Greetings from Seattle

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lies Have Wings

But the truth plods along. There is an old axiom that "the truth will set you free". It certainly did for Valerie Plame Wilson, but not in the way she, or we, would have hoped - free from employment. We saw an important movie last night, Fair Game, a compilation of the stories of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson. It is very well written and acted. You are familiar with the story, of course, as was I, but I was startled at how little I actually did know. Joe Wilson, diplomat and ambassador during the Clinton administration, and an expert on Africa, was sent to Niger to determine the veracity of a story about Iraq trying to buy yellow cake uranium from Niger. He found no evidence of any truth of this non-event and filed a report saying so with the CIA, who had sent him. Therefore he was quite shocked when he heard this false story given credence in President Bush's State of the Union speech. He recognized it as yet another attempt to manipulate intelligence to make a case for invasion. At the CIA, Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, who was at this time a "deep cover officer", was seeking verification on the purpose of aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq. All evidence gathered indicated that they were NOT of the type that could be used for enriching uranium. But the White House continued to claim they were. When Joe Wilson made the choice to go public with the truth about the yellow cake, he became a target for the White House. In getting back at him, his wife was determined to be "fair game". She was outed. I remember reading and hearing many claims to undermine the credibility of both Wilson and Plame. And of course, since the White House itself has only so much power to influence through media, they turned to columnists like Robert Novak and Judith Miller, and of course, the team players at FOX "News". The Wilson family's life became a living hell, as they were attacked on all fronts. Valerie lost her job with the CIA, who closed ranks behind the door they slammed on her. The movie is careful to not involve Vice President Cheney, but it was Scooter Libby and his entourage out of the Office of the Vice President that paid visits to the CIA, trying to extract the version of "the truth" they needed for their case for going to war. Scooter Libby and Karl Rove are portrayed as the bastards they are. Joe Wilson could not sit by and watch the manipulation of truth and the outright lies win out. He was compelled to speak out. For that he was branded a traitor. When Valerie Plame was outed, people's lives were in the balance. People died. We all choose what we believe. Some believed the Bush White House, and still do. Former President Bush is still defending himself in his new book. I choose to believe differently. I believe I found truth in this movie. As I left the theater, I was asking myself, "How do you sum this up?" The answer was "Lies get such a better telling than the truth". And it's still going on now, every day. And before I left my seat, my comment to Tom was simply "Those bastards!"

10 comments:

DJan said...

I will see this movie. But it is a damned shame that Cheney got away with it. He got away with so much that just makes me furious with our government. But I will see this one, thanks for the great review.

Kay said...

I do remember it and it still makes my blood boil. Cheney and the rest should have gone to jail. And I'm still furious at Bush. I know he makes himself out as a good ol' guy in his book. I just hope people don't get swayed by it.

Linda said...

I was very disappointed in that whole event, and feel like that is why Bush refused to pardon Scooter Libby as he was leaving the White House, in spite of Cheney's heavy push to have that done. I think Bush knows the truth.

I also wish I liked Joe Wilson but I don't.

gigi-hawaii said...

George Bush and Dick Cheney, ugh! How sad for Valerie, though, to be compromised that way. Is her life still in danger after being outed?

My life seems so plain and dull compared to hers!

Sylvia K said...

Every time I think back over that time I start foaming at the mouth and my language is very definitely questionable! I wonder how long we will continue to feel the effects of the Bush/Cheney reign? They are disgusting beyond belief!! Thanks for the review, Linda!!

Sylvia

Linda Reeder said...

Ggi - The Wilsons left Washington DC and now live in New Mexico. Legal claims they filed against "the bastards" have so far been denied, but appeals are still pending. Libby's sentence was commuted, of course, and no one else was charged. I don't know that Valerie's life is in danger here in the US, but I'm sure there are many places in the world where she can no longer travel. Nuclear scientists in Iraq who she made contact with and who told her there had been no weapons program since 1991 were awaiting rescue when she was outed. They were abandoned. They were killed or went missing, whole families gone.

sallylwess said...

We will have to go see this movie. Thanks for sharing your take on it.

Cheryl said...

Well said Linda! I shall have to see this movie too.

Rambling Woods said...

Those damn bastards doesn't even begin to express how my husband and I feel....yes..a lot of people died on Bush's watch for so many reasons from wars to Katrina to lack of funding for basic needs for some of our own people....damn him...

KathyA said...

Beautifully written, Linda, and beautifully stated.
We who live near/in the 'other' Washington, suspected this for a long time. I am incredulous that some still side with our previous administration on this. Bastards, indeed.