By Brad Friedman on 5/30/2007, 3:35pm PT  

And they say there's not a vast rightwing conspiracy?

Glen Greenwald at Salon details dozens of no-uncertain-terms statements from Fox "News" and the near entirety of the wingnut blogosphere asserting that Valerie Plame was "not covert" in her role as a CIA agent. Despite myriad evidence for years, Plame's own sworn testimony to Congress, the admission by CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, and a court-filing last Friday which included an employment record from the CIA stating that she was, in fact, covert at the time she was outed by members of the Bush Administration, the sorry bunch of operatives who control the mainstream media, and a huge chunk of the blogosphere, refuse to admit they were simply wrong from the get-go. Period.

Says Greenwald today:

Many people who listen to right-wing commentators such as these get their "news" about the world primarily, even exclusively, from these sources. And these sources, knowing that, routinely create their own self-affirming though wildly warped realities, in the process denying the most established facts or asserting propositions for which there is no factual basis.
They had no basis at the time for making such statements. But, as they so often do, they made them anyway, because those statements helped to defend the Leader and bolster their political agenda. Most of all, they know that their readers will trust what they say even when those statements are demonstrably false.
These falsehoods are never acknowledged, let alone retracted, because they are a critical part of the role they play.

Just a few of the dozens of examples (most linked to the original sourcing over there) supplied by Greenwald...

  • Fred Barnes, Fox News Special Report: "She wasn't even a covert agent or anything."
  • Mark Levin, National Review: "Despite all the hype, it appears that Plame works a desk job at the didn't make her a covert operative when Bob Novak mentioned her in his July 14, 2003, column."
  • Washington Times Editorial: "[W]hen columnist Robert Novak first mentioned in passing that Mrs. Plame worked for the CIA, she was not functioning as a covert agent."
  • Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds: "[I]t seems as clear as anything in this affair that Valerie Plame was not a covert agent the day before Novak's column."
  • Rich Galen, Republican strategist, CNN's Situation Room: "She was not a covert --- and we call them officers, not agents. . . We're arguing whether or not she was a covert agent at the time and I'm saying she was not."
  • Alexander Haig, CNN: "[Plame] was really a bureaucrat and not a covert operator."
  • John Hinderaker, Powerline Blog: "Scooter Libby mentioned the name of a non-covert CIA employee, Valerie Plame."
  • Barbara Lerner, National Review: "[S]he was not a classified agent because she was not covert."
  • Robert Novak, CNN's Crossfire: "Mrs. Wilson was an analyst, not a spy, not a covert operative"
  • Fox "moderate" Mort Kondracke, Special Report with Brit Hume: "[S]he was not a covert officer, she was not a covert agent"
  • Laura Ingraham, Hannity & Colmes: "[T]hey knew that this was not a situation where Valerie Plame, at this point in time, at least, was a covert agent."
  • William Bennett, The O'Reilly Factor: "When this information was supposedly leaked about Valerie Plame, everybody went nuts. Turns out she wasn't covert."

It goes on and on, but you get the idea. Do the retractions and corrections similarly go on and on? Hardly. We've yet to see a single one. It's appalling. Imagine the circumstances had John Edwards or John Kerry or Hillary Clinton exposed the name of a covert CIA operative to the media. Would there be calls for treason trials from the same wingnut apologist-sphere? You bet.

We'll also await the many trolling dopes who have posted comments on these pages over the years, claiming that Plame was "not covert," to post their retractions here. We'll not hold our breath.

None of this is really news, of course. At least to those smart enough to seek out real news here. But to the rest of the world, carrying on blithely ignorant of the historic treason that has been and is being carried out by our own Government, this all would likely come as a shock. Fortunately for the wingnuts, none of this will even be a story for our corporate MSM.

RELATED: Be sure to read Greenwald's weekend story about a more recent similar embarrassment for the armchair Sam Spades of the wingnut blogosphere, and the lack of apologies and retractions thereof when they were revealed to be wrong. Again. As well, please see Eric Boehlert's February article detailing how the Washington Post aids and abets the fact-challenged rightwing blogosphere truth-haters, like Michelle Malkin and friends, while almost completely ignoring those of us who actually bother to diligently take the time to base our reporting on independently verifiable reality.