We’re sitting here listening to the Plame testimony in the House. And the exchange has just come to focus on the 2004 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Iraq intel report. If you’ve been a longtime reader of this site, you know that the Niger story was one I reported on extensively for almost two years. The fallout from the story has now spilled out in many directions, not least of which was the recent Libby conviction. But I do hope we can finally have review and scrutiny of that report. The section of the report dealing with Niger, Wilson and Plame is simply a tissue of lies. It’s a shame on the Democrats who served on the committee who got gamed into approving it.
You can read through our archives for detailed discussions of the report’s contents. But it is a deliberate construction of half-truths, flat out lies and intentional misdirection — all quite conscious on the part of the authors — meant to discredit Wilson and thus protect the president. Then-Chairman Roberts (R-KS) prostituted his office by working in concert with the White House to obstruct and misdirect the investigation he was supposedly in charge of leading. And of course the conclusions of the report have become socially acceptable lies repeated endlessly by virtually every Republican in Washington and every conservative editorialist, most recently David Brooks in the Times, but certainly by many others.
To give the matter some current currency, the US Attorney Purge story gives a reminder, if any were needed, of how routinely senior members of the current administration lie to the public and Congress. And it is an example of how much more we can learn when we have a Congress sitting in Washington willing to do some oversight.
With the Libby verdict, many, even those sympathetic to the truth, view this matter as essentially concluded. But a cloud of official lies still hangs over the city. It centers on the Niger-Wilson story but grows out from there to cover everything that happened in the lead up to the war. To date, there has been no serious effort to investigate what happened. Again, there’s been no serious effort to investigate what happened in the lead up to the war. Each investigation has been aimed — to differing degrees — at covering up and diverting blame. A strong statement, but a fact that needs to be said.