Sunday, December 5, 2010

Look Who Is Saying This Before You Discount It

This December 3, 2010 Washington Post editorial reminds everyone that the upcoming movie Fair Game about the Valerie Plame leak is based on distorted and often false statements--and remember, the Washington Post is a Democratic Party mouthpiece:
In fact, "Fair Game," based on books by Mr. Wilson and his wife, is full of distortions - not to mention outright inventions. To start with the most sensational: The movie portrays Ms. Plame as having cultivated a group of Iraqi scientists and arranged for them to leave the country, and it suggests that once her cover was blown, the operation was aborted and the scientists were abandoned. This is simply false. In reality, as The Post's Walter Pincus and Richard Leiby reported, Ms. Plame did not work directly on the program, and it was not shut down because of her identification.


The movie portrays Mr. Wilson as a whistle-blower who debunked a Bush administration claim that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from the African country of Niger. In fact, an investigation by the Senate intelligence committee found that Mr. Wilson's reporting did not affect the intelligence community's view on the matter, and an official British investigation found that President George W. Bush's statement in a State of the Union address that Britain believed that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger was well-founded.
Was the decision to invade Iraq based on concerns about WMDs in error?  Probably--although there are enough troubling pieces of information to make you wonder.  The Democratic Party's insistence that this was not an error, but an intentional lie by the Bush Administration to start a war, destroyed what little credibility the Democrats still had.

Look, the Washington Post has been pointing out that the "Bush Lied" theme is nonsense for several years.  What amazes me is how rapidly something that even Democratic newspapers like the Washington Post admit is nonsense has become conventional wisdom among most of the population.


  1. "Was the decision to invade Iraq based on concerns about WMDs in error?"

    Hold on--this sentence makes it sound like concerns about WMDs was the only reason behind the decision.

  2. It was not the only reason, but it was the one that seemed most compelling to the Bush Administration, and to the public. Remember Bush's speech where he pointed out that the only time we would have conclusive proof that they had nuclear weapons was when one went off in an American city?

  3. On Wilson, I must be one of the only people who remembers that the Robb-Silberman Report showed that Wilson reported to the CIA that the people he talked to in Niger thought that the Iraqis were after uranium.

    (Though equally, they may have simply been feeding him a line!)

    (See Ch. 1, P. 77 at the above link.

    "" According to this report, the former Prime Minister of Niger said that he was not aware of any contracts for uranium that had been signed between Niger and any rogue states.

    He noted that if there had been such an agreement, he would have been aware of it.

    He said, however, that in June 1999 he met with an Iraqi delegation to discuss “expanding commercial relations” between Niger and Iraq, which the Prime Minister interpreted as meaning the delegation wanted to discuss yellowcake sales"

    I suppose it's true that Mr. Wilson's reporting did not affect the Community's view on the matter, since his reporting matched their view that Iraq was probably doing that very thing.

    What he said in public and what he seems to have said in debriefing are tellingly different.

    But then, admitting that the PM of Nigeria had told him that he thought Iraq had been after uranium in 1999 would have been politically inconvenient, wouldn't it?

  4. 1, It was the one which achieved traction on the press.

    2. And Iraq did have WMDs ...