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October 16, 2005

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Syl

JayDee

Nope. The who cares bit is about no WMD found after the war. Has nothing to do with the case for war.

Just because what we thought before the war didn't match the reality after the war has nothing to do with the constitution.

Bush made the case for war on several matters, WMD was only one of them. It was emphasized because of the push at the U.N.

Your belief in Bush lies and dishonesty is touching, but doesn't even reach the level of evidence that the existence of WMD did.

Geek, Esq.

Do you know what Morison showed Jane's?

I'll tell you.

It was satellite photos of Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carriers under construction.

That goes well beyond politics and public relations.

cathyf
Syl, in keeping with the Republican belief in Constitutional Originalism, can you explain how the who-cares rationale you just gave for the Iraq war is compatible with our constitutional democracy?
Well, I'm not Syl, but I'll make a go at it.

According to the Constitution, the fundamental task of the US government is to protect us from attacks from our enemies. It is even more fundamental than their task of retaliating against our enemies after our enemies have attacked us. Because the only important purpose of retaliation is preventing future attacks.

The Administration's argument was that Iraq was a "gathering danger." It was the only nation other than the US to use WMDs in an attack since the end of WWI. It had flagrently violated 16 successive UN resolutions which were specifically designed to contain Iraq without war. In the middle of a UN program specifically designed to give food, medical care, and other humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, while simultaneously denying money to Saddam, he had stolen something like $20 billion while preventing much humanitarian relief from getting through. He owned (or should I say pwned) Russia, France and Germany, so he was only one Security Council vote (oil-hungry China perhaps?) away from ending the sanctions, which by then were only being renewed for 6 months at a time. Most importantly, Iraq was already at war with the US, so the US didn't have to start a war over these issues. And it was a war that Saddam started when he invaded Iraq. Because of the violations of the cease-fire of the 1991 war, this was not a new war, simply a resumption of the old war, which the US didn't start, either.

As for the US left's goofy fetish with stockpiles of WMDs, well, what do you expect from people who mostly majored in political science or communications or "queer theory" and have never taken a science course at above the jr-high level? While Valerie is married to a guy who knows how to sit poolside and sip tea in exotic locales, I'm married to a guy who knows how to build a nuclear weapon. Or more precisely, who knows just how easy it is. Which he's known since his first year of graduate school when he realized that the differential equation that he was solving was for the geometry of a hiroshima-type atomic bomb. I'm pretty sure that a guy with $20 billion or so to throw around shouldn't have any problems finding some physics grad students. And the whole nuclear "stockpile" thing is just stuck-on-stupid. The only country to ever attack anybody with a nuclear weapon (that would be us) didn't have a "stockpile" either. (Basically, we had 3. Tested one at Trinity, dropped the other 2 on Japan.) The notion that all those people we killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were just feigning death because we were harmless in 1945 is just moronic.

In the 2003 SOTU speech, Bush specifically said that Iraq was not an imminent danger, but that we couldn't wait for him to become an imminent danger. Others, especially the Senate democrats who voted to authorize the (resumption of the) war, had decided for themselves based upon the information that they had that Iraq was an imminent danger, or a "clear and present" danger. When it turned out after the invasion that, lucky for all those soldiers on the ground, Iraq didn't have stockpiles of WMDs, those Senators and their allies started screaming that they had been lied to about the "imminence" of the danger. When that had never been the Administration's rationale.

The fundamental duty of the government is to protect us from attacks. Not to go to war against nations with WMD stockpiles. Notice we haven't fought a war against France, India, Pakistan, Britain, Russia or China lately, even though they, among others, have WMD stockpiles. Because they aren't a "gathering" danger to us.

cathy :-)

Syl

What cathy said :)

Syl

j.west

Interesting to speculate about but we have to look at the timing. The investigation originally was focusing on administration officials. At some point it became a possibility (per Rove) that the leak had gone from the press to the officials rather than the other way around.

I guess that would be unanticipated. And certainly would mean Judy's and Coooper's testimony was crucial and be so decided.

parenthetical

"It was satellite photos of Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carriers under construction.

That goes well beyond politics and public relations."

Make the case how the US was threatened because of it...

In the Plame case, it can be argued that funding/support from other countries was influenced by the leaking of Wilson's half truth's which happened to be classified. Yes, the Italian docs were forgeries, but that was not the crux of the research that the CIA was using. Wilson, in leaking classifed info, sought to show that it was.

Fitzgerald, as a prosecutor, would be offended if he was seeking an indictment, but members of his staff were selectively leaking info that sought to show he was wrong, and never presenting the info that supported his case.

Jeff

Syl - I'll try again with one of my questions:

Is there any evidence out there that you aware of, other than what Miller just reported Libby told her, that Wilson was the source of the 1999 intel on Iraq-Niger trade?

This is not a challenge, or an expression of skepticism. I really want to know.

JayDee

You've just made a truly incredible case, cathyf, for paranoia as a cassus belli. Incredible. The fact that Saddam was willing to use WMDs and had demonstrated hostility to the US trumps the fact that he was not only NOT stockpiling weapons, he was leading an almost completely unarmed nation. One that maybe probably someday could likely in the future develop another WMD program and maybe probably someday might want to challenge the world's only superpower. And the fact that he was a minor player in sponsorship of Islamic terrorism and was in fact despised as a secularist is trumped by the fact that he was so much easier to take out than any of the states that truly were sponsoring terrorism. Explain to me, if you can, why if Bush had such faith in the nobility of this argument, he sent Powell up in front of the UN with cartoon mockups to make the case?

The most important contribution of this Plame case is going to be, hopefully, to put this defenseless argument back where it belongs - into American homes and kitchen tables.

Neo

Judy Miller might have written "Wilson" instead of "Plame" (or "Flame") at one point in her notebook because she was inadvertently thinking of the noted book-publishing editor Victoria Wilson, who worked at a division of Random House -- the same entity that housed Miller's husband, Jason Epstein, for 40 years. John Podhoretz at NRO Corner

para..

http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/05/06/nyt.kristof/


May 6, 2003.
"Consider the now-disproved claims by President Bush and Colin Powell that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger so it could build nuclear weapons. As Seymour Hersh noted in The New Yorker, the claims were based on documents that had been forged so amateurishly that they should never have been taken seriously. "

At the time of that writing in 2003, those documents were not declassified.

Cecil Turner

How does a patriot oppose a war?

After it's started? How about by trying to get it over as fast as possible? Okay, you got me, I'm probably not going to be happy with any anti-war activity during combat ops. However, I'm comfortable with the proposition that lying about the pre-war intel is not the answer. (Ummm . . . and what cathyf said)

Potential is legally operative concept, however. Assessing actual harm is next to impossible--especially if it involves secrets that have remained unknown to the general public.

It's worth noting:

  • We're talking about one agent, not a group;
  • she was being shifted out of NOC status . . . whatever damage was done by admitting she worked at CIA would have been done soon as an administrative action;
  • her cover had been previously compromised;
  • she hadn't been active in several years;
  • if the critical issue is identifying her as a NOC, that was done by Wilson, not Novak; and,
  • Brewster-Jennings was apparently already inactive.
None of those are excuses, but they all mitigate the damage of the leak (which in this case--in the absence of evidence to the contrary--I believe to be minimal).

Paul

"Consider the now-disproved claims by President Bush and Colin Powell that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger so it could build nuclear weapons. As Seymour Hersh noted in The New Yorker, the claims were based on documents that had been forged so amateurishly that they should never have been taken seriously"
President alluded to an attempt to purchase uranium. The document alleged a sale. Two very different things that you can expect Hersh to get confused about in his dotage

Paul

Plus CIA was not actively keeping her status secret. One would expect foreign counterspies to google Joe Wilson and find out his wife was Valerie Plame and find that the amnbassador's wife traveling with or without the ambassador to be a bit suspect. Wilson had donate $2000 and had to add Plame because the limit then was $1000.
Not a brain surgeon,

jukeboxgrad

Cecil said "I'm probably not going to be happy with any anti-war activity during combat ops"

I'm curious how unhappy you were when it was Republicans who were conducting "anti-war activity during combat ops" (link).

j.west

Sly,

The speculative portion of my theory has everything to do with timing.

My argument goes to the use of classified information being leaked to unauthorized individuals by government employees for the purpose of undermining a presidential election.

If some faction (or factionette) in the CIA was determined to see Bush defeated, a well timed revelation that the Niger yellowcake story was “fabricated” would help the Kerry campaign. Knowing Valerie’s political leanings, and Joe’s overpowering desire to be a “player”, it is a short leap to find a connection.

An allegation of this sort brought at this time would be inconsequential, as there would be plenty of time to examine the evidence. But in the throws of a hotly contested political campaign, a charge such as the one Wilson made could have been just enough to turn the election.

Valerie’s “enforced leave of absence” initially reported and later spun to “just taking a little time off” is yet to be explained. According to one poster familiar with procedures at the agency, a one-year maximum of enforced leave is policy without charges being brought. Could this uncharacteristic bit of candor be a harbinger of further revelations concerning Valerie and Joe, or did the mean old Bush administration just add insult to injury to the poor victim.

This sure makes more sense than a two year investigation based on “yeah, I heard that too”.

Seven Machos

JayZeeDee and Assorted Lefties:

The Constitution gives the U.S. Congress the power to declare war. Article I. Section 8. Clause 11. The War Powers Act says a lot in this regard as well.

At the request of the Bush administrtation, Congress authorized and continues to authorize billions fo dollars for a war and post-war activities in Iraq. The yes-vote majorities in Congress for such financial authorization have varied from overwhelming to totally overwhelming.

WHERE DID ANYTHING REMOTELY UNDEMOCRATIC OCCURRED HERE?

Hence, JayZeeDee, even if the "administration" just decide[d] within itself that there [was] a justification for war, and then use[d] phonied up, cherry picked intelligence to sell it like a product...to the US Congress, then deems that any contradictory intelligence (even if accurate) undermines the war effort," deomcracy has occurred 100 percent of the time because the Congress voted for the war. Constitutional strictures were observed to the letter.

You lost. Get over it. The war's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one. Why is that the left screams about "lost democracy" any time there is a decision that the very small but overly vocal left disagrees with? I don't think the Left really understands what democracy is.

By the way, neither Plame nor Libby will be indicted.

The Unbeliever

Thought I'd take a stab at a question further up the thread. How to patriotically oppose a war already in progress:

1) Clearly and calmly state your case for terminating the war immediately rather than carrying it out through the current administration's planned completion phase. They have specific results in mind, and a plan to achieve them; convince us that these results are either undesirable or unachievable.

2) Suggest a viable alternative to actual armed conflict (assuming you aren't arguing against a "cold war" or an economic war). Enumerate diplomatic options, and hard evidence why you think they would work better than force. Please note that repeated examples of diplomacy failing in the past will necessarily weaken any arguments along these lines.

3) Suggest a distinctly different manner of fighting the actual battle, such that the war will end sooner rather than later while accomplishing the stated goals. This option is a little tricky, since you don't want to reveal too much of the plan to the enemy we're fighting, and it requires fairly extensive military background if you want to be taken seriously. This method would actually be best undertaken by secretly making such a proposal directly to the DoD or Pentagon, to ensure confidentiality and the greatest chance of adoption. Of course you probably won't get credit for your efforts, but you're a patriot and don't care about such petty things... right?

To oversimplify things, waging war is composed of goals, options/plans for achieving those goals, and the manner in which you carry out and adapt the plan. Ideas, planning, execution. If you have a superior case against any of these three, you have a decent case against the war; if all you have is a generic "war is bad" placard you dust off every few years, well, expect the rest of us to not take you seriously.

As for myself, I don't think the left has come up with a solid case against any of these areas. I've heard no better long-ranging ideological plans for fighting terrorism other than what Bush has put forth. Viable diplomatic options have also been in short supply; Kerry's "global test" was one, and we all know how Americans generally felt about that. The strongest criticism that can be made of the Bush Administration is on its execution of the war, specifically in their handling of PR and public image which has come to play such a vital role in modern warfare. But with a few exceptions, I'm inclined to think they've done an OK job with "the Army they've got, not the Army they want". What's that Marine saying, something like "the battle plan only survives the first 5 seconds of engagement"?

Misty

Any comment on Mark Kleinman's question, what does Harriet Miers think of the precedent in the Paula Jones case?

Wilson and his wife may file a civil lawsuit against Bush, Cheney and others seeking damages for the alleged harm done to Plame's career. The unanimous 1997 U.S. Supreme Court decision could compel both Bush and Cheney to testify under oath.

Ask Mr. F

cathyf offers:

I'm married to a guy who knows how to build a nuclear weapon. Or more precisely, who knows just how easy it is. Which he's known since his first year of graduate school when he realized that the differential equation that he was solving was for the geometry of a hiroshima-type atomic bomb.

Dear, when your husband gets home please have him explain why the design of a nuclear weapon is not the hard part of building a nuke. In other words, Saddam could have gathered 100 nuclear physicists together and had nothing more than 100 guys with their dicks in their hands.

millco88

Misty,

If it was unanimous in 1997, does it really matter where Miers or Roberts, for that matter, stand on the issue? The decision isn't going to change as 7 of the people who voted are still there. Have any minds been changed??

jukeboxgrad

Seven said "neither Plame nor Libby will be indicted"

Judging from your many recent statements on this point, I think you just made some kind of Freudian slip.

cathyf

JayDee:

Saddam ... was leading an almost completely unarmed nation.
The last time you wrote that I figured it was a typo; now that you've written it again I must conclude that you are delusional. Iraq was armed to the teeth, and is still awash in weapons. Which is why there is a virtually unlimited supply of explosives for building IEDs.

Oh, yeah, I missed another vital reason to go to war with Iraq. We had to get our troops out of Saudi Arabia, and the only two practical ways to do so were either to remove Saddam from power or to surrender to Saddam and abandon the truce from the 1991 war. The reason that we had to get our troops out of Saudi Arabia is that the presence of armed infidels in the Holy Land was one of the primary causi belli of our enemy, who specified their grievances when they declared war on us. And if you paid attention to the people who have chosen to be our enemies, you would know that surrendering to Saddam and fleeing Saudi Arabia would have given our enemies another great boost in philosophical and moral authority. Al Qaeda had no significant operational ties with the warlords of Somalia, yet they benefitted greatly when the warlords defeated us and chased us out of Somolia. They would have benefitted far more if we had surrendered to Saddam and been chased from Saudi Arabia. But to leave on our own terms, with careless disregard and a clear attitude of good riddance, was a huge propaganda blow against our enemies.

jukeboxgrad

cathyf said "secret from anybody who doesn't know how to use google"

You've said this in various forms on a number of occasions. I hope you can clarify some ambiguity. Are you saying it was possible (pre-Novak) to use Google to find out that Wilson was married to the former Valerie Plame? If this is your point, so what?

Fitz is not upset that Rove et al told folks that Wilson is married to the former Valerie Plame. I think it's clear enough that Fitz is upset because Rove et al told folks that Wilson was married to the former Valerie Plame who happens to work for the CIA.

On the other hand, are you trying to say that it was possible (pre-Novak) to use Google to find out that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA? If this is your point, I imagine I'm not the only person who would be greatly interested in seeing your proof.

Seven Machos

Jukemeister -- Christ! Thanks God you are alive. I figured you had slunk off for good.

I don't think Plame will be indicted, actaully, but I did mean to write Rove. As you know, I think Wilson is the one facing indictment.

Also, have you read Freud? Every slip is not a Freudian slip.

Cheez-Wiz

Umm CathyF-I also know how to build a a-bomb in theory. But dont start so big. Far easier to build is a 747. I can get you the complete schematics for that too-but again-good luck building one in your garage.

Geek, Esq.

Cecil:

True, all of those facts may mitigate the actual harm. But, we'll never know.

However, in terms of legality, it's a slam-dunk that one has reason to know that such information could harm the United States or benefit a foreign power.

To be more specific, anyone who has signed form SF-312 has effectively sworn/admitted/confessed that they had reason to know that leaking classified information could harm the US or benefit a foreign power.

The fact that the harm may not be as bad as feared in no way rebuts the admission Rove and Libby signed in form SF-312. They simply can't credibly argue that they had no reason to know that such information COULD harm the United States.

And when it comes to the identity of undercover intelligence operatives, I think a bright-line rule instead of a more nuanced one is preferable.

Geek, Esq.

"It was satellite photos of Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carriers under construction.

That goes well beyond politics and public relations."

Make the case how the US was threatened because of it...

Because to do so is tantamount to performing counter-intelligence for the Evil Empire trying to conquer the world?

Geek, Esq.

Oh, yeah, I missed another vital reason to go to war with Iraq. We had to get our troops out of Saudi Arabia, and the only two practical ways to do so were either to remove Saddam from power or to surrender to Saddam and abandon the truce from the 1991 war. The reason that we had to get our troops out of Saudi Arabia is that the presence of armed infidels in the Holy Land was one of the primary causi belli of our enemy, who specified their grievances when they declared war on us. And if you paid attention to the people who have chosen to be our enemies, you would know that surrendering to Saddam and fleeing Saudi Arabia would have given our enemies another great boost in philosophical and moral authority. Al Qaeda had no significant operational ties with the warlords of Somalia, yet they benefitted greatly when the warlords defeated us and chased us out of Somolia. They would have benefitted far more if we had surrendered to Saddam and been chased from Saudi Arabia. But to leave on our own terms, with careless disregard and a clear attitude of good riddance, was a huge propaganda blow against our enemies.

This is the most compelling argument for the war in Iraq--containment was simply unviable as a long-term strategy. That should have been the centerpiece of the national dialogue. It should have been lefties defending the alternatives of either continuing the sanctions regime and keeping US troops in Saudi Arabia, or bugging out and letting Saddam do what he wanted.

Too bad that got lost in talk of mushroom clouds, drones, and "no blood for oil."

Cecil Turner

However, in terms of legality, it's a slam-dunk that one has reason to know that such information could harm the United States or benefit a foreign power.

You're assuming, of course, that they knew of her covert status.

The fact that the harm may not be as bad as feared in no way rebuts the admission Rove and Libby signed in form SF-312.

Which again assumes they knew the information was classified.

Seems to me there are two vulnerabilities for Rove and Co. First, they could be guilty of a crime, which requires intent. Second, they could have been guilty of causing significant damage to national security (and would be guilty of the political crime of failure--for which intent doesn't matter). For there to be a crime, they have to know of Plame's status . . . and so far there's no evidence to suggest that's the case. If there were actual damage, it wouldn't matter, but that appears to be minimal. You seem to be arguing the legal case for damage, which I think is irrelevant.

Sue

Am I the only one who remembers Saddam's son in law? And the nuclear program in Iraq in 1995? That no one in our intelligence was aware of?

Better question, why re-argue why we went to Iraq? We're there. We went for the reasons stated. By 2 separate administrations, not tied politically, but tied with the same CIA. Another hmmmm moment.

BR

I think someone up thread wanted to know about the Niger forged docs. Here are two UK Telegraph articles from Sept. 04, when the Italian agency SISMI discovered French agent "Giacomo" aka Rocco Martino was the conduit to Italian journalist Burba in Sept. 2002; she then handed them over to the US Embassy in Italy in Oct 2002. It was a setup to embarrass all three allies: Italy, UK and US. Created by the anti-war faction of the CIA, passed via the French agent in a loop back, with organized hue and cry PR events and books emanating from Wilson, Richard Clarke, DNC, Kerry Campaign, Traprock Peace Center, CrisisPapers.org, etc., etc. to this day.

UK Telegraph 9/5/04 and UK Telegraph 9/19/04.

Here is New Yorker, Hersh, 10/27/03 "Stovepipe" article on the CIA forging the Niger docs themselves to embarrass Bush (close to the end of the article).


The following data lead me to conclude that the forgeries were not created in "late summer" [2002] as reported in Hersh's article, above, but as early as Feb 02 when Wilson was being briefed for his Niger trip: Wilson first described them in detail in various articles, starting with the NYT Kristof 5/6/03 article, then after being caught on this during his testimony to the SSCI (wish I can get an exact date(s) for his actual testimony, it's right before his op-ed of 7/6/03 and the WP Pincus article of same date which mentions his recent testimony), he then changed his tune and thereafter the articles begin to distance him from the Feb 02 forgery date, starting with the first damage control article in NYT Kristof 6/13/03.


At first, it wasn't done so well, the detailed descriptions and the denials overlap in some articles, as in the 6/13/03 one – where it's both clear he must have seen or been told about them in Feb 02 by his description and yet he's denying it in the article. Since the time I first made lists of these articles, interviews and SSCI Report, I've found even more without particularly looking. The subject just keeps being asserted in every new article I read from that time on. The Wilson interview by Josh Marshall on 9/18/03 is particularly obvious with a leading question and answer as if to establish the record on the net.

Out of the blue, comes this non sequitur question:
"TPM: And, just to be clear, at this time, you hadn't seen these documents that turned out to be forgeries?"

Original">http://wizbangblog.com/archives/006463.php#081852">Original lists, starting here at July 17, 2005 03:29 AM. More articles found since those.

BR

For the person asking about Wilson's 1999 trip to Niger – I found a short blurb, here, at No. 5 :

“The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on the CIA’s behalf … 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 …” (Select Committee On Intelligence, “Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq,” U.S. Senate, 7/7/04)

I have found no exact date for Wilson's 1999 trip(s) yet.

The Tenet Press Release of 7/11/03 states:
"The same former [Niger] official also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Iraq and Niger. The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales. "

One cannot tell from that if the Iraqi diplomat had already arrived or if this was a pre-arrival arrangement in progress.

Seymour Hersh, 10/27/03, in The New Yorker reported Feb. 1999 in his version of how Italy informed the US after 9/11 of an Iraqi diplomat from the Vatican having gone to Niger years earlier (in Feb 1999).

clarice

macranger says the Wilson trip was in Feb 1999.

Syl

parenthetical

""It was satellite photos of Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carriers under construction."

Make the case how the US was threatened because of it..."

Actually, the case would likely be based on sources and methods. What was the resolution of the satellite photos? What year was that? :)

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

j.west

I see where you're going. I tend to agree there's a case that can/should be made. I'm just not sure Fitzgerald is going that way.

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

Jeff

"Is there any evidence out there that you aware of, other than what Miller just reported Libby told her, that Wilson was the source of the 1999 intel on Iraq-Niger trade?"

Honestly I'm not sure. I thought I had read something about it, perhaps in Hayes piece, no, not that, it was earlier I think. But no, I cannot at this time give a cite. I don't maintain a database.

-----------

JayDee October 17, 2005 at 01:23 PM

Whew. What a rant. Sorry to inform you that rants aren't arguments. Anyway, it's the main job of the President of the United States to be paranoid. Especially after an unprecedented and unprovoked act of war on our soil killed 3000 citizens. Elect an ostrich next time.

---------

Cecil Turner

"For there to be a crime, they have to know of Plame's status . . . and so far there's no evidence to suggest that's the case."

True. And there's not evidence they ever gave out the name Plame.

But, they could be gotten for mishandling intelligence. Because they have to get permission before confirming CIA employment, which by implication means they were supposed to know her status. A covert employee will not be confirmed (barring mistakes by people such as Harlow).

By not knowing they save themselves from one charge, but open themselves up to another. It may be lesser because its administrative rather than in the CODE.

-----------

Geek Esq

"This is the most compelling argument for the war in Iraq--containment was simply unviable as a long-term strategy."

So you don't support the war because in your opinion Bush emphasized the wrong argument?

Syl

BR

re 1999 Niger

Thanks for the sleuthing!

kim

Jwest: I have little doubt there is Democratic Party or at least Kerry campaign in the woodpile somewhere. I also have little doubt that the tracks aren't covered. I mean look how obviously the 'Fortunate Son' ad fizzle followed the Rather Memos.
============================================

Larry Moe Curly Johnson

"Information attributed to Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff in New York Times reporter Judith Miller's interview notes is incorrect, offering prosecutors a potential lead to tracking the bad information to its original source.

Miller disclosed this weekend that her notes of a conversation she had with I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on July 8, 2003 stated Cheney's top aide told her that the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson worked for the CIA's Weapons Intelligence, Non-Proliferation, and Arms Control (WINPAC) unit.

Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, never worked for WINPAC, an analysis unit in the overt side of the CIA, and instead worked in a position in the CIA's secret side, known as the directorate of operations, according to three people familiar with her work for the spy agency.
...

"Accurate information presumably can come from any number of sources. If he got it from a particular document or in a meeting and that document or notes of that meeting are the only place that the inaccuracy is present, then that establishes the source," Cole said.

Danny Coulson, a former top FBI official who conducted several investigations of leaks, said the possibility that Libby passed on wrong information to a reporter may indicate he didn't get his information from a credible, official source.

"What it tells me is he probably got his information from dinner talk," Coulson said. Presidential aides "had access to the official information and if they had used that, you would think they would have had the right stuff." "

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051017/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/cia_leak_investigation


OK, Libby is in the clear. Next scandal please.

WINPAC

and instead worked in a position in the CIA's secret side, known as the directorate of operations,

funny, didn't they have their hands closer to the "forgeries"---or more definite info on such?

WINPAC

If I were Flame, I would have stuck with the WINPAC unit gig

Geek, Esq.

For there to be a crime, they have to know of Plame's status . . .

Well, they obviously knew she was a CIA employee.

If they got that information via the State Dep't Memo and distributed it, they violated the Espionage Act. Doesn't matter if they *knew* she was NOC.

Remember--they've signed a form stating that they have reason to know that any leak of classified, let alone Secret: Noforn, information could harm the United States.

"Gee, we just knew that it was a secret that she was a CIA employee. Whodda thunk that leaking that information would have national security implications?"

That is not an effective defense.

Syl

Holy Schmoe

It's the little details we don't know, then we learn, that make this case so interesting.

Syl

Geek

It's perfectly legal to identify someone as CIA if they're not undercover.

It's just that they have to confirm with an official source that she's not undercover first.

topsecretk9

"What it tells me is he probably got his information from dinner talk,"

and so did.... Pincus, and Cooper, and Russert, and Matthews, and Mitchell, and Novak, and Kristof, and every other a-holio in DC with press pass.

Oh, but which of these dined with Wilson? On record Kristof, slyly we know Pincus on July 3rd.

Syl

As for you and me, we can identify anyone we want as working for the CIA. We don't have to ask first. Nobody would believe us anyway. :)

Syl

topsecretk9

I just saw Isikoff, Issikof, er, whatever, on Sean and Hannity (no I don't watch often) talking about discrepancies in testimony between Rove and Cooper. And while letting us know that Rove hadn't mentioned talking with cooper at all at first, didn't mention that the Rove memo re Cooper convo wasn't found until later. It was if Isikoff had an info gap.

He doesn't. Isikoff knows as well as you or I about that memo being found later. He simply chose not to mention it.

Leaving the impression that Rove has no defense for not earlier divulging his convo with Cooper.

I swear the press only hurts the Democrats by giving them possibilities as if they're sure things. Putting on my ESP hat, I think Isikoff doesn't realize that, he just thinks it helps make Rove look bad.

But after the Koran/toilet thing, I've begun to realize that Isikoff really isn't all that bright.

(Sue me, I dare you.)


Tollhouse

What so hard to understand? The press play the long game. No one is going to be convicted of anything. They all know that. This is about presenting the impression of wrongdoing. Isikoff knows this.

topsecretk9

Syl

you bring up a good point...

It's just that they have to confirm with an official source that she's not undercover first.

remember Matt Coopers email that ended with

""please don't source this to rove or even WH [White House]" and suggested another reporter check with the CIA."

and the question is --did they?

Matt Cooper had this to say about his GJ appearance:

The grand jurors wanted to know what was on my mind, and I told them. The White House had done something it hardly ever does: it admitted a mistake. Shortly after Wilson's piece appeared, the White House said that the African uranium claim, while probably still true, should not have been in the President's State of the Union address because it hadn't been proved well enough. That was big news as the media flocked to find out who had vetted the President's speech. But at the same time, I was interested in an ancillary question about why government officials, publicly and privately, seemed to be disparaging Wilson. It struck me, as I told the grand jury, as odd and unnecessary, especially after their saying the President's address should not have included the 16-word claim about Saddam and African uranium.

really? Privately? Odd and unnecessary?

Cooper called Rove on a friday late morning, not the other way around.

If Cooper was not given anything other than "wife works for CIA"...did Time check that? Time story came out July 17.

Surely they didn't rely on Novaks column to eliminate the need for conformation???

Syl

"Sean and Hannity"

LOL Proves I don't watch it much. It's 'Hannity and Colmes'. Sheesh.

Tollhouse

"This is about presenting the impression of wrongdoing. Isikoff knows this."

Most assuredly.

And, as I said, it hurts the Democrats. They get their hopes up, then....boom...and they only look foolish.

Syl

topsecretk9

I think Tom brought this up and quoted Cooper as admitting he had other sources than Rove but wouldn't say more. tom's ::wink wink:: part was that possibly those other sources were CIA as a result of another Time reporter's call to CIA to confirm.

Jeff

BR - I have several questions for you.

1) If you learned that what qualifies Rocco Martino as a French agent is that he has been paid by the French for stuff he passed to them, and then you learned that he had been paid by other country's for stuff he passed to them, would that make him equally an agent of those other countries?

2) What do you make of the reporting on Martino that differs in material ways from the Telegraph's? Why do you believe the Telegraph's? Or is that all you're familiar with?

3) Do you buy the rest of Hersh's article as much as you buy the bit about CIA or former CIA being at the origin of the forged documents, especially in light of the fact that that bit is presented with considerably less certainty that much the rest of the piece?

4) What on earth wass Joe Wilson's motivation in the plot you've hatched?

5) What was Joe Wilson's motivation in 1999?

6) If the "intel" that Wilson provided in 1999 was about a meeting that, as Hersh reports, was a public fact, and that had nothing apparent to do with uranium, and that was one of two evidently key pieces of intel that Libby says Cheney's office picked up on, does that worry you?

7) You still don't get my question. As I myself stated, the SSCI notes that Wilson went to Niger in 1999. My question is, have we heard before Miller's report from Libby that it was Wilson who reported the bit about Niger, the Vatican and Iraq (even if that would not be so amazing, since it was a public fact)? I would love it if it turned out, as Wilson himself, in somewhat confusing fashion, seems to suggest, that this bit of information came from Wilson's 2002 report, and not his 1999 report, since that would mean that Libby was almost certainly completely lying about this to Miller, unless he was confused. But if he was confused about that, he was probably confused about the role of Wilson's wife too, as the CIA explained to Pincus and perhaps also to Novak.

kim

K know Rocco denies being an agent of the French. I believe he posits a Lucy Gonzales sort of provenance, in that he himself claims not to know much about where they came from. I'm not too surprised at that. Where do you think they came from? Don't you think Fitz is very interested in this question?
================================================

kim

Joe's motivations? Hmmm. That's a good one. One he probably can't answer.
=================================

topsecretk9

Syl---You are probably right. But here are the posts (I posted the email and you responded)

you said
http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2005/10/rove_to_talk_to.html#comment-10052745

and TM responded here:

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2005/10/rove_to_talk_to.html#comment-10058041

but the question you asked, made me think,
Are reporters supposed to rely on other reporters

"It's just that they have to confirm with an official source that she's not undercover first."

I.e. If novak reports something, does that absolve OTHER reporters from doing due diligence.

Novak called CIA. Did Time?

jukeboxgrad

"WINPAC"

It was reported long ago that Plame worked undercover for Winpac. Reported where? Wilson's book. See page xl of the forward, which can be found here (pdf).

Also see further discussion re Plame and Winpac here.

Sue

Something that seems kind of odd to me. In the time frame that the articles were being written, mid summer 2003, no one was 100% sure we wouldn't still find WMDs. How was Joe so sure? If we had found them after his op-ed ran, he would have looked ridiculous. Especially when he had earlier been on the record as saying we could possibly cause Saddam to use WMDs if we attacked. He at least thought, at one time, that Saddam had WMDs.

kim

JBG, you are falling into old bad habits. Sourcing to Joe's book is fraught with peril.
===========================================

clarice

Wilson didn't say we wouldn't find WMDs. In his June 14,2003 speech for Epic he said we might find nuclear weapons; later he said Saddam might use bio-chem weapons against our troops.

WINPAC

Ah yes, Joe's book. A conundrum. The road to hell is fraught with Utopia. I think is the sub message there.

kim

Joe is being taught the politics of truth by a practitioner.
================================

Cecil Turner

It is the case that in your usual style you simply sidestepped a point you apparently found difficult.

Like the bit above: "Reports indicate Iraq also has sought uranium ore from Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo"? We could have hoped you'd recognize it as a quote from the linked NIE. (That's the purpose of the colon and blockquote, by the way.) But no, you pretend it's an assertion of fact and make a weak ad hominem out of nonsense. Then you follow that dishonest bit of tripe with vacuous insults. Ah, yes, must be sidestepping.

kim

JBG could be taught the politics of dialogue by Jeff.
==================================================

Syl

topsecretk9

Your links and my comment refer to the same posting by Tom! I couldn't remember where I saw it.

As to your question, I would think any good reporter would get confirmation himself and never rely on a rival. It's safer that way.

What I thought interesting about Tom's conjecture was where he said that Cooper almost went to jail for protecting a source. But when he got a release from Rove, Cooper gives testimony on sources other than Rove too.

That does't make sense unless the other sources wouldn't require a release...such as a public info guy at the CIA.

Hmmmmm. That specific thought of Tom's wasn't in the comment you link. I think Tom may have elevated that to a blog post and added to it.

Cecil Turner

Rats. Got irritated and responded to this nonsense in the wrong thread. Apologies.

BR

Kim, Izzy's calling.

WINPAC

Syl

Ahh..thanks for the follow through. You have a great grasp on all of this. I couldn't help but wonder if Pearlstine's decision to hand over all docs and emails stemmed from 1) realization of bad due diligence 2) rumor and conjecture had made it's way into his news pages...and that was obvious from Coopers notes. A "not on his watch" kinda thing

hence his resignation and book contract

Syl

Cecil

"Rats. Got irritated and responded to this nonsense in the wrong thread. Apologies."

JBG has a way of doing that to people. :)


topsecretk9

Syl
But cooper asked someone else to do that, didn't he?

kim

BR, do you know who the guy is who wasn't supposed to be physically able to be at the 2/02 meeting?
========================================

topsecretk9

WINPAC--

not sure we know what is conjecture, as it all seems to be

Syl

WINPAC

re Pearlstine

Might be. Those notes are probably very very interesting.

He said his book would delve into the use and misuse of anonymous sources. He obviously saw something going on that made him uncomfortable..not necessarily in a legal sense, though it could be that too, but more in a journalistic ethics sense.

TexasToast

We are f****ing jinxed

Syl

topsecretk9

"But cooper asked someone else to do that, didn't he?"

I don't think that's a problem.

::snark on::
anyway cooper needed time to call all his buddies and tell them Rove took the bait ... let a peon make the call to the CIA.
::snark off::

kim

TT, check out Brendanloy.com for Wilma Whither.
===============================================

Syl

JBG

You just confirmed the source of the winpac info. No not the book, which came out later, but Wilson. Who was gabbing and having dinner with reporters during this period.

Now I don't know the inner workings of the group, of course, and neither does anyone here. But it's possible that some info Plame had, was shared with winpac. And ol' Joe, always wanting to look more important than he is, morphed that into "Valery works for winpac."

You know, like regular ol' resume padding.

kim

JBG: Google 'African Uranium Production'. One of the first things you see is that information about uranium production in Africa is hard to come by. Yet you make your bold assertions and then link selectively.

Last time around I quit reading your links because they were so biased.

The truth, JBG, is a harsh mistress; a fact you stand little chance of ever understanding.
===============================================

Jeff

So are those of you who are now going to depend on what that AP report said to exculpate Libby (about which we'll see) going to start emphasizing that Plame was undercover all along? boris, any thoughts?

kim

I am surprised that it appears that Valerie was not as well known as many of us supposed. It appears that she may have been technically 'covert' at the time of this. I'm not sure how much significance that has anymore since the main agent of her outing seems to have been her dearly beloved.
==================================================

TexasToast

What so hard to understand? The press play the long game. No one is going to be convicted of anything. They all know that. This is about presenting the impression of wrongdoing. Isikoff knows this.

So why did we have the farce of impeachment of Bill Clinton?

Jeff

Good start, kim! By tomorrow I expect Cliff May to be telling everyone what a betrayal the outing of Valerie Plame, undercover CIA operative who no one knew about, by her husband was. Go for it.

windansea

Larry Johnson

AJStrata is homing in

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/797#comments

windansea

and so is macranger

http://macsmind.blogspot.com/2005/10/clairvoyant-mr-wilson.html

Syl

I've got to think about this more.

winpac/overt wilson miller libby directorate of operations/covert novak dinner talks sweet mint tea novak meeting someone on a dark street whom he talks to but who, it turns out knows wilson and reports back to him Harlow sweating winpac/overt okay to discuss directorate of operations/covert definitely not okay to disseminate.

This is worse than a black box!

Syl

Jeff

"By tomorrow I expect Cliff May to be telling everyone what a betrayal the outing of Valerie Plame, undercover CIA operative who no one knew about, by her husband was. Go for it."

Sometimes I really want to arggghh you, but this was funny. :)

Syl

Don't worry, that was a pun in there.

I think.

Syl

I've been around Kim too long.

Jeff

Wait, so what exactly is supposed to be the motivation of Wilson's allies in leaking Libby's apparent mistake to the press? I'm not sure I understood that part of Sr. Strata's ruminations.

At first I thought maybe the AP reporters noticed the discrepancy all by themselves, having spoken about Plame's actual status at the CIA with the Wilsons' allies well in the past, and they're just putting the pieces together now, using, as it were, the Wilsons' own prior words against them. But then I came across the Reuters piece pushing the same line even more straightforwardly and it's based on a conversation with a former intelligence official on Monday. Plus they get this from the former intelligence official:

The former intelligence official said the WINPAC error could bolster Libby's defense, if he were charged with intentionally compromising the identity of a covert operative, since most Winpac employees are not undercover.

``It may actually be helpful to him by showing he was acting under a misimpression and it wasn't an intentional outing of a known undercover officer,'' the official said.

Definitely not an ally of the Wilsons', right?

Doesn't mean it's not all true, though I have my doubts, like what do we do about her apparently purported boss Alan Foley at WINPAC? Plus is it possible she was both at WINPAC and at DO, or some such thing -- note how the article says that most (not all) WINPAC employees are not undercover? Anyway, it all may be true. I take the leaks of this info to be coming from Libby's side, and I take it as a sign that he's worried.

windansea

Kind of coincidental that Larry Johnson posted that Plame is covert at TPMcafe today huh?

http://www.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/10/17/22134/358

kim

Yeah, I'm not sure the WINPAC error means much. Lots of errors are meaningless.
====================================

Syl

Well, actually, I'm not sure about the motive either.

However, if Wilson/Plame/Larry Johnson are so tightly within themselves, they may be worried that Fitz doesn't know that Plame was really and truly covert.

But, hell, even WE know that. At least we know her status was officially covert.

So, that doesn't make sense. Unless that is what Fitz is leading them to believe? But that doesn't make sense either.

Maybe they're worried Libby will get off on the technicality mentioned in the article. And since they all disseminated the winpac stuff themselves, maybe they thought they did a too good job of it. :)

So they're trying to force Fitzgerald to look further. But where? Maybe into thinking Libby used winpac on his own on purpose to cover himself.

Syl

I have a feeling Fitz is one step ahead of them.

topsecretk9

Kim--

Winpac was a last ditch effort

topsecretk9

and even "laster" is "DO"--which is a no winner either

windansea

I have a feeling Fitz is one step ahead of them.

me too...I'm thinking he is homing in on those forged niger documents

that's the heart of this matter....

Jeff

So far I'm most impressed -- and by impressed I don't mean persuaded -- by windandsea's most relentless conspiracy theorizing. Looks to me like it might be the case that in fact Plame was both Winpac and DO. Look, for example, at how the Sept. 29 2003 WaPo (the link isn't working right at the moment) describes her:

She is a case officer in the CIA's clandestine service and works as an analyst on weapons of mass destruction.

No specific mention of which parts of the institution exactly, but it certainly tracks DO/Winpac, somehow both clandestine and analyst. The ubiquitous emptywheel has more on this from way back, relatively speaking, at the link from JBG above. This would all fit with the idea that the leaks come from Libby's allies.

Syl

You know. After reading that cliff may article at macsmind giving Wilson's far left and saudi associations/connections it occurred to me that

Wilson is America's George Galloway

without the spittle and the accent.

:)

Jeff

windandsea -- I can get behind the call for real inquiry into the origins and circulation of the forged Niger documents. And if circulating Hersh's New Yorker piece to those on your side of the aisle will help jumpstart the effort, by all means, let's do it. They might actually learn something from reading the rest of the Hersh piece.

This is the funny thing about righties who are convinced, convinced that some deranged yet extraordinarily foresighted conspiracy of Wilson, the CIA, the French and who's knows what other Bush-haters cooked up the Niger documents. Wouldn't it have been in the Bush administration's interest to get the bottom of that by now? Have you seen them pushing it? Are you aware of them pushing it behind the scenes? There is an FBI investigation, but it shows no signs of life I am aware of. Or is calling for an FBI investigation -- as the ranking Democrat on the SSCI did, not the Republicans -- a well-known way of burying real fact-finding?

Don't you feel even the slightest bit suspicious that neither the Republican-controlled executive branch nor either branch of the Republican-controlled legislative branch has made any effective push for an investigation into the origins and circulation and use of the forged Niger documents? Even a little? If, daring to dream, the Democrats regained control of one house of Congressin 2006 and immediately initiated an investigation into the forged documents, as I suspect they would, would you maybe think that the outcome wouldn't end up pointing to the Wilsons as the masterminds of the war, oops, I mean as trying to bring America just to the brink of war all so as to embarrass the Bush administration -- or whatever it is you think they were up to?

Syl

Jeff

I think we've all figured out she could do/was doing both...but in a general way.

But I don't see how 'This would all fit with the idea that the leaks come from Libby's allies.'

They could. But they could also be coming from the other direction: Wilson's allies in the press.

Who else talked to Judy about it? She said this was the first time she'd heard the winpac reference. That could mean the first and only, but it could also mean the first of many.

We don't know who her other sources were. But Fitz probably does.

And in a later conversation with Libby, he had moved off winpac to that proliferation thingy.


Jeff

Wilson is America's George Galloway

without the spittle and the accent.

If the basic standard is, spouter of indefensible bs not in the interest of all that is good and right, I'd nominate Cliff May.

I'm just kidding, of course. But the serious point of that kidding is that it's deranged to continue to demonize Wilson this way. To say nothing of offensive, in light of Wilson's role in standing up to Saddam Hussein. Is Wilson something of a blowhard? It appears to be so. Does he smoke cigars? Yes. But not only are most of the harsh things spouted by his lying right-wing detractors lies, they are utterly irrelevant to whether or not a crime was committed in this case. Which we should find out more about in the next couple of days. Even if Wilson were as much of a bs artist as you like to say, that would not justify revealing classified information related to his wife. A point you tacitly acknowledge by trying to pin it on him and his wife themselves. Now, if it turns out that Fitzgerald indicts Plame and/or Wilson for that, I will stick by my conviction that it was unjustifiable. Will you do likewise, regardless of who is indicted?

Syl

Jeff

re the forgery business, I think you make really good points. I'm not a conspiracy theorist (at least I don't think so. Well I doubt any conspiracy theorists thinks they ARE) but there is one glaring unanswered question. What the hell was Wilson talking about when he referred to them? When at the time he claimed to have seen them, known about them, it was impossible.

I'd like the answer to that.

If it was just something he thought he could get away with because he knew later there were forged documents out there, then he backtracked. Well that's pretty stupid. If you come out in the open basically accusing the president of lying you'd damn well better have all your ducks in a row.

'Maybe I mispoke' just doesn't cut it.

The Left has their own conspiracy theory concerning those forgeries..and that involves Bush.

So, it's a battle of the conspiracy theories.

The FBI is investigating it. I have no idea what the priority is. I guess we'll know when we know.

But I just want to know the answer to the Wilson question.

Syl

Jeff

The only times I've ever advocated Wilson outed his wife were in regard to the Corn article. Otherwise it's just his big mouth and look-how-important-my-wife-is ego.

And most people I know wouldn't advocate dropping a criminal charge because the victim of the crime was a sleeze.

So puhlease. Step down a bit.

Wilson does have far left connections. Just because it's cliff may where you read about them doesn't mean it's a lie.

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Wilson/Plame