By Ron Kampeas
August 18, 2009
Robert Novak, the conservative columnist whose scoops broke many a career, made his reputation as a journalist by being unafraid to attack his ideological brethren.
The same dynamic underlay the contentious and at times ugly relationship he had with fellow Jews.
Novak died Tuesday in Washington after an extended struggle with brain cancer. He was 78.
But it was an effort to defend the Iraq invasion that almost railroaded Novak’s career: He was the first to publish the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, as part of the Bush administration’s retaliatory campaign against her huband, Iraq War critic Joseph Wilson. Novak’s role in the affair contributed to the end of his long CNN career.
Novak’s attacks on the pro-Israel community repeatedly veered into the conspiratorial; he helped purvey the notion that the Iraq War was fought in Israel’s interest. He also was a rare mainstream voice endorsing the widely rejected claim that Israeli forces had intentionally attacked a U.S. naval ship in the Mediterranean Sea during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Bob Novak dies of cancer — and his right-wing pals rush to lie about his role in the Plame case