I think this exchange in the comment section of loner's post deserves more attention:
Loner, conflating anything regarding Libby with your view of the war is a mistake. Cynicism is fine in small doses, but these are individual people we are dealing with, and justice shouldn't care who you or your friends and associates are. And if you are accused of one thing, you shouldn't be found guilty of that one thing just because people associate you with something else.
Wilson misled the country and the press wanted to believe. The administration had to set the record straight but it was difficult because they had to figure out what the heck was going on, who was this wilson, what was his trip all about, why didn't they know about it. And the info they needed to get out was all classified.
There was infighting between the administration, the OVP, State, and CIA which made matters worse. And the administration fumbled around.
And the press framed the pushback as an effort to discredit a whistleblower which carries heavy connotations. Sheesh, even the government has a right to set the record straight. In fact, the government has a DUTY to the American people to do so!
There are two main faulty assumptions that the press and Dems have that they base their thinking on. There are more, but these two remain the focus at this point in time:
(1)Wilson was a truth teller. And even though he was debunked, they either dismiss the debunking or consider Wilson to be fake but accurate. They want to believe that Bush and Cheney lied to get us into Iraq. And that colors their entire view of the case.
And even those who accept that Wilson was less than truthful, believe the next with hands grasped to their chests and eyes to heaven.
(2)The Administration and especially Cheney punished Wilson by outing his wife. Thus they react with joy at every indication that Cheney/Libby were discussing Wilson or his trip. They immediately assume they were discussing his wife. They assume that Wilson's wife was the heart and soul of the pushback.
The NIE? a side issue to them. Wilson's actual report which bolstered the admin's case? Irrelevant. The State Dept's view of the trip--that it was basically a meaningless endeavor? ::fingers in ears::
That all the above constituted the information Cheney/Libby were trying to get disseminated? a red herring!
Look. Look. It was the wife. It was PLAME they wanted to get out.
Even after learning that Armitage was the leaker to Novak? doesn't matter. That was a separate thing.
Though I read yesterday someone waiting for the evidence that Rove made Novak get the info out of Armitage. ::nudge"" ::nudge:: ::wink:: ::wink::
Even though Novak said (and, I think, testified under oath) that the info was handed to him--he didn't ferret it out--the belief is so strong that nothing will dissuade them.
Now, the trial isn't even about Libby leaking because he did not. But that is not what people, including many on the jury, believe.
I agree with everything you wrote except the conflating part. None of this happens absent the failure to find stockpiles of WMDs. None of it.
But they did find weapons, they just did not find the large weapon stockpiles. They also found chemical and biological programs and the agents needed to start those programs up again. Hans Blix even said that there had to a presumption that the weapons existed and the Resolution that gave Bush the authority to go into Iraq mentions programs as well as stockpiles and it does not rest only on this issue.
But we all know that. These arguments have been made time and again. I have posted the actual text of the Resolution. We all remember Bill Clinton's speeches when he said that Saddam would use those weapons, he was a dangerous dictator who ruled over a vicious terrorist supporting rogue state.
None of this is news. The question is if not for the war, would they know any more about those weapons today than they did then? And it seems to me that before the press can attack the Bush administration for their claims of Saddam having stockpiles of weapons they need to explain why it was that the media did not question those claims in all the years of the Clinton administration? If there had been half the attention and energy put into questioning and grilling and assuming the worst of anything the Clinton administration said then perhaps some enterprising reporter would have raised the question of "dogs and fleas" and Saddam's stockpiles back in 1998 or 1999.
But they did not. So did the press lie?