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Friday, March 7, 2008
Armitage-O-Philia Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

If Richard Armitage didn't exist, NewsBusters would have had to invent him -- he serves as such a valuable touchstone of misleading claims for it.

In a March 6 NewsBusters post, Richard Newcomb attacked an article in the Israeli paper Haaretz for coming to the defense of "anti-American" New York Times reporters who committed the offense of, in Newcomb's words, "deciding what information is and is not legal to leak and print- never mind that we elect Presidents, Senators and Representatives to do this." Times reporter james Risen, Newcomb wrote, "exposed classified data with the aid of hidden law-breakers in the government," in this case an alleged "CIA-Mossad operation to destabilize Iran," thus "aiding America's enemies and assisting said enemies to kill American citizens." Newcomb stated regarding the Haaretz article:

Haaretz goes on to bring up the infamous Valerie Plame hoax to support their argument that the Bush Administratioj is 'waging war on journalists', repeating the false claim that Vice-President Richard Cheney's then chief of staff, L. Lewis Libby leaked Plame's name. As a matter of fact, it was State Department hack Richard Armitage who actually first mentioned Plame's name, though I am not sure how much leaking was involved concerning someone who was listed as a CIA employee in Who's Who!

As we have repeatedly noted every time a NewsBusters writer makes this claim, Armitage was not the only person to leak Plame's name; his leakee, Robert Novak, was merely the first to publish it. Scooter Libby did, in fact, leak Valerie Plame's name, as well as Karl Rove (with whom Novak confirmed Plame's identity).

Further, Plame was not "listed as a CIA employee in Who's Who!" as Newcomb claims; she was listed only as the wife of Joe Wilson with no mention of job title.

Newcomb also personally attacks Risen, baselessly asserting: "Risen strikes me as a person who would rather see Muslim fanatics running the United States than an elected Republican President."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 9, 2008 10:33 AM EST

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