Plamegate: The Libby Trial

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Vying for screentime with Anna Nicole Smith [Sheila Steele / Flickr]

We’ve done several shows on Plamegate, and each time we have to ask, “So wait, remind me, what happened when?” If you’d like to refresh your own memory, check out Frog-Marching: Miller, Cooper, Rove or Getting Judith Miller or Rome to Yellowcake to Grand Jury: How Did We Get Here?.

The current installment in this le Carré-esque mystery is Scooter Libby’s perjury trial. On Thursday the prosecution wrapped up its case; the defense begins on Monday.

The twists of the trial rest on minutuae: of notes scrawled on margins of documents; of who leaked what information to whom, when; of why stories don’t match up and who’s covering for whom. The big question, though, isn’t about Libby. It’s about what his trial will churn up on the White House’s role in discrediting criticisms of its WMD claims. In other words, it’s about whether the White House lied to galvanize the country to go to war in Iraq.

Libby’s trial does raise questions about Dick Cheney’s part in undermining Joe Wilson. It’s also rubbing the mainstream media’s face in its failures on this story four years ago — and we’re curious to ask whether, as a result, investigative reporters will dog whatever clues emerge from the trial.

John Nichols

Blogger, The Online Beat

Washington correspondent, The Nation

Associate editor, The Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Author, The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders’ Cure for Royalism

Author, Dick: The Man Who Is President

Co-author, It’s the Media, Stupid

Lawrence O’Donnell

Political analyst, MSNBC

Former Hill senior staffer

Former producer and writer, The West Wing

Jeralyn Merritt

Blogger, TalkLeft and The Huffington Post

Criminal defense attorney in Denver

William Powers

Columnist, Off Message, National Journal

Extra Credit Reading

Scott Shame and Jim Rutenberg, Cheney Testimony in Libby Trial Would Carry High Risk, New York Times, February 12, 2007: “But the first 10 days of testimony have already exposed some of the long-hidden workings of Mr. Cheney’s extraordinary vice presidency, revealing how deeply Mr. Cheney himself was engaged during 2003 in managing public relations as the administration’s case for war came under attack.”

David Johnston, A Historic Moment if Cheney Testifies Live, as Expected, New York Times, February 12, 2007: “If he testifies as expected, Dick Cheney would be the first sitting vice president, at least in modern times, to appear as a witness in a criminal trial. And if he testifies in court, he may also be the first to give live testimony in defense of a subordinate’s actions on his behalf, legal historians said.”

Adam Liptak, Cheney’s To-Do Lists, Then and Now, New York Times, February 11, 2007: “RETURNING to the White House after the Memorial Day weekend in 1975, the young aide Dick Cheney found himself handling a First Amendment showdown. The New York Times had published an article by Seymour M. Hersh about an espionage program, and the White House chief of staff, Donald H. Rumsfeld, was demanding action. Out came the yellow legal pad, and in his distinctively neat, deliberate hand, Mr. Cheney laid out the “problem,” “goals” while addressing it, and “options.” These last included “Start FBI investigation — with or w/o public announcement. As targets include NYT, Sy Hersh, potential gov’t sources.””

Frank Rich, Why Dick Cheney Cracked Up, New York Times, February 4, 2007: “The White House was terrified about being found guilty of a far greater crime than outing a C.I.A. officer: lying to the nation to hype its case for war . . . Though Mr. Libby’s lawyers are now arguing that their client was a sacrificial lamb thrown to the feds to shield Mr. Rove, Mr. Libby actually was – and still is – a stooge for the vice president.” (Behind the NYT paywall, but viewable on TruthOut for free.)

R. Jeffrey Smith and Carol D. Leonnig, Vice President’s Shadow Hangs Over Trial, The Washington Post, February 4, 2007: “Vice President Cheney’s press officer, Cathie Martin, approached his chief of staff, I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, on Air Force Two on July 12, 2003, to ask how she should respond to journalists’ questions about Joseph C. Wilson IV. Libby looked over one of the reporters’ questions and told Martin: ‘Well, let me go talk to the boss and I’ll be back.'”

David Kurtz, February 04, 2007, Talking Points Memo, February 4, 2007: “You could headline just about every story that way these days: ‘Vice President’s Shadow Hangs Over _________.’ Fill in the blank: Iraq. Iran. Global warming. Renditions. Domestic surveillance.”

Robert Kuttner, See Dick Run (the Country), The American Prospect, August 28, 2006: “Cheney is in a class by himself. The administration’s grand strategy and its implementation are the work of Cheney — sometimes Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, sometimes Cheney and political director Karl Rove.”

Charlie Savage, Cheney aide is screening legislation, The Boston Globe, May 28, 2006: “Previous vice presidents have had neither the authority nor the interest in reviewing legislation. But Cheney has used his power over the administration’s legal team to promote an expansive theory of presidential authority. Using signing statements, the administration has challenged more laws than all previous administrations combined.”

Jane Mayer, The Hidden Power, The New Yorker, July 3, 2006: “Most Americans, even those who follow politics closely, have probably never heard of [Cheney’s aide] Addington. But current and former Administration officials say that he has played a central role in shaping the Administration’s legal strategy for the war on terror.”

4:08

We’ve seen that the administration, or at least key players in the administration, including the Vice President, were obsessed with protecting their position. They did not want anyone to know that there was a serious discussion about whether they were right to argue for going to war in Iraq in the way that they did.

John Nichols

6:10

Why isn’t somebody in the mainstream media in Washington saying, “They’re doing it again?'” We’re seeing the phenomenon, the whole pattern, all over.

Christopher Lydon

8:10

Not putting the defendant on the witness stand is not a show of confidence. That is an act of legal desperation. That is normally done when the defense attorneys feel their client is so guilty that if he gets on the witness stand, he will not only get convicted of this, but will face other charges by the time he leaves the stand. Look, defense lawyers put guilty clients on the stand all the time and let them perjure themselves and say “I didn’t do it,” because it’s usually a necessary component of a criminal trial in order to walk someone out of the building. When you can’t put the defendant on the stand, you have such a weak, and for most lawyers impossible, case, that you’re facing something pretty hopeless. Now, once you’ve faced the case in those kinds of terms, from Libby’s perspective you say, “OK, what is the friendliest possible way for me to conduct my defense so that I can go to that White House and get a pardon when the dust clears on my guilty verdict.”

Lawrence O’Donnell

23:48

When you’re reading something in a national publication like Time or Newsweek, you expect that this information has been vetted, not only by the writer, but then by their editors. And yet we find out that Matthew Cooper consistently writes mistyped letters in his notes, and he can’t recall what exactly happened. And he doesn’t even include the key quote against Libby when he sends in his initial report to Time. We learn that Judith Miller keeps her notes in shopping bags under her desk, and that she writes in parentheses and question marks, and then when you ask her about it later . . . How should we trust what we read in the press?

Jeralyn Merritt

48:04

Let’s not forget that reporters, like senators, are part of the zeitgeist of the moment. They are operating within a kind of a national mood and an atmosphere about the question under discussion. If we go back to 2003, we were still very much in the post-9/11 period. I think that there was a sense that the administration could pull off this war. They were part of it, but so was everybody in the country . . . I don’t think they had the killer instinct on this partly because of this atmosphere.

William Powers

Related Content


  • rc21

    I wish the media would investigate the media on this. I have always wondered what their role was in trying to make this a bigger story than it was,or even if they played a role in the so called outing.

  • I’ve always wanted to ask someone in the media this, “How come when a senior administration official leaks information that is treasonous – by endangering an undercover agent and anyone working with that person – the reporter doesn’t see the criminal activity of the official as the story to report rather than the one the politically motivated official is trying to get you to tell?”

    While I find the act of the administration criminal, I also find the media guilty of aiding and abetting. Why isn’t the first paper who printed the identity of an undercover agent guilty of a crime?

  • rc21

    allison if you have even remotely been following the case, you would know that the administration did not leak info about plame. You have fallen into the MSM trap. They heavily reported day after day that this went all the way to the president and treason was involved. I remember reading and hearing media reports that all talked about impeachment and prison for Rove,Cheney Bush etc.

    There was a massive investigation and we found no such thing occured. Armitage appears to be the leak and it appears many in the media already knew this. Yet you still throw out false charges of treason against the administration.

    If you follow a little of what is happening it appears NBC, Russert A. Mitchell are probably not being very truthfull in what they have been saying. They are trying really hard to keep A.Mitchell from testifying. Why? Are they not interested in the real truth.

  • rBut Russert claims now that Libby told him about Plame. So, if I were Libby’s lawyers, I would be asking him why he didn’t write a hot report on this crime at the time. That’s my point. If any single reporter wants to claim that they received the information from an administration official, I feel that they are admitting to aiding and abetting a crime if they didn’t report such crime. We’d probably get to the truth a lot sooner if the reporters knew that they would go to jail if they simply accepted the information without reporting the crime.

  • I’m sorry, not thinking straight. I don’t mean Russert. Someone else claims they heard the news from Ari Fleischer. Tired today….

  • Sutter

    RC21, even setting aside the evidence being compiled at trial regarding Libby’s role, are you suggesting that Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State, was not part of the administration?

  • OliverCranglesParrot

    “It’s also rubbing the mainstream media’s face in its failures on this story four years ago — and we’re curious to ask whether, as a result, investigative reporters will dog whatever clues emerge from the trial.”

    The question I am more interested in is: how do shareholders/owners of media outlets (public/private) and the boards, executive teams, management, clients (e.g. advertisers) view these developments? What criteria are these stakeholders using to measure the situation? How are these measurements contributing to content and its delivery? This seems to be ignored, and plausibly, of equally vital importance to the producers/narrators/personalities of content and consumers of content.

  • good quesiton, OCP. Do the shareholders care? Or have revenues been strong enough that they see no need to change course?

  • rc21

    It really doesn’t matter what the shareholders think the players in the media and this story inparticular are Democrats for the most part. So the massive onslaght led by the msm on this issue is not to suprising. Even after it was shown Bush had nothing to do with it.

    Contrast this story with the coverage of the far more serious case of Sandy Berger who was actually convicted of stealing documents concerning 9/11. We hardly heard anything from the msm.

    These two events are a perfect example of how the media try and use their bias and power to help Dems and hurt Republicans.

  • rc21

    Sutter, Armitage was part of the cabinet, but if you look at what Michael Isikoff wrote in his book. Armitage let slip the info about Plame without even knowing she was under cover. ( I’m not even sure she was under cover) Anyways it seems Armitage is a bit of a gossiper and really just wasn’t thinking when he let the info out. This was not some great Bush conspiracy as the MSM wanted us to believe and they knew it yet they let the story build and even fanned the flames because of their partisanship.

    Read details of the party atmosphere at NBC news when it was learned Libby would be indicted.

  • ShlomoLeib

    The only thing that kept media attention focused on the Wilson Affair was WILSON!

    Re: Armitage

    That man is fat stooge. Are you suggesting that he inadvertently gossiped about a member of the CIA? Well, then we need to find out how many other CIA agents and operatives Mr. Armitage “gossiped” about to whomever. And we are supposed to take some bit of relief from knowing that a senior member of the Bush regime, entrusted with the security of our nation, is a loose-lipped fool?

    The Armitage angle is more smoke and mirrors. The administration is waiting around for a dead guy to blame it on. So far, too many Neocon vampires still have a strong will to live.

  • Forton Twelve

    The flowchart from Open Source July 12 2005 (http://www.radioopensource.org/wp-content/plame_2.jpg)

    was very helpful – do you have an updated version?

  • Potter

    In terms of the big issues, the question of who first leaked Ms. Wilson’s identity (whether Mr. Libby, Richard Armitage, Ari Fleischer or Karl Rove) to which journalist (whether Mr. Woodward, Mr. Novak, Judith Miller or Matt Cooper) has always been a red herring.

    Read Frank Rich- linked above.

  • The twists of the trial rest on minutuae: of notes scrawled on margins of documents; of who leaked what information to whom, when; of why stories don’t match up and who’s covering for whom.

    I forget whom it was or where I read it – I think in the excellent book “Homicide: Life on the Street”. The seasoned homicide detective was mulling on the weird aspects of a case and opined that any given moment of a person’s life is run through with oddity, coincidence, happenstance and just plain wierd stuff. We don’t normally notice unless examine something closely .. and a homicide investigation is the ultimate in intense study.

    Which isn’t to say this is (or isn’t) a big deal just that I suspect anything going on in D.C. is going to be confused and fractal and we just won’t notice unless extraordinary attention is focused.

  • hilde45

    QUESTION FOR SHOW:

    Anyone remember the White House vow made by then-press secretary Scott McClellan in fall 2003 that any White House official involved in the leak would be booted out of the Bush administration? Confirming a leak is certainly involvement and now we know from Novak’s testimony that Karl Rove confirmed Novak’s fact about Valerie Wilson. Rove, though, still works at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    When will that question be put to Tony Snow?

  • RobertPeel

    What a cast of characters! Boy Genuis Karl Rove,”scooter Libby”,Bob Woodward etc. It would be hilarious if it were not so tragis-the outing of a C.I.A. operative and manipulating national security laws by declassifieng documents as a way of circumventing the law. Here the leak-proff whitehouse sprung its own leak.

    The “plamagate” affair is more damaging to public and national security than Bill Clinton’s pizza party. Does Hillary still talk about a vast right-wing conspiracy?

    Shame on Bush and his cronies for lying about the war and punishing those who question the foundations of war.

  • Lumière

    I have zero interest in this, but let me sum it up for those who find it fascinating:

    Everyone is telling big lies !!!!

  • OliverCranglesParrot

    Marginalia? Very coolinalia word slingin’ Brendan. Very Fermat approved.

  • B Alan

    NYT quotes sources that the CIA “slam dunk” quote referred to a minutes ago by one guest did NOT refer to the presence of unconventional weapons in Iraq, but rather to whether the story could be sold to the public. It’s hard to know at this point what that means, but it is certainly open to sinister interpretation

  • You didn’t need “intelligence” to know the case for going to war against Iraq was a crock. You just needed an IQ over 70. Anyone who forgets that has brain damage.

  • Sven

    Has the Bush administration issued asbestos underwear to its minions?

  • OliverCranglesParrot

    Has the Bush administration issued asbestos underwear to its minions? They use a kevlar based undergarment regimen.

  • Sven

    So it’s asbestos abatement along with truth abatement. Great show this evening, b.t.w. I’ll try to tune in more often.

  • dagnew

    what I heard of this show was excellent, esp during first half – I wish less time had been spent on how lame the MSM is (hasn’t that been obvious for several years? won’t we have lots of time to work on it later?).

    MSM’s role as chief propaganda arm for the neocon agenda is a huge story, but I’d like to hear more on the legal end – what might happen next?

    Will Rove, Armitage, Fleisher, Libby, Novak or others be charged with the crime of treason for outing a NON-PROLIFIATION undercover CIA agent? Who leaked the brass plate company?

  • katemcshane

    Chris, I was so glad to hear you disagree with Lawrence O’Donnell about the press. And also when you made the point about how they don’t seem to have learned the lesson about this administration and the lying. You were GREAT tonight. Chris, when you disagree with someone and stick to your guns, the discussion is tremendously better. You’re so gracious to people and it’s wonderful (I mean that) but it really is more interesting and exciting when you say what you believe instead of letting them go on and on unopposed, especially because your point of view is really interesting and intelligent. I also loved it when you said that Tim Russert etal don’t seem to understand what they’re hearing. And I imagine that may happen because they’re all too chummy and his situation (as compared to a blogger, for example) is cushy. I thought about IF Stone throughout this discussion.

    Thank you for having John Nichols on the program. A voice of sanity, as far as I’m concerned. William Powers is much too optimistic in his belief about the press — NO WAY!! The example of the NYTimes coverage of this latest Iran bullshit is a perfect example.

  • OliverCranglesParrot

    BTW, Mr. O’Donnell dodged the question regarding media owners and their organizations and their criteria and behavior. Brendan did an excellent job of cleaning up my ill-posed questions.

    One quick point regarding the press doesn’t control the answers: They do control their editorial content. And editorial content has really blurred into supposedly more normative oriented journalistic functions. Editorial content can also approach the boundaries of propaganda (not a dirty word in my personal vocabulary…agitprop used to be okay once upon a time). Editorial content is big business and should not be unaccounted for in this discussion.

  • Lumière

    This episode tells you the people running this admin are completely incompetent; thusly, are the media sycophants.

    So much parsing of words, for what?

    Woodward and Bernstein made huge money on a rat.

    A question for that guy: If you had gotten the job at FBI, would you have ratted out Nixon?

    Don’t think so….and there goes another hero, Judy Miller.

    I love the hypocrisy of it all !

    Did you buy the NYT today?

    Cha ching !

  • dagnew

    hilde45 asked, “Karl Rove confirmed Novak’s fact about Valerie Wilson. Rove, though, still works at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. When will that question be put to Tony Snow? ”

    Exactly.

    and ShlomoLeib: – right on about: “the only thing that kept media attention focused on the Wilson Affair was WILSON!” and “The Armitage angle is more smoke and mirrors. The administration is waiting around for a dead guy to blame it on.”

    Still, add Armitage to my short list of people I hope to see indicted soon.

  • geronimoinconroe

    Congratulations Open Source. This was some seriously rivetting radio. One of the best radio programs, that I have ever heard.

  • geronimoinconroe

    Even if Iraq had had WMDs, did we think they had a delivery system able to reach the U.S.?

  • dagnew

    Yes, Bravo to Chris for holding out for reality with some of Power’s and O’Donnell’s tripe about ‘the media can’t know everything’. Nearly all of my friends (few of whom are rocket scientists) knew dubya’s 2002-2003 intel was phony, ‘cuz of David McKay, Scott Ritter & Ray McGovern – top experts on the subject of Iraq WMD capability – and those stories were out there, but the MSM acted like they weren’t important. Knight-Ridder being the main (only?) exception.

    I like Parrot’s point that the press does control it’s editorial message & makes plenty of money off of it. Perhaps Valerie Plame will sue Novak’s employer, the Chicago-Sun Times. D’ya think?

  • I think Helen Thomas being moved to the back of the room–and her colleagues allowing this to happen–tells you what you need to know to understand the failure of the Washington press……Thank you Washington Press for selling our democracy and too much of our future down the river for your own individual interest.

    jon

    For a relevant and irreverent look at the climate change report, see http://EcosystemCollapse.com/ellen.html

  • therealcervantes

    When I heard O’Donnell zealously defende the performance of the U.S. news media concerning Colin Powell’s notorious speech to the Security Council, I just about had a stroke. Lydon and Nichols pointed out that British newspapers effectively debunked Powell’s speech the following day, but O’Donnell insisted that The Guardian and others didn’t find any “smoking gun” to prove that Powell’s claims were false and that U.S. reporters had no choice but to simply transmit them.

    Right. I’m just going to give you a couple of highlights of my personal experience on that fateful week in February. One of Powell’s claims was that there was a facility in Iraq, where al Qaeda was training its operatives in the use of chemical weapons. He showed satellite pictures of the “chemical weapons training facility.” So, British reporters decided to go there. The chemical weapons training facility, first of all, was located in Iraqi Kurdistan, in the “no fly zone” protected by U.S. and British warplanes from incursions by the Baathist regime. Since it was outside of Saddam’s control, it was easy for the reporters to get there. Out in the desert they found a decrepit, abandoned village of cinder block huts with no electricity, no water, and no chemical weapons or for that matter, weapons or “facilities” of any kind. This went completely unmentioned in the United States. I read it in The Guardian about two days after the speech.

    Powell also stated that a terrorist group called Ansar al-Islam was operating “in Iraq,” and that it constituted a link between al Qaeda and the Saddam Hussein regime. Powell implied that the leader of Ansar al-Islam was Abu Musab al Zarqawi. I was curious, so I spent about five minutes doing research on the organization. Like the chemical weapons training facility, Ansar operated exclusively in a remote area of Kurdistan. Its leader, Najeddin Faraj Ahmad, whose nom de guerre is Mullah Krekar, was not in fact Abu Musab al Zarqawi, although it was indeed associated with al Qaeda. The principal goal of Ansar al-Islam was the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. I also learned that, according to Kurdish Media, a reasonably reputable though fervently nationalist news service, Saddam Hussein had provided weapons to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan on condition that they use them to attack Ansar al Islam. Even though Saddam and the PUK were enemies, this is plausible because Ansar al-Islam was also at war with the secular PUK. Alliance and animosities in that part of the world can be very complex.

    So yes, Saddam and Mullah Krekar were indeed “linked,” in that they were trying to kill each other, but I don’t think that was what Powell was trying to imply. I wrote a letter to the Boston Globe detailing these findings, which of course they did not publish. I also wrote to the ombudsman pointing out that the paper was not providing its readers with essential, readily available information even as their government was taking them to war. They ignored me. This information, which any citizen with an Internet connection could have discovered in five minutes, was never mentioned, as far as I can tell, in any mainstream media in the United States including the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, or anyplace else. In fact, as far as I know they still haven’t mentioned it. A curtain of censorship had been drawn over North America. Hell, I even met the Executive Producer of PBS’s Frontline at a party and I told him. He scoffed at me.

    These people, who consider themselves professionals and make substantial salaries, are “reporters” in the same sense as court reporters. They are transcriptionists. There have been some minor self-critcisms from some of them about how they didn’t dig hard enough, but the truth is, they did not tell the public basic facts that they surely must have known to be true. O’Donnell is a pompous, airheaded ass.

  • loki

    Larry O’Donnell became the publicist for Woodward and Russett. Larry’s father had more courage when he took on the Boston police.

  • hurley

    Great to hear Chris get his Irish up.

  • hurley

    Just had a glance at the thread and hasten to slipstream katemcehane. You’re right, Kate. Chris’s efforts to pin “them” down rather than let them simply reveal themselves made for more truth, and better radio in the bargain. More of the same, please.

  • Seattle

    I second (or third or fourth…) the kudos to Chris for calling O’Donnell on his B.S. And I agree with michaelmross above: “You didn’t need “intelligence” to know the case for going to war against Iraq was a crock. You just needed an IQ over 70. Anyone who forgets that has brain damage.”

    Three points:

    1. Expanding on michaelmross’s comment: It was obvious for many years (well before W) that the inspections and the sanctions had nothing to do with unconventional weapons and that Saddam had been disarmed.

    2. It’s not the job of the media to come up with a “smoking gun” showing that an implausible claim is false; it’s the job of the person who made the claim to provide the “smoking gun” that that implausible claim is true. For example, if the administration now claims that Ahmadinejad has a collection of bombs, each of which has the name of a D.C. area toddler written on it, then it’s not the media’s job to come up with a “smoking gun” showing that this is false; it’s Bush’s job to come up with a “smoking gun” showing that it’s true. And the best the administration could come up with viz a viz their Iraq lies was Powell’s pathetic performance at the UN, which was immediately debunked. (The American media definitely *is* guilty of ignoring the facts and instead pretending that Powell’s performance was compelling.)

    3. The U.S. media at the time completely ignored the fact that the inspectors were given completely free reign to go anywhere *before* the war, and that didn’t stop Bush from pulling them out and invading. What more proof did they need that this war had nothing to do with WMD?

    4. Even if Iraq *did* have chemical and biological weapons, that in no way justifies a U.S. invasion. The media’s basic assumption in all of this is the opposite.

    Again, nice job Chris on calling O’Donnell on his B.S. I wish you were running the NY Times.

  • Seattle

    Oops – I meant “four points”.

  • Potter

    For me the show was an excellent dialogue, an excellent back and forth. I think Larry O’Donnell was trying to make a good point and Chris was right to keep harping about the lack of skepticism. We want more skepticism, investigation, truth….not dictation from the administration.

    However in allowing Judith Miller to do her reporting, it was the New York Times itself, the editors, her editors ( did she have any?) that dropped the ball. Miller was clos enough to the administration sources and could get the information/spin. But it was up to the editor to follow or couple ( in the same article or separatey) with strong analysis and even an editorial as is happening now with re the claim about Iran’s involvement in Iraq. Michael Gordon wrote an informative piece minus the appropriate skepticim ( questions) just last week. The blogs jumped all over it immediately saying “here we go again!”. The New York Times wrote an excellent editorial piece PLUS an analysis by James Glanz that pointed out the lack of evidence.

    I don’t want to puts words into O’Donnell’s mouth, but it seems to me that he was trying to say that we should also be asking the questions as we read and not depend on one report or reporter ( reporters have their flaws and inclinations).

    True enough as well- the NYT is the paper of record, the one that the others point to, with connections and reporters far-flung and it has a responsibility…. and it did let us down as the country was prepped for war on Iraq.

    Frontline this week aired the first part of a series, as always, very good, Secrets, Sources & Spin related to this ROS program. You can watch online.

  • Potter

    By the way the blogs really jumped on Michael Gordon, connecting him immediately to his shared byline with Judy Miller and “dissing” the NYTimes. One diarist on Kos went off the deep end imo implying ( with no evidence- the same thing he was accusing Gordon of) that Gordon is pushing war on Iran now. Not true. What one could accuse Gordon of is not putting enough skepticim in his piece, ie other views. That is a valid criticism.

    I think we are all learning ( or keep re-learning) that we cannot trust this administration or anything they put out. So it’s “fool me once…you can’t fool me again”

  • rc21

    It appears much of the testimony given by various members of the media has been discredited. John Dickerson, Tim Russert, Walter Pincus,The yet to be called Andrea Mitchell, all have given testimony that looks to be misleading or untrue. Many in the media are now contradicting or denying things they said in the past.

    Fitzgerald should have centered his investigation around the media more. It seems the truth will never come out.

    I’ve really lost alot of respect for Russert. One of few Democratic media types who I thought tried to show some sense of inpartiality in his reporting. He’s been caught in several contradictions and for lack of a better term lies.

  • plnelson

    You didn’t need “intelligence” to know the case for going to war against Iraq was a crock. You just needed an IQ over 70. Anyone who forgets that has brain damage.

    Only a minority of the US public were opposed to the war. I made a posting to BBC’s “Talking Point” on the eve of the invasion in which I said that “If we invade Iraq we had better learn what the Arabic word for ‘quagmire’ is”. But I was in the distinct minority. Tha majority of my fellow Americans disagreed with me. The majority of the Senate also did. But empirically it’s a safe bet that the majority of both have an IQ over 70.

    I have long suspected that most Americans knew that the case for invasion was flimsy and fabricated, but they wanted to invade Iraq anyway. Anyone who falls for the myth that the US is always the good guys with our hearts in the right place is more gullible than the people who fell for the case for war.

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