Transcendental Bloviation

Politics, Space, Japan

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

$200 Reward for Proof that Joe Wilson Lied

I've read blogs and newspaper articles until the whites of my eyes have turned the color of a radish in the half-price bin. And you know what I have yet to see? Proof that Joe Wilson lied.

So I'm tired. And I'm offering a reward: $200 to the first person who writes me a piece of e-mail with slam-dunk proof that Joe Wilson lied. Of course, it would be very easy to be just another blogger sparrow taking off from the wire with all the others, and slam Wilson as a liar. Well, easy for now, anyway. A recent MIT survey revealed that some amazingly high percentage of bloggers have been served with notice that they are under legal scrutiny for what they've written. I don't want to be swept up into some huge pool of defendants in a defamation lawsuit somewhere down the line.

Please note my stringent standards: you not only have to supply a full-context quote of the purported lie in question, you must also supply proof that Wilson knew the statement was not true - or at least knew that it was unsupportable from the knowledge he had at the time. Perhaps I should go further: it should meet the U.S. legal standard for perjury, had it been spoken by Wilson, at the time it was spoken or written originally, while under oath in a court of law.

Until then, I think I'm just going to give up on this whole line of inquiry. I'm tired of reading right-wing attack blogs that cite all kinds of supposedly-emerging evidence that The Sixteen Words were right after all, but - under titles with "liar" - never quite prove that Wilson was lying. I give up. I'd rather just pay to find out.

12 Comments:

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Jason said...

The Daily Howler, no right-wing shill, breaks the case down very well.

Lies: 1) Wilson's trip debunked the idea put forth in the State of the Union Address that Saddam had tried to buy uranium from Africa in the late 90's. 2) His wife had no role in his deployment to Niger.

1) could be debunked even a year ago. He talks about misleading the nation, meanwhile, his entire op-ed was a misleading piece. (Wilson's original op-ed piece is available from the NY Times, or in other places across the web.) He doesn't, in fact, refute anything the administration said. He makes a point that it would be hard to transfer uranium, and says it was doubtful any transaction ever took place, but this has nothing to do with whether or not they sought to buy uranium from Africa (which they successfully had done in the past). Furthermore, his report does specifically mention at least one incident in 1991 where a delegation had to be 'steered away' from attempting to discuss uranium. That backs up the Bush claim right there.

2) This part is a direct quote from the Howler article, itself quoting the Post: The report states that a CIA official told the Senate committee that Plame “offered up” Wilson's name for the Niger trip, then on Feb. 12, 2002, sent a memo to a deputy chief in the CIA's Directorate of Operations saying her husband “has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.” The next day, the operations official cabled an overseas officer seeking concurrence with the idea of sending Wilson. the report said.

 
At 3:49 PM, Blogger Jason said...

"Furthermore, his report does specifically mention at least one incident in 1991"That should have been 1999.

 
At 9:07 PM, Blogger Michael Turner said...

Jason,

You obviously didn't read my post carefully. Everything you say in your comment is something I've seen before. Nothing in it is the proof unto perjury that Wilson lied.

You'll have to do better than this.

Worse, you didn't read carefully enough: first person to e-mail me with proof, not leave a comment in my comment section.

Why I'm bothering to address your comment, I don't know, but ... Valerie Plame "offered up" her husband's name in a memo citing his background, experience and contacts. Wilson's claim was that, apart from showing him to the office where the trip ended up being proposed, she had nothing to do with the decision to send him. Where is your proof that Plame mentioned her husband's background, experience and contacts for purposes of proposing him for a trip to Niger? I'm not even sure there was any idea of sending someone to Niger at that point, in either of their heads. And where's your proof that Wilson knew of the memo she'd written? Perhaps she abided by an NDA that prohibited her from mentioning to anyone - including her husband. Finally, Plame's superiors at CIA themselves insist that she had nothing to do with the decision.

Again, I need FULL QUOTES in FULL CONTEXT proving (1) that Wilson made some statement, and (2) he knew at the time that the statement was false.

Sorry, no $200.

And I won't be responding to any e-mail from you unless it qualifies for the $200

P.S. As for the 1999 vs. 1991 screwup, I noticed it immediately. Because, unlike you, I've been acquainting myself with the facts.

 
At 10:02 PM, Blogger Jason said...

I don't care about the $200 reward. The Daily Howler deserves it, anyway.

But hey, if you want to be pendantic, here's an example of Wilson lying:

"My wife has made it very clear that -- she has authorized me to say this -- she would rather chop off her right arm than say anything to the press and she will not allow herself to be photographed," he declared in October on "Meet the Press."

But that was before Vanity Fair came calling.

The January issue features a two-page photo of Wilson and the woman the magazine calls "the most famous female spy in America," a "slim 40-year-old with white-blond hair and a big, bright smile." They are sitting in their Jaguar.
But I guess this won't meet your "perjury" standard. You've set yourself up nicely in an unassailable little peak. It doesn't matter that Wilson set up his op-ed to create the idea that he was debunking the "sixteen words", even though nothing he spoke about actually debunked it. It doesn't matter that he says "I wasn't ready to keep quiet when this President misled the nation in his State of the Union Address," when he hasn't offered anything approaching proof that the President offered anything misleading. It doesn't matter that he goes out of his way to blame the White House for his wife's outing, when Novak himself uses the phrase "administration source", indicating someone outside the White House (probably the CIA). False impressions apparently aren't "lying" to you.

The deck is stacked in your favor. And by trying to keep submissions to email, you can further hide the facts as they are presented to you. Your contest is a joke.

 
At 10:46 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Here's another summary.

Number one: The winner of last year's Award for Truth Telling from the Nation magazine foundation, didn't tell the truth when he wrote that his wife, CIA officer Valerie Plame, "had nothing to do with" his selection for the Niger mission. Mr. Wilson is now pretending there is some kind of important distinction between whether she "recommended" or "proposed" him for the trip.Number two: Joe Wilson didn't tell the truth about how he supposedly came to realize that it was "highly doubtful" there was anything to the story he'd been sent to Niger to investigate. He told everyone that he'd recognized as obvious forgeries the documents purporting to show an Iraq-Niger uranium deal. But the forged documents to which he referred didn't reach U.S. intelligence until eight months after his trip. Mr. Wilson has said that he "misspoke"--multiple times, apparently--on this issue.Number three: Joe Wilson was also not telling the truth when he said that his final report to the CIA had "debunked" the Niger story. The Senate Intelligence report--again, the bipartisan portion of it--says Mr. Wilson's debrief was interpreted as providing "some confirmation of foreign government service reporting" that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger. That's because Niger's former Prime Minister had told Mr. Wilson he interpreted a 1999 visit from an Iraqi trade delegation as showing an interest in uranium.This is a remarkable record of falsehood. We'll let our readers judge if they think Mr. Wilson was deliberately wrong, and therefore can be said to have "lied." We certainly know what critics would say if President Bush had been caught saying such things. But in any event, we'd think that the news outlets that broadcast Mr. Wilson's story over the past year would want to retrace their own missteps.Send the $200 to that guy. I'll email this same comment if you absolutely require it.

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger jqb said...

"My wife has made it very clear that -- she has authorized me to say this -- she would rather chop off her right arm than say anything to the press and she will not allow herself to be photographed," he declared in October on "Meet the Press."

But that was before Vanity Fair came calling.

--------

Which strongly suggests that he wasn't lying, rather that Wilson and/or his wife gave in to vanity (Vanity).

It also fits my hypothesis that all wingnuts are mentally incompetent.

 
At 11:23 PM, Blogger jqb said...

> We'll let our readers judge if they think Mr. Wilson was deliberately wrong, and therefore can be said to have "lied."

In other words, no proof that Wilson lied.

> We certainly know what critics would say if President Bush had been caught saying such things.

But wingnuts insist Bush has never lied, so they certainly can't use the same standard to claim they have proved that Wilson did.

> Send the $200 to that guy. I'll email this same comment if you absolutely require it.

Moron.

 
At 3:26 PM, Blogger Udolpho said...

What a lame attempt to attract attention. By the way, you did realize that "wingnut" is a nonpartisan insult, that is, it applies just as much to you as to the people you're arguing with, hence you seem to be calling yourself a moron.

I mean, nice going.

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger jqb said...

> What a lame attempt to attract attention. By the way, you did realize

You seem to have me confused with the guy running this blog.

> that "wingnut" is a nonpartisan insult, that is, it applies just as much to you as to the people you're arguing with, hence you seem to be calling yourself a moron.

Well, no, it applies to the people I applied it to.
But, ironically, those people are most likely to be confused about this (or anything, for that matter).

 
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