The Question Mark Defense

Matt Cooper, the Time Magazine "journalist" who started the whole "war on Wilson" charade, has been proven to be the fraud that we all knew he was. Posing as one who would defend the the First Amendment rights of the fourth estate, the Libby trial has brought out the real Matt Cooper - a lazy, agenda driven journalist who fabricated the "Valerie Plame outing" out of whole cloth.

As Clarice Feldman notes on Tom McGuire's indispensable JOM Blog:

Cooper’s notes showed he claimed as "confirmation" a minute’s long “off the record conversation”( something never to be considered confirmatory) in response to a question about Wilson’s wife playing a role in this Mission . Libby seems in fact—from Cooper’s own notes (haphazard and mistyped as they are) --to have said very much what he said he did: That he heard that too but didn’t even know if that was true.


This war as it turns out existed only in in Matt’s mind. Unless you consider efforts to respond to inquiries about Wilson's claims with the truth to be war or to be as Cooper does “dissing” or “disparaging” Wilson. It seems Libby engaged in perfectly appropriate conduct such as noting all the elements of Wilson's claim were false (Something the bi-partisan Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmed):Wilson was not sent at the “behest of the vice president; he did not refute, but rather supported, the existing intelligence that Iraq was seeking uranium in Niger; his report never made it to the vice president.

In addition, Cooper fabricated a confirmation by claiming that Libby's non-committal, off-the-record remark was confirmation of a suggestion from Karl Rove to lay off the story, in which he briefly mentioned that yes, he knew Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. And on top of that, Cooper didn't even include all this in his original story, but let his by-line be edited back in New York in an effort to build the "case" for a Bush Administration "outing" strategy.

So what is Cooper's defense now? He was heard to say after his testimony that the article was only meant to raise the "possibility" that the administration was conducting a "war on Wilson". After all, the title of his article ended with a question mark.

For this, Judy Miller spent 85 days in jail. For this Scooter Libby stands trial on a charge that could land him in jail for 25 years. For this, the American people have payed millions of dollars in court costs. And for this, an administration in the middle of a national emergency, spent countless valuable hours defending itself against what were and are clearly unfounded, fabricated charges.

The whole thing is pathetic beyond belief, and is what happens when a media institution is so agenda driven and corrupt that it invents stories out of whole cloth. A simply question mark can't cover up that fact.