Tuesday, June 13, 2006

so this is Fitzmas. . . .

(war is so not over)

I guess we could also call this piece “schadenfreude takes a holiday.” Needless to say, after three years of investigation, it is disappointing to see that Fitzgerald could go not get any further up the org chart than Scooter Libby, but at least Fitz is meticulous and careful with his emanations. Would that it were so for the New York Times.

Within this morning’s recap, David Johnston writes:

Ms. Wilson is married to Joseph C. Wilson IV, the former ambassador who wrote in an Op-Ed column in the New York Times on July 6, 2003 that White House officials, including Mr. Bush, had exaggerated assertions that Iraq had sought to purchase nuclear fuel from Africa. Mr. Wilson wrote that such claims were "highly dubious."

He said his conclusions were based on a trip he had made in early 2002 to Niger, a fact-finding mission that he said had been "instigated" by Mr. Cheney's office.

It is now known that the column upset Mr. Cheney and that within his office it was viewed as an attack on the Vice President's credibility, according to legal briefs filed in the Libby case by Mr. Fitzgerald. In his filings, Mr. Fitzgerald depicts Mr. Cheney as actively engaged in an effort with Mr. Libby to rebut Mr. Wilson's assertions.

Mr. Cheney was actively engaged with Mr. Libby, all right, but it was not in an effort to “rebut” Mr. Wilson’s claims—the Vice President and his chief of staff were actively engaged in an effort to smear, intimidate, and punish Joseph Wilson by exposing his wife as a CIA agent.

No information in the Times piece does anything to “rebut” Wilson’s Op-Ed, in fact, everything Johnston writes pretty much backs up what Wilson wrote and says that Fitzgerald documented a vice-presidential plan to discredit Wilson—not Wilson’s claims.

Rove is likely guilty of perjury, but it is just too hard to prove. Cheney is certainly guilty of treason and abuse of power, but none of us really thought Fitzgerald would or could go there. Johnston and the New York Times are guilty of perpetuating the White House cover story, even in an article that details what a thin cover it was.


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