Fox News' John Gibson exposes Joe Wilson

Final proof of the anti-Bush cabal inside the CIA? Well, maybe not so much.

Published March 7, 2007 8:00PM (EST)

Over the past 24 hours, Fox News commentators have been rising to the defense of the recently convicted Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Apparently not content to let others hog all the fun, John Gibson jumped in as well yesterday, offering the fairly unoriginal thesis that "there was a cabal inside the CIA working against the president's policy and they wanted to hide behind their secret status while they did what was essentially an anti-war political hitjob."

This cabal, of course, was fronted by exposed former CIA officer Valerie Plame and her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, who was apparently sent on his fact-finding mission to Niger as part of his wife's plan to undermine the administration's plans for war in Iraq. As proof, Gibson offers the observation that Wilson "says in his own book he didn't even believe in deposing Saddam back in the '91 war."

My God! What an awful, radical position that is. Surely this is the final proof that Wilson is a godless Communist hellbent on bringing down everything good and pure in America.

Well, maybe not. What Gibson doesn't mention is that Wilson's admission that he didn't want to see Saddam deposed after the first Gulf War doesn't exactly put him in rarefied company. There were, in fact, plenty of other people who had the same position on the issue -- people like, for example, the first Bush administration, including now Vice President Dick Cheney, who allegedly played a key role in orchestrating the campaign against Wilson and Plame.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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