Tuesday, November 22, 2005
A Frustrated Woody!
On Monday Bob Woodward appeared on "Larry King Live"" to try and shed some light on his actions regarding "Plamegate". King is not known for his hard-hitting style and in this interview he didn't disappoint.
In an early exchange King asked about Washington Post editor Len Downie's criticism of Woodward.
KING: Mr. Downie said you should not have given your opinion. Was he correct?
WOODWARD: Yes. I think I was a little hyper and a lot of pent up frustrations that night. And as you have pointed out a number of times, I tend to be very neutral, overly neutral and I think I should find ways of expressing myself that don't look like I'm making a judgment or voicing an opinion but offering analysis or hopefully some new facts.
Hyper, frustrated and overly neutral - I'm not a Pulitzer Prize winning writer but those aren't the adjectives that I would have used. Oh, I don't know........ Maybe - arrogant, irresponsible, unprofessional - those come to mind.
Overly neutral what the hell does that mean. I don't think that is the proper use of this term - unless it means so neutral that you aren't actually neutral at all.
Later in the interview Larry asked how Woodward learned about Valerie Plame.
KING: How did it even come up?
WOODWARD: Came up because I asked about Joe Wilson, because a few days before, my colleague at the "Washington Post," Walter Pincus, had a front-page story, saying there was an unnamed envoy -- there was no name given -- who had gone to Niger the year before to investigate for the CIA if there was some Niger-Iraq uranium deal or yellow cake deal.
I learned that that ambassador's name was Joe Wilson, which was, you know, Wilson eventually surfaced...
Interesting. I would guess that Bob went to one of his unnamed sources to find out about the unnamed envoy that Pincus had written about. Woodward tries to cover this by quickly stating that Wilson's name "eventually surfaced".
WOODWARD: ... I guess a few weeks later. So I said to this source, long substantive interview about the road to war. You know, at the end of an interview like this, after you're doing an interview on television, you might just shoot the breeze for a little while. And so, I asked about Wilson, and he said this.
KING: I see.
WOODWARD: Most kind of off-hand.
Woodward again tries to advance the notion that somehow it is not a crime to out an undercover CIA officer if it is done "off-hand" or just"shooting the breeze". This is ridiculous. It doesn't matter how casually the information was passed. It is a crime to leak classified material to anyone not authorized to receive it - no matter how hyper, frustrated and overly neutral they are.
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