Sunday, July 17, 2005

FACE THE NATION: Bob Schieffer on PR and damage control in the Bush WHO -- it is not working

UPDATE: July 18, 2005 12:35 PM ET:

AP reports that President Bush will prosecute any criminal leaks... President Bush said Monday that if anyone in his administration committed a crime in connection with the public leak of the identity of an undercover CIA operative, that person will "no longer work in my administration." At the same time, Bush again sidestepped a question on the role of his top political adviser, Karl Rove, in the matter. [you see, the PR/spin/damage control is not working. There is no definition here. Only that the "ongoing investigation is being played out in the press" . This is not working either, Mr. President. Not anymore, sir. Several polls say that 91% of the American people want to see Mr. Rove dismissed. And if Rush Limbaugh does not shut up, he will truly lose his voice.]


From July 17, 2005, 10:00 PM ET:

VIDEO from Crooks and Liars

I do not want to steal Bob Schieffer's ("Face the Nation") thunder regarding his commentary. But he is right when it comes to damage control and PR -- it should NOT have been utilized. Instead of dealing with Karl Rove and Company, the president's people did what the modern PR rule calls for -- never admit a mistake -- just do what you can to kill the story before it kills you - which oftens work --spin it away. Go into attack mode. Those damn liberals. Those damn democrats. Those DAMN reporters. Deflect. Deflect. Deflect. But it is not working this time. Right now it is not going anywhere. It is all up to a special prosecutor who has control now, and the clock is ticking.

Schieffer said this in effect, and asked, would this happen if LBJ would be in office? Hell, no! Lyndon would have just said "What in the sam hell is going on, boys and girls?!" H e would have just gotten to the bottom of it, instead of letting it fester for two years. And the special prosecutor may hold it up even more....tick...tick...tick...

And Bob, you may get Dan Rather's old job after all. Kudos to you.


1 comment:

By Jeff Gannon said...

ly 18, 2005
CIA Tried to Discredit Secret Memo Through Washington Post
Much of the discussion this week about the latest disclosures in the alleged outing of a covert CIA agent will focus on an internal memo that detailed how former Ambassador Joe Wilson was chosen for a mission to Niger. The document indicated that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, “offered up his name” for the assignment to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein tried to acquire uranium from the African nation.

Wilson denied that Plame pushed him for the job and said that Vice President Dick Cheney asked him to go. An official who works for the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research authored a memo that contradicts both of those assertions.

The former ambassador accused the White House of exposing his wife’s identity to columnist Robert Novak in order punish him by destroying her career. Wilson had written an op-ed for the New York Times that criticized the Bush administration for continuing to suggest that Iraq had attempted to acquire the nuclear material when his investigation had uncovered no evidence to support it.

It appears that White House officials, who discussed Plame in the context of explaining how an outspoken opponent of the administration’s policy on Iraq was chosen, may have been unaware of her status with the agency. Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper revealed that he brought up the CIA analyst to Karl Rove, which refutes Wilson’s charge of a “smear campaign” against his wife by Bush’s chief political advisor. Cooper confirmed that Rover never mentioned Plame’s name and tried to steer him away from putting too much faith in Wilson’s account.

Officials at the CIA tried to discredit the “smoking gun” memo and the news service that confronted Wilson about it in October 2003 in order to keep the White House on the defensive. They relied on a sympathetic recipient of previous leaks that cast the administration in a negative light for the disinformation effort. In December 2003, the Washington Post quoted an agency source as “challenging the accuracy” of the document, claiming that the meeting described could not have taken place.

Wilson too, continued his self-righteous charade of being a patriot instead of a partisan until July 2004 when the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence authenticated the memo and chastised him for his dishonesty. He was quickly dropped as a senior foreign policy advisor to John Kerry’s presidential campaign and disappeared from public view until last Thursday when Senate Democrats tried to strip Rove of his security clearance.

While Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald continues to sift through the testimony provided by administration officials and reporters, the role of the CIA officials in the Plame affair is the subject of an internal investigation. Some of those involved in the operation to undermine the administration have already been reassigned or forced to resign. When Porter Goss was named DCIA last year, sources friendly to the Washington Post complained that the new regime was running roughshod over the agency’s senior staff. Stephen Hayes wrote in the Weekly Standard in November 2004 of Goss’ efforts to stop leaks from the agency and the pushback he encountered from the entrenched bureaucrats he was charged to manage.

Clearly, Plame was part of the element within the CIA that actively worked against the Bush administration. The available evidence shows that it is likely she suggested her husband for the mission so that the agency would be assured of the anti-Bush results. The INR memo is the only evidence of the plot and the renewed focus on the document may bring this into public view. Additionally, the agency is in the untenable position of having to stand by its contention that Plame still had covert status, despite significant evidence to the contrary. Without that, any case involving violation of the 1982 statute protecting secret agents would collapse and confirm the political operation.

With the assistance of a sympathetic media and opportunistic Democrats, the CIA has portrayed a third-rate analyst as a James Bond in high heels and her husband as the definitive authority on transfers of uranium to terrorist regimes after an eight-day junket to Africa. Plame’s specialty was weapons of mass destruction proliferation, yet little of the information the agency possessed turned out to be accurate in terms of Iraq.

Responsibility for the intelligence failures that culminated in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 lies squarely on the shoulders of the CIA. It had become dysfunctional and highly politicized by the end of the 1990s as the result of budget cuts and neglect. The extent to which it was a rogue agency is demonstrated by its attempt to influence the outcome of last year’s presidential election.

Officials in the administration should be applauded for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s political activism and taking steps to refocus its attention on the urgent need for reliable intelligence in a post-9/11 world.

Posted by jeffgannon at 09:53 AM |