Saturday, March 17, 2007

How wingnuts construct their "facts"

I usually ignore these things but this one is so illustrative of how the wingnuts operate that is seems worth mentioning. This place I've never heard of, Sweetness and Light, which to begin with is a odd name for what appears to be a hangout for unabashed hatemongers, has constructed a silly timeline of carefully chosen, out of context quotes to "make their case" that it was Joe Wilson who outed his wife out of political ambition. [Note that all emphasis is mine]

To begin with, they use a lot of links from Common Dreams, a site the righties regularly mock as being inaccurate and a left-wing propaganda mill, to "prove" their point. Let's take one at random. S&L claims this source proves this statement.
...there was much talk within the Kerry camp that Joe Wilson might be the new administration’s Secretary Of State.
Well, let's look at the original piece, written by a radio talk show personality, for a moment. This is the entire and only quote on Wilson from a piece published on Feb. 18, 2004.
As the jockeying begins among those who fancy a government job should Kerry beat Bush in November, it's never too early to give the hopefuls currently advising the candidate a serious look.

Consider Kerry's foreign policy advisers. Ask the candidate's supporters, and the advisor they mention first is Joe Wilson, the Clinton-era National Security Council member who investigated claims that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy weapons-grade uranium from Niger. Wilson won battle stars from progressives for going public with his findings, which contradicted the Bush administration's claims. Wilson's wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame, was outed by a White House source or sources as a consequence.
See any evidence there that the Kerry camp was announcing potential appointments? I mean Kerry supporters could be anyone from your grocer to your mother-in-law and the office of Secretary of State wasn't even mentioned. All the links are like that. So let's then look at their statement of "facts".

It was almost certainly Mr. Joseph C. Wilson IV who first "outed" his wife as a CIA officer.

And he probably did this in early May 2003 after meeting with top level Democrats and around the time he began to work for the John Kerry for President campaign.

Note that almost everything in this article, like the others, has been subsequently proven to be untrue. Including Wilson’s claim that he had seen the supposedly forged documents, and that his Niger report was "unequivocal." [No links to that "proof"]

Given the chronology and Mr. Armitage’s remarks, it seems quite obvious Mr. Wilson outed his wife when he spoke to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and then to the subsequent reporters at the Times, the Post and elsewhere, when he was hawking his story about his trip to Niger.

It’s highly probable Wilson used his wife’s position as a WMD analyst at the CIA to bolster his outrageous (and we now know fallacious) claims against a then popular President in a time of war.

But Valerie Plame’s work at the CIA had almost certainly long since been disclosed to anyone who would listen by Joe Wilson. And he probably disclosed this information to promote himself, his fantasy about his "mission to Niger," and his new political career.

The vainglorious Mr. Wilson surely had his eyes on that prize. And any concern about the secrecy of his wife’s job at the CIA was a minor consideration compared to that lofty goal.
Funny, but they couldn't seem to come a single link to the "proof" that any of this conjecture is true. But Insty buys it and linked approvingly - stating he can't believe he's even still talking about it, so you can sure all of wingnuttia will embrace it. They will link to each other's agreement on these "facts" and that will serve as "proof" they are right.

Ironically, I've seen Insty rail at length about the use of such phraseology when it comes from the opposition. It astounds me that anyone can witness such contradictary behavior and still take these people seriously.

[Thanks to Scott Lemieux for the link]

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