Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Continuing Stenography by Dumbed-down Dumbasses of the USA Press

Great stuff by Joe Conason and David Corn this week with special emphasis on critiquing the bovine-sluglike, spin-regurgitating, crowd following media (see end of post for context, exceptions).

David Corn writes for The Nation about "What Valerie Plame Really Did at the CIA":
Valerie Wilson was no analyst or paper-pusher. She was an operations officer working on a top priority of the Bush Administration. Armitage, Rove and Libby had revealed information about a CIA officer who had searched for proof of the President's case. In doing so, they harmed her career and put at risk operations she had worked on and foreign agents and sources she had handled. ...

Valerie Plame was recruited into the CIA in 1985, straight out of Pennsylvania State University. After two years of training to be a covert case officer, she served a stint on the Greece desk, according to Fred Rustmann, a former CIA official who supervised her then. Next she was posted to Athens and posed as a State Department employee. Her job was to spot and recruit agents for the agency. In the early 1990s, she became what's known as a nonofficial cover officer. NOCs are the most clandestine of the CIA's frontline officers. They do not pretend to work for the US government; they do not have the protection of diplomatic immunity. They might claim to be a businessperson. She told people she was with an energy firm. Her main mission remained the same: to gather agents for the CIA.

Joe Conason writes for the New York Observer in an article entitled "Media Misses the Point On C.I.A. Leak Story":
According to an article published by Mr. Corn in The Nation on Sept. 5, the available evidence also proves that Valerie Wilson was not only a genuine C.I.A. undercover officer, but that she was in charge of agency operations seeking proof of Iraq?s weapons-of-mass-destruction programs. Specifically, she ran the Joint Task Force on Iraq, which was part of the Counterproliferation Division of the C.I.A.?s Directorate of Operations. She worked overseas, including trips to Jordan and other theatres of operations, using a ?nonofficial cover.? By disclosing her identity, the Bush officials ruined her career and endangered the sources and methods she had used in the President?s service. Hubris also suggests strongly that her alleged role in dispatching her husband to Niger has been exaggerated.

All this is quite contrary to the dominant right-wing perspective in Washington. So now we will see whether those who were so thrilled by the Armitage scoop are honest enough to confront more significant and embarrassing facts. But the fundamental issues have not changed.

Rather than confront Mr. Wilson?s accusations directly, the White House went after him and his wife?and then lied about the involvement of its senior officials in disclosing her identity. The perpetrators of these unpatriotic partisan acts have yet to be punished, and the President, as usual, has failed to uphold his own professed ethical standards. It is a simple matter, and yet still too challenging for the national press to understand.

While there are more examples of print journalists (as above) doing excellent critical reporting, the biggest problem is most 'merikuns get their news from TV, not newspapers and other in-depth magazines like the Atlantic Journal. And mainstream media, CNN included, is practically almost total crap.

A couple of exceptions:
  • the stunning and amazingly brave, brains + beauty Lara Logan of CBS News, who reported last night on the disturbing resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan (and other similar Bush-Rummy-Cheney TOTAL FAILURES in Iraq); and
  • David Schuster of NBC and MSNBC whose work is more nuanced, but consistently analytical, balanced, as in-depth as brief on-air reports can be, (and therefore equally exposing and damning of the Repugnacon failures and fiascoes on all levels for anyone with a brain).

Corn's piece in the Nation, here; Conason's here.

David Corn Joe Conason Valerie Plame The Nation CIA Spy Lara Logan CBS News NBC MSM Print Media TV News Journalism Journalists


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