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July 14, 2005

Richard Cohen, Stop Lying

No, Mr. Cohen, the real outrage is that you insist on spreading lies.

I am so tired of this. When is it going to end? Are you illiterate? Can you not read? Journalism is your business.

I am a former housewife, for God's sake. If I can Google a source, why can't you summon the basic competence to get the facts right?

It was Plame, administration sources told columnist Robert D. Novak and others, who chose her husband to go to Africa to see if Saddam Hussein's Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Niger. He went and later said that he found nothing, but George W. Bush said otherwise in his 2003 State of the Union address.

Since you apparently can't do your freaking job, Mr. Cohen, let an unpaid amateur help you. From the Senate Select Intelligence Committee Report:

Wilson's assertions -- both about what he found in Niger and what the Bush administration did with the information -- were undermined yesterday in a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report. The panel found that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts. And contrary to Wilson's assertions and even the government's previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address.

As a matter of fact, those 16 words were based on British intelligence - intelligence they investigated and pronounced well-founded in the Butler Report:

We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government's dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush's State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that: The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa was well-founded.

Furthermore, the bipartisan Senate Select Intelligence Committee Report concluded that:

The Intelligence Community did not accurately or adequately explain to policymakers the uncertainties behind the judgments in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate.

In the cases in the NTE where the IC did express uncertainty about its assessments concerning Iraq's WMD capabilities, those explanations suggested, in some cases, that Iraq's capabilities were even greater than the NIE judged. For example, the key judgments of the NIE said "we judge that we are seeing only a portion of Iraq's WMD efforts, owing to Baghdad's vigorous denial and deception efforts. Revelations after the Gulf War starkly demonstrate the extensive efforts undertaken by Iraq to deny information.

In other words, Mr. Cohen, our own CIA overplayed reports of Saddam's WMD capabilities. And in the absence of good intelligence, that seems probably not entirely a bad decision, given that 3000 people had just died.

Wilson was both armed and dangerous. He claimed the truth.

No, Mr. Cohen, he did NOT. He lied.

He lied about who recommended him for the job.

He lied about several particulars of his own report, according to the United States Senate. And now, you are lying about the official record. And here's another lie:

[Washington] once extravagantly inflated a sex act into the impeachment of a president,

Bill Clinton was not impeached for having sex. He was impeached for lying, under oath, in a court of law. This is an offense for which he was later disbarred from the Supreme Court.

It is an offense, for which he was later disbarred from practicing his license to practice law was suspended*** by the State of Arkansas, and for which he paid a $25,000 fine.

I can assure you that those two bodies took his offense quite seriously, even if the DNC and the United States Congress did not.

Your transparent attempts to redefine the issue notwithstanding, there are one or two people in this country who can still read and still think critically.

Thank God, because they will never learn the truth from reading your column.

*** Thanks to Mike M., who e-mailed to correct my careless error. I failed to note that although the Supreme Court of Arkansas did indeed move to disbarr former President Clinton, in the end his license was merely suspended for five years and he had to pay the fine noted.

The half-vast editorial staff regrets the error :)

Posted by Cassandra at July 14, 2005 01:45 PM

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Comments

(clap clap clap clap clap)...

Very well said, Cassandra. How is it, after all, that a journalist can't seem to grasp reading comprehension?

Posted by: Brad Warbiany at July 14, 2005 02:44 PM

Thank you, Brad :)

I'm still seeing red after reading this excuse for a column.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 14, 2005 03:40 PM

Cohen has never been a source of real information. He is Krugman with with whiter hair.

Posted by: KJ at July 14, 2005 04:01 PM

Grand slam. I really think you need to write a book about this. Your articles are well researched and in depth.

Posted by: Cricket at July 14, 2005 05:20 PM

Cohen is a hack.
He always was a hack.
He will die a hack.
But with a faithfull following.
And money in the bank.


"Ain't that America"


Thanks for calling him out on these latest pernicious lies.


Greg

Posted by: Greg at July 14, 2005 07:22 PM

Yeah, well obviously I shouldn't write when I'm steamed... :)

(writing on chalkboard...)

I will take more time to calm down before posting.
I will take more time to calm down before posting.
I will take more time to calm down before posting.
I will take more time to calm down before posting.
I will take more time to calm down before posting.
I will take more time to calm down before posting.
I will take more time to calm down before posting.
I will take more time to calm down before posting.

I rarely do that. I guess that shows how mad I was.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 14, 2005 09:23 PM

You know, Cass, You ought to print this out and send it to the WAPO. Dare them to print it. They won't. of course, so embarass the paper, but at least they'll know somebody is watching.

Posted by: spd rdr [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 15, 2005 07:12 AM

Nice catch. I've stopped reading Cohen. Some of the time he seems to be a raving lunatic out of reality. This is one of those times.

Posted by: MaxedOutMama [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 17, 2005 03:19 AM

Basics:
1 - Rove did not know her name. He told Cooper Wilson's wife got him the gig. "Mrs. Wilson at the CIA" is not a covert operative. Valerie Plame was once a covert operative.
2 - Novak's source knew the name.
3 - Rove is "not a target" of the investigation.
4 - If Rove were Judith Miller's source, why doesn't she now come forward? Why stay in jail if your source has already signed a waiver?

Posted by: Pat'sRickĀ© [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 17, 2005 10:21 PM

I did seriously think of sending it to the ombudsman, spd. But they'll just say it's opinion and weasel out that way. Besides, EJ Dionne's piece was almost as bad.

I was pleased that their editorial at least played it straight and admitted the facts.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 18, 2005 04:55 AM

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