I suppose I should have seen this coming, but today's editorial confirmed to me that the Washington Post no longer has credibility as an impartial newspaper.
Today's mind-boggling peek through the looking glass of the Washington Post editorial board reveals that it is, indeed, a mouthpiece for Bush administration talking points.
Here is what today's editorial had to say about a "good leak" by President Bush:
"President Bush was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons. Presidents are authorized to declassify sensitive material, and the public benefits when they do. But the administration handled the release clumsily, exposing Mr. Bush to the hyperbolic charges of misconduct and hypocrisy that Democrats are leveling."
So, the fact that only selective elements from that intelligence document were leaked to a reporter, thus misrepresenting the entire report to make political points, is allegedly correct foreign policy. Not only that, but those who do not see it that way are engaging in "hyperbolic charges."
But WaPo doesn't stop there. Ambassador Joseph Wilson is now Darth Vader:
"The affair concerns, once again, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and his absurdly over-examined visit to the African country of Niger in 2002. Each time the case surfaces, opponents of the war in Iraq use it to raise a different set of charges, so it's worth recalling the previous iterations. Mr. Wilson originally claimed in a 2003 New York Times op-ed and in conversations with numerous reporters that he had debunked a report that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from Niger and that Mr. Bush's subsequent inclusion of that allegation in his State of the Union address showed that he had deliberately 'twisted' intelligence 'to exaggerate the Iraq threat.' The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.
"Mr. Wilson subsequently claimed that the White House set out to punish him for his supposed whistle-blowing by deliberately blowing the cover of his wife, Valerie Plame, who he said was an undercover CIA operative. This prompted the investigation by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald. After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson's charge. In last week's court filings, he stated that Mr. Bush did not authorize the leak of Ms. Plame's identity. Mr. Libby's motive in allegedly disclosing her name to reporters, Mr. Fitzgerald said, was to disprove yet another false assertion, that Mr. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger by Mr. Cheney. In fact Mr. Wilson was recommended for the trip by his wife. Mr. Libby is charged with perjury, for having lied about his discussions with two reporters. Yet neither the columnist who published Ms. Plame's name, Robert D. Novak, nor Mr. Novak's two sources have been charged with any wrongdoing."
Ambassador Wilson was "the one guilty of twisting the truth?" Oh, I guess that Iraq really was purchasing uranium? How could I have missed that one?
Considering the reports we have out of Great Britain that the administration seemed bent on fixing intelligence to support their march to war, it is not hard to connect the dots and see Judith Miller being played in the same manner here. After all, weren't her initial WMD reports based upon selective intelligence being fed to her as well?
The Washington Post seems to have no problem with the contradictions between a president who says that leaks for political reasons are bad, with his own decision to selectively release portions of classified intelligence that, standing alone, would tend to support his own political stance. If that wasn't the case, why not release the entire report at that time, so Ms. Miller could have seen ALL the doubts that were being raised over the uranium claim.
We have a president that says "we don't leak," "we don't wiretap without a warrant," and, the biggest whopper of them all, "no president wants war."
It's nice to know that the Bush team has such good friends at the Washington Post.
It explains a lot....like the Ben Domenech fiasco, for instance. Interestingly, even in that case, the Post couldn't admit that they were wrong in bringing in an extremist right-wing blogger for alleged 'balance.' No, it was the fact that he was a plagiarizing extremist.
This is the looking glass, after all.
UPDATE: In Monday's Huffington Post (4/10/06), Jane Hamsher does a meticulous dissection of the WaPo editorial. It is a terrific read and can be found here.