Saturday, September 09, 2006

Yikes. They're called "News"papers for a reason...

Sigh... I know, in my somewhat infrequent postings, that I have of late been spending seemingly disproportionate time critiquing the Telegraph, but it is one feed that I actually read - most I delete without even looking at - and it seems to me that it used to be, at least under Conrad Black (may acquittal be imminent!) a somewhat conservative paper. These days, it seems that they have this policy of only employing reporters (I hate the word "journalists"!) and opinion writers who are terrible with facts and Nutbar Left on opinions. Random fisking to follow:

I exposed CIA agent by mistake, says ex-Bush aide
By Alec Russell in Washington

(Filed: 09/09/2006)

The greatest political scandal to hit the Bush presidency took a tantalising twist yesterday when Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, admitted that he was the first to reveal the identity of the CIA agent Valerie Plame.

"Yesterday" it took a twist? Richard Armitage's role in this silliness has been known, and commented on, for some time. It is clear now that the Bush-haters in the press who alleged that there was a grand conspiracy to "out" Valerie Plame were writing at the level of Weekly World News "Alien Baby" stories. Well, actually, it was clear when they were writing it, and others were saying so.

The exposure, which came during bitter in-fighting that erupted in Washington after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in 2003, resulted in the indictment of a senior White House aide for the first time in decades and prompted a flurry of accusations that President George W Bush was directly responsible for the leak.

A flurry of accusations... by Fever-Swamp Nutters!!! Please note, also, why there was "bitter in-fighting": Colin Powell's State Department, and Richard Armitage, were fighting Administration policy at every turn. The real scandal here is that Richard Armitage and Colin Powell both stayed silent for so long, letting the Administration twist in the wind - in the midst of a war - while the nutbars speculated endlessly on the machiavellian machinations of the Rove/Cheney Gang. One of Mr. Bush's personal strengths, but political weaknesses, is his personal loyalty. He ought to have fired Colin Powell way before Mr. Powell left. On the other hand, Ms. Rice's State Dep't appears to be demonstrating that the problem may be due to deep liberal contrarianism in that particular department.

Last night furious conservatives accused Mr Armitage of treachery and demanded an apology from the Bush opponents who claimed that the exposure of Miss Plame's identity in July 2003 was the work of a vindictive White House seeking to undermine critics of the war.

Yes, "Last night" and for a couple of weeks, now, at least. I thought this was a "news" article?

Miss Plame is the wife of Joe Wilson, a former ambassador, who was one of the first to criticise the Bush administration's case for war.

Mr Wilson had angered the White House by refuting the allegation – first made by British intelligence and contained in Mr Bush's 2003 State of the Union address – that Saddam's regime had sought uranium from Niger.

Umm... Mr. Wilson attempted to refute the allegation. It has since been shown conclusively that Saddam indeed had attempted to purchase uranium from Niger. In any event, whether he did or didn't is irrelevant, as the intelligence agencies of Britain, France, and the U.S. believed it at the time, and the Administration had nothing better to go on.

Shortly after Mr Wilson wrote an article in the New York Times in July 2003 accusing the Bush administration of twisting the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction a conservative columnist revealed that his wife worked for the CIA.

Okay, just hang the ol' facts out there with an implied conclusion. Ahem, post hoc ergo propter hoc.

And, finally... Valerie Plame was not a covert operative. No crime was committed. Repeat until you finally get it!