Saturday, October 04, 2003

A couple of quick points:

Re the Schwarzenegger article in the Los Angeles Times about his behavior towards women on the movie set (and elsewhere):
We were struck by the following sentence -

The Times did not learn of any of the six women from Schwarzenegger's rivals in the recall race. And none of the women approached the newspaper on her own. Reporters contacted them in the course of a seven-week examination of Schwarzenegger's behavior toward women on and off the movie set.

Okay, no rivals in the race were involved. Presumably that refers to all the candidates on the 2nd part of the ballot - who is to be governor if the recall succeeds. But it's unclear if the Times learned of any of the six women from the Davis organization, or from the No On Recall organization(s).
Re Joe Wilson:
Some defenders of the Bush administration over the Plame scandal like to point out that former ambassador Wilson didn't provide a written report, implying that his whole mission was peripheral to the inquiry, unprofessional, or some such thing. But here is what Wilson had to say on Nightliine this week about the process -

WILSON: Before I left [Niger], I briefed the ambassador, I also briefed somebody else at the mission of what I'd found, which essentially tracked what [the ambassador] had found. I flew back to Washington. I had to leave on a business trip the next day, so somebody from the CIA, a reports officer, came out and took verbatim notes of everything I had to say (which is the way they do it). He then crafted that into "CIA language", and circulated it.

This got us thinking. Might the CIA prefer that people not write up - and store on their PCs - information that they would prefer to keep (physically) within the organization? Is a reports officer skilled in obtaining critical information (dates, places) that a self-generated report might leave out? Is there an advantage to a "memory dump" from an envoy, which presumably is just a mess of facts, which can be analyzed like everything else (satellite photos) by the agency?

We don't know the answers, but it seems clear that disparaging Wilson's report because it wasn't written is mostly an irrelevant debating point.


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