Friday, July 15, 2005

Right Wingers Lying or Stupid?

(Updated on July 15 at 9:05 PM)

Right wingers are reporting that Joe Wilson claimed on CNN's Wolf Blitzer show that his wife, Valerie Plame wasn't a clandestine agent at the time.

They're either lying or stupid. All they're doing is taking Wilson's words out of context.

From the CNN transcript:

BLITZER: "But the other argument that's been made against you is that you've sought to capitalize on this extravaganza, having that photo shoot with your wife, who was a clandestine officer of the CIA, and that you've tried to enrich yourself writing this book and all of that."

"What do you make of those accusations, which are serious accusations, as you know, that have been leveled against you."

WILSON: "My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

BLITZER: "But she hadn't been a clandestine officer for some time before that?"

WILSON: "That's not anything that I can talk about. And, indeed, I'll go back to what I said earlier, the CIA believed that a possible crime had been committed, and that's why they referred it to the Justice Department."

"She was not a clandestine officer at the time that that article in Vanity Fair appeared. And I have every right to have the American public know who I am and not to have myself defined by those who would write the sorts of things that are coming out, being spewed out of the mouths of the RNC..."

Wilson clearly meant that Plame was no longer clandestine after Novak outed her. Perhaps later we'll find out more about whether or not she technically fits the statute regarding her status...but until then the fact that the CIA complained and that so much time is being spent on the investigation makes it a no-brainer.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Is Wizbang lying or stupid?

Is Q and O Blog lying or stupid?

Is this dude lying or stupid?

Is Powerline lying or stupid?

And what about the mainstream media?

Is John Podhoretz from The New York Post and blogging at National Review's Corner lying or stupid?

Is Mike Allen of The Washington Post lying or stupid?

(hat tip to barretbrown for posting a diary at Daily Kos about Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit also lying or being stupid)


The Associated Press picked up this distorted story, as well. A Google search shows that 31 outlets have picked it up, so far, including Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Christian Broadcasting Network.

From John Solomon's "Rove learned CIA agent's name from Novak":

"But at the same time, Wilson acknowledged his wife was no longer in an undercover job at the time Novak's column first identified her. "My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity," he said."

This is an outrage! Wilson's response was clearly directed at the accusation that Wilson had capitalized from the controversy, and because his wife has appeared in a few photographs in Vanity Fair (an older one where Plame is covered up with a scarf and behind eyeglasses, and a recent one which showed the two of them at the Tribeca Film Festival). It's clear as a bell in the transcript: Joe Wilson refused to talk about Plame's agency status before the outing by Robert Novak.

Start writing letters to your papers to complain about this! Start calling the media!

I don't know if they're lying or just being stupid, but I do know that this falsity is about to spread all over the country.

Atrios also wrote about this earlier today, as I just learned (link):

"For sentient humans, it's clear what Wilson means - that she ceased to be a clandestine operative the day Novak's column came out. It's also clear from his other comments (as it was clear to Blitzer in conversation) that he has to use such language because he can't acknowledge that she ever was a clandestine operative with direct language."

Final Update

(Via AmericaBlog): Greg Mitchell at Editor and Publisher reported a few hours ago that the Associated Press made a "key addition" to their article (link):

"For much of the day, conservative news outlets, Web sites, and talk radio headlined one paragraph in the AP story: a report on a comment by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson (husband of Valerie Plame) on CNN on Thursday, in which he allegedly said that "my wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

"But this afternoon, while not deleting that quote, AP added to the original story, by John Solomon, the following":

"In an interview Friday, Wilson said his comment was meant to reflect that his wife lost her ability to be a covert agent because of the leak, not that she had stopped working for the CIA beforehand."

"His wife's "ability to do the job she's been doing for close to 20 years ceased from the minute Novak's article appeared; she ceased being a clandestine officer," he said."


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