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July 13, 2005

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Martin

In any event Flenser's brain is right up there with them.

flenser

Thats the kind of persusave argument that has won the American people over to the left wing position. No wonder everyone supports the Democrats.

ArminTamzarian

mending?

hmm

AlanDownunder

I happily concede the liklihood that Plame & Wilson were part of CIA blowback against Cheney/Libby/Bolton pressure to fix the intelligence and facts around the Iraq policy.

So, belatedly, was Tenet when he resigned suddenly as the Fitzgerald shit hit a fan inside the White House, when CIA outed Joseph to a Senate committee as the guy who re-inserted the "16 words" (as Durbin disclosed) and when he subsequently sang to Fitzgerald.

This remains to the bitter end a desperate attempt by the White House to support fixed intelligence - against all odds.

Fitzgerald is going to come out with perjury/conspiracy/cover-up type indictments that will squarely connect this case with the Downing Street minutes - and resoundingly affirm them.

One parallel with Watergate is that Watergate was White House v FBI and Plamegate is White House v CIA. The big difference is that outing Plame was more than a "third rate burglary".

kim

Joe Wilson in On the Sweet Tea Front: "I coulda been a contendah, but they hadda drag the dame inta it."
==============================

flenser

TM

"So how could Rove's *source* be a reporter, other than Cooper?"

For all we know, it was Cooper. Coopers email is ambigious as to who is saying what. From reading that email you can't tell if it is Rove or Cooper saying that Plame appearently works for the CIA.

peapies

boy the minute man has it all here...just go back and read...

"Judy Miller Protecting Lewis Libby (And Anyone Else?)"

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2005/07/judy_miller_pro.html

and Kausfiles raises this point to today

it is obvious now that Rove was Coppers scontact and Libby was Millers. Libby has said he learned Plames name from a reporter. Libby signed the same release "of all persons" waiver (you know the one that confused Cooper -and his lawyer for a year and a half-is it general or specific? apparently the phone wasn't working till jail day)

Now, Rove gave a "specific" to Cooper (oh that clears it up) so next step... Miller ask your lawyer to get a "specific" waiver please? If Cooper can get one, then I want one?

Unless of course Miller doesn't want one?

Could Fitzgerald tap out a custom "specific" from Libby to Miller? Silly that he would initiate that...Millers lawyer has seen the scenario, he should do it.

Unless of course Libby isn't the source, but someone else and the "new" Cooper waiver poses a real problem for Miller and source. Looks like see is doing the time then.

kim

ADU: You didn't notice that it was Joe Wilson who was fixing(in the sense of making them up) intelligence facts, and lying about them?
=============================

peapies

Kim: exactly

Miller screwed Wilson and Plame. She let a few too many "classified" details slip in her conversation with Libby.

Details that were "classified" that Wilson and Plame were pedaling and since their such peacocks it was obvios who retailed it to Miller.

Martin

Wrong Flenser-Cooper confirmed to the grand jury TODAY that Rove was his source.

Furthermore, it's clear From Cooper's lawyer's statement that Rove was quite prepared to let Cooper go to jail, but that Cooper jumped on Luskins statement in the WSJ (ah sweet justice) to weasel out of his confidentiality pledge. So whatever one of you wingnuts was arguing otherwise is wrong as well.

peapies

Martin...Fitzgaerald wrote the waiver! What part of "all persons" was confusing for a year and a half AND if Cooper hadn't gotten his "specific" waiver...what would Karl Rove do to him? Sue?

peapies

Cooper did that to save his own "noble" reputation. thats all.

peapies

Martin: Rove's attorney Luskin confirmed it 2 days ago...so much for the Cooper drama

Martin

Rove got screwed:

This is Sauber, Cooper's attorney:

"And, on my plane flight from Chicago into Washington, I read the account in the Wall Street Journal. I picked up a copy of the Wall
Street Journal. And in there, right at the end of the article about this matter is the following statement: "Mr. Rove hasn't asked any reporter to treat him as a confidential source in the matter," Mr. Luskin said, who I understand is Mr. Rove's lawyer. "So if Matt Cooper is going to jail to protect a source, it's not Karl he's protecting."

Good job WSJ! One spin over the line.

Sauber continues:

"So I asked Mr. Luskin if he would agree to the following language, which he did, that: "Consistent with his written waiver of confidentiality he previously executed, Mr. Rove affirms his waiver of any claim of confidentiality he may have concerning any conversation he may have had with Matthew Cooper of Time magazine during the month of July 2003."

Beautiful!!!How could Luskin say no? Rove gets screwed by the WSJ. Awesome.

"Matt and I discussed that once we got this letter. We felt that this was sufficiently personal to Matt. It was sufficient, in Matt's estimation, to cover precisely the conversation that he and Mr. Rove had concerning the article that he published."

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Martin

Martin: Rove's attorney Luskin confirmed it 2 days ago...so much for the Cooper drama-peapies

Yeah of course I know that peapies-but tell your fellow rightwing pals:

"TM

"So how could Rove's *source* be a reporter, other than Cooper?"

For all we know, it was Cooper. Coopers email is ambigious as to who is saying what. From reading that email you can't tell if it is Rove or Cooper saying that Plame appearently works for the CIA.

Posted by: flenser | July 13, 2005 06:46 PM"


peapies

um...what part of "all persons" from Fitzgeralds waiver was inhibiting this

"Consistent with his written waiver of confidentiality he previously executed, Mr. Rove affirms his waiver of any claim of confidentiality he may have concerning any conversation he may have had with Matthew Cooper of Time magazine during the month of July 2003."


and oh, I thought Sauber called on Jail day?
and it is my understanding that there wad no rewritten language, it was ON THE PHONE!

Cooper melodrama avoiding his colleagues scorn. and what exactly would Karl do to him if he just testified under "all persons"?

peapies

this is a criminal probe...if Karl Rove committed a crime then they (reporters) are accessories to it if they refuse to talk.

so feigning I need a specific language is just window dressing melodrama...they are accessories to Karl Rove's crime and "all persons" or "speak Cooper" makes no difference

and if they know Karl Rove committed a crime, why would they want to help him?

Martin

Peapies-Cooper wasn't worried about Rove per se-but his journalistic ethics-whatever that is. Here's what Cooper says:

"I believe that once a journalist makes a commitment to protect the confidentiality of a source, only the source can end that
commitment -- not a court, not a corporation. That's the principle I've upheld for two years now. Now, when the U.S. District Court and then the Court of Appeals, and subsequently the Supreme Court, ordered me to testify, I refused to break my commitment."

But then the WSJ published the out he needed.
Weasel or not, Cooper took it.
Thanks WSJ.


Jeff Z

Apology accepted, Martin. I'll extend the same. It sounded funny when I said it to myself in my office--but it came out snarky on the page. What I meant was that we're all emotionally involved in this, and that's good, but sometimes you've got to realize that you're in this odd and newly created milieu, you (and I mean all of us, not just you, Martin)start seeing things a little bigger than maybe they are--here I mean, not in the real life actions in DC. Don't get me wrong, I like it when people get emotional, I just became alarmed that maybe you were starting to get overhwelmed and losing tocuh--momentarily, of course. Had I been with you when I said it, I think you might have laughed and come down a bit. That was the spirit with which I meant it.

By the way, although I disagree with you pretty much completely, I admire you for staying with thread, and appreciate it as well. It's important to know what those who disagree with us think.

peapies

Martin-
what out??? I mean I see what your implying, but the idea a phone call on jail day (NOT rewritten language) was an out isn't saying anything...Cooper weaseled...not Rove. Cooper didn't want to go to jail. He carried a last minute SHOW in a dramatic fashion---which by the way he craftily characterized as Rove dramatically calling him (which we now know is untrue)---precisely to APPEAR the noble journalist...the fact remains "all persons" is not ambiguous for a year and a half and if Rove committed a crime Cooper is helping him.

Jeff Z- now you are top drawer and wholeheartedly agree sans name calling

By the way, although I disagree with you pretty much completely, I admire you for staying with thread, and appreciate it as well. It's important to know what those who disagree with us think.

Martin

So Jeff Z there's actually a human being in there?

Yep. I cop to getting worked up about this. But, you know, when you don't trust your president it puts you in an uneasy feeling. I want to resolve the issue, but trust can't be restored until we stop with the word games.

(and I always thought Clinton was a scumbag for this very reason btw.)

Look if Rove or whoever just came out and said-yes, we spilled her name-it was wrong-we're sorry, I'd accept it. Or maybe I'm wrong-and if they came out and gave me a perfectly valid explanation of what happened I'd accept that. I really do want to see faith restored.

But when they keep giving me easily refutable lies and evasions, it's infuriating. Just tell the truth or shut up, you know.

I'm actually pretty mellow. Please don't anyone track me down and beat my ass.

Martin

peapies-I actually do think Cooper weaseled, but I think Rove was actually counting on Cooper to not rat him out.

peapies

Actually I would have more respect for both Cooper and Miller if they would have a long time ago just marched right in and testified, even if it did roll Rove. If he committed a crime...

Martin

I'm not as isolated as I thought:

From the new NBC/WSJ poll:

"only 41 percent give Bush good marks for being "honest and straightforward" -- his lowest ranking on this question since he became president. That's a drop of nine percentage points since January, when a majority (50 percent to 36 percent) indicated that he was honest and straightforward."

Bush really has to deal with this, and trashing Wilson ain't the answer.

vnjagvet

Martin:

Glad to see you are still at it, but are now over your emotional trauma.

You asked if I can tell who is lying in this saga based on the 40 years of trial experience.

The answer is I have observed Wilson's demeanor in some interviews on TV and would not trust him further than I could throw him. He has impressed me as a self-important weasel caught in a trap. That's one man's opinion, of course. He might be a great individual personally.

I have not observed Rove in a like situation, so I cannot provide you with my impression of his demeanor.

Normally, in my cases, I get to question witnesses in person under oath (most of my practice has been civil not criminal since 1970) to make this kind of credibility determination.

I have learned that I can't safely rely on inferences drawn from third hand reports to determine credibility on critical facts.

That is why I have not made any judgments on this or any other post about who is telling the truth here.

I am assuming typical political word parsing on both sides of this brouhaha as I have earlier indicated.

BTW, I have a question about you Martin. Do you work in a technical profession like, e.g. engineering?

sytrek

Why is it still being discussed as an issue that her name was a secret? Valery Plame's name was NOT a secret. It was posted on the internet in at least three different bios of Wilson at the time of the NYT op ed.
One is attached below.
I understant at least one of them has been removed.
http://www.cpsag.com/our_team/wilson.html
IF (and a big IF) Plame was such a covert agent, the real outing occurred the day her husband, a former ambassador, published in the NYT an editorial stating that he had a project with the CIA regarding finding WMD. Considering that his wife's name was searchable on the internet, don't you consider that this would have made her ability to continue carrying covert operations a bit difficult?
Let's speculate a bit.
Ms. Plame is in Russia in 2004, trying to obtain WMD information from black market dealers.
Dealer 1: So who is this chick Plame?
Dealer 2: I do not know, let me check on the Internet.
Dealer 2: I found this site where it says that she is the wife of some Joseph Wilson.
Dealer 1: What?
Dealer 2: Joseph Wilson, former ambasador.
Dealer 1: The Joseph Wilson? The one that wrote in U.S. papers that he worked for the CIA looking for WMD?
Dealer 2: I guess so.
Dealer 1: The next time you see this chick do whatever you have to do so that our names do not appear on the paper.

Mike on Hilton Head Island

Are there really people so thick headed or willingly blind that they haven't already been clued into the duplicity of this Wilson character?

And the REAL SHAME here is not so much the lies he spread about his wife's invovlement NOR the supposed outting of his wife.

THE REAL SHAME here is that all the above fracas is put out there to take the spotlight OFF the story about what was really going on with Iraq and Niger.

Martin

"Do you work in a technical profession like, e.g. engineering?"

There are technical aspects to my job. Like when somebody orders half bubble gum half spearmint with condensed milk and I gotta make it happen.

Jeff

Well, my apologies to Martin for leaving him to defend himself alone, though he seems to be able to give as bad as he gets. I'm actually sort of glad I missed the barrage that TM's seemingly uncharacteristically ill-natured comments about us opened up.

In answer to TM, just so I'm clear, the point for you is that by showing that Wilson is unreliable, you bolster the claim that Rove was whistleblowing on Wilson and saving reporters from disastrous misinformation (even as he was giving it out), is that it? Or is it simply that some Democrats are changing their tune?

My take on it is that, as Somerby says in the passage you cite, this is trivial, but nevertheless: the Democrats on the SSCI evidently DID believe -- or perhaps I should say acquiesced in the claim -- that Plame suggested Wilson's name, or at least that there were indications of this. See p. 39. This, by the way, bolsters my and Martin's interpretation of what was going on with the Republicans' unaccepted conclusion about this issue.

Now, what do I think? I think the Republicans who produced the report were driving as hard as they could to exaggerate Plame's role, while the Democrats, in this as in so many regards, were mostly asleep at the rhetorical wheel. Read that paragraph on p. 39 of the report carefully. Here's what you've got. You've got ONE CPD official who says Plame offered up his name -- only his name? out of the blue? who knows? -- and a document where Plame is clearly talking about her husband's qualifications for the position, though we have no idea whether this was in response to someone's request or whatever. On the other hand, MULTIPLE -- "Some" -- CPD officials could not remember how Wilson was selected, and hence could not vouch for the ONE CPD official's report. Let's remember the charged nature of the question on ALL sides. But that looks like pretty minimal involvement, possibly even more minimal, and no more than, suggesting his name. But certainly Wilson seems to be less precise than he should be. However, contra Somerby, Wilson is not erecting and knocking down a strawman with his strong argument that his wife was not involved in the decision-making on sending him. We have seen now that that is precisely the line that Karl Rove among others has been pushing. Indeed, the line being pushed is not just that she was involved, but that she herself authorized his trip.

So, TM, when you say, "My take has been that the Reps argued that his wife was involved in some fashion," you are erecting a strawman of the Reps' position not to knock it down but to prop it up.

I will also repeat, finally, that if Plame suggested Wilson's name for the trip, that would appear to undermine more than support your basic interpretation that her was a move in an intra-administration battle. For she apparently did the same exact thing back in 1999, before those intra-administration battles could have begun.

Jeff

A couple more comments, that I hope lead in more constructive directions. I'm basically stealing from www.talkleft.com here, but it would be interesting to know whether anyone in proximity to Bush or, especially, Cheney saw Wilson's report. The Known Fact answer to this, I suspect, will be a quick "No," with a quick link to Tenet's July 11, 2003 statement. But if you actually read the statement, he says no such thing. What Tenet actually says is that "we" -- the CIA, presumably -- did not brief it to the President, the VP or senior administration officials. But he also says that it got a normal and wide distribution. Which is to say lots of people read it, perhaps including some senior administration officials who were not briefed on it.

Second, an earlier post by TM noted that the Senate Democrats who signed off on the SSCI report did not dispute the INR memo and the identical or seemingly closely related INR analyst's notes regarding Wilson's trip. This is, to me, one of the man instances where the Democrats seem to have been just asleep at the wheel. I'll repeat a question I posed earlier: has there been any reason -- OTHER than the sheer fact that the Democrats signed off on the SSCI report, which is not, best as I can tell, explained -- to call into questions the grave doubts expressed about that document and analyst in the Dec. 2003 WaPo story?

jerry

Martin, I can't help but notice, you are fun and determined. Good for you.

ed

Hmmmm.

@ Ron Wright

1. If you're going to use a HTML tag then use the end tag for God's sake. What an idiot.

@ Jeff

2. "ed - Re 1), look at pp. 38-39 of the SSCI report (which is pp. 48-49 of the pdf, I believe)"

Sorry wrong. Could you double check that page reference because it has nothing to do with this subject.

3. "He came back within a day or two and said, “This is all we know. There’s a lot we don’t know,” end of statement."

How is this linked to Joe Wilson? Joe Wilson didn't take a day or two. He took, what, a week? Two weeks? Of drinking mint tea and chatting with some old cronies?

So Cheney asks a question, the CIA answers him within "a day or two" and then what? The CIA sends Wilson off to Niger. He comes back, doesn't write a report and just gives a verbal debrief and even that was never conveyed to the VP.

And somehow I'm supposed to take it on credit that Cheney is supposed to be somehow responsible for this?

3. "Cheney does support the assertion;"

No it is extremely clear that Cheney does not support that assertion. If the VP had instigated this little pleasure trip of Wilson's then where is the report? Why didn't the CIA report back to the White House? Why didn't the VP demand an report from the CIA then? Shouldn't the CIA have reported back to the VP?

So you're going to have to explain how it is that Cheney somehow agreed to having Wilson sent on this trip without ever demanding an answer other than the one he got. Which was obviously much earlier than Wilson's trip could have possibly even started.

No I don't buy it. If that's the best you've got, then you've got bupkis.

ed

Hmmm.

@ Martin

"They asked essentially that we follow up on this report"

That word "essentially" covers all sorts of nonsense. The VP went on record and stated that he didn't authorise the trip. He also didn't ask them to follow up on the report.

So why don't you quote someone other than Wilson on this? Are you expecting me to accept **Wilson** as the sole authority on what the VP asked for?

Why not quote Cheney then? Is it because then you've got nothing at all?

ed

Hmmm.

"Ed, I was confused about the "on business" part.

Actually Plame successfully recommended Wilson for an intelligence mission in 1999 when he was going to Niger on other business. In 2002, he apparently went solely at the request of the CIA."

So you're pointing out then that Plame has engaged in this little act of nepotism more than once.

I wouldn't say that was a positive.

ed

Hmmm.

@ Martin

"Seriously SaveFarris, Jeff just quoted Cheney's own words to you-he told the CIA to followup on Iraq and Niger. Is that enough of an inkling for you?"

Really? Where? Where in Cheney's statements do you find that he "told the CIA to followup on Iraq and Niger"?

Quote Cheney and don't paraphrase. Don't twist the words, take them out of context or Dowdify them.

And show me where Cheney asked the CIA to followup on Iraq and Niger.

Go ahead. I triple-dog dare you.

ed

Hmmm.

@ Jeff

1. "ed - Re 1), look at pp. 38-39 of the SSCI report (which is pp. 48-49 of the pdf, I believe)""

Ahh found it! Thanks!

So we go back to this:

"1) Cheney asked for more information about the alleged Iraq-Niger deal."

Frankly I don't agree with that intepretation at all. This comprises the entirety of the VP's involvement:

"After reading the DIA report, the Vice President asked his morning briefer for the CIA's analysis of the issue."

Then compare that statement with Cheney's words in his interview with Tim Russert:

"A question had arisen. I’d heard a report that the Iraqis had been trying to acquire uranium in Africa, Niger in particular. I get a daily brief on my own each day before I meet with the president to go through the intel. And I ask lots of question. One of the questions I asked at that particular time about this, I said, “What do we know about this?” They take the question. He came back within a day or two and said, “This is all we know. There’s a lot we don’t know,” end of statement."

Both the report and the VP's words match, but they do not provide the necessary evidence that you seem to think is in there. All that is in the SSCI report that includes the VP's office is this:

"in response to questions from the Vice President's Office and the Departments of State and Defense"

Are you somehow trying to say that the VP asked the CIA to do more on that question, and then lied to Tim Russert? And note that there is no corresponding corroborating evidence from the VP or his office.

So please explain how that "questions from the Vice President's Office" isn't just the one single question that Cheney asked, and was answered?

ed

Hmmm.

Christ it's 2:30 am.

Time to stop spamming this blog I guess. :) Sorry TM.

Jeff

ed - You say, "you're going to have to explain how it is that Cheney somehow agreed to having Wilson sent on this trip without ever demanding an answer other than the one he got." I will try once again: I am not, repeat, I am not saying that Cheney agreed to have Wilson sent on this trip. I defy you to find one place in a post here where I have said that or its equivalent.

I will remind you of your own words. You said, ""1) Cheney asked for more information about the alleged Iraq-Niger deal."

That's what Wilson said, however has Cheney specifically supported this assertion? I don't remember Cheney actually coming out and stating that he asked the CIA to anything of the sort. Frankly I remember, vaguely, that Cheney in fact denied this.

Got proof of this assertion? If so, please provide a link."

I have provided proof of that assertion. Perhaps your mistake is imagining that J Mann is or I am asserting that Cheney asked Wilson himself. No, as I thought J Mann made pretty clear, though evidently not clear enough. The basic story is Cheney reads a DIA report, asks the CIA for information on Niger-Iraq, gets a written answer from WINPAC, presumably really quickly, as Cheney indicates. ALSO, as the SSCI report on pp. 39 says, "in response to questions from the Vice President's Office and the Departments of State and Defense on the allged Iraq-Niger uranium deal, CPD official discussed ways to obtain additional information. [blacked out] who could make immediatae inquiries into the reporting, CPD decided to contact a former ambassador to Gabon who had a posting early in his career in Niger." It's worth noting that this all happened in almost immediate temporal proximity: Cheney read the DIA report on February 12, 2002, and CPD was sending a cable presumably to Niger requesting concurrence with the idea of sending Wilson by the next day.

All of this comports with what Cheney said on Meet the Press, though it is not surprising that he rhetorically minimizes any connection between his own actions and Wilson's trip.

It's also worth noting that others received the same information Wilson says he got about the origins of the research on Iraq-Niger. On p. 42, an INR intelligence assessment is discussed, and its drafter told the Committee staff that he had been told that the piece was in response to interest from the Vice President's oiffice in the alleged Iraq-NIger uranium deal. Cheney also asked his morning briefer for an update in early March.

As for the results of Wilson's trip, there was an intelligence report based on it, which was disseminated on March 8, 2002.

So you see there was a report. Now, as Tenet said, it was not briefed to the VP, among others. Why? Who knows? Good question, and I have some guesses, which are different from what the SSCI says. But Conclusion 14 of the SSCI report says, "The Central INtelligence Agency should have told the Vice President and other senior policymakers that it had sent someone to Niger to look into the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal and should have briefed the Vice President on the former ambassador's findings." This is what Wilson in his original article said should, and he expected did, happen.

So I take that to be pretty much a complete refutation of your claims. Oh yeah, I'm right about the page numbers of the SSCI report as well. Note the difference, which I did in my initial post, between the pagination of the report itself and the pagination of the resulting pdf file.

JDM

This has been an interesting day... I learned some more NewSpeak:

KR: "She's fair game" = compassionate conservatism (just trying to save that reporter from embarrasing himself).

Maybe he really said "be fair to Plame", huh? Yah, that must be it.

Anyway, I filed it right below...
DSM: (...)"fixing the intelligence around policy" = carefully building a policy with sound intel.

Yes, I'm getting the hang of this stuff. BTW, how many "last throes" did we have in Iraq this week? (reaching for dictionary) hmmm... should I look up "throes", or "last"?

ArminTamzarian

Look if Rove or whoever just came out and said-yes, we spilled her name-it was wrong-we're sorry, I'd accept it. Or maybe I'm wrong-and if they came out and gave me a perfectly valid explanation of what happened I'd accept that. I really do want to see faith restored.

What a complete liar. You want him fired or, ideally, in jail. See, this is why nobody trusts Democrats: they lie about everything.

Only a complete liar could believe the person at the bottom of this is Rove. Miller's not protecting Rove. She's especially not protecting Rove since he waived confidentiality with respect to all persons. That's the incredibly obvious point you deny, to us and perhaps even to yourself, but that you know is true. Thus, a liar you are.

peapies

Ed you swoon me!

oh and just checked google and there something like 2,334 stories on Rove and a scant 20 on London bombing and here is the shocker...The left...uhmm..the press I mean is mad at Rove!

I still standing on my belief that Fitzgerald is investigating a leak, it just ain't the "Plame's Name" one.

Judy's loose lips with classified info inadvertently revealed a leak alright...and screwed her 1 covert and 1 non covert source "of info"

think she's cursing old weasel Cooper?

Boronx

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Except that they hadn't learned any such thing. They'd either been duped or were lying, and Bush had been warned. He lied.

Boronx

This is the first place I'd heard that Plame had recommended Wilson for an earlier trip to Niger. Is this true? Does the date appear on the release portions of Plame's infamous memo? Could it be that because Wilson had already made a previous trip that Plame's bosses didn't need any prompting before choosing Wilson? Tenet was director in both cases, so it may have even been the same crew.

Slartibartfast

Who left the volume turned up?

Wankers.

ArminTamzarian
We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government’s dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that: The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. was well-founded.

Don't be such a lying liar, Boronx.

Martin

Armin, I understand that you believe Miller is in jail in order to protect herself from going to jail, but unless Miller is at your mental level, I doubt this.

ArminTamzarian

Great, great Martin. Only a fellating asshat can't comprehend the difference between detention for civil contempt and incarceration for a crime.

Dwilkers

But lies and dishonesty irritate me.

So yes-please stop calling Wilson a liar.

I had to read through the thread a couple times to be sure. Is any politically aware person left in this country that doesn't know what a liar Wilson is?

Here's that bastion of the right wing, the WaPo:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A39834-2004Jul9.html?referrer=emailarticle

"Former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV...was specifically recommended for the mission by his wife, a CIA employee, contrary to what he has said publicly."

That's 1.

"Wilson's assertions -- both about what he found in Niger and what the Bush administration did with the information -- were undermined yesterday in a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report."

That's 2.

"The panel found that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts."

That's 3.

"And contrary to Wilson's assertions and even the government's previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms..."

That's 4.

"The report turns a harsh spotlight on what Wilson has said about his role in gathering prewar intelligence, most pointedly by asserting that his wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame, recommended him."

That's 5.

"The report also said Wilson provided misleading information to The Washington Post last June."

That's 6.

"Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the 'dates were wrong and the names were wrong' when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports," the Senate panel said.

That's 7.

Ok, I'll stop there. It isn't even a long article and that's 7 times in the upper 3/4 that the WaPo calls him a liar. Pretty unusual for a newspaper to do such a thing. Why did they go after him so hard? The 6th lie gives a hint; he lied to THEM and they don't like that.

I'm 46 years old and rarely if ever have I seen a semi-public personality so thoroughly discredited as Wilson. He has lied and lied and lied. He lied about what he did, who recommended him for it, what he said when he got back, who he said it to, the 'letter', virtually everything.

I understand someone being upset with Rove but I must say I do not understand how anyone can defend Wilson.

Martin

So you actually admit that's your concept. Miller decided to go to jail for contempt to prevent going to jail for espionage?!

As Ailes said "so crazy it might work!"

Except-if Fitzgerald has a case against her-it doesn't matter if she testifies or not-in fact-thanks to the 5th amendment-no defendant has to testify.

Really-what is your theory re: Miller. I'm fascinated.

ArminTamzarian

Actually, no, I never did. I said she's in jail to protect herself or someone other than Rove. I never said any of them could be convicted of a crime.

Interestingly, you still don't understand the concept of civil contempt, you vacuous porcine jockstrap.

Jeff Z

Just wanted to point out that Jeff and Jeff Z are two different people. Nothing against you, Jeff, just wanted to explain any inconsistencies a confusion in our identities might cause.

Also, thanks for accepting my apology, Martin and Peapies. Reading my comment this morning made me wince. It came off like one of those passive-agressive things that people use to belittle someone whom their losing an argument too. (Which I wasn't, *&#% it!)

In my defense, all I can see is that these heated disputes are not atypical in various areas of my work and someone will make a comment like this to defuse the anger a bit and keep the conversation at least minimally constructive. To elaborate a bit, I could see Martin was getting hit hard and fast from a number of different directions. My remark was meant to be empathetic, but I can see now that it came off as closer to the opposite.

Also my final comment may have come off condescending, but I did not mean it that way. There's no way to improve our knowledge if people are not willing to seriously dispute it. And if that comes off corny, well, what can I say? I mean it.It's hard to get people to do this in real life and the main reason I love threads.

BumperStickerist

Unless Rove put the screws to somebody to find out who recommended Wilson for the trip -

------------------

sample dialogue:

Rove: You, for the last time, give me the name

hapless CIA type: No, Never! I'll never talk!

Rove: Paul, more leeches!

{Paul Wolfowitz appears with box of leeches}

hapless CIA type: Plame, it was his wife, Valerie Plame - she's undercover for us ... please for god's sake take them off

Rove: Paul - pour some salt on him to remove the leeches. We've got what we need.
Moowhowah-hahahaha

------

or Rove was specifically briefed that Plame was undercover and told not to reveal that information

--------

CIA Officer - .... So, that's how Wilson's trip came about. Remember Mr. Rove, Valerie Plame is an undercover asset with us, so don't go telling anybody about her involvement, m'okay?

Rove: Thanks, sure thing.

{moo-who-wahhahahahahah}

CIA Officer - What was that?

Rove: No - nothing. Thanks
~ evil chuckle ~
-----------------

Then this strikes me as more something that Rove knew about without knowing the details
- and while it may be a breach of national security that the information came out, it's not necessarily the fault of Rove that the breach was came to light.

"I didn't know Valerie Plame was undercover" is a perfectly valid, legal, no problem talking about it sort of thing to say.

"No one at the CIA gave me any indication that she was an undercover asset" is a perfectly valid, moral thing for Karl to say.

For starters, Plame's actions as relayed by Andrea Mitchell wouldn't make you think that she was undercover - and if Valerie thinks that other non-CIA people are responsible for covering her for her covert actions, well, then she should be more directly involved in politics.

Jeff Z

Oops.

2nd paragraph, bottom line: "to" not "too"

3rd paragraph, top line "say" not "see"

Excuse me. I'm just going to get up and go to see if either of the editors are in their offices yet.

RiverRat

I’ve been searching unsuccessfully for the date of Plame’s return to Langley from overseas. Does anyone have any way of determining this? She was a NOC (non official cover) operative; not deep cover. If she returned before 10 Jul ’03 there can be no valid claim that Rove or anyone else “outed” her.

Anecdotally, the net says she returned in ’97 but the question is when. I know she didn’t marry Wilson until ’98 which, for all practical purposes, would have ‘outed’ her or at least eliminated any possibility of a return to a covert assignment; Wilson was just too high profile. Hell, giving up her name in ’03 if the 5 year requirement of the Statute had expired would be like Rove telling Cooper that George Tenant was a CIA employee.

BumperStickerist

.

If CIA undercover operatives abide by the requirements of biology -

and using only the publicly available information provided by Ambassador Joe Wilson himself who pointed out that Valerie was a mom of two year old twins at the time of his trip -

Valerie would have been pregnant with twins in 1999, giving birth to the twins in late 1999/early 2000.

I don't know what CIA policy is for pregnant NOC / Deep Undercover agents is or whether people, particularly moms, with young children are even eligible to be NOC overseas agents. (sexist, sure, but reality-based sexism)

Valerie's pregnancy would seem to be a Relevant Fact regarding both timeline and cover status.

Just adding another variable for Tom to consider on our behalf.

Jeff

Here's some interesting text from Blumenthal in Salon today, bearing on some of the issues that have come up in this thread:

"Attributing Wilson's trip to his wife's supposed authority became the predicate for a smear campaign against his credibility. Seven months after the appointment of the special counsel, in July 2004, the Republican-dominated Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued its report on flawed intelligence leading to the Iraq war. The blame for failure was squarely put on the CIA for "groupthink." (The Republicans quashed a promised second report on political pressure on the intelligence process.) The three-page addendum by the ranking Republicans followed the now well-worn attack lines: "The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador's wife, a CIA employee."

The CIA subsequently issued a statement, as reported by New York Newsday and CNN, that the Republican senators' conclusion about Plame's role was wholly inaccurate. But the Washington Post's Susan Schmidt reported only the Republican senators' version, writing that Wilson was "specifically recommended for the mission by his wife, a CIA employee, contrary to what he has said publicly," in a memo she wrote. Schmidt quoted a CIA official in the senators' account saying that Plame had "offered up" Wilson's name. Plame's memo, in fact, was written at the express directive of her superiors two days before Wilson was to come to Langley for his meeting to describe his qualifications in a standard protocol to receive "country clearance." Unfortunately, Schmidt's article did not reflect this understanding of routine CIA procedure. The CIA officer who wrote the memo that originally recommended Wilson for the mission -- who was cited anonymously by the senators as the only source who said that Plame was responsible -- was deeply upset at the twisting of his testimony, which was not public, and told Plame he had said no such thing. CIA spokesman Bill Harlow told Wilson that the Republican Senate staff never contacted him for the agency's information on the matter.

Curiously, the only document cited as the basis for Plame's role was a State Department memo that was later debunked by the CIA. The Washington Post, on Dec. 26, 2003, reported: "CIA officials have challenged the accuracy of the ... document, the official said, because the agency officer identified as talking about Plame's alleged role in arranging Wilson's trip could not have attended the meeting. 'It has been circulated around,' one official said." Even more curious, one of the outlets where the document was circulated was Talon News Service and its star correspondent, Jeff Gannon (aka Guckert). (Talon was revealed to be a partisan front for a Texas-based operation called GOPUSA and Gannon was exposed as a male prostitute, without previous journalistic credentials yet with easy and unexplained access to the White House.) According to the Post, "the CIA believes that people in the administration continue to release classified information to damage the figures at the center of the controversy.""

http://www.salon.com/opinion/blumenthal/2005/07/14/plame/index1.html

ArminTamzarian

Hold the phones!

Rove resignation contracts now trading on www.tradesports.com!

jukeboxgrad

My, my, so much misinformation flying around.

Just a few hours ago Glenn Reynolds touted an article posted on Volokh this morning by Jim Lindgren. In his second paragraph, Lindgren cites WaPo saying this: "According to the former Niger mining minister, Wilson told his CIA contacts, Iraq tried to buy 400 tons of uranium in 1998."

Trouble is, that's false. The WaPo reporter misread the Senate report (pdf; see page 44 in the printed report, which is page 54 in the pdf), which actually says this: "an Iranian delegation was interested in purchasing 400 tons of yellowcake from Niger in 1998." Oops, sorry, wrong country. That's the next invasion.

And I'm not the only one to be aware of this error. Over a year ago, Power Line noted the error here: "Schmidt quoted the report as claiming that Iraq tried to buy 400 tons of uranium from Niger in 1998; in fact, that paragraph in the full Senate report PDF file refers to Iran, not Iraq, and Ms. Schmidt simply misread." By the way, the WaPo page carrying the article also now includes a correction.

So why are Reynolds and Lindgren promoting misinformation?

(By the way, I'm well aware that Wilson did indeed cite a report of an Iraqi businessman who in 1999 apparently sought "expanding commercial relations" with Niger. [See p. 43 of the printed Senate report.] That's a separate matter. The Senate report also mentions intelligence which claims Iraq had tried to get uranium from elsewhere in Africa. That's also a separate matter.)

By the way, this aforementioned WaPo article is very, very frequently cited by the right (including very recently in this thread). But who would trust a reporter who can't tell the difference between Iraq and Iran? And why would anyone trust folks like Reynolds and Lindgren, when they're touting material that their own pals noted as false over a year ago?

jukeboxgrad

Speaking of misinformation, various folks on the right have noticed a recent WSJ editorial here, which says "[Rove] told the press ... that Mr. Wilson had been _recommended_ for the CIA consulting gig by his wife" (emphasis added). Trouble is, Cooper's email says "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd issues who _authorized_ the trip" (emphasis added). Since when did "recommended" and "authorized" mean the same thing? That darn liberal media.

By the way, this editorial ends by saying we should be "grateful to [Rove] for telling the truth." How ironic, since Rove's word "authorized" (if Cooper's email is to be believed) seems highly exaggerated, at best, and the editorial itself is messing with the truth by claiming Rove said "recommended" when in fact he said "authorized," as if those words are interchangeable. So I guess words like "truth" have a peculiar meaning these days.

jukeboxgrad

Above is a truncated link to Blumenthal's Salon article today. A link that works is here.

jukeboxgrad

There are two claims that pop up over and over again, that Plame was perhaps not a covert operative, and that Plame played a major role in instigating Wilson's trip.

This Newsday report is relevant and much overlooked: "A senior intelligence official confirmed that Plame was a Directorate of Operations undercover officer who worked 'alongside' the operations officers who asked her husband to travel to Niger. But he said she did not recommend her husband to undertake the Niger assignment. 'They [the officers who did ask Wilson to check the uranium story] were aware of who she was married to, which is not surprising,' he said. 'There are people elsewhere in government who are trying to make her look like she was the one who was cooking this up, for some reason,' he said. 'I can't figure out what it could be ... We paid his [Wilson's] air fare. But to go to Niger is not exactly a benefit. Most people you'd have to pay big bucks to go there,' the senior intelligence official said. Wilson said he was reimbursed only for expenses."

jukeboxgrad

Jeff, may I suggest that you're wasting your time with Ed. His MO is to throw a lot of crap against the wall and see if any of it sticks. When it doesn't, he pretends he didn't say it. Ample proof of this is here (6/18, 2:52 pm).

JDM

Dwilkers @ July 14, 2005 6:30 AM;

Wilson responding to that WP article w/letter to WP Editor :
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56501-2004Jul16.html

Each of Wilson's points are backed up by multiple official documents:

INR: (the meeting was) "apparently convened by [ the former Ambassador's wife ] wife who had the idea to dispatch [ him ]"

Senate Rpt: "she only attended the meeting to introduce her husband and left after about three minutes".

Then, going back to early investigation(12/26/03), WP reports:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A30842-2003Dec25?language=printer

The Justice Department has added a fourth prosecutor to the team investigating the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity, while the FBI has said a grand jury may be called to take testimony from administration officials, sources close to the case said.

...

Agents investigating the matter have been increasingly apparent at CIA headquarters in Langley over the past three weeks, officials said. "They are still active," a senior official said.

But sources said the CIA believes that people in the administration continue to release classified information to damage the figures at the center of the controversy, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and his wife, Valerie Plame, who was exposed as a CIA officer by unidentified senior administration officials for a July 14 column by Robert D. Novak.

...

Sources said the CIA is angry about the circulation of a still-classified document to conservative news outlets suggesting Plame had a role in arranging her husband's trip to Africa for the CIA. The document, written by a State Department official who works for its Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), describes a meeting at the CIA where the Niger trip by Wilson was discussed, said a senior administration official who has seen it.

CIA officials have challenged the accuracy of the INR document, the official said, because the agency officer identified as talking about Plame's alleged role in arranging Wilson's trip could not have attended the meeting.

"It has been circulated around," one official said. CIA and State Department officials have refused to discuss the document.

Point by point, timelines disclose sources for your (and now what's become GOP) talking points as fabrications.

you say:
(...)that's 7 times in the upper 3/4 that the WaPo calls him a liar. Why did they go after him so hard? The 6th lie gives a hint; he lied to THEM and they don't like that.

you 6th item doesn't say he lied to THEM, it mischaractarizes Senate Report: Wilson was not undermined by that report or INR or all the other available intel: he was substantiated.

Wilson responded to Sens Roberts/Hatch's unofficial report addendums, which GOP has been citing last couple days as "The Senate Intelligence Report" (false):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56501-2004Jul16.html

It's too long to cut/paste here, but it's definitve. Sen Roberts never responded. Wouldn't surprise me one bit if Rove had a hand in Roberts/Hatch "addendum".

It's stunning watching GOP go further and further out on the skinny branches: they're going to start breaking off soon.

A poster at KOS reprised a very interesting excerpt from Hersch:
http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2005/7/13/141246/050/136#136
summary:
Greg Thielmann, INR Intel anylyst who resigned in protest of W's (mis?)use of intel, describes...
a) his assignment as Bolton's daily intelligence liaison.
b) Bolton gained access to "raw" CIA & INR intel reports, bypassing Thielmann
c) Bolton then shut Thielman out of daily meetings.

Hersch continues:


But, Thielmann told me, "Bolton seemed to be troubled because INR was not telling him what he wanted to hear."

(...)

Eventually, Thielmann said, Bolton demanded that he and his staff have direct electronic access to sensitive intelligence, such as foreign-agent reports and electronic intercepts. In previous Administrations, such data had been made available to under-secretaries only after it was analyzed, usually in the specially secured offices of INR.

Hmmm... everyone's asking how that INR memo got into Rove's possesion.

Hmmm...

jukeboxgrad

TM, a little comment on something you said a while back: "My take has been that Reps argued that his wife was involved in some fashion."

If Cooper's email is to be trusted, the "Reps" went a lot further than arguing "that his wife was involved in some fashion." The word Cooper attributes to Rove is "authorized." That goes way beyond merely "involved in some fashion."

peapies

Juke...

"...Attributing Wilson's trip to his wife's supposed authority became the predicate for a smear campaign against his credibility.

Puhleesss...Sid Blumenthal did not write this! Should Rove and Co employed the "crazy stalker" predicate instead?

Martin

That Volokh article is unbelievable. Dwilkers links that WAPO in this thread.

The "correction" that it was
Iran not Iraq seeking the uranium from Niger is right there on the page!!!!

But Volokh repeats the false version!!!

What is going on?

Jeff Z

There has been a lot of productive pushback from the anti-Rove faction here. Learning that it was Iran, not Iraq in the 1998 Niger uranium incident was especially useful.

Still, there remain only three essential questions that can (let alone will) have any resonance with the public at large:

Did Wilson lie in his NYT op-ed? Yes, he did. As far as I can tell, not even his most uncompromising partisan denies that one of his contacts--a former prime minister--did say that there was an Iraqi proposal in 1999 to further Iraqi-Niger trade. (A quick google of Niger's exports show that more than half the dollar amount of that country's 1999 exports comes from uranium ore. #2 & #3 total together about 60% of the amount from uranium. #2 is live animals and #3 is vegetables. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that neither of these can be economically transported to Iraq.) Wilson's champions may belittle or say the consequences of the former prime minister's report are inconsequential. In fact, taken in isolation, I would agree with that position. Nonetheless, Wilson lied about it,for the perfectly good reason that it undercut his whole case. The difference between finding one incident of an attempted uranium purchase as opposed to finding no evidence whatsoever is, to appropriate Twain, the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

#2 Did Wilson lie about his wife's role in his journey to Niger? Yes, because he said that she had nothing to with it. Only when her role began to emerge, did the philological connotations of "influence" and "recommend" become the subject of such investigatory exertions. His crediblity is shot. All the anonymous CIA sources quoted here have no crediblity--none at all. Anyone wondering why should look in the on-line archives of any newspaper for the date of September 12, 2001. Why people of any political stripe continue to defend this organization (except for those departments that have done so well in overseas operations) baffles me. Here's a question for you: The CIA gets billions and billions of dollars, and they can't even find their own trained agent to do this? Niger is a leading uranium supplier and they don't seem to have the slightest idea as to what is going on there? Why did anybody have to be sent there to see what was going on anyway? Nuclear proliferation has been one of the world's biggest security concerns for years now. How in the world could the CIA not have an agent on the ground in the world's fourth-leading uranium exporter? Especially when it has a weak and corrupt government? It makes me sick even to think about it.

#3: Did Karl Rove break the law? This seems increasingly unlikely, but if it happened he should be punished as the law requires. Yesterday, I said this would only benefit Bush. I'll add one more point--it will hurt the press terribly. Why? The NYT story on the CIA's covert airline and Judith Miller's tipoff to the Holy Land Foundation, to name only two, will assume positions front and center in the public consciousness as Rove's partisans--millions, me included--make sure everybody in the country knows about it.

Democrats: You want to win elections again? Develop a credible national security policy. This Wilson obsession is madness. How's this for a start: Bring in those responsible for monitoring WMD and ask them why they hell they didn't know what was going on in Niger in the first place.

Jeff

Jeff Z, there's a lot to say in response to your post, but here are just a couple of things. re your 3). I don't think the public only cares whether Karl Rove broke the law, and I think it is a wishful moral dumbing down to imagine so, especially for an administration that promised to bring honor and dignity to the White House, or whatever they said. I mean, really, "Karl Rove -- he didn't break the law!" is not much of a moral endorsement. And I think people recognize this. And this also speaks to your 1) and 2). Even if we grant (which I don't) everything you say, I don't see how that justifies the outing of a covert CIA agent. I asked this of TM and haven't gotten a response yet and I'll ask you: why would any of that merit outing Plame (if you will assume for the moment that that happened)? I will also add that the changing accounts of why Rove et al did what they did speaks well neither for their credibility in general nor for the morality of their actions, as we understand them now.

Also, you say "This Wilson obsession is madness." First, it's not like Democrats have been obsessed with Wilson -- it's been in the news lately. Second, this matter is intimately connected to a larger, very important question: how we were led to war with Iraq. Now, settling that question may not win elections for Democrats -- and I agree the Dems need to get credible on national security -- but it matters for American democracy. Finally, we did have a pretty good idea what was going on with Niger -- nothing! -- but Cheney and/or the WHIG didn't want to buy it, so they kept asking for a different answer.

jukeboxgrad

JeffZ said "Wilson lied about it"

You're claiming Wilson lied in his NYT article. You're not saying exactly which of his statements was a lie. I think you're saying he lied because he didn't mention the 1999 matter. I think that's a giant stretch on your part.

Here are the famous 16 words from Bush's speech: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Here's what Wilson said: "if the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them."

I think you're claiming that this is a lie by Wilson because he didn't mention the 1999 matter. Here's what the SSCI report said about that matter: an Iraqi businessman approached the Prime Minister "and insisted that Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss ... 'expanding commercial relations' between Niger and Iraq. The intelligence report said that Mayaki interpreted 'expanding commercial relations' to mean that the delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales. The intelligence report also said that 'although the meeting took place, Mayaki let the matter drop due to the UN sanctions on Iraq.'"

This report is a very weak basis for Bush's claim. First of all, 1999 is probably not what we all thought of when Bush said "recently." Secondly, Bush said "significant quantities." Where did that come from? Finally, the 1999 attempt was possibly with regard to uranium, but that's only an assumption, not a fact.

Therefore, please explain what you mean when you say Wilson "lied about it."

Jeff Z

1) The reason the KR thing does not matter to the public if he did not break the law, is because it meant that he is not responsible for outing her, QED. No matter how much people claim that he really did somehow out her, the average person, i.e. the 99% of the population who are not risking their jobs right now by participating in blog threads, will take Rove's not being guilty as proof enough of his innocence.

2) What about my #1 and #2 are wrong? I'm serious. If my facts are incorrect, please tell me. I read Wilson's NYT op-ed and I read the original sources that proved him wrong. It seemed conclusive. It's not? Tell me. I'm open. Same thing with the Plame issue. He first said she had nothing to do with it, then it turned out not to be so. Is that not so? Tell me. And please do not talk about interpretations or play word games or say something does not matter. Stick to the very basic, seemingly obvious facts that I stated. If they are facts, then I'm afraid nothing else matters in terms of the politics of the situation. If you think ""Karl Rove -- he didn't break the law!" is not much of a slogan, how does "Wilson: Maybe this time he's not lying!" grab you?

3) If Rove's changing accounts speak volumes, what about Wilson's?

4) I notice you did not address my deeper questions about the CIA's utter incompetence. (I still can't beleive they had to send somebody's retiree husband, whatever his qualifications were, to a major uranium exporter because they had no idea what ws going on there. WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON AT THE CIA! But I digress...)What do you think the taxpayers are going to care about when Rove's defenders start bringing them up?

jukeboxgrad

"if he did not break the law, is because it meant that he is not responsible for outing her"

Most people understand that many things that are legal are quite immoral. "Rove: not a criminal!" is hardly a ringing endorsement, and definitely not what most people were thinking when they heard Bush promise to restore "honor and dignity" to the White House.

"I read Wilson's NYT op-ed and I read the original sources that proved him wrong. It seemed conclusive. It's not? Tell me."

I just did, at 12:18 pm. What about my comment was not clear to you?

"If Rove's changing accounts speak volumes, what about Wilson's?"

Oddly enough, I'm more interested in considering the credibility of the folks who are currently running our country. I realize you think it's more important to focus attention on one particular retired diplomat. Maybe you'd like to explain your priorities.

Even if Wilson is a creep and liar, that has no bearing on the fact that it was wrong for Rove to out Plame. Focusing on Wilson's credibility is simply an act of misdirection.

"my deeper questions about the CIA's utter incompetence"

Let me know how you feel about Bush handing a medal to Tenet.

Jeff Z

1)What Wilson lied about was not the beginning statement to which you referred in your 12:18 comment, which was a convincing deduction, though in my opinion, rather naive (which is why the situation called for a CIA agent, not a State Department official): "It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place." No question about it: Given the people with whom Wilson spoke and his clear trust in official procedures, that was the correct conclusion.

The lie was farther down in the piece:"Then, in January, President Bush, citing the British dossier, repeated the charges about Iraqi efforts to buy uranium from Africa. The next day, I reminded a friend at the State Department of my trip and suggested that if the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them." On the contrary, he did hear of just such an effort. What was superficially inexplicable is that the effort that he did hear about was very small beer indeed. If Wilson had simply and accurately written that he had only discovered one preliminary and ineffectual attempt that had not gone anywhere, he would have in no way compromised his case. I certainly would have agreed with him (I do still agree with him, actually), and I think most people would have too. Unfortunately for Wilson, he was trying to portray Bush as not being wrong (i.e. having poor judgement), but as evil (lying about the reason for going to war). That is why I used the word "superficially;" he had to lie to justify this charge.

2) I completely agree with your comment: "Oddly enough, I'm more interested in considering the credibility of the folks who are currently running our country." Me too! And Wilson is being backed by a very large and influential faction of those folks, both political and journalistic, and clearly aspires to join them.

3) About the medal? Horrible. Horrible, horrible, horrible. A more disgusting example of DC politicos covering up for each other is scarcely imaginable. Tenet should have been fired that day, followed by an absolutely ruthless purge. I hope I made my disgust with most of the CIA absolutely clear in my previous posts.

4) Finally, I want to make clear that while I am a firm Republican and conservative, that is because they are (IMHO) the best out there. One has to be realistic in a democracy; all the players are heavily flawed. The consolation is that those governments that have aimed for perfection (National Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and now, Islamism, Islamic Fascism or whatever you want to call them) are infinitely worse. I think Bush's invasion of Iraq was a brilliant strategic move; his tax policies are bold and courageous; his spending policies political realistic with unpleasant long-term consequences; his social policies innovative and effective, but timidly pursued; I could go on--some good, some bad, but his kowtowing to the DC establishment is far and away the worst,with the CIA and border control and immigration policy the very worst of the lot. If the failures of either of these organizations result in another atrocity, his administration fully deserves all the scorn and disgrace resulting.

The problem: The Democrats are so much worse, they cannot even be considered a weak alternative._

jukeboxgrad

"On the contrary, he did hear of just such an effort"

He didn't claim "I never heard of any effort that might be construed as Iraq ever trying to obtain uranium from Niger." Rather, he said "his [Bush's] conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them."

Earlier I explained in detail why this is a correct statement, i.e., why the 1999 matter does not represent support for Bush's "conclusion" (which, as I pointed out, included the words "significant" and "recently").

The facts as "[Wilson] understood them" included the 1999 matter. And "[Bush's] conclusion" was indeed "not borne out" by those facts.

What about this do you not understand, or dispute?

"Wilson is being backed by a very large and influential faction of those folks [the folks who are currently running our country]"

As far as I can tell, Republicans are in charge of the White House and Congress. This is what I call "running our country." Let me know which of those Republicans are currently backing Wilson.

ed

Hmmm.

If anyone is relying on a PDF file with the name:

"senate-intelligencereport-070904.pdf"

Then could you look at page 47 of the PDF, the bottom paragraph and see if it shows the following text?

"Subsequently, the governments of Niger and Iraq signed an agreement regarding the sale of uranium during meetings held July 5-6, 2000. The report indicated that 500 tons of uranium per year"

The reason I'm asking is the text seems to be there, if you highlight it and copy/paste into notepad. But when I look at that page in the PDF a number of words don't show up like "uranium" and a few others.

Anybody else getting this? It would be funny if it's my video card or screen, but this'll be the first time something like this has happened.

ed

Hmmm.

1. "I am not, repeat, I am not saying that Cheney agreed to have Wilson sent on this trip."

No you didn't say that Cheney specifically sent Wilson. On that point it is clear. I used Wilson's name when I shouldn't have because nobody has claimed that Cheney asked for Wilson to be sent.

But I'd like to point out that I rephrased my reply

from: " Posted by: ed | July 13, 2005 10:58 PM"

to: " Posted by: ed | July 13, 2005 11:27 PM".

Which is why I repeated the leading statement:

"1) Cheney asked for more information about the alleged Iraq-Niger deal.".

But you are correct that you never made the assertion that Cheney named Wilson to go on the trip.

2. "Perhaps your mistake is imagining that J Mann is or I am asserting that Cheney asked Wilson himself."

Not at all. I used Wilson's name when I should have used a more generic pronoun.

3. "I have provided proof of that assertion."

No actually you haven't and I'll detail why.

4. "Cheney read the DIA report on February 12, 2002, and CPD was sending a cable presumably to Niger requesting concurrence with the idea of sending Wilson by the next day."

But you do not link the two.

There is no explicit link in the interview. There is no explicit link in the SCCI report. What you're trying to link is the one question the VP asked, and was answered, with the independent actions by the CPD. Note the CPD doesn't even try to rely solely on the VP for authorization, they include the State and DOD. And look at the exact wording of the phrase you're using to justify this. The use of the word "questions", i.e. plural, is oriented towards all three entities, not just the VP's office.

At no point in either the interview or the SCCI report is there a positive statement that the VP had any additional inquiries beyond the question he asked his briefer.

I know you'd like to hang everything on the: "response to questions from the Vice President's Office and the Departments of State and Defense" but there is nothing to show that the VP asked for anything additional or that he expected someone to travel to Niger.

In order for your point to work, i.e. that Cheney required the CIA to investigate further, you have to show that the VP was waiting for and expecting further information. And nothing in either the interview or the SCCI document, or anyhere else, shows the VP was waiting for a response from the CIA.

5. "It's worth noting that this all happened in almost immediate temporal proximity"

Which means nothing as the VP's office wasn't the sole recipient of WINPAC. As the CPD testified to they got questions from State and Defense in addition to the one, and only, question from the VP.

It could just as easily be stated that the CPD sent the cable in response to the amount of interest shown in the question. Which is even more accurate than your assertion as it is explicitly supported by the SCCI as in "in response to questions".

6. "All of this comports with what Cheney said on Meet the Press, though it is not surprising that he rhetorically minimizes any connection between his own actions and Wilson's trip."

What you quoted "comports" with what Cheney said on the interview. Both the interview and the SCCI report do match. But there is also no evidence to show that Cheney at all "rhetorically minimizes".

To show that you have to show the VP tasked the CIA with further investigations and that the VP would be waiting for and expecting a report.

7. Again look at the timeline involved.

A. Feb 12: Cheney reads DIA report and asks the CIA briefer a question. Same day the CIA issues a WINPAC to the VP detailing their issues with the DIA report.
B. Feb 13-14: Cheney tells Russert that he gets a response from his CIA briefer "within a day or two".
C. Feb 21: Wilson leaves for Niger.
D. March 1: INR prepares an assessment supposedly for the VP, but the report is sent through the State Dept, which delivers a copy to the White House, but not directly to the VP. If the VP was waiting for any additional reports, wouldn't someone's ass get a good chewing out?
E. March 1-4: VP asks his morning CIA briefer "for an update".
F. March 5: Another WINPAC is sent to the VP that "unable to provide new information" but that they would be "debrief a source ... on March 5".
G. March 5: Wilson is verbally debriefed in his home by two CIA DO officers. Who then write a draft report which is then further refined by the "DO reports officer"
H. March 8: the report is now "disseminated" in "The report was widely distributed in routine channels".

** Excuse me. But if Cheney was the one who was responsible for the CIA ultimately sending Wilson, then why didn't the CIA follow the example set out in "A" on Feb 12th? In that example the CIA responded to a question by the VP by directly sending a copy of the WINPAC **TO** the VP. Yet in the lasts item, "H", the report is **NOT** delivered specifically to the VP, but through "routine channels".

If the VP was waiting for this information, then why did the CIA not even bother sending him his own copy?

8. "Now, as Tenet said, it was not briefed to the VP, among others. Why? Who knows?"

Actually nobody was briefed on Wilson's report. The report was "widely distributed" but there's no notation or testimony that the report was delivered to any specific individuals or entities. Instead this report was the intelligence service equivalent of junk mail.

9. "This is what Wilson in his original article said should, and he expected did, happen."

No this is what he assumed happen. It's clearly evident that Wilson thinks his trip was of great significance. It is equally clear that everyone in the intelligence services else thought it was worthless.

But assuming that something happened does not make it so.

10. "So I take that to be pretty much a complete refutation of your claims."

There you are wrong. As I pointed out in this post, and frankly in other posts as well, you have not refuted anything. In fact I've proven you wrong by showing the stark difference between how the CIA responds to a specific request by the VP, on Feb 12th with the WINPAC, and how the CIA responds when the VP is NOT expecting additional information, as on March 8th.

11. "Oh yeah, I'm right about the page numbers of the SSCI report as well."

Which is why I also posted:

"1. "ed - Re 1), look at pp. 38-39 of the SSCI report (which is pp. 48-49 of the pdf, I believe)""

Ahh found it! Thanks!"

I wrote that to let you know that I had found the pages. What had happened is that I was referencing the wrong PDF. :/

Frankly I've got an enormous volume of crap about this Plame thing. I'm either going to have to organize it or hope this thing is over soon so I won't have to. Neither prospect looks good.

ed

Hmmm.

1. I think I found another of Wilson's deceptions. Though I might be the last one to this party, so I very well might be wrong.

In Wilson's op-ed:

In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office.

In the SCCI report (PDF, page 51):

"(U) The INR analyst's notes also indicate that specific details of the classified report on the Iraq-Niger uranium deal were discussed at the meeting, as well as whether analysts believed it was plausible that Niger would be capable of delivering such a large quantity of uranium to Iraq. The CIA has told Committee staff that the former ambassador did not have a "formal" security clearance but had been given an "operational clearance" up to the Secret level for the purposes of his potential visit to Niger."

Which seems pretty contradictory. Particularly since the CIA gave him an operational Secert clearance. Am I to believe that they discussed all the points on the report, but didn't show him the report itself?

That's frankly more than a little strange. How did they discuss this report then? Am I to believe that someone wrote yet another report that listed all the issues on DIA report, just so they could talk about it with Wilson? Why wouldn't they just redact the still classified bits in the DIA report, those that Wilson didn't have clearance to see?

That is just too wierd to believe IMHO.

ed

Hmmmm.

@ Jeff

""So I take that to be pretty much a complete refutation of your claims."

Let me try to clarify this one more time to complete the trilogy. :)

It is extremely clear that it is CIA policy to respond directly to the VP when the VP asks a question or requires a response. Using my post of " Posted by: ed | July 15, 2005 12:29 AM" #7 let's look at what the protocol appears to be.

1. Feb 12: VP asks CIA briefer a question.
2. Feb 12: CIA DO specifically delivers to the VP the WINPAC.
3. March 1-4: VP asks CIA briefer for an update.
4. March 5: WINPAC analysts send an "analytic update" directly to the VP's CIA briefer who then informed the VP.
5. March 8: Wilson is debriefed, report is written and sent "The
report was widely distributed in routine channels."

Do you see the difference there? When there is clear evidence that the VP has asked a question or required a response, the CIA responds ASAP and directly to the VP.

Now compare that behavior with the way Wilson's report is treated on March 8th.

Are you still going to assert that Cheney somehow has anything to do with this obviously independent action by the CPD?

Jeff Z

Jukeboxgrad: You're right and I'm wrong. Wilson's statement that: "his [Bush's] conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them" can be taken as the truth, provided that Wilson does believes wholeheartedly that the former Niger Prime Minister reporting that he had been approached by Iraq to buy uranium is proof that the governemnt of Niger was never approached by Iraq to buy uranium. So I'll agree with both your specific statement that Wilson was not lying, and its inescapable implication: that Wilson is a complete idiot.

This doesn't mean that Wilson's conclusion that the evidence he had found in his investigation made it clear that a single feeble and futile attempt that could not be taken as proof that Iraq was undertaking a strong effort to buy uranium was not correct. As I said, I agree with him, but no matter how you slice and dice it, Wilson did find an occurance of Iraq seeking uranium. He doesn't deny it and he didn't report it to the public. For again, the simple reason that if he does, Bush is guilty of bad judgement and not lying, i.e. is mistaken, not evil.

As far as the rest of your refutation goes, it seems to come down to Wilson's use of the words "significant" and "recently." But these are subjective, self-defined opinion words; they have no objective factual status unless they are specifically delineated. Two people can evaluate the same set of facts and disagree in complete honesty as to whether these words apply. Since Wilson did not disclose the key fact in making this judgement, their use is meaningless in judging their, er, significance.

As far as your statement about the Democrats and major media being powerless, that is not my observation.

Jeff

Jeff Z, thanks for the measured tone. Jukeboxgrad has responded to the alleged lie in the NYT op-ed, and I believe he is right whether you look at the very letter of Bush's and Wilson's statements or the evident gist they were intended to have (what originalist's call the plain meaning, I think). As for Wilson's claim about his wife's role, I don't think you gave a quotation, and I would like to see one. Most if not all of the quotations from Wilson that I've seen have not amounted to what you say they do. And remember that we now know that the claim was being peddled that Wilson's wife authorized/was involved in the decision-making process regardg etc his trip. So when Wilson denies she had anything to do with that, he is not attacking a strawman. And again, point out to me how Wilson's story changed.

Now, as for the bigger question about the CIA, to be honest I think you've been snowed. I'm not going to defend the CIA except to say that they in fact were much closer to being right than a host of other intelligence agencies -- exactly opposite to what the SSCI report pushed to conclude. Put it this way: before the war, the so-called neocons criticized the CIA for underestimating the threat posed by Iraq's alleged WMDs, and yet after the war, when someone had to be found to blame, the CIA was blamed for overestimating that threat.

Sorry for the long delay in responding.

kim

Subsequent revelations by Duelfer and Rosset have made it unnecessary to blame anyone for lack of WMD. Really, it's never been necessary to blame anyone, except perhaps Saddam who certainly talked big about his capacity, and had been shown to be a bad actor. Neocons were not the only ones who believed that Saddam had WMD. In fact Joe Wilson in the 2/6/03 LATimes argued that precise point about biological and chemical weapons. Joe, then, opposed invasion for fear our troops would be attacked with WMD.
============================

jukeboxgrad

JEFF Z

"You're right and I'm wrong."

Thanks for having the class to be so candid.

"proof that the governemnt of Niger was never approached by Iraq to buy uranium"

That's stated so strongly as to be useless, in my opinion. Bush didn't claim "some time ago, Niger was approached by Iraq." Bush claimed "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

As I am pointing out now for the third time, the key parts of that statement are "recently" and "significant quantities." The 1999 matter (as well as the rest of what Wilson learned and reported) does not support those important aspects of Bush's statement. Therefore Wilson's perspective is reasonable.

"Wilson is a complete idiot."

Even if it's true that Wilson is an idiot, a creep, a liar and even a traitor, none of this gives Rove a free pass to out a covert agent. The fact that the right is trying to defend Rove by further discrediting Wilson is nothing but a transparent act of misdirection.

"he didn't report it to the public"

The fact that his NYT article doesn't include every detail of his trip, every detail of his report, and every detail that finally emerged in the SCCI report, means nothing. He judged that this detail was not material, and I think that was a reasonable decision. It's not as if his article said "Iraq has never even made a measly attempt."

If you think it was wrong for Wilson to leave that material out of his article, let me know how you feel about Bush saying "we found the weapons of mass destruction" without bothering to make it clear that we didn't actually find any "weapons of mass destruction." You don't happen to have a double standard about this sort of thing, do you?

"these are subjective, self-defined opinion words"

Bush said "significant quantities." Please point out what about the 1999 matter (since your complaint is that WIlson omitted this) gives any indication of the quantity sought. Also, let me know if you think most people who heard Bush say "recently" were thinking that he meant 1999.

"As far as your statement about the Democrats and major media being powerless"

Nice job moving the goal posts, and putting words in my mouth. I made reference to people "running our country." I didn't claim "Democrats and major media" are "powerless." I made the claim that they're not "running our country." Do you dispute that?

Just to refresh your memory further: I had said "I'm more interested in considering the credibility of the folks who are currently running our country." You replied "Wilson is being backed by a very large and influential faction of those folks," as if Democrats, not Republicans, are currently in charge.

Anyway, nice job dodging the main point, which is that the credibility of the White House is infinitely more important than the credibility of this one particular retired diplomat.

JEFF

Jeff said "I'm not going to defend the CIA except to say that they in fact were much closer to being right than a host of other intelligence agencies." Good point. Here's what Krugman just said: "Read the before-and-after columns by pro-administration pundits about Iraq: before the war they castigated the C.I.A. for understating the threat posed by Saddam's W.M.D.; after the war they castigated the C.I.A. for exaggerating the very same threat." (link)

KIM

"Subsequent revelations by Duelfer and Rosset have made it unnecessary to blame anyone for lack of WMD"

God only knows what you're talking about.

"Neocons were not the only ones who believed that Saddam had WMD."

It's true that lots of people thought it was a good idea to hold a gun to Saddam's head. But it was the neocons who decided to pull the trigger. Now they own the consequences (although they're working overtime to try to spread the blame around, and your post is a good example).

"it's never been necessary to blame anyone"

Then how odd it is that lots of folks on the right are doing it (blaming the CIA), since you claim it's not "necessary." Then again, gratuitous smears are a way of life for some people.

kim

Go through my post again, JBG. I'll connect the dots. Saddam needed deposing whether or not he had WMD.

So what's to blame?
=============================

kim

Whether WMD were within his grip or he was just grasping for them, he has bled to death from the stubs of the fingers we chopped off. It was his urge to WMD that Bush and co. correctly sensed and have, thankfully, forestalled.
===============================

jukeboxgrad

"Saddam needed deposing whether or not he had WMD."

Then Bush should have used that argument as the primary basis for his war, instead of relying on a lot of baloney designed to scare us. Trouble is, he did the latter, not the former. Now you would like to rewrite history. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

Jeff Z

I appreciate the effort that people are putting into this thread, but I've think we've reached the point of irreconcilable differnces:

1) To me, Wilson's not mentioning the Zaire PM's statement about the Iraqi's constitute's as a caveat to his conclusion, which says there was no evidence of Iraqi constitutes a lie. I would fire a subordinate who hid that info and would expect to be fired if I did the same. Imagine being in a congruent situation in the business world. You walk into a meeting and state with perfect confidence that there was no evidence that a certain thing happened. A rival says, "Sure there is," and points it out. Okay, it's a small piece of evidence, but there's no doubting it. Your crediblity is shot. After the meeting, you confront the employee who had told you there was no evidence. He says, "Oh, sure, there was that, but I decided it wasn't recent or significant enough to mention." You point to your rival who had discredited you. Your employee replies, "Oh, him? He's a liar."

2)There was never very much proof, and today's report that Novack already new Plame's name make it pretty clear that Rove didn't out her, as far as we know.

3) My criticism of the CIA was not about WMD per se. For years before 9/11, there were numerous articles and books about terrorist intentions and connections and the CIA, how shall I put it, underperfomed. This was their job. Terrorist attacks had been mounting in severity and frequency for several years before 9/11 and they never appreciated the threat, let alone made it a priority. To put it simply, if that kid Lindh from Sausalito could pentrate the Taliban, why couldn't they. I don't actually blame them for 9/11. If a detemrined enemy concocts an audacious and unprecedented plan, there is an excellent chance they will pull it off. That's just the way it is. But it should never have gotten that far in the first place.

4) The technicalities and semantics of Plame's influence in choosing Wilson are irrelevant. The point is that he went out of his way to obscure and obfuscate it, and for good reason: it diminished his credibilty. Remember, his wife worked in WMD. Discovering that Iraq had approached Niger without her department knowing would have been a mission failure (And again, why didn't the CIA have someone there permanently? It's inexplicable.) An equivalent action in the business world would have been a fring offense for them both. I'm not even sure it wouldn't have had legal ramifications. The point is, I don't trust someone who wouldn't bring up such a weak piece of evidence. It doesn't make any sense unless he was either incompetent or was hiding it for some other reason. That reason was, I believe, because Wilson's goal was to prove Bush a liar, not mistaken, as can be seen in everything he's said since.

5) "The CIA was blamed for WMD's?" Um, excuse me? It was the CIA Director who told Bush it was a "slam dunk," wasn't it? I suppose he based this on the word of his WMD analysts like Valerie Pla--never mind. The neo-concervatives prime motivation in invading Iraq was to set up an Arab liberal democracy to present an alternative model to religious and political dictatorships and so win the Kulturkampf. You may think that was noble or diabolical, brilliant or stupid, but WMD's were very much a secondary consideration of the neo-cons. (How do I know? I am one!)

6) Didn't mean to move the goalposts if it came out that way. What I meant is that Wilson's supporters have a lot of power and are using Wilson to increase it, but it is certainly true that the Republicans run the Executive Branch, run the legislative, and are close to achieving parity in the Judicial. The Dems still have plenty of power, though, and dominate in other important and influential sectors.

Anyway, I'm out of steam. I'll check up to see if there are any responses, but I'll have to give you all the last word. Thanks again!

Jeff Z

Second line, from paragraph marked "1)": Remove the word "cosntitute's"; third line, after "Iraqi:" put in "uranium solicitation"

I apologize for the other typo's, but I think their meaning is clear enough. I'm typing this out on a telephone conference call, so I'm a bit distracted.

kim

Only in your mind, JBG, was WMD the primary basis for war. Let's read what Congress approved. All seven reasons. It's history. The written down variety. Not the thought up stuff in your head.
============================

kim

And nearly 25 million Iraqis wonder why you are worrying about justifications for the war.

Oh yes, I've been sucking these purple fingers, for six or seven months, now, haven't got one bit of the taste of liberty out of my mouth yet.
===========================

ed

Hmmm.

@ Jeff

"Sorry for the long delay in responding."

Hey? What about me? :)

That last post of mine was submitted at 4am. And I'm not doing that again.

Take your time responding to my points, there's a lot of volume there as I tend to be a little excessively verbose. I need to reform that habit.

But I'll check in over the weekend to see your reply.

jukeboxgrad

JEFF Z

"I would fire a subordinate who hid that info"

Maybe you didn't have time to answer this question I already asked: how would you handle a subordinate who said "we found the weapons of mass destruction," when he didn't?

"today's report that Novack already new Plame's name make it pretty clear that Rove didn't out her"

How is Cooper's email not an indication that Rove outed Plame to Cooper?

Also, as someone pointed out elsewhere, morally and politically (and probably also legally), there's scant difference between "confirming Plame's job status" as compared with "proactively divulging it."

When Novak called and "inquired about Wilson's wife working for the CIA" (link), the proper response by Rove (merely as a citizen, let alone as a public servant) would be to say "I can't discuss that until after I have a chance to verify whether or not this is a question of classified information." Instead, Rove said "he had heard something like that." Wrong answer.

In other words, there is ample indication that Rove outed Plame to both Novak and Cooper.

"they never appreciated the threat"

Let me know how you feel about the way Bush handled the famous PDB (8/6/01) which said "Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US ... FBI information ... indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."

"The technicalities and semantics of Plame's influence in choosing Wilson are irrelevant."

In other words I guess it's fine with you that Rove told Cooper that Plame "authorized" Wilson's trip, even though there is no proof of that outside of Rove's imagination. And ample proof contrary to that, such as here.

"he went out of his way to obscure and obfuscate it"

Only if you believe RNC talking points which take his words out of context and distort them, and only if you ignore evidence such as the link I just mentioned.

"'The CIA was blamed for WMD's?' Um, excuse me? It was the CIA Director who told Bush it was a 'slam dunk,' wasn't it?"

Yes, exactly, and he ate a lot of crow for it. Thanks for making my case.

"I suppose he based this on the word of his WMD analysts like Valerie Pla--never mind."

On the contrary. There are many people in the CIA (possibly Plame among them) who tried to speak up, but they were squelched, by the highest levels.

"The neo-concervatives prime motivation in invading Iraq was to set up an Arab liberal democracy to present an alternative model to religious and political dictatorships and so win the Kulturkampf"

I guess that's why this important PNAC document says nothing about any of that, and simply talks about the threat of WMD.

"WMD's were very much a secondary consideration of the neo-cons"

I guess that's also why Bush's famous pre-war address also focused mostly on WMD, although, unlike the 1998 PNAC letter, it does have a few words of lip-service regarding the "power of freedom." Also focusing very heavily on WMD fear-mongering, and with only passing mention of "freedom," was the prewar SOTU.

"Wilson's supporters have a lot of power"

The point I was trying to get at, which I don't think you've addressed, is that we have a lot more to fear from a White House that lies than from a retired diplomat who lies. How interesting that the latter subject is suddenly getting so much attention. It is simply an attempt to distract attention from the former subject, which is infinitely more important.

KIM

"Only in your mind, JBG, was WMD the primary basis for war."

I addressed this about three paragraphs above.

ed

Hmmmm.

@ juke

Let me know how you feel about the way Bush handled the famous PDB (8/6/01) which said "Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US ... FBI information ... indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."

You mean the PDB that was all title and no information inside it?

Yeah that's par for the course for you. All allegations, no proof.

jukeboxgrad

Ed, you're a complete waste of time. A better example would be hard to find. The vivid proof is here (6/18, 2:52 pm). You should clean up that little mess before you go around making new ones. Most of us learned that in kindergarten.

ed

Hmmmm

Ed, you're a complete waste of time. A better example would be hard to find. The vivid proof is here (6/18, 2:52 pm). You should clean up that little mess before you go around making new ones. Most of us learned that in kindergarten.

Well juke old boy.

I suppose if your interpretation were correct, there would be an impeachment going then right now eh?

Wrong then, wrong still, wrong tomorrow. Yep, that's you.

kim

JBG: All of the reasons for going into Iraq have turned out correct and necessary, including protecting an energy source. It is revelatory that the opposition's main remaining argument against the war now turns on the false words of Joe Wilson.

jukeboxgrad

Kim: "All of the reasons for going into Iraq have turned out correct and necessary"

I guess that's why the reasons keep changing. Anyway, I realize you probably still think Bush was telling the truth when he said "we found the weapons of mass destruction."

"protecting an energy source"

English translation: "protecting the rights of Bush's Saudi friends to make lots of money without worrying about impending competition from Saddam's oil wells."

Bought gas lately?

kim

Ah, yes, they were going to keep the price low to benefit their friend, the Shrub.
==============================

jukeboxgrad

Kim: "Ah, yes, they were going to keep the price low to benefit their friend, the Shrub."

The law of supply and demand is much easier to understand than binary sarin shells, but I guess you have as much trouble with the former as you do with the latter.

Iraq's oil production is not too high at the moment. Have you noticed? That's good for folks who sell oil (like Bush's Saudi pals, not to mention his buddies in Texas) and bad for the rest of us.

With sanctions eventually coming off, Saddam would have been finally free to up his oil sales. That would have been good for most of us normal folks who actually have to work to earn the money we use to buy gas, but it would have been bad for folks who sell oil (like Bush's Saudi pals, not to mention his buddies in Texas).

There are some big words, but you can learn more about this sort of thing here.

Jeff

ed - Sorry for not replying earlier, yours require more legwork and also I've discovered to my surprise that I live in a banana republic with frequent electrical outages in mid-90 degree heat. So, I'll try to be brief:

I believe the following from p. 46 of the SSCI report blows your effort to cut the link between Cheney's question(s) and CIA sending Wilson on the trip. Here goes (transcribing):

Because CIA analysts did not believe that the report added any new information to clarify the issue, they did not use the report to produce any further analytical products or highlight the report for policymakers. For the same reason, CIA's briefer did not brief the Vice President on the report, despite the Vice President's previous questions about the issue.

So there's the official explanation. Whether that's the real explanation or not, the point is the fact that the report based on Wilson's trip was not briefed to the VP needs to be explained, because given what had happened, such a briefing was the expected course of events. This is bolstered by the fact that the March 5 WINPAC analytic update noted that the CIA would "be debriefing a source who may have information related to the alleged sale on March 5."

To clarify further, not only am I not claiming that Cheney directed Wilson in particular to go to Niger, I don't even claim that he directed the CIA to send someone to Niger. They appear to have come up with that idea themselves. That's what I've always thought, anyway, and it is perfectly consistent with what I've been claiming. I'm not even saying that the VP required the CIA to investigate further, in any formal sense. But the SSCI report is pretty clear that the VP was interested in further information they could come up with. Also, I just think you're straining to distance Cheney's question -- even if it was only one! and we don't know that -- from the actions taken by the CIA. For goodness sake, he asks his briefer on the 12th; WINPAC produces a report (that same day? who can tell?) that says, "we are working to clarify the infoamtion and to determine whether it can be corroborated" (p. 38); and on the very same day, the 12th, the CIA sets in motion the actions that lead to Wilson's trip. Do you really think that was a coincidence? And yes, State and DoD had questions too -- and evidently they weren't enough to trigger the events that led to Wilson's trip. But the VP's question or questions was/were. There's no surprise in that. After all, he is the Vice President of the United States of America, a pretty important guy, more important than anyone at State and DoD. Furthermore, the questions from State and DoD are unspecified; I presume they were just the ongoing debate about Niger-Iraq. For what it's worth, I think the SSCI stuck that in there in the effort to distance Cheney from the CIA's investigation. But nothing in this argument hinges on that.

The major point on which I suspect we'll disagree -- though again nothing in my above argument hinges on it -- is that I believe everyone knew what the VP wanted, and when info came in that was disagreeable with that view, it was downplayed, marginalized, not emphasized, what have you. If that is true, it serves as a good explanation for much of what happened. But whatever the explanation, the facts as I have laid them out above show me to be correct here, I think.

By the way, do we actually know whether Cheney or anyone in his office actually saw the intelligence report based on Wilson's trip? The SSCI is silent on this question, and it and Tenet are misleading insofar as they want the convey the sense that the report was not seen, even though strictly speaking all they say is that the report was not briefed to the VP. I can only presume that the VP's office was part of the normal and wide distribution that the report got.

Dick Upton

Whom from within the C.I.A. was the person who outed Ms Plame. to what source outside of the C.I.A?

I have read it was G.Tennant? technicaly isn't'he responsible for outing her?

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Wilson/Plame