A July 16 NewsBusters post by Gary Hall is one long, partisan harangue of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. Hall starts off poorly by making a misleading claim about Wilson's New York Times op-ed that eventually resulted in the exposure of his wife, Plame, as a CIA operative. Hall claims that Wilson's op-ed is "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.' " In fact, Milbank wrote that the inaccuracy for which Wilson apologized was "was not central to Wilson's claims about Niger."
Hall then created a list of questions that "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." Here, he misleads again: the first question starts off by saying, "It seems obvious to many that the decision, by your wife, to send you on this trip, had political overtones from the beginning." In fact, there is no evidence that Plame "sent" Wilson on the trip to Niger; even the Senate Intelligence Committee never asserted more than that Plame "suggested" Wilson for the trip.
Hall then goes on to ask such less-than-balanced questions as:
-- "Did you and your wife dream up this scheme to attempt to find information to discredit the Administration, in the privacy of your home?"
-- "Were other Democratic operatives involved from the beginning in hatching this plan?"
-- "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?"
-- "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?"
In that same spirit, we ask a question of Hall: Did you ever demand that similar questions about schemes to discredit a president, coordination with political operatives, shame and pathetic political sideshows be asked of Paula Jones?