Sunday, November 06, 2005

Gurwitz flails and falls flat

Jonathan Gurwitz is really flailing around wildly in his latest column as he desperately tries to dismiss the ever escalating CIA Leak scandal that has landed squarely on the back of the Bush administration.

Gurwitz is usually pretty good about sticking to the facts when trying to make his case, but this time he falls flat and makes some blatantly false assertions in his column. For instance, take this passage:

The saga begins more than two years ago when former Ambassador Joseph Wilson mounted a public relations campaign against the Bush administration and its rationale to go to war in Iraq. Wilson also happened to be an adviser to presidential candidate John Kerry.

Reading this, one would assume that Wilson was working for the Kerry campaign when he "mounted his public relations campaign against the Bush administration" which consisted of writing one op-ed piece for the New York Times. But as you can see
here, Wilson did not sign on with the Kerry campaign until long after he authored the NYTimes article. In fact, you could say it was probably the Bush administration's vicious attacks on Wilson (that resulted in exposing his wife's role as a covert CIA agent) that drove him to join the Kerry campaign.

Gurwitz compounds this error later in the article stating:

That includes Wilson's own report from 2002, which — contrary to his later statements in the service of the Kerry campaign — tended to support the existence of uranium dealings.

No, Mr. Gurwitz. Wilson was not "in the service of the Kerry campaign" at the time that he first made those statements. Futhermore, only a warped reading of Wilson's report would lead anyone to conclude that it was supporting Iraqi uranium dealings with Niger.

I will compliment Gurwitz in that at least when he quotes from the section of additional comments by three Republican senators on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee he does not make the mistake of attributing it to the final report as so many other right-wing pundits have done. But that Republican slander against Joseph Wilson has nothing to do with the crime of exposing a covert CIA operation.

Neither does this ballyhoo the GOP has made that Valerie Wilson "proffered her husband for the Niger assignment."
There was absolutely nothing wrong with that! Nothing!! The CIA did not have to accept her suggestion if they did not want to. And, unlike Michael Brown, Harriet Miers, and half the flunkies populating the Bush administration, Joseph Wilson was extremely qualified for the assignment having served as ambassador to Iraq and having extensive contacts in Africa and Niger. Jeez!! What a ridiculous red herring this is! But the right-wingers keep bringing it up over and over again as if it were some kind of scandal. Are they just stupid? Or are they trying to intentionally throw up a smokescreen to distract people from the real crime that was committed here?

At least Gurwitz grudgingly acknowledges that the charges against Scooter Libby are serious.

..members of the intelligence community must know that the law will protect them when or if political functionaries do not.

I agree wholeheartedly.

But then Gurwitz goes off on an unrelated tangent against the media for first supporting NYTimes lier, I mean reporter, Judith Miller for her efforts to cover up for the lying Libby.

Then he tops it off with this outrageously slanderous statement:

For partisan purposes, liberals who don't care a whit for the CIA, its people, its front companies or its mission are now duplicitously arguing for an outrageously broad interpretation of statutes that protect its clandestine operations.

Excuse me!?!? I happen to care more than just a whit for the people who risk their lives everyday to keep our nation secure. I am outraged because it was the Bush administration, for partisan purposes, that ruined the career of one of those agents, exposed a covert operation and a CIA front company and may have done untold damage to our ability to gather vital intelligence information in the future.
Outrageously broad interpretation?? How about an interpretation that simply does what it is supposed to do and protects our covert agents by punishing officials who are trusted with classified information and then cavalierly misuse that information?

This was a truly sad column coming from Mr. Gurwitz. I usually expect better of him. I would have to say that the quote he borrowed from the Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee would best summarize this particular column:

"(He) gave the American people and, for that matter, the world a version of events that was inaccurate, unsubstantiated and misleading."

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