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Chris Matthews' Plame Coverage

I don't watch Hardball anymore so I was not aware that Chris Matthews had stopped reporting on the Plame story when it became clear that Armitage was the leaker. He ended his Plame blackout Friday night with the mother of all conspiracy theories. I wonder if it the lifting of the Plame embargo had anything to do with the conversation with Matthew Sheffield reported at Newsbusters.

Q: So I've noticed you haven't done anything on the whole Valerie Plame story since the Armitage story broke. Why not invite Joe Wilson on the show to defend himself?

A: Because he'd say basically the same thing he always says. 'My wife had no involvement in getting me the mission.' He'd just repeat it over and over.

Q: Maybe, but isn't it at least worth showing your viewers that this guy has no credibility considering how much you talked about the story before? Shouldn't he be held accountable for wasting all our time? Why not invite one of his representatives or defenders on the show?

A: Well, the story's just gotten so complicated. I mean, it's just such a mess. Because what if it's true that Armitage was the source, but those other guys [presumably Rove and Scooter Libby], also were leakers, what then?

Read the rest of the conversation at Newsbusters, including a statement that reveals Matthews' Cheney obsession. Too complicated? I guess things get complicated when every other piece of evidence and testimony contradicts that of Joe Wilson's fantasy so many liberals had committed to memory. Matthews was right about one thing -- it is certainly a mess.

Update: Hangright Politics linked to this shocking AP story posted at MSNBC:

For three years, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald knew the answer to one of the biggest questions in Washington: Who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame?

Now that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage acknowledged this week that he was the leaker, the new question is what Fitzgerald has been looking for during a quest that rattled the White House and sent a reporter to jail.

I read the entire story waiting for the Matthews like conspiracy theories to be suggested, but they weren't. (That is why I described the story as shocking.) If anything, the more I read the worse Fitzpatrick looked. Definitely read this one all the way through.

Others blogging:

Ace of Spades
Ankle Biting Pundits
Bullwinkle Blog


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Comments (30)

Joe Wilson turned out to be... (Below threshold)
jack abramoff:

Joe Wilson turned out to be correct about the Niger-yellowcake allegations being a total fabrication.

"Joe Wilson turned out t... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

"Joe Wilson turned out to be correct about the Niger-yellowcake allegations being a total fabrication."

That is completely ridiculous. Joe Wilson was not even right about what he had written in his own report. His complete mischaracterization of what he found and said in his own report makes me think of that Clinton administration person who claimed to have lied to his own diary. Every piece of information that becomes known is in contradiction to Wilson's version. For Wilson to be correct, everyone else in the world (including himself in his report) has to be lying.

Oh brother! Libs just wont ... (Below threshold)
Falcon:

Oh brother! Libs just wont let that yellow cake thing go. Man, I REALLY shoulda majored in psychology!

Lorie,Baby steps. ... (Below threshold)
mattyd:

Lorie,

Baby steps.

1) Wilson concluded that the administrations Niger-yellowcake claims were false.
2) All subsequent facts confirm that the claims were false. The Bush admin has not yet substantiated its claim.

Now, with less yammering and more fact, please explain why you aren't very solidly on the incorrect, dihonest side of the argument.

Remember - conservatives are allegedly more moral than liberals. So try to be honest and use facts.


Re: Falcon Oh brother! L... (Below threshold)
Lincoln's ghost:

Re: Falcon Oh brother! Libs just wont let that yellow cake thing go.

Translation -
Man, you liberals are so hung up on the truth.


Don't you conservatives care at all about honesty?

Maybe you should read Bill Bennett's books on morality and virtue. He probably has something about truth and honesty in there.

The comments thus far remin... (Below threshold)
TJM:

The comments thus far remind me of the old SNL skit about the commercial for a liquid that was a floor wax and a dessert topping. Wilson lied about his part in the story,namely that he "knew the documents were wrong because the dates were wrong and the signatures were wrong." Ass the SSCI report of 2004 notes Wilson "misspoke" when he made the claim to Pincus of the WaPo in May of 2003.
Wilson also discovered that there were no sales of yllowcake,however,he did discover that the ex-PM of Niger,Mayaki,told him of a visit from an Iraqi delegation in 1999.
The IAEA discovered that the foreign intelligence service documents about a contract for the purchase of yellowcake were forged. As a result,the CIA asked the Pres. to disaver the 16 words in the SOTU about Iraq seeking yelowcake.

I should also note that the SSCI phase 2 report also states that Iraq,which already had 500 tons of yellowcake and 1.6 tons of enriched uranium,refused the approach of a Ugandan offering the sale of yellowcake because of the UN sanctions.The yellowcake already owned by Iraq was inspected and secured by the IAEA.

Found just this morning ove... (Below threshold)
Ted:

Found just this morning over at Captain's Quarters, who's going over the just-released intel reports from Congress:

(page 16 of the WMD report)
On February 4, 2003, the U.S. government provided copies of the Niger uranium documents to the IAEA with talking points which stated, "two streams of reporting suggest Iraq has attempted to acquire uranium from Niger. We cannot confirm these reports and have questions regarding specific claims. Nonetheless, we are concerned that these reports may indicate Baghdad has attempted to secure an unreported source of uranium yellowcake for a nuclear weapons program." The two streams of reporting refer to the intelligence reports from the foreign intelligence service and a CIA intelligence report reflecting the findings of a former Ambassador's visit to Niger.

--
Reread that last sentence again.

Wow, a lot of people throwi... (Below threshold)
jack abramoff:

Wow, a lot of people throwing out a lot of information (much of it damn good - thanks TJM). And yet...

Joe Wilson turned out to be correct about the Niger-yellowcake allegations being a fabrication.

and, let's add this, for fun...

The George W admin turned out to be incorrect.

But it might have been an innocent mistake. Certainly, it's not the only reason his approval rating is in the mid-30s.

Good luck in Nov.


Good luck in Nov.</p... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Good luck in Nov.

Luck is not needed. The American people will go willingly into the voting booth and vote for the party who "continues to save your sorry asses" whether you deserve it or not.

Thanks for the wish though. The real protectors of our lives do not need it. Oh yeah, I don't think Bush is on the ballot in Nov.

Joe Wilson turned out to... (Below threshold)

Joe Wilson turned out to be correct about the Niger-yellowcake allegations being a fabrication

Repeating it again and again does not make it true. Try citation of evidence.

Actually, the only thing th... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Actually, the only thing that's come out of this is that Joe Wilson and his wife have been the only liers in the whole bunch.

Wilson filed his initial report saying Irag had contacted Niger, then he completely reversed himself on the NYT article, then reversed himself AGAIN at Senate Intelligence Committee (funny how being under oath and a potential perjury charge can do that versus an anonymous, politically motivated hachet job article in left leaning newspaper.)

Let's not forget the British, to this day, maintain there was an attempt--and that's what Bush said in the SOTU speech. There is now evidence that there may have an even earlier attempt by Iraq to contact Niger about yellowcake (Hutchinson has been chasing that story) and once again Wilson's name seems to pop up there as well.

Repeating it again and a... (Below threshold)
Jack Abramoff:

Repeating it again and again does not make it true. Try citation of evidence.

Good point, SCS! Is that also your position on Bush's pre-war allegations on Iraq? Including the yellowcake-Niger claims?

Still waiting for the evidence.

2,600 or is it up to 2,700 now?

If Wilson was wrong about t... (Below threshold)
groucho:

If Wilson was wrong about the Niger yellowcake, why did Ari Fleischer and George Tenet publicly admit that the "16 words" in Bush's State of the Union address were incorrect and should not have been included? The IAEA told the UN that the Italian documents on which the administration's alleged intel was based were "not authentic".

This is just hardball political stuff. I don't doubt Wilson's partisanship, but facts are facts. It seems that his was the right take on the Niger situation, it threatened to blow away some of the BushCo prewar smokescreen so the big boys decided to retaliate. Unfortunately disclosing the identity of a covert CIA agent is illegal, so they crossed the line in their attempt to smack down Wilson. And she was still covert, no matter how it's been spun.

This is the House of Bush at its best; when confronted by inconvenient facts, smear, discredit and distract until people forget about it.

@ Troll Abramaoff... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

@ Troll Abramaoff
Good point, SCS! Is that also your position on Bush's pre-war allegations on Iraq? Including the yellowcake-Niger claims?

Translation: I have no evidence to back up my claims the Joe Wilson was right. So I will repeat my talking points like a mantra. Bush lied people died. Bush lied people died.

The doc Ted cited, Wilson's... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

The doc Ted cited, Wilson's Senate testimony, the British MI5, Armitage's "confession", and EVERY other fact in this case shows this to have a VERY ham-handed attempt to discredit the Bush Administration.

So ham-handed that it could not have worked without the aggresive self-delusion of the LameStreamMedia...and BDS-laden morons like those posting here today!

Stunning!

SCS - 1. It's very... (Below threshold)
jack abramoff:

SCS -

1. It's very simple. Bush & co made a claim (yellowcake), Wilson said (in editorial) that there is no evidence of Bush's claim.

And Wilson turned out to be correct - there is no evidence of Bush's claim. This is not disputed, even by the Bush admin (they call it a "mistake". Which it was.)

Read your conservative supporters above. These facts are not disputed.


2. I've never uttered the phrase "Bush lied, people died". But let's say I had. Which part of that 2-part set would you like to disprove? The lied part or the died part? Because Bush has yet to substantiate most of his pre-war claims. And I think even you would concede that people died.

3. If you really believe in "conservatism" I would dedicate yourself to truth and not to "winning". Because conservatism has lots of truth on its side. Just not in this case.

Love always,
Jackie A


Sorry Abramhoff, As a lib s... (Below threshold)
914:

Sorry Abramhoff, As a lib supporter You obviously take the words of a liar Joe Wilson.

There is no evidence of Wilsons lies accept for the fact that He and the rest of the shamestream media lie continually about everything they feel will undermine This administrations policies.

You can obviously group Chris the spittle Matthews in with the whole ship of fools on the left. Gullible goofs.

Wow. Reading comprehension... (Below threshold)

Wow. Reading comprehension seems to be lagging in the political arena of the left.

Cherry picking and wild interpretations of the 2004 report will not make what you want to be true, true. The report interprets intel and data and now you want to interpret the report?

I could refute in vivid detail what the Wilson supporters are saying here, again, but I'm tired of repeating myself.

Wilson changed his story more than once. He admitted "confusion" about documents. What else was he "confused" about?

The Iraqis met with Mayaki. That is irrefutable. The question remains whether they discussed uranium. Mayaki says no. Wilson says, "Hey, that's good enough for me!" End of story.

However, in the 2004 report, many people like to ignore Wilson's inconsistencies between his prodigious op-eds and his "informal debriefing" and his sworn testimony and the fact that the report simply states, "The CIA's DO gave the former ambassador's information a grade of "good,.."" which, to clarify for you, means in college he would have had a 2.0 GPA.

DIA and CIA analysts said Wilson's report clarifed very little of any questions, but were very interested that Iraqi officials did indeed meet with Mayaki.

Niger's main export is uranium. They also export cattle and cow peas. If you think the Iraqis were there to strike a lucrative deal on either of the latter then I've got a bridge to sell you.

Would that some of you would give our own government and military the benefit of the doubt on such profound issues as you give to corrupt officials in third world countries and partisan hacks like Joe Wilson.

And back to the Plame issue... (Below threshold)

And back to the Plame issue at hand:

As I've said elsewhere, to hear the left tell it, Armitage was used and abused by the right-wing-cabal to achieve their ends by taking advantage of this poor man's inclination to spread gossip. Hell, to hear them tell it, Armitage should either have a syndicated gossip column or should be in a shelter for battered ex-State Department officials.

Wilson also NEVER SAW the a... (Below threshold)

Wilson also NEVER SAW the alleged documents he claimed he "instantly recognized as forgeries." NEVER. They weren't even in the CIA's possession at the time of his mission.

He is a liar, just like his defenders.

Jim A -I honestly ... (Below threshold)
jack abramoff:

Jim A -

I honestly don't know if Wilson is a liar. He may be. I do know that most of Bush's war allegations have failed to be substantiated.

Here's some quotes from Wilson's editorial. And since Bush's claims have yet to be verified (3 years later), I trust the guy who has more facts on his side:

...I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.
…It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place.
...I reminded the State Department that if the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them...

1) Wilson concluded that... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

1) Wilson concluded that the administrations Niger-yellowcake claims were false.

Except his report said, well, the exact opposite.

2) All subsequent facts confirm that the claims were false. The Bush admin has not yet substantiated its claim.

Provided one ignores the British Intel Butler Report.

And our own Intel Estimate.

I honestly don't know if Wilson is a liar.

Then, to be generous, you're an idiot.

He may be. I do know that most of Bush's war allegations have failed to be substantiated.

British Intel said Saddam was seeking yellowcake. They stand by that to this day.

WMD have been found there.

Saddam was in violation of UN resolutions for years.

So, the false part is...?

...I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.
…It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place.
...I reminded the State Department that if the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them...

He based this on a forged document he didn't see and reported the exact opposite to the CIA, expecting that it'd never be reported.

But, yeah, I can see why you don't think Wilson lied.

He's a Democrat. That's good enough.
-=Mike

"Some of the intelligenc... (Below threshold)
914:

"Some of the intelligence on the Iraqui nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerrate the Iraqui threat."

Right,So Saddam actually had nuclear reactors destroyed in 1980 but somehow had no desire for nukes in 2000?

What a pinhead You are if You believe Swilson.

The Senate Report on Iraq I... (Below threshold)
Florence Schmieg:

The Senate Report on Iraq Intelligence released YESTERDAY and supposedly so bad for Bush states in more than one place that Iraq DID attempt to purchase yellowcake from Africa and that WILSON's report substantiated that. Read it.

The clinton legacy has c... (Below threshold)
RobLACa.:

The clinton legacy has created the Democrat party of perpetual fraud. People are catching on that all democrats are liars. They will cease to exist if they don't. This is a direct result of defending the punk ass lying Clinton, failing to steal the election in 2000 and propping that idiot Fraud Kerry in 2004. Democrats are doomed to lie till the day they die.

RobLACa-Wow, you'r... (Below threshold)
Joseph McCarthy:

RobLACa-

Wow, you're both idotic and insane.

No doubt Clinton was a liar.

But I'm looking forward to the total accumulation of false arguments for war in Iraq.

Oh, poor Georgie, it was the intelligence! He didn't want to go to war! It wasn't his fault!

Okay, let's play a game.</p... (Below threshold)
scrubbyG:

Okay, let's play a game.

We all know George's approval rating is in the mid-30s.

So go through all these posts. Find all the exclusively conservative ones - whether smart or moronic. (Conservatives manage both extremes well). Then read them over, knowing that 65% of the nation disagrees with everything that's written.

Trust me it's fun.

Scrubby, it's funny that yo... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Scrubby, it's funny that your side has managed to pull off a majority in a national election one time.

In 44 years now.
-=Mike

ScrubbyG: You may think it... (Below threshold)

ScrubbyG: You may think it's a game, but it's not funny that 65% of the nation is misinformed about so much. Personally, I think it's sad that so many still think Saddam planned 9/11 with al Qaeda. Nothing has proven that and no one has said it's true, but it doesn't stop many on the left from screaming that Bush lied even though he never said that. He also never said that Saddam bought yellowcake. He said reports concluded that he attempted to, and even Joe Wilson won't deny that.

While we now have some on the right screaming that the Dem leadership has threatened ABC with their license, the left is seeing the nuance there that it's certainly not what they said. (I merely saw it as a bullying tactic.) Yet, where's the left's ability to discern such nuance in the case of "Bush Lied!" ? Sadly, the hate is so deeply ingrained, that ability disappears as soon as Bush's name is mentioned. All reason flies out the window.

Isn't nice to know that G.B... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Isn't nice to know that G.BUSH will still be the president of all of those that suffer from BDS for the next two years. he he




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