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Joe Wilson tried and convicted by Fox All-Stars

Reported by Chrish - November 1, 2005

Brit Hume steered the All-Stars off course yesterday 10/31/05 as they pointedly did not discuss the charges that WERE brought against the vice-president's Chief of Staff. The segment, ostensibly about the indictment of Lewis Libby, was nothing more than a Wilson bashing and a reiteration of the Republican talking point that Wilson, not the White House, is dishonest.

Video was shown of Wilson at the National Press Club, saying

"If the Republican Party wants to believe that leaking the identity of clandestine officers or violating the national security of this country is OK then that's their problem. I don't believe it is OK, and I believe that as Americans we should all be appalled by this sort of behavior from the senior reaches of this administration."

Hume says (and don't blink because this is it about Libby): That was former Ambassador Wilson today at the NPC, talking about the indictment Friday of Scooter Libby, VP Cheney's then Chief of Staff of , "now departed and succeeded."

Comment: Note the language - not resigned in disgrace, forced from office, indicted on five counts - dearly departed and succeeded! The power of positive wording.

Hume asks questions of the panel about what exactly was (not) established by the indictment: Was it established that someone had leaked the identity of a CIA agent? And that there was a covert operation undergoing, or not? Krauthammer is first to say absolutely not, there was no-one indicted for that charge. Comment: The crime repeatedly referred to on Fox, violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, is apparently extraordinarily difficult to do, and is primarily meant to prohibit disgruntled agents from outing one another. Perhaps this Congress, so eager to craft new laws in reaction to the Schiavo situation, should craft new laws that make future outings of CIA agents by the government they work for illegal and make it real clear for the simpletons.

Krauthammer goes on to paint an unpleaasant picture of Wilson (the smearing continues), saying he lives off of the fame this has brought him. No one had heard of him before this, and no one will remember him after this, and yet he complains of 27 months of hell? It's been 27 months of fame, which Krauthammer says he's enjoyed spectacularly. He reads a quote of Wilson's, who says that while he may engage in public discourse, his wife and family do not wish to be under the glare of the camera. Krauthammer then promotes Wilson to Editor of Vanity Fair and demotes Plame to doing the bidding of her husband, saying "This is the guy who puts the picture of himself and his wife in an open car on the cover of Vanity Fair, and claims he doesn't want her under the camera. You know he needed his wife to get the glamorous assignment of going to Niger and to sit around drinking tea. This is a guy who's enjoyed all this, and who did not issue a lot of true statements in the original " ... and according to Krauthammer Wilson should think twice before making statements about others' lying.

Kondracke agrees that he is an unpleasant character, but on the other hand Patrick Fitzgerald makes a good point that the CIA is having a hard time recruiting people to be agents and this is a poor thing, to have the White House leaking the names of agents... Hume of course jumps in and asks did Fitzgerald make those charges? Kondracke says that "official A", presumably Rove, said to Libby that Robert Novak was going to come out with Plame's name the following day, making the point that they knew in advance about the article and it was no "casual reference", the name was planted. Hume proceeds to hammer Kondracke Hannity-style, peppering him with "did Fitzgerald say that or conclude that?" Kondracke acknowledges that no, he didn't, and folds.

Easton speaks up to say that Fitzgerald did not conclude there was a criminal conspiracy, and Prosecutor Brit asks if Fitzgerald concluded that Plame was covert? No, says Easton. Did he conclude that any one had leaked her name? No, says Easton. But she wants to get back to Joe Wilson, and an assertion that she says he made, that he was sent to Niger on his own bona fides, his own qualifications, but that is contradicted by the Senate Intelligence Committee findings that Plame had written a recommendation for him.

The segment abruptly ended on that note.

Comment: Mort Kondracke's defense of Wilson, prefaced as it was by a disclaimer, was wishy-washy and unsure. Krauthammer was condescending as usual. (His long hiatus/sulk during the Harriet Miers nomination has him well rested and ready to sneer.) Easton played into Humes hand and rather than talk about the charges that WERE filed we were diverted to what they have (so far) gotten away with.

Even IF Joe Wilson's wife had recommended him (so what), and IF he had no qualifications of his own(he did), and IF he wrote a report about it and brought to public attention the inaccuracies being broadcast by the administration, does any of that justify the dissemination of information about his wife's CIA status? Is this really OK by Republicans? There is no moral justification, and if it isn't a crime it should be. It is WRONG, and the so-called values-voters have a deadly blind-spot when it comes to their own party.

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