We rarely read the New York Times’ editorials except for their occasional humor value; today’s editorial on the Valerie Plame affair is a case in point. To begin with, the Times has a bit of a problem denouncing leaks, as it admits: “Far be it for [sic] us to denounce leaks.” No kidding; the Times has carried on a guerrilla war against the Bush administration for the last four and one-half years, relying largely on anti-Bush leaks by Democrats in the CIA and the State Department.
But the Plame “leak” is different, somehow:
But it is something else entirely when officials peddle disinformation for propaganda purposes or to harm a political adversary.
Yes, we certainly agree with that. That’s why our opinion of Joe Wilson is so low. He leaked the contents of his own report to the CIA–in the pages of the New York Times!–only he lied about his own report. He “peddled disinformation,” falsely claiming to have found no evidence of an Iraqi effort to buy uranium from Niger, in order to “harm a political adversary,” President Bush. The Times didn’t mind that particular disinformation, however, since it fit the paper’s political agenda. In fact, the Times has never issued a correction of the misstatements in Wilson’s op-ed. On the contrary, today’s editorial links to Wilson’s 2003 piece and repeats its central allegations, without even mentioning that Wilson’s op-ed has been found to be fraudulent by the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee!
The Times continues:
Mr. Rove said the origins of Mr. Wilson’s mission were “flawed and suspect” because, according to Mr. Rove, Mr. Wilson had been sent to Niger at the suggestion of his wife, who works for the Central Intelligence Agency. To understand why Mr. Rove thought that was a black mark, remember that the White House considers dissenters enemies and that the C.I.A. had cast doubt on the administration’s apocalyptic vision of Iraq’s weapons programs.
No! Rove “thought that was a black mark” because Wilson had falsely claimed, in the very New York Times op-ed that the editorial linked to this morning, that he had been sent to Niger at the request of Vice-President Cheney’s office:
In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney’s office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake