Monday, October 24, 2005

Time-worn garbage

Newsweek attempts to recount the run-up to war and the Wilson op-ed in preparation for their sure-to-be-front-cover story on pending indictments in the Plame investigation. My first impression?

What a pile of crap. Serves as not much but another avenue for the now time-worn journalistic sport of denigrating everything related to the Administration and continued pimping of anecdotes about "pressuring" the CIA and such(see Victoria Toensing comments).

Fact is, the people at CIA who felt the most strongly that WMD's were not present as the Administration argued did a poor job of making their case. That is their fault. Meanwhile, I've waited eagerly two-plus-years and counting now for some actual evidence that the Administration actually a) lied, b) co-erced, c) pressured, d) fabricated or e) any combination of a-d.

On top of it all, the Newsweak team blatantly ignores the factual record surrounding the Wilson trip in an effort to pummel Cheney and his embattled chief, Scooter Libby: Libby and other administration officials were quick to denounce Wilson's claims, and to allege that it was his wife who had chosen him for the African trip. (Wilson and Plame say she merely recommended him to her supervisor when asked.)

And my other favorite: Behind their backs, their detractors dubbed Cheney and his minions "the commissars." The vice president and Libby made three or four trips to CIA headquarters, where they questioned analysts about their findings. Agency officials say they welcomed the visits, and insist that no one felt pressured, though some analysts complained that they suspected Cheney was subtly sending them the message to get in line or keep their mouths shut.

Have they forgotten everything they read in the SIC report last year? It's a fact, one they dare not spend a lot of time on for fear of having their story's legs knocked out from under them, that Wilson got "the job" as a result of his wife's influence. Of course the other thing not mentioned is the interviews with numerous CIA analysts, none of whom produced any evidence of having been pressured to "get in line."

There is nothing new here, and frankly that's to be expected. It's a recap, not a ground-breaking exploration of the matter. What would have been nice though was at least making an effort at not rehashing the same old crap the same old way.

All in all, not Newsweek's best effort.

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