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July 24, 2004

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Via InstaPundit, I see that Tom Maguire has come up short in his efforts to achieve full-frothing status as a member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. You'll be surprised to learn who beat him out. Also, be sure to... [Read More]

» Tom Maguire all over the Wilson story from Media Lies
As usual, Tom Maguire is all over the Wilson story, but this time he claims to have been outdone by Kevin Drum who thinks Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, may be behind all the leaks Wilson made. [Read More]

» Pounding the table from Croooow Blog
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» Pounding the table from Croooow Blog
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» Tom Maguire all over the Wilson story from Media Lies
As usual, Tom Maguire is all over the Wilson story, but this time he claims to have been outdone by [Read More]

Comments

Don Williams

Re the comment in the Senate report cited above:
"The Committee does not fault the CIA for exploiting the access enjoyed by the spouse of a CIA employee traveling to Niger. The Committee believes, however, that it is unfortunate, considering the significant resources available to the CIA, that this was the only option available."
----
Maybe the CIA did not feel inclined to waste a lot of resources disproving the bonehead theories of Dick Cheney and the neocon intel unit at the Pentagon --especially if they felt such Cheney insights were driven by a compelling political need to suck up to huge campaign donors like Haim Saban rather than by any plausible connection to reality.

j

Well, that would be a problem, wouldn't it Don? Especially given the British intelligence confirming that Saddam was seeking to buy (note to moonbats: seeking to buy != bought) uranium from Niger.

Be a shame if the CIA's political beliefs prevented it from investigating that sort of thing.

Ernst Blofled

If it was the result of the "bonehead neocon intel outfit", the deserve a medal. The story was, after all, true--the British stand by their story.

SteveMG

Hmm, it appears that "the bonehead theories of Dick Cheney and the neocon intel unit at the Pentagon" turned out to be correct. Or, at least, to have some substance requiring further analysis and examination.

Iraq was seeking to acquire uranium from Niger (and other African nations).

Interesting, is it not, that some (repeat: some) on the Left are quite willing to quickly believe any and every theory implicating the Bush Administration in some impermissible activity - no matter how questionable the source - but just as quick to dismiss any theory implicating Saddam Hussein in impermissible activities.

The benefit of the doubt, so to speak, is given to Saddam but no similar benefit is extended to President Bush.

Very odd times we live in, no?

SMG

glenlyon

I think the speculation why/when Wilson delivered his messages about uranium and Niger was to embarass the President on the eve of his trip to Africa. The Bush trip was supposed to highlight poverty-related and AIDS-related programs; instead, he was dogged with questions about Niger every step of the way. Wilson had/has long been a critic of US apathy towards Africa; this was his way of saying "you didn't do it MY way, so take THIS."

Reg

The possibility of Plame leaking classified information to her husband is an interesting hypothesis. I wonder if the Justice department’s special counsel thinks so too?

Why doesn't someone "cut and paste" a chronology to test this hypothesis? Somewhat like the one I did for this blog under "Stand By Your Man" 7/22/04 on the Niger/Iraq "meeting". At least with a timeline we can all agree on WHEN most "facts" occurred.

Finally, I too have thought that Plame leaking to her husband about some important issues was likely. Particularly after reading this excerpt:

“In an interview with Committee staff, Mr. Wilson was asked how he knew some of the things he was stating publicly with confidence… For example, when asked how he “knew” that the Intelligence Community had rejected the possibility of a Niger-Iraq uranium deal, as he wrote in his book, he told the Committee staff that his assertion may have involved “a little literary flair.” (See Additional Views of Chairman Pat Robert et al., SSCI Report, page 445)

Given that-- I was thus somewhat astonished to read the following exchange:

Sen. Bond:”...The ambassador has said that his wife had nothing to do with recommending him. And when we interviewed... our committee interviewed his wife, she then... she was asked specifically if she had... who had recommended the ambassador go. And she said that "I can't remember exactly whether I recommended him or my boss did." And other people... other agents reported that it was on her recommendation that the ambassador was sent.

MARGARET WARNER: And briefly, Ambassador Wilson, there was a memo cited by her or written by her in which she basically, to her boss, touted your contacts in Niger. You didn't consider that a suggestion that they...

JOSEPH WILSON: My understanding... and let me just go back here. On July 14, Mr. Novak exposed my wife's identity and made the allegation that she had suggested me for the job. On July 22, the CIA said to a couple of reporters who asked about that, she did not recommend her husband to undertake the Niger assignment.

They... the officers who did ask him to check the uranium story were aware of who she was married to, which is not surprising. She did not recommend her husband to undertake the...

MARGARET WARNER: You don't consider that memo a suggestion?

JOSEPH WILSON: I have not seen the memo. I don't know what transpired, if her supervisor asked her to list my qualifications. My bona fides were well established, having made a trip out to Niger in 1999, in addition to 23 years service for my country..." (NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. 7/20/04).


Ok, assume Sen. Bond’s Plame quote “I can't remember exactly whether I recommended him …” is essentially accurate.

Questions:
1. Was Sen. Bond telling Wilson something Wilson didn’t already know?

2. If “yes”—Wilson didn’t know his wife doubts—then has this always been the case? Did Plame keep Wilson is the dark on *everything* he was not authorized to know? Or did she pick and choose: leaking some that might support his case and suppressing others that might damage it.

3. If “no”—Wilson did know his wife doubts—then his “...the CIA said to a couple of reporters who asked about that, she did not recommend her husband to undertake the Niger assignment” is a nice example of deception by non-disclosure.

furious

Ol' bigot Don blamin' the J-E-W-S, which is pretty funny because Haim Saban is one of the Democratic Party's biggest Hollywood contributors.

Go wipe the spittle off your chin, Don. Not very becoming.

--furious

HotJavaJack

"Maybe the CIA did not feel inclined to waste a lot of resources disproving the bonehead theories of Dick Cheney and the neocon intel unit at the Pentagon."
----
Maybe Don and his ilk are incapable of handling the truth when finally confronted with the facts. Now that its been proven that Joe Wilson lied, his supplicants remain in denial lest their fanatical efforts to defeat Bush at all costs become undermined. But, hey, they probably still believe the world is flat, too.

Timmy the Wonder  Dog

So Tom, your telling me that Kevin is accusing Mrs. Wilson of leaking CIA secrets to her husband (how else would her husband know the CIA's position). Does Kevin have any shame, apparently not.

Brad

I've seen Don posting on a half dozen websites. He always comes in with some assinine theory espousing the evils of Dick Cheney, then runs off to his Commissars house for another debriefing. He's nothing but a troll, with an active imagination. Don, do everyone a favor and stick to what you know best. Doing the ball tuck in front of the mirror, and screaming at the girl in the cistern, "it puts the lotion on it's skin". Those nice men in the clean white suits will be by to pick you up after Bush gets another 4 years. ;}

TM

So Tom, your telling me that Kevin is accusing Mrs. Wilson...

I think he used the word "speculating", which I certainly hope I repeated. (Now I am afraid to look...)

Lesley

Hmmm, makes me wonder if something even more nefarious is afoot.

CONSPIRACY THEORY #476: Someone at CIA can't stand George Bush & Company (yes, yes, I realize that's a stretch), additionally, someone at CIA (out of sheer jealousy and envy) can't stand Valerie Plame, aka Jane Bond, or the officious ass to whom she is married. Beautiful set-up really, definite two for one: create political chaos for the Bushies, sidetrack Val's career and you won't ever again have to behold that husband of hers waxing eloquent at any more office parties.

HEY, it could happen. Hee hee.

ed

Hmmm.

If the CIA did did in fact choose not to use any available resources to investigate Iraq seeking yellowcake, relying instead on a completely inexperienced outsider, when so directed by THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA then the CIA has got even more problems than we're aware of.

The CIA isn't supposed to make policy decisions. Nor is it supposed to judge whether or not to obey instructions given to it from the upper echelons of the executive branch. It's supposed to do it's damn job.

I'm thinking the CIA needs to be fired en masse and replaced from the ground up.

ed

Hmmm.

I'd suggest that framing Valerie Plame is not reasonable idea. Frankly most of the leading executives at the CIA seem to come from the DO, operations, branch and not from the DI, intelligence, branch. Additionally being an analysin the WMD section pretty much won't give you any real opportunities to excel or get noticed for promotion.

On the other hand here we have an analyst, with access to highly classified information, married to a egomaniacal publicity hound who has extremely strong ties to the Democratic party.

Well another way to get a promotion is to scratch someone's back.

Lesley

Ed, ofcourse, you are perfectly correct :), I was just being silly and having some fun adjusting the antenna on my designer tinfoil hat. What I've never understood, however, is why with ONLY (supposedly) one piece of the puzzle (ie., his Niger contacts), Joe Wilson could say that Bush lied with reference to British intel in his State of the Union Address? What am I missing here? This is an odd tale, indeed, but I remain firmly convinced that any attempts by Saddam to acquire yellowcake were merely directed toward an entry into Pillsbury's (little known) Nuclear Bake Off Contest.

J_Crater

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal said "Special Procecutor Patrick Fitzgerald should fold up his tent" as identifying Ms. Plame, as the source of the suggestion to send Joe Wilson to Niger, would not be a crime, but merely a connection of the dots.
So exactly what is Mr. Fitzgerald doing ?
Last time I checked, Mr. Novak had not been interviewed, at least not aggressively. As Mr. Fitzgerald is not covered by the Watergate era statues and is merely a formality within the DOJ attorney structure, he comes with all the tools of the DOJ and none of the old rules that made it easy for the Clinton White House to paint Ken Starr as out of control.
Items still on the table include: the source of the "forged documents" and, as mentioned here, was Joe Wilson getting "coaching". Rumours have it that some elements within the CIA and with CIA connections had their hand in both, but only time will tell.

TM

Items still on the table include: the source of the "forged documents" and, as mentioned here, was Joe Wilson getting "coaching". Rumours have it that some elements within the CIA and with CIA connections had their hand in both, but only time will tell.

Seymour Hersh in "The Stovepipe" "reported" that a CIA cabal was the source of the forgeries.

A debunking is here. Color me skeptical, but *if* the FBI is taking it seriously, it becomes one more reason that a prosecution of the Plame leakers is problematic - it would be nice if the prosecutor went after the bad guys, rather than played into the hands of a CIA cabal trying to embarass (and ocverturn) the Administration. And Ms. Plame and her hubby may be dupes of the cabal, rather than participants.

Did I put enough caveats and disclaimers in there?

ed

Hmmm.

1. "Ed, ofcourse, you are perfectly correct...".

I'm glad you see this. For some strange reason it's not as obvious for some other, less perceptive, people. :) Just joking. (for those less perceptive people)

2. "... :), I was just being silly and having some fun adjusting the antenna on my designer tinfoil hat."

No idea where that came from as I didn't state anything that could be construed in that manner.

3. "What I've never understood, however, is why with ONLY (supposedly) one piece of the puzzle (ie., his Niger contacts), Joe Wilson could say that Bush lied with reference to British intel in his State of the Union Address? What am I missing here?"

The press.

The simple fact is that it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a politician to fight the press. Especially when it's not just one or two elements, but nearly the whole damn thing. Such an effort would get bogged down in irrelevant particulars with, unsubstantiated accusations.

In this case you had an incredibly biased and aggressive press that was just waiting for a scandal, any scandal at all. The press, as you might have noticed, didn't bother comparing the "16 words" with the accusations made by Wilson. To the press the actual details were irrelevant. What was important was that there was a "scandal" and that, with enough combined shouting, the President wouldn't be able to get a word in edgewise.

Maybe he could have fought on this issue. But how much shouting would he have had to do to outshout the whole MSM? Additionally the whole purpose of fighting on an issue would be to win. How could he win? Only by showing that the entire MSM was either completely staffed by credulous lying incompetents without a shred of ethics or morals.

And remember. The President gets to choose when, where and what he says to the Media. The Media gets to choose when, where and if we get to hear it.

No contest. The only way out of that is to let the story die as fast as possible and then revisit the issue later on.

Lesley

Ed, thank you for your thoughtful response. I know you weren't trying to make fun of me. I was making fun of myself and my conspiracy theory although given Tom's response "it would be nice if the prosecutor went after the bad guys, rather than played into the hands of a CIA cabal trying to embarass (and ocverturn) the Administration. And Ms. Plame and her hubby may be dupes of the cabal, rather than participants," I might not be completely off the mark. Thanks, Tom, for the links to the Hersh and Hans articles.

Ed, as you so wisely pointed out, "And remember. The President gets to choose when, where and what he says to the Media. The Media gets to choose when, where and if we get to hear it," I have often wondered why the WH has been so silent on this yellowcake, Wilson, forged documents, etc. business. If there is a problem between the White House and a CIA "cabal", Bush and co. must be carefully monitoring this information/disinformation/leaks campaign against them in an attempt to smoke out the perps. At the risk of sounding hopelessly naive, I don't give a damn what party is in charge of the executive branch, the thought that someone at CIA is actively engaged in a dirty tricks campaign (especially during wartime) enrages me. I do understand that is a naive comment. I'll go out on a limb here: who knows if the British intel comment in the State of the Union Address wasn't deliberately placed there to help smoke out the rats and watch how they attack the cheese. Ok, that's nutty, I know.

At any rate, thanks gentlemen. Always a pleasure reading anything you have to say and I appreciation any elucidation you have to throw my way.


Reg

Re: Alleged CIA involvement in "Niger" forged documents. Two words: Occam's razor.

However,

Re: Allegations that Wilson may have received unauthorized classified information or maybe even just a "wink and a nod" confirmation on some critical questions. Oh, I think that is quite possible.


Now does anyone want to do that chronology I suggested in a comment above? Where's Mickey Kaus' assigment desk when you need it??


J_Crater

"Seymour Hersh in "The Stovepipe" "reported" that a CIA cabal was the source of the forgeries.

A debunking is here. Color me skeptical, but *if* the FBI is taking it seriously, it becomes one more reason that a prosecution of the Plame leakers is problematic - it would be nice if the prosecutor went after the bad guys, rather than played into the hands of a CIA cabal trying to embarass (and ocverturn) the Administration. And Ms. Plame and her hubby may be dupes of the cabal, rather than participants."

The trouble with all these analysises is that they use the "one-dimensional chess" approach, exploiting the notion that there are a minimum of players involved or more simply, myopia.
Just as Joe Wilson assumed that his reporting was the only source for Bush's statement, meanwhile the French are revealing it really did happen (but aren't allowing the Brits to id them as the source); who'd a thunk it, another report.
Of course, none of the debunking takes into consideration that the French were seeing uranium trading to Iraq, Iran, North Korean, China and Libya. Let's just tote the report, any report, out there and see them hunker down and make things even harder to detect.

kim

Does elBaradei know about these French and their connaisance of uranium trading to Iraq, Iran, North Korea, China, and Libya?
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