Thursday, January 25, 2007

What Syl Said

I think this exchange in the comment section of loner's post deserves more attention:

From Syl:
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.

loner said...

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?


Ed onWestSlope said...

My answer to the question " did the press lie?" is yes.

Now the issue becomes, what kind of lie? A legal lie? or a moral lie?

The legal lie is more difficult as it must be proven in court and over time has been reduced to a near travesty. This is what attorneys do, whether for good or bad motives. It seems that Law always gets more complicated, convoluted and finally dishonest.

The moral lie deals with motives. Was the intent to deceive? This is the area that serious religions deal with. This is the area our 'Human Condition' is an issue and we all struggle, on a daily basis. Partial truths are great for deception. This is where we all live. Can I do serious business with this individual? Do I have to continually watching my back?

Yes the press lied but, not as a great conspiracy, rather due to a mindset of general beliefs which are more easily promoted when the moral foundation of a society has been eroded and trivialized. Not that all or even most days in the past were better. The battle is continually being fought.

buddy larsen said...

The elephant in the living room is the conspiracy to 'set-up' the administration.

AND, we all got to pay the conspirators--civil servants--for the privilege of letting them do it, then pay 'em to get away with it, and now pay 'em to railroad the administration for some technical aspect of the administration's defense of itself against their wholly-manufactured conspiracy to fraudulently...oh, f**k it what's the use.

Call me when the shooting starts, I'm ready.

ex-democrat said...

it's not just about the press lying, it's about the press manipulating the body politic. it was and is intended to be a bloodless coup.
we need to stop giving these guys the benefit of the doubt. they don't deserve it.

Rick Ballard said...


I stopped in 66 - maybe 67. All that I'm willing to give the national press (as opposed to local people actually working for a living) is a 2" lead if they're running full tilt accross the field. If they're running away (the normal situation), that's not even neccessary.

loner said...

I've think I've written before that early in my childhood I thought "quote" and "unquote" in print were words rather than punctuation, my parents said them so often when reading to one another things they thought interesting, stupid, outrageous, well written, poorly written and/or just plain wrong. Skepticism is one of the earliest non-genetic components of my inheritance. Well written is all I ask. It's not all that often that I get even that.

terrye said...


I am sorry, I don't understand yur point.

I just think the press is doing a little of the old "the best defence is a good offence". I think a lot of folks were wrong about a lot of things and as time passes we will probably learn more and more things that we did not know. I think that going after the administration in general and Libby in particular is just a way to take attention off of themselves.

Is that a lie? I don't know. I am not sure they really know what the truth is.

Who knows, in the process of translating Iraqi documents the authorities might actually get some real answers.

loner said...

I'm done. Goodbye.


terrye said...

Ok, I am sorry if I offended you.

gumshoe said...

no offense,loner.

you promise to leave twice a week.
what's that about?

a thick skin is a gift from G_d.

Fresh Air said...

Meanwhile, the Tribune announced it was shaving another inch off the width of the newspaper (should that be in quotes?), soon to be the narrowest broadsheet in the world.

Pretty soon it will come on a roll. Come to think of it, something with the same usefullness already does.

buddy larsen said...

Hey, there'd always be reading material next to the throne--you're onto something, fresh air.

Might need a different handle, tho, for the marketing cmpgn.

Reliapundit said...

plame plame abu graib.
plame plame abu graib.
plame plame abu graib.
no wmd.
plame plame abu graib.
plame plame abu graib.
plame plame abu graib.
no wmd.
hanging chads.
plame plame abu graib.
plame plame abu graib.
plame plame abu graib.
plame plame abu graib.
global warming.
plame plame abu graib.
climate change.
plame plame abu graib.

Syl said...

I watched part of a press conference with a guy speaking via satellite from Afghanistan. One of the press folks asked 'why are we sending more troops to Afghanistan? Didn't we have enough in the first place?' then she gave this silly grin to whomever was seated next to her. Like, see I got the gotcha in!

Yes, there's lots of bias in the press. BDS, and all that.

But there's also plain stupidity/ignorance.

Finally the guy had to explain (though I'm sure the press folks STILL didn't get it, they were talking about the Taliban escalation and things were getting worse, not better, over there) that for the first couple of years we were working on controlling the main cities. Kabul first then the others. Now we're going into remote regions to set up and fix infrastructure. We're the aggressive ones, not the Taliban. They're just fighting back wherever we go.

The basic concept that the enemy has a say in any conflict is completely lost on the press. The basic concept that situations change over time in a war and tactics that work in one situation, don't necessarily work in another is lost on them.

He said that each and every time the Taliban has mounted a huge offensive, we've decimated them! So the Taliban has reverted to older tactics such as IEDs and suicide bombs. To the press, this is a failure on our part because now more civilians are being killed.

Can you believe these people? Incredible.

One said that the Taliban is threatening a huge offensive in the Spring. That, of course, to the press means we're losing. He was told that Omar has said that before, and every time an offensive is attempted, as he said, we wipe them out.

I'm hopeful that perhaps one or two in the press corps understand. But I have NO desire whatsoever to read any news accounts that refer to any information this guy in Afghanistan gave them.

We can blame it on bias, stupidty, ignorance willful or otherwise. Doesn't matter. The fact is that all these 'news' reports editorialize and the majority editorialize in the same direction and we have no working SOLUTIONs to this problem.

buddy larsen said...

Amen, reliapundit.
Amen, syl.
Of the press, all I can say is, what a mess those people are making of the world.