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service." -- The Washington Post, April 5, 1989

    On... education:
    "I flunked out." -- The Washington Post, April 3, 1991

    Yea, verily. Next, we form a task force to repeal Gravity, yet another instance where the brainiacs have folded their tents in the face of the enenmy.

  •  The smear campaign continues... (12+ / 0-)
    It would appear that the Bush smear tactics continue to infest the WaPo's editorial board.  Ambassador Joe Wilson is a distinguished diplomat that was sent by authorized agents of his government to determine the facts underlying Bush's baldfaced lies about Niger and Iraq's supposed nuclear weapons program.  For doing that and truthfully reporting his findings, he has been subjected to one of the most relentless smear campaigns in U.S. history.  This not only includes the President and the Vice-President and their aides, but a Senate Committee, that actually derailed an investigation into how we got into this disastrous never-ending quagmire in Iraq into a report that merely called Joe Wilson a liar.

    It is deplorable that the Bush sycophants continue to peddle their lies.  It is deplorable that one of the nation's leading dailies has been utterly taken in by the liars, and have instead been reduced to being smarmy hagiographical stenographic sycophants.  

    Let justice reign though the heavens tremble

    by Viceroy on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:10:29 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Larry!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SusanHu, hrh, Caldonia

    I was just over at your site reading abit.

    Thanks for putting it all out there again. It's nice to have those facts to rebut some of these claims.

  •  Good diary, but typos aplenty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, think blue

    And this from me, the Typo King of Kos.


    Mitch Gore

    Republicans believe in training Al-Qaeda, but not in training American workers.

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:12:53 PM PDT

  • (11+ / 0-)

    I saw reference to the Washington Post's OP ED, I mean stinking pile of dogshit, on this morning.  Didn't realize who had written it at the time, but I wouldn't have gotten so worked up if I had realize it was that drunk Hitchens and Hiatt.  Did anyone see him on Bill Mahr last weekend?  He kept flipping of the audience and telling them, fuck you!

    How is it that this guy has any credibility.  I once heard a quote from Wes Clark about some article written by Hitchens and published in Foreign Policy Magazine.  He said basically that if there is anyone out there that still takes this fool seriously that we're in real trouble.

    I just don't understand how these fuckers can keep spreading such lies and getting away with it.  

    Liberals and conservatives are two gangs who have intimidated rational, normal thinking beings into not having a voice on television or in the culture.

    by Dave B on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:15:06 PM PDT

  •  We can only hope this means another indictment (6+ / 0-)

    on the way.  

    •  Yup (8+ / 0-)

      One of the questions I had, when reading this, is why the normally uber-hawkish Hiatt was writing this today, the day after Iran blew off the IAEA, rather than editorializing on Iran?

      Why is Hiatt still harping on the Wilsons, when he claims to be concerned about Iran's imminent weaponization of a nuclear bomb? Why are the Wilsons a bigger threat to Fred Hiatt than Iran's purported nuclear weapons program?

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:49:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  because Ahmadinejad can't subpoena the bastards (0+ / 0-)

        however much he'd like to corner junior in a debate. I meant the admin, btw, not Hiatt. He's just carrying water for them.

        if i make them very tiny, may i have more letters for my sig?

        by subtropolis on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 11:25:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent clarifications (3+ / 0-)

    of the points Hitchens, Hiatt and the others deliberately muddle. You are an expert at debunking the misleading talking points probably issued by Cheney himself.

    So now it appears they've made Armitage the fall guy, the chief leaker since he's supposedly not partisan, a well-known gossip, and therefore couldn't have any payback motives for leaking the information. Instead of just one of the many players who were involved in the conspiracy to discredit Wilson's report.

  •  He says it's Mr. Wilson's fault? (11+ / 0-)

    Why doesn't he just come out and say it?  Why doesn't say ... If Mr. Wilson would've just shut the fuck up, then Cheney would have never had enough reason to destory him.  Then Cheney wouldn't have had to reveal state secrets for political revenge.

    In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

    by yet another liberal on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:19:33 PM PDT

  •  This is tremendous ... (18+ / 0-)

    Have you done a 700 word version for sending to the Post?  Probably not worth the effort, we know, but should directly call Hiatt out for his shoddiness.

    4 July 2006, Independence Day ... Day 1757, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

    by besieged by bush on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:21:01 PM PDT

  •  Here is hoping for the day (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, blueoasis

    That the whole lot of them are frog marched out of office.

    Since the dark ages it's always been about Class Warfare.

    by joeshwingding on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:26:49 PM PDT

  •  The Michael Isikoff Book Apparently has more (8+ / 0-)

    revelations in it than the Armitage story.

    He indicated on Hardball that they weren't good for the Administration during his interview this past week.  In light of this WaPo hit piece, I would expect something that is significant will come out of the book.

    That might be the explaination for the timing of the hit piece - next Tuesday is the scheduled release for Isikoff's book.

    •  saw that too... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Isikoff definately left the impression that the Armitage revelation was just the teaser to get people talking about his book, and that next week for the release of the book he would drop the big revelations to the press, and it wouldn't play nearly so innocent as:

      Gossip-hound Armitage blabs Plame rumor to Novak and chuckles, "his WIFE sent him on a JUNKET!" Later slaps forehead, "d'oh! shoudena said dat..."

  •  Honest question... (18+ / 0-)

    While Richard Armitage may have had no malicious intent...

    I think that's largely dependent on what we define as 'malicious'. Clearly, he was mouthing off about information that he shouldn't have been mouthing off about, and clearly he intended it not as just random out-of-the-blue gossip, but gossip against an administration critic, culled from information about Wilson and his trip that was being circulated within the administration in the wake of Wilson's very damaging public editorial.

    We've fallen so far that compared to the actions of every other administration official -- who proceeded, in an organized fashion, to leak the information to multiple reporters in an effort to "out" Plame as widely and maliciously as possible -- that indeed Armitage's actions seem almost quaint in comparison, hardly "political" at all compared to the vindictiveness and malevolence with which the predictable smear-the-critic campaign took off from there.

    But of course Armitage's actions were political, and the "gossip" happened in a backroom effort to discuss Plame in the context of maligning Wilson to several administration-friendly reporters. Just because he didn't organize the wider administration actions against Plame hardly makes his own revelations of classified information acceptable. He's just going for the "I'm a gigantic f--king idiot" defense, as opposed to... well, what other defense could he possibly come up with?

  •  Those 16 words (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, boofdah

    It's September in an election year. Time for the Washington Post editorial board to defend Bush.

    Here was their work of art 2 years ago defending something even the White House didn't, that 'those 16 words' were valid.

    WP sucking up to the corporate man

  •  shorter WaPo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    isn't it time we all agreed that the emperor is, in fact, fully clothed?

    they're playing to the inside-the-beltway cocktail party circuit and no mistake.

    l'audace! l'audace! toujours l'audace!

    by zeke L on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:39:17 PM PDT

  •  What I sent to the WaPo this AM (20+ / 0-)

    Okay, it's waaay too long for a Letter to the Editor...but I just couldn't stand the incredible brainlessness of the editorial.

    "..far too much attention and debate in Washington has been devoted to her story and that of her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, over the past three years."

    Indeed. What a pointless story- how our nation was led into a disasterous "preemptive war" by trumped-up intelligence that officials knew at the time was wrong. And how this administration tried mightily to silence and discredit a critic who pointed this out, in the process playing fast-and-loose with the covert identity of a CIA intelligence officer investigating Iran's nuclear program!

    What a non-story, taking our precious news-reading time away from the real issues of the day, like...oh, I don't know, maybe John Karr and Jon Benet-Ramsey.

    "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."

    I guess I'm slow- I'm not sure why that "follows" at all. It has been reported that yet unnamed White House officials "shopped" this information (Ms. Plame's CIA status) to six or more reporters in an effort to discredit Mr. Wilson's editorial piece. Was this just coincidence? Does it matter that Mr. Armitage appears to have been the first non-CIA source to leak this information? Exactly what were the others trying to do?

    "All of that might have been avoided had Mr. Armitage's identity been known three years ago."

    Indeed. An entire grand jury investigation might have been avoided if this particular administration official, who you inexplicably find virtually blameless, simply came forward publicly and admitted he had been shockingly sloppy with classified information. He didn't, and the whole White House vehemently denied they had anything to do with the leaked identity, which was not only untrue, but known to be untrue by at least some in the White House at that time.

    "Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson."

    Well, of course. One simply can't point out that the administration's Niger uranium story was bogus on the pages of the New York Times without assuming your wife's long-standing covert cover would be illegally blown.

    "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."

    So you're saying the Nigerian letter he was sent to investigate was genuine? You should write a story about that, because every other reputable news organization on the planet has concluded just the opposite.

    Regarding Ambassador Wilson's other "false claim", I just went back and read Mr. Wilson's entire piece from the Times.  You should too. He never claims that his report was circulated to senior administration officials, instead pointing out- very clearly and carefully- that he never saw the written reports arising from his mission. Having done so, he simply describes what would have been the usual deposition of his report, based on past practice.

    What in the world is up with the Post these days, anyway?

    BTW, thanks, Mr. Johnson!

  •  I think we should stop beating up Hitchens. (6+ / 0-)

    He's obviously a man in deep moral and intellectual confusion.  His behavior may be a cry for help.  Let us reach out to him with compassion, and pray for his speedy recovery.

    Now, for the reality-based segment of this readership, here's a tidbit from Hitchens in the comments section of his most recent Slate article:

    Obsessively or not - I find the topic of continuing interest - I am planning to write again about the Niger connection for next week's Slate, and so shall reserve most comment on Ambassador Zahawie's letter until then. But two points won't wait...

    1. If the Ambassador wants to sue me for defamation, he has only to mention the name of any independent court in any democratic country and I shall be happy to see him there.

    I'm afraid we're going to be stuck with this idiocy for a long time.

  •  whoops my ass (7+ / 0-)

    what's with everybody buying into the bullshit that Armitage had no ax to grind, not a "political gunslinger".  Because Novak said so?  He's a card carrying member of PNAC. "nuff said... Guilty.

    Measure twice, cut once.

    by zig on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:54:26 PM PDT

    •  Even worse, while he is a Navy vet.... (0+ / 0-)

      he's know for letting people believe, falsely, that he was a SEAL team guy.  He never had the balls to dissent publicly from the craziness of the administration and the pathetic weakness of Powell.

  •  One more important point (18+ / 0-)

    Hiatt is repeating a talking point first developed by Dick Cheney in response to Wilson's op-ed.

    Finally, I am not surprised that Fred Hiatt is--even today--repeating one of the talking points Dick Cheney developed when he read Joe Wilson's op-ed all those years ago. Cheney wrote:

    Have they done this sort of thing?

    Send an Amb to answer a question?

    Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us?

    Or did his wife send him on a junket?

    And Fred, faithful to his talking points, again raises Dick's absurd point, to question why a guy with experience working with the former Nigerien leaders named in the uranium allegations, knowledge of the uranium trade, and experience with Saddam Hussein, would be sent to answer a question about those former Nigerien leaders selling uranium to Saddam Hussein.

    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.

    Pretty remarkable. It's been three years. And the wingnuts are still working off the talking points Dick wrote when he first read Wilson's op-ed.

    This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

    by emptywheel on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:54:52 PM PDT

  •  Why is SC Fitzgerald staying so damn quiet? (6+ / 0-)

    I realize that he's refusing to comment on the specifics of the Scooter & Co./CIA leak trial; but you would think he'd at least come forward, do a pressie, release a statement, say SOMETHING that abdicates the Wilsons for blame in her outing--and thus lays to waste this utter BULLSHIT that's CONTINUING to come from the Wrong-wing pundits.

    I'm just so fricking SICK of this bullshit!!!

    Oh, and before my head truly explodes from this nonsense, I wanted to get in a heartfelt THANK YOU to Larry Johnson for all you've done for our country and for our national conscience and honor. :)

  •  Re: Plame (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, meg, Orj ozeppi, ask, nancelot, boofdah, blueoasis

    Listening to a report about Iran's nuclear potential tonight, they quoted John "I love Death Squads" Negroponte say that Iran wouldn't be able to hve a nuke until about 2011, but that there is little good intelligence on Iran. Hmmm. Seems to me Ms. Plame's job was following the nuclear trail and specifiacally in Iran, no?
    Good job BushCo! You really screwed this one up. But, then, I suppose that was part of the plan all along.

    All Truth is non-partisan

    by MA Liberal on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:00:51 PM PDT

  •  am i missing something? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alohaleezy, boofdah

    since this isn't something that would've normally been in armitage's purview to know, how did he come to hear about valerie plame's identity?  is it possible the rove/libbey/cheney cabal, knowing he couldn't keep his mouth shut, told him so he'd spill it?

    has this been addressed already, and is something that, in my dotage, i've just missed?

    •  How he knew (12+ / 0-)

      Starting in mid-March (yup, just as the war began), a bunch of people starting casting blame for the shitty intell. Because of some of the stuff Bolton had done, some people cast blame at State. So State started looking into what role, if any, they had in perpetuating the Niger claims. Then, when Libby started hassling Marc Grossman for information on Wilson, State wanted to clarify further that they hadn't been the ones responsible for Wilson's intelligence.

      So they developed the INR memo, which is where Isikoff and Corn report Armitage to have gotten the info. I suspect Armitage FIRST got the info from some prior document, probably the INR analyst's notes. And then, when he asked for the memo to pass onto Powell on July 7, he looked at the INR memo itself on July 7.

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:34:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks.... this is all really hard to track.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        unless you're a dedicated scholar.  much appreciated.

      •  Working on a fictional version of Plame's story (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        My thesis is that the Wilson smear campaign is cover, the classic one crime to cover for another, for the real target,  Valerie Plame. As long as it was focused on Wilson, the political hullabaloo that erupted could always be contained, fogged over as a D/R foodfight, and if the fire got too hot, there might have to be some fall guys, just as long as it wasn't Rove. And what I gathered from the great work you did on this narrative, then Rove saved his skin by getting back at his archnemesis, Cheney and his proxy, Scooter, by discovering those e-mails from the VP.

        As an aside, I wonder if the corporate Rethugs sabbotagged Valerie's book deal and now this editorial is an effort to get out in front of her coming deal, a warning of sorts. And at the same time re-focusing the narrative back on Wilson. There was no such stink over Wilson publishing his book.

        Anyways, when I sat down to write "The Bloom Affairs" I made Wilson an afterthought, a supportive but busy husband who warned her about the dangerous guys coming into the White House. Her crimes that got her outed probably had more to do with her work on Saudi oil reserves as it did over WMD's and Iran.

        I speculate that she uncovered the overstatements that BP/Aramco were making on their oil reserves. She dumped the info on Wall Street and the resultant hit to the stock prices cost the Houston oil boys and their Saudi cousins billions. People are killed for less than that. The OVP suspected her desk and were alerted, one of the big reasons why it was so important for the NSA spy program, to watch agents like her.

        Her second crime is that her network discovered that the Americans were buying WMDs on the black market and planning on bringing them through Turkey and planting them to justify the war. Again through the backdoor, she alerted the Turkish government and that may have been the final straw that pushed them to not allow American egress.

        Her final crime was discovering that the WH and the OVP were directly involved in a scheme to frame Iran by buying nuclear triggers and attempting to bring them to the ME. The French arrested an agent/smuggler who is still in prison and had ties to a set of American/Israeli provacateurs and who may have also been involved in the Niger forgeries. In my book, the CIA sends her to debrief him only to run into some State Dept/OVP player who intervenes on behalf of the agent and fingers her to the WH. Rove/Libby go into high gear after getting the go-ahead from the evil Texas twins and we know most of the rest.

        She is romantically involved with her two assets and they are killed when Novak's article on her company is published. She stays at the CIA to make sure they receive stars on the KIA monument. If you have any input, twists, and the such, I'd love to hear it. You have been a great resource, as has LJ.

    •  Its kind of surprising (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hunter, meg, truong son traveler, jmonch

      to me that everyone takes Armitage as some innocent State Department guy. He was a founding member of PNAC and a Cheney partisan. Powell and he were friends but casting him as a White House guy is well within reason.

      "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 05:35:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's time for Hiatt to go (5+ / 0-)
    Hiatt has lost touch with reality.

    Anyone who has lost touch with reality to the depths that he has is not competent to do his job.

    Not even close to being competent.

    We should all demand his immediate resignation.

    And insist he move to some other country.  His values are not those of America.

    The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer -- Henry Kissinger

    by theyrereal on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:11:40 PM PDT

  •  Larry... (8+ / 0-)

    Have I told you lately how much we love you and appreciate all that you do to keep the truth up and out there? You are a true American Patriot.

    Frodo failed....Bush has got the ring!

    by Alohaleezy on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:13:08 PM PDT

      •  Well-deserved (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        For your service to this country and for your tireless loyalty to the Wilsons.

        Sometimes it just sucks one's breath clean away, the enormity of the debacle that is the Bush Administration.  I don't know which is worse, can't believe I'm even weighing out these two offenses occurring inside a handful of days:

        -- SecDef, employed by the citizenry, calling a majority of them morally and intellectually confused while inferring they were Nazi supporters for rejecting the concept of continued illegal, immoral and incompetent occupancy of a sovereign nation; or,

        -- Fourth Estate playing mouthpiece, promoting propaganda yet again for the Office of the Vice President and the White House, blaming the victims of their deliberate breach of national security implemented to maintain support of an illegal war.

        Larry, we must be living in a parallel universe because I know this isn't the country you and I were born in. Thanks again.

  •  C. Hitchens Drunk In Santa Fe (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yosef 52, Lush, ysbee, peace voter, Caldonia

    Four or five years ago Christopher Hitchens had a book reading/signing here in Santa fe, NM. He showed up obviously plastered and the event was a farce. Sad to hear he stil hasn't sobered up, sadder still that his opinions are given much credence.

  •  They are doing it right now on FOX (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yosef 52, peace voter, frandor55

    otherwise known as SCUM.

    Fred Barnes called Wilson a charlatan.  

    Krautheimer said that "the sad part" was that Wilson, who is a liar, is out there having a good time while Scooter Libby's life is on the line."  

    I think Jim Angle was about to explain why Libby really isn't in that much trouble, but they had to go to commercial.  

    •  I don't understand (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      How just because Hiatt writes a story simply regurgitating the same tired old already-refuted-a-million-times Republican lies and propaganda about this affair, that it is automatically taken by everyone at Fox News as the final revealed gospel truth.  There was a guy on Hannity and Colmes a little while ago whose whole argument was that quote "the Washington Post is one of the most liberal newspapers", therefore it must be true.  LOL!

  •  Faux news in full tilt too (0+ / 0-)

    Same issue, The Kraut, Freddy and Mort..... hammering Wilson, same talking points.....

    Changing America 1 cup at a time... "I'm not a Liberal, I just use my brain."

    by coffeeinamrica on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 03:44:37 PM PDT

  •  I saw Christopher H on Hardball yesterday (5+ / 0-)

    with Nora O...
    anyhoo..he was drunk as a skunk...she was struggling not to laugh when the segment ended and he was rambling on and on some nonsense. hahahaa
    It was crumbilicious.(as Stephen would say) :)

  •  It will only get worse (3+ / 0-)

    The apologists for the invasion of Iraq will become more vituperative and strident in their slander as the criminal enterprise becomes more and more of a disaster.

    Rather in admitting they were wrong in their pre-invasion anaysis, or their own culpability in promoting this crime, they will strike out much as a cornered animal will.

    Expect more of these slanderous tantrums as the American people turn increasing away the POV of those got us into this quagmire.

    Don't Panic - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    by slatsg on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 04:10:05 PM PDT

  •  Ah, the Yosemite Sam Gambit (4+ / 0-)

    Harlow, the former CIA spokesman, said in an interview yesterday that he testified last year before a grand jury about conversations he had with Novak at least three days before the column was published. He said he warned Novak, in the strongest terms he was permitted to use without revealing classified information, that Wilson's wife had not authorized the mission and that if he did write about it, her name should not be revealed. (Washington Post, 27 July 2005)

    Who knew that Rove learned all he needed to know from Looney Tunes cartoons?

  •  Why did Novak PUBLISH Plame's Identity? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    meg, blueoasis, godislove, vivdarkbloom

    Fred Hiatt and the Republican Right smear merchants must be hallucinating from mixing too many dry martini's with their Viagra.

    Since Bush administration member Richard Armitage first exposed Plame's CIA identity to Novak --and not some other Republican-- that somehow makes it okay for Novak to publish it in the national media???

    This should be a hanging offense.

    You'd think that after even Tenet, Dubya and others admitted there was no truth to the SOTU claim of Iraq-Niger-uranium that they --and Novak-- would be rushing to the nearest microphone to apologize to the American people. Ah, but that, of course, would require integrity...

    •  I am having a hard time believing Armitage is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the culprit.  This coming out after a couple of years searching for who leaked Plames name... I don't trust one single word that comes out of any of their mouths.  

      When Andrea Mitchells face lifts fall, we know it will be the end of the world. -6.25 -5.85

      by pmob5977 on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 06:12:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  you must excuse Hitchens for his (4+ / 0-)

    drama queen persona.  He is afterall, British don't you know!

    He is like the snot nosed little bugger in the sophmore class that likes to brown nose the senior boys on the football team.

    A neocon "jock sniffer" of huge proportions.

  •  Two Supreme Assholes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    In a sea of rightwing buttcracks.

    Never underestimate their arrogance, greed and thirst for power.

    by LarisaW on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 05:01:31 PM PDT

  •  fuckin' A (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lush, ask
    scarborough returns to his primal ooze, in his "Is Joe Wilson a Liar" lead-off

    Starring: hitchens!

    (the audio is currently out on my tv, but it really doesn't make much difference)

    I swore I heard a stem cell yell:'Blastocysterhood is powerful!"

    by Miss Devore on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 05:57:56 PM PDT

    •  Just watched that with Hitchens...belch!!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terminus, vivdarkbloom

      At the end of the segment, Joe says the New York Times should apologize to Bush, Chaney and Rove...WTF???

      I totally agree with a previous poster.  The PR funds are being filter to some of these MSM hacks such as Scarborough.  Joe also doesn't like all the attention Olbermann is getting so he is playing to the right as hard as he can.

      When Andrea Mitchells face lifts fall, we know it will be the end of the world. -6.25 -5.85

      by pmob5977 on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 06:08:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More likely he's found a story he can use (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yosef 52, Miss Devore, vivdarkbloom

        to compensate for his previous "madness" when he did the piece Is Bush An Idiot! Poor Joe must have taken a huge hit from those right-wing buttcrack fans of his and now he's got to tack back to the right to atone! It's so obvious, Tweety Matthews does that all the time...loses his cool and criticizes the Repugs and then makes nice to them the next night!

      •  what's CH saying now? (0+ / 0-)
        I can't stand watching him, but I would like to know the latest disinfo that he's spewing.

        What's the latest lie and/or distortion?


        •  You don't need to know. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Miss Devore, peace voter

          It was utter pablum. Kinda like the G. Kliban cartoons about what you say vs. what dogs and cats hear: "Blah, blah, blah, (instead of 'Fido'), 'Wilson's a liar.' Blah, blah, blah, 'liberal.' Blah, blah, blah, 'New York Times.' (That was Joe's definition of liberal tonight, and CH sat next to him in the cradle with the same mew.) Only here it was about the speakers, not the listeners.

          It was disgusting.

          I like Vanity Fair. I think it's done an astounding job of being a progressive political rag, even if I can't stand its scratch-and-sniff perfume ads. But Graydon... it's time to let Christopher go.

          The guest from Huffington Post -- I should know her name, sorry -- did an excellent job of not taking Joe's stinky bait.

          And Joe got his voice worked up like Rita's -- such a tiring pitch -- while CH emphatically bobbleworded.

          Really... you didn't miss anything. I'm sorry I didn't do something better with my time.

          •  HuffPo "representative"... (0+ / 0-)

            Was Rachel Sklar. You're right, Lois, the segment wasn't much substance, just another reich-wing spew.

            Wasn't it interesting that Joe gave Hitchens a full 5 to 6 minutes to spew before giving Rachel her turn? And then - typical Rovian tactic - Hitchens starts interrupting her. She did a great job considering her allotted time was a token gesture, and Joe just let that self-important bloviating Brit drunk cut into her time. She's got spunk.

            I used to think Joe was beginning to lean moderate, but this was all the proof I needed to make up my mind that he's just another MINO.

            •  About Joe leaning moderate (0+ / 0-)

              (But first, thank you for Rachel Sklar's name. She was great.)

              I've stopped believing in "apparent leanings." I don't have any idea what Scarborough's MO is, given that it seems to be all over the map, but to be generous I'd guess that he's facing heat from the popularity of Olbermann, who precedes him, and CNN competition (read: Anderson Cooper), both of whom it seems like he's trying to emulate while giving his report its own new "face."

              Not working for me after day 6 or so of his new persona; it's too all over the place. And yes... the time allocated to Christopher vs. Rachel was noteworthy.

              Joe, are you listening? We're not dumb.

  •  I defer to the diarist's knowledge (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as to the author of this piece of crap, one Joe Hiatt, but somewhere in this mix I suspect the hand of The Great Stenographer, Bob Woodward! In retrospect, one can see why Woodward was so agitated at Libby's indictment, since he knew Armitage had leaked first and somehow, in his pea-brain, he conflated that fact with a belief that the smear campaign didn't truly take place. That is the conclusion of the editorial today and it coincides with Armitage's recent embarassing exposure. So whoever wrote today's excremental screed, I would still bet that the parasite Woodward was its inspiration.  

  •  What is it about certain 'men'? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That must be used in quotaton marks ... there is nothing remotely manly about either of the subjects of this diary. I'm referring to these two and their larger coterie: the ... well, frankly ... "unmanly men" of "letters".

    All irredeemably straight, all irredeemably flabby of mind. The type of man who chooses a life of intellectual pursuits because he thinks that line of work requires no expended energy. Fat, flatulent, fearful, foppish fuddlers.

    And the greatest fear of all of them is that some of their flabby intellectual moralizing will be proved wrong. So they cling to discredited ideas until they are kicked out of intellectual circles or die of cirrhosis.

    They're so cowardly and stupid that they think that death from cirrhosis is preferable to the public flaggelation those f**kers deserve after their empty intellectual posturing is exposed.

    Hmmm ... I think I broke my 'f' key on this comment.

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 06:26:58 PM PDT

  •  This administration needs prosecution (0+ / 0-)

    God, I hope we get the House back this fall. At a minimum, the investigations will stop our freefall into WW3.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

    by bewert on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 07:00:00 PM PDT

  •  Question for Mr. Johnson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lush, kurt

    Thanks for this diary.  I have a question.  I hope that you or one of the numerous knowlegable Kogs here can answer it.  I thought I was following the story closely, but Lush pointed us to a charge from Hitchens that I recently read for the first time and would love to see debunked.

    Would someone please respond or give us a link to a knowlegable response to Wowie Zahawie, Sorry everyone, but Iraq did go uranium shopping in Niger by Christopher Hitchens published in Slate this past April?

    One week later CH followed up with:

    "Nobody appears to dispute what I wrote in last week's Slate to the effect that in February 1999, Saddam Hussein dispatched his former envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and former delegate to non-proliferation conferences at the United Nations, to Niger. Wissam al-Zahawie was, at the time of his visit, the accredited ambassador of Iraq to the Vatican: a more senior post than it may sound, given that the Vatican was almost the only full European embassy that Iraq then possessed. And nobody has proposed an answer to my question: Given the fact that Niger is synonymous with uranium (and was Iraq's source of "yellowcake" in 1981), and given that Zahawie had been Iraq's main man in nuclear diplomacy, what innocent explanation can be found for his trip?"

    Christopher Hitchens, Slate

    What is the significance of the Zahawie visit to Niger?  Can it be credibly argued that he was trying to buy yellow cake for Sadam?


    •  They needed yellowcake (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RF, peace voter, kurt

      for a non-existent nuclear program, despite still having the 1981 yellowcake?

      Let's assume al-Zahawie went to get yellowcake. What were they going to do with it? They had no means to process it, unless of course Cheney can point out where the 'reconstituted nuclear weapons program' is hiding.

      How would the acquisition of yellowcake elevate the then CURRENT threat of Saddam? It would not. At most, it only demonstrates a future, potential danger.

      And that is the answer to Hitchen's question, though one he did not directly ask. Even if we assume the visit was less than innocent, it did not pose an immediate threat to the US. The real issue is not proving or disproving what al-Zahawie was doing in Niger, but what THREAT any outcome of that visit posed.

      Here is info from the Iraq Survey Group Final Report on the subject:

    •  Possible source (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lush, peace voter, kurt

      I had one link that suggested a possible fishing expedition for a uranium source by the Iraqi ambassador to the Vatican in 1999. Read the entire article. Be sure to follow the link to the WaPo article that discuuses the 1999 meeting, Wilson's somewhat evasive answers about his wife's role in his trip, and the alleged attempt by Iraq to purchase 400 tons of uranium in 1998 from Niger. Wilson could have helped his cause by saying that his wife recommended him for the mission, but that she did not have the authority to send him.

      •  Info not on Link(?) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Financial Times link is a dead-end on your cite (I'm guessing that held the info you are referring to).

        I don't see how Wilson could have helped his case with any disclosure.  He printed a story, they ratted out his wife.  Not too much room for nuance there.

        •  Here is the direct WaPo link (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peace voter, subtropolis, kurt

          Try this. There is no doubt that the administration wished to discredit Wilson. That's why the story about the connection between his wife and his trip was widely circulated. Surely they figured that Wilson would try to protect his wife by disavowing her participation in his selection for the mission. They needed to spread her name around to make sure he would be asked so they could use his denials to help discredit him and his report. This whole affair is a very tangled web that has not been helped by the Armitage disclosure. It's like the whodunit with a triple surprise ending. Even Armitage's role may have been planned. Although the media has been portraying him as a dove on Iraq, he is a charter member of PNAC and signatory to a letter from that group to Clinton urging him to get rid of Saddam, citing Iraq as a potential WMD threat. He could have been a plant in Colin Powell's office to keep tabs on the opposition. I had heard that Armiitage reported his "inadvertent" disclosure to Powell in October of 2003 after the FBI began investigating in September, which begs the question, how was Fitzgerald not aware of this fact. And how was the administration not aware of it? There is a finely crafted plot here, which is apparently in place to protect the guilty.

    •  Respect! (0+ / 0-)

      And I thought my entry had flittered so far down the memory hole that I reposted below.  Thanks - made my night :)

  •  Don't forget (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, dangangry, kurt

    There is other reporting as I posted earlier today that contradicts many of the conclusions in the editorial.

    On September 28, 2003, the WaPo reported this little tidbit:

    Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife.

    We know Rove talked to Matt Cooper, whose notes said, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip."

    Rove was also Novak's confirming source. I think Pincus and Russert were also contacted. Did we ever learn who called them?

    This editorial also says Libby and Cheney, if Fitzgerald is correct, "were careless about handling information that was classified."

    No, they were not careless, the were treasonous. At least that's what the Republicans call leaks of classified information lately.

  •  WaitAMinnit!!!! (4+ / 0-)

    Just one minute here, let's back up to Armitage 'innocently mentioning that Wilson's wife arranged for his trip....'

    Mr. Armitage works in the State Department. Mr. Armitage has been around the block in D.C. a few times in the past.

    Mr. Armitage knows that Valerie Wilson works for the CIA. He doesn't know if she's covert or not. Wouldn't a prudent person not mention her employment, just in case it's a secret?

    Armitage is not innocent. Anyone with Armitage's experience would not mention the wife and risk revealing a state secret.

  •  The Wilsons (4+ / 0-)

    I met Joe Wilson at YK1 and consider him and his wife to be True Patriots. How many realize that Joe Wilson had one of the, or the last diplomatic discussion w/ Sadaam Hussein and that he has truly served  America for decades. Valerie has done the same, and they are the epitomy of what democracy should be all about. People who should be credited for their service, not maligned by a rabid pack of hyenas that serve at the pleasure of this abomination administration.

    That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. T. Roosevelt

    by noblindeye on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 08:11:19 PM PDT

  •  Hitch's Latest. (0+ / 0-)

    Discussed the other day here.

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