Friday, January 20, 2006

AP continues to screw up in reporting Plame kerfuffle

I just clicked on a Yahoo! news story titled "Ex-Pentagon analyst jailed in spy case" wondering to what "spy case" the article was referring. The link takes one (as of the drafting of this post) to an article entitled "Ex-Pentagon Analyst Sentenced to 12 Years." Fine so far. I was curious to read who, for what and why.

But the story is not about an ex-Pentagon analyst, or anyone being newly jailed, let alone for 12 years. Instead, the story is about a request by "Scooter" Libby's lawyers to subpoena reporters' notes to prepare their trial defense. What is going on here?

For now, I'll chalk this up to incompetence and assume that there might actually be a story today where an ex-Pentagon analyst was jailed for 12 years. I'm still curious to read that story. Isn't it interesting, though, that the mistaken headline just happens to shed a negative light on the subject of the story. After all, one who hasn't followed the Plame kerfuffle closely might conclude, just from reading the headline and/or skimming the article, that "Scooter" Libby just got 12 years.

Moreover, the AP continues to get the facts wrong, by now we must conclude intentionally. The story says, "The year before, the CIA had sent Wilson to Africa to determine the accuracy of the uranium reports; he concluded they were untrue." Wrong. Wilson's report to the CIA mostly substantiated the reports that Iraq was seeking to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger. As the Wall Street Journal documents:

"[T]he Senate Intelligence and Butler reports [i.e., the Brits] . . . clearly showed that, while Saddam had probably not purchased yellowcake from Niger, the dictator had almost certainly tried--and that Mr. Wilson's own briefing of the CIA after his mission supported that conclusion. Mr. Wilson somehow omitted that fact from his public accounts at the time."

Lying scumbags - Joseph Wilson and the AP.

UPDATE: The link now goes to the correct story of Lawrence A. Franklin getting 12 years for giving classified information to Israel.


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