Monday, December 06, 2010

A Factual Smackdown For The New Valerie Plame Movie - From The Washington Post!

The final end to the Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame scam comes from, of all places, the editors of the Washington Post, who dubs "Fair Game" the new movie that attempts to make heroes out of them, 'Hollywood myth-making':

Joseph C. Wilson IV and former spy Valerie Plame, claim that it tells the true story of their battle with the Bush administration over Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and Ms. Plame's exposure as a CIA agent. "It's accurate," Ms. Plame told The Post. Said Mr. Wilson: "For people who have short memories or don't read, this is the only way they will remember that period."

We certainly hope that is not the case. In fact, "Fair Game," based on books by Mr. Wilson and his wife, is full of distortions - not to mention outright inventions. To start with the most sensational: 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.

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.

The British investigation the Post mentions was the Butler Commission, which still stands resolutely by it's findings.

The Post also debunks the story pushed in "Fair Game" that Valerie Plame's 'exposure' was the result of a White House conspiracy. Aside from the fact that her employment with the CIA was known to her neighbors and was not covert in any sense of the word, the investigation by a special prosecutor the Post dubs 'lengthy and wasteful' not only found there was no conspiracy,but that the person who leaked Plame's identity was Richard Armitage, who worked for the State Department - not the White House.

And then, there's this surprising finish:

Hollywood has a habit of making movies about historical events without regard for the truth; "Fair Game" is just one more example. But the film's reception illustrates a more troubling trend of political debates in Washington in which established facts are willfully ignored. Mr. Wilson claimed that he had proved that Mr. Bush deliberately twisted the truth about Iraq, and he was eagerly embraced by those who insist the former president lied the country into a war. Though it was long ago established that Mr. Wilson himself was not telling the truth - not about his mission to Niger and not about his wife - the myth endures. We'll join the former president in hoping that future historians get it right.

Sort of pops the 'Bush lied, people died' balloon quite nicely no? A pity it took so long.

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1 comment:

B.Poster said...

Yes it is a pity it took so long. Also, its a pity the US government can't or won't act more forcefully to represent its position.

This article debunking "Fair Game" will only be in the public very briefly and it will quickly lose any traction. At most, it will temporarily reach an audience of few hundred thousand. Even at that it will quickly fade from public view.

The movie "Fair Game" will be broadcast world wide. It will be taught in classrooms both in high school and universities for years to come. This will be done on a world wide basis. It will reach an audience of at least 4 billion people over the next few years. The publicity it will get will far exceed the article debunking it.

As such, while the article is nice, it is virtually useless and may have negative utility. The promoters of "Fair Game" will charge the publishers of this article as being agents of the US government.

In summary, the US simply must do a better job of getting its point of view out. Until this changes, to use borrow an expression we are pretty much "dead in the water."