I will offer one bit of defense for the prof, and one criticism. Defense first - I think Hugh Hewitt ("HH") and Professor John Eastman ("JE") confused him here:
HH: … But has Joe Wilson contradicted himself as to his public accounts of what happened?
JE: He has, and it’s pretty well documented, both before the 9/11 Commission and in House representatives’ investigation into this, that his official report was distinctly different from what he published in the New York Times. [snip]
EC: I do not agree with that at all. I think his official report was he found no evidence that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Africa. HH: Did the 9/11 Commission find differently? JE: It did. HH: Erwin? EC: I don’t…I would have to go back, to be honest, and look at what the 9/11 Commission found. HH: You haven’t looked at that yet???
EC: I read it, but I sure didn’t look at this aspect of it, since…
HH: And you took the case???
The 9/11 Commission did not examine the Niger-uranium story and the Wilson trip; presumably Professor Eastman was referring to the report of the Senate Sub-Committee on Intelligence. In addressing this Professor EC may have simply been thinking, gee, I thought I read the 9/11 report, but I don't have a clue as to what these guys are talking about.
That said, Professor EC has a substantial problem here:
EC: …. I thought that John was done. John, if you’re going to use strong languages like liar, you should be sure what you’re saying is accurate. And in this instance, the CIA verified that Joseph Wilson was not sent because of any suggestion, or even with the knowledge of Valerie Plame Wilson. She had absolutely nothing to do with why Joseph Wilson was sent to Africa and to Iraq to see whether or not there was the purchasing of uranium.
The CIA may or may not have "verified that Joseph Wilson was not sent because of any suggestion, or even with the knowledge of Valerie Plame Wilson" - I would love to see a cite for that. But I don't see how the Wilson civil suit can skate past this, from Special Counsel Fitzgerald's indictment of I. Lewis Libby (emphasis added):
7. On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask about the origin and circumstances of Wilson's trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.
That "senior officer" has since been identified as Robert Grenier (Wikipedia), who became head of the newly formed Iraq Issue Group in the summer of 2002 (after the Wilson trip), and might reasonably have been viewed as an authoritative source by Libby in June of 2003.
Now, maybe Grenier simply passed along an early report about Ms. Plame's involvement that was inaccurate (per both George Tenet and Andrea Mitchell's anonymous CIA source, the top level of the CIA was as in-the dark about the Wilson trip as everyone else).
Or maybe Grenier lied to Libby. Or maybe the lower levels of the CIA changed their story to one that was more politically convenient. Who knows? But it seems to have been clear to Fitzgerald that Libby had a good faith reason to believe, as of June 2003, that Ms. Plame had been involved with arranging her husband's trip.
In which case, the notion that this was some invented smear becomes a lot harder to sustain.