Thursday, December 01, 2005

BBC still telling porkies about Wilson/Niger

BBC's Newsnight interviewed Judy Miller, formerly of The New York Times, yesterday. Recall that Miller was the NYT reporter who went to jail ostensibly to protect the source of her information about Valerie Plame, that source turning out to be Scooter Libby, who has since been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice. Presumably to help edify viewers, Newsnight has put together a timeline about the whole affair.

Now, I don't want to beat a dead horse, but it is both astonishing and galling that, even after BBC Online's Paul Reynolds managed to do a commendable job setting out the details of the affair (after much prompting from TAE), the wider BBC still refuses to tell the true story. The very first entry in the timeline has three sentences, each of which is, in a word, false.
Joseph C Wilson IV, a retired career diplomat, is asked by the CIA to go to Niger, in west Africa, to investigate reports that Iraq had tried to buy uranium there. On his return, Mr Wilson reports back that he does not believe this. Nevertheless, President Bush refers to the reports in his State of the Union address in January 2003.
First, Wilson was not sent to investigate reports that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Niger. He was sent to investigate reports that Iraq had purchased uranium there.

Second, Wilson did not report back that he did not believe that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Niger. He reported back that he believed no purchase had taken place.

Third, Bush did not refer in his SOTU address to the reports which Wilson was sent to investigate. He referred to a British intelligence claim which, significantly, British intelligence stands by to this very day.

Three sentences; three falsehoods. The BBC at its best.

Also notable is the complete absence in the timeline of any reference at all to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation that looked into the matter, much less any reference to the fact that the investigation totally discredited Wilson. The BBC is shameless.

(Review of the Miller interview hopefully to come later this weekend.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott, you must have an iron constitution to be able to stomach this stuff day in, day out.

But please, do continue.

And huge thanks.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good job TAE!

12:46 AM  
Anonymous J.G. said...

Brilliant work Scott. Keep up the pressure. It strikes me as amazing that even after Paul Reynolds was forced to finally correct the falsehoods peddled by the BBC over the last couple of years, they still persist in regurgitating the same old spin. They either: don’t care about the truth; are too lazy to be bothered to find out the truth; are so brainwashed they think these lies are the truth; or they just want us to believe these weasel words are the truth. What has happened to journalism at the BBC? Is ‘opinion’ the only ‘news’ these days.

4:14 PM  

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