Patterico's Pontifications


The Power of the Jump™: L.A. Times Implies That Cheney Leaked Plame’s Identity

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 3:57 pm

(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)

“OK, team. We all know that Richard Armitage leaked Valerie Plame’s identity. But how can we suggest that the leaker was really Dick Cheney, without actually coming out and saying it?”

If you listen closely, you can almost hear the editors of the L.A. Times asking themselves that question, as they put together yesterday’s article on the first day of the Scooter Libby trial.

The article is titled Cheney’s key role in leak case detailed. That headline alone implies Cheney was behind the leak. The deck headline continues the misdirection: “A former aide testifies in Libby’s trial that the vice president directed the effort to discredit a CIA agent’s husband.” Everyone knows that the leak of Plame’s identity was part of that effort to discredit Wilson, so the implication is reinforced. And the lede sentence reads:

In the first such account from Vice President Dick Cheney’s inner circle, a former aide testified Thursday that Cheney personally directed the effort to discredit an administration critic by having calls made to reporters in 2003.

What about Richard Armitage? Richard Armiwho? The article professes ignorance of the identity of the real leaker, and continues to imply that Cheney was behind the leak:

Cheney dictated detailed “talking points” for his chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and others on how they could impugn the critic’s credibility, said Catherine J. Martin, who was the vice president’s top press aide at the time.

Libby is on trial on charges of obstructing an investigation into how the name of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame, became public. The government says her identity emerged in conversations Libby had with several reporters. It is illegal to knowingly divulge the name of a CIA employee.

(Actually, no. It’s illegal only if it’s a covert employee.)

Not until Page A17 does the article finally admit — in passing, in the 15th paragraph — that the witness had no indication that Libby or Cheney actually leaked Plame’s name:

But Martin said that neither Cheney nor Libby had suggested that the identity of Plame be divulged as part of the game plan. She said that she had no knowledge of either actually doing so.

Coming as late as it does, this does little to rebut the clear implications of the headlines and first paragraphs that Cheney and Libby leaked Plame’s identity. Worse, the name of the actual admitted leaker, Richard Armitage, is not mentioned once in the story. Armitage’s admission is mentioned only at the tail end of a misleading accompanying timeline — one that also suggests, until the very end, that Libby was the leaker.

Business as usual at the L.A. Times, which has worked hard over the years to distort every aspect of this story against the Administration.

Thanks to Curt W.

P.S. The web version of the story is accompanied by this picture:


Cute. They’re not saying it, mind you — because there’s a question mark! That makes it okay — and so very objective!

6 Responses to “The Power of the Jump™: L.A. Times Implies That Cheney Leaked Plame’s Identity”

  1. The Times coverage is lackluster, and the implication may or may not be inaccurate. But I’m biased against the integrity of the Bush camp. Whether or not a crime was technically committed, I think that Cheney, et al, realized there was a leak, and instead of attempting to plug it decided to swiftly take advantage and spread it even further, knowing they couldn’t be held liable.

    Bottom line, Wilson’s info has proven to have been more correct that the Bush Admin’s. That they were trying to discredit him with such such vigor only reinforces my view that they were deliberately lying to the American public to gain support for invasion.

    David Markland (43a266)

  2. But don’t you love it that this case has the “far out man” left feeling compelled to support a CIA agent? See this for example. I bet the poor guy can stand to look himself in the mirror only on every other day.

    nk (41da82)

  3. Deceive, Inveigle, Obfuscate

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  4. David Markland: Have you read what you wrote? “Whether or not a crime was technically committed,”

    There was no crime.

    “…Wilson’s info has proven to have been more correct…”

    Wilson stated that Iraq did indeed try to buy uranium from Niger (see the Senate hearings, or read the posts I think below this one), just like BUSH DID. So until Wilson changed his story and his non-covert wife’s name came out, they had the same story.

    Do you have a bias against the democrats in congress? You know, the ones that saw the SAME info that the President did and ‘gain(ed) support for the invasion’ and voted to authorize it?

    How about Clinton and several prominent Dems that said that Hussein was a threat in 1997 up until 2003? How about the U.N. or Europe who (before the invasion) thought that Iraq was a threat? Was the whole freaking world simply lieing to you?

    Lord Nazh (3465cc)

  5. I’m sorry, I still don’t see how “outing” Plame as an alleged CIA agent would discredit Wilson. It would do the opposite. The trail then leading directly to the Adm. – according to this faulty theory – would only further bolster Wilson’s credibility.

    Therefore, the Bush team did not out Plame, which was evident from the outset, and later proven.

    J. Peden (bf0072)


    krazy kagu (8b6422)

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