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July 29, 2004

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TM

The NY Post joins in:

July 29, 2004 -- DEMOCRAT John Kerry's campaign yesterday gave a ringing endorsement to Bush-bashing Ambassador Joe Wilson — even though a bipartisan Senate committee just found so many holes in his story that even his own wife won't back it up.
Wilson claimed President Bush lied about whether Saddam Hussein was seeking yellowcake uranium from Niger, and Wilson knew it because the CIA sent him there. The Senate report says, if anything, the truth is the opposite of what Wilson claimed.

But that doesn't seems to bother the Kerryites, who yesterday hailed Wilson's "integrity" and said he's still very much a part of the team that Kerry hopes will make him commander in chief. "Joe Wilson has served for many months as an informal adviser to the Kerry campaign and continues to do so," said Kerry foreign policy adviser Susan Rice.

"As far as I know, we have no reason to believe that Mr. Wilson's words and deeds were not as he spoke them. I know Joe Wilson well . . . I have great respect for his integrity . . . I hold him in the highest esteem," Rice added....

Reg

TM, does this July 23 article break new ground? I've heard the Russian/Ames disclosure before but the Swiss/Cuba angle seemed new.


CIA officer named prior to column

By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame was compromised twice before her name appeared in a news column that triggered a federal illegal-disclosure investigation, U.S. officials say.

Mrs. Plame's identity as an undercover CIA officer was first disclosed to Russia in the mid-1990s by a Moscow spy, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

In a second compromise, officials said a more recent inadvertent disclosure resulted in references to Mrs. Plame in confidential documents sent by the CIA to the U.S. Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Havana.

The documents were supposed to be sealed from the Cuban government, but intelligence officials said the Cubans read the classified material and learned the secrets contained in them, the officials said...

However, officials said the disclosure that Mrs. Plame's cover was blown before the news column undermines the prosecution of the government official who might have revealed the name, officials said.

"The law says that to be covered by the act the intelligence community has to take steps to affirmatively protect someone's cover," one official said. "In this case, the CIA failed to do that."

A second official, however, said the compromises before the news column were not publicized and thus should not affect the investigation of the Plame matter.


TM

Good point - the Russian angle was old, but the Cuba angle was new to me (and to Josh Marshall, who saw a conspiracy of leaks intended to discourage the prosecutor, or something).

Kevin Drum posted too.

I gave the story a zero for interest (maybe incorrectly) - my guess was that Bill Gertz went out to look for some news to update the Wilson story in light of the Senate Intel report, got that tidbit, and used that as a hook.

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Wilson/Plame