The normally rational Bob Somerby has been temporarily absorbed by the Rove Collective and is relying on Debra Orin and Matthew Continetti from the Weekly Standard to join in bashing Joe Wilson. As far as I can tell, Bob accepts the Rovian spin that Joe Wilson was lying, even though he has been proven right. Rove and Cheney were telling the truth, even though they have been proven wrong. We wish Bob a swift recovery from his weakened condition.
Pay a visit to Digby if you want to cut to the chase. The bottom line is that who actually influenced the decision to send Joe Wilson to Niger, whether Cheney made a formal request to the CIA to investigate the yellow cake rumor, whether Cheney actually read Wilson’s report and when Joe Wilson mentioned that certain Niger documents contained inaccuracies are all pecadillos that ignore the real story.
[Update: 07/14/05, 7:00 a.m. PST] Digby link repaired thanks to alert by Green Knight. For superlative and extensive coverage of this story Digby is on fire and The Left Coaster has Talking Points for Treason: Part II that are indispensible.
The obvious truth is that Joe Wilson was correct that Niger had not provided yellow cake to Saddam, and was not preparing to provide yellow cake to Saddam. At one point, the White House spin surrounding the yellow cake accusation was that their intelligence was not limited to Niger, but included all of Africa. That briefly made Wilson’s accurate allegations more difficult to prove, but has also been proven wrong.
The only truth coming out of the White House is the same lame old rationale that Bush based his sixteen words on British intelligence. I fail to see how that gains any credibility for either Bush or Rove. The careful parsing of the sixteen words in Bush’s speech proves conscious intent to deceive.
The White House was lying then, and they are lying now, because that’s what they do.