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NEWSWEEK “Isikoffed” the Gonzales Memo (re: Geneva Convention)
http://patterico.com/ ^ | September 18, 2006 | Patrick Frey

Posted on 09/18/2006 8:13:55 AM PDT by lowbridge

NEWSWEEK “Isikoffed” the Gonzales Memo

Since Christopher Hitchens is correcting old Dowdified quotes, I thought I’d correct one myself. This one, from a 2004 NEWSWEEK article, is a major Dowdification — in my view, every bit as egregious as Dowd’s original. What’s more, it’s still influencing lefties even today.

Worse, unlike Dowd’s alteration of a Bush quote, the NEWSWEEK story didn’t even use an ellipsis to indicate what was missing. By altering an Alberto Gonzales quote in this way, NEWSWEEK managed to make Gonzales and the Bush Administration appear unreasonably dismissive of the Geneva Convention.

The story was co-authored by Michael Isikoff — the reporter behind NEWSWEEK’s infamous Koran-in-the-toilet story that resulted in deadly riots in several Arab countries. Accordingly, I suggest that when a quote is altered without any hint that it has been changed, the quote should be described as having been “Isikoffed.”

Here are the details of how the Gonzales torture memo was “Isikoffed” by NEWSWEEK:

The quote is from a May 24, 2004 NEWSWEEK story by Isikoff, John Barry, and Michael Hirsh. Here is the quote, with the relevant portion in bold type:

By Jan. 25, 2002, according to a memo obtained by NEWSWEEK, it was clear that Bush had already decided that the Geneva Conventions did not apply at all, either to the Taliban or Al Qaeda. . . . “As you have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war,” Gonzales wrote to Bush. . . . Gonzales concluded in stark terms: “In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.”

There is no ellipsis at the end of the last sentence. If you believe NEWSWEEK, the sentence ended there. The way NEWSWEEK quoted Gonzales, it sounded as though Gonzales thought Geneva Convention restrictions on coercive interrogations were “quaint.” Leftists across the nation went nuts.

Just one problem: NEWSWEEK altered the quote, chopping Gonzales’s final sentence in half. This alteration completely changed its meaning. What’s more, the NEWSWEEK quotation did nothing to indicate that the end of the sentence had been lopped off.

Let’s go to the source — Gonzales’s original memo. The following is Gonzales’s entire quote, taken straight from Page 2 of his memo. I have bolded the part that NEWSWEEK removed:

In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions requiring that captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, script (i.e., advances of monthly pay), athletic uniforms, and scientific instruments.”

Instead of including the bold material after the word “provisions,” the NEWSWEEK article simply sliced off the end of the sentence, and put a period after the word “provisions” — as if the sentence ended there. Not even an ellipsis remained to signify that the sentence had been truncated, and its meaning distorted beyond recognition.

As is clear when one reads Gonzales’s actual quote, Gonzales was talking about things that actually were quaint. As it happens, a New York Times magazine piece from yesterday described the warden of Guantánamo Bay struggling with the issue of how to apply the Geneva Conventions — and summarily rejecting the idea that he had any obligation to implement the antiquated provisions referred to in the Gonzales memo:

[Col. Mike Bumgarner, the warden of Guantánamo Bay] thought it obvious that many of the rights would never apply to Guantánamo detainees. No one was going to allow the distribution of “musical instruments” to suspected terrorists, as the 1940’s-era conventions stipulated for the captured soldiers of another army. No one was going to pay the detainees a stipend to spend at a base canteen.

Despite the fact that Gonzales was on target with his observation regarding the Convention’s “quaint” provisions, many lefty blogs linked the NEWSWEEK piece, and quoted the Dowdified version as evidence of the evil intent of the Bush Administration. TalkLeft, Kevin Drum, and Josh Marshall all reproduced the Isikoffed quote. The story was also linked by Duncan Black. Not one of these blogs noted the Dowdification — nor did any of the other major blogs that cited the story, as evidenced by a check of the Memeorandum entry for the NEWSWEEK story. The story is still repeated on lefty blogs. In May of this year, it was linked by Arianna Huffington — and it was even linked yesterday, by lefty HuffPo blogger Harry Shearer.

Indeed, to my knowledge, not a single blog on the Web noticed that the quote in the NEWSWEEK story had been Dowdified Isikoffed — until today.

It’s true that NEWSWEEK was not the only media outlet to distort Gonzales’s memo. Many media outlets and commentators ripped the word “quaint” out of context to make it sound like Gonzales thought the entirety of the Geneva Convention was “quaint.” In an ironic twist, Maureen Dowd herself did exactly this. In his outgoing piece titled 13 Things I Meant to Write About but Never Did, long-suffering New York Times ombudsman Dan Okrent complained:

Maureen Dowd was still writing that Alberto R. Gonzales “called the Geneva Conventions ‘quaint’ ” nearly two months after a correction in the news pages noted that Gonzales had specifically applied the term to Geneva provisions about commissary privileges, athletic uniforms and scientific instruments.

It’s bad enough that so many outlets used the word “quaint” out of context to smear Gonzales and his position. But to my knowledge, NEWSWEEK is the only outlet that purported to quote the relevant passage in its “entirety” — while chopping off the relevant context without any hint that it had ever existed.

The altered quote is obviously deliberate; Gonzales’s sentence was truncated for a reason. What’s more, Michael Isikoff, the co-author of the piece, is the reporter primarily responsible for the bogus “Koran in the toilet” story that resulted in deadly riots across the Arab world. You don’t get things this wrong this often unless there’s a reason. Fool me twice, won’t get fooled again.

I mean, even Maureen Dowd had the decency to use an ellipsis!

Gonzales wasn’t just Dowdified. What happened to him was worse: he was Isikoffed.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2004election; agitprop; bullzogby; bushhassers; election2004; geneva; howtostealanelection; isikoff; isikoffed; izzykofflies; makingitup; mediabias; msm; newsweak; newsweek; powerghraib; propaganda; proterrorist; slimeballizzykoff; traitorizzykoff; zogbyism

1 posted on 09/18/2006 8:13:57 AM PDT by lowbridge
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To: lowbridge

Spikey's been a naughty boy? Again? Who'd'a thunk it?


2 posted on 09/18/2006 8:16:02 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: lowbridge

This is not surprising, from Isikoff.

Isikoff was the first reporter to get the Monical Lewinsky story. After discussing it with the editors, they agreed all round to spike it, because it was negative about their man Clinton, and they didn't want to be party to that.

Someone at Newsweek that disagreed leaked the story to Drudge, which is how Matt Drudge came to break the dominating story of Clinton's presidency.

A reporter that would spike s story to keep the public in the dark about important facts about a politician, is a reporter whose ethics allow him to alter a quote, as he does here.

As you see, the more and more you look at the enemedia the more its stars are exposed as Jayson Blair on stilts.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F


3 posted on 09/18/2006 8:19:18 AM PDT by Criminal Number 18F (Build more lampposts... we've got plenty of traitors.)
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To: lowbridge

Can you imagine someone doing this to Clinton(s)?

They'd have crashed his plane into Fort Marcy Park, before shooting him in the head.


4 posted on 09/18/2006 8:19:55 AM PDT by digger48
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To: lowbridge

WOW!!
Great post!


5 posted on 09/18/2006 8:23:54 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: mewzilla
Sparing Spikey
6 posted on 09/18/2006 8:24:26 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: STARWISE; Enchante
(( PING ))

You have got to see this.

7 posted on 09/18/2006 8:25:34 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: lowbridge

I would just as well support executions for "reporters" that purposely misquote sources that ends up aiding the enemies as the Koran story did.


8 posted on 09/18/2006 8:25:52 AM PDT by tobyhill (The War on Terrorism is not for the weak.)
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To: Criminal Number 18F
enemedia

Great description. Is it yours? May I use it in a tagline?

9 posted on 09/18/2006 8:26:42 AM PDT by greyfoxx39
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To: lowbridge
The MSM also does this to quotes from the President, VP, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, concerning the Iraq debate before the war, and during the war. For every speech, testimony before congress and press conf, the MSM lies about context, and distorts answers.

And these faux quotes are used in casual punditry now, claiming there were lies about WMD, troop levels, money for the war, what was expected, ect.

Sickening.
10 posted on 09/18/2006 8:28:02 AM PDT by roses of sharon
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To: STARWISE; Enchante

Please ping whatever lists you have and keep this one bumped.
There's a lot more here than just the duplicitous shenenigans of Spikey Mikey.
In my opinion it throws a whole new look at the antiquated Geneva Convention.
Unbelieveable.


11 posted on 09/18/2006 8:28:04 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Timesink; martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; ...
Media Schadenfreude and Media Shenanigans PING

Worse, unlike Dowd’s alteration of a Bush quote, the NEWSWEEK story didn’t even use an ellipsis to indicate what was missing. By altering an Alberto Gonzales quote in this way, NEWSWEEK managed to make Gonzales and the Bush Administration appear unreasonably dismissive of the Geneva Convention.

The story was co-authored by Michael Isikoff — the reporter behind NEWSWEEK’s infamous Koran-in-the-toilet story that resulted in deadly riots in several Arab countries. Accordingly, I suggest that when a quote is altered without any hint that it has been changed, the quote should be described as having been “Isikoffed.”


12 posted on 09/18/2006 8:29:59 AM PDT by weegee (Remember "Remember the Maine"? Well in the current war "Remember the Baby Milk Factory")
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To: digger48
They'd have crashed his plane into Fort Marcy Park, before shooting him in the head.

Ain't enough dirt in the whole state of Arkansas to put this down for a nap.

As long as we don't let 'em.

13 posted on 09/18/2006 8:30:16 AM PDT by thulldud ("Para inglés, oprima el dos.")
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To: tobyhill
"I would just as well support executions for "reporters" that purposely misquote sources that ends up aiding the enemies as the Koran story did."

How about manslaughter or murder for purposely reporting a lie (koran in the sh@ter) that resulted in many deaths. Negligent homicide at the very least. But execution works for me too.
14 posted on 09/18/2006 8:33:44 AM PDT by MPJackal ("If you are not with us, you are against us.")
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To: lowbridge

Text out of context has a pretext. This is why you cannot trust the MSM. Thank God for FR.


15 posted on 09/18/2006 8:35:45 AM PDT by Texas Songwriter
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To: MPJackal

There has been many deaths as a result of faulty reporting because while most Freeper take with a grain of salt most of what they read in the MSM and press some people, including terrorist, hinge their lives on every distorted or lying view that is reported and the MSM knows it.


16 posted on 09/18/2006 8:39:15 AM PDT by tobyhill (The War on Terrorism is not for the weak.)
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To: lowbridge
http://newsbusters.org/node/7716
17 posted on 09/18/2006 8:44:52 AM PDT by lowbridge (I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming, like his passengers.)
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To: Lancey Howard

BUMP!


18 posted on 09/18/2006 8:52:40 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Criminal Number 18F; abb; Milhous; george76; martin_fierro; devolve; pissant; PajamaTruthMafia; ...

Thanks for your excellent summary of Ickyoff.

Ickyoff is a pimp, who lies and covers up for the rats and in particuliar the Clintoons, while pretending to be a journalist.

Ickyoff showed his true colors during the Monica Lips mess.

The owners and controllers of the Washington Post hired Ickyoff to pimp, lie and cover up for the rats in power.

Ickyoff as you noted is just another Jason Blair in white drag.


19 posted on 09/18/2006 8:56:17 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist Homosexual Lunatic lies/wet dreams posing as news.)
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To: greyfoxx39

I agree that "enemedia" is an excellent description of the ABCCBSNBSTimesTimeTimesNewsweekGlobeEtcetera axis of evil, but I cannot claim to have originated it. I lifted it myself, from a poster in one of the Bilal Hussein threads yesterday.

Bilal Hussein is a sunni terrorist who moonlights for AP and is one of their Pulitzer Prize-winning gang of murderers.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F


20 posted on 09/18/2006 9:07:20 AM PDT by Criminal Number 18F (Build more lampposts... we've got plenty of traitors.)
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To: ravingnutter; piasa; Peach; Grampa Dave; pinz-n-needlez; canadianally; ScaniaBoy; Marine_Uncle; ...
Unreal - the Jayson Blair DBM strikes again!! This item originated a few years ago but has been used over and over again to grossly distort the position of Gonzales and the WH on treatment of detainees in the WOT. The DBM has made it sound like the WH was dismissing ALL of the Geneva Conventions as "quaint" when the full quotation so dishonestly omitted by Isikoff (scumbag) and Newsweak shows that Gonzales was talking specifically about some GC provisions that truly are "quaint" and certainly have little or no application to holding terrorist prisoners at Gitmo. Once again the DBM has been shown to be flagrantly dishonest, in effect another set of "527" groups working on behalf of the Demagogic Party.

[Gonzales]: "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions requiring that captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, script (i.e., advances of monthly pay), athletic uniforms, and scientific instruments.”"
21 posted on 09/18/2006 9:15:21 AM PDT by Enchante (There are 3 kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Mainstream Journalism)
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To: potlatch; Grampa Dave







22 posted on 09/18/2006 9:22:21 AM PDT by devolve
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To: weegee
So they've resurrected this old canard. I wrote a letter to the editor about this after an ugly townie leftist attacked Gonzales using this false quote.
23 posted on 09/18/2006 9:26:07 AM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they captured or killed.)
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To: Enchante

Oh...and is this the same ISIKOFF....that has written the book Hubris with David Corn??

I wonder how much he "left out" of that book that would make it even worse for Armitage, Powell and Fitzgerald?

He and Newsweek obviously have a habit of this..

Thank you SO much for the ping!


24 posted on 09/18/2006 9:39:55 AM PDT by Txsleuth (,((((((((ISRAEL)))))) Pray for the release of the Israelis.)
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To: Criminal Number 18F
enemedia

Is that enemy + media or enema + media?

Or both?

25 posted on 09/18/2006 10:01:47 AM PDT by ItsForTheChildren
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To: ItsForTheChildren

If it's not "both" it should be!


26 posted on 09/18/2006 10:10:09 AM PDT by MizSterious (Anonymous sources often means "the voices in my head told me.")
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To: Enchante

bttt


27 posted on 09/18/2006 10:23:21 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: lowbridge

bump


28 posted on 09/18/2006 10:52:01 AM PDT by lowbridge (I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming, like his passengers.)
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To: Grampa Dave

"Jason Blair in white drag"----heh----nice zinger.


29 posted on 09/18/2006 11:01:01 AM PDT by Liz (The US Constitution is intended to protect the people from the government.)
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To: Txsleuth


Yes, one and the same Isikoff - not only did he have the ridulous hubris to write the "Hubris" screed with socialist scumbag David Corn, but he has a history of propagandistic behavior on behalf of the Demagogues and against Republicans.

p.s. This is my post #5,555 on FR! I wonder if that has any great numerological significance.....


30 posted on 09/18/2006 11:05:19 AM PDT by Enchante (There are 3 kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Mainstream Journalism)
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To: Enchante

Thanks for the ping and your commentary. So many literally dishonest and dishonorable people abound in the world of news media. And they are totally free to print their misinformation with the understanding that the masses are not educated enough to discern between their deceit and verifiable facts. Such is the world of freedom. The bitter two edge sword.


31 posted on 09/18/2006 11:16:40 AM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: Lancey Howard; Howlin; kcvl; onyx; nopardons; Laverne

UNREAL!


32 posted on 09/18/2006 11:35:59 AM PDT by STARWISE (They (Rats) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war-RichardMiniter, respected OBL author)
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To: STARWISE


FGS --- what's next?


33 posted on 09/18/2006 11:38:31 AM PDT by onyx (1 Billion Muslims -- IF only 10% are radical, that's still 100 Million who want to kill us.)
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To: devolve

Good post devolve


34 posted on 09/18/2006 11:50:26 AM PDT by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: lowbridge

Apart from not buying Newsweek, what can be done, legally yet effectively, to bring about the demise of this lying rag?


35 posted on 09/18/2006 11:55:16 AM PDT by Elsiejay (.)
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To: STARWISE

That scumbag Isikoff is one slimy snake in the grass.


36 posted on 09/18/2006 12:09:24 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Elsiejay
Apart from not buying Newsweek, what can be done, legally yet effectively, to bring about the demise of this lying rag?

If everybody tells their kids' orthodontists to cancel their subscriptions, that'll be the end of Newsweek.

37 posted on 09/18/2006 12:11:02 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Grampa Dave

Ditto :

"...another Jason Blair ..."


38 posted on 09/18/2006 12:21:00 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Liz

I'm glad that someone noticed the White Drag zinger.


39 posted on 09/18/2006 12:34:25 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist Homosexual Lunatic lies/wet dreams posing as news.)
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To: Enchante

Amazing how the left wing blogs and MSM mediots keep posting and printing the same garbage which has been proven to be nothing but liberal wet dreams and lies posing as news.


40 posted on 09/18/2006 12:37:31 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist Homosexual Lunatic lies/wet dreams posing as news.)
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To: Grampa Dave

Might even get into the FReeper lexicon.


41 posted on 09/18/2006 1:09:54 PM PDT by Liz (The US Constitution is intended to protect the people from the government.)
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To: Enchante

Congratulations!! I don't know, balloons should have fallen on you!!! LOL


42 posted on 09/18/2006 1:40:34 PM PDT by Txsleuth (,((((((((ISRAEL)))))) Pray for the release of the Israelis.)
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To: Lancey Howard; Enchante; Peach; All

CSPAN-2 .......... DAVID CORN ... ON NOW WITH "HUBRIS" .. (and he's got it.) I'm working (from home) and can't take notes, so if any of y'all can post what funk and dribble he spews, would be great.


43 posted on 09/18/2006 2:03:16 PM PDT by STARWISE
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To: STARWISE

If it's the same interview that was on over the weekend, I could only stomach the first egregious lie from the Corn-fraud before I clicked away, so I didn't catch much of it. I'll have to look for a transcript because I cannot stomach listening to that sleazoid fool.


44 posted on 09/18/2006 2:14:27 PM PDT by Enchante (There are 3 kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Mainstream Journalism)
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To: STARWISE

Holy cow!


45 posted on 09/18/2006 2:38:43 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: devolve

bttt


46 posted on 09/18/2006 2:43:18 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Enchante

He's so damn cocky and slimey ...


47 posted on 09/18/2006 2:51:00 PM PDT by STARWISE
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To: Elsiejay
Apart from not buying Newsweek, what can be done, legally yet effectively, to bring about the demise of this lying rag?

Legally? Well, if you're gonna tie my hands....

48 posted on 09/18/2006 2:57:56 PM PDT by lowbridge (I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming, like his passengers.)
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To: STARWISE

On the subject of David Corn, to whom Isikoff has now been joined at the hip in new propaganda regarding Pflamegate.... there is a lot of juicy info from AJ Strata and Clarice Feldman, showing rather convincingly that not only has Corn been in cahoots with the Wilsons from the start, but they are apparently using Corn to push some very very sensitive info out into the public domain, both for current propaganda purposes and then also so that Valerie will be able to talk about stuff in her book that is already "out there" (otherwise she could never get this material past CIA censors):


http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/2517#comments


http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/2444


http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/720lutwz.asp?pg=1


49 posted on 09/18/2006 5:43:49 PM PDT by Enchante (There are 3 kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Mainstream Journalism)
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