Bob Woodward calls the media on its persistant factual error about Wilson's trip

Stephen Spruiell:

...Bob Woodward demonstrated last night on CNN, it's an undeniable part of the story:
Woodward: There's some factual problems here. When Wilson went to Niger before all this blew up, in fact, before there was a war, he came back and reported, and Michael [Isikoff] and others who've read the Senate Intelligence Committee on this, know his report was very ambiguous. In fact, most of the analysts at the CIA said that Wilson's findings, when he went to Niger, supported the conclusion that there was some deal with Iraq. Now, no, that's [reacting to agitation across table from Senator Chris Dodd] — I mean, the Democrats, the Democrats and the Republicans all signed that report. That is a fact.

Woodward then pulled a copy of the relevant passages out of his pocket and slid them across the table toward Dodd and Newsweek's Michael Isikoff, who reacted as if Woodward had just pulled out a rubber chicken. Here's Isikoff's dismissive response:

We don't know exactly what Joe Wilson said when he came back because he didn't actually write a written report. It was an oral debriefing. So you have CIA analysts who might have interpreted it in different ways...

Oh, it was an oral debriefing, as opposed to a written report. BIG difference. If this is the best excuse the mainstream media can come up with for ignoring the fact that Wilson's op-ed was a lie from the word go, they're going to have to do better. We're not going to give up.

Actually, the op-ed was deceitful. Wilson never really challenged what Bush actually said, he just challenged whether a deal was consumated, something Bush never suggested. Bush was trying to show intentions, and Wilson was trying to undermine the evidence of those intentions through his deceit. Wilson was similarly deceitfull about the origons of his trip by suggesting it was done at the request of the Vice President. He ingaged in that deceit to add credibility to his trip and at the same time accuse the Vice President of ignoring his findings, which it turns out were never presented to him because they basically supported existing intelligence about Saddam's intentions. There is a difference between deceit and lies that sometimes goes unnoticed, because the result is usually the same. You can lie to deceive, and you can with hold relevant information to deceive. Wilson generally does the latter, however because it is his nature to deceive he will occassionally come pretty close to an outright lie such as his statement that his wife had nothing to do with his trip. Clearly she did, even if she was not the ultimate authority for the trip, but in the Wilson deceit mode he tripped up on that one.


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