Water Man Spouts

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Flies, and the Lying Liars Who Eat Them

"The chief American diplomat, Joe Wilson, sheperds his flock of some 800 known Americans like a village priest. At 4:30 Sunday morning, he was helping 55 wives and children of U.S. diplomats from Kuwait load themselves and their few remaining possessions on transport for the long haul on the desert to Jordan. He shows the stuff of heroism."-- 1990 news story by Robert Novak & Rowland EvansAs the Plame scandal threatens to destroy the Bush administration's serious compromised claim to credibility, we have witnessed the aggressive right-wing "talking points" on the news. It comes as no surprise to DUers who have taken the time to become familiar with the case. However, as several of the neocon's thousand points of misinformation have begun to pop up even here, I'd like to take a few minutes to help clear a few of them up.This morning, I got out a copy of the "guidelines for discussing differences of opinion" that I used as a psychiatric social worker. I used these with the domestic violence groups at the clinic, and the groups of inmates at the jail. By no small coincidence, not only do many of the neocons seem to rely upon the debating tactics of bullies and brutes, but several may be incarcerated soon. But, as a democrat, I'm not interested in offering them therapy: I'd just like to discuss a couple of those tactics so we all recognize them.In a rational discussion that involves differences between individuals or groups, it is important to focus on clarifying the differences. For example: it is a good thing that Fitzgerald is investigating possible criminal behavior on the part of two or more senior White House officials. Many people think that's good; others think it's bad.Those who think it's good will take the basic facts involved in the scandal, and discuss them rationally. Others, who we can refer to as bullies, brutes, neocons, ex-convicts, pre-convicts, and/or supporters of the administration, do not want to discuss those facts. Instead, they wish to bring up nonsense, lies, and other things that attract flies if left on a hot sidewalk in July.In the domestic violence and/or jail groups, we would either say, "That has nothing to do with this discussion. You are merely trying to distract us from the serious issues," and then get back to business. Other times, we would simply ignore their efforts to distract, almost as if we were stepping around a pile of something that attracts flies on a hot sidewalk in July.Remember, "distractions" are the irrelevant material that is brought up to keep the discussion from focusing on the truth. The more we see this tactic being used, the more we know the brutes and bullies and neocons are feeling anxious. This anxiety is caused by our group (or country, in this case) coming too close to the truth about the Plame scandal for their confort. As this happens, they resort to the tactic that has worked best for them in the past -- lying.Shall we examine a few of these lies, and perhaps make note of simple answers to them?#1: VP Cheney did NOT send Wilson to Niger, as Wilson claims.A: Wilson never claimed Cheney did. Numerous sources have noted that Cheney and Libby pressured the CIA to support their "theories" about Iraq and WMDs. The CIA sent Wilson to Niger.#2: Joe Wilson was unqualified for that assignment.A: Wilson was selected because he was uniquely qualified for the job. He had served this country honorably as a diplomat from 1976 to 1998. He had decades of experience in Africa, and was the last US ambassador to Iraq before the Gulf War.#3:The Senate confirmed that Plame sent Wilson to Niger, yet he continues to lie about it.A: The Senate confirmed that Plame agreed with those who approached her to ask if she felt this was a job that Wilson could do.#4: Wilson is a democrat who is attempting to hurt the republican party.A: Wilson has long been a political centrist. He has served both democrats and republicans; the first President Bush has called him "a true American hero."#5: Wilson misrepresents his findings, which were inconclusive.A: Wilson's findings confirmed two other investigations' findings. One was by another U.S. ambassador, the other by a 4 star Marine General. All three found no evidence to support any claim Niger sold Iraq yellow cake uranium. The IAEA confirmed these findings when it determined the documents were forgeries.#6: We don't know if Plame was a secret agent, or if any law was broken.A: Yes, we do. Executive Order 12333 requires the CIA to report suspected criminal offenses; the fact they reported on this indicates beyond doubt what Plame's status was. More, on 7-24-03, a CI attorney notified the Chief of the Counteresppionage Section of the Department of Justice of CI concerns; then, the CIA filed two reports (7-30-03 & 9-5-03) with the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. They did this because of concerns that the White House broke the law.#7: Rove was merely trying to set the record straight with Cooper about false claims made by Wilson.A: Rove also called Chris Matthews and said, "Wilson's wife is fair game." The administration also contacted Walter Pincus, who told Wilson that they recognized admitting their error on the yellow cake "was the biggest mistake the administration had made," and that to cover it up, "they are coming after you."When we see these attempts by republicans to distort the truth and to inject misinformation into the national discussion, we need to confront them just as one would any liar in a jail group.Remember, as they feel more and more pressure -- and everyone who has read some of the new information revealed in the past couple days knows that Fitzgerald has scared the heck out of them -- they will attempt wilder lies. Do not react; always respond. We control the discussion, not the criminals.Also, keep in mind that there is presently tremendous stress between Karl Rove and VP Cheney & "Scooter" Libby. We need to keep the pressure on, so that this tension comes to a head. It's closer to happening than the republicans dare admit publicly.


Post a Comment

<< Home