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  • Saturday, June 21, 2003


    Brit Hume...busted.

    Looks like our pal, Fox News Attack Monkey Brit Hume has been caught smearing Rand Beers, and then lying about it.

    Fox pundit lashes out at Brit Hume

    The resignation of Rand Beers from the National Security Council is giving off plenty of sparks. Just before the Iraq war began, Beers quit as one of the government's top counterterrorism officials. He's now joined John Kerry's presidential campaign and went public this Monday in a Washington Post page-one profile, in which he branded the White House's Iraq policy an "ill-conceived and poorly executed strategy." That, apparently, was too much for Fox News Channel anchor Brit Hume, who on air accused Beers of having falsely testified under oath about Colombian terrorists training at al Qaeda's Afghan camps, reports our David E. Kaplan. Now Hume is the one being attacked–by former Fox analyst Larry Johnson, who served with Beers at the State Department and insists Beers acted with the best intelligence then available. "You impugned Rand's integrity on your show by suggesting that he lied and had to correct his lie," Johnson wrote Hume in an E-mail titled "Reprehensible." He added, "Have you no shame?" In his response, Hume suggested that Johnson be "more careful in writing late-night messages based on what you imagine someone to have said." Johnson replied by citing the transcript and sending the exchange around town. "You are starting to sound like Bill Clinton trying to define 'sex'," wrote Johnson.

    Here's Larry Johnson's first e-mail to Hume:

    From: LCJohnson
    Sent: Monday, June 16, 2003 11:22 PM
    To: Brit Hume
    Cc: Carl Cameron; Tony Snow; Executive Group Email; Andrea Mackris
    Subject: Reprehensible

    Your comment this evening relevant to Rand Beer's decision to align himself with John Kerry's campaign because of his disgust with the misrepresentation of evidence by the Bush Administration was reprehensible. Someone of your stature participating in a smear is disgusting. Rand is an honorable man who always has conducted himself with integrity. That is why he refused to talk to the press when he resigned on the eve of the start of the war in Iraq. He was a professional, not a partisan during his entire tenure as a civil servant. He faithfully served Republican and Democratic administrations. The "lie" you accuse him of confessing to was nothing of the sort. Colombian police sources had informed US authorities that al-Qaeda/Taliban personnel had trained members of the FARC in the art of heroin production. CIA went back later to try to corroborate this info. They could not and Rand corrected the record. You impugned Rand's integrity on your show by suggesting that he lied and had to correct his lie. Have you no shame? Like it or not the Bush Administration did misrepresent the intel on the weapons of mass distraction. Rather then deal with the substance of what Rand had to say you chose to raise unfounded, unwarranted questions about his integrity. Shameful!

    Larry Johnson

    The quote from Sept. 2002 press accounts is as follows: "Rand Beers, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, said in late 2001 that the al-Qaeda network had trained members of the FARC. But in August he acknowledged that reports from U.S. intelligence agencies showed no evidence for this.

    Beers told the media that he wanted to erase what he had said. "When I said it, I believed that it was true and correct."

    Hume's response:

    From: Hume, Brit
    Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 8:44 AM
    To: 'lcjohnson; Hume, Brit
    Cc: Cameron, Carl; Snow, Tony; 32 -Terror News; Mackris, Andrea
    Subject: RE: Reprehensible

    Every word of our brief item about Rand Beers was true. What's more, the word "lie" was never used. Your problem seems not to be what I actually reported, but what you think I was "suggesting." That makes a pretty thin basis for an intemperate e-mail sent not only to me, but to a range of other recipients. I think you should be more careful in writing late-night messages based on what you imagine someone to have said. It might have been wiser to sleep on it and think about it in the morning.


    To which Johnson replied:

    From: LCJohnson
    Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 9:05 AM
    To: 'Hume, Brit'
    Cc: 'Cameron, Carl'; 'Snow, Tony'; '32 -Terror News'; 'Mackris, Andrea'
    Subject: RE: Reprehensible

    You are starting to sound like Bill Clinton trying to define "sex". Here is what you said:

    "Not mentioned in the "Post" story is that two years ago, Beers himself falsely testified under oath that Colombian terrorists received training from al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. A year later, he had to publicly rescind the statement because he said, quote, "there doesn't seem to be any evidence to support it," end quote."

    You did not use the word "lie", but you say he committed perjury without using the word perjury. Last time I checked you commit perjury if you testify falsely under oath. Rand did not commit perjury. He presented the info based on uncorroborated intel they had received from Colombian sources. When the CIA was unable to corroborate the info Rand then did the honorable and proper thing of correcting the record. To testify falsely implies he knew it was a lie and chose to dissemble.

    Like I said in my previous "intemperate" email, you are too smart and too experienced to take a cheap shot like this against a man like Rand Beers. It is shameful. At core I believe you are an honorable person. But you are flat out wrong on this one.

    Larry Johnson

    I think Johnson gives Brit waaaaay too much credit. He works for Fox news ("We make shit up. If you're watching us...you're stupid enough to believe it") you know.

    posted by tbogg at 10:34 PM



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