Patterico's Pontifications

7/15/2004

P.C. Consequences?

Filed under: Air Security,Political Correctness — Patterico @ 11:08 pm

I’m holding off on commenting extensively on this, until I learn a little more about its veracity. But even if it were a parable, it would be a pretty good one.

UPDATE: The story has been confirmed in part. I will have much more to say about this.

Black Community Leader: Don’t Fly Off the Handle and Rush to Judgment Like That Guy Steve Lopez

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 10:56 pm

I saw an amazing quote from a black community leader today, in the latest L.A. Times story about the whacking of a black suspect by an LAPD officer with a flashlight:

Khalid Shah of Stop the Violence Increase the Peace said he believed it was too soon to judge the police investigation or the arrest.

“Of course it may look bad, and it may be bad,” said Shah, who is working on an alternative citizen panel organized by L.A. Sentinel newspaper owner Danny Bakewell. “We do the process a disservice by rendering any kind of judgment until we can find out what the facts are.”

Wow.

Khalid Shah needs to have a sit-down with Times columnist Steve Lopez, who recently wrote:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, go ahead and investigate, but I saw what I saw.

. . . .

Although this thing looked bad, Bratton said from 3,000 miles away, “There should be no rush to judgment before the investigations are completed.”

Guess what, Chief. My investigation is complete.

Any cop who’d whack a captured suspect 11 times, on live TV no less, is too dumb to keep past lunch.

There you have it. A black community leader has more faith in the “process” than a Times columnist does. It’s heartening and sad all at once.

I also loved this quote from another Lopez column on the same topic:

For all the pressing issues in L.A. — gang warfare, huge dropout rates, a housing crisis, crummy low-paying jobs, and a young man shot dead last week while cleaning up gang graffiti in Boyle Heights — so-called community leaders are worked up about a suspected car thief who ran from police and got cracked with a flashlight.

Yeah, we shouldn’t get worked up about this, Steve. That must be why you devoted three entire columns to the topic.

I guess I shouldn’t be so critical. After all, Lopez has a tough job. He gets paid a comfortable salary for writing three columns a week for the Times. It can’t be easy making those three columns look like they are worth it.

It’s “Annoy the Base” Time Here at Patterico’s Pontifications

Filed under: Current Events — Patterico @ 10:36 pm

I don’t have a lot to say about it, but I am pleased that the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage was defeated.

Bob Somerby on Joe Wilson

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:45 pm

It is very entertaining to read Bob Somerby, the often insightful and always vitriolic defender of Al Gore, once again hammering Joe Wilson — this time in a post entertainingly titled Warning to readers! Once again, we roll our eyes at liberal icon Joe Wilson.

Great stuff.

L.A. Times Ends News Blackout on Joe Wilson’s Lack of Credibility — Details on Page A6

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:28 am

After a series of Page One articles trumpeting allegations by Joe Wilson against the Bush Administration (for details see this post), the Los Angeles Times has finally mentioned that the recent Senate Intelligence Committee report concludes that Wilson is a liar. But the story, which took the paper almost a week to run, appears on page A6, and does not cite the most compelling evidence that Wilson lied. (Although there is a front-page story about the Butler report, that story doesn’t mention Niger at all.) Incredibly, the Page One space today is reserved for more important stories, like this one about Harrah’s buying Caesar’s.

The revelations about Wilson come at the tail end of the page A6 story about Iraq efforts to buy Niger uranium, and are inordinately defensive of Wilson:

The Senate committee report questioned Wilson’s account on several issues. Wilson has maintained that his wife did not suggest him for the mission to Niger, but the committee found that she did, noting that another CIA official said Plame had “offered up his name.”

“That’s just false,” Wilson said in a telephone interview Wednesday. He said he was preparing a written rebuttal to the Senate report.

A senior intelligence official said the CIA supports Wilson’s version: “Her bosses say she did not initiate the idea of her husband going…. They asked her if he’d be willing to go, and she said yes,” the official said.

The Senate report also accused Wilson of exaggerating his knowledge of forged documents that purported to be evidence of an Iraqi purchase of uranium. Wilson acknowledged that he might have “misspoken” on that issue.

The committee found that intelligence analysts recalled Wilson’s report on his mission to Niger as ambiguous and unimpressive, not as the conclusive refutation he has sometimes described.

Reading this, you’d never know how definitively Wilson denied the involvement of his wife, or how strong the evidence is that she was involved. As the Washington Post reported — the day after the Senate report came out:

Wilson has asserted that his wife was not involved in the decision to send him to Niger.

“Valerie had nothing to do with the matter,” Wilson wrote in a memoir published this year. “She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip.”

Yet, as the Post also reported, her involvement in the decision is documented:

The report states that a CIA official told the Senate committee that Plame “offered up” Wilson’s name for the Niger trip, then on Feb. 12, 2002, sent a memo to a deputy chief in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations saying her husband “has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.” The next day, the operations official cabled an overseas officer seeking concurrence with the idea of sending Wilson, the report said.

That is a more complete and accurate portrayal of the evidence that Wilson lied on this issue.

Not only does the Times play down the extent of the evidence against Wilson, it also stuffs the revelations inside section A. It’s inexcusable how long it took the L.A. Times to get around to printing this, and it’s unfair to Bush that it’s placed on page A6 — given the front-page prominence of the numerous previous stories on the issue.

What would have been fair? A front-page story saying that, according to the Butler report, the “sixteen words” in President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address were “well-founded” — and adding that, according to the Senate report, numerous claims made by the principal accuser of Bush on that issue, Joseph Wilson, have been refuted by documentary and testimonial evidence.

At best, today’s story provides curious Times readers a starting point for their research. It doesn’t give them the whole story.

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit, Cori Dauber, and Captain Ed for the links. I hope new readers will bookmark the site and return in the future.

Also, this item is cross-posted at “Oh, That Liberal Media”, a group blog to which I contribute. I encourage anyone who hasn’t visited that site to take a look.

UPDATE x2: For anyone doubting that Wilson made the blanket statements about his wife as detailed in the Washington Post article, here is a link to Chapter 17 of his book, via Lawrence in the comments. A quote highlighted by Lawrence makes it pretty dang clear:

Quite apart from the matter of her employment, the assertion that Valerie had played any substantive role in the decision to ask me to go to Niger was false on the face of it. Anyone who knows anything about the government bureaucracy knows that public servants go to great lengths to avoid nepotism or any appearance of it. Family members are expressly forbidden from accepting employment that places them in any direct professional relationship, even once or twice removed. Absurd as these lengths may seem, a supervisor literally cannot even supervise the supervisor of the supervisor of another family member without high-level approval. Valerie could not have stood in the chain of command had she tried to. Dick Cheney might be able to find a way to appoint one of his daughters to a key decision-making position in the State Department’s Middle East Bureau, as he did; but Valerie could not—and would not if she could—have had anything to do with the CIA decision to ask me to travel to Niamey [the location of the U.S. Embassy in Niger].

The sound you hear is the sound of that claim going up in smoke.


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