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July 22, 2005

Comments

Scott Northwood

To suggest the Press created the scandal is simply ridiculous and ignores the facts. The case was referred to the Justice Dept because of a serious crime; an independent prosecutor was appointed; and a Federal Judge has upheld Judith Miller's detention. Again, why has the President waited two years to get the facts out? It doesn't matter whether one assumes there was wrong doing on the part of the administration to wonder why the President has not gotten to the bottom of this, as he claimed he would. The administration has made claims about the Plame investigation, while the case was being investigated, that are simply not true based on Cooper's testimony. If this isn't a cover-up it certainly smells like one...

Tommy V

Scott,

Sorry. I thought you were legitimately asking the question, not making an accusation.

You mention the investigation and then ask why the President isn't getting the facts out. I don't know how to respond to that. The purpose of the investigation is to get the facts out.

And whether the press created the scandal is a whole other conversation other than what I wrote. I wrote that polls show Americans believe the WH is hiding someting because that is how they are being portrayed in the press. They may be, they may not be. But a poll is not a determining factor in that conclusion. Frankly, it's irrelevant.

Les Nessman

juke:
"I hope we can continue to count on you to keep a running tally of all the folks who don't want to be confused by the facts."

juke, considering your postings on other subjects, and this one in particular; never before has so much been alleged based on so little. All of your conspiracy theories should be seen in that light.

Do you ever feel guilty for posting twenty times more words than the owner of this site?

Scott Northwood

Again, the WH is fighting GWOT, trying to pass a far-reaching agenda, so why are they not getting to get to the bottom of a leak of a CIA official, which is a distraction to their agenda. Please don't argue about her status, it is a waste of t ime.

I supported the war in Iraq initially, but I am having serious reservations about the casus belli for it. At this point, I would not send my son to fight in the war in Iraq. Also, do hear anyone in the WH encouraging people in this country to enlist or sacrifice for this war?

Tommy V

Scott,

I guess I just don't see what your grievance it. A special prosecutor was appointed, both attorney generals recused themselves so there wouldn't even be a suspicion that he was protecting the White House, and by all accounts Fitzgerald is pursuing the investigation aggressively.

I'm sorry you lost faith in the war in Iraq, but if your belief in the war was based solely the issues discussed in this case and not your own separate convictions then I think your support was pretty light to begin with.

Beto Ochoa

This entire affair was initiated, orchestrated and executed by the Wilsons. They had help from CIA elements that specialize in dirty tricks, elements that found themselves out of favor in a Republican Administration. Elements that would do anything to discredit said administration. It was done for a single minded purpose with the added reward of great celebrity in the cottage industry left wing republican bashing that sells so well to it's captive audience. Write a book or tell a tale that bashes this President or the people around him and you are guaranteed major news segments, scads of greenbacks and the eternal praise of the "progressives". Then add the bonus of spin, smoke and cover fire from your MSM promoters and it becomes a "Slam Dunk". People can postulate all they want with the limited and most likely flawed data reported but how can they come to any accurate conclusion other than what they believed to begin with?

Lesley

Juke, please hear the sincere tone in my words: You opened my eyes to something I did not, heretofore, understand. Thank you. Regardless of the fact that I may be on the other side of the political aisle, I do not bite, thus, you never need concern yourself with having to bite me back. I am genuinely trying to be fair. I am not aghast, I'm mind-boggled.

Let me think about what you've said and I'll get back to you.

Scott Northwood

The war in Iraq is part and parcel of the Plame investigation. The claim that Iraq was trying to reconstitute it's nuclear program was tenuous at best, and is at the heart of the Administration causa belli. I have lost faith with the people who led us into the war in Iraq, and have administered it so ineptly since the over throw of Sadam. The question for me is would I send my sons or daughters to fight in Iraq? My answer is definitely not. Afghanistan, yes.

Truzenzuzex

Jukeboxgrad:

While I appreciate the zeal with which you are pursuing your version of the facts, may I respectfully suggest that you should really get your own blog. Even on Usenet (back when that was the political forum of choice) you would rarely see a person attempt to answer every single challenge, especially at such length. You seem to be suffering from an obsession or way too much time on your hands.

I actually thought to count all the words you had written on this blog post alone, but decided it would be too time consuming.

But I just can't resist this one:

Even if you make the completely asinine and unsupportable assertion that Wilson outed Plame, that is still not an excuse for Rove, Novak et al to do the same thing, or to compound the problem. In other words, the "I thought it was OK to throw rocks at the school bus because Tommy did it first" defense does not fool anyone who is able to think for himself.

Wilson may not have "outed" his wife, but do you think it is really a good idea for a person who is the husband of a covert CIA operative/agent/analyst/whatever to make such a public spectacle of himself? He repeatedly claims that he has only the best interests of the USA at heart, but do you suppose after all his years in government he actually believed there would not be an "opposition research" pushback, especially after a number of his comments turned out not to be fully candid? I think a reasonable person could have forseen consequences to himself and his family given his reckless partisanship.

Novak is on the hook for absolutely nothing. There is no law, extrapolation or theory thereof where Novak may be prosecuted for "outing" Plame, regardless of who told him.

Your analogy is sophistic. No credible person has suggested it was OK for Rove to unlawfully disclose Plame's employment because someone else knew it. The key here is "unlawfully", and there is really not nearly sufficient evidence in the public domain to conclude that he acted unlawfully.

Cecil Turner

""Congo ... 2002" . . . Let me remind you of Wilson's responsibly delineated complaint: "_if the president had been referring to Niger_,"

Juke, you are the one harping on "recently" and "significant quantities" and claiming Bush was being misleading. Wilson's misconceptions have nothing whatsoever to do with that. Bush referred to British Intelligence and "Africa," not Niger--which includes the 2002 bit.

"Yet another instance of failing to answer a simple question: do you think most people hearing Bush speak in 2003 were realizing that his idea of "recently" meant (at best) 1999?"

Ah, good old dishonest trick of argument number 10: "an argument whose premisses contain doubtful or untrue statements of fact." To wit: "his idea of "recently" meant (at best) 1999." You could either incorporate the 2002 example, or substitute "at worst" for "at best"--otherwise the question contains a falsehood, so the answer must always be "no." Do most people realize you beat your wife?

SteveMG

Scott:
I can't debate perceptions with you; you have yours and I have mine and no amount of documentation or argument can dissuade either of us as to what we "perceived" during the runup to the war.

I would just suggest that if you go back and check the speeches by the President and his cabinet, read the official documents related to the war (including the Congressional authorization), you would see that the W.H. gave a whole series of arguments for the need to remove the Iraqi regime.

Wolfowitz gave a pretty famous interview with Sam Tanenhaus in which he stated that for bureaucratic reasons that the various departments or agencies - State, Defense, NSC, CIA, et cetera - agreed that WMD would be THE rallying issue for the war. The mass weapons concern would be the "leitmotif", if you will, for the military action.

But that each department - and segments within the departments - had their own reasons for removing Saddam including human rights, Middle East peace, his support for terrorism, our ability to remove troops from Saudi Arabia and so on.

Personally, I was against the action because I believed that Saddam would drop chemical and biological weapons on Israel. And that Israel would respond with overwhelming force, since they have stated that they would never permit their people to be gassed again. I also thought their would be a huge humanitarian disaster as Saddam would blowup dams, et cetera.

And as a result, a larger Middle East war would break out with horrific consequences.

In both cases, I was completely wrong.

Not for the first (or last) time.

SMG

ArminTamzarian

The question for me is would I send my sons or daughters to fight in Iraq? My answer is definitely not. Afghanistan, yes.

That only raises a bigger question: are your children chattel slaves?

Seven Machos

1. Scott doesn't understand that the Fitzgerald investigation IS the White House investigation. The Department of Justice is an executive-branch entity, overseen by Congress only in the sense that Congress makes laws and controls the purse.

2. I feel like I have to say this every day, but once again: Judith Miller is in jail for contempt of court. It is simply not true that "a Federal Judge has upheld Judith Miller's detention." A federal judge ORDERED her detention. She doesn't have a sentence. She can be free as a bird today if she chooses to, by cooperating with Fitzgerald's investigation.

2, Having said all this, Scotty, I'll play: what do want the president to do? Lock everybody in a room (including Wilson and Plame and Tenet and members of the press and various administration officials) and order them to talk? Should he fire people who refuse to talk? Should he shoot to kill if he doesn't get answers? What if they do talk? What if they give testimony identical to the testimony they gave to the Grand Jury? What about Novak? He started all this. What should Bush do with him? What about Judith Miller? Should Bush, uhhh, put her in jail if she refuses to cooperate?

We all want answers, pal. I don't think you have really thought through how Bush will get the answers you want him to get.

Scott Northwood

To suggest to a father his children are chattel is insulting. Why do you think parents are the biggest problem facing Army recruiters? Why are leaders not calling on us to make sacrifices? Why aren't our leader calling on our young men and women to enlist in the war? Below are comment sent to me from my father about the decision of the Pentagon to withhold releasing additional picture from Abu Grabib: "The reason is that it will picture the military as being no better than the enemy and maybe even worse. I have become an avowed pacifist as I recognize what a terrible thing war is and what a waste
of resources and human lives it is. Most wars do not resolve much although WWII did. The loss of that war would have been catastrophic."

Seven Machos

Scott -- "Why are leaders not calling on us to make sacrifices? Why aren't our leaders calling on our young men and women to enlist in the war?"

1. President Bush said in a recent address that there is no greater honor than military service, or something to that effect.

2. Why should our leaders have to ask us to make sacrifices? Aren't we responsible enough to make sacrifices on our own?

3. Why would someone (such as yourself) want to make ANY sacrifices for a war effort? Seems counter-intuitive to me.

4. "Most wars do not resolve much although WWII did." I love this one. Classic! It amounts to: back in my day, we had IMPORTANT wars. These kids today, with their wars against terror, and their September 11...

Seven Machos

Correction: why would someone against a war effort want to contribute to a war effort to which they are opposed? This seems counter-intuitive.

SteveMG

Scott:
"The reason is that it will picture the military as being no better than the enemy and maybe even worse. I have become an avowed pacifist"

During WWII we had complete censorship by the government. Sadly, American troops committed horrific atrocities against the Japanese and Germans. Atrocities that make what happened at Abu Ghraib look like a kindergarten party.

That doesn't excuse anything that happened at Abu Ghraib. But the incidents committed there have been investigated and the perpetrators punished. If your father can't distinguish between Abu Ghrabi and what happened yesterday in Egypt (and in London, and in Pashmir, and Chechnya and on and on and on), I don't have the ability to change his mind.

Your father has every right to become a pacifist. It's because we have (and had) men and women fighting for him that enables him to exercise that right. Without those men, your father's right doesn't exist.

He can turn his cheek to Islamic terrorism. That's his right.

But he can't sure in the hell can't make me turn mine.

SMG

ArminTamzarian

"To suggest to a father his children are chattel is insulting."

To suggest to his children that their father has the power "to send them to fight," or not "to send them," is more insulting.

Tommy V

Scott,

Armin's point is that no parent "sends" their child to Iraq. The armed forces are volunteer (Oh, god, I can hear the "back door" draft comments now), so your point is a bit histrionic.

Scott, if your father is indeed a pacifist, the only curious thing is that he was for WWII. Actual pacifists are usually more consistent than that.

ArminTamzarian

I think "avowed isolationist" is what he's looking for, not "avowed pacifist."

Scott Northwood

The reference you made about Bush, is as far as I know, the only time he has mentioned enlisting. In the past, wars have called for sacrifice; raising of taxes to pay for the war; rationing; etc. Unpopular wars, such as Iraq, governments are reluctant to call on sacrifices because it calls into question the reasons we're fighting. There are important wars, Afghanistan is example of one. My father, who I quoted above, volunteered to fight in WWII before the US got involved. His name is E. J. Northwood, and after the war he had a brilliant career as a scientist. I am extremely proud of him.

Mackenzie

The leader of the free world hasn't been able to find out something that happened in his own office over 2 years ago. That sure fills me with confidence.

Tommy V

"His name is E. J. Northwood, and after the war he had a brilliant career as a scientist. I am extremely proud of him."

It sounds like you should be.

I would respectfully suggest that you let him speak for himself.

Seven Machos

Scott -- We won in Afghanistan, inasmuch as we could. We routed the Taliban, installed a government and a constitution, and successfully carried out elections. This is an amazing achievement in a place that is at least 1000 years behind the United States in terms of almost any political, social, or material indicator you can come up with.

Yet, the problem of Islamic terror remains. Again, let's think this through. What should we do, at this point?

I think the above post is correct. You are an isolationist at heart. We all are. We'r Americans. However, Bush and the Republicans seem to believe that we have to remake the political landscape through military force if we want the problem of Islamic terror to go away. In 2002 and 2004, the American people voted to support this policy.

Tommy V

"The leader of the free world hasn't been able to find out something that happened in his own office over 2 years ago. That sure fills me with confidence."

Oh, goodness, this is what the rallying cry is now? Is this the new cleverness? Calls of impotence? Fitzgerald shouldn't have been necessary because Bush should have done it himself?

This isn't a debate. It's a list of random complaints.

Seven Machos

Maybe the leader of the free world doesn't care about a goody non-scandal when there are, like, actual problems to worry about.

Also, I thought Bush was a moron. How can he be expected to find out things like this if he is so dumb. You can't sueeze blood from a turnip, after all.

Scott Northwood

The posts have gotten off-topic, partly due to may fault. However, I want to clear up an impression that I am isolationist, I've worked almost my entire career overseas as a EE in the oil patch. Anyone, who has spent as much time overseas as I have knows the US reputation has been severely damaged by US policies, particularly in regards to Iraq. We did win in Afghanistan, but our success in rebuilding the country is going to be more important in the end then the defeat of the Taliban. Since, you brought up Afghanistan why haven't we captured Osama? Yes, we do have a volunteer army, but why are those fighting in Iraq claiming they are the only one making sacrifices?

Mackenzie

It does seem lame that the President, who stated that "if there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is" was not able to find that out in the 10 weeks before he turned the matter over to Justice. Also why Justice wasn't able to find out anything in the 3 months before they appointed a Special Prosecutor.

The whole episode makes the President look extremely weak. A strong leader would have dealt with the matter within a few days.

Marianne

Osama who?

Seven Machos

1. Mac: Maybe there wasn't a leak in the administration. Occam's Razor and all...

2. Scott: We haven't gotten Osama because Pakistan in a real problem for us. Its authoritarian ruler is ostensibly pro-American. Substantial sectors of its bureaucracy and millions of its people are manifestly not. Bin Laden is hiding in the hinterlands of Afghani-Pakistan. If we send in our military to the wrong place, well, it could mean war with a nation with nuclear weapons.

3. There's absolutely nothing to RE-build in Afghanistan.

4. If you want people make forced sacrifices, (i) sacrifice away, pal, or (ii) call your representatives to Congress. They make the laws. But why should anyone make any sacrifices if they don't want to, and they don't have to? Isn't is a testament to American awesomeness that we don't have to make many sacrifices during war right now?

Scott Northwood

Two years ago, in the midst of election and investigation into Plame leak, the administration was eager to get out the word that Karl Rove didn't leak any classified information. With the table seemingly turned, why isn't the White House making any comments now? If the Attorney General of the United States can answer questions on the ongoing investigation, why can’t the White House? Either Rove and Libby told the President they leaked classified information and the President has not been forthcoming, or they lied about it. Either way the President is in big trouble.

Seven Machos

Scott: WHAT QUESTIONS REMAIN UNANSWERED THAT YOU WANT ANSWERED? KARL ROVE APPEARED BEFORE THE GRAND JURY THREE TIMES.

How is the president in trouble? Let's say Rove broke the law. Will it hurt Bush's chances at reelection?

Scott Northwood

Rove leaked information he shouldn't have. Period. If the President decides to keep him, baring indictment, he values personnel connections more than national security. Rove's goose is cooked, he will likely move on to greener pastures very soon. All the words expended in Rove's defense is going to make a difference to Fitzgeralds case.

Tommy V

Back to Osama. Why haven't we captured Osama? As if some other administration would be better at searching through Pakistani caves.

Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo. WMD intelligence. Bush lied. First, he outed a CIA officer, now it's a strong leader would have closed the investigation already.

Any conversation somehow finds its way back to one or all of the same complaints as to why Bush is bad. None of which ever stick. Ever. But we have to keep talking about them over and over and over again.

Now, it's why hasn't Bush made us sacrifice more for the war? What does that even mean? (don't answer, I don't really care)

It's Bush Derangement Syndrome. Where otherwise smart people throw away all logic and analytical skill and just go nuts when Bush is mentioned. "BUSH LIED", blah, blah, blah. They find themselves trumpteting the sincerity of chronicled liars like Joe Wilson, explaining away bombings like they're our fault, and complaining about "America's image abroad", as if the love and affection from the Arab world kept us warm at night before we invaded Iraq.

It's just weird to me. I'm left rolling my eyes and just shrugging my shoulders.

Recordings hold very poor conversations.

SteveMG

Tommy:
"It's just weird to me. I'm left rolling my eyes and just shrugging my shoulders."

I share most of your sentiments on this. But I think Scott's view are more prevalent among the public than we would like. And those thoughts are growing.

Yes, we can argue this point or that point, this fact or that fact. But the central issue remains that this Plame matter is hurting Bush among his supporters. He's perceived as weak if not worse and the longer this goes on the more it hurts him.

Yes again, he's not up for re-election. But there are Congressional races coming up and a war to wage. He doesn't need votes but he needs support.

Again, I'm on your side of this larger issue. But we can't allow ourselves to become like much of the liberal/left - arrogant, unwilling to listen to opposing views, et cetera.

SMG

Scott Northwood

Someone should ask the President everyday about Osama. Who planned and carried out 9/11? It wasn't Sadam. We should hold the President responsible for the capture or killing of Osama. What happened to claims of Dead or Alive or not distinguishing nations that support terrorist or harbor them? When is a President to be held accountable for capturing or killing the people who actually were responsible for the planning of 9/11? What does leaking of CIA have anything to do with Wilson? The discussion of Wilson motives is a bait-and-switch tactic. Wilson maybe a liar and pompous idiot but it doesn't matter. Who leaked classified information and why? Doesn't get any simpler than.

Seven Machos

"Rove leaked information he shouldn't have." You don't know this. Why is it that everyone on the Left somehow manages to conclude that Rove is guilty of breaking the law when almost everything in the public domain indicates that Rove broke no law?

"Period." No amount of strengt of conviction can change the facts. Period.

"If the President decides to keep him, baring indictment, he values personnel connections more than national security." Hence, you have it set up in your mind so that the president is screwed no matter what, even if Rove is completely innocent of the non-charges that he hasn't been charged with.

It's almost like the Left thinks Rove's "goose is cooked" because they so badly want his goose to be cooked.

If the Left could simply get over Bush Derangement Syndrome and accept that we must end terrorism at least as it affects American interests, there is no telling how much it could reap in domestic rewards. But you guys just can't accept that Bush is right about ANYTHING (including, according to Jonathan Chait, physical fitness).

And you guys call Bush the moron...

Seven Machos

1. Scott, definitely, Dude: no one ever asks the President every day about Osama. Ever. Scott McClellan has fielded no questions about him for more than 768 years. Strange.

2. I thought we were going to stop talking about Osama since, per your own admissions, he has nothing to do with Joe Wilson or this thread.

3. The discussion of Wilson is all the Left and Big Media cares to discuss. I applaud your attempt to change the topic, just not here.

Scott Northwood

Did Rove leak information? His lawyer Luskin, has already answered that question, so has Cooper. Yes, Bush is boxed in the Plame matter. He either doesn't know, and he should, or he doesn't care to know. Which is it? We won't know because the WH won't comment on an ongoing investigation where they caught lying before. I never said anything about Bush mental state and never will, I am interested in his word and his actions. Are we winning the GWOT? If we are, how do we know? How can you measure it?

scott northwood

Why is it you get criticized for mentioning Osama? Why can we hit a comet traveling over 25,000 with an 800 lb rocket and not capture him? Why did we send to few troops to secure a country of 24 million? Why did we not secure the WMD sites? Why did we not secure the nuclear research sites? Who is ultimately responsible for these mistakes? I could go on and on, but I want to go swiming with son and time is running out. thanks for letting me fume...

BEAM

Scott: "What happened to claims of Dead or Alive or not distinguishing nations that support terrorist or harbor them?"

Scott, I'm not a huge fan of the Bush Administration either, but if Saddam's Iraq doesn't qualify as a nation that supported and harbored terrorists then no one does. That you would even make such a frankly idiotic remark shows how ignorant you are of Saddam's many links to terror, OR that you are going to bash Bush regardless of what he does. Either way it's hard to take you seriously.

Seven Machos

1. "Did Rove leak information? His lawyer Luskin, has already answered that question, so has Cooper." Show me where Luskin has implicated his own client. If Rove says one thing and Cooper another, is it possible that Rove is telling the truth?

2. "Why can we hit a comet traveling over 25,000 with an 800 lb rocket and not capture him?" This is preposterous. Perhaps you would like to use nuclear weapons and firebombing to get Osama? Come on, Scott. You just complained about the maltreatment of prisoners.

Dwilkers

"When is a President to be held accountable..."

When there's an election. You know...like the one we just had.

Tommy V

Scott's idea of a discussion is asking bizarre, child-like questions like

"Why can we hit a comet traveling over 25,000 with an 800 lb rocket and not capture him?"

"Why hasn't Bush asked us to sacrifice more?"

"Why hasn't Bush found out what happened yet?"

"Why do bad things happen to good people?"

Okay, I made that last one up.

I actually can answer this one though, "Why is it you get criticized for mentioning Osama?"

Because it is so off topic that it reveals your lack of genuine interest in the actual topic, and your obsession in pouting about the Bush administration.

When all is said and done, it is about bashing Bush. Which many of us believe is exactly what this whole "Plame affair" is all about.


Les Nessman

Remember, Scott was an early war 'supporter'. Sure he was.

O.K., that was pure snark and I apologise; but really, aren't Scott's 'talking points' right out of the Dem's hoary playbook?

Scott Northwood

It's pretty obvious the Bush administration pushed back hard on Wilson's claim that Iraq was not reconstituting it's nuclear ambitions because it was the only reason Bush's base would support a war in Iraq. A good programming rule, and in politics, is keep it simple. Who had reason to refute Wilson's claim that Iraq wasn't trying to purchase yellowcake? Who was managing the WH message regarding Wilson's op-ed piece in the NY Times? Who spoke to the press? The dots are almost connected. Anyone who is questioning Plame's status is wasting their breath. It's been established, otherwise, there wouldn't be an investigation. Covering for anyone it the WH who leaked Plame's name should take a second and think about it. Why not directly refute Wilson's claims? Why use his wife? I find the act despicable. Anyone, defending the WH response should think about it. I don't care who the messenger was they should be fired and reprimanded.

Tommy V

Scott,

You don't seem to know the facts, which is surprising because they have been discussed at length here. There has been extensive discussion on the interpretation of those facts, but the facts remain the same.

"Wilson's claim that Iraq wasn't trying to purchase yellowcake"

Wilson never claimed this. He claimed, rightly, that Iraq never purchased yellowcake from Niger. He was incorrect, however, in stating that this refuted administration claims, because the Bush administration never claimed that they actually had.

The Bush administration claimed that Iraq tried to purchase uranium. The SSCI later determnined that this was in all probability correct and that Wilson in fact KNEW THIS.

"Anyone who is questioning Plame's status is wasting their breath. It's been established, otherwise, there wouldn't be an investigation."

That is a stretch in logic, Scott. The existence of the investigation proves only that an investigation is in progress. The main purpose of the investigation is to see if a crime was committed. They have not come to any conclusions that they have shared with the public yet.

"Who had reason to refute Wilson's claim that Iraq wasn't trying to purchase yellowcake?"

Anyone interested in the truth because they most likely were. This is a group I am beginning to suspect you are not a member of.

"Covering for anyone it the WH who leaked Plame's name should take a second and think about it. Why not directly refute Wilson's claims? Why use his wife?"

Within that question is an implied planting of Plame's name in the press in a coordinated "push back" against the op-ed. This theory has been completely debunked by all available evidence. This theory was first advanced by none other than Joe Wilson without any evidence at all.

Unless what we now know is untrue, at best Rove showed poor judgment and mentioned a name he shouldn't have to Cooper when warning him not to go full out on Wilson's claims (which in hindsightw would have been a good idea). And even this is debatable. There is no evidence that this was done to publicly discredit Wilson's op ed. Not even Wilson claimed this. Wilson said that the outing of his wife was to "punish" him and send a message to others not to challenge the administration. A theory only a conspiracy nut could really love.

If people want charges against Karl Rove there will have to be additional information that has not been made public yet. Right now there just isn't anything there.

Syl

"Unless what we now know is untrue, at best Rove showed poor judgment and mentioned a name he shouldn't have to Cooper"

Actually Rove did not mention the actual name to Cooper. The investigation is trying to determine how and when the name 'Valery Plame' became a part of the story.

Tommy V

"Actually Rove did not mention the actual name to Cooper"

You're absolutely right. I stand corrected.

I do think that, if it turns out Plame's status was protected (Highly questionable), saying Wilson's wife and not the actual name is not much of a defense. It is a very small leap to figure out the rest once you say someone specific's wife.

richard mcenroe

You know, the Democrats might be smarter to pay more attention to this...

Tony Foresta

We swim in an ocean of lies.

The righties and neocrusader Bush government apologists imagine that the rest of us are willing to accept that Wilson lied, which is false, - that Mr. Wilson's wife was a "desk jockey" which is yet to be determined, but obviously conflicts with the FACT that the CIA conducted an internal investigation compellng a requesst to the Justice Dept for a formal inquiry (which Ashcroft recused himself from at the time. The evolution of the Fitzgerald proceeding is a direct result of the CIA's findings.


Lastly, truebelievers imagine that there is any shred truth to the fictions, myths, exaggerations, disinformation, propaganda, and patent lies pimped, - I mean mass marketed to sell, - I mean deceptively justify the bloody, costly, noendinsight wayward misadventure in Iraq.


Further and more appalling, truebeliever neocrusasder Bush governmetn defenders refuse or are incapable of accepting the obvious fact based realities that prove Iraq had no WMD, no operation links to al Quaida, had no involvment in 9/11, and posed no immenent threat to America.

The specific Niger claim (one of a long and festering list of OSP/Chalabi concocted fictions and myths deceptively attempting to justify the plunder and profiteering, - I mean occupation and nationbuilding enterprize in Iraq) is a proven forgery and patently FALSE!!!


Truebelievers and the warmonges and profiteers in the neocrusaders Bush government cannot revise or rewrite history and erase the fact that Americca was terrorized into supporting the bloody, costly, noendinsight wayward misadventure in Iraq base on a long and festering list of OSP/Chalabi concocted deceptions, exagerations, propaganda, fictions, myths, and patent lies.

Lastly and most disturbing and telling - truebeliever neocrusader Bush government and truebeiever apologits deny, ignore, excuse, or defend the revenge outing of Joseph Wilson's wife as a malicious act of vengeance against Mr Wilson for publically debunkiing one of the many neocurader Bush government lies - I mean false and deceptive justifications for the bloody costly noendinsight nightmare Iraq.

The revenge outing of Mr Wilso's wife is an act of treachery and treason, and someone in the neocrusader Bush government is accountable.

Defending the indefensible, excusiing the inexcusable, and ignoring the fact based realities of the revenge outing of one of our own agency WMD operatives (covert, or secret, or whatever) is the hieght of hypocrisy, conduct unbecoming,and a dangerous act of treachery and treason.

The neocrusader Bush government is accountable for a long and festering list of deceptions, failuers, abuses, acts of malfeaasance and perfidy obscene profiteering, and dereliciton of duty, and the revenge outing of Joseph Wilson's wife is only one hideous example .

BEAM

^ Is that you again, Al Gore? :)

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "The overture from Iraq requesting the opening of secret trade talks with Niger (which Wilson confirmed in his report, but neglected to tell the public) occurred in 1999."

Wiison covered this in his book (p.28, p. 424).

So "neglected to tell the public" is one of numerous bits of slanderous misinformation you and your ideological pals are spreading.

jukeboxgrad

SEVEN: "How is the president going to clear it up?"

On 7/14/03, Novak published an article that said "two senior administration officials" gave him information about Plame. Bush should have immediately asked his staff to tell him exactly who was involved, and how. And then Bush should have told us. All of that should have taken no more than a day or two.

Instead there is a two-year federal case that is costing taxpayers many thousands, if not millions, of dollars. Why does it take the CIA, DOJ, and FBI to find out what the president could have found out in about 5 minutes by asking Rove? Especially since Scottie has said "No one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States." Then why didn't he ask Rove two years ago?

If he didn't ask, that means he's lying to us when he tells us he thinks it's a serious matter that he wants resolved. If he did ask, that means for two years his White House has been knowingly helping Rove cover up what Rove did (either that, or Rove lied to Bush). Either way, not good.

This is the guy whose administration told us they knew exactly where they were going to find the WMD in Iraq. And he can't find a snitch in his own office. Pathetic.

"implicit in your suggestion is the idea that the White House had anything to do with anything."

Rove is a senior White House official. Cooper says Rove told Cooper about Plame ("Was it through my conversation with Rove that I learned for the first time that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and may have been responsible for sending him? Yes." [link]).

Luskin has essentially acknowledged this. He offers some pathetic and highly questionable spin but he says nothing to dispute the essential facts ("Rove did not mention her name to Cooper ... This was not an effort to encourage Time to disclose her identity. What he was doing was discouraging Time from perpetuating some statements that had been made publicly and weren't true." [link]).

"Maybe there wasn't a leak in the administration."

Let us know how your massive powers of denial let you push all this aside.

"Show me where Luskin has implicated his own client."

Luskin did so indirectly, in the way I just demonstrated.

"If Rove says one thing and Cooper another, is it possible that Rove is telling the truth?"

As I just showed, Luskin has tacitly confirmed the essential aspects of what Cooper said.

"Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame, and members of the media could have created the whole non-scandal themselves."

Of course. This anti-Bush conspiracy arrived in the form of the Republican special counsel who was appointed by the Republican John Ashcroft, subsequent to a complaint referred by the Republican George Tenet. And don't forget the mind control that was used to get the Republican Rove to tell Cooper that Plame was CIA/WMD.

Seven, you're a perfect straight man. Almost too perfect. Folks are going to think you're just an alternate ID I use.

"Yet, the problem of Islamic terror remains. Again, let's think this through. What should we do, at this point?"

Demanding that our government be truthful with us would be a good start, especially if we wish to think that we're still a democracy, and especially if we want to convince the rest of the world that we've earned the right to preach to them about what a real democracy looks like.

"We haven't gotten Osama because Pakistan in a real problem for us"

Why do we need a permission slip from Pakistan to apprehend the killer behind 9/11? What happened to the idea that people who harbor terrorists are just as bad as the terrorists themselves? When did these principles get rewritten?

"Isn't is a testament to American awesomeness that we don't have to make many sacrifices during war right now?"

No, it's a testimony to our willingness to saddle our children and grandchildren with enormous debts, payable to countries like China. Every American is now born with a "'birth tax' of about $150,000," (link). And somehow folks don't understand that this is a much greater longterm threat to our national security than a bunch of guys with boxcutters, or even a bunch of guys with IEDs.

jukeboxgrad

TOMMY: "This question assumes some wrong doing on the administration's part."

Let us know if you think Rove telling Cooper about Plame is something you consider a form of "wrong doing." Not to mention lying about it for two years.

"I'm not sure what more could be done"

Two years ago, Bush should have promptly asked Rove a very simple question, and then promptly told us the answer.

"Fitzgerald shouldn't have been necessary because Bush should have done it himself?"

Exactly. Why does Bush need Fitz in order to find out what Bush's own staff is doing? Is that your idea of what effective management looks like?

"polls show people think the White House is hiding something because that is how they are being portrayed in the press."

Given the very simple facts I've described, let us know how you explain this as something other than "the White House is hiding something."

"The purpose of the investigation is to get the facts out."

There would be no need for an expensive and time-consuming federal investigation if Bush had acted like a responsible and honest manager two years ago.

"As if some other administration would be better at searching through Pakistani caves."

It's not a good sign that you have to resort to the old familiar "possibly not any worse than Clinton" argument. I thought Republicans were supposed to be the ones who are so good at keeping us safe.

"The Bush administration claimed that Iraq tried to purchase uranium."

I guess we're circling back around to where we were here. Nice job pretending not to notice that I demonstrated you're distorting the facts.

"The main purpose of the investigation is to see if a crime was committed."

Uh, not exactly. The investigation would not have started, and gotten this far (including throwing a reporter in jail) if some very serious people did not think there is a strong likelihood that a crime was committed. Obviously there is a lot of work beyond that to prove it, and to punish someone for it.

By the way, unless you think all improper behavior is also illegal, we don't need to know whether or not a crime was committed in order to know that Rove behaved improperly. That's already clear.

"Within that question is an implied planting of Plame's name in the press in a coordinated 'push back' against the op-ed. This theory has been completely debunked by all available evidence."

I guess you mean evidence like this: "'Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,'" the senior official said of the alleged leak."

Or like this: "There was no need to leak this name; it was done only as an act of political revenge to make sure that other critics did not come forward."

Please share with us your proof that "this theory has been completely debunked by all available evidence."

jukeboxgrad

LESLEY: "the sincere tone in my words"

I assume sincerity until/unless shown otherwise, and you've never said anything to cause me to doubt your sincerity.

"I am not aghast, I'm mind-boggled."

I think a lot of people have trouble accepting the idea that our government is actually doing the things it's doing (you could call this "too bad to be true" syndrome).

jukeboxgrad

TRUZ: "do you think it is really a good idea for a person who is the husband of a covert CIA operative/agent/analyst/whatever to make such a public spectacle of himself?"

First of all, this is beside the point. If Bush and Wilson were running against each other for public office, this kind of issue might be interesting. But they're not, so therefore it's just a distraction.

Aside from that, many people overlook the efforts Wilson made before he went public. This included getting a backhanded blessing from Rice, first. Before writing the oped, Wilson tried to communicate his concerns to Rice, privately. The message he got back was that "Rice was not interested and he should publish his story in his own name if he wanted to attract attention" (link). As far as I know, Rice has never denied this.

"do you suppose after all his years in government he actually believed there would not be an 'opposition research' pushback"

I don't think he ever dreamed, or had reason to dream, that the government, instead of openly disputing his facts, would instead mount a covert effort to out one of our own WMD experts, his wife. It was a WSJ reporter, oddly enough, who said: "That Ms. Plame recommended her husband doesn't undercut Mr. Wilson's credentials for the job of trying to figure out whether Saddam Hussein was seeking the raw material for a nuclear weapon in Africa."

Of course Wilson knew that the government would argue with him. But what reason did he have to predict that the government would resort to outing his wife? What purpose could possibly be served by doing such a thing? In my opinion, the fact that Rove resorted to this helps underline how little the government had to work with as far as relevant facts to counter Wilson's arguments in a fair, above-board manner.

What you're doing is called blame-the-victim.

"a number of his comments turned out not to be fully candid"

Proof, please.

"I think a reasonable person could have forseen consequences to himself and his family given his reckless partisanship."

That sounds like a line straight out of the Kremlin. "Dare to dissent from government policy, and you will be labeled as a reckless partisan, and there will be consequences to you and your family, and we won't be deterred by the fact that you and your wife have served your country honorably for many years."

"There is no law, extrapolation or theory thereof where Novak may be prosecuted for 'outing' Plame, regardless of who told him."

I didn't claim Novak did something illegal. I claimed he did something wrong. Maybe you don't realize that many things that are wrong are legal.

Tommy V

Tony, that writing is downright scary.

It sounds like an excerpt from Travis Bickle's diary.

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: (paraphrase) "Congo ... 2002 ... Congo ... 2002"

You're making a valiant effort to defend Bush's "recently" by bringing up this business about the Congo. This doesn't get you very far. The Congo matter is very, very minor. In all of Butler, the word appears twice. Needless to say, there is no detail. SSCI also offers no detail.

This BBC article list seven African countries that are considered a source of uranium. Niger is by far at the top of the list. Congo doesn't make the list and is not even mentioned in the article.

There is ample reason to understand that the 16 words were talking primarily about Niger, since it is by far the main producer of uranium in Africa.

By the way, here is a very thorough analysis of Butler, including more reasons to not take "Congo" seriously.

By the way, if you claim Congo is the justification for "recently," you have a problem with "significant quantities," since no one suggests that Congo can produce "significant quantities." Congo has essentially one former uranium mine that has not operated on a commercial basis for many years.

jukeboxgrad

STEVE MG: "the W.H. gave a whole series of arguments for the need to remove the Iraqi regime"

Another phony meme that just won't die.

Bush's famous pre-war address focused mostly on WMD, with barely 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.

If you look at those very visible and widely-circulated statements (and many other similar statements, such as those documented in this pdf), you don't see "a whole series of arguments;" you see a whole lot of focus on WMD.

And this important PNAC (neocon) document says nothing about freedom, and simply talks about the threat of WMD.

"But the incidents committed there [Abu Ghraib] have been investigated and the perpetrators punished."

That's doubtful. Also, there are serious problems in places besides Abu Ghraib, and there are signs that major problems have been swept under the rug. One example: we have a government coroner saying we beat one guy so badly his legs were "pulpified ... I've seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus." This guy was beaten to death even though "most of us were convinced that the detainee was innocent."

At the time that article was written a couple of months ago, no one had been convicted, even though more than two years had elapsed.

jukeboxgrad

BEAM: "but if Saddam's Iraq doesn't qualify as a nation that supported and harbored terrorists then no one does."

Then it's a darn shame that some Americans were perfectly happy to pat him on the back and do business with him.

It's also a darn shame that we're still cozy with folks who run circles around Saddam, as far as close connections with terrorism are concerned, not to mention various other unsavory activities.

Seven Machos

I don't know if anyone reads my posts, but I do try to keep them short, just in case. But, honestly, does anyone read what Juke writes?

Syl

I have a picture in my head of Tony meeting some of the freed Iraqi's in a small room. Not pretty.

jukeboxgrad

To be quite frank, the American electorate is a bit smarter than you and proved it on November 4, 2004. They may think Bush exaggerated a little, but they listened to the other reasons for Iraq as well. Hey, there's even the Dalfur report which shows Saddam was ready, willing, and able to reconstitute his programs as soon as sanctions were lifted.

Besides we were told all through the '90's what a danger Saddam represented. Can't toss that down the memory hole as fast as some would like.

If you thought the threat was imminent and that turned out not to be true, well, too bad for you that you're a pettyparser because pettyparsing can mislead...as it did the LA Times the morning after Bush's SOTU when their headline stated that Bush said Iraq was an imminent threat.

Who ya gonna believe? Bush or the LA Times?
I guess if you believe that rag, then you'd be pissed as all heck that there weren't any wmd found. But, this is a democracy, and not enough people were pissed on November 4.

Truzenzuzex

Jukeboxgrad:

First of all, this is beside the point.

No, it was the point of this particular post.

I don't think he ever dreamed, or had reason to dream, that the government, instead of openly disputing his facts, would instead mount a covert effort to out one of our own WMD experts, his wife.

Except one of the facts in question was the highly relevant one about how he got the job. That question still seems very important to me, and his wife was an important player in that process. From a public information standpoint, that fact is highly relevant to Wilson's credibility.

Of course Wilson knew that the government would argue with him. But what reason did he have to predict that the government would resort to outing his wife? What purpose could possibly be served by doing such a thing? In my opinion, the fact that Rove resorted to this helps underline how little the government had to work with as far as relevant facts to counter Wilson's arguments in a fair, above-board manner.

Got old Rove tried, convicted and serving time already, eh? How about this theory - Rove didn't know her status as covert and outed her accidentally. And don't give me that "he had a responsibility to check" line, either. If he had no reason to know her employment was being kept secret, he had no reason to ask.

Besides, as far as we know now, Rove didn't call anyone with this data. The memo and Cooper's testimony suggest that the information from Rove came only after a specific question during a call Cooper initiated.

Proof that Wilson was not entirely forthcoming (and I expect that is putting it mildly) is here.

But you already knew that, didn't you.

That sounds like a line straight out of the Kremlin. "Dare to dissent from government policy, and you will be labeled as a reckless partisan, and there will be consequences to you and your family, and we won't be deterred by the fact that you and your wife have served your country honorably for many years."

Well. At least you managed to avoid Godwin's law.

This is politics, not tiddlywinks, and the Bush administration plays as hard as anybody. Wilson most likely knew, especially given his wife's involvement, that he could find himself defending that involvement. He did so by denying it altogether.

Finally, you suggest Novak was morally wrong. Given the fact that Plame was not actually doing undercover work and was by all available accounts not ever going to do it again, that argument lacks, shall we say, the force of reason. There would need to be a reasonable expectation of harm to the government or to Plame, and given his account of the tepid response of the CIA, he had no reason to fear either one.

Dwilkers

I especially like the 'If we can send a man to the moon then why...' question. I haven't heard that one in years - at least not in a serious way. I do occaisionally hear it as a joke.


kim

OK, Juke, time to update your reading to a little something 'recent', since 1999 isn't recent enough. You need to read the Duelfer Report and Claudia Rosett's reporting. You will get a little better idea why there seemed to be widespread belief that Saddam had WMD.
=============================================

Jim E.

"Cooper's testimony suggests that the information from Rove came only after a specific question during a call Cooper initiated."

So if a reporter asks a specific question (which I don't think is even what happened here), Rove can spill the beans? And that makes sense to you?

SteveMG

I particularly enjoy this rejoinder from Jukeboxgrad: Viz., I stated that the W.H. gave a series of reasons for removing Saddam.

Jukeboxgrad says this was "another phony pre-war meme" and then says "Bush's famous pre-war address focused mostly on WMD".

So, as a response to my point Juke points out the "pre-war address" that "focused mostly on WMD."

Which, of course, ignores the dozens and dozens of other adddresses, speeches and statements made by Bush, Cheney, Powell, Wolfowitz, Rice et cetera, listing the reasons for removing the Iraqi regime.

One SINGLE address negates all the other statements. But even in THAT address, Bush gave other reasons in addition to WMD for the need to take military action.

Somebody has too much time on their hands.

SMG

kim

Jim E. Everyone in Washington was sliding around on a floor slick with a huge cauldron of hot steaming spilled beans.

If that doesn't make sense to you, I'd suggest trying the recipe.

Du bon gout.
===========================================

Cecil Turner

"You're making a valiant effort to defend Bush's "recently" by bringing up this business about the Congo. This doesn't get you very far. The Congo matter is very, very minor. In all of Butler, the word appears twice. Needless to say, there is no detail."

Well, in the first place, since you're asserting someone else is lying, the burden of proof is yours . . . there's no need for anyone else to "defend" the use of a word, you need to show it's false. And while most of the Butler uranium discussion sorts through the wrangling over Niger, the Congo gets coequal status in the conclusion:

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.
As to the Congo being "minor," I'm not sure how you can conclude that from their refusal to share their information. UK news accounts at the time of the dossier suggested the Congo was a major part of the picture. The Telegraph gave them top billing:
The Democratic Republic of Congo has emerged as the likeliest target of Iraq's attempts to secure uranium for its nuclear weapons programme, after Britain gave warning that Saddam Hussein has sought "significant quantities" of the radioactive metal somewhere in Africa.

Not only has the country - formerly Zaire - been destabilised by four years of civil war, but it also possesses the mine which supplied the raw materials for the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, in addition to other deposits of uranium and one of the few nuclear power reactors on the continent.
And while it's true the Congo isn't a current producer, it's certainly a proliferation concern:
About 40 shiploads of ore were dispatched to America from the Shinkolobwe mine in the south of the Congo in 1939, soon after which it was shut down and allowed to flood. But it has continued to attract interest from abroad, including a team of North Korean mining engineers who arrived in 1999 and were thrown out only after pressure from America.
The Guardian noted Iraqi interest and some suspicious activity:
Iraqi agents have been negotiating with criminal gangs in the Democratic Republic of Congo to trade Iraqi military weapons and training for high-grade minerals, possibly including uranium, according to evidence obtained by the Guardian. . . .
A delegation of five Iraqis was arrested in Nairobi by the Kenyan secret service last November while travelling to eastern Congo on fake Indian passports, a western intelligence officer said.
That's from open sources . . . Butler suggests British Intelligence has slightly more "detail."

kim

Although the recipe probably has a missing ingredient. It's Joe's recipe.
================================

kim

Speaking of recipes, back to the Yellow Cake one. I can't source it but I heard a year ago that the common belief is that ore(not yellowcake, but ore) is easily come by, en Afrique. And we've all heard that the process from ore to yellowcake is technically simple. Blackmarket yellowcake is almost certainly available in Africa, but whether or not in 'significant' quantities, I'd not guess.

My point is that the French mining concerns may not control the supply of yellowcake as well as is commonly believed.
===========================================
=================================================

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "the American electorate is a bit smarter than you and proved it on November 4, 2004"

What a shame that the polls show that many of those smart folks now have buyer's remorse.

"They may think Bush exaggerated a little"

Hmm, "we found the weapons of mass destruction." Is that what you call "exaggerated a little?"

"Hey, there's even the Dalfur report which shows Saddam was ready, willing, and able to reconstitute his programs as soon as sanctions were lifted."

Trouble is, Bush didn't hype the war by telling us that "Saddam was ready, willing, and able to reconstitute his programs as soon as sanctions were lifted." Bush hyped the war by telling us Saddam had massive stockpiles tucked under his arm, ready to go at a moment's notice. Important difference.

"we were told all through the '90's what a danger Saddam represented."

It's one thing to say that Saddam represented enough of a danger that sanctions were required, or that it made sense to hold a gun to his head to require him to allow inspections. It's something else to pull the trigger, in the wrong way, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons, and without proper preparation or planning. Folks like you can't tell the difference between the former and the latter, and many other people are paying the consequences.

"pettyparsing can mislead....as it did the LA Times the morning after Bush's SOTU when their headline stated that Bush said Iraq was an imminent threat."

What are you trying to say? That you're surprised that our lapdog press helped Bush hype the war, so it's not really Bush's fault? That darn liberal media.

Or are you claiming that Bush et al didn't really imply the threat was imminent, and that the press made up this part? Bush said "the Iraqi regime could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes." Is that not "imminent" enough for you?

kim

Remember, Wilson argued against a war in the 2/6/03 LATimes on the grounds that Saddam would use chemical and biological weapons on our invading troops.
====================================

jukeboxgrad

TRUZ: "No, it was the point of this particular post."

I had said that talking about whether or not Wilson helped out Plame by writing his article, is a sideshow. I realize you made it "the point of [your] particular post." Trouble is, you've failed to explain why it has any relevance to the behavior of the White House, which happens to be running the country. Wilson isn't. A small reason why the behavior of the latter should interest us a whole lot less than the behavior of the former.

"Except one of the facts in question was the highly relevant one about how he got the job."

Funny thing how this WSJ writer doesn't see it your way: "That Ms. Plame recommended her husband doesn't undercut Mr. Wilson's credentials for the job of trying to figure out whether Saddam Hussein was seeking the raw material for a nuclear weapon in Africa."

By the way, if Wilson's report was wrong, why not simply show facts to demonstrate that? It's not a good sign for the quality of the opposing argument that the best you can do is complain about the way he got the job.

By the way, if Wilson had returned with findings that Cheney liked, what are the odds that Cheney would have decided to ignore the results, on the grounds that Wilson was allegedly sent by his wife?

"his wife was an important player in that process"

I guess you know more than the "senior intelligence official" who plainly said "she did not recommend her husband to undertake the Niger assignment" (link). And you also know more than the CIA officer talking to Novak who said essentially the same thing: "At the CIA, the official designated to talk to me denied that Wilson's wife had inspired his selection but said she was delegated to request his help. He asked me not to use her name... "

"If he [Rove] had no reason to know her employment was being kept secret, he had no reason to ask."

A reasonable person knows that if someone works at the CIA, there is a significant chance that person might be a covert agent: "as many as one-third of the CIA's approximately 20,000 employees are undercover or have worked in that capacity at some point in their careers" (link).

"Rove didn't call anyone ... a call Cooper initiated."

Good luck trying to convince anyone that it matters (legally or morally) who put the dime in the phone. This is about as convincing as "he didn't say Plame, he only said Mrs. Wilson." Grasping at straws, in other words.

"Proof that Wilson was not entirely forthcoming ... is here."

Ah, the famous Susan Schmidt article. Never mind that this is the reporter who can't tell the difference between Iran and Iraq (see the sidebar correction). If you look closely at the basis for her statements, you discover that for some odd reason she is mostly telling just one side of the story, and quoting Wilson out of context. How odd. That darn liberal media.

"But you already knew that, didn't you."

Did I already know that some in MSM are helping Bush et al portray Wilson unfairly? Yes, I already knew that.

"He did so by denying it [Plame's involvement] altogether."

Only if you quote him out of context, which is exactly what Schmidt did. Wilson didn't flatly say "Valerie had nothing to do with the matter," although many people, including Schmidt and you, more-or-less quote him that way. He said "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."

Funny thing is, this account by Wilson is corroborated by multiple reports from within the CIA. More on this here.

"There would need to be a reasonable expectation of harm to the government or to Plame"

The CIA asked Novak not to publish Plame's name. He did anyway. It is not up to Novak to make his own determination regarding possible harm "to the government or to Plame."

Let me know if those are the rules you would really like to see in place: reporters can publish classified information, even though the government asks them not to, if the reporter in his own sole judgment deems that the government failed to sufficiently demonstrate an "expectation of harm to the government." Even during wartime, and even if the classified information is the identity of a CIA WMD expert.

Do you think this is the kind of policy that will encourage people to risk their lives to be CIA operatives? Do you think this is the kind of policy that will encourage Iraqi citizens to risk their lives to collaborate with us in arresting insurgents?

Is Bush's current behavior setting an example to the armed forces under his command that they should place a high priority on protecting classified information?

By the way, I notice certain righty bloggers were upset at the NYT because they wrote a story about the CIA's private airline. Never mind that the CIA was shown the story first, and didn't bat an eyelash. But Novak does exactly what the CIA asked him not to do, and the exact same folks on the right don't seem to mind. Interesting double standard.

jukeboxgrad

KIM: "Claudia Rosett"

Why are you pretending I didn't already address this specious point? I did, here.

"Everyone in Washington was sliding around on a floor slick with a huge cauldron of hot steaming spilled beans."

This is the lovely "I thought it was OK to throw rocks at the school bus because Tommy did it first" defense. Never mind that there is little or nothing in the way of proof that anyone was else was talking about Plame, before Rove and Libby did.

jukeboxgrad

STEVEMG: "One SINGLE address negates all the other statements."

Do you have trouble counting to three? Because I directly mentioned three important statements, not one. And I referred to a document which references many other statements.

By the way, the two addresses I mentioned were Bush's most visible and major speeches leading up to the war (let me know if there's another one I missed). I realize you think they should be swept aside in favor of some unspecified other comment you have in mind.

"the dozens and dozens of other adddresses, speeches and statements made by Bush, Cheney, Powell, Wolfowitz, Rice et cetera, listing the reasons for removing the Iraqi regime."

Please refer me to a single example of a complete and major speech, interview, or document, where WMD does not get top billing. I'm not claiming that other reasons were never mentioned. I'm pointing out that WMD was the top of the hit parade, by far, over and over again.

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "since you're asserting someone else is lying, the burden of proof is yours ... there's no need for anyone else to 'defend' the use of a word, you need to show it's false."

I guess we need to go back to basics. Bush made a statement (16 words). Wilson said: "if the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them." This isn't Wilson saying "I can prove Bush lied." It's not even Wilson saying "Bush lied." It's simply Wilson saying "what is I saw is not consistent with what Bush said." This was an invitation for the White House to show proof. But instead of showing proof, the White House outed Plame. This tends to create the impression that the White House had no proof to show. Everything we know two years later tends to support this impression.

Speaking of proof, I have repeatedly asked for proof here, and the answers are not impressive.

By the way, I have a funny feeling that if the rule you propose ("the burden of proof is yours") was applied in reverse, you would scream bloody murder. Let's say I claim that Bush tortures puppies in the White House basement every night. You, or folks like you, will surely assert that I'm lying. Ah, but then I invoke Cecil: "since you're asserting someone else is lying, the burden of proof is yours ... there's no need for anyone else to 'defend' the use of a word, you need to show it's false."

"the Congo gets coequal status in the conclusion"

I'm not impressed by the circular reasoning (paraphrase): "Butler makes a claim about Congo, therefore we know the claim is true." This is about as helpful as "Bush makes a claim about Africa, therefore we know the claim is true." Butler offers not a shred of proof. And Butler is highly suspect, as is amply explained here.

"As to the Congo being 'minor,' I'm not sure how you can conclude that from their refusal to share their information."

I don't conclude that Congo is minor from "their refusal to share their information." I conclude Congo is minor from a number of sources, which I cited explicitly. This includes a BBC article about where uranium can be found in Africa, where they didn't see fit to even mention Congo.

"The Telegraph gave them top billing"

The article you cite has only more of the same sort breathless speculation that's in Butler, but also without any proof. The article also mentions that Congo's one uranium mine was "shut down and allowed to flood" over 60 years ago.

The bottom line about Congo is that aside from a couple of missing fuel rods (which don't have enough enriched uranium to be useful for a bomb), no uranium has left the county since 1939, as far as we know.

Anyway, even if you're convinced that Congo might represent some kind of a source, even the speculation you cited is no basis for Bush's claim regarding "significant quantities."

I think speculation about Congo became popular as a reaction to growing evidence that the Niger allegations weren't going to hold up.

The bottom line is the 16 words (especially "recently" and "significant quantities") didn't belong in Bush's speech, and it's only because of Wilson that they were retracted. Wilson pointed out a problem with the emperor's clothes, and this became an excuse to ruin his wife's career. Not good.

kim

My Lord, SBG, you act as if Rossett has only one point. And one quote of hers does not refute my argument. Think, J, think.

You have slipped away, J, from addressing my points that all of Washington was talking about Plame, that there were multiple sources of the knowledge that Plame was CIA, and that you haven't demonstrated that revenge, the paranoid, guilty assumption of Joe, was the operative 'intent' of any mention of his wife's involvement.
=========================================

kim

Wrong again, J, the 16 words did belong.

I suggest that the only reason admin officials were quoted as saying they didn't belong is because they initially believed Joe's lies. He was, after all, sent by the CIA, wasn't he? It was when they realized that he was so stupidly wrong that they began to wonder how the CIA could have been so in error, and the idea of his wife's involvement occurred, simultaneously,(I mean without having it to be revealed to them), to a number of different people, journalists included. This is the most likely scenario.
=======================================

SteveMG

Jukeboxgrad:
Thanks for finally agreeing with me. I appreciate your willingness to acknowledge error. It was tough sledding on my part but you came around.

As you stated, Bush et al. gave a myriad of reasons for removing the Iraqi regime. WMD was the central one; but others applied.

SMG

jukeboxgrad

KIM: "Wilson argued against a war in the 2/6/03 LATimes on the grounds that Saddam would use chemical and biological weapons on our invading troops."

If you want to simply repeat yourself, could you make an effort to do it by reference? Kind of like this: "I said something really silly a while ago. You may have missed it, so here it is again."

Then I can say, "charming. I already answered you, here and here."

"you act as if Rossett has only one point. And one quote of hers does not refute my argument"

Quotes of hers that I cited: one.
Qoutes of hers that you've cited: zero.

I guess being more specific about why you mentioned her name would be a good place to start.

" all of Washington was talking about Plame ... there were multiple sources of the knowledge that Plame was CIA"

You have an adorable habit of making all sorts of outlandish claims without providing a shred of proof.

"you haven't demonstrated that revenge ... was the operative 'intent' of any mention of his wife's involvement."

Take it up with the "senior official" who said this: "Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge."

"they initially believed Joe's lies ...It was when they realized that he was so stupidly wrong that they began to wonder how the CIA could have been so in error"

Very impressive. So first Bush believed in the 16 words, before he didn't believe in them, before he believed in them again. I guess we're supposed to take this as a sign that the underlying evidence was quite clear and incontrovertible.

STEVE: "WMD was the central one [reason given]"

I'm not "finally agreeing" with you. If what you've been trying to say is what you just said clearly (that WMD was the "central" reason given for the war), then I've agreed with you all along.

kim

You still haven't explained Joe Wilson's hypocrisy about Saddam and WMD.

I'm suggesting you read Claudia Rossett, not follow my links to her.

Show me that tout Washington was not talking about Plame.

So now you're putting beliefs in Bush's head. You don't even have his words to back up what you say are his beliefs.

Empty rhetoric, Juke, you have nothing in your hand.
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kim

Listen, Dunderhead, quoting an unnamed official whose opinion is that it was clearly for revenge just isn't gonna get it. Just who do you think you are trying to kid?
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Cecil Turner

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

It was self-evident that Bush was referring to a British Intelligence document that specified "Africa." Wilson wasn't confused about that:

Then, in January, President Bush, citing the British dossier, repeated the charges about Iraqi efforts to buy uranium from Africa.
But since he couldn't talk to "Africa" (even though he put it in his headline), he changed it to "Niger." He claimed that "the report cited Iraq's attempts to purchase uranium from an African country." But it didn't . . . with wonted British precision, it only said: "Africa." The obvious conclusion is that they were unwilling to specify something lots of folks knew about, or there was more than one country. Wilson misleads us from the correct answer:
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. He replied that perhaps the president was speaking about one of the other three African countries that produce uranium: Gabon, South Africa or Namibia.
Having conveniently assumed it wasn't a combination (and leaving out the one most quoted in the British Press), he then implies it must've been Niger by citing a State fact sheet:
I didn't know that in December, a month before the president's address, the State Department had published a fact sheet that mentioned the Niger case.
"This was an invitation for the White House to show proof."

The President's source is obvious from the statement. It wasn't a State Department fact sheet or Wilson's trip, but a public report from British Intelligence.

"Let's say I claim that Bush tortures puppies in the White House basement every night . . ."

The person making the assertion has the burden of proof. In that case, evidence of tortured puppies in the White House. In the case of the sixteen words, the only remotely objectionable part is "has learned" (instead of "claims" or "maintains"), since it arguably implies they are correct, and we have no way of independently verifying it. Which was the root of Tenet's legitimate reason to say it shouldn't have been part of the SOTU.

"The article also mentions that Congo's one uranium mine was "shut down and allowed to flood" over 60 years ago."

As with Wilson, you spend a lot of time pointing out difficulties in actually acquiring uranium. But the claim was "sought." And apparently considerable thought went into that word:

In preparing the dossier, the UK consulted the US. The CIA advised caution about any suggestion that Iraq had succeeded in acquiring uranium from Africa, but agreed that there was evidence that it had been sought.

cons

Goebbels as an apologist for the Nazis has nothing on you Tom as an apologist for the Bush regime.

Pretty soon you will be portraying Abu Ghraib as a luxury resort for wayward Arabs, eh Tom?

Slartibartfast

...and we have our Godwin award. Congrats, cons, for being the first to go completely over the brink.

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "he then implies it must've been Niger"

There are variety of reasons to believe the 16 words were really about Niger. One reason is that Niger is by far Africa's leading producer of uranium (link). It's no accident that Butler and SSCI both discuss Niger more than any other country.

Also, as weak is the evidence regarding Niger, the evidence is even weaker regarding other countries.

"The President's source is ... a public report from British Intelligence."

Which in turn was based on not much, as far as we can tell. Sorry, but "the British said it so it must be true" is not an impressive argument. Especially since there were many skeptical statements to be found in both US and UK intel, but those statements were squelched, and never got near the SOTU.

"the only remotely objectionable part is 'has learned'"

It's beyond "remotely objectionable:" it's wrong, and it's part and parcel of an attempt to mislead. The number who now assess this sort of thing as a deliberate effort to mislead is up around 51% (link).

By the way, nice job sidestepping my main point. If Bush objected to WIlson's assertions, the White House should have shown proof. Instead, the White House outed Plame (and then lied about this for a couple of years). This tends to create the impression that the White House had no proof to show. Everything we know two years later tends to support this impression.

"you spend a lot of time pointing out difficulties in actually acquiring uranium. But the claim was 'sought.'"

I'm well-aware of that. But the "difficulties in actually acquiring uranium" are a very important part of the analysis, and to not present this is a form of distortion by omission. Let's say I "sought" to get a date with Cameron Diaz. So what? I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting what I "sought."

When Bush said Saddam "sought" uranium, without doing anything to inform people of the significant obstacles in Saddam's way, this was one of many forms of distortion in which Bush indulged. Many listeners undoubtedly made a reasonable but incorrect assumption, as follows: "surely Bush wouldn't even mention this unless there was a significant chance that Saddam can achieve, or has achieved, what he 'sought.'"

And let's just be clear where we stand with "recently" and "significant quantities." As far as I can tell, your defense of this consists of mentioning vague rumors about Congo, a country that hasn't commercially exported uranium since 1939.

kim

Nah. UR wrong. Say it again.
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