In a washingtonpost.com discussion, Richard Cohen asserted that Lewis "Scooter" Libby "didn't commit the original crime" in the CIA leak case because he wasn't Robert Novak's source for the column that disclosed Valerie Plame's identity. However, Libby did leak Plame's identity to other reporters. Cohen also falsely claimed that Plame was not "covert." An unclassified summary of Plame's CIA employment established that she was, in fact, a covert CIA employee.
On Washington Post Radio, the Post's Richard Cohen falsely claimed that Joseph Wilson, in his New York Times op-ed, wrote that Dick Cheney sent him to Niger. In fact, Wilson wrote that "agency officials" from the CIA "asked if I would travel to Niger" and "check out" a "particular intelligence report" that "Cheney's office had questions about," so that CIA officials "could provide a response to the vice president's office."
In his Washington Post column, Richard Cohen asserted that Sen. John McCain has, for a "long time," displayed a "visceral hostility toward the ways of Washington's K Street lobbying crowd." In fact, McCain and his staff have longstanding ties to the lobbying industry, and he is reportedly strengthening those ties in anticipation of a 2008 presidential bid.
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote that Sen. John McCain "embodies a quality for which the country yearns: integrity," suggesting that this quality gives McCain greater "stature" than the presumptive 2008 Democratic presidential candidates. But in lauding McCain's "integrity" and ability to restore public faith in government, Cohen apparently ignored the senator's flip-flops, backtracks, and inconsistencies on a variety of issues.
In a column titled "So Not Funny," Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen declared that comedian Stephen Colbert's scathing routine at the White House Correspondents Association dinner was "rude" and "insulting," and added that Colbert was "a bully." However, Cohen offered no criticism of Bush when, in a pre-taped skit at the 60th annual dinner of the Radio and Television Correspondents Association (RTCA) in 2004, he made light of the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
In a column that referred to the contents of a recently disclosed memorandum about a meeting between President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair six weeks before the invasion of Iraq, Richard Cohen wrote that "nothing so far proved that Bush knew he was making a false case" on Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction. But despite Cohen's description of Bush as "determined to make war almost no matter what," Cohen overlooked a different "false case" made by Bush: The memo indicates that all of Bush's statements suggesting that every effort was being made to avoid war with Iraq were apparently false.
In recent days, numerous pundits have summarily dismissed concerns about the takeover of operations at six U.S. ports by a company owned by the government of Dubai, a member state of the United Arab Emirates, despite the fact that the Bush administration opted not to conduct the 45-day investigation into the deal's national security implications provided for -- and, critics argue, required -- by federal law.