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A Day Late--And Totally Wrong

Reported by Judy - April 13, 2005

The Big Story with John Gibson Wednesday (April 13) tried to make a big story out of an old story that was a non-story. It was the alleged blown cover of a CIA agent during Senate confirmation hearings for U.N. ambassador-nominee John Bolton.

Gibson claimed in his "My Word" segment that Sen. John Kerry "exposed a CIA officer by name" during the hearing. Gibson compared it to a Bush administration official's outing of Valerie Plame, wife of CIA analyst Joe Wilson last summer in retaliation for his speaking out on whether the Iraqis had tried to buy yellowcake for nuclear bomb making.

As Wilson had called for Karl Rove to be "frog-marched" across the White House lawn, Gibson said he wondered if anybody would be "frog-marching John Kerry down the capital steps. Don't hear a call for that, do we?" Gibson claimed the reason was that this isn't a presidential election year and it was a Democrat who did the exposing.

Gibson, of course, failed to mention that Republican Senator John Lugar also mentioned the CIA agent by name. We don't hear a call for frog-marching John Lugar down the capital steps, do we? Could that be the reason we don't hear the call for John Kerry?

More importantly, as Keith Olbermann pointed out on MSNBC's Countdown on Tuesday, the agent was not being outed at all. Fulton Armstrong has been mentioned by name as an intelligence expert on Latin America at least ten times since 1999 in newspapers, congressional hearings, and web pages. Here's one from the Council on Foreign Relations which listed his name. The Washington Post and The Associated Press reported the possible outing after Monday's hearing, and the Drudge Report picked it up.

Wonder where Gibson got his column idea -- straight from the Drudge Report? Guess Gibson was too pressed for time to search for the web and see if "Fulton Armstrong" came up anywhere.

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