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Monday, July 11, 2005

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The march of the unmedicated in response to Treason-gate seems to be converging around attacks on Joe Wilson's credibility. Today Tweety allowed right wing saw horse Deborah Orin to wheeze ad nauseum about what a shitheel Wilson was, and when E.J. Dionne tried to defend him Tweety cut him off. (Pretending the New York Post is a legitimate news organization is always a real knee-slapper for me. Why don't they just conjure up the ghost of Jeanne Dixon and be done with it.)

Anyway, I've stooped to doing something I swore I'd never do -- cruising right-wing blogs like so many troll-filled bars -- but in these dark days for BushCo. it holds the lurid fascination of a traffic accident. Most of the things they are shrieking sound like a form of right-wing talking points Tourette's, but those who actually have a frame of reference and are not merely echoing and distorting what they've read on other blogs seem to be hearkening back to an article in the WaPo from July 2004 by Susan Schmidt. She did a real number on Wilson following the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report.

It's interesting to go back and read Josh Marshall's analysis from that time, and his conclusions about Schmidt's sloppy journalism:
This is one of those cases in which it's helpful to actually read the report rather than just run with what you've got from the majority committee staffer who gave you the spin.
Both Marshall and David Corn, who also wrote about the intelligence committee report at the time, concluded that much of what the right have been hurling at Wilson and attributing to the committee came from comments filed by its Republican members -- Pat Roberts, Kit Bond and Orrin Hatch -- aimed specifically at discrediting Wilson.

Says Corn:
Roberts and other Republicans are using the intelligence committee's report to whack Wilson, a prominent opponent of the Iraq war and a foreign policy adviser to Senator John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. If only Roberts' committee had applied as much time and energy into investigating the Wilson leak (and how the White House reacted to the leak) as it did to the actions of Valerie Wilson. But the leak is a subject that, for some odd reason, has escaped the attention of Roberts' investigators. And Roberts and his ideological comrades are exploiting the release of the committee's report to blame the victims of the leak. They are far more angered by alleged (or trumped-up) inconsistencies in Wilson's account than by Bush's misrepresentation of the prewar intelligence. Talk about overstating a problem.
They conclude that the worst thing you can pretty much say about Wilson is that he claimed his wife had nothing to do with sending him to Niger, and at some point she wrote a memo recommending him. But the claims that this was some sort of "boondoggle" -- an unpaid trip he made out of a sense of service to his country -- was hardly the Club Med vacation the attack dogs would make it.

And the bottom line, though he didn't start screaming it like some deranged harpie, is that he was fucking right.

Speaking of smears, Digby tells us that the mouth breathers are already hunting for Patrick Fitzgerald's head. You know, the more I read about that guy, the more I would not mess with him.