The editors of the Washington Post blow the whistle on “Fair Game,” the new movie that tries to glorify lying socialites Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. Wilson and Plame contend that the movie is “accurate.” But, as the Post explains, it is not accurate as to Wilson:
The movie portrays Mr. Wilson as a whistle-blower who debunked a Bush administration claim that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from the African country of Niger. In fact, an investigation by the Senate intelligence committee found that Mr. Wilson’s reporting did not affect the intelligence community’s view on the matter, and an official British investigation found that President George W. Bush’s statement in a State of the Union address that Britain believed that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger was well-founded.
Nor is it accurate as to Plame:
The movie portrays Ms. Plame as having cultivated a group of Iraqi scientists and arranged for them to leave the country, and it suggests that once her cover was blown, the operation was aborted and the scientists were abandoned. This is simply false. In reality, as The Post’s Walter Pincus and Richard Leiby reported, Ms. Plame did not work directly on the program, and it was not shut down because of her identification.
Finally, it is not accurate as to the Bush administration:
“Fair Game” also resells the couple’s story that Ms. Plame’s exposure was the result of a White House conspiracy. A lengthy and wasteful investigation by a special prosecutor found no such conspiracy – but it did confirm that the prime source of a newspaper column identifying Ms. Plame was a State Department official, not a White House political operative.
No wonder the Post, in the title to its editorial, suggests that Wilson, Plame, and Hollywood are playing a “Dirty Game” here.
Wilson has said that “for people who have short memories or don’t read, this is the only way they will remember the period.” There is that danger. I’ve talked to people whose understanding of the assassination of President Kennedy derives almost entirely from Oliver Stone’s film.
As usual, though, Joe Wilson overestimates his importance. His affair is not the Kennedy assassination, and it’s difficult to see people, no matter how ill-informed, basing their recollection of “the period” on this distorted footnote.