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July 13, 2005

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Martin

Not so fast Sherlock. The Senate Report wanted to conclude "The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador's wife."

i.e. She 1. came up with the plan and 2. suggested its implementation.

Johnson says "Yes it is true she recommended her husband to do the job."

i.e. she recommended him-but didn't formulate or suggest the original plan.

Unless you can tell me WHO originated the plan to go to Niger and check out the uranium claim, take a chill pill pronto tonto.

DW West

This issue is not going to be decided by bloggers, the mainstream press or the battle of talking points. As Scott McLelland reminds us several times a day, this is a criminal investigation. The prosecutors and members of the grand jury are dealing with facts, not opinions. They know if Valerie Plame was covert or not in July 2003. They likely know who leaked her name to Novak. And if they know who leaked her name, they will also know - if she was covert - whether the leaker(s) knew this.

Martin

I see in your Coffee post comment you don't grasp the division here-so from the top.

1. Somebody came up with a plan to go to Niger to check out the uranium claim.

2. After the plan was made, somebody had to carry it out, and Plame suggested her husband.

The Senate Report wants to conclude that steps 1. and 2. were the same thing by conflating the two elements into one statement: "The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador's wife."

There is no evidence that Plame came up with the plan to send a person to Africa.

The conclusion is sloppily worded based on the evidence at hand.

If you have evidence to the contrary -let's see it.

J Mann

Reading Section 2 of the main report and the additional statement together, I think a fair reading is as follows:

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

2) "CIA officials" decided to send someone to Niger to get more information. We have no way of determine what role, if any, Plame played in the decision to send someone, although some people have speculated that the final decision couldn't have been hers.

3) Plame suggested that Wilson be the CIA point person, given that he was familiar with the region and was headed there on business anyway.

BumperStickerist

Larry's previous thoughts on the subject at hand can be found here:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/july-dec03/leaks_09-30.html

Larry stays within his area of expertise here:

LARRY JOHNSON: Let's be very clear about what happened. This is not an alleged abuse. This is a confirmed abuse. I worked with this woman. She started training with me. She has been undercover for three decades, she is not as Bob Novak suggested a CIA analyst. But given that, I was a CIA analyst for four years. I was undercover. I could not divulge to my family outside of my wife that I worked for the Central Intelligence Agency until I left the agency on Sept. 30, 1989. At that point I could admit it.

So the fact that she's been undercover for three decades and that has been divulged is outrageous because she was put undercover for certain reasons. One, she works in an area where people she meets with overseas could be compromised. When you start tracing back who she met with, even people who innocently met with her, who are not involved in CIA operations, could be compromised. For these journalists to argue that this is no big deal and if I hear another Republican operative suggesting that well, this was just an analyst fine, let them go undercover. Let's put them overseas and let's out them and then see how they like it. They won't be able to stand the heat.

Larrythen decides to become an editor

LARRY JOHNSON: I say this as a registered Republican. I'm on record giving contributions to the George Bush campaign. This is not about partisan politics.

This is about a betrayal, a political smear of an individual with no relevance to the story. Publishing her name in that story added nothing to it. His entire intent was correctly as Ambassador Wilson noted: to intimidate, to suggest that there was some impropriety that somehow his wife was in a decision making position to influence his ability to go over and savage a stupid policy, an erroneous policy and frankly, what was a false policy of suggesting that there were nuclear material in Iraq that required this war. This was about a political attack. To pretend that it's something else and to get into this parsing of words, I tell you, it sickens me to be a Republican to see this.

Well, okay then.

kim

Does anyone care what business was taking him there anyway?
==============================

jerrry

If bias means ignoring the forest for the leaf, you have succeeded in revealing your bias (to follow RNC talking oints) and entirely missed the point of Mr. Johnson's post.

jerrry

If bias means ignoring the forest for the leaf, you have succeeded in revealing your bias (to follow RNC talking points) and entirely missed the point of Mr. Johnson's post.

bethl

Yes Larry Johnson trained with VP and she has been covert for 3 decades----if so she started quite young----since when does the CIA train juveniles??? Undercover at 10----shows what a great source and expert Larry Johnson is.

BumperStickerist

the 'three decades' thing simply means - 80s, 90s, 2000 - not that she was with the CIA since she was 11.

Though, come to think of it, Nixon would have been President then and he was almost as evil as Rove ....

As for Mr. Johnson, he does not manage to make a point in his TPMCafe post based on his particular area of expertise.

Larry's prior comment about the damage done was this(from the same PBS interview):


TERENCE SMITH: Is there any evidence so far that any damage to national security or individuals has resulted from this?

LARRY JOHNSON: No, not to my knowledge but that's not the issue. It is the principle. You do not -- it is not up to the journalists to decide which officer they are going to out.

We saw this in the '70s with Marchetti and others and Philip Agee who outed officers and they were killed. I don't want to wait until we get a body count.

The principle's established: Do not divulge the names of these people. In my own career trainee class I did not know Joe's wife last name; we went by our first initials.

Well, my first reaction is "So much for a free press" if "it's not up to the journalists" to decide whether to report an officer's name.

But, presumably, the people who pay the journalist for their work will have some say on whether to include the names or not.

Also, as Larry said, there was no damage that he knew of that happened as a result of the leak (to his knowledge) - which is not the point - but there's also been no reported uptick in 'disappeared' people who had contact with Valerie Plame while she was undercover.

Given the time since the story first broke and the potential counting of coup, I would have expected a story about the casualties of Ms. Plame's outings by now.

kim

Pfah. It's been inadequate cover for a long time. Energy company? What energy company? And why are you asking the questions you are?

The CIA has deluded themselves if they thought she was 'covered'. Deshabilles or something like that, is a more accurate description. And for MSM or anyone to believe anything otherwise is ingenuous.

Shabby, yeah, that's the ticket.
==============================

TM

1. Somebody came up with a plan to go to Niger to check out the uranium claim.

2. After the plan was made, somebody had to carry it out, and Plame suggested her husband.

Martin, that is an interesting attempt to spin a seemingly simple sentence into two parts.

However, since the evidence offered by the Senate makes *no atempt* to demonstrate that Ms. Plame originated the notion of sponsoring somebody, anybody on a trip to Niger, and *only* focuses on the notion that, once the idea of a trip had been established, she suggested "the plan of sending Wilson", I think we can set aside your strained interpretation.

I'll go with J Mann - in context, it seems clear that her involvement was in suggesting her hubby, not deciding, for example, how or whether to respond to Cheney's questions.

Put another way, re-read Johnson:

The Republicans insist on the lie that Val got her husband the job.

Not - "the lie that Val originated the scheme and got her husband the job".

Jeff

Martin and J Mann are exactly right. Any responses?

Dr. Fager

I don't think you need to bother with Martin. Anyone who thinks "take a chill pill pronto tonto" belongs anywhere outside of a comic book is lost.

Jeff

Oops - TM posted while I was formulating my elaborate last post. But as I see it, J Mann's point, drawn from the agreed upon conclusions, bolsters not undermines Martin's point, which suggests why the Democrats did not agree to the conclusion Roberts wanted. I would only add that that conclusion is not sloppily worded, in my view.

More generally, TM, it seems to me you've got a problem with your proposed talking points. If the idea is that the CIA was working against the efforts of parts of the Bush administration, then it is irrelevant whether Plame was involved in her husband going to Niger. In fact, it hurts your case, for the following reason: Plame had apparently been involved in suggesting him for a totally unrelated trip to Niger previously. That makes MORE plausible the idea that her suggestion of Wilson was a good-faith effort, not part of a calculated effort by the CIA to undermine the Bush administration. You would be in better shape if she had not suggested him, but if you could just point out that the fact that Wilson is married to the CIA means he's not a neutral foreign service officer but a participant in an intra-administration fight.

kim

And participants in a public intra-administration fight shed cloaks on entering the ring. It's the rule. The peanut gallery rule. Even hoi polloi is(are?) entitled to know.
===============================

tibor

Bumperstickerist wrote: "the 'three decades' thing simply means - 80s, 90s, 2000 - not that she was with the CIA since she was 11." If he had said "in three decades," "for parts of three decades" or "during three decades," that explanation might make sense. But what he actually said was "for three decades." That means 30 years or so.

I would caution everyone to consider things Larry Johnson writes very carefully. After all, this is the guy who wrote a NY Times op-ed piece on July 10, 2001 called "The Declining Terrorist Threat" in which he argued that "Americans have little to fear" from politically motivated terrorists. He also stated that a major reason for the decline in the terrorist threat was the "reluctance of countries like Iraq, Syria and Libya, which once eagerly backed terrorist groups, to provide safe havens, funding and training." Well, Larry, 1 out of 3 ain't bad (and I'd bet that he would never have guessed that Libya would be the only one voluntarily out of the terrorism game). I say let the facts come out before we condemn Rove or Miller or Scooter Libby. At this point, the only player about we have all the answers is Joe Wilson, and we know how full of shit he turned out to be.

Rob Crocker

You're parsing the wrong end of the argument.

The issue was that Wilson claimed that he was sent on his "mission" by the DCIA (Tenet) and Cheney. He also stated baldly "my wife had nothing to do with this." (emphasis added)

Well, we find out that that in fact was a bald-face lie. Neither Cheney nor Tenet approved Wilson being sent and his wife was the one who floated his name for the job.

Second, the whole thing started because Wilson was leaking the content of his report (classified?) on the Niger trip and was grossly mischaracterizing it. He said that his trip disproved the Iraq/Niger/Yellow Cake point when it either reinforced the point or was neutral at best.

Finally, parsing the "got him the job" thing is really picking nits. Suppose a friend of yours recommends you for a job. Even if he doesn't have the ability to actually make the decision wouldn't you still say that he "got you the job"?

Jeff

Rob - Could you point me to where Wilson claimed that he was sent on his "mission" by Tenet or Cheney? As for the claim that his wife had nothing to do with it, yeah, that is untrue, although we should find out what "this" was, right, as per the Bush administration? Alternately, you could find me a place where Wilson claimed that either Cheney or Tenet approved Wilson being sent. I believe that is what the redstaters call a Known Fact, which means, among other things, that it's not true.

And what you claim is picking nits is important because it was -- and is -- part of the Republican talking points to exaggerate the role that Plame played in her husband going to Niger.

kim

Compared to Wilson's characterization of her involvement, any role is an exaggeration. Her role is important if only for his denial of it. And I'm dubious that her role was meaningless. Since it isn't, discussion of her is necessary. Not only was Rove's conversation moral, it was imperative.
=============================

TM

Well, we all agree that J Mann has captured a 2 step process - () plan to send a person to Niger; and (2) pick Wilson.

The question is, were the Senate Repubs trying to link Valerie to (1) and (2), or just (2)?

As benchmarks to the controversy, here is what Novak wrote:

Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.

And here is Cooper:

These officials have suggested that she was involved in her husband's being dispatched Niger to investigate...

Well, Cooper comes out on (2). Novak, I will have to admit, could be read as backing both (1) and (2), although it could easily be taken as just (2).

Well. let's try another tak - for purposes of Rep talking points, linking Valerie on (1) *OR* (2) is fine, since Wilson was denying any involvement on her part.

So, if folks really think that Senate Dems deconstructed this sentence and objected to (1), why didn't the Reps just re-write it to make clear that they meant only (2)?

Backing that, today's RN talking points only emphasize her involvement, in contradiction to Wilson.

SaveFarris

Jeff,

he agree's with Josh M. Marshall's premise that Cheney "basically started the chain of events that got the CIA to send you on this trip."

Joe Wilson-Plame: "That's right, that's correct."

Best I can do on a lunch break. I'm sure TM can be of much more help.

BumperStickerist

Okay, I just finished the Joshua Micah Boutrous Boutros Marshall TPM interview with Joseph Wilson from Sept. 2003.

longish pdf

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/wilson.interview.pdf

The process for Wilson's involvmement on the trip Niger is laid out on pages 12-13 ...

and, I have to admit, there are bouts of plausibility amid the general criticisms of Bush.

What's interesting is that Wilson said that he identified 'Rove' as the source of the link in a metaphorical sense. (really!).

I didn't turn the pdf into a searchable text, but he and Josh were chatting about the Administration's response to Wilson's Quest for Truth (my characterization) - Josh mentions 'Rove' and Joe says 'Well, I was using Rove as a metaphor for the way the administration engages in' {paraphrased}

Which sort of changes the meaning of 'Wilson knew all along that Rove ...'

Jeff

TM asks, "So, if folks really think that Senate Dems deconstructed this sentence and objected to (1), why didn't the Reps just re-write it to make clear that they meant only (2)?"

The answer, I suspect, is because the Republicans wanted to be able to claim (1). It is a much stronger claim than (2). It fits with the overall effort to exaggerate Wilson's wife's role in his assignment and downplay the White House's role in the whole affair. Again, Rove's claim that Wilson's wife authorized his trip is part of the same strategy, as is the denial of something Wilson never, as best as I can tell, claimed, namely that either Tenet or Cheney authorized or even requested his trip specifically -- as opposed to requesting information on the matter that Wilson's trip was dedicated to, which Cheney's office did in fact do. Best as I can see, the amount of disinformation being attributed to Wilson is shrinking rapidly, hence the changing talking points at the RNC or wherever.

Again, if what you've got is that Plame suggested Wilson for the trip, that bolsters the good faith of her actions, since -- as per the SSCI -- report, she did exactly the same thing in 1999, and I think we can all agree that THAT was not part of a battle within the Bush administration.

One last thing, this is all going on the idea that Plame did suggest Wilson. The SSCI remains ambiguous even on this point. It would be nice to have the full memo written by Plame's wife, and to know its context. Was it a response to something? What?

Moreover, I'm still wondering whether the doubts raised in the WaPo piece of Dec 2003 about the INR analyst and memo have been addressed.

The Kid

By recommending trips to Africa, Ms. Plame may have been trying to help her husband find work. As a retiree, Ambassador Wilson was starting a second career through his consulting business. He naturally started networking by attending Democrat Party policy meetings, joining a Saudi-backed think tank, and increasing his political contributions. A free trip or two to Africa might let him get a bigger gig and get the old man out of the house.

Jeff Z

Obviously, there has been some exaggeration by both sides. The critical issue is Wilson's article in the NYT, the claims he made shortly thereafter, and Rove's alleged crime.

1) Wilson said in the NYT that he found no evidence of uranium; not true. Why not tell the truth and say that Ibrahim Assane Mayaki,a former Prime Minister, was unaware of any sales contract with Iraq, but that in 1998 and 1999 he was approached by Iraq, but that Wilson did not consider this a strong enough effort to justify a war?

Everybody knows why. Without this lie, there is no story.

2)Wilson then said his wife had nothing to do with the decision to send him. Why not tell the truth and say she recommended him, but did not make the decision?

Everybody knows why. Without this lie, his credibility is shot, because of the nepotism(Was he really the best qualified?) and her potential vested interest (What was her and her department's position on htis matter?), in his report.

The only other issue is whether or not Rove broke the law. If he did, he suffers the consequences; if he did not, that's the end of it. And believe me, if Rove is guilty and W insists that he face the consequences, which he will, the Democrats will be decimated in the 2006 elections. If you don't understand why, well, you're probably still trying to figure how W came within ten percentage points of Gore (He shouldn't even have come that close), let alone squeak through. And don't give me any SCOTUS lectures; everybody knows that if you need the refs to win the game for you, you don't deserve to win.

Like it or not, that's all that really matters. People in both parties leak stuff all the time. As far as exposing covert agents, the NYT ran a huge front page story a month or two ago about the CIA's covert air transport company, putting who knows how many people's lives in danger. Even most of my lefty friends were appalled. The NYT suffered no consequences, nor did I hear anybody suggest them.

Remember it was the press,lead by the NYT, and the Democrats that demanded the Special Prosecutor. You don't have to be Rod Serling or WW Jacobs to know what happens to people whose wishes are granted.

Advice to Democrats: Forget this nonsense and come up with a sensible national security policy and maybe you will start winning elections again. I knew W was going to win in 2004, mired in Iraq and shaky economy and all, when 2 of my extremely liberal family members said they were voting for him because they did not trust Kerry on terrorism, although they preferred him on everything else.

kim

Rove: Hit me with your best shot.

Democrats: It's Wilson.

Oh, please. They're still trying to convince us we shouldn't have gone into Iraq.
================================

Jeff

SaveFarris, you're going to have to do a lot better than that, because that is true from everything we know, including the SSCI report. Neither Marshall nor Wilson say either that Cheney authorized the trip or that they even sent Wilson on his trip. Indeed, Marshall explicitly says that the CIA sent him on the trip. Still waiting . . .

ed

Hmmmm.

1. "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.


2. "2) "CIA officials" decided to send someone to Niger to get more information. We have no way of determine what role, if any, Plame played in the decision to send someone, although some people have speculated that the final decision couldn't have been hers."

A number of reports came out during the initial flood that Plame was actually in the meeting when it was decided to send someone to Niger to investigate, this is when Plame first advocated her husband as the investigator. The memo she wrote later on was a followup that provided more detail.

Did she make the decision? Perhaps not. But it's entirely plausible that she was involved in making that decision as her specialty is in WMD, and thus Niger's yellowcake exports would fall under her aegis.

One unfortunate side-effect of this delayed scandal is that enough time has passed that many of the remembered details are rather murky. But I'm certain there is a report that Plame was actually in the meeting when the decision was made.


3. "3) Plame suggested that Wilson be the CIA point person, given that he was familiar with the region and was headed there on business anyway."

Frankly I have never heard the last bit. From what I've read previously Wilson admitted that he was lying around the house bored and that Plame got him this gig in order to get him out of the house for a couple weeks.

If you've got a link that explores this supposed business trip of his to Niger, something that he doesn't explain anywhere or in any interview to my knowledge, then please provide that link.

Scott Harris

This entire "scandal" has always been an "Inside the Beltway" phenomenon. So know it comes out that Karl Rove attempted to discredit the Wilson op-ed. What are we to charge him with - playing politics?

Outside of Washington and the obsessive circles of the Rove-paranoid left wing blogosphere, America yawns. America is not "shocked, shocked, I say" by the accusation that President Bush's chief political advisor engaged in politics.

Worst case scenario for Bush - he fires Rove and Rove moves over to the Republican Party headquarters, or starts a private 501c group to influence the midterm 2006 elections. Democrats and Bush opponents just refuse to learn. This entire situation is a win-win for Bush.

My prediction: Muhammed George W. Bush Ali rope-a-dopes his opponents into wasting all of their energy going for a knock-out Watergate-style punch. Meanwhile, back in real middle America, Reupublicans continue to make inroads with all groups and dismiss this "scandal" as just one more case of MSM press-lust.

Martin

"The question is, were the Senate Repubs trying to link Valerie to (1) and (2), or just (2)?"

Of course they were.!?!

I sincerely do not believe you think the Senate Report values the truth over protecting the White House.

I thought you were a little peculiar for a rightwinger since you a) have a comment section and b) haven't banned me (yet), but really, I'm shocked. You sure wouldn't last long working for Rove.

Look if you want to compete at RNC levels of hackery, drop the naivete. Good god man-to defend Rove- you're going to need something way more powerful than the truth.

Jeff

ed - Re 1), look at pp. 38-39 of the SSCI report (which is pp. 48-49 of the pdf, I believe), and also here's from the transcript of the Sept. 14, 2003 Meet the Press. Cheney does support the assertion; and note that the fact that he did not send Wilson on the trip is neither here nor there.

"MR. RUSSERT: Now, Ambassador Joe Wilson, a year before that, was sent over by the CIA because you raised the question about uranium from Africa. He says he came back from Niger and said that, in fact, he could not find any documentation that, in fact, Niger had sent uranium to Iraq or engaged in that activity and reported it back to the proper channels. Were you briefed on his findings in February, March of 2002?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. I don’t know Joe Wilson. I’ve never met Joe Wilson. 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. And Joe Wilson—I don’t who sent Joe Wilson. He never submitted a report that I ever saw when he came back."

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3080244/

DBL

JeffZ - Well said.

Martin

This is Wilson on CNN a month earlier as quoted on TPM.

(Marshall cites it to show the RNC is lying, and, please note-Mr. Maguire-the RNC obviously knows it's lying, but, as I said , supra, truth is secondary in this matter)

Anyway it's perfectly consistent with what Cheney says:

WILSON: Well, look, it's absolutely true that neither the vice president nor Dr. Rice nor even George Tenet knew that I was traveling to Niger.

What they did, what the office of the vice president did, and, in fact, I believe now from Mr. Libby's statement, it was probably the vice president himself...

BLITZER: Scooter Libby is the chief of staff for the vice president.

WILSON: Scooter Libby.

They asked essentially that we follow up on this report -- that the agency follow up on the report. So it was a question that went to the CIA briefer from the Office of the Vice President. The CIA, at the operational level, made a determination that the best way to answer this serious question was to send somebody out there who knew something about both the uranium business and those Niger officials that were in office at the time these reported documents were executed.

Martin

So, getting back to th eoriginal topic of this thread.

So Why couldn't the Senate Report say this:

Conclusion: Vice-President Cheney asked for further details on a report that the Iraqis had been trying to acquire uranium in Africa, Niger in particular. The CIA determined to send an envoy to Niger to gather firsthand information. Plame suggested sending the former ambassador to Gabon, her husband.

J Mann

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.

The following is from the main Senate Report on Iraq intelligence, pages 38-39.

Based on information from the CIA report from the foreign service, on February 12,2002, the DIA wrote a finished intelligence product titled Niamey signed an agreement to sell 500 tons ofuranium a year to Baghdad . . . The piece concluded that “Iraq probably is searching abroad for natural uranium to assist in its nuclear weapons program.” . . . After reading the DIA report, the Vice President asked his morning briefer for the CIA’s analysis of the issue.

. . .

Officials from the CIA’s Counterproliferation Division (CPD) told Committee staff that in response to questions from the Vice President’s Office and the Departments of State and Defense on the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal, CPD officials discussed ways to obtain additional information. [Deleteted] who could make immediate inquiries into the reporting, CPD decided to contact a former ambassador to Gabon who had a posting early in his career in Niger.

Some CPD officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador, however, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip. The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador’s wife “offered up his name” and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12,2002, from the former ambassador’s wife says, “my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activitv.” This was just one day before CPD sent a cable [del] requesting concurrence with CPD’s idea to send the former ambassador to Niger and requesting any additional
information from the foreign government service on their uranium reports. The former ambassador’s wife told Committee staff that when CPD decided it would like to send the former ambassador to Niger, she approached her husband on behalf of the CIA and told him “there’s this crazy report” on a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq.

The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on the CIA’s behalf [del]. The former ambassador was selected for the 1999 trip after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future and might be willing to use his contacts in the region . Because the former ambassador did not uncover any information about [del] during this visit to Niger, the CIA did not distribute an intelligence report on the visit.

SaveFarris

Or there's this, from the Op-Ed that started it all:

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.

After consulting with the State Department's African Affairs Bureau (and through it with Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, the United States ambassador to Niger), I agreed to make the trip. The mission I undertook was discreet but by no means secret. While the C.I.A. paid my expenses (my time was offered pro bono), I made it abundantly clear to everyone I met that I was acting on behalf of the United States government.

If he was indeed working on behalf of the US Government, shouldn't the people IN CHARGE of the government (Bush/Cheney/Tenet) had at least an inkling of what was going on?

wsolvason

The woman is the wife of the ambassador. There is no way she can collect information covertly. No way an ambassador's wife can lurk in Bagdad back alleys, meet secretly in Turkish baths, pass messages in Egyptian brothels or take pictures of secret Syrian reactors. She has no cover. She never did. You can't blow a cover that blew up the day she said I do. It's no wonder she never knew about Nigerian yelow cake deals with Sadam. Valerie Plame is the American Inspector Clouseau.

peapies

Wilson is just a joke

--What's interesting is that Wilson said that he identified 'Rove' as the source of the link in a metaphorical sense. (really!).---

No doubt! This sounds rather specific to me--

"it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs. And trust me, when I use that name, I measure my words."

http://www.oldamericancentury.org/valerie_plame.htm

and for good memory lane measure here is Wilson, relating he didn't think his wifes memo as a recommendation? and let us not forget old Joe's "the names were wrong, the dates were wrong" comments on the forgieries

"...The report states that a CIA official told the Senate committee that Plame "offered up" Wilson's name for the Niger trip, then on Feb. 12, 2002, sent a memo to a deputy chief in the CIA's Directorate of Operations saying her husband "has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." The next day, the operations official cabled an overseas officer seeking concurrence with the idea of sending Wilson, the report said.

Wilson has asserted that his wife was not involved in the decision to send him to Niger.

"Valerie had nothing to do with the matter," Wilson wrote in a memoir published this year. "She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip."

Wilson stood by his assertion in an interview yesterday, saying Plame was not the person who made the decision to send him. Of her memo, he said: "I don't see it as a recommendation to send me."

The report said Plame told committee staffers that she relayed the CIA's request to her husband, saying, "there's this crazy report" about a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq. The committee found Wilson had made an earlier trip to Niger in 1999 for the CIA, also at his wife's suggestion.

The report also said Wilson provided misleading information to The Washington Post last June. He said then that he concluded the Niger intelligence was based on documents that had clearly been forged because "the dates were wrong and the names were wrong."

"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. Wilson told the panel he may have been confused and may have "misspoken" to reporters. The documents -- purported sales agreements between Niger and Iraq -- were not in U.S. hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip to Niger...."

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

Martin

"shouldn't the people IN CHARGE of the government (Bush/Cheney/Tenet) had at least an inkling of what was going on?"

That's what I've been asking since the 2000 election!!!

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?

peapies

Note to self: use word and spell check

sorry "forgeries"

Jeff

SaveFarris, unless I misunderstand what your point is, you're not doing yourself any favors here.

peapies

and by the way, John Podhoretz makes another salient point today in the post about Joe Wilson's statement today

http://corner.nationalreview.com/05_07_10_corner-archive.asp#069427

"... Which is odd on its face, because if Wilson is so concerned about finding out who revealed the name of his wife -- who Wilson claims was somehow placed in personal jeopardy by the revelation -- shouldn't he want her to testify and reveal who told her what?..."

statement on none other than KOS
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/7/6/153821/9095

"...The sentencing of Judith Miller to jail for refusing to disclose her sources is the direct result of the culture of unaccountability that infects the Bush White House from top to bottom.  President Bush's refusal to enforce his own call for full cooperation with the Special Counsel has brought us to this point. Clearly, the conspiracy to cover up the web of lies that underpinned the invasion of Iraq is more important to the White House than coming clean on a serious breach of national security.  Thus has Ms Miller joined my wife, Valerie, and her twenty years of service to this nation as collateral damage in the smear campaign launched when I had the temerity to challenge the President on his assertion that Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium yellowcake from Africa.

The real victims of this cover-up, which may have turned criminal, are the Congress, the Constitution and, most tragically, the Americans and Iraqis who have paid the ultimate price for Bush's folly."

Rider

Niger, Niger, Niger. What do you keep talking about Niger for? Leakgate is not about a trip to Niger. Leakgate is not about anything Joe Wilson said or did. It wouldn't matter if it turned Wilson's name was suggested by Bill Clinton and the trip paid for by the DNC. Mr. Fitzgerald does not give a fig about Joe Wilson.

The case is about what Karl Rove said and did. It's about what Bob Novak said and did. It's about what Judy Miller said and did.

The case was brought to the attention of the Justice Dept. by the CIA as representing possible violation of the Intell Identities Protection Act. The CIA surely knows whether Mrs. Wilson was undercover or not. They are concerned. Rove, Novak, and Miller should be too.

peapies

Rider...just don't be too surprised

jerry

Thank you Rider, that was beautiful.

jerry

I'm going to emphasize that people re-read Johnson's comment at TPM and Rider's fine comment above.

Regarding the WSJ, if you like that sort of fiction read Animal Farm.

TM

Ok, let me see if I am getting this - are Martin and Jeff, newly appointed spokesfolks for the Democratic Party, the Left, and all God's people, telling me that Dems have *always* conceded that Wilson's wife was involved in nominating him for the mission, but not in conceiving the mission?

Let me just toss, from the grab-bag of Wilson denials, his letter to the WaPo after the SSCI report came out:

The decision to send me to Niger was not made, and could not be made, by Valerie. At the conclusion of a meeting that she did not attend, I was asked by CIA officials whether I would be willing to travel to Niger. While a CIA reports officer and a State Department analyst, both cited in the report, speculate about what happened, neither of them was in the chain of command that made the decision to send me. Reams of documents were given over to the Senate committee, but the only quotation attributed to my wife on this subject was the anodyne "my husband has good relations with both the PM (Prime Minister) and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." In fact, with 2-year-old twins at home, Valerie did not relish my absence for a two-week period. But she acquiesced because, in the zeal to be responsive to the legitimate concerns raised by the vice president, officials of her agency turned to a known functionary who had previously checked out uranium-related questions for them.

And the WaPo response:

Wilson says "the decision to send me to Niger was not made, and could not be made, by Valerie." Neither the report, nor the story, says she made "the decision." The story says Wilson was "specifically recommended for the mission by his wife." The report says "interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife . . . suggested his name for the trip." A reports officer in her division told the committee she "offered up his name." There are other references as well to Plame's role.

or per Bob Somerby, here is Wilson from his book:

Apart from being the conduit of a message from a colleague in her office asking if I would be willing to have a conversation about Niger’s uranium industry, Valerie had had nothing to do with the matter.

And Somerby's response:

The matter at issue is fairly trivial, but Wilson’s claim is hard to reconcile with the evidence of Plame’s memo. Clearly, Plame had something to do with Wilson’s selection, although there may be nothing wrong with the role she seems to have played. But when Wilson spoke to this issue last week, he did what he so typically does—he erected, then knocked down, a pair of Straw Men.

...In this passage, Wilson says that his wife did not make “the decision to send me to Niger.” But the Senate report makes no such assertion, as Post ombudsman Michael Getler noted in his Sunday column.

My take has been that Reps argued that his wife was involved in some fashion; his position, as stated in his book, is that she was not involved other than as a messenger.

Now it looks as if Larry Johnson has switched sides. Unless we have all agreed for two years that she was involved.

Jeff Z

As far as the original thread is concerned, let's not put too much stock in the technicalities of the wording of these government reports. It's not that the people involved aren't deeply concerned and trying to do their best for the country, but they are appointed to these groups in the first place by the political parties and factions they represent. They are not going to do anything to compromise or threaten these groups. That's not conspiracy mongering, it's just basic organizational behavior.

They do a pretty good job of gathering evidence, though, and conclusions are better drawn from these.

Wilson was from the (anti-war) State Department. Plame was from the CIA WMD group, which would be at least partially responsible for failing to see any Iraq WMD development activity in Niger. Their activity in this matter is perfectly consistent with the institutional interests of these groups. There was no crime in any of this.

It was Wilson's dishonest column and dishonest claims afterwards that are the problem here.

Again, if Rove committed a crime, which seems to be becoming increasingly unlikely, he should be prosecuted.

The most shocking thing about this is the investment the Democrats and the press have in this matter. I cannot believe the way that they are gambling--an increasingly desperate gamble--for stakes that are so small if they win and so huge if they lose.

The Democrats do not seem to realize the face they are presenting to the country, which is not one of a party with the maturity and sheer cleverness to run the country. If Rove did not commit a crime, they are going to look like idiots. In a desperate situation--Nixon, when we were mired hopelessly in Vietnam--the US might vote in a devious, even nasty president--but the stupid guy never wins.

And the press! Much longer, and this is going to be death to them. Now that it's come out that Cooper initiated the contact with Rove, that he brought up the Wilson issue first, that Rove acually seemed to warn him off of a false story, and that he paid Rove back with a nasty attack--Ay Caramba! And they're still pursuing it!

There has been endless speculation about Miller, one theory seemingly more silly and convoluted than the next, but with her source giving her permission to testify, you've got to wonder what's going on. What are the stakes for her to continue to stay in jail, especially since, unless some blockbuster about Rove, which seems impossible at this point, comes out, only testimony from her that would damage the administration can save the press now. If that were the case, the NYT would be begging her to testify as a matter of institutional survival, and it would be easily justifiable--would make her a hero, in fact.

So what's going on?

Martin

This is indeed so trivial that I'm not going to type alot on it-but there is nothing inconsistent with your Wilson quotes above and what Johnson said.

Do you even know if Plame suggested Wilson on her own initiative or if it was in reply to a specific query? And is it a "memo" or an e-mail? Oh who gives a damn.

My policy is never to give you guys an inch-But this is such a side issue-I don't care anymore. It keeps attention off Rove for one thing.

Mr. Maguire-if only you would devote half this attention to parsing White House statements-you'd really have some dishonesty to work with.

vnjagvet

TM:

You have the patience of Job. My compliments, Sir.

I think those like Martin trying to be amateur prosecutors in the court of public opinion are succeeding in showing that politics as practiced now in Washington, as has been the case for the past two centuries, still ain't beanbag.

Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr proved that long ago.

I wasted my breath for the past two days trying to make that point here and on John Cole's site. Scott Harris stated it somewhat more artfully a few comments ago.

The high dudgeon displayed by the left in this matter sounds like the kind of stuff the right had been spouting since the days of Chappaquidick, Jennifer Flowers, the Blue Dress, Kathleen Willey and Ms. Broderick (sp?). Much energy expended to little effect. So will it be with this affair, says I.

Summers in Washington have always been slow and hot but fun.

peapies

Bravo TM

and I throw out this conspiracy theory...

what if in testimony by Rove/Libby, they related that not only did they not initiate calls, rather reporters called them, brought up WMD, more or less fingered Plame themselves BUT that reporters had much more detailed knowledge of sensitive particulars (ie. classified) then even they were aware of.

A simple recollection of conversations, unusual details slip out, indicate that certain reporters were operating with a little more inside info than legal? So release the reporters away, hell feel free to say I was the "admin source" you spoke. Let this start as a who in Bush Admin. leaked a name...so we can get to who in CIA, ultimately worried about their cover being blown, leaked info (info like "the names were wrong, the dates were wrong" stuff like that)

uhmmm...
Plame...Wilson...Kristoff...Miller...Wilson...Plame

Martin

vnjaqvet-I don't give a damn about public opinion (and you're a member of the public q.e.d.)

Call me a spiteful liberal all you want. My opinion is itself meaningless.

But lies and dishonesty irritate me.

My position is simple. Anyone who doesn't think the White House has lied, based just on what we know now, is either an idiot or a dishonest hack.

As for you-I haven't seen much of your comments, so I'll be chartiable and assume you're an idiot.

Martin

Actually-looking back vnjaqvet-I apologize to you-your comment was relatively benign.

I have about 10 windows open-and the dishonest hackery is just overwhelming. You just caught in the tsunami of treachery. Sorry.

Jeff Z

Martin: Easy with megalomania, dude. You'll blow out you cortex.

Martin

Ok-you can blow me in the meantime, Jeff Z.

Martin

I didn't say I was commenting in 10 windows btw-since most right wings sites don't allow them.

I just left Powerline. I'll never go there again. Just despicable.

I apologize to you too btw, Jeff Z.

jerry

I'll again suggest reading Larry Johnson's very good post at TPM:

http://www.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/7/13/04720/9340

I'll also suggest this article which might actually appeal to the bloviating obfuscators taking up space here:

http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/031027fa_fact

vnjagvet

Calmly, Martin. Calmly. As a 65 year old with a heart condition, and one who has tried cases for a living for over 40 years, I recommend a Beta Blocker and an AC Inhibitor for keeping the adrenaline in check when under stress.

flenser

Martin

What was it about Powerline that upset you so? Was it where they pointed out that the NYT was involved in a genuine outing of a real CIA operation not long ago?

An outing that the Democrats and media have failed to make any kind of issue about?

Martin

You're right-but this stuff gets to me.

Like, Novak's infamous column, where he outs Plame, also contains this passage:

"That's where Joe Wilson came in. His first public notice had come in 1991 after 15 years as a Foreign Service officer when, as U.S. charge in Baghdad, he risked his life to shelter in the embassy some 800 Americans from Saddam Hussein's wrath. My partner Rowland Evans reported from the Iraqi capital in our column that Wilson showed "the stuff of heroism."

Wilson risked his life for his fellow Americans. Has Rove? And now all these superfluous little shitstains just smear him as liar this liar that based on nothing but their own lies.

Yesterday's RNC memo is just flat out lies. They don't even try to conceal them, it's just attack with no regard for the truth.

If you've practiced law for 40 years you ought to be able to tell pretty quickly who's lying here:

Who is?

Patrick R. Sullivan

With friends like Larry Johnson...

'I was a CIA analyst for four years. I was undercover. I could not divulge to my family outside of my wife that I worked for the Central Intelligence Agency...'

So, I guess that Valerie broke the law when she informed Beau Joe on their third date that she was undercover CIA.

peapies

vnjagvet-
Question, it is my limited belief that the scope of an investigation can change if details are revealed...is this true during grand jury proceedings? I mean if people testify and it becomes clear that another crime ( maybe related, maybe different or maybe by someone other than initially believed) can they change, widen reverse, veer the scope? I'm thinking they can...that it is looser than conventional

kim

I'd actually like to know just a little more about that episode in Baghdad. For this current event, though, it is irrelevant.

It's not the shitstains that smear Joe Wilson as a liar. It's his words.
==============================

HH

Johnson, once claiming to be a Republican (and now writing at the poor man's Huffington Post), is infamous for making a bold prediction about terrorism.

Martin

Sullivan: Wilson had clearance to know that at the time.

Could we drop the canard that she was not undercover already.

Bob Novak-July 23, 2003, one week after his infamous column-talking about Plame to Newsday:

"I didn't dig it out, it was given to me. They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."

It was given to me.

They thought it was significant.

They gave me the name.

Insert your spin here.

ArminTamzarian

Hey Martin, care to make a wager with a little shitstain that it was Plame, Wilson, or Miller who "leaked" Plame's identity?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Seb

Kim,
You might give Joseph Wilsons book a try. Its called Politics of Truth.
I know you are pretty sure he is scum, but learning more about his life, his time in Iraq and Niger might give you a fuller sense of the person.
It seems to me that he is an honorable man who was well respected by democrats and republicans alike.

Martin

Plame, Wilson, or Miller?

Sure I'll bet you, you incredibly uninformed moron. E-mail me.

ArminTamzarian

Why, shitwad, we both have our e-mail addresses displayed. We'll settle by PayPal when the time arrives.

Is $20 enough, or would you care to lose more?

kim

I am curious what makes Joe tick. I'd also like to know what made him go off 2 years ago.
===============================

ArminTamzarian

kim:

I'd love to see his financial records.

flenser

Martin

I'm stunned to hear that you usually get banned from right wing sites.

Do you think it might have anything to so with calling those you disagree with "shitstains"? Seems like that would do it on most blogs, right wing or otherwise.

Martin

Fine- $20 it is.

But just to clarify-Plame, Wilson or Miller leaked Plame's name to who?

And how do we know when you pay me the $20? i.e. what do you consider the "time"?

Martin

I'd rather be called a shitstain than a liar, flenser.

And the right wing sites that ban me call people liars all the time.

So stow your hypocrisy.

RiverRat

Brit Hume today: Rove's camp says his source was a reporter.

Conclusion

Wilson and Plame to Miller and Kristoff. Miller to Rove. Rove to Novak and Cooper. No discussion of prior covert status.

Plame had not been covert since '97; outside the 5 year requirement of the law.

Miller to jail cause she won't give up Wilson/Plame, especially as Plame was a prior source at CPD. If she gives up Plame, Plame goes to jail. Not for this Kerfuffle but for prior leaks.

ArminTamzarian

The second one is easy: you pay me when Fitzgerald announces his findings.

The first one is the interesting question, isn't it? What if all the reporters already knew of Plame's identity by July 2003? Then I suppose the leaker would be Plame or Wilson, wouldn't you say? Or are you interested in who told Miller, and if Miller told Rove, or someone who then told Rove?

What exactly are you accusing people of again?

Martin

Rove's camp? Who th ehell is Rove's camp?

Isn't the official line White House line they won't comment
on an ongoing investigation.

Isn't that what McCllelan has been saying for th elast two days. Didn't Bush say that today?

Now Rove's "camp" is commenting?

Here's a hint RiverRat-they are lying.

ArminTamzarian

Martin, Martin, Martin.

Do you even know what a lie is?

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

That is a lie.

"I have that memory which is seared -- seared -- in me."

That is a lie.

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

That is not a lie.

Do you understand?

RiverRat

Rove has friends even if you hate him. Ask Hume. I'm just quoting him. Ever heard of "back channels", Martin?

Here's a hint Martin; you're blinded by PRSD (Post Rove Stress disorder.

peapies

I know the tendency is to get pissy and personal and I guess that is just the way it is, but the left has so much invested in this (like the others, rather, gannon, delay, on and on), however unwilling to even prepare that it may bite them in the ass.

For me, if Rove is the source, did leak or is charged then what? Fired. Bye bye. So what? I mean bad Karl, don't put people lives in danger, you get what you deserve, but again so what? Karl does a little time or not, then Karl meet Sandy, you have a lot in common, now go start a firm.

However, the left is totally unwilling to concede their "get Rove" plan could pivot in a direction they won't like (like a hornets nest they started!), and is there any reason or calm voice on the left stressing or articulating this?

I fully expect the shitstain, idiot, comments cuz thats what you do. whatever. I honestly don't mean it from a superior perspective. For example, I think the Novak comment above is a good point, and look forward to hearing what theories are put forth.


JDM

Martin @ July 13, 2005 02:10 PM:

Mr. Maguire-if only you would devote half this attention to parsing White House statements-you'd really have some dishonesty to work with.

Amen.

TM:

jdm

This rw wirlitzer charade reminds me of this

WASHINGTON – A former Energy Department intelligence chief who agreed with the White House claim that Iraq had reconstituted its defunct nuclear-arms program was awarded a total of $20,500 in bonuses during the build-up to the war, WorldNetDaily has learned.

Thomas Ryder, as acting director of Energy's intelligence office, overruled senior intelligence officers on his staff in voting for the position at a National Foreign Intelligence Board meeting at CIA headquarters last September.

His officers argued at a pre-briefing at Energy headquarters that there was no hard evidence to support the alarming Iraq nuclear charge, and asked to join State Department's dissenting opinion, Energy officials say.

Ryder ordered them to "shut up and sit down," according to sources familiar with the meeting.

As a result, State was the intelligence community's lone dissenter in the key National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, something the Bush administration is quick to remind critics of its prewar intelligence. So far no banned weapons have been found in Iraq to confirm its charges.

The secret 90-page report, prepared Oct. 1, was rushed to sway members of Congress ahead of a key vote on granting the White House war-making authority. It also formed the underlying evidence for the White House's decision to go to war.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham gave Ryder a $13,000 performance bonus after the NIE report was released and just before the war, department sources say. He had received an additional $7,500 before the report.

peapies

Armin-- interesting Martin need to clarify the terms...lets get this straight..to WHOM. Lets make it a little harder for me to lose my money. I thougt this was pretty clear.."leaked", not "leaked to"

Hey Martin, care to make a wager with a little shitstain that it was Plame, Wilson, or Miller who "leaked" Plame's identity?

flenser


Martin

"I'd rather be called a shitstain than a liar, flenser."

Got it.

From now on, we shall all call Wilson a shitstain, not a liar. Happy?

And they wonder why we call them moonbats.

flenser


peapies

I agree. The great thing about this, IMO, is that there is no real downside for us. So what if Rove steps down? I never thought he did a great job anyway.

But if it turns out that this was another Rathergate, with the media working to attack the government using fake information, then the propoganda wing of the Democratic party is dealt another huge blow.

Hard to say which way it will break at present, but I'd rather be on my side than on Martins. And not just because people on his side have obvious anger management issues.

Martin

Flenser are you really so dense? Liar attacks a peron's moral fibre whereas shitstain is a simple term of opprobrium, like, say, moonbat.

So yes-please stop calling Wilson a liar.

Peapies-I wanted clarification so I could collect without arguments.

You're down for $20 too, but, e.g., how do you maintain that Plame leaked her own identity?

Martin

Flenser-is it the media who has called Rove bfore the grand jury three times?

Is it the media who was prepared to jail Cooper to get him to squeal on Rove?

You are like osmium.

(Dignified enough namecalling for you?)

RiverRat

The Asshats; you know those people wearing b-ball caps with embroidered donkeys, suffer a virulent form of ACDD, Acquired Cognitive Disonance Disorder.

Symptoms:
incoherence of thoughts
tendency to vulgarity
projection
anger management

Assistence in defining the Disorder would be appreciated.


flenser

There is an excellent post at Hugh Hewitts blog.

"Among the amici --ABC, employer of one Terry Moran, outraged member of the White House press corps, CNN, CBS, FoxNews, and NBC Universal --employer of David Gregory, another of the "hang Rove" crowd. The Washington Post and White House Correspondents are also signatories to the brief that notes "Plame was not given 'deep cover' required of a covert agent...She worked at a desk job at CIA headquarters, where she could be seen traveling to and from, and active at, Langley. She had been residing in Washington -- not stationed abroad-- for a number of years. As discussed below, the CIA failed to take even its usual steps to prevent publication of her name."

"The brief also notes that "an article in the Washington Times indicated that Plame's identity was compromised twice prior to Novak's publication. If this information is accurate --another fact a court should explore-- there is an absolute defense to prosecution."

The Kid

The Newtster says that Wilson lies – here’s the tape.

peapies

Martin-Are you asking me to be down for $20? or telling me?

and this is I think a piece of the puzzle that may come up again... Minute Mans post today ...

Disinformation" is what Wilson gave Nick Kristof when he gave him (anonymously, and with his wife there at breakfast) the background for this column:

"i'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.

The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade.

The "names were wrong and dates were wrong" comment in WA PO in the Senate Intel. were described by Wilson to be" a little literary flair" and a "misquote"

and then this
"...In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the CIA and State Department that the information [of a Niger-Iraq uranium deal] was unequivocally wrong and that the documents [purporting to show such a deal] had been forged."

Again, how does Wilson know that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade? if in fact they were not turned over to personal until 8 months after his trip...unless of course his wife showed him (and/or Kristoff) at breakfast. and would that info need to be put in the hands of a investigative reporter at the Times?

flenser

If the WH had any sense, they would provide a copy of this to McClellan, and instruct him to read it back to the "reporters" whenever they start in with their goofball questions.

Slartibartfast
You are like osmium.

Why the fixation on osmium; iridium is more dense. Me, I'd go with neutronium or strange matter, but if you're sticking with things you can find within a few thousand miles or so, iridium's your huckleberry.

TM

Brit Hume today: Rove's camp says his source was a reporter.

Groan. A few days ago, we were buzzing that Libby said he had reportes as sources (and jpurnalists admitted passing the news to Libby).

My thought that was that Rove might have a similar out, but... somewhere, and I haven't tried to run it down, I recall a statement that Rove only talked to, or testified about, one reporter on this case. And we figure that must be Cooper, since the prosecutor is working off of WH phone logs.

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

Well, maybe he heard it outside the time frame being investigated by Fitzgerald.

Or maybe his source is a reporter, indirectly - suppose Rove testified that he got the tip from Libby and passed it to Cooper; Libby testified that he got the tip from [Insert J Miller here].

One of the great unanswered questions is, how did Rove learn this? I have assumed it was from the INR memo describing the meeting where Val introduced Joe, but an indirect reporter leak may be possible. (And David Corn pointed out that an NSC member had been at the CIA, and could have known Val there.)

Not only do I not know, I don't know how we might find out. Wait it out.

Mr. Maguire-if only you would devote half this attention to parsing White House statements-you'd really have some dishonesty to work with.

Regrettably, parsers on both sides don't lack for opportunities.

(And one might wonder - half the attention to three times the material means more work...)

Ron Wright

PURE UNADULTERATED HORSE PUCKY!

To All,

First time here. I agree with Scott Harris's comment. This is much ado about nothing. This is a tempest in a teapot inside the Beltway.

Ask me if I care? I really don't. It appears to me it's just a case of politics as usual.

I might add I don't think Judge Stark's maneuver using a false statement not regarding a key fact in question in an unrelated case and then laundering it through a federal grand jury to get perjury was worth the time spent re President Clinton Too Machiavellian.

From my reading it appears that Ms. Plame's undercover status at the time of the alleged leak does not meet the critical element of the federal statute intended to protect the ID of undercover agents in overseas dangerous assignments.

If this is true then this is a crime of "politics" to wit the American people will have their say at the next election.

In the meantime there are other things on the world's stage I rather see the MSM reporting.

Have you noticed a complete role reversial in the fundamental ideology of what used to be "liberal" and "conservative?"

Case in point. The LL and the MSM in times past would be all over, like flies on poop, the heroic reporter nearing death rotting in an Iranian prison in the struggle for freedom of Iranian people.

See this excerpt from a comment over at Roger L. Simon's:


PURE UNADULTERATED HORSE PUCKY!

Roger,

This is so pure unadulterated horse pucky. Fortunately we in the Blogos know differently. Unfortunately the American people and the free world do not.

There are two significant stories in the world today that the LL and the MSM are not reporting. Unfortunately they smell blood on the Rove story. As Jihadist are to Iraq as moths are to a porch lite, the LL and the MSM are drawn to any smell of blood that would taint this President.

The Rove story is a much ado about nothing, a tempest in a teapot and a non-story, but they can't help themselves like sharks churning the water on a chum line.

Here's some real news. Please share with other bloggers and your friends so that the American people and the rest of the free world can hear something of real importance and support the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom. We unfortunately oftentimes take for granted.

[...]

RLS Link

Followed by this one:


How to Lose a War
What more do the leftist and the MSM want?

President Bush has not waffled on his message, "We must stay the course." He was re-elected after much debate on this very issue by the American people.

In creditable polls (RAND Corp and Pew), the American people do see a need for our continued presence in Iraq in terms of the larger GWOT. With the disinformation that the Liberal Left (LL) and MSM are spewing, the people are left confused at times.

[...]

Finally, I have yet to hear a coherent alternative strategic plan put forth by the LL and the MSM to win this war. Until they have a plan worth pursuing, the Honorable Senator Feingold, Senator Kennedy, Senator Kerry, and Senator Durbin can:

SHUT THE @#$% UP!

Their constant gum flapping is sending mix messages to the enemy. This only empowers and emboldens the enemy to kill more innocents and to kill or injure our brave men and women in uniform who go into harm's way on our behalf. These thoughtless political statements only serve to hurt the morale of our troops. Our military is defending our very way of life, culture, and freedoms we hold dear from the enemy in the GWOT.

[...]

RLS Link

Of course Victor Davis Hanson says it more succinctly:

How to Lose a War

by Victor Davis Hanson
July 11, 2005
National Post

VDG Link


I'm sorry, Teddy, you are pale in comparison with and only a shell of your brother, John F. Kennedy.

Like you, your brother would be ashamed of the decrepit state of his great Democratic party, a champion of the people and the freedom from tyranny of all people.

- Ask not what your county can do for you, but what you can do for your County -


peapies

so I think this whole scandal should be renamed ..."watergate REVERSED" ..and the only reason is because the Wilsons are publicity hounds and outed themselves by their flamboyant needs. They said too much (classified) to too many (certain reporters) and certain reporters let too many slips.

I think this investigation is about criminally leaked info of another sort.

kim

At that point he seemed to want to take credit for a debunking from the IAEA. Again, why it took so long to reveal the forgery is a goooood question, since it seemed to be pertinent to a very important question of the times. You would think a lot of talent would have been focussed on that document.
So tell me a little tale of its provenance. Is it French? Thin evidence.
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kim

I'm beginning to wonder if two of the CIA talent who missed that it was a forgery had last names that ended in P and W.
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Martin

Actually slartibartfast, osmium or iridium are both called the densest element known. Calculations say iridium, but measurements osmium.

I'm measurement kinda guy.

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Wilson/Plame