As Josh Marshall was listening to Valerie Plame testify on Friday, he reflected upon a certain segment of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Iraq intel 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.
A very timely reminder in light of the latest dishonest hit job from Faux News’ Brit Hume:
Today on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume continued his campaign to smear Valerie Plame Wilson. Previously, he had falsely said that it was “unlikely she was” covert. Instead of apologizing this morning, he launched a new attack against Plame, claiming that she had lied under oath when she testified on Friday about whether she recommended her husband be sent to Niger to investigate Iraq’s supposed nuclear ambitions. Hume said Plame’s testimony “flies in the face of the evidence” adduced by the “bipartisan” Senate Intelligence Committee, which said that “she very much did have something to do with it, that she recommended him and that she put it in a memo.”
I linked to the post from Faiz for several reasons. While Hume wants you to believe that this statement in the intel report was put there by the entire committee, Faiz reminds us that the claim was put there as an addendum to that report by Senators Pat Roberts, Christopher Bond, and Orrin Hatch. Not that I think that this trio of rightwingers wouldn’t tell all sorts of lies to discredit Wilson and thus protect the president – we should acknowledge that they were supposedly relying upon the testimony of a CIA employee who appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. But here is the relevant portion of Ms. Plame’s testimony as to what her colleague had testified to:
REP. VAN HOLLEN: So, just so I understand, Mr. Chairman, if I could – so, there was a memo written by the [Counterproliferation Division] officer, upon whose alleged testimony the Senate wrote its report that contradicts the conclusions
MS. PLAME WILSON: Absolutely.
REP. VAN HOLLEN: contradicts the conclusions from that report.
MS. PLAME WILSON: Yes, sir.
REP. VAN HOLLEN: Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that this committee should ask for that memo. And it bears directly on the credibility of the Senate report on this very, very important issue, which they’ve attempted to use to discredit Ambassador Wilson’s mission.
REP. WAXMAN: I think the gentleman makes an excellent point, and we will insist on getting that memo.
As Faiz notes, this CIA employee wanted to be interviewed again by the committee to correct the distortions placed in this addendum by these three dishonest rightwing Senators. But the trio refused to consider the offer. Of course, Brit Hume did not tell his Faux News viewers any of this. One has to wonder – given how many times Brit Hume was lied to the Faux News audience – why anyone bothers to listen to him?