Meet the Press – The Questions We Will Not See Russert Ask of Joe Wilson.
Assume that a Democrat is in the White House. The US has been fairly busy all over the globe with this warring thing: Operation's Bushwhacker, Desert Strike, Desert Fox, Southern Skies, Infinite Reach, Allied Force, etc. A former Ambassador, an active supporter of the Republican party, is asked by a CIA operative [his wife] to take a trip to a foreign country to find out more information about a piece of intelligence provided to us by one of our closest allies.
Upon returning from the trip the Ambassador’s findings, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report, “CIA analysts did not believe that the report added any new information to clarify the issue, they did not use the report to produce any further analytical products or highlight the report for policymakers. For the same reason, CIA's briefer did not brief the Vice President on the report, despite the Vice President's previous questions about the issue.” Regardless, the Ambassador goes right ahead and writes a column attacking the administration on the case of WMD’s. Fast Forward to the real players. It’s so weak that even Dana Milbank, over at the Washington Post is forced to acknowledge in an Oct, 25, 2005 article that: “Wilson had to admit he had misspoken.”
Had the shoe been on this other foot, one can assume that Tim Russert would have done his best to get to the bottom of the issue. But, it’s not. The tough prying questions will all be directed at the folks trying to do their job, not at the operatives attempting to politically undermine them.
Questions we will not see Tim Russert ask of the principal player in this personal conspiracy to damage the President and the honor of the U. S.
Mr. Russert – Mr. Wilson. It seems obvious to many that the decision, by your wife, to send you on this trip, had political overtones from the beginning. The results of your trip were not only so insignificant that the CIA did not brief the administration on it; it was a waste of taxpayers hard earned money. Upon returning from your mission, and understanding that other than having lots of tea with your contacts in Niger, did you not have some sense that in the best interest of the United Sates, this was a secret trip; any information obtained from your efforts should be kept secret – especially in a time of war?
Mr. Russert – Mr. Wilson. Did you and your wife dream up this scheme to attempt to find information to discredit the Administration, in the privacy of your home?
Mr. Russert – Mr. Wilson. Were other Democratic operatives involved from the beginning in hatching this plan?
Mr. Russert – Mr. Wilson. In July of 2003, former President Bill Clinton expressed on Larry King Live, his absolute view was that when he left office, Saddam Hussein still possessed mass quantities of WMD’s and maintained the ability and the will to make more. Mr. Clinton also strongly expressed his view that we needed to support the President in this mission in Iraq and the ultimate goal of bringing Democracy to the long suffering people of Iraq. Of course, many others in the Clinton administration, Vice President Al Gore, Defense Secretary William Cohen, etc., have all made similar views publicly known. Do you feel regret for not running out and writing a column trashing the former President Bill Clinton, and others for publicly expressing such closely held beliefs?
Mr. Russert – Mr. Wilson. On November 7th, 2005 Senator Carl Levin (D) of Michigan, a member of the Intelligence Committee, appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, and in a conversation on the issue of WMD’s made the following claim:
- look there was plenty of evidence that Saddam had nuclear weapons, by the way. That is not in dispute. There is plenty of evidence of that.
As you are aware, nobody in the Bush administration ever made such a claim. Did you not feel the need to run out and write a column or a book exposing such a crazy claim? Why did you not run back to Iraq in the winter of 2005, to have some more tea with your contacts and find out if there was truth to Sen. Levin’s statement?
Mr. Russert – Mr. Wilson. For the record, many of us feel that falsely portraying information obtained in on a CIA ordered mission undertaken on behalf of our government and using it to cause political harm to our President and his administration, and thus to all US Citizens, is, quite frankly, well below the bar for a former Ambassador. In fact, it is unacceptable for any citizen to do such. Do you feel shame?
Do you feel any remorse?
Is there anything in heart that you wish to express to the American public today? An apology, perhaps?Mr. Russert – Mr. Wilson. Your efforts damaged the US effort abroad. It led a few of our allies to abandon us on the ground in Iraq. It caused the administration to spend much vital time being sidetracked on pathetic political sideshow. Are you sorry for the damage which you and your wife have caused?