November 2, 2005


Plamegate's real liar (Max Boot, November 2, 2005, LA Times)

The problem here is that the one undisputed liar in this whole sordid affair doesn't work for the administration. In his attempts to turn his wife into an antiwar martyr, Joseph C. Wilson IV has retailed more whoppers than Burger King.

The least consequential of these fibs was his denial that it was his wife who got him sent to Niger in February 2002 to check out claims that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence later stated, in a bipartisan report, that evidence indicated it was Mrs. Wilson who "had suggested his name for the trip." By leaking this fact to the news media, Libby and other White House officials were merely setting the record straight — not, as Wilson would have it, punishing his Mata Hari wife.

Much more egregious were the ways in which Wilson misrepresented his findings. In his famous New York Times Op-Ed article (July 6, 2003), Wilson gave the impression that his eight-day jaunt proved that Iraq was not trying to acquire uranium in Africa. Therefore, when administration officials nevertheless cited concerns about Hussein's nuclear ambitions, Wilson claimed that they had "twisted" evidence "to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." The Senate Intelligence Committee was not kind to this claim either.

The panel's report found that, far from discrediting the Iraq-Niger uranium link, Wilson actually provided fresh details about a 1999 meeting between Niger's prime minister and an Iraqi delegation. Beyond that, he had not supplied new information. According to the panel, intelligence analysts "did not think" that his findings "clarified the story on the reported Iraq-Niger uranium deal." In other words, Wilson had hardly exposed as fraudulent the "16 words" included in the 2003 State of the Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." In fact, the British government, in its own post-invasion review of intelligence, found that this claim was "well founded."

In fairness, Scooter Libby is just as big a liar as Joe Wilson.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 2, 2005 1:34 PM

You don't know that. You don't even know what Libby has said yet.

Posted by: AllenS at November 2, 2005 1:51 PM

Yes we do.

Posted by: oj at November 2, 2005 1:56 PM

We know that Scooter has a bad memory and that's all we know,..ah.. unless I forgot something

Posted by: h-man at November 2, 2005 2:19 PM

Scooter's stories may be just as compelling as Joe Wilson's. For that matter, so might Tim Russert's. And a host of other media types.

Fake, but accurate - no?

Posted by: ratbert at November 2, 2005 3:35 PM