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October 16, 2005

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Keith

CaseyL, does the Washington Post qualify as an unbiased source?

Wilson's assertions -- both about what he found in Niger and what the Bush administration did with the information -- were undermined yesterday in a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report.

The panel found that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts. And contrary to Wilson's assertions and even the government's previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address.

They're referring to the bipartisan Senate Select Intelligence Committee. Maybe that qualifies as a "tract" of politicians, but I'd like to see you prove anything in it is partisan by any measure. It was signed off by all the Democrats on it. Wilson gave his testimony, and he was determined to be a liar by people of both parties. If you refuse to accept that as legitimate, then that's your problem.

But wait, he also lied to the Washington Post itself:

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

"Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the 'dates were wrong and the names were wrong' when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports," the Senate panel said. Wilson told the panel he may have been confused and may have "misspoken" to reporters. The documents -- purported sales agreements between Niger and Iraq -- were not in U.S. hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip to Niger.

Are reporters from the WaPo all wingnuts?

"However, no one has yet to say exactly what lies he told. And include cites, please; cites of original sources, mind you, not just other wingers' opinions and screeds, and not speeches or tracts by politicians."

Done. You're proven wrong.

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

AJStrata

CaseL,

You had the current Ambassador who was doing her investigation and who steared Wilson away from current officials.

That's a lot of mistakes in one post.

SteveMG

CaseyL:
In reverse order:

The documentation on the duplicity by Wilson is quite extensive.

Here's just one, albeit a small item: In his book (page 5) Wilson says:
"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 [the matter being his mission to Niger].

The Senate Intelligence Committe's report shows definitely that Plame suggested Wilson for the mission. She didn't just act as a "conduit" from a collegue; she suggested his name to the CPD.

I could go on and on and on citing instance after instance of his (more serious) dishonesty but Google is available to all.

Second, this goes to the question as to why Wilson was suggested. Was his mission simply to travel to Niger and then interview former officials of the government while sipping sweet tea by the hotel pool? Were the former Nigerian officials really going to openly admit that Iraq sought to acquire uranium from them?

Really? That's how our intelligence agencies conduct business?

Lastly, no one has said that Joe Wilson and his wife were pro-Saddam and pro-Iraq.

Since you're demanding specific information and citations, let's turn the library table on your. Give us a specific instance of a "winger" stating that the Wilson's were pro-Saddam.

SMG

Wolfman

no one has said that Joe Wilson and his wife were pro-Saddam and pro-Iraq.

I would characterize Wilson as convinced that war against Iraq was not justified or in America's best interests.

He seems to have relied more on hindsight, however, than what he learned from his mission to Niger; unless his CIA contacts knew things we haven't yet heard about.

Dan

I am out of the trade now (semi-retired), but my tax law practice used to extend to criminal fraud. The Department of Justice periodiclly ticks off the IRS in some part of the country or the other by declining to prosecute a pretty good case if the risk of a not guilty verdict is too great, particularly in a high provile case. (Why: Imagine if the headline had read "Al Capone acquited of Tax Fraud!!) The last case I handled fell in to this category and after the DOJ in DC dropped the case, the local IRS District people, I found out later, were chewing nails for months because they had a good case and ahd put a ton of resources in it. But we had a largely procedural defense that had a shot, and if we won on the issue, the DOJ figured that it would be embarassing to lose.

I think this case falls into the same category, at least as far as I've been able to follow it, and you have been a big help in providing level headed coverage. None of these possible charges strike me as a slam dunk, and if Fitzgerald lost, there would never again be a spcil prosecutor appointed for a high level case. Absent the Independent Counsel law being brought back, the justice Department would really be behind the eight ball with out the availablility of the tool, and that would be horrible policy.

SteveMG

Dan:
Great post, we could have used it about a week ago.

Reportedly, Fitzgerald is a very serious, hard-ass prosecutor who takes his task very very seriously. Compound that with the extreme gravity of the case with some of the top Administration officials being questioned.

As you note, unless he is absolutely sure that he has an ironclad case, it would be a disaster for all involved to bring charges. The trials of a Libby and/or Rove would, if not paralyze, certainly greatly hamper the White House. Fitzgerald knows that.

If, at the end of the day, Libby and/or Rove are acquitted, Fitzgerald would have to face some serious questions about putting the nation through this mess. A mess that in particular we don't need right now.

Unless there's a great deal more information than what we've heard - and I'm sure there more but how much more remains to be seen - I can't see him handing indictments.

SMG

Dwilkers

I'm going to be very surprised if a high powered lawyer like Libby has gotten himself into a position to be indicted here - and I'll be doubly stunned if its for perjury or obstruction. I'm not saying its impossible I just really, really doubt it.

Newby

I'll bet you'll be surprised as Libby was when no WMDs turned up in iraq.

Syl

There's so little we know. Do we even know who all has testified? It doesn't seem Fitzgerald is expanding the investigation very much if the only ones who have testified are administrative office workers, administration people (including Bush), and journalists.

Any others I may recall are involved in clarifying issues possibly important to the case, such as the INR memo.

The investigation seems to be focused only on the leak of Valery's name/status.

Judy had other sources who may very well have given her Valery's name (and isn't going to be testifying about them) but Andrew McCarthy said something interesting at the corner...roughly that there's no reason for Fitz to compel Judy to testify re the others if he has other sources to fill in those blanks.

Those other sources could have already testified re conversations with Judy, and Fitz doesn't feel it necessary for Judy to confirm their testimony.

Which is usually the case when a journalist is involved. Don't compel them to testify unless there's no other way to get the information.

Remember, it was early in the process when Judy was compelled to testify. When administration officials were, at least informally, the original targets and Judy's testimony was required to confirm/contradict Libby's own testimony.

If Fitz knew then what he knows now, would he still compel Judy to testify re Libby? Probably, but we don't know that for sure.

In the end, if Fitz isn't going beyond the leak of Plame's name/CIA affiliation, then I think most of the conclusions we've reached about possible indictments are pretty much spot on. And there will be no surprises.

And if it does turn out as a 'what you see is what you get' thing, it will be a real downer for those who have spent considerable time and mental energy on this issue.

Syl

Newby

"I'll bet you'll be surprised as Libby was when no WMDs turned up in iraq."

I'll bet you'll be surprised to learn that most of the American people don't give a fig whether WMD were found in Iraq or not. There were many reasons for this war.

For the vast majority of people who opposed the war, if WMDs WERE found in Iraq, it wouldn't have made any difference. It wasn't as if they knew FOR SURE that there weren't any beforehand anyway.

Keith

Sometimes I wonder if Fitz is being so thorough in order to be able to demonstrate with documented evidence that the White House was not at fault, and that this whole mess had to do more with the CIA undermining the White House with a rogue Ambassador.

After all, if you're going to write a report that accuses the CIA of trying to undermine its own White House, then you want to have all your ducks in a row as far as the White House is concerned, so as to prevent any muddying of the waters after your report comes out.

Who knows...nothing would surprise me at this point.

Dwilkers

FWIW, here's what Andy McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor (and someone who knows Fitzgerald btw), has to say about Libby's chances of being indicted:

Linky Thingy

In brief, he says if he were a betting man he'd bet against.

Dwilkers

"I'll bet you'll be surprised as Libby was when no WMDs turned up in iraq."

Talk about a non-sequitur...

Keith

All would meet Novak's description as a "senior Admistration official".

TM,

In your latest update, you seem to be going back to Novak's original article and say that the leaker--which the Time article claims is "not in the White House"--has to be a "senior Administration official". So you point to former officials who would fit Time's description now but who would have fit Novak's description then.

But if you read Novak's original article carefully, he doesn't say that the "senior Administration officials" gave him the name. He just says that "told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report." That seems to me to be an important distinction, because you could read the Novak article as saying that Novak received the name from some non-gunslinger outside of the White House and then received that second tidbit--that his wife suggested sending him--from the White House officials.

In short, Time's statement that the person is not in the White House might mean exactly that. It doesn't have to mean that this person was, at one time, an administration official to fit Novak's original description.

topsecretk9

per TM's update...I haven't seen Brent Scowcroft's name thrown in the ring...he was/is on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board to the Pres? and didn't become publicly critical directly at Admin until Oct. 04

http://www.nndb.com/people/664/000024592/

I only say this because on Novak's later article.

" I was curious why a high-ranking official in President Bill Clinton's National Security Council (NSC) was given this assignment. Wilson had become a vocal opponent of President Bush's policies in Iraq after contributing to Al Gore in the last election cycle and John Kerry in this one."

I am just throwing it out. I know it could be a bad guess.

Aaron

One man's whistle blower is another man's vile propagandist.

If I were Fitzgerald, I'd indict Wilson, too - just for balance. Of course, IANAL and not following this as closely as anyone here, so I will be wrong, wrong, wrong.

topsecretk9

Okay that was probably a bad guess.

RogerA

Not following the story until recently; not having a cliff notes to guide me through this melodrama, here is my question:

If in fact administration officials are tried for "mishandling classified documents" (Does the name Sandy Berger come to mind?)

Doesnt that de facto constitute an official secrets act, the MSM sources dry up, we convence a reinforced battalion of special prosecutors and backrupt the treasury tracking down disgruntled administration SES 1 and 2, previous administration hold overs, tenure protected FSOs and the other assorted professional leakers who have been part of mishandling classified information for generations.

Why to go NYT and Judy Miller--this is one to fall on your sword for: Nitwits.

CaseyL

The Senate Intelligence Committe's report shows definitely that Plame suggested Wilson for the mission. She didn't just act as a "conduit" from a collegue; she suggested his name to the CPD.

The "Senate Intelligence Committee report" you (and WaPo) cite is not the report, but an addendum to the report that was written by two GOP Senators wanting to protect Bush. One of them, Senator Pat Roberts (R- KS) is also the one who permanently tabled the other half of the investigation into the flawed intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq - the half that would have focused on whether, and how, the WH distorted the intel.

In fact, Wilson responded to that report. Here is an excerpt from his response:

First conclusion: "The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador's wife, a CIA employee."

That is not true. The conclusion is apparently based on one anodyne quote from a memo Valerie Plame, my wife sent to her superiors that says "my husband has good relations with the PM (prime minister) and the former Minister of Mines, (not to mention lots of French contacts) both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." There is no suggestion or recommendation in that statement that I be sent on the trip. Indeed it is little more than a recitation of my contacts and bona fides. The conclusion is reinforced by comments in the body of the report that a CPD reports officer stated the "the former ambassador's wife offered up his name'" (page 39) and a State Department Intelligence and Research officer that the "meeting was apparently convened by [the former ambassador's wife] who had the idea to dispatch him to use his contacts to sort out the Iraq-Niger uranium issue.

"In fact, Valerie was not in the meeting at which the subject of my trip was raised. Neither was the CPD Reports officer. After having escorted me into the room, she departed the meeting to avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest.

And if you don't want to accept Wilson's word, how about someone in the CIA?:

"A senior intelligence officer confirmed that Plame was a Directorate of Operations undercover officer who worked 'alongside' the operations officers who asked her husband to travel to Niger.

"But he said she did not recommend her husband to undertake the Niger assignment. 'They (the officers who did ask Wilson to check the uranium story) were aware of who she was married to, which is not surprising,'" he said. 'There are people elsewhere in government who are trying to make her look like she was the one who was cooking this up, for some reason,' he said. 'I can't figure out what it could be.'

I could go on and on and on citing instance after instance of his (more serious) dishonesty but Google is available to all.

Meaning, you can't name any. I've heard this one before; I've nailed other posters on it before. They couldn't come up with any "lies" other than the accusations in that discredited addendum, either.

You had the current Ambassador who was doing her investigation and who steared Wilson away from current officials.

Wrong. The then-current Ambassador to Niger, Owens-Kirkpatrick, had also sent a report to the WH, also saying that Iraq had not purchased yellowcake from Niger. Her take on Wilson's also making the trip and asking the same questions was that, as an old hand in the area, he had access to people and information she might not.

And, finally, just to add another couple of nails to claims that the "Senate Intelligence Committee report proves Wilson lied," here are excerpts from the actual report, not the partisan addendum:

In fact, the body of the Senate report suggests the exact opposite [from the addendum's charges]:

-- In August, 2002, a CIA NESA report on Iraq's weapons of Mass Destruction capabilities did not include the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium information (pg. 48)

-- In September, 2002, during coordination of a speech with an NSC staff member, the CIA analyst suggested the reference to Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium from Africa be removed. The CIA analyst said the NSC staff member said that would leave the British "flapping in the wind." (pg. 50)

--  Based on the analyst's comments, the ADDI faxed a memo to the Deputy National Security Advisor that said, "remove the sentence because the amount is in dispute and it is debatable whether it can be acquired from this source. We told Congress that the Brits have exaggerated this issue. Finally, the Iraqis already have 550 metric tons of uranium oxide in their inventory." (pg. 56)
-- On October 6, 2002, the CIA sent a second fax to the White House which said, "more on why we recommend removing the sentence about procuring uranium oxide from Africa: Three points 1) the evidence is weak. One of the two mines cited by the source as the location of the uranium oxide is flooded. The other mine cited by the source is under the control of the French authorities. 2) the procurement is not particularly significant to Iraq's nuclear ambitions because the Iraqis already have a large stock of uranium oxide in their inventory. And 3) we have shared points one and two with Congress, telling them that the Africa story is overblown and telling them this in one of the two issues where we differed with the British.

When I said, cite actual sources, I knew the response would be to cite the addendum to the SIC report. I knew that would be the response because that's all the Wilson-haters have. And I knew they either had not bothered to read, or assumed no one else had bothered to read, the report itself - because the report itself comes to the opposite conclusions from the addendum.

topsecretk9

Casey
Not sure Wilson's response letter helps, since it directly contradicts what he told Kristof and Pincus.

Seven Machos

When I say "he said," you can't just cite "she said" and say you have proved your point. You haven't. You look foolish when you use this obviously flawed tactic AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.

Why is it that everyone who thinks there was no crime committed here by anyone, with the possible exception of Joe Wilson -- why is it that those people are not credible to you while the people who use all manner of invective to trash the administration and accuse of it crimes -- why is it that you find them credible?

Whatever will you do when there are no indictments of all your perceived arch-political enemies?

Newby

"Whatever will you do when there are no indictments of all your perceived arch-political enemies"

Impossible. Delay has already been indicted. I would have taken him over Rove anyday-so we're actually cool out here in lefty land.

Seven Machos

My post above was directed at Casey at the Bat, but, come to think of it, it could probably be directed to any of a number of the Bushitler-Rove-Libby-Cheney-
PNAC-Bloodforoiiilll!!!-crowd crowd.

Keith

CaseyL:

You said, "Meaning, you can't name any. I've heard this one before; I've nailed other posters on it before. They couldn't come up with any "lies" other than the accusations in that discredited addendum, either."

I posted this cited quote above from the WaPo article and you failed to respond to it in your rant:

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

"Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the 'dates were wrong and the names were wrong' when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports," the Senate panel said. Wilson told the panel he may have been confused and may have "misspoken" to reporters. The documents -- purported sales agreements between Niger and Iraq -- were not in U.S. hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip to Niger.
-------

This seems to be a clear Joe Wilson lie--and if it wasn't, why would Wilson himself say that he "misspoke" (government speak for "lie")? If he had been telling the truth, wouldn't he have argued that what he said was true?

Or do you really believe that when Joe Wilson said that "he concluded the Niger intelligence was based on documents that had clearly been forged because 'the dates were wrong and the names were wrong.'" that that statement was just a simple mistake? That hardly sounds like an innocent misstatement to me. How do you "accidently" say that you knew documents were forged because dates and names were wrong? That sounds like a flat-out lie.

Joe Wilson is a documented liar. It's been proven and cited.

Ric Locke

Delay has already been indicted. I would have taken him over Rove anyday-so we're actually cool out here in lefty land.

Enjoy it while it lasts. Summer is icumin in, lhude singe kuku.

Regards,
Ric

SteveMG

CaseyL:
As I feared, this is a useless exercise. I've gone through similar exchanges with others on the left who are so filled with hatred of Bush or the neocons or some other entity that it's impossible to have a reasoned discourse.

If you're going to uncritically accept Wilson's account of events while dismissing those reports which undermine his statements as simply being from evil Republicans (the Washington Post?), we have no way of continuing this debate.

I can cite, for example, Wilson stating that he saw the forged Niger documents in February even though the documents weren't in US hands until October. You would come back with Wilson saying he was talking about something else or he was misquoted.

Wilson says that a great deal. Viz., "I was misquoted". Kristoff misquoted him, Pincus misquoted him, Judis misquoted him (item: in The New Republic, Wilson is quoted as saying that Cheney saw the report debunking the Niger/Iraq uranium story; another falsehood from good Old Joe) - after awhile one starts to wonder who's the dishonest party.

No, not this time.

Nice talking with you. Or, at least trying to.

SMG

CaseyL

Not sure Wilson's response letter helps, since it directly contradicts what he told Kristof and Pincus.

I've tried to find the article or articles you're referring to. I can't. Here's Kristof in August 2005 (3 months ago):

Over the past months, however, the CIA has maintained that Wilson was chosen for the trip by senior officials in the Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division (CPD) -- not by his wife -- largely because he had handled a similar agency inquiry in Niger in 1999. On that trip, Plame, who worked in that division, had suggested him because he was planning to go there, according to Wilson and the Senate committee report.

I think you (as well as many other people) might be confusing the 2002 trip with the 1999 trip.

topsecretk9

Holy Macaroni---

Time Mag Head to step down---drudge blaring

topsecretk9

Norman Pearlstine, the editor in chief of Time Inc, to step down... Developing...

no link yet

Keith

What is Pearlstine just got his target letter? : )

topsecretk9

smelling trouble for Cooper?

windansea

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117930137?categoryid=21&cs=1

AJStrata

CaseyL

The main report is clear Plame pushed her husband to do the trip.

Larry Johnson admits that as well

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/781

Get over it - Valerie pushed her husband for the job when nobody saw any reason for him to go.

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/786

Sorry to burst the bubble.

Seven Machos

I'm sorry, Newbster. I missed the Delay-Plame connection. I'm sure you can explain it to me.

Cecil Turner

The "Senate Intelligence Committee report" you (and WaPo) cite is not the report, but an addendum to the report that was written by two GOP Senators wanting to protect Bush.

Nonsense. It's from the same report (and section) you're quoting from (here), and it specifically states (p. 39):

Some CPD officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador, however, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip.
And goes on to quote the memo from Plame that touts Wilson's qualifications for the mission. (It also has a lot more positive statements on the Niger intel than the few negative ones you've cherry-picked.)

SteveMG

Note:
Re whether Valerie Plame had a role in suggesting Joe Wilson be sent to Niger.

On page 39 of the main section (not the addenda) of the Select Committee on Intelligence report:

"Some CPD officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador, however, interviews and documents provided to the committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip."

The committee found a memo written by Valerie Plame (2/12/02) that states (in part):

“[M]y husband has good relations with both the PM [Prime Minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.”

Wilson has stated - repeatedly - that his wife had NO ROLE - that's NO ROLE - in him being sent to Niger. The memo - not someone's belief or someone's memory - shows that she did indeed play a role.

No one has said that she selected him, only that she played a part in him being selected. An important difference.

It's a minor fib, admittedly, but let's not kid ourselves about Mr. Wilson. Although I guess someone can say that Ms. Wilson was mis-quoted.

The entire report can be found online here:

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

SMG

SteveMG

Cecil:
You beat me to the punch.

The Committee has a copy of Plame's memo mentioning her husband.

Although I guess she was mis-quoted.

SMG


topsecretk9

Haven't read a new WAPO peice entirely but if headline and 1 graf is any indication of the quality...

Miller's Lawyer Says Aide Faces 'Problem' in CIA Probe
Attorney for Reporter Cites Possibility of Conflicting Testimony
By Walter Pincus and Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, October 17, 2005; Page A03

Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, has "a problem" in the investigation of the leak of a CIA operative's identity if his testimony conflicts with information given to the grand jury by New York Times reporter Judith Miller, her lawyer said yesterday.

Lesley

Windansea: Great catch! Loved this quote from the Variety article you cited about Pearlstine's departure and his plans to write a book:

"The Valerie Plame case led to the most difficult decision I have had to make in my 37 years working as an editor and reporter," Pearlstine said. "But it taught me a lot about how anonymous and confidential sources have been used and misused, leading to some of our best and worst journalism."

Rick Ballard

tsk9,

"Libby's lawyer believes that Miller "may have a problem" if her testimony conflicts with Libby's." Gee, if I could give up my self respect, I could be a journo too. Idiots dueling with blanks. As to quality - it is the WaPo.

J.J.

In all seriousness, I can't see where Miller gave any information or testimony to the Grand Jury that was in anyway solid enough to even begin to compare to someone else's testimony. It was pretty much, I can't tell you who told me what or what they told me. But if you want me to guess what they were thinking - I'll give that a go.

topsecretk9

Rick--
Don't cha just love the scare quotes.

topsecretk9

okay this is hilarious ---file this under "Why did you bother"

Cheney aide a key focus in CIA leak probe-lawyers
By Adam Entous | October 16, 2005

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide could face obstruction charges over whether he tried to shape a New York Times reporter's testimony about the outing of a covert CIA operative, people close to the case said on Sunday.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was likely to decide within days whether to bring charges over the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, with announcements possible later this week. Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, and President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, were among the possible targets, legal sources said.

While Fitzgerald could try to charge administration officials with knowingly revealing the identity of an undercover operative, several lawyers in the case said he was more likely to seek charges for conspiracy and easier-to-prove crimes such as disclosing classified information, making false statements, obstruction and perjury.

Fitzgerald could also decide no crime was committed...

BurbankErnie

Tom,

I suggest you quit reading Time Mag.

At least until their probs blow over.

In the meantime, read Mac's site, it will clue you in.

godfodder

I'm betting that it is Col. Mustard in the Library with the candlestick.

Syl

RogerA

::waving:: Nice to see you here.

"If in fact administration officials are tried for "mishandling classified documents" (Does the name Sandy Berger come to mind?) Doesnt that de facto constitute an official secrets act."

Not necessarily in this case. There are special administrative rules regarding classified materials. One of which specifically addresses divulging CIA employment. This could be used in this case and wouldn't necessarily then be a blanket charge--which would be the chill pill you allude to.

I had the below in the box to send before I saw your comment, too lazy to edit, but it's the same subject....

If there's a charge on mishandling classified information then it will be basically a slap on the wrist and most likely tied to the administrative requirement that CIA employment not be divulged unless prior approval is obtained (through confirmation by an official with authority to do so.)

!

Pardon me if someone else in the above comments already pointed this out:
"According to my notes, he told me at our June meeting that Mr. Cheney did not know of Mr. Wilson, much less know that Mr. Wilson had traveled to Niger, in West Africa, to verify reports that Iraq was seeking to acquire uranium for a weapons program"--Judy Miller, in her Times piece

That is absurdly. and likely demonstrably. false.
The State Dept. prepped a memo on the entire Niger investigation with Key Players named and released that memo in early June '03.
Remember the doc stamped "S" for Secret? The same doc which was updated and presented to Colin Powell in early July on the trip to Africa?

To say Cheney didn't get a briefing on this doc/memo as soon as it was released--in early June '03-- is laughable. He, or at least Libby, had to know of Wilson's involvement. If only Libby knew, he most certainly told Cheney and Cheney knew before the June '03 meeting with Miller.

Either Libby lied to Miller or Miller is lying for Libby. And, hell, if "Jeff Gannon" got a copy of that memo, allegedly, why didn't Our Dear Judy get an early look at it? When would that have occurred? Say, in one of her three '03 meetings with Libby.

For Miller to say she knew of Wilson's trip prior to Cheney knowing is just not credible. It is implausible.

kim

In the post that starts this thread, T outlines Fitz's options if he chooses the Bush Brute Squad interpretation. He doesn't explore Fitz's options if the evidence is lending more credence to the CIA Torpedo Plot.
=========================================

boris

To say Cheney didn't get a briefing on this doc/memo as soon as it was released--in early June '03-- is laughable.

A new standard in logical deduction ... laughable ...

So Powell gets the memo in July from his own state department but the idea that Cheney didn't see it in June is ... funny ...

kim

Well, the press, which has been banging the drums deafeningly for the Bush Brute Squad theory, has now peeked at it's image in the feckless mirror. Of course, it doesn't dare look over at the complicit mirror. (What? Report, not pronounce?)

This rowing back by the Times bodes well for the eventual exposition of the CIA Torpedo Plot.

Or of Joe Wilson's insanity.
==============================================

kim

That poor old INR memo is like a camel struggling across the desert, carrying an overwhelming load. He might make it but pesky little boys(future prosecutors every one) keep poking sticks into the load.
=========================================

Cecil Turner

To say Cheney didn't get a briefing on this doc/memo as soon as it was released--in early June '03-- is laughable. He, or at least Libby, had to know of Wilson's involvement.

I'm not sure why you'd say that, nor do I think it's right. An internal State Department memo is not likely to make it to the White House (unless it's briefed to SecState and he thinks it worth passing along). The obvious trigger point for that event is Wilson's 6 July article. Until then, he was just an anonymous carper with a loose hold on the facts.

Starting about July 7, though, Wilson is a celebrity. And memos on his trip are a hot commodity, and likely discussed at the highest levels (and across departments, as CIA and SecState both had fingers in the pie). We know it made the rounds then . . . I rather doubt it was widely distributed earlier. And the fact that the leak probably happened 3 days later is certainly suggestive.

steve sturm

Since I can't get trackback to work on typepad, here's my post where I wonder, among other things, whether Wilson could also be facing charges under the espionage act?

ed

Hmmm.

"That is absurdly. and likely demonstrably. false.
The State Dept. prepped a memo on the entire Niger investigation with Key Players named and released that memo in early June '03."

1. Vice President Cheney is not in the State Department.

2. Vice President Cheney is briefed every morning by a CIA briefer, not by a State Department briefer.

3. The State Department isn't tasked to brief the Vice President every day on security or intelligence issues, the CIA is.

4. The SCCI report specifically stated that the CIA did NOT send a copy of the report to the Vice President's office but instead stuck a copy of the report in the normal mail going to the White House.

I.e. the report got sent to somewhere in the White House where someone may or may not even look at it but it was NOT sent to the Vice President. I suggest, considering the vast amount of paper going to and from the White House, it is unlikely that the Vice President of the United States of America would be aware of the contents of a document that is neither addressed to him or his office.

*shrug* but hey, believe what you like.

politicaobscura

regarding some folks not believing this: "According to my notes, he told me at our June meeting that Mr. Cheney did not know of Mr. Wilson, much less know that Mr. Wilson had traveled to Niger.."

It is clear to me that Libby/Miller are not talking about Cheney's knowledge as of Libby and Miller's first meeting (because that would be silly and besides the point). What Miller and Libby are referring to here is Cheney's knowledge of Wilson before, during, and shortly after his Niger trip.

topsecretk9

4. The SCCI report specifically stated that the CIA did NOT send a copy of the report to the Vice President's office but instead stuck a copy of the report in the normal mail going to the White House.--

That shot an arrow through Wilson's ego. However, I wonder if that was not the idea to begin with.

Franklin St

Fitz may not be a Ronnie Earle but the indictment(s) are all the Dems want and he may give them that knowing full well a court may toss the thing on a technicality or a jury will most likely nulify the charges and for certain those FOWs will be pardoned. I say why bother?

topsecretk9

Andrew McCarty in the corner makes this observation:

PLAME & DOUBLE-STANDARDS [Andy McCarthy]
In her autobiographical account yesterday, Judy Miller writes:

“Mr. Fitzgerald [the independent counsel] asked my reaction to Mr. Novak's column. I told the grand jury I was annoyed at having been beaten on a story. I said I felt that since The Times had run Mr. Wilson's original essay, it had an obligation to explore any allegation that undercut his credibility. At the same time, I added, I also believed that the newspaper needed to pursue the possibility that the White House was unfairly attacking a critic of the administration.”

Interesting. A senior reporter at the NYTimes instantly sees that information that might have undercut Wilson’s credibility would be highly relevant to deciding what weight ought to be given to the allegations in Wilson’s now-famous op-ed put into the public domain by that self-same NYTimes. Yet, when the government being attacked puts out just such relevant information, the NYTimes lustily called for an investigation.
Posted at 10:50 AM

---It made me think of this blog post I recently read detailing a Michael Isikoff at speaking event at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, at Harvard's Kennedy School. Isikoff talked about the Miller/Cooper/Plame affair and the subject broached his reporting on the Clinton/Lewinsky matter. The blog author detailed this:

" Isikoff credited his then-editor, Ann McDaniel, with pressing him to report aggressively on the motives of Linda Tripp, Lucianne Goldberg and lawyers involved in pursuing Clinton, arguing that was just as big a story as the president's peccadilloes. Despite his reluctance to turn on his confidential sources, Isikoff said he did just that."

Now isn't that an interesting twist? The media immediately saw the need to investigate the motives behind people accusing the Democrat Clinton, but in this case, saw the need to investigate the WH's motives for discrediting Wilson! Amazing.

http://mediachannel.org/blog/node/1191

clarice

I'm sorry I offered any defense of Miller. My first take on her proves to have been the correct one.Think about it:She had a perfectly valid waiver from Libby and claims she sat in jail to protect him and someone (some others) whose identity she can't remember? Doesn't pass a laugh test.

And as she's playing martyr, Libby is hanging in the wind--

Nothing she said helps the prosecutor make out a case against him

PHEH. She's hated on the left for her wmd reports, and now by the Reps for her behavior in this investigation. And though I tried mightily to give her the benefit of a reasonable doubt, she didn't merit it.

Newby

"And though I tried mightily to give her the benefit of a reasonable doubt, she didn't merit it."

And soon you'll be saying the same thing about Libby.

Newby

In fact Clarice-if Miller is the scumbag you suggest (I agree btw) - what was Libby doing spending so much time with her? Including during his Wyoming vacation?

Lie with the dog indeed.

Jerkweed

Syl-if you're out there-I apologize-I was wrong-you did quote the appeals court correctly, though I maintain your spin regarding what Judge Tatel meant by "low value" is incorrect.

Syl

Jerkweed

Thanks for that. Yes, indeed, my spin was totally incorrect and hasty. I'm sorry and I retract it.

p.lukasiak

Nonsense. The White House declassified part of the National Intelligence Estimate precisely to put the lie to those assertions.

please get a clue. This NIE was not a normal NIE, it was a complete rush job that was designed specifically to get congressional approval for the war. The very passages you cite demonstrate what a complete pile of CRAP that NIE was --- not only did the EXPERTS at the CIA say that the report was BS, the EXPERTS at the state department concurred. And it wasn't just Wilson who made inquiries -- the (Bush appointed) ambassador, and a Admiral in the US Navy, also looked into it, and said it was BS.

Oh, and BTW....The Congo has no yellowcake to speak of. Anyone with any knowledge would have known right off the bat that ANY report of Iraq seeking yellowcake from The Congo was pure BS....but the NIE says it happened...

Rob W

He did get the warning. You confuse the target letter with the warning that the Justice Department cannot guarentee that the statements will not be used against the person testifying. Rove got the latter. He just hasn't got the target letter, supposedly, according to Bob "gold bars" Luskin. Of course Luskin has been wildly spinning up to this point anyway. Chances of indictment: Libby 89%, Rove, 87%, Cheney (should Fitzgerald decide this is constititutional, 67%.

Dan Cobb

So how much is the White House paying you, Tom? Demand a lot! Because they're getting into trouble now! What Armstrong Williams got is just peanuts. You need to boost the number of hits to your site... If you can, I'm sure Rove will pay you even more than he is paying you now!! Good shilling! Keep it up!

Neo

The biggest problem I have with this whole story comes down to the wife of a US ambassador working for the CIA.

Every third world interior minister would have already assumed that this is true and the Wilsons have done no current ambassador or their families a favour. Joe Wilson for taking a CIA junket and writing about it in the NYT, and Ms. Flame for suggesting it.

This story reads like a bad spy novel starring Boris Badenov with fellow Pottsylvanian Natasha Fatale. One is only left to wonder if Inspector Fenwick, err .. Fitzgerald, has a lovely daughter Nell.

SteveMG

"So how much is the White House paying you, Tom?"

Damned, Tom, the gig is up. You've been revealed.

We need to go to Plan B.

Rove has a message in two parts:

Part One: The eagle flys when the wind turns east.

Part Two: Geezus, the left is just flat out off the wall nuts.

I think that second part might be uncoded.

SMG

EricH

Rob:
"Libby 89%, Rove, 87%, Cheney (should Fitzgerald decide this is constititutional, 67%."

Hmm, you sure it's not 66.23% for Cheney?

And 84.75 for Libby.

These are obviously credible numbers that you've crunched. Maybe you should take them to Vegas and see if you can make a wager on them.

Loon.

EH


TexasToast

SMG

The code words this week was "aspens"

Just remember that. :)

SteveMG

"The code words this week was "aspens"

Yeah, but my damned decoder ring isn't working.

I'm always amazed at this characterization of Rove as this evil genius pulling the strings of everyone.

Right, like TM just repeats W.H. talking points.

Speaking of "aspens", Libby's obviously going down. That letter he sent to Miller shortly before she testified was as clear a sign as any that he's perjured himself, among other things.

Good. You lie to a grand jury, you go to jail. Do not pass go. I'm not losing any sleep over his punishment.

SMG

jukeboxgrad

Cecil said: "The White House declassified part of the National Intelligence Estimate precisely to put the lie to those assertions"

Paul Lukasiak is right about the NIE. It stinks. And here's a bit more about this NIE drum you've been beating hither and yon. What's usually overlooked (and what I haven't seen you attempt to address) is that there are striking differences between the unclassified version (released before the war) and the classified version (portions of which were released after the war). These differences tend to convey the impression that someone was trying to trick us into war. This is documented here.

By the way, I pointed this out months ago, here, and you curiously failed to address the point.

Cecil Turner

Paul Lukasiak is right about the NIE. It stinks.

It is certainly inaccurate, but that's the fault of the CIA personnel who put it together. And it's hardly a marked departure from earlier intelligence. CIA recently (last decade) has had a few brilliant successes (e.g., AQ Khan), and got bit badly (e.g., India, Pakistan nuclear proliferation). The institutional failure here is likely at least partly a reaction to the latter. And
this is a deeply flawed document.

By the way, I pointed this out months ago, here, and you curiously failed to address the point.

Curiously? JBG, I stopped responding to you because of the inability to have a civil conversation. If you're going to promise to eschew personal insults as a debating style, I'll happily discuss substance. Otherwise, have fun sniping.

jukeboxgrad

Cecil also said: "Reports indicate Iraq also has sought uranium ore from Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo'

Speaking of nonsense that was thoroughly debunked ages ago, that's another example. We discussed this at length here. As I said, Congo has essentially one former uranium mine that has not operated on a commercial basis for decades. As Paul L said, Congo is a negligible source of uranium. Niger is by far the leading source of yellowcake in Africa. Therefore anyone familiar with the subject knew that when Bush said "Africa," he most likely meant Niger.

The idea of Somalia being a source is also absurd, as is thoroughly explained here.

kim

You are hanging too much on Joe. Go see what Bob Somerby says about Joe.

Hee hee.
==============================

topsecretk9

New AP:

" 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.

The three all spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the current secrecy requirements of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury investigation into the leak of Plame's identity in 2003 to the media.

Whether it came from Libby or Miller's notes, former federal prosecutors and investigators said the incorrect information provides a significant lead for Fitzgerald and FBI agents to follow. It could suggest Libby thought Plame was not an undercover spy, and therefore couldn't have knowingly revealed her occupation, or that he got his information from uninformed sources, they said...

..."The fact that the information is inaccurate may make it of even greater interest to the grand jury than accurate information," said Lance Cole, former Democratic counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee and now a law professor at Penn State Dickinson School of law."

more fat to chew


http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=1224295

jukeboxgrad

Cecil said "The institutional failure here [CIA]"

Maybe you have a theory about why the person who presided over this "institutional failure" was awarded a medal.

"I stopped responding to you because ... "

That's a peculiar claim, because after I brought up the issue of the two NIEs (here), you responded to me (regarding other points I made) in at least three comments in that same thread (here, here and here). So in fact it's not the case that you "stopped responding" (although it's something you often threaten to do, kind of like people who are so good at quitting smoking that they do it over and over again). It is the case that in your usual style you simply sidestepped a point you apparently found difficult.

And you're still sidestepping the point. You proclaimed that my citation is "a deeply flawed document." Number of reasons you provided: zero.

jukeboxgrad

Libby suggesting (via Miller) that Cheney never heard of Wilson kind of reminds me of when Cheney said he never met John Edwards (link).

kim

My how you've changed JBG.

One man's met is another man's paisano.
=======================================

kim

Hey, Joe Wilson claimed Val worked for WINPAC. Do you suppose he is the administration's source of that 'phony' info?
==========================================

jukeboxgrad

Cecil said (in the wrong thread, an apparent victim of thread-derangement syndrome): "We could have hoped you'd recognize it as a quote from the linked NIE."

I'm well-aware that it's "a quote from the linked NIE." So what? As usual you're not making much sense. Maybe you're sort of saying "I'm not saying it; I'm only saying the NIE said it." Which sort of reminds me of "Bush didn't say it, he only said that the British said it." Most of us learned to see through that kind of slippery talk around kindergarten-age.

"But no, you pretend it's an assertion of fact"

No, it's you who pretend it's an assertion of fact, something you've been doing literally for years. The asinine idea that Congo is a serious contender as a source of uranium is something you've been promoting for at least two years. Here you are in 2003. Here you are in 2004. Here you are three months ago. Congo, Congo, Congo. I have to give you credit for staying on-message. Never mind that when the BBC wrote about seven African countries that produce uranium, Congo doesn't make the list and is not even mentioned in the article.

"must be sidestepping"

Indeed, because this silly detour for the purpose of distancing yourself from your own claims has nothing whatsoever to do with defending your specious assertion that this "is a deeply flawed document."

You are indeed sidestepping this issue, which is exactly what you did when I first mentioned this document months ago.

kim

Well Jeez, both classified and unclassified versions thought Saddam was dangerous as hell.
============================================

!

sigh.

It isn't a matter of believing that which I want to think is the case.
Cecil wrote:
"The obvious trigger point for that event is Wilson's 6 July article. Until then, he was just an anonymous carper with a loose hold on the facts.

Starting about July 7, though, Wilson is a celebrity. And memos on his trip are a hot commodity..."

A "hot commodity" to whom? The media and the rest of us, right?
Well, golly gee. Forget about the fact o' the matter that there were people trying to put make happy faces with the most obvious loose strings of a tangled web.
Questions:

Then why was Libby chatting with Miller in June? Did the time between Nick Kristof's May 6, 2003 column and Wilson's July 6, 2003 op-ed not exist?
Wasn't there some trepidation about not finding WMD during the month of June '03?
Do any of you seriously think that spin doctoring, or its M.I.A. sobriquet, Damage Control, was not occuring between early May and June 6th of 2003?
Or were those who had spent months justifying the invasion (Cheney)just spend the last days of spring 2003 managing the war?

Do you really think that the whisper campaign Amb. Wilson conducted was ignored by the WH and only caught the attention of Grossman at the State Dept?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A46957-2003Jun11&notFound=true> Pincus June 11 2003 WaPo

I can see the White House Iraq Group members not all getting briefed on the memo prior to Wilson's Op-Ed. I can even seen Powell not getting briefed (like, he was always well briefed on Iraq-related Intel, don'tcha know? ). But, Cheney. Isn't he were Intel stopped at?


!

Color me laughable, here's Pincus/VandeHei from Tuesday's/Today's Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/17/AR2005101701888_2.html>HERE
The article states that at least one former CIA official testified that Cheney's office began requesting info on Wilson in May '03. While the article also says it is not known that Cheney knew of Wilson/and Ms. Wilson, my original comment was not that Cheney was a leaker. My comment was that Miller swallowing the claim that Cheney did not know about Wilson/Ms.Wilson prior to her June meeting with Libby is passing off laughable facts. Either Libby was freewheelin' and did research and acted behind the Veep's back or Cheney said find out what you can and don't tell me or Cheney knew what could be culled from whomever but didn't need to spread the word himself.

We'll likely find out some fleshed out version sometime soon.
Ha. Though perhaps there should be a fourth option on Cheney. Perhaps Fitzgerald will be find that Cheney was at an undisclosed location during all of this and his role during that Summer will be the great unknown.
Kudos, peeps!

Cecil Turner

No, it's you who pretend it's an assertion of fact, something you've been doing literally for years.

Ah, still too stupid to read the quotes. The point is that's what the CIA was telling decisionmakers in late 2002. Kinda pertinent to whether Saint Joseph debunked the African uranium in early 2002, no?

Never mind that when the BBC wrote about seven African countries that produce uranium, Congo doesn't make the list and is not even mentioned in the article.

Possibly because Shinkolobwe is flooded and doesn't produce? (And of course, it's simply impossible that someone might pump it out?) But again, that's not really the point. The point is whether there was intelligence to suggest the Iraqis were trying. There was.

Congo is a negligible source of uranium. Niger is by far the leading source of yellowcake in Africa. Therefore anyone familiar with the subject knew that when Bush said "Africa," he most likely meant Niger.

Anyone familiar with the subject would know that when Bush said "Africa," he was quoting British Intelligence. If one then bothered to read some of the contemporary British press, they'd find things like War-torn Congo is target in Baghdad's hunt for uranium:

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.
If one then read the Butler Report, they'd find:
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.
Or, you could rely on leftcoaster and claim it was all "thoroughly debunked." And dishonestly proffer that conclusion as fact.

Indeed, because this silly detour for the purpose of distancing yourself from your own claims has nothing whatsoever to do with defending your specious assertion that this "is a deeply flawed document."

Why don't you try reading it yourself? See if you can see the common thread in virtually every change between the two (hint 1: it isn't "alarmism"--hint 2: what does "low confidence" mean?). If you can manage just a bit of intellectual honesty, you ought to see it fairly quickly. If not, why bother?

Do you really think that the whisper campaign Amb. Wilson conducted was ignored by the WH and only caught the attention of Grossman at the State Dept?

The point is that State wouldn't normally brief the White House on intel matters (that's CIA's job). Your claim is that the INR memo must have made the White House rounds in early June. The reporting says it was being passed about on AF1 during the 7-12 Africa trip, which suggests it probably wasn't widely disseminated earlier.

jukeboxgrad

"still too stupid"

For someone who frequently sidesteps simple questions by whining about ad hominems, you've got a pretty black kettle there.

"it's simply impossible that someone might pump it out?"

Yes, and it's also possible that my swarthy neighbor is building a nuclear reactor in his basement, based on plans he found on the internet. Lots of things are possible. If we decided that war was the preferred solution to every possible threat, we would need to indebt 20 or 30 future generations to the Chinese, not just 2 or 3 (as we have done).

Anyway, the bottom line is that this Congo nonsense was not shared with the public (or even with most members of Congress) before the war. If it had been shared, it would have been properly treated as fantasy.

"If one then bothered to read some of the contemporary British press"

I realize that some UK journalists carried water for Blair the way Miller carried water for Bush. What else is new?

"Why don't you try reading it yourself?"

More of your patented guessing games. When you answer a question with another question, it tends to create the impression that you're avoiding something. Let me know if you think I should dredge up the citations for another occasion you resorted to this.

"that's [Congo] what the CIA was telling decisionmakers in late 2002"

Uh, not exactly. Yes, the mumbo-jumbo about the Congo was in the classified NIE. We know this because Congo is mentioned in excerpted material that was unclassified in 7/03 (link). But nothing about the Congo can be found in the first unclassified NIE (html, pdf), the document called "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs," which SSCI refers to as "an unclassified White Paper."

Pre-war, this White Paper is essentially all the public, and most of Congress, had to work with. The classified NIE was restricted to SSCI and perhaps a small number of other congressmen. I realize your concept of "decisionmakers" doesn't stretch far enough to include the public and most of Congress. Why do you hate democracy?

Funny thing, this highly inflammatory and distorted White Paper was released a week before Congress voted on the war. The often-repeated claim that Congress supported the war based on the same intelligence Bush had is simply a lie.

Of course another important difference between the versions is that only one included this text: "the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR's assessment, highly dubious." Tenet acknowledged this in his famous speech.

In light of current events, it's interesting to recall that WHIG influenced the production of the White Paper, and rejected early versions of it as being "not strong enough." Pincus laid this out in detail two years ago ("Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence," 8/10/03, link, alternate link).

The public has never really heard a thorough explanation of how and why this happened. This is partially because the SSCI report is heavily redacted, and partially because SSCI never finished its work. We've also still never seen anything remotely resembling a full version of the original classified NIE. We've been shown 14 of the original 93 pages (link).

More on the distortions in the unclassified NIE here, here, here, and here.

"If you can manage just a bit of intellectual honesty"

If you can manage just a bit of intellectual honesty, you would refrain from implying that Congress had information in 2002 which it in fact did not have. And you would refrain from glossing over the central issue: Congress approved the war based on reading an unclassified NIE that was highly slanted, compared with the classified NIE (itself highly flawed). And most of the classified NIE is still being kept hidden from the public and most of Congress. Also being kept hidden is the full story of how WHIG influenced the production of the unclassified NIE.

kim

Did you notice that both versions considered Saddam highly dangerous? What say?
===============================================

jukeboxgrad

"Did you notice that both versions considered Saddam highly dangerous?"

Did you notice that neither version even uses the word "dangerous?" In other words, your claim is a matter of interpretation.

What I noticed is that Congress based its vote on a highly slanted version (of a document that was already rushed, flawed, and slanted).

Did you notice? "What say?"

Cecil Turner

Anyway, the bottom line is that this Congo nonsense was not shared with the public . . .

Wow, what a shocker. They didn't share everything with the public. Is that your new rationale for arguing it was simply inconceivable that someone might have thought Iraqi men and DPRK mining engineers there might've been up to something? The fact that it was in the newspapers doesn't affect that, I suppose. But it does make your rather silly proposition that it was all made up after the fact a bit hard to swallow.

"More of your patented guessing games. When you answer a question with another question, it tends to create the impression that you're avoiding something."

When you act like a jackass, it creates the impression that you are a jackass. Why should I share my hard-won experience with you? Did you ask politely? Or are you still using the "liar liar" mode of trying to get people to talk to you? Figure it out for yourself, or ask someone you haven't insulted recently.

jukeboxgrad

"They didn't share everything with the public."

It's not just that "they didn't share everything with the public." It's that what they shared with the public, and most of Congress, was highly restricted and slanted. Nice job ignoring the heart of the matter. As I said, why do you hate democracy?

"your rather silly proposition that it was all made up after the fact"

Uh, I never offered such a proposition, so the person making things up is you. It's not that it [Congo] was "made up after the fact." It's that it was finally revealed and heavily flogged (by folks like you) only after the fact.

"Figure it out for yourself"

Uh, I already did, and so did anyone else reading this who has the ability to do their own thinking. Anyway, nice job sticking with your MO, which is to make specious assertions and then hide behind guessing games, obfuscation and insults when you're expected to back them up.

kim

What say? I'd say you've dipped into absurdity. The absence of the word 'dangerous' from those two versions does not mean that Saddam was not considered so. For a lesson in non-absurdity, read either version and tell us what the writer was trying to say. In other words, interpret it.
=================================================

jukeboxgrad

"read either version"

That's tough to do with the classified version, since roughly 85% of it (by page count) has still never been released to the public or even to Congress (except for a select few). Nevertheless folks like Cecil insist on treating the 14 pages released as if they represent some kind of complete or authoritative picture of something.

"interpret it"

I don't need to reinvent the wheel on that score, because the disturbing discrepancies between the two versions have been thoroughly highlighted in the various articles I cited slightly upthread, here. If you paid attention to those discrepancies, you wouldn't be attempting to reduce the entire matter to an oversimplified phrase like "highly dangerous."

"absurdity"

The absurdity is your hate for democracy, reflected in your apparent willingness to look the other way while the White House misleads Congress and the public.

!

Cecil Turner,
The second article I linked to above, from today's WaPost, states that the INR letter, the memo, was included as "background" materials which Grossman took with him when he went to the WH to brief the WH. The article states that it isn't known if the memo was discussed or dissemenated during that meeting.

"Widely dissementated."

Well, yeah. I can't nor would I argue that in early June the INR was likely near-common knowledge amongst those whose job it is to know--in the State Dept. or in the WH. But those near the top who had the greastest need or want to know...that's the story people have danced around in some attempt to avoid dealing with shocking possibilities. Beyond Rove and Libby needing to know, who else?

So, forget about it being widely unknown in early June '03 and tighten the noose around a small circle of people who would know during that time.

Yes, it is known Armitage ordered the memo prepped for Powell prior to the early July trip to Africa. The fact that Powell did not know about the memo or had to refresh his understanding is interesting enough, no? Armitage was able to get the info, which is in part, on Amb. Wilson in the form of that memo.
Also on that flight to Africa were members of the WHIG. Whether they were reviewing the memo for the first time or just reviewing it is certainly unknown. Though there are reports that Ari Fleischer was seen reading it. OK. He was still the Pres. Spokesman. Makes sense, right? He needed to know, too. He had to answer the press about it all back then.That was good for Ari because he had to answer questions from Fitzgerald and the Grand Jury, too. So, at least he was briefed.
True, the report on that flight was a revised one. Which is not as important as knowing exactly who had knowledge of the first version and how they dealt with knowing about Wilson's role in the Niger "fact" discrediting mission.

The point which needs to be made is that you, and surely others, are looking at the wrong things. You should be focusing on that two month time period when the pushback began. That's the important narrative here. (As it relates to Judy Miller, Libby, et. al)True, it is a part of a larger narrative. That is where the spy story becomes a series of books which have a long narrative that most anyone can understand. Though, I do wonder if the media (TV, in particular) can explain it to most people.

Here's a little more for ya:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/story/356814p-304125c.html>
Cheney may be target of probe (NYDailyNews, today)
Cheney *not* knowing during the build up of the pushback on Wilson, prior to your tipping point and info being widely dissementated, would be surprising, no?

Or to you, and others, would it be like a surprise* on Xmas morning if you found out that Cheney was very aware of pertinent minutiae before and after July 6, 2003?

*either a delightfully good one or a shockingly bad one

Cecil Turner

Well, yeah. I can't nor would I argue that in early June the INR was likely near-common knowledge amongst those whose job it is to know--in the State Dept. or in the WH. But those near the top who had the greastest need or want to know...

Yes, I saw that article today as well (and as far as I know it's the first time they mentioned it traveling to the WH in June). I'm still fixated on the AF1 trip (mostly because the timing works out so nicely), but Miller's testimony shows that Wilson's wife's occupation was at least water cooler chatter before that, and an earlier leak of the memo is certainly one of the possibilities. Perhaps it leaked twice, or was the subject of inter-office gossip. (Especially after Wilson's article, that seems a safe bet.)

I remain unconvinced on the likelihood of Cheney reading it, or absorbing that detail if he did. Having worked on a large staff, I'm familiar with the dynamics of briefing senior officers. Typically one has a couple hundred action officers working various issues (2-3 pet projects apiece), and keeping seniors informed through memos. Lower level staff had meetings to hash out details, then sent up recommendations for major decisions. Those were normally in very simple memos (4-6 talking points maximum), because unlike a staffer who had to be expert on only a few issues, seniors simply couldn't retain that much information on so many topics. (We called it "dumbing it down for the brass.") I've never worked at the White House, but would expect the phenomenon to be even more pronounced. Libby's claim that Cheney "never heard of Wilson" is exactly what I'd expect. Admittedly conjecture, but absent evidence to the contrary . . .

macranger

Per NRO's The Media Blog:

Jim VandeHei's and Walter Pincus's editors, for instance, should have caught the following misrepresentation in their article in the Washington Post today:

Miller, in her account, said Libby raised the issue of Plame in the June 23, 2003, meeting, describing her as a CIA employee and asserting that she had arranged the trip to Niger.

Yeah?

Here's what Judith Miller actually wrote:

Soon afterward Mr. Libby raised the subject of Mr. Wilson's wife for the first time. I wrote in my notes, inside parentheses, "Wife works in bureau?" I told Mr. Fitzgerald that I believed this was the first time I had been told that Mr. Wilson's wife might work for the C.I.A. The prosecutor asked me whether the word "bureau" might not mean the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yes, I told him, normally. But Mr. Libby had been discussing the C.I.A., and therefore my impression was that he had been speaking about a particular bureau within the agency that dealt with the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. As to the question mark, I said I wasn't sure what it meant. Maybe it meant I found the statement interesting. Maybe Mr. Libby was not certain whether Mr. Wilson's wife actually worked there.
Elsewhere in her account, Miller wrote, "My notes do not show that Mr. Libby identified Mr. Wilson's wife by name." Despite Miller's uncertain description of her June meeting with Libby, VandeHei and Pincus feel confident writing that at that meeting Libby described Plame as a CIA employee. Then, VandeHei and Pincus depart from Miller's account entirely and write that, according to Miller's account, Libby asserted at the June meeting that Plame arranged the trip to Niger.

In her account, Miller wrote, "Mr. Fitzgerald asked me whether Mr. Libby had mentioned nepotism. I said no. And as I told the grand jury, I did not recall - and my interview notes do not show - that Mr. Libby suggested that Ms. Plame had helped arrange her husband's trip to Niger."

Where were the editors? Will the WaPo correct? Stay tuned...

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Wilson/Plame