I suppose if I looked hard enough, I'd find the policy the San Francisco Chronicle uses for it's Letters to the Editors page. In this section, I would hope to find some standard about printing letters with known falsehoods.
The Chron has always played it loose with this rule, but a letter published last week
about Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame was beyond the pale.
For someone who presumes to hold the "truth" in high regard, Leo M. Mar's letter is shockingly short on it. Virtually nothing he wrote is true.
Mr. Mar begins:
President Bush used discredited nuclear claims in his January 2003 State of the Union Address to make the case that Iraq was a nuclear threat.
Far from being "discredited", Bush could repeat those "16 words" in the State of the Union concerning Saddam, Niger, British Intelligence and yellowcake uranium today and they would still be true.
Joseph Wilson had discovered the claims were bogus and had informed the White House of the facts nearly a year before the address.
Let's clear something up right here - Joe Wilson did not and could not have "discovered [Bush's] claims were bogus". He could merely confirm or not confirm British Intelligence reports. In fact, his report tended to bolster British Intel. In addition, Joe Wilson's "report" did not reach the White House prior to the State of the Union.
Six months after Bush's address, Wilson finally went public with evidence that proved the administration lied about WMD and nuclear threats.
At no time has Joe Wilson presented any "evidence
that the administration lied about WDM and nuclear threats."
The administration decided to send a message, loud and clear, to all who would speak out against them.
They punished Wilson by outing his wife, Valerie, an undercover CIA agent.
Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame was not "undercover" or covert and therefore was not "outed".
However, virtually everything Joe Wilson has said about his trip to Niger has been discredited by a bipartisan Senate committee. Joe Wilson lied about who sent him to Niger, who recommended him and what he reported. Not mislead - Lied.
It is one thing for Mr. Mar to be confused (reading the Chron, is no doubt part of his problem), quite another for the editors at the Chronicle.
Before proclaiming "enough divisiveness", Mr. Mar and the Chron may try dividing fact from fiction. Letters like this should not be printed.