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!"