Re "The Joe and Valerie show," Opinion, March 8
What was clearly absent from Jonah Goldberg's "Swift boating" of Joseph C. Wilson IV and Valerie Plame were any substantive facts other than innuendos and a regurgitation of the principal talking points against Wilson, such as poor "unemployed" Joe really needing a trip to beautiful Niger and lying when he (allegedly) said that Vice President Dick Cheney requested he go, when the real "truth" was that his wife arranged it.
Enough! Let's get to Goldberg's real issues: The Wilsons look cool; they write books; she likes high heels; she was a covert CIA agent, and he has that really cool commendation from George H.W. Bush for personally standing up to Saddam Hussein before the Persian Gulf War. Somehow, I just can't imagine Goldberg in any of those situations. Wilson was right: The Bush administration certainly was exaggerating the Iraqi threat in order to justify war. Goldberg was wrong.
\f7Goldberg's vitriolic diatribe is a classic case of blame the victim. Nowhere in this hatchet job is the slightest criticism, much less a call for accountability, for the high-level decisions that caused I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to be the fall guy. Instead, we are treated to a lurid description of gowns, glamour and greed. Add to that accusations of lies and deceit on the part of Wilson and Plame, none of which are substantiated.
This is trash journalism of the lowest kind.
\f7Goldberg's attempt to discredit Wilson and Plame falls flat as a pancake, reeks of sour grapes and fails to mention the truth of Wilson's evidence that claims the administration made to justify the war against Iraq were false. Most strikingly, Goldberg fails to acknowledge that the 3,100-plus Americans killed in Iraq would still be alive today if Wilson's concerns had been heeded.
\f7What an uncalled-for, undignified, unjustified and nasty column on Wilson and Plame. This exemplifies the right-wing methodology during the whole Bush era -- if things don't go your way, launch a personal attack on the opposition, facts be damned.
Goldberg's baseless tirade does not add anything to our discussion of this important issue, and the quality of The Times' Op-Ed page suffers from the column's inclusion.