U.S. Congressional candidate still misleading about her antisemitic tweets

US Congressional candidate tweeted in 2017 ‘America’s Jews are driving America’s wars,’ then apologized.

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson poses during a photocall for the film Fair Game at the 36th American film festival in Deauville September 9, 2010.  (photo credit: VINCENT KESSLER/ REUTERS)
Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson poses during a photocall for the film Fair Game at the 36th American film festival in Deauville September 9, 2010.
“America’s Jews are driving America’s wars,” former CIA officer and now US Congressional candidate Valerie Plame tweeted in September 2017. Challenged on its antisemitism, she replied “First of all, calm down. Re-tweets don’t imply endorsements. Yes, very provocative, but thoughtful. Many neocon hawks ARE Jewish.” She later apologized, claiming she had “skimmed” the piece. On Monday, Plame went on CNN to discuss her Congressional run and continued to mislead about her tweeting the article.
Responding to a question from CNN, she said she “didn’t like” the article, and that the “only thing that I focused on in the article was that I thought it was a bad idea to get out of the Iran nuclear deal.” She claimed that she “stupidly did not read the rest of the article.” She now admits the article was antisemitic and claims “it’s not who I am” – claiming she apologized with “heartfelt conviction,” and asserting that she is just “human” and didn’t “read the whole article.”
CNN pressed her and noted that she had told people on Twitter to read the article. “I am embarrassed about that whole episode.” She implied that the incident was being used to hit her over the head with criticism.
Her apology might have appeared more sincere if she hasn’t consistently misled about the article. In 2017, she claimed it was a “re-tweet,” but in the May 13, 2019, interview it became a “like.” She didn’t merely “like” or “re-tweet” the article. The tweet shows that when she shared it, the headline of the tweet was “America’s Jews are driving America’s wars” with a link to the article at Unz.com, illustrated by the website with a photo of Bill Kristol. On Twitter, one would have had to have clicked to share the article with the headline listed twice, once in the tweet and once in the link.
I went to Unz.com to see how their “share” feature works. I had to click on an article and then click the Twitter icon “share.” It then populates my tweet with the headline and the link, as it appeared in Plame’s Twitter feed. That means she didn’t write the headline of the tweet, but she would have seen it clearly: “America’s Jews are driving America’s wars.”
Yet Plame claimed to CNN on May 13 that she didn’t like it and had merely “focused” on a section about the Iran deal. This goes back to her original excuses in which she had asked people to “read the entire article, just for a moment, to put aside your biases and think clearly.” Think clearly? The headline clearly says “America’s Jews are driving America’s wars.” Not “neo-cons,” as Plame had asserted in 2017, saying that “many neocon hawks ARE Jewish.”
In 2017, when Plame first issued a kind of apology, she still tried to make excuses, as revealed by Newsweek, which documented all her tweets after the antisemitic tweet. “I messed up. I skimmed the piece.” She claimed to have “missed gross undercurrents to this article.” Undercurrents? The headline says “America’s Jews are driving America’s wars.” That isn’t an “undercurrent” – it’s the current.
Then she claimed she “didn’t do my homework on the platform this piece came from.” Leaving aside the fact she was a CIA officer and should have done her homework before sharing antisemitic articles from such a website, that still makes it seem like the article wasn’t the problem, just the site. Then she wrote in 2017: “Apologies all, there is so much there that’s problematic.”
And then comes the “I’m not perfect and make mistakes.” This was a “doozy.” Really? A “doozy” to claim that Jewish people “drive” America’s wars? Who really drives America’s wars? Non-Jewish people. Imagine if she’d tweeted “America’s blacks are driving America’s wars” or “America’s Muslims are driving America’s wars.” Would that just be a “doozy.”
Plame’s initial excuses also included the claim that “I am of Jewish descent.” Really? So if she’s of Jewish descent, then does she mean that she was driving America’s wars? Or she means the other Jews? She also responded in 2017 that there are, “too many who are so ready to go to war.” That might be people with names like Trump or Bush, not Jews. So why didn’t she write “America’s white male Christians are driving America’s wars?”
CNN ASKED HER on Monday about her antisemitic tweet, but headlines preferred to highlight her expertise on critiquing the Trump administration. One would think that, in an era of rising antisemitism in America, there would be a redline: comments that are not acceptable, where you don’t just say “America’s Jews are driving America’s wars” and then keep going with claims that it was a “mistake.” Doesn’t her tweet call into judgment not only racist views, but her overall judgment?
Does America need more members of Congress who blithely go to extremist websites and can’t tell the difference between “America’s Jews are driving America’s wars” and “I am for the Iran Deal?” Because it would seem that being a member of Congress requires one to tell the difference between supporting the Iran deal and blaming one tiny minority group for everything wrong with America. That should be a litmus test. If you blame all of America’s wars on a small group of people, you have a problem.
In 2019, Plame is still misleading. She told CNN that she didn’t like the article and that the “only thing that I focused on” was the Iran nuclear deal. She still claimed to not have read it. She still obfuscated, acting as if the antisemitism was somehow in the article and not also glaring in the headline. She told CNN twice that she merely messed up and “didn’t read the whole article.” But CNN noted that she had told people to “read the article.”
This leaves a difficult question. Is it conceivable that Plame didn’t read the headline of the article or even the tweet that people responded to? Is she so oblivious to antisemitism that “America’s Jews are driving America’s wars,” didn’t seem antisemitic? If she is so oblivious, that’s troubling and points to a real problem in the US. It means educated people working in some of the most sensitive roles in government do not notice blatant hatred of Jews and scapegoating of Jews for all of America’s problems.
Plame claimed that the article had “gross undercurrents” and still has not come to grips with the headline. It is hard to believe that someone could see a headline like “America’s Jews are driving America’s wars” and not be shocked immediately. This is America in 2019: a place where someone is running for Congress and is on CNN – and once claimed that Jews drive America’s wars. Shame.