...if this were Bizzaro World.
When the Vice President's Chief of Staff was on trial, Bill O'Reilly claimed that it was a non-story which would go away quickly. "No one I know is interested in this," said Bill, not giving it much mention until the day the verdict came in. Wonder how many days he would have appropriated if it was George Soros who was on trial.
Friday, Valerie Plame came to tell her story UNDER OATH on the Hill and explained that every bit of slime smeared on and about her was either an intended lie or plain wrong. Bill never mentioned Plame nor the story on his radio show Friday but did find time to continue his attack on the "possible" lies the New York Times "might" have told in an immigration editorial and that it "could" be a huge scandal.
There were no mights, possiblys or coulds in Plame's testimony.
Plame said UNDER OATH that, in essence, every Fox expert and host who for years came on to muddy Plame's words and reputation was misinformed and misinforming.
One of those Foxperts has been Victoria Toensing, a Bush apologist who was one of the drafters of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, which she said proved that Plame could not be covert; that she could not be because in the five years before she was outed she did not work out of the country for the CIA. That would be taken as gospel by Fox enthusiasts and any media outlet who brought Townsing on until Friday when Toensing admitted UNDER OATH, that she came to her conclusion without asking Plame or THE CIA! UNDER OATH, Plame testified that she was indeed out of the country while working under cover for the CIA, which Toensig would have found out, if she had only ASKED THE CIA. Toensing, who had been hauled in front of any camera Fox could set up to trash Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, also seems to have forgotten to ask CIA Director Gen. Michael V. Hayden, about her claim. In a statement read in the hearing and approved by Hayden, the CIA head man substantiated that Plame's claim that she WORKED IN A COVERT CAPACITY AT THE TIME OF NOVAK'S COLUMN. Let me repeat that. The person in charge of the agency where Toensing said Plame could not have been covert at the time Novak outed her, said Plame was, in fact, covert.
Except for those UNDER OATH facts, Toensing's propaganda, was right on the money.
Friday, while Plame testified, a Fox anchor asked Bob Novak - who publicly outed Plame - how HE felt when Plame said she felt like she was hit in the stomach when she read his column outing her. An affable and compassionate Prince of Darkness said that "the idea that [Plame] was a covert operator working on covert operations when she was going to the CIA building every day is absurd." Guess Bob will now be pushing for an indictment of Plame, since she said she was covert UNDER OATH!
On Fox News Live, host E.D. Hill (who doubles as O'Reilly yes ma'am on his Radio Factor) reported that "it sounded like Plame's testimony complete skirted the issue of whether she still fell under those rules of being considered covert." Which would be exactly right if it wasn't for the fact that Plame testified THAT SHE WAS "COVERT" UNTIL NOVAK PUBLICLY OUTED HER!
O'Reilly, who never misses a chance to say that he'll go after the bad guys, hadn't even flinched over the possibility that high-ups in this administration had spread a CIA agent's name around. An agent, mind you, who more and more seems to read "covert"; at least if you ask anyone at the CIA...which again, I should remind you, is one place TOENSING NEVER ASKED. BillO felt that this little piece of information didn't call for even a mention, yet he had time to spend another day raking the NY Times across the coals for what they MIGHT have done.
Ranking Republican, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), thought the guilt didn't lie with the administration. "This looks to me more like a CIA problem than a White House problem," Davis maintained that the agency should have made sure that White House officials who inquired about Plame knew that her position was classified, which should give grist for the O'Reilly's "Talking Point" this Monday...
"Why didn't the CIA, who everyone knows wants the Democrats to win, ask the White House if they were planning a hit job against one of their agents? The Folks want to know."Steve Young is the author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" (www.greatfailure.com) and his column appears in the LA Daily News Sunday Opinion page...to the left of O'Reilly's...really. His next book, "The Power of Satire...The Secret Weapon That Can Win The 2008 Election For The Candidate Who Is Less Of A Joke Than The Other," threatens to be finished any day.