Saturday, October 29, 2005
Not all leaks are created equal: I've long argued that the New York Times editorial page is partisan, not principled. Most recently, the Times bemoaned the failure to throw money at the New Orleans levee system in the wake of Hurricane Katrina -- yet months earlier they had attacked funding for the levees as unnecessary pork.
So, today it should be no surprise that in the aftermath of the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, that the Times thinks that there are good leaks -- ones that hurt the GOP -- and bad leaks -- ones that hurt the Democrat/liberal cause.
At one point, according to the indictment, Mr. Libby accosted Mr. Cheney's C.I.A. briefer to complain that C.I.A. officials were making critical comments to the press about Mr. Cheney's office, and mentioned Mr. Wilson's trip to Niger and his wife. This deeply improper harassment occurred a month before Mr. Novak's column appeared.
Complaining about falsehoods leaking from the CIA is "deeply improper," but the falsehoods themselves -- suffice it to say that in the Times' "reality" Joseph Wilson was telling the truth and the Senate Intelligence Committee report revealing him as a fraud and a liar nvever happened.
As for Mr. Libby's case, the charges suggest that White House officials did, in fact, use Mrs. Wilson's classified C.I.A. job as a weapon against a critic of administration policy - to smear his reputation or to warn off other dissenters. A jury will determine whether Mr. Libby broke the law as a result of that campaign. But it seems clear that he and other officials violated the public trust.
Memo to the Times: Wilson is a liar. Your editorial glosses over it, but Wilson maintained that he was sent to Niger at Cheney's behest. That was untrue. Wilson argued that there was no effort by Iraq to purchase uranium from Niger. Also false -- and out of Wilson's own mouth -- according to the Senate Intelligence Committee report.
But all of Wilson's lies have been conveniently forgotten. After all, the White House doesn't look as bad when it calls a liar a liar as it does when it tries to discredit a "noble hero."