Jennifer Loven, the AP reporter who wrote the absurd “President Bush Twists Kerry’s Words on Iraq” story dissected below, has a history of writing hit pieces on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. Such as this July 2003 outrage, a “news story” titled “White House can’t make the questions go away”. Here is how Ms. Loven begins her “news story” on the famous “sixteen words” controversy:
The White House defense of President Bush’s now-disavowed claim that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa has evolved over the last two weeks: blame others, stonewall, bury questions in irrelevant information and, above all, hope it will go away.
So far, none has worked.
Now, that’s not a bad beginning for a DNC press release. But for a wire service news report, it’s ridiculous. Ms. Loven continues:
The flap started on July 6, when an envoy sent by the CIA to Africa last year to investigate the uranium claim contended that the Bush administration ignored his findings. In a New York Times op-ed article, Joseph Wilson, former U.S. ambassador to Gabon, said it was highly doubtful that any transaction took place.
We know now, because of the Senate Intelligence Committee report, that Joe Wilson lied about what happened in Niger. Wilson was assigned to the Niger investigation at the urging of his wife, Valerie Plame. The Committee’s report says that Wilson went to Niger and was told by that country’s former Prime Minister that Iraq had, indeed, tried to buy yellowcake uranium there. Note the Wilson lie that Loven repeats in her AP article: “it was highly doubtful that any transaction took place.” Right. But, of course, that wasn’t what Bush said in his State of the Union address. He said: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” And Wilson’s report to the CIA confirmed that Saddam had “sought,” but not obtained, uranium in Africa, specifically Niger.
Such nuance, needless to say, is completely beyond Ms. Loven. Her interest is in slandering Republicans, period. She continues:
That changed with Wilson’s statements. Democrats in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail demanded an investigation into whether Bush purposedly exaggerated intelligence.
With its press staff unable to quell the controversy, the White House brought in Secretary of State Colin Powell, Rice, the president himself and even, later, British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
But, after two weeks, a White House usually adept at controlling stories by dismissing questions and waiting them out has had no luck.
The key questions — asked over and over — were not changing:
-Who knew what when — especially the president?
-Why was it so important to include the statement in the speech?
-Who was responsible for putting it in?
-Why has the president refused to take responsibility for uttering it?
Only the White House’s explanations shifted — often contradicting itself in the process.
Ms. Loven’s animus against the Bush administration helps to explain why a complete non-story, Bush’s sixteen words, which, as we have argued, were almost certainly true, turned into a mini-“scandal” that ended only when Joe Wilson was exposed as a liar.
But the facts don’t matter to Ms. Loven and the Associated Press. What matters, to them, is electing a Democrat as President.