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Malkin subs for O'Reilly - again - and does her part to discredit Tenet

Reported by Chrish - May 1, 2007 -

"Fair and Balanced" FOX News again used radical right-winger Michelle Malkin to substitute for Bill O'Reilly on The Factor tonight 4/30/07. She subbed for him April 12th; shouldn't it be Kirsten Powers' turn?

Guest Mike Baker, a former CIA officer, wasted no time in calling Malkin on her bias, prefacing his answer to her first question with "wow, that's a loaded question." (Of George Tenet's interview on 60 Minutes: "Didin't you get the impression of somebody who is just a pathetic whiner, who was more the Director of the CYA rather than the CIA?") After he somehwat defended Tenet, calling him very intelligent, capable and professional, he allowed that Tenet is emotional about being branded for his "slam dunk" comment. Malkin framed the next "question" by stating "tell me that you don't buy his explanation for the 'slam-dunk' comment; I mean, come on...." everybody in Washington doesn't buy this idea that it was taken out of context.

Turning to the other guest, former Bush speechwriter and neo-con David Frum, Malkin listed attacks on US interests that occurred since Tenet was installed (African embassy bombings, the Cole bombings, then 9/11). Frum said his take on the book is colored by an opening anecdote, where Tenet writes that he was talking with Richard Perle at the White House on Septmber 12th; Frum claims he had a long-distance phone conversation with Perle, who Frum says was in France, on 9/11. Since no flights were flying into the US, Perle must have had a teleporter machine. Frum will allow that memories fail, but sheesh - it was in the preface of the book and Tenet repeated the tale on 60 Minutes.

Baker confessed the agency's long-standing secret - they do have a teleporter. (Comment: If the bin Laden's could be flown out when all flights were grounded, it seems reasonable that the Director of the CIA could arrange another "special" flight for one of the PNAC insiders. This was, after all, the new Pearl Harbor they had been needing.)

Malkin, who has been "skimming" this book, says that she thinks this is a flaw that "can't be underplayed." She challenged Frum to call Tenet not just incompetent but a liar, but he declined and said that memories do that - we all think we know things that aren't true. This goes more to the publishing industry, that a fact like this wouldn't have been verified.

He goes on about the CIA - it's troubled, people have wanted to abolish it, they get things wrong. He hastened to add that it's not the operatives, it's the analysis - something seemss wrong there, and it hasn't been fixed.

All three are in agreement that information sharing between agencies has been and continues to be the problem, and the segment ended.

Comment: Malkin and Frum focused on discrediting the entire book and, in Malkin's case, Tenet himself, based on one disputed date. No-one proposed that perhaps it was Frum who was mistaken, nor did they entertain the possibility that the government was operating flights while all commercial airlines were grounded. As predicted, FOX et al are "Richard Clarke-ing" George Tenet for daring to suggest that he and his agency have been used as scapegoats for all that's gone wrong in Iraq. That he was complicit in the run-up is indisputable, but his charge is that the evidence was not "faulty", it was cherry-picked. Confirmation from an insider of his status of what intelligent people already realize is just what the Bush administration does not need right now, and Malkin, designated lackey of the hour, gladly did her job of dicrediting the messenger.