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November 21, 2005

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boris

Boris says "WTF???"

Not bad, I'd suggest "Boris says ambiguous"

W is a Republican
Ted Kennedy is a Democrat

W has a Republican agenda
Ted has a Democrat agenda

W's agenda is more democratic than Teddy's.

cathyf

I had a friend in college whose cousin went to audition for a musical comedy. She came back perplexed, because they had her audition with the strangest song. It went (and she sang) "you say po-tay-toe and I say po-tay-toe and you say to-may-toe and I say to-may-toe..."

She just didn't get it at all. She didn't get the part, either.

cathy :-)

Sue

Jeff,

Murtha has no more importance to me than any other congressman in Washington. I give him no particular 'one upmanship' than the guy next to him. I honor his service. I appreciate his service. I don't give him a pass because of his service.

The other argument is just plain silly.

Jeff

She didn't get the part, either.

Didn't you and Valerie Plame audition for the same part? Who got it?

cathyf

Nah, Jeff, I applied for a non-covert job. (You know, like Valerie has.) One time I was telling my story about the big room in headquarters in Langley where they were reimbursing me for my plane ticket, hotel, meals when I came in for my job interview. The room had ugly battered government issue metal desks in rows, each one with a metal straightbacked chair next to it. The very nice lady went over my receipts, added them all up, opened the desk drawer, unlocked her cash box, and carefully counted out the money, in cash. Then I had to take the CIA shuttle back to the Rosslyn metro station, and the metro back to the airport, and I was sure I was going to get mugged carrying around $500 in cash on me...

So then my coworker Vasili chimes in with his KGB interview story, where they came to his high school, and had all of the students do math projects, and then the ones who exhibited the most talent were offered jobs.

Our boss said, "Ok, that's it! Vasilli wins the prize for creepiest job interview story!"

So yeah, even there I lost out...

cathy :-)

topsecretk9

Daddio

BRILLIANT!

TexasToast

Pretty funny Daddy - but framing by labeling is important. Islamofascist. Pro-choice. Pro-life. Moderate. Extremist. Yankee. Cracker. Redstate. Bluestate. Tax and spend. Borrow and spend. Chardonnay sipping. Beer slugging

Notice how every one wants to be pro-something? Refusing to grant your opponent his self-selected name is an old, but very useful, technique.

I don’t think we will ever call it off.

boris

Refusing to grant your opponent his self-selected name

The label is Democrat. What you're whining about is either possesive or adjective.

(1) The Democrat agenda
(2) The Democrat's agenda
(3) The agenda of the Democrats
(4) Democratic agenda (ambiguous)

Your self-selected name is Democrat.
Demanding adjectives with nicer connotations is spoiled preening narcissism.

upright American

What other meaning could Democratic with a big D have? Is it the "ic" that makes it ambiguous? Seriously.

boris

What's the problem with "Democrat agenda"

Hmmm ???

How exactly does one pronounce the capital D ???

Syl

Democrat vs democrat and Democratic vs democratic.

You see it's whether it's written or spoken.

If one says 'Democratic' agenda or 'democratic' agenda it sounds the same even though it's different. One can see only in writing with a big D or a little d.

That's why I think it should be Democrat agenda, not Democratic agenda.

Syl

Heh, Boris

GMTA

boris

LOL

TexasToast

When someone says Democrat as an adjective - I know its an opponent - just sayin'. A troll is often spotted on liberal sites by that usage.

I guess its also ambiguous to say "a republican form of government". The founders must have meant government by the GOP instead of government via representative bodies - why were they so darn ambiguous?

Or ....


Is government by the GOP is mandated by the founding documents? Why didn't they use this argument in Bush V Gore? Its certainly "originalist"! :)

JM Hanes

TexT

Very original indeed, and quite compelling too. Well done!

boris

a republican form of government

"Form of government" and "political party" have different contexts and the intended meaning of "republican" is much clearer from context. The word "democratic" is more generic than "republican".

The phrase "a Democrat form of government" is close to nonsense Despite the capital D and no "ic" the average reader/listener would assume the nature of the government was being identified rather than something promoted by the Democrat party (or should I say "party of Democrats). Thus your phrase is not ambiguous because the context is so strong it would never be used to mean the political party.

What you appear (admitted even) to want is the warm glow that "democratic" provides even though Democrats are no more democratic than Republicans. The adjective republican does not provide any unwarranted positive vibe when used in that way.

Fine, want away. We are Republicans you are Democrats so if you don't like democrat as a category either change the name of your party or learn to live with it.

boris

In case the point about "democratic" being more generic than republican here is an example for the imagination impared.

(1) Who get's to decide ???

(2) Lets do it in "democratic" fashion and take a vote.

The opportunities for using "republican" in everyday life are more limited and context based.

TexasToast

I surrender Boris.
Take me to your leader.

boris

It took a while to come up with a cogent example using "form of government". Here's one:

The so called "third way" is a combination of individual liberty, social justice, economic equality, and elected authority.

(1) As such it is a more Democratic form of government than Republican.

(2) As such it is a form of government favored more by Democrats than Republicans.

I claim (1) would not be used by a competent writer because it would almost certainly be misinterpreted.

boris

Counter Example using the New England AFC football team.

(1) The Patriot offense gained 260 yds passing and 150 yds running.

(2) The Patriotic offense gained 260 yds passing and 150 yds running.

Using (2) just looks silly and gushing.

kim

Usage, usage, usage.

It's Demon Rat.

and Demon Rat, ick.
================================================

Jeff

TM - Two more cracks at your theory: 1. I know it's hard to trust what Novak says, but on October 6, 2003 Pincus in the WaPo reports that Novak, on the previous day's Meet the Press, said that his first senior Bush administration official id'd Plame as working at CPD.

Columnist Robert Novak, also on the NBC program, said the identification of Wilson's wife came during an interview with one senior Bush administration official when he told the official "it was very strange that the mission to Niger could be done by a diplomat with no experience in counterproliferation who was regarded as a critic of the war and really had no experience at the agency."

The Sunday before Novak's interview with the official, Wilson's view that the Bush administration had distorted the allegation about Iraq's effort to buy uranium from Niger had been given wide circulation through an op-ed piece he had written that was published in the New York Times and a story in The Washington Post that contained the first on-the-record interview with him. In addition, Wilson appeared that Sunday on "Meet the Press."

One day later, under pressure created by Wilson's disclosure, the White House publicly acknowledged it had been a mistake to include the 16 words about uranium and Africa in the president's State of the Union message in January.

Novak said yesterday that when he asked why a man with Wilson's views had been chosen, the Bush official told him, "Well, his wife works in the counterproliferation section at the CIA, and that she suggested it, his mission."

On a side note, it is interesting that the information that Plame worked specifically at CPD was passed from Cheney to Libby back in June 2003. By July 7 or 8, when Novak must have had this conversation, it could have circulated widely, of course, and Novak also could be getting it from Cheney's original source at the CIA (who Libby apparently noted was Tenet, though this has since been disputed). But in any case, it appears that Novak heard from someone high in the Bush administration more than just that Plame was involved in sending Joe Wilson, and more than just that she worked at the CIA; he was hearing she worked at CPD, which is apparently on the DO side of the Agency.

2. I didn't quite realize this, but the October 12, 2003 WaPo article I cited above that has almost the same language as Novak and Mitchell specifically says the info was coming from the White House, right? And not the CIA.

kim

Why would anyone care what his wife had to do with it? It was what Joe was saying that was distressing.

Oh, I get it. He figured the distress provoked the revelation about his wife. Is this pedestalism or just plain stupidity? Funny how even when you don't have one your conscience can do you in.
===============================================

TM

My understanding is that there are analysts as well as "operatives" at CPD, so saying she is at CPD is not definitve as to her job function.

I didn't quite realize this, but the October 12, 2003 WaPo article I cited above that has almost the same language as Novak and Mitchell specifically says the info was coming from the White House, right?

I am guessing that by "Mitchell" you mean "Pincus", and eventually, yes, the WaPo reported that Pincus had a WH source.

This was the Pincus quote I am thinking of, from oct 12:

On July 12, two days before Novak's column, a Post reporter was told by an administration official that the White House had not paid attention to the former ambassador's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger because it was set up as a boondoggle by his wife, an analyst with the agency working on weapons of mass destruction. Plame's name was never mentioned and the purpose of the disclosure did not appear to be to generate an article, but rather to undermine Wilson's report.
kim

That 10/12 is complicated. When does it mean his report was ignored?
=====================================================

TM

On a related topic - folks who think Wilson may have debunked the forgeries really ought to page through his book (searchable on Amazon) - on p. 14, he is pretty clear that he could not have.

If someone knows the trick for copying from Amazon, I woul love to leant it.

Anyway, Wilson says, for example, "The report, as it was described to me, was not very detailed".

Or, a bit later:

"It would have been of keen interest to me to know who might have signed the contract on behalf of the Niger government but no information was provided on that either".

I don't see any suggestion in his book that he did debunk the forgeries, for that matter, but perhaps someone else can find something.

Jeff

I am guessing that by "Mitchell" you mean "Pincus", and eventually, yes, the WaPo reported that Pincus had a WH source.

No. Look at what Pincus (and Allen) had to say in the October 12, 2003 WaPo:

Starting that week, the officials repeatedly played down the importance of Wilson's trip and its findings, saying it had been authorized within the CIA's nonproliferation section at a low level without requiring the approval of senior agency officials. No one brought up Wilson's wife, and her employment at the agency was not known at the time the article was published.

The point is that Pincus and Allen are saying that in June officials -- in some unspecified conbination of the White House, Cheney's office, the CIA and the State Department -- were saying in almost identical terms what both Novak and Mitchell reported in July 2003. So at the least this suggests that the info you originally suggested came from the CIA to both Mitchell and Novak very well may have come from elsewhere as well.

As for CPD, my understanding is that you are right that saying Plame is CPD is not definitive of her job function, but it makes it much more likely that she is clandestine or covered or covert or something, so that at the very least you need to check much more carefully. And you can expect that Cheney, Libby, Miller, Woodward, Novak and others would understand that.

JEK

Here's a thought. Somebody with access to NEXIS should see how many times Novak has used the word "operative" in his writings over the last 50 years, or however long he's been around. I'm not a devoted Novak reader by any means, but I remember reading about Democrat "operatives" and Republican "operatives" and all other kinds of D.C. "operatives" in Novak columns since way back in my long-ago teens (70's era). I just don't buy the argument that Novak meant ANYTHING covert or spy-ish in his use of that word. It's just a noun the guy likes to use, for Christ's sake. I could be wrong, but sometimes the simplest answer really is the right one.

kim

Opera means 'the works'. Etymology, as always, is revelatory. The whole she-bang. The whole nine yards.

What whole nine yards?
====================================================

kim

Jeff, you point out a lovely little duality that has been with Val for a long time, and persists, but intensifies, Bolero-like. More and more people know and have known that she works at the CIA, but still no one know what she does or did.
================================

kim

And Jeff, you don't address the 'when Joe's report was ignored' bit in the 10/12 quote.
=================================================

Jeff

Jeff, you point out a lovely little duality that has been with Val for a long time, and persists, but intensifies, Bolero-like. More and more people know and have known that she works at the CIA, but still no one know what she does or did.

Drop the present tense, which is silly, and this is still not quite right. The point is that when Cheney told Libby that Plame worked at CPD, they both knew that made it quite likely that she was clandestine, covered, covert, classified, and that meant that they had considerable responsibility to find out for sure before spreading any info about her around. I don't know if they did, but the point is that Cheney and Libby knew considerably more than just that she worked at the CIA.

And Jeff, you don't address the 'when Joe's report was ignored' bit in the 10/12 quote.

I'm not sure what you're talking about.

kim

Present tense is not silly. Will you tell us what she does?

Read your own references to Wilson's reports being ignored. Ignored when and why, and by whom?
=================

kim

And the point holds that we still don't know what Val did. Not from the part of the stable that houses the horse's mouth, we don't.
===============================================

boris

they both knew that made it quite likely that she was clandestine

Why? because it makes them more sinister? If anyone's behavior reeks of plotting misleading and gotcha games it's Joe.

kim

Joe and
Beautiful Valerie.
Who's to say what they may have to say?
Tim and
Alan's Andrea.
Who's to say what they may have to say?
============================================

windansea

What we do not know now about the Wilsons.

1. Who at the CIA tasked Joe Wilson to go to Niger in February 2002? Was it Alan Foley, then head of the CIA's Weapons Intelligence, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Center? Was Wilson tasked in coordination with the State Department's African Affairs Bureau or Bureau of Intelligence and Research?

2. What did Wilson tell US Ambassador to Niger Owens-Kilpatrick about his trip when he was in Niger? What are the ambassador's notes from the conversations? Did Wilson speak of Mrs. Wilson to the ambassador? Has Wilson communicated with the ambassador since February 2002? Does the State Department have contemporary diaries or notes from Wilson's communications with the Ambassador?

3. Who in March 2003 at the CIA interviewed Joe Wilson upon his return from Niger, and where is the report? Why wasn't Wilson asked by the CIA interviewers to sign a confidentiality agreement about his report?

4. Prior to President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union Speech, who did Joe Wilson tell about his February, 2002 Niger trip? What journalists? What former members of government? What officials at the Democratic Party?

Wait, there's more . . .

Nov 25th, 2005: 01:58:25


5. Did Joe Wilson discuss his 2002 Niger trip with the editors of the San Jose Mercury priory to publishing an October 2002 piece warning of Saddam Hussein's WMD threat if Iraq is invaded? What notes do the San Jose Mercury editors have of the conversations?
6. Following the President's State of the Union Speech January 2003, Wilson says that he telephoned a complaint about the speech to William Mark Bellamy at the State Department's African Affairs Bureau: did Bellamy know at the time of Mrs. Wilson's employment?

7. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson attended a Senate Democratic Party Committee meeting in early May, 2003: Who invited Joe Wilson to speak on Iraq? Who did Wilson speak with in addition to Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times?

8. Wilson breakfasted with Nicholas Kristof of the NYT on May 3, 2003: Did Mrs. Wilson attend the breakfast? Did Mrs. Kristof attend the breakfast? Any other attendees? What was discussed? Where are Kristof's notes from the breakfast? Was this the first occasion Wilson and Kristof had discussed WMD, Niger, Iraq? If Mrs. Kristof was present, where are her notes? If Mrs. Wilson was present, did she discuss her employment at the CIA since 1985?

9. A year earlier, in Nicholas Kristof's May 14, 2002 column, he mentions mother-daughter day at the CIA and small African countries in the same light-hearted paragraph. Did Nicholas Kristof or his wife, the New York Times journalist Sheryl Wu Dunn, speak with either Mr. or Mrs. Wilson before May 2003?

10. At the May 3, 2003 breakfast, if Mrs. Wilson was not present, was her employment discussed? What did Wilson tell the Kristof(s) was the reason for his trip to Niger? Did Mrs. Kristof (a WMD reporter along with co-author Judy Miller for the New York Times in 1998) ever meet or communicate with Mrs. Wilson subsequent to Mr. Kristof breakfasting with Joe Wilson? Were there subsequent meetings or communications between May 3 and May 6, 2003? If so, where are Kristof's notes?

11. Prior to Nicholas Kristof's June 13, 2003 column about forged Niger documents, did Joe Wilson convey to Mr. or Mrs. Kristof evidence of his February 2002 Niger trip that support the column's since unproved conclusion that Wilson exposed the forgeries during his February 2002 Niger trip?

12. Wilson told the same falsehoods about discovering the forged documents in Niger (documents that did not come into CIA hands until October 16, 2002) not only to Kristoff, but also to Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, who published on June 12, 2003, and John B. Judis and Spencer Ackerman of the New Republic, who published June 30, 2003. Did Pincus, Judis or Ackerman speak to Wilson about his connection to the CIA, about his wife's employment? Did they research background on Wilson to substantiate his later proved false statements that the Vice President's office had sent him to Niger, that he had discovered the forgeries, that he knew the Vice President was deceiving the public about Niger and uranium?

13. Wilson appeared on Meet the Press on the day of his New York Times op-ed, July 6, 2003 in order to repeat falsehoods about his Niger trip: did host Andrea Mitchell know of Wilson's wife's employment at the time?

14. What editor handled Wilson for his op-ed at the New York Times for his July 6, 2003 article? Where are the editor's notes of communications before publication? Did the editor challenge the ambiguous suggestion in the piece that Wilson's February 2002 Niger trip exposed the forged Niger documents? Did Wilson communicate with Mr. or Mrs. Kristof prior to the publication of his op-ed? Did Wilson communicate with State or CIA prior to publication

15. What did CIA determine Mrs. Wilson status to be in February 2002, in May 2003, in June 2003, in July 2003?

16. Wilson has remarked that he has French mining and investment interest in Africa as playing clients of his consultations. Mrs. Wilson has said that Joe Wilson has French clients? What clients? Has Joe Wilson ever worked for or consulted for the French uranium mining firm Cogema? Do Wilson's present or past clients have interest in the two uranium mine locations in Niger? Wilson has mentioned he has had gold mining clients in Niger: what clients, what connection to other mining interests in Niger? What fees have these clients paid Joe Wilson coterminous with his 1998, 1999, 2002 visits to Niger?

17. Has Joe Wilson been under oath for the Fitzgerald investigators? Has he been questioned by the FBI investigators for Fitzgerald? Did he name the neighbors that the FBI questioned about Mrs. Wilson in October 2005? What neighbors?

18. The day of the Novak column, July 14, 2003, did Wilson communicate with State? With CIA? With French mining interests?

19. Has Mrs. Wilson been under oath about her contacts on the day of the first Novak column, July 14, 2003? Does she have a contemporary diary of events such as February and March 2002, such as the Kristoff breakfast on May 3, 2003? Or on May 6, 2003? Or on the day of the David Corn Nation blog mention, July 16, 2003?

20. Was CIA permission required to photograph the Wilsons for January 2004 Vanity Fair?

21. Who are Joe Wilson's paying clients since 2001? Any uranium mining interests in Gabon, Namibia, Canada, Russia, as well as Niger? And does Fitzgerald have the list? And has Wilson ever been in contact with clients who represent any of the following states looking to purchase yellowcake: Iraq, Iran, North Korea, PRC, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, especially with regard Niger or Gabon uranium mines?

http://www.redstate.org/story/2005/11/25/15825/422

Neuro-conservative

Thanks for posting this, windansea.

Fitz may not have been interested in any of these questions, but I'll bet Ted Wells is. At some point, Fitz is going to clear the sand from his eyes and realize that he has been deceived by Wilson and the CIA and cannot face the public humiliation of a trial. The charges will be dropped before December 25. Merry Fitzmas!

Jeff

Read your own references to Wilson's reports being ignored. Ignored when and why, and by whom?

I think what you're referring to is what Pincus reported he was told by an as yet publicly unidentified White House official on July 12, 2003. He was told, in effect, that the White House ignored the results of Wilson's trip because the trip was a boondoggle set up by his wife who works at the CIA. The striking thing about that is that it completely botches any credible strategy coming from the White House. Pincus' source suggests the White House learned of Wilson's trip and its results at the time it happened, more or less, and chose to ignore them at that time because the trip was set up by his wife, whereas the White House was emphatic in July 2003 that it did not learn anything about Wilson's trip basically until Wilson went public. For me the point is not that this was some revelation of a truth the White House wanted to hide. Rather, it shows Pincus' source, I suspect, to be a rather incompetent political hitman. Which fits with my suspicion that it was Hadley.

kim

Thanks, J, for the clarification. The facts also seem to fit my theory that the WH didn't ignore Joe's report because it never heard it until, of course, it started hearing second hand through Kristoff, and possibly earlier through Joe(misrepresenting his report).
============================================

TM

Eventually this Reuters story will make it into an UPDATE - it looks like Andrea's leak was picked up by Reuters as well:

A U.S. intelligence official said [Joseph] Wilson was sent to investigate the Niger reports by mid-level CIA officers, not by top-level Bush administration officials. There is no record of his report being flagged to top level officials, the intelligence official said.

"He is placing far greater significance on his visit than anyone in the U.S. government at the time it was made," the official said, referring to Wilson's New York Times article.

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Wilson/Plame