A stupid and vacuous editorial in today's Post has me fuming. Can they get their facts straight? Wilson may not have been sent by Cheney, but his mission was a result of a request by Cheney of the CIA, so what's the difference? And if Wilson was wrong about Niger, why did the White House retract the claim immediately after his Op-ed appeared, and then admit it should never have been included in the State of the Union?
Yes, Patrick Fitzgerald said at his press conference re: the Libby charges that his indictments were not about the intelligence or the claims made by the Administration which led to war. But to ignore, as this editorial does, that the point of all this shifty activity by the White House was to punish a critic for doing what the Post and other MSM outlets failed miserably to do before the war--that is, to vigorously question the 'evidence' of a threat--is embarrassing for a major newspaper. Of course Fitzgerald's investigation is focused on leaks of classified information, not on the Iraq War. But any moron can see why the leaks happened, and the Post's own reporting today, on page A1, points out that Fitzgerald's new filing puts Cheney squarely at the center of an operation designed to "discredit, punish, or seek revenge against" Wilson, using information from an NIE already known to be false. The revelation that Bush was involved--even peripherally--in this campaign is evidence of hypocrisy at the least. And yet the Post merely poo-poohs a "good leak" handled "clumsily." They suck.
Why doesn't the Post remind readers of Cheney on Meet the Press making the claim that "I don't know Joe Wilson and never read his report..."? Now we know that at the same time the VP was publicly pretending Wilson was beneath contempt, he was going balls-out after the guy to shut him up. A better editorial would have speculated about the reasons for Cheney's panic over Wilson's revelations--did Cheney and co. KNOW their case for war was fraudulent all along? Were they relying on a compliant group of media whores (like Judy Miller) to sell a gullible public their hogwash? Mission Accomplished!
Money quote from the Post article:
But according to Libby's grand jury testimony, described for the first time in legal papers filed this week, Cheney "specifically directed" Libby in late June or early July 2003 to pass information to reporters from two classified CIA documents: an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate and a March 2002 summary of Wilson's visit to Niger.
One striking feature of that decision -- unremarked until now, in part because Fitzgerald did not mention it -- is that the evidence Cheney and Libby selected to share with reporters had been disproved months before.
UPDATE: I've been waiting all day to read what Jane (who grew to bloggie prominence on this issue) had to say. Worth the wait!