Live Blogging the "Information Revolution":

This afternoon I om on a panel on "The Information Revolution" keynoted by Ambassador Joseph Wilson. The panel is part of the university's annual Research ShowCASE symposium. (See the schedule here.) Given the title of the program — and the potential for an interesting discussion — I'm liveblogging the panel.


Joe Bingham (mail):
Are you kidding me? With whom does Joe Wilson still have any credibility? Did I miss something huge?
4.11.2007 4:17pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
Oh. Well, I guess he is just a good guy like you and me looking for the truth. Sorry, Joe. My bad. For a minute I'd thought you (JW) were a spinner!
4.11.2007 4:38pm
NickM (mail) (www):
So why did he tell different things to the Senate and to the American people in his NY Times op/ed?

4.11.2007 4:46pm
JohnAnnArbor (www):
He's raised dishonest grandstanding to a higher form of art.

To stay informed, one cannot rely upon a single news source, but multiple sources to ensure one is getting the full story.

4.11.2007 4:53pm
I think that all of you who hate him so much should still listen to what he is saying because there are a number of valid points/issues in there. Is he a hypocrite? Reasonable people can disagree. But either way I think this comes under the heading of "do what I say, not what I do."
4.11.2007 4:54pm
Houston Lawyer:
Why was Nifong not on this panel as well?
4.11.2007 4:56pm
Humble Law Student (mail):
Lol, this guy is ridiculous. Unfortunately, he can lie all day but as long as he bashes Bush, the left will give him a pass and praise him.

This WP editorial sums it all up pretty well—in addition to discounting his claims.

"WE'RE RELUCTANT to return to the subject of former CIA employee Valerie Plame because of our oft-stated belief that far too much attention and debate in Washington has been devoted to her story and that of her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, over the past three years. But all those who have opined on this affair ought to take note of the not-so-surprising disclosure that the primary source of the newspaper column in which Ms. Plame's cover as an agent was purportedly blown in 2003 was former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage.

Mr. Armitage was one of the Bush administration officials who supported the invasion of Iraq only reluctantly. He was a political rival of the White House and Pentagon officials who championed the war and whom Mr. Wilson accused of twisting intelligence about Iraq and then plotting to destroy him. Unaware that Ms. Plame's identity was classified information, Mr. Armitage reportedly passed it along to columnist Robert D. Novak "in an offhand manner, virtually as gossip," according to a story this week by the Post's R. Jeffrey

Smith, who quoted a former colleague of Mr. Armitage.

It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House — that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame's identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson — is untrue. The partisan clamor that followed the raising of that allegation by Mr. Wilson in the summer of 2003 led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, a costly and prolonged investigation, and the indictment of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on charges of perjury. All of that might have been avoided had Mr. Armitage's identity been known three years ago.

That's not to say that Mr. Libby and other White House officials are blameless. As prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has reported, when Mr. Wilson charged that intelligence about Iraq had been twisted to make a case for war, Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney reacted by inquiring about Ms. Plame's role in recommending Mr. Wilson for a CIA-sponsored trip to Niger, where he investigated reports that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium. Mr. Libby then allegedly disclosed Ms. Plame's identity to journalists and lied to a grand jury when he said he had learned of her identity from one of those reporters. Mr. Libby and his boss, Mr. Cheney, were trying to discredit Mr. Wilson; if Mr. Fitzgerald's account is correct, they were careless about handling information that was classified.

Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming — falsely, as it turned out — that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously."

Here's the link
4.11.2007 5:12pm
So, am I to believe that Wilson was allowed to brazenly lie in his remarks and no one called him on it? Since, you know, the sixteen words are actually true? And his trip tended to confirm that Iraq sought yellowcake from Niger?

The problem, as I see it, is that someone like Wilson can go on panels like this, repeatedly lie, and no one will call him on it, for fear of being impolite.
4.11.2007 5:58pm
Humble Law Student (mail):
Professor Adler,

Thanks for the live-blogging. But, sheesh, doesn't this just sound like some liberal, echo-chamber claptrap?

I mean, it is about the "information revolution." As all to many of these conferences seem to go, it reverts to pseudo-intellectual discussions of "Bush sucks" with the occasional point that is accidently on topic.
4.11.2007 6:04pm
Kisil (mail):
When Professor Adler was talking about the Saddam regime as a "rabid dog" and that if we had "put it down" in the persian gulf war, that history might be a lot looked like panelist Victoria Lovegren almost threw up...on another note...Ms. Lovegren gave a very heartfelt anti-war speech. I thought she was here to talk about election problems in Ohio? Likewise, most of the people asking questions of the panelists do not address the topic of the entire panel discussion at all. I feel bad for the other panelists...this is just a Tom Wilson love-fest.
4.11.2007 6:07pm
Kisil (mail):
correction, Joe Wilson
4.11.2007 6:09pm
BuckeyeStateBlog (mail) (www):
Nice spin Johnathan. I was there as well. Wilson was well spoke, but it was basically a rehash of what we've all seen in the press for the last few years.

My favorite segment from Wilson was on the topic of questioning your sources.
4.11.2007 6:15pm
Justin (mail):
Ignoring the questions about J. Wilson's credibility, it was a mistake to invite him to speak on this topic if they were trying to actually hit the themes named in the title. The "cultural facts" (that is, the inability for either side of the political arena to get past their unalterable determinations about what happened in the Plame scandal) of the case would taint anything Wilson said - one side would simply not believe a word, missing serious arguments that might apply even under their theory of the case - and the side that believes Wilson's story will see this as reflective of an administration gone bad, rather than an overarching situation about technology and information.

Kudos to anyone who was able to keep the panel even remotely on topic.
4.11.2007 6:30pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
What a bizarre thread. Too bad the White House didn't have these blog commenters on hand to dissuade it from retracting the "16 words."
4.11.2007 6:50pm
Too bad the White House didn't have these blog commenters on hand to dissuade it from retracting the "16 words."

Whether the 16 words were true is, of course, a separate issue from whether they were appropriate in the SOTU. They were "retracted" because the WH felt they were not appropriate for the SOTU, not because they were false.
4.11.2007 8:21pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
Wow. If you can't listen to NPR because it's too free-market conservative... you're really, really out there. Just wow.
4.11.2007 11:05pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
They were "retracted" because the WH felt they were not appropriate for the SOTU, not because they were false.

Ah, I see -- some principle of the higher etiquette.
4.12.2007 12:16am