At In the Agora Joshua Claybourn reports that four staffers of Senators Rick Santorum and Mel Martinez accused a renegade aide to Sen. Harry Reid of distributing the purported GOP talking points memo to the media and claiming Republican authorship. Michelle Malkin isn’t buying it (Michelle’s post is “Eyewitnesses?”):
– ITA’s sources are apparently unwilling to identify themselves. Anonymous accusations must be viewed more skeptically than accusations made by someone willing to go on the record.
– Claybourn and/or his sources are unwilling to name the Reid aide accused of wrongdoing. If the accusations are true, there is no reason not to name him.
– The accusation depends on the unbelievable premise that the aide was dumb enough to distribute the memo in plain view of at least two Republican staffers.
– It has now been more than one week since ABC News first described the memo as “GOP Talking Points.” Are we really supposed to believe that Republican staffers sat around and said nothing for days, despite knowing all along that a Democrat staffer was responsible?
– The portrayal of the aide as a “renegade” strongly suggests he acted on his own. Yet Claybourn says his sources refused to discuss whether the aide acted on his own or from orders from superiors. This double-talk diminishes the credibility of ITA’s reporting and sources.
Unless someone is prepared to stand up and publicly point the finger at a specific individual and explain the decision to delay disclosing the true source of the memo, I can only conclude that ITA’s sources are probably lying.
Questions: Who are ITA’s sources? Are any of them the same unnamed “Republican leadership staffers” who told The Prowler a few days ago that someone in Harry Reid’s office generated the memo? If Claybourn concludes they were lying to him, will he disclose their identities?
Michelle possessses a gimlet eye for doubletalk. Her take on the anonymous staffers is causing me to wonder whether the talking points memo didn’t in fact originate somewhere on the GOP side.
HINDROCKET demurs: Nonsense. I agree with Michelle that in its current form, the anonymous accusation carries little or no weight. But that isn’t the point. The New York Times reported approximately a week ago that DEMOCRATIC AIDES distributed the memo, while claiming it came from the Republicans. Has anyone asked the Times reporter to identify the Democrats he saw passing out the memo? I haven’t. That would at least be a starting point toward figuring out where the memo actually came from.
In the meantime, there is not a bit of evidence connecting the memo to any Republican, and, for all of the reasons we have repeatedly spelled out on this site, there are excellent reasons to believe it is a hoax perpetrated by still-unidentified Democrats.