Tuesday, April 11, 2006

NYT: The Davids, covering Plamegate, long to be Rod Stewart

The Davids are back on the Plamegate beat and it's not pretty. "With One Filing, Prosecutor Puts Bush in Spotlight" is the title David E. Sanger and David Johnston are the writers and the basics join the readers of the New York Times as the victims.

So Bully Boy went to John Hopkins University and a student asked the sort of questions the press should (but rarely does) -- "asked him to address Mr. Fitzgerald's assertion that the White House was seeking to retaliate against Mr. Wilson." That's their summary, be wary of it.
Bully Boy's response has him coming off like every corporate thief and gangster caught in the headlights:

But on Monday, Mr. Bush was not talking about that. "You're just going to have to let Mr. Fitzgerald complete his case, and I hope you understand that," Mr. Bush said. "It's a serious legal matter that we've got to be careful in making public statements about it."

To get to that point, the Davids note, Bully Boy "stumbled." A good example of can be found in this sentence:

He said he had ordered the formal declassification of the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq in July 2003 because "it was important for people to get a better sense for why I was saying what I was saying in my speeches" about Iraq's efforts to reconstitute its weapons program.

Now real reporters would probably be all over that statement. But we're talking the Davids. And of course we're talking the New York Timid. Two key parts real reporters might build an article around are:

* The claim of "formal declassification . . . in July 2003" doesn't explain why Bob Woodward was leaked to in June of 2003.

*The intelligence reports never backed Bully Boy's claim. We call it lying. The Timid is loathe to use that term.

If the Davids can stop gazing at their own perceived greatness long enough to work from a detailed timeline (with dates and times) and/or actually read the NEI, they'd probably serve readers better. Instead they're like traffic cops snoozing on the job, waking up after there's a car crash and standing around scratching their heads.

Their inability to do their basic job leads them to try to pad out the "reporting" with commentary like this:

Every prosecutor strives not just to prove a case, but also to tell a compelling story.

Every Prosecutor Tells A Story. What is that, their homage to Rod Stewart?

Spent some time feelin' inferior
standing in front of my mirror
Quoted official justifications a thousand ways
but I came out looking just the same
. . .
So remember every prosecutor tells a story, don't it

Having paid homage to the work of Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, possibly they can next rework Stewart and Martin Quittenton's "Maggie Mae"?

Wake up, Bully, I think I got something to say to you:
It's late April and I really should stop playing the fool.
I know I keep you amused
But readers feel they're being used
Bully, I couldn't have tried anymore.
You lured me away from proof,
Just to save me from printing the truth.
I sold my soul and that's what really hurt.

Every prosecutor, apparently like every picture, tells a story. Timid reporters, apparently, just fluff. Maybe the paper should start running only photos and Fitzgerald's court filings?

Far from the jukebox, Evelyn J. Pringle offers an analysis that Mia steers us to. From
"Did Bush Pull a Fast One on Fitzgerald?" (CounterPunch):

When Libby leaked the name of a CIA operative he released classified information, which would be a crime, if he acted on his own authority, as most of us believed. But now we find out that he was not acting on his own authority, he was acting under instructions from Cheney and Bush and thus, as it turns out, he did nothing illegal.
That is, until he lied, presumably to save the butts of Cheney and Bush. If Libby would have simply went before the grand jury and told the truth, the saga would have ended then and there and the public would have known the truth before the last Presidential election.
In covering for Bush, Libby's lies can be credited for giving Bush a second term. But a lot of good it did him. So long as Bush sticks to the story that unbeknownst to anyone, besides himself, Cheney and Libby, he had "declassified" certain information and told Cheney to instruct Libby to release it, Bush and Cheney walk, but Libby does not.
Fitzgerald knew this was going to happen and this is why it always seemed as if he was talking in circles when discussing Libby's indictment and why he continued to say over and over that Libby was not being charged with leaking the name of a CIA agent, and that furthermore, he did he plan to charge Libby with that crime.
Fitzgerald knows full well that the White House pulled a fast one on him.
He knew it shortly after his investigation got underway. But Libby is still going down, in part, probably because Fitzgerald is ticked off over being had. And in turn, this is why Libby is so ticked off, and why he is now trying to bring Bush and Cheney into the mix.

And we'll note Robert Parry's "Did Bush Lie to Fitzgerald?" (Consortium News) one more time and the Davids can use the section below to begin constructing a timeline for future use:

Those two facts -- Plame's work for the CIA and her role in Wilson's Niger trip -- then became the centerpieces of the administration's behind-the-scenes campaign in June/July 2003 to disparage Wilson. Rove, Libby and possibly other administration officials allegedly told journalists that Wilson's wife had helped get him the Niger assignment.
On June 23, 2003 -- 11 days after the Cheney-Libby conversation -- Libby briefed New York Times reporter Miller about Wilson and may then have passed on the tip that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA.
The anti-Wilson campaign gained new urgency when the ex-ambassador penned an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times on July 6, 2003, describing his pursuit of the bogus Niger allegations.
In the July 8, 2003, meeting, Libby gave Miller more details about the Iraq WMD intelligence and about the Wilsons. He told Miller that Wilson's wife worked at a CIA unit responsible for weapons intelligence and non-proliferation, the Times reported.
It was in the context in those July 8 notes where Miller wrote down the words "Valerie Flame," an apparent misspelling of Mrs. Wilson's maiden name.
In a third conversation, by telephone on July 12, 2003, Miller and Libby returned to the Wilson topic. Miller's notes contain a reference to a "Victoria Wilson," another misspelled reference to Wilson's wife, Miller said. [NYT, Oct. 16, 2005]

Rod passes on the scheduled topic for today's Democracy Now!:

* We cover the continuing mass protests across the country for immigrant rights.

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