Wednesday, October 01, 2003

I already admitted my obsession with the CIA leak story. Here's how that obsession is manifesting itself today.

A Knight Ridder story published today includes this graf:
The mushrooming controversy also signaled a growing schism within the administration over Bush's handling of Iraq. The Justice Department launched the investigation at the request of the CIA; some CIA officials think the White House misrepresented intelligence information to make the case for war.
This seems to create a link that hasn't been backed up: The only reason for this investigation is that the CIA is pissed at Bush for Iraq. That may be true, but I want someone besides the reporter telling me so. Back it up.

But I'm finding that most stories need to create more links: Why did Robert Novak publish Valerie Plame's identity? That's important information, to show that he wasn't just fed a leak that he published for the hell of it. He was trying to establish that nepotism helped Joseph Wilson get his yellowcake-seeking job, not Wilson's experience. This Knight Ridder story does have this connection.
A week later, conservative columnist Robert Novak reported that "senior administration officials" had told him that Wilson got the Africa assignment with his wife's help, implying that Wilson wasn't qualified to determine whether Iraq had sought enriched uranium in Niger.
But most don't; they simply say the identity of Wilson's wife might have been leaked for political reasons, to retaliate against Wilson. That's important, but not the whole story.


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