Transcendental Bloviation

Politics, Space, Japan

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

And I thought I was avoiding tedium

Well, it's late in the second day of my reward program, and nobody has written me with proof of anything except - in certain cases - their own silliness. That $200 for proving that Joe Wilson lied might sit around for a while. The check looks kind bare without a name. The envelope looks kind of pointless without an address.

And it's turning into a lot of work. Yesterday, when I started, I thought I'd write a small sampling bloggers, and get the proof almost immediately. No such luck. So today, I again searched on some likely keywords, turning up an avalanche of rants against Joe Wilson, many of them still citing a Washington post story whose substance - the claim that Wilson provided valuable intelligence about Iraqi attempts to procure yellowcake from Niger - has been retracted by the Post.

I go from blog to blog, trying to find e-mail addresses for the bloggers, sometimes settling for just writing my reward notice in the comment sections. It's really boring. Almost as boring as most of the blogs themselves. I've done about 100 today. Maybe that's enough. We'll see.

What's worse are the few responses I've gotten so far (with being a courtly exception, not to mention an above-average blogger - check it out.) Some say I'm never going to pay up, so what's the point? I suppose to them, anyone who questions that Wilson is a liar must also be a liar. Another one asked me who I was, then asked for what qualifies as "proof". Dude, it's right there in my blog, just use the URL I supplied!

A few others make bogus arguments. Here's a bogus argument for you:

Joe Wilson said that apart from being shown into an office by his wife, she had nothing to do with the decision to send him to Niger. The Senate intelligence committee reported a memo from Plame in which she "offered up his name." Therefore, Wilson, when he wrote that Plame only had an introducer role in the meeting that resulted in the proposition to send him to Niger, was simply lying: he knew she'd done more.

Now hold on. Wilson had contacts in Niger, some expertise in Uranium mining and proliferation issues thereof, and had been to Niger a time or two. That makes him useful for information. It doesn't mean Plame wanted him sent on a trip to that country.

If anything, there seem to be reasonable arguments why he wouldn't want to leave his pregnant wife to go to a dusty, desolate country, and for only travel expenses. More to the point: that doesn't mean Wilson knew about Plame's memo any sooner than the Senate intelligence committee report came out. Plame may have been under orders not to disclose anything about her work, including the memo, or even its existence. And she may, like a good employee, have not communicated anything about it to anyone, including her husband. Thus, while she may have had something to do with his being sent, that doesn't mean that Wilson knew that she'd had something to do with it when he wrote his book about the whole affair.

As I understand it, Plame's CIA employers back her up, saying she had nothing to do with the decision to send him. Hm, guess that would make them liars, too, wouldn't it? Why would they support her, after all this? Maybe because they read Wilson's book and hooted: "Hah, she kept it even from him." And for all we know, Wilson gave her a good spanking when the committee's report came out, and he found out about this memo that started all this trouble for him, leaving him with no visble career except as a writer for a one-off political confessional whose sales will probably drop off rapidly after the election.

So for now, I rule this one out.

Of course, if you can cite documents proving that Wilson knew of his wife's memo before he wrote the book, AND that he had agreed that this was a good plan to get him to Niger, both of them being desirous of that end, you get the $200.


At 7:38 AM, Blogger B. Preston said...

You're a study in credulousness. Plame told Wilson on their fourth date that she was a covert CIA agent (which was illegal, btw). You think she isn't going to tell him that she'd recommended the CIA send him to Niger? You think that wasn't the subject of much pillow talk? Ha!

At 8:50 AM, Blogger TigerHawk said...

Tragically, I am winging off on a three week business trip, and do not have the time to dig around for all the sources. Thankfully, I don't need the $200. I don't even want the $200. But, to quote a source you will find highly suspect, I'm sure (the WSJ): '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.'

Now, would anybody be able to prove perjury had Wilson's statements been made under oath? Who knows. But there can be little doubt that (a) the standard for "lying" applied by so many on the left to Bush would snare Wilson as well, and (b) his posturing about "telling the truth" is coming back to bite him. He's as much a partisan fraud as anybody you might propose, whether or not anybody will, in your judgment, win your prize.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Michael Turner said...

I can only be a "study in credulousness" if I believed Wilson's story 100%. I don't. I also don't believe he's a liar. I don't know what to believe. But as time goes by, and no proof of his having lied emerges, I will at least not be scooped up in some defendant pool in a character defamation case. Good thing, too, 'cuz I can't afford to spend much more than $200 on having lousy credibility.

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