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November 03, 2005

Comments

Bruce Hayden

The problem is that, as Rush says, Wilson is a media whore. Last weekend or so, he was all over TV - CNN, C-Span, etc. Again. That is not someone worried about the effects of publicity on his family. That is not someone who wants his family left alone. That is someone seeking another 15 minutes of fame.

That said, if you read what Wilson has said, he really doesn't lie. He just misleads. For example, he was apparently sent to Niger to find out if Iraq had tried to buy yellow cake. In his NYT article, he stated that Iraq had not bought yellow cake from Niger. He didn't mention in that article the apparent attempt by Iraq to do so that the CIA apparently seized upon. But, as noted, he didn't lie, he just misled. Ditto for saying that his wife didn't send him to Niger. True. She instigated it and followed up with a memo. But she didn't authorize it, so, she didn't send him to Niger.

r flanagan

Let's concede that
1. Valerie wasn't covert because she hadn't lived abroad for six years even tho
Larry Johnson says that the requirement is
only that she should have travelled abroad
during those six years, which she did.
2. Lot's of people knew she worked for the CIA.
3. Andrea Mitchell and many others in the media new she was covert (sort of conflicts
with concession #1 , but in for a penny
in for a pound.
4.Wilson shouldn't have been seen in public
with Valerie - don't understand this but
that's what Mickey Kaus claims , so let's
concede it.
5.Wilson lied by saying that Cheney sent him
to Niger.
6.Wilson lied by saying that he personally
debunked the forged documents.
7. When Libby called Russert they talked
about Matthews' earlier show about the yellowcake.
8.No damage was done to national security
by Valerie's outing.
9. Valerie was very influential in arranging
for Joe to go to Niger.
10.Libby may have just misremembered his
conversation with Russert.

And in exchange will you guys agree that
if Libby did perjure himself by saying that
Russert told him that all the media knew
about Valerie's status and involvement
then 1-9 are irrelevant and he's guilty>

Sue

Out, out, damn italics...

;)

Sue

R. Flanagan,

Larry Johnson also says Iraq/Middle Easterners were behind the Oklahoma bombings. Not sure what to make of Larry Johnson. He likes to send personal emails telling you how stupid he thinks you are.

Cecil Turner

Larry Johnson says . . .

Say, is that the same Larry Johnson, VIPS member, who lauds "whistleblowing," and whose organization called for illegal leaks in March, 2003?

The 25-member group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, composed mostly of former CIA analysts along with a few operational agents, is urging employees inside the intelligence agency to break the law and leak any information they have that could show the Bush administration is engineering the release of evidence to match its penchant for war.
And in exchange will you guys agree that if Libby did perjure himself by saying that Russert told him that all the media knew about Valerie's status and involvement then 1-9 are irrelevant and he's guilty

Can we get an "amen" on that, and an exchange agreement that if Valerie Plame responded to her buddy Larry's request for a leak (via her husband's article), that they are both guilty as well?

topsecretk9

"amen"

Gary Maxwell

Say it Preacher!

clarice

amen amen...

JBS

rflanagan, 1-9 are relevant whether Libby is quilty or not. If he lied to the grand jury he is guilty period.

BurkettHead

amen! (chorus)

kim

Joe is so funny, earnestly telling us now details of his 2/02 briefing with such precise understanding of the Yellow Cake information. A US officer; one wonders who that was.

You really have to be a true believer to fall for him anymore.
===================================

TM

And in exchange will you guys agree that
if Libby did perjure himself by saying that
Russert told him that all the media knew
about Valerie's status and involvement
then 1-9 are irrelevant and he's guilty>

Well, its circular logic - sure, if he perjured himself then he is guilty of perjury.

But in terms of the political/ethical questions, as distinct from the legal ones, I think that in the court of public opinion the truth or falsity of 1-9 is highly significant.

And that debate will become very topical if/when Bush pardons Libby.

Just for example, let's draw inspiration from Dan Rather and go with the "False but accurate" defense.

Suppose Libby is in jail for perjury. Case closed, no further investigation.

Then Russert has the Final Truth-telling on MTP, and says, "Booy, even though I did *not* tell him all the reporters knew, I sure could have, because guess what - we all knew! Lucky guess by Libby - sucks to be him, in jail."

Now, would that admission affect public response to a pardon?

On the dying horse issue of whether Wilson lied to Kristof about the forgeries - it is interesting that Kristof wrote the forgeries were debunked in Feb, presumably at the meeting preceding the trip.

But *if* Wilson is telling the truth about that, hasn't he been lying since his op-ed, when he says he never saw any documents, and could nto have debunked any forgeries, ad Kristof/Pincus misquoted hin?

And shouldn't we be re-writing the entire history of the forgeries (which I guess is the point) to say that the CIA and INR knew, thanks to Joe, that they were debunked in Feb 2002, then sat on that news until March 2003?

And I suppose, the theory is that after accidentally spilling the beans to Kristof, Wilson re-joined the cover-up by switching stories and disavowing his early version.

But doesn't that mean that Wilson is part of the Evil BushCo cover-up? Que pasa? What sinister hold do they have over this poor man? And why can't they get him to STFU?

Or is it a sinister CIA cover-up, which Joe temporarily muddled? But wait, the CIA are the good guys in this story - Valerie and Joe battling Evil Doers in the White House.

Puzzling.

Jeff

pollyusa - Back at you.

Stuckincall - You might learn how to read before you go calling other people idiots. Or maybe it's not you, maybe you just got suckered by the SSCI report. Among other things, what you claim is the same report is not; also, you botch the issue of verbatim text v. the very different issue of the source of the report (Italy).

cecil - That last post of yours was uncharacteristically hackish. I remain grateful to you for drawing attention to the fact that on Feb 18th 2002 the embassy in Niamey issued a cable that laid great stress on the names in the verbatim text of documents of an agreement between Niger and Iraq, the same verbatim text Wilson discussed at the CIA the very next day, which makes it pretty plausible to me that he discussed the names that were and should have been on those documents. Thanks. Wilson is clearly a blowhard who enjoys the spotlight. Maybe he's unlikeable and unappealing. But that doesn't make him guilty of all the ridiculous charges a number of you here have launched against him.

kim

You can't blame MSM for being confused about this. They've been confusing the rest of us for two years.
====================================================

carot

First, I am really confused by the point of this article. You have a group of facts that amount to many many screw ups by the Republicans. No matter how you arrange these facts it was a screw up or at least a chain of failures. The objective seems to be trying more and more innovative ways to string together a row of turds in the hope they will start looking like not-turds.

So far I haven't seen any of this patterns look any more not-turdish so I don't see the point in the attempt.

Second, Wilson working for Kerry and his wife being a Bush hater because she didn't believe Saddam had WMD's is another attempt to convert turds into not-turds. It doesn't matter if they were both virulent Bush haters, they were correct in all the statements and reports they made, whether they jumped the gun or guessed right or not.

At best they are both psychics, but they were right not wrong.

Thirdly you have a group of facts about Wilson and the only ones that seem to be wrong is that he talked about the documents being false before he could have seen them. The argument is not whether the documents were false but that he said it before he could have known.

But unless he was a fortune teller he did know, despite his denials. So isn't the most likely scenario that he was told something by his wife or on being briefed about this at the CIA? He might not be able or willing to mention it because he might have been leaking classified information himself, intentionally or not.

So he can't be a liar, he is either a psychic or a leaker.

Fourthly the Republican need to clean house, and hose away all these turds and the people that did them. Then they can spend their time doing their job instead of trying to construct arguments that are deceitful. They fucked up, and they covered it up. This is the truth and this is the past.

The problem is whether they are going to stay in denial or clean house. Up is downism worked for longer than it should, but it doesn't work any more.

I for one would like to see people own up to all their mistakes, put better people in charge, and go on to make good Republican policy. If they can't or won't then they deserve all the bad press they get.

kim

For being such an expert, you can't see that Joe is full of shit?
=================================================

kim

Jeff: You call Joe a blowhard. You call him unlikable and unappealing. So why do you believe him? Better, which of his contradictions do you believe? Don't ask me to cite a contradiction; Joe gives you an example everytime he opens his mouth.
===============================================

clarice

Very cool analysis TM--I always thought the troubling thing for Wilson was the seeing the forgeries before he saw them business..but your take on the Kristof sort of walk back makes it even more complicated..

kim

This might be kind of fun. Write down one thing you think Joe has said. A prize to the first who can think of when he has contradicted himself on that one thing. This game could be endless.

How about 'We shouldn't attack Iraq because Saddam might use his chem and bio WMD on our troops', from his 2/6/03 LATimes op-ed piece.
============================================

kim

Front Side of Tee shirt: I BELIEVE JOE WILSON!

Backside: ///////////////NOW THATS FUNNY

The troubling part about Joe's newfound confabulation Feb 02 knowledge of the forgeries, is that he has done so much rowing back about that after the Kristoff columns. This latest spin from the both of them is just a feeble effort to portray themselves as other than complete fools and knaves.
==================================================

clarice

WooWOO--Some interesting news. Dow Jones has filed suit to unseal the Fitz presentation to the Ct in the Miller case--

[quote]Rather than join this parade of masochism, we thought we'd try to speed things along, as well as end one of the remaining mysteries in the probe. That's why Dow Jones & Co., this newspaper's parent company, filed a motion late Wednesday requesting that the federal district court unseal eight pages of redacted information that Mr. Fitzgerald used to justify throwing Judith Miller of the New York Times in the slammer.

The pages were part of Judge David Tatel's concurring opinion in the ruling against Ms. Miller and Time magazine's Matthew Cooper. Judge Tatel said the eight pages showed that, with his "voluminous classified filings," Mr. Fitzgerald had "met his burden of demonstrating that the information [sought from the reporters] is both critical and unobtainable from any other source."

The pages remain sealed, but now that Mr. Fitzgerald has indicted Mr. Libby and said "the substantial bulk" of his probe is "completed," there's no reason to keep those pages secret. The indictment itself discloses the nature and "major focus" of Mr. Fitzgerald's grand jury probe, including the fact that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. The special counsel's own extensive public discussion of the facts in the case should also have vitiated any protection from disclosure under grand jury rule of evidence 6(e). Future prosecutors and judges trying to decide whether to throw a reporter in jail should be able to inspect the evidence in this case, which will be an influential precedent.


(more)[/quote] http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007504

Guess what? It was made early in the case, and just maybe it includes a lot of factual claims that time has proven to be crap--i.e., that Plame was a covert agent. And if they win, we can see who made the false assertions.

topsecretk9

Kim=======================================
what makes a poster intriguing?...something tells me, you and he why.

kim

Why would Fitz be so foolish as to proceed?
============================================

clarice

Don't you think there were a number of assertions in there that in time proved rather preposterous? Tatel found them quite compelling and we know that is a crock..

topsecretk9

Kim
proceed? The divination among us?
============================================

kim

This evening we went to a Borders where my daughter had an old paperback bought a library benefit sale signed by the author. On a whim I pulled out a Shorter Summa, opened it randomly near the middle and looked about midway down the left hand page. I could make no better sense of it than if it had been typewritten by a gang of monkeys. But, I enjoy Chesterton, a new found pleasure.
===================================================

JM Hanes

AnonLib -
If you really believe this shoudn't be a game between liberals & conservatives, perhaps you should consider refraining from repeatedly generalizing about conservative attitudes and simply respond to the folks who are posting here instead.

You may consider Wilson to be a side issue, but the item we're all commenting on happens to be about Kristoff and Wilson which means that Wilson is, in fact, a primary issue here, not the conservative mindset elsewhere. For your benefit, however, I would note that I have heard very few conservatives dismiss the seriousness of the charges against Libby; I have however heard Democrats both on the ground and in leadership positions (e.g. Harry Reid's preface to invoking Rule 21) proceeding as if the Libby indictment itself is both evidence of an underlying conspiracy and an indictment of the White House casus belli -- despite the prosecutor's emphatic, targetted, caveats to the contrary.

In the grand scheme of things, Wilson may be small potatoes, but surely you can't be seriously contending that he is not central to case now heading to trial and any other potential indictments in the offing? Frankly, I find the idea of the prosecutor casually giving Joe Wilson a call on the phone about as shocking as anything I've read on the subject today. I would also note that while Fitzgerald has, indeed, stated that Plame's employment at the CIA was classified info, you'll find that in the press conference you've referenced, he specifically declined to confirm that her status was actually covert. In addition, in discussing the basis for potential charges on an underlying crime, he did not cite the covert outing statute, but rather the Espionage Act (see previous comment here).

In my personal (not-a-conservative!) opinion, only the wilfully blind remain prepared to ignore the systemic malaise at the C.I.A. which disastrously inhibited its ability to provide reliable intelligence, in favor of placing the onus for those failures exclusively on the shoulders of an administration they detest. Only ingenue or acolyte could posit that the agency was apolitical till Cheney came to town. And only the thoroughly partisan could refuse even to contemplate the possibility that the choice of the flamboyant Joe Wilson for one of the most incredibly sensitive, critically important missions in the pre-war intelligence cosmos was symptomatic of existing problems, not curative. The ass covering here has been very nearly universal.

kim

Yes, C, someone was very sagacious to ask for revelation of those redacted pages, but if they had blockbuster stuff it probably would have shut down Fitz for him to have since found that he was in error.
=====================================================

JM Hanes

Cecil -
Have only just now seen your last comments under "Reporters Who Knew." I can only ditto your perspective on both the prosecutor (whose commentary is decidedly worth a legal parsing) and on the wisdom of proposed legislation on torture. Ditto, ditto, ditto.

clarice

Kim, you are probably right..and maybe if we get to see the redacted pages they will just contain titillating information, but assume that the statements were overbroad.

I can't imagine they alleged (per Tatel's comments) that Plame was just an analayst whose position was classified.

(Go to p. 29 of his opinion where he talks about weighing the different interests involved).

JM Hanes

Florence --
I couldn't agree more. No one will be more disappointed if Llibby pleads and this doesn't go to trial. I want to hear everybody on the stand and under cross.

(And yes, AnonLib, that means Wilson,esq. under oath for change too:)

Chants

Carot:

First of all, your turd metaphor was well played. I was literally laughing out loud. Good job in using it to carry your argument.

That said, the arguments expressed by most of the Wilson detractors are not turds. They are reasonable concerns.

The standard story of the Plame saga is this. Wilson had particular knowledge of a particular line in Bush's 2003 SOTU address. So he blew the wistle. In retaliation, the WH blew his wife's -- super spy Valerie Plame -- top secret cover, jeopardizing and comprimising intelligence essential to national security in the process.

Concern #1: People with supersecret CIA spy-spouses who have done work for the CIA themselves simply do not write highly publicized accounts of thier CIA work, particularly where the spouse suggested them for the work. Which invites the question: Just how covert was Valerie Plame. That is not a turd of a question. I daresay it is the one question most feuling our unhealthy Plamegate addiction.

Concern #2: Wilson was talking (leaking?) a lot to Kristof for a couple of months before he wrote his article. He talked to other reporters. His story was big, big news. It stimulated many very inquistive and intelligent minds in the foriegn affairs and national politics press corps, an aggressive bunch. What led to Wilson's being chosen for the mission would be a question these journalists would inevitably ask, which lead to Plame. Which leads to this question: Was Plame linked known in the press corps before Novak wrote his piece? Which leads to this question: Should we not analyze and parse every word written and spoken by those journalists closest to the story for clues?

Those question are not turds either. They are very legitimate questions flowing inexorably from the facts.

So, no. We are not arranging queing up turds in an attempt to defend the administration. We are asking perfectly legitimate questions to a set of facts that simply do not add up.

If I have misunderstood your argument, Carot, I apologize.

topsecretk9

We are asking perfectly legitimate questions to a set of facts that simply do not add up.

an additional "amen" for that

r flanagan

Sorry for the apparent circular logic
97 posts or so above. Just trying to save
space in describing the fateful Libby/Russert phone call.

Anyway I now understand that there are to be two trials :Fitz prosecuting Scooter in a DC court house and TM hauling Joe ,Nick Tim , etc before the court of public opinion.

That is , unless , as I expect , Scooter
gets a Cap Weinberger-like pre trial pardon.
And a medal.


topsecretk9

Can I just pay tribute Rick Ballard for a moment?

She was a Hostess god-dammit post...he retorted with this:

And a cupcake too - say maybe the Twinkie defense will work!

topsecretk9

TM and Lesley-- day late and a dollar short but...

Wilson pushed the church angle as (MODO, Oct.03 and and WAPO 7-03)

then says what you have noted on Larry King

Now, I'm prepared to think the worst of Karl Rove ever since he told Chris Matthew's that my wife was fair game. And that's tough for me because Karl and I go to the same church. We go to different services, we go to the same church. I know his wife's name because we get a church newsletter. So, why he wouldn't know my wife's name, perhaps he doesn't read the newsletter.

tonight he tells us:

OLBERMANN: Lastly, and it‘s more along the lines of curious twist, almost comic relief, is this true, you and Karl Rove have attended the same church?

WILSON: Yes, we‘re members of the same congregation. We go to different services. I think Karl was in Aspen, Colorado, not too long ago, and he said that I attend the wacky service. I actually attend the service that is a family service for people with kids. We have 5-year-old twins, and so we go to an earlier service than he does. I‘ve only seen him in church once, probably because I don‘t go as often as my wife does. But we do normally attend different services.

OLBERMANN: It is a small town, Washington. But you‘d never think it would be that small.

Um, yeah...small town...but Wilson had only seen Rove at church once (because he doesn't go that much), so...Rove has only potentially seen Wilson at church once...so Wilson's pompous claim that Rove not reading the newsletter is lame (as usual) and that Rove would piece it all together form the newsletter is just another exploitation.

BTW as mentioned, the Wilson's advertised the church connection not Mr. or Mrs. Rove.

Actually, while the MSM love to frame this as humorous silly connection it is just as grossly opportunistic of the Wilson's to mention as they claim of Rove

Lesley

Tops, you little darling! Thank you for finding that!

MJW

It will be interesting to see what Fitzgerald's position will be on unsealing the redacted pages.

MJW

It will also be interesting to see what Libby's lawyers' position will be.

topsecretk9

vnjagvet noted...the little twist of irony that Wilson is fond of pointing out....one of Lib's (there are bound to be some that hate that abbrev..) attorney is:

Jeffress is from the firm Baker Botts, where Bush family friend and former Secretary of State James A. Baker is a senior partner. Jeffress has won acquittals for public officials accused of extortion, perjury, money laundering, and vote-buying, his firm's Web site says.

because after all, Wilson has detailed his time with Secretary Baker in the Politics of Truth...

"...By the middle of December, the beating of the war drums in Washington actually left the Iraqis thinking that we really were not going to attack. One well-informed journalist for the London Sunday Times reported to me: “The Iraqis have concluded that you are bluffing. If you were serious, you wouldn’t keep beating your chests. You would let your actions speak for you.”

I took that to heart and relayed her thoughts to Washington, recommending that we tone down our threats. I remember the cable as being appropriately polite; but Larry Grahl, who hand-carried my message to Secretary Baker, later told me, “I thought you had lost your mind, telling the president and the secretary in effect to shut up.” Then, a couple of days later, when he realized the U.S. government had gone silent, “I concluded you were brilliant,” Grahl said. It was, of course, the British journalist who had had the brilliant idea, but soon the benefit was nullified, as every pundit and member of Congress had jumped on the chattering bandwagon, and silence was not maintained...

...Finally, I took a second to look around the room and woke up. After all, Jim Baker was sitting beside me on the sofa; the president was seated in a chair to my right, in front of the fireplace. Across the room, sitting next to the desk, was Brent Scowcroft taking notes on a legal-size yellow pad. It looked to me like he was writing down everything I said. My first conscious thought, since the moment I had been introduced to President Bush, occurred when I looked at Scowcroft and his legal pad...

...All too soon, Secretary Baker looked at his watch, the signal that the meeting was over....

Syl

Anonymous Liberal

"I've never once held Joe Wilson out to be a hero or some bastion of truth-telling, so I really don't see what your point is. My point was that many (though not all) conservatives seem to have lost perspective in this affair. They're obsessed with the veracity of the ex-ambassor to Gabon, and utterly unconcerned with the veracity of those occupying the White House. "

I don't see why people can't be obsessed with both Libby and Wilson--why do you think it has to be one or the other? Like it is for many liberals who obsess on Libby and the WH and totally ignore Wilson.

And many liberals and especially the New York Times still haven't admitted the falsities in Wilson's story let alone recognized that he was the one who started the 'Bush Lied' meme because of (1)twisting his story and (2)reading comprehension problems of the press.

And until the above is admitted and settled, don't expect attention on Wilson to go away.

We've spent thousands and thousands of collective hours on Libby and you know damned well we have.

Syl

Top

Wow. Wilson is sooooo important that every word he uttered was written down by Scowcroft!

Wow. Just wow!

Syl

dick

"If the CIA now had proof that the docs were faked and the guy that was sent to Niger as a result of a request from the VP, then the least the CIA should have done was pass this info back to the VP. That they did not seems really wrong to my way of thinking. "

Think of the alternative. Wilson did not debunk anything. So there was nothing to report to Cheney. Mystery solved.

Syl

pollyusa

The agencies already doubted the authenticity of a sale though they were intrigued that this memorandum contained more detail than other reports.

There is no way Wilson could say 'forgery!' if he didn't see the actual honest-to-god document this memorandum was about. The memo could have been a lie and not based on a real document at all.

As Wilson himself said (as quoted above by mary mapes LOL):

I was briefed that an officer, a U.S. officer, had either seen the documents or had been briefed on their existence. And my briefing was based upon the transcript or his report about the existence of those documents.

So we have a briefing of a memorandum which was itself a briefing of what someone either saw or was briefed on.

And from that Wilson can claim he debunked a forgery?!?!?

No, even with the cable coming from Niger saying names were wrong, all that would do is put another checkmark in the 'doubt' column. It is not definitive.

Wilson added little or nothing to what the CIA already suspected. Except he added the bit about Baghdad Bob wanting to buy some onions.

carot

Ok, here are some turds which no matter how they are spun just look like turds to me, no blossom to be found.

Turd 1: Either President Bush, Cheney or both of them have known all along that Plame was outed and chose to impede an investigation. However you spin it this is dusgusting behavior for any officials to waste a prosecutor's time for a year. Anyone else who did this would be in jail.

Turd 2: No one on both the right wing or the left wing has suggested Bush would not pardon the conspirators behind this. So virtually everyone including the press acknowledges Bush, their president, has no regard for the rule of law in this. The whole investigation is widely seen as a waste of time because any conclusion is immume from justice through the pardon process.

Turd 3: Whether Wilson was working for the Dems or not, or working against Bush in any way nothing he has said is basically inaccurate. There were no WMD's. The documents were a forgery. Saddam didn't buy uranium from Niger. The truth is apolitical. These things happened and for the Republican party to be credible in the future they must clean house on this, as it cannot possibly be swept under the carpet. Look for example at the way this is breaking in Italy, and Bush is still denying all this with Berlusconi standing right next to him. No lies will work here.

Turd 4: Nothing can be accomplished by making the Dems look bad. Nothing. Why? Because they have had no power at all for the last 5 years. All Kerry is is a guy who ran for president and didn't win, it doesn't matter if Wilson worked for him or not. No legislation the Dems have suggested has been passed to any significant degree. Everything is the Republican's fault, and that turd won't look any better by trying to evade responsibility for it. People aren't judging this on what went wrong, because shit happens. They are judging this on people who stay in denial won't fix the problem.

Turd 5: The Iraq war was wrong. If people had known how it would turn out, no one would have supported it at the start. People are only trying to make a mistake look good somehow now, trying to rearrange the turds, put lipstick on the pig. The best outcome will be a semi democracy that limps along and then turns into Iran. Iran knows this which is why they were behind trying to start the war in the first place. At some point the Iraqis are going to kick everyone out, say thanks for the 300 billion, and no one will have anything to show for the whole venture.

Turd 6: The war was about the oil. If it wasn't then it should have been. Oil is the only reason to have anything to do with the Middle East. Whatever is best to keep the price of fuel reasonable and flowing without interruption, that is the only policy needed towards Iraq.

Turd 7: The Darfur massacre. If Bush really cared about people in the region why didn't he care about them? Why spend 300 billion to stop atrocities in Iraq then let people get massacred next door?

StuckinCali

Jeff Said: "Among other things, what you claim is the same report is not; also, you botch the issue of verbatim text v. the very different issue of the source of the report (Italy)."

I didn't botch anything. What don't you understand about this statement: "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." His response under oath was that he had "misspoken." Wilson didn't respond to this challenge by telling them that he really did know the names and dates or that he had learned the information in one of the briefings surrounding his trip. He said he had "misspoken". For the logically impaired, that means he bailed on his lie when he was confronted with it under oath.

The truth is that Wilson never saw the documents and was never briefed on the specific information regarding the dates or who signed the documents. Maybe Plame knew all the information contained in the forged documents and told Wilson during some spy pillowtalk. Either way, Wilson didn't debunk anything and the documents were irrelevant to the British intelligence referred to by Bush in his speech. Wilson's trip has always been irrelevant to the entire debate on WMD intelligence. Who was it that brought this buffoon into the argument? Oh yeah, it was Mr. Kristoff and his employer.

I say we prosecute Plame for mishandling classified information. We don't need any evidence, we can get Ronnie Earle. Fraudulent prosecutions without any supporting evidence are his specialty. Plame and Libby can share a cell.

Finally, liberals are trying to parse every statement by every party in this farce to avoid the obvious fact that Wilson is a liar. Wilson critics are merely responding to what he said and the importance placed on his multiple lies by the NY Times, Wash. Post, The Nation, the DNC, the Kerry Campaign and other assorted liberals.

M. Simon

The whole Wilson/PFlame bit is to cover that Libya was buying the yellowcake for the Iraqi nuke program. The Iraqi nuclear program was being done by Libya.

Lybian deception ops

VRWconspiracy

When the trial and its consequences are all sorted out, Scooter Libby's business card will have the title, "New York Times CEO and Owner."
Joe Wilson's, Valerie Plame's and several journalists' "business" cards will each have a name, booking number and two portrait photographs.

p.lukasiak

Lets see now....

immediately after Wilson talks to Kristof, Kristof writes a column in which the proper sequence of events is described (Cheney ask the CIA for more info, the CIA sends Wilson to Niger.)

A month later, Kristof uses the ambiguous term "at the behest" to describe Cheney's involvement --- and its WILSON's fault.

Maguire, you need to get off the GOP talking points, and get back to reality.

Its obvious that Wilson has been telling the truth, and nothing but the truth, since this thing began. Its also obvious that in discussions with journalists prior to the publication of his own column, Wilson was talking not just about his own role in the debunking of the Niger report, but placing it in a larger context of what was eventually determined.

Its not unlikely that in the course of those conversations, Wilson used imprecise or ambiguous language that may have lead Kristof and Pincus to write that Wilson claimed he proved the documents were forgeries, rather than Wilson proved the claims were bogus.

This, of course, is a distinction without a difference. Wilson was not testifying under oath -- he was coversing with journalists about the manipulation of intelligence, and his personal role in debunking a bogus claim that the administration continued to repeat.

The only thing that Wilson has said that may (or may not) be true is that Cheney was briefed specifically on his findings. (Its not like Cheney and the White House is incapable of lying when it claims this briefing did not happen.)

But if its not true, its an honest and easily understood mistake, based upon Wilson's extensive experience with DC bureaucracies. If Cheney was not briefed, it is ONLY because on the same day that Wilson returned from Niger, Cheney got a briefing that contained the same conclusions that Wilson would reach -- that the reported sale of yellowcake was completely bogus.

You're no longer credible, Tommy-boy. You're obsessive parsing of everything Wilson in an effort to find damning inconsistencies has warped your mind. Instead of trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together with all the new information coming out, your continued obsession with Wilson is evidence of an unhealthy monomania.

Get help.

[Self-parody alert! Although coming from Lukasiak, advice about monomania has a certain "Been there" credibility. Regrettably, his next comment has been deleted for excessive trolling. We will see if his manners and ability to stay on-topic (sorry, this topic, not his) can improve.]

Frew

Critics of the administration are getting away with a couple of mischaracterizations of the facts that I find irritating.

One is the idea that Bush was saying that Iraq had purchased yellow cake uranium from Niger. He didn't say that. He said that Iraq was seeking to do so.

Another misdirection is the idea that since the documents from Niger proporting that a sale had taken place were found to be forged that there was no evidence to support the idea that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium. This is of course not the case. In addition, there was other evidence to support that theory. Wilson's own report to the CIA said that the Iraqis were at one point in Niger looking to trade, most likely for uranium, which is why the CIA told the Administration that it was still a possiblity.

If it was "very unlikely" that Iraq had actually purchased uranium from Niger it was still very likely that Iraq was trying to do so, and that was the point, to show the nefarious intent of the Hussein regime. Because, after all, if they were seeking to get the materials to make nuclear weapons they might have found those materials some place else.

Syl

"Its obvious that Wilson has been telling the truth, and nothing but the truth, since this thing began."

Yeah, and that's why he's backtracked.

If he debunked anything it was a briefing of a memorandum which was itself a briefing of what someone either saw or was briefed on.

Which doesn't matter anyway because the forgeries were a RED HERRING and have nothing to do with the 16 words.

Wilson's entire schtick was propaganda.

And Wilson knew it would work because idiots wanted it to be true. So he can backtrack when he's under oath and it doesn't matter because the idiots still want it to be true.

Jeff

Stuckincall- That's a nice non-response to the specific things I said you screwed up, which you did. You claimed that what are in fact two different reports were the same, and you used a quote about whether WIlson was told the source of the February 2002 report or not to argue he didn't know about other stuff. As for the quotation from the SSCI you use in your latest post, you might want to know that Wilson has written about that, and said he was not given an opportunity to revisit the relevant information by the committee. In other words, he was thrown into confusion by the committee. You will almost certainly not believe that, but if you are trying to use Wilson's own statements against him, you have an obligation to pay attention to what he actually said.

Most the rest of what you say is just spouting Republican talking points that have been debunked, concerning all the intelligence that led us to war and so on. Oh yeah, you're also an abusive schmuck. And you evidently still don't know how to read.

Syl

Jeff

You keep forgetting that it was more than intelligence that led us to war.

Get a grip.

arrowhead

Syl: "Critics of the administration are getting away with a couple of mischaracterizations of the facts that I find irritating.

One is the idea that Bush was saying that Iraq had purchased yellow cake uranium from Niger. He didn't say that. He said that Iraq was seeking to do so."

- - - - - - - - - - - -
The "mischaracterization" is even more egregious than that. The President actually stated:

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." To this day, the British government stands by this information.

Another area of concern is the timing of Wilson's trip to Niger and the appearance & analysis of the forged documents. (I know that this has been address on different threads so please forgive any repetition.) There are four countries in Africa that have exported uranium in recent years - Nambia, Niger, South Africa and Gabon. Joe Wilson claims that he had not seen these "forged documents" so one has to wonder why he/they chose Niger for his fact finding tour - especially if that tour was done at the behest of the VP as he implied. If Joe hadn't seen the documents but the CIA had and they were such obvious forgeries, then why send him to Niger at all if not to tamper with the President statement without seeming to do so as a means of discrediting the administration and the reasons for going into Iraq?

arrowhead

"been addressed..."

topsecretk9

Kaus takes a stab at Kristof--- it's good too!

http://www.slate.com/id/2129234/&#weaselly

nittypig

Wilson is very unclear on when he deduced that the documents were forged. In the NYT he says:

"As for the actual memorandum, I never saw it. But news accounts have pointed out that the documents had glaring errors — they were signed, for example, by officials who were no longer in government — and were probably forged..."

However, in his book he quotes Kristof as saying (immediately after the SSCI report) "I remember you saying that you had not seen the documents. my recollection is that we had some information about the documents at that time - e.g., the names of people in them - but i do clearly remember you saying that you had not been shown them"

And of course Kristof originally says "The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade."

So what's up? If Wilson was simply repeating what the IAEA had known for a month and that was all over the newspapers, why did Kristof report that as news? Kristof's version implies that Wilson 'reported' the information to the administration (we know know the CIA) in March '02 NOT to Kristoff in March '03.

All in all there is very little in the public record to support the idea that Wilson debunked the forgery to the CIA - Wilson denies it, and Kristof's wording doesn't exactly say that he did, just as it doesn't exacltly say the the VP sent Wilson.

DR

Just to clarify...

Joe Wilson and his wife donated to both democratic AND republican campaigns. Wilson served under Bush 41 and was responsible for getting the hostages home from Iraq when Saddam held them prior to Gulf War 1.0. That flaming lib!

Wilson did not start working for Kerry until AFTER the smear campaign started.

Gary Maxwell

Mickey Kaus is a Democrat but a fair one. Our Democrat friends here could learn some from him.

I like this conclusion to his take down of Kristof ( making fun of publishing a story in the dead tree version and then later putting up a kinda sorta you know correction):

The B.S. is free. The truth you have to pay for!

Gary Maxwell

Left out the Times Select version for the correction

clarice

I love Kaus, too.

DR, Joe was a Scowcroftian--you know doing nothing substantive in the ME except pressure Israel to concede more--gave us 50 "years of peace".Like the bien pensant layabouts in the DoS and CIA, he opposed the Bush proactive approach. He hsaid this mildly beginning in Feb 2003. And reserved his his attack on the Administration until May of 2003. Ass backwards your contention is.

Cecil Turner

Wilson denies it, and Kristof's wording doesn't exactly say that he did, just as it doesn't exacltly say the the VP sent Wilson.

In both cases, Kristof's second article is more definite (on positions we now know to be incorrect . . . partly because Wilson has disavowed them):

That was not just a case of hyping intelligence, but of asserting something that had already been flatly discredited by an envoy investigating at the behest of the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.
And:
Immediately upon his return, in early March 2002, this senior envoy briefed the C.I.A. and State Department and reported that the documents were bogus, for two main reasons. First, the documents seemed phony on their face — for example, the Niger minister of energy and mines who had signed them had left that position years earlier.
I don't see much to suggest an alternate interpretation, nor is it an unimportant point. Wilson's case depends on having debunked the Niger claims and having told the Administration about it (otherwise his "twisting" accusation makes no sense) . . . and both are false.

Wilson did not start working for Kerry until AFTER the smear campaign started.

Might want to recheck your dates. Wilson started working for Kerry's campaign in May, 03.

John Palmer

Though the June 13 article did say "at the behest", it also includes this:

Italy's intelligence service obtained the documents and shared them with British spooks, who passed them on to Washington. Mr. Cheney's office got wind of this and asked the C.I.A. to investigate.

The agency chose a former ambassador to Africa to undertake the mission, and that person flew to Niamey, Niger, in the last week of February 2002. This envoy spent one week in Niger, staying at the Sofitel and discussing his findings with the U.S. ambassador to Niger, and then flew back to Washington via Paris.

There's a lot that bugs me about this affair. For example, though Kristof says that Wilson showed the documents were wrong, he doesn't attribute that to Wilson. Perhaps I missed something where "a person present at the meeting" was a subtle way of talking about Wilson himself.

It's crazy. The only time we see words that we know damn well are Wilson's, he says flat out that he never saw the documents... yet everyone concentrates on Kristof's columns and the Post story, either, or both, of which could have been unclear.

The worst part of this is, while a lot of people are calling Wilson a liar, if you take away a claim that he specifically debunked the documents (that is: if we assume that he did not make that claim, and it seems likely that he did not), then the "lies" vanish. What else is left? That his wife didn't have anything to do with sending him? Well, she couldn't authorize the trip, and couldn't order anyone else to. It's a little careless, since she said he might be willing to volunteer his time, but given that his wife was harmed by her exposure, "she's got nothing to do with this!" is going to be on the tip of his tongue, anyway.

There aren't any other meaningful lies people can point to. Wilson never claimed that Cheney had sent him, and only reported that he assumed his trip had settled the matter... not that he knew, for a fact, that it had.

Given what he found (that there was solid accounting for the uranium and strong controls), it was reasonable to make this assessment.

dogtownGuy

"...After returning to the United States, the envoy reported to the CIA that the uranium-purchase story was false, the sources said. Among the envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong," the former U.S. government official said...."

Wilson and his channelers would seem to like to forget the previous Pincus and Kristoff columns and begin reality on July 6. Wilson has 3 versions for this...

1. He told SSIC he "mispoke" when confronted with (in particular) the statement above

2. He was "misquoted or misattributed" when confronted again

3. That he was purposely blind-sided by Committee staff--- by not given an opportunity to review relevant reporting that caused him to say the statement above, so therefore he was too confused to answer, so responded he "mispoke"...

(side note here, let's not forget ...when asked how he "knew" that the Intelligence Community had rejected the possibility of a Niger-Iraq uranium deal, as he wrote in his book, he told Committee staff that his assertion may have involved "a little literary flair." while we are at it.)

Wilson confuses the issue in his letter to SSCI by glossing over and Ignoring Pincus and Kristof, and only addressing July 6 Op-Ed. It's actually a clever way to re-write or rather RE-FRAME the issue. Committee staff know that Wilson has no need to refer to the "relevant" reporting because her was clear and consistent in his admitted source comments to Pincus and Kristoff. But Wilson tries to slice and dice his own OP-ED, the OP-ED that was written to cover or back pedal the very statements made to Kristoff and Pincus, in an effort to show he never asserted as such and pulls up the his much needed memory provider, the relevant reporting to illustrate his OP-ED is consistent and accurate....well, all fine and well, if he hadn't said so much to Pincus and Kristof (and his own book)


http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/05/07/con05233.html

Gary Maxwell

John Palmer

You say :

There aren't any other meaningful lies people can point to. Wilson never claimed that Cheney had sent him,

Are parsing too or did you forget about his speech to EPIC that we have a transcript where Wilson says he was sent "by the government not the CIA the government"

Now I will grant that does not have Cheney name in it but he was retailing the story that the Adminstration sent him just as sure as I am 2 +2 gets you 4.

clarice

Yes--and in that EPIC speech he affirms (in the Q and A) that he was the source of the Pincus and Kristof articles, Neither at that time nore in his subsequent appearances did he say the article misquoted him--until July of this year. Not only was he silent if the reports were in error, he affirmed them, I'd say.

nittypig

The Op-Ed also says:
"In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office. "

This states flat out that his charge was to investigate whether there had been an agreement signed between Niger and Iraq.

Per the SSCI this is untru about this:
"The talking points were general, asking officials if Niger has been approached, conducted discussions, or entered into any agreements concerning uranium transfers with any 'countries of concern'.... The talking points did not refer to the specific reporting on the alleged Iraq-Niger deal"

He was sent to investigate whether Iraq had had any meetings with Niger on uranium. He states he was sent to investigate the alleged deal, which was the geensis of the trip. The former PM told Wilson that he had been approached by Iraq in 1999, and he thought that the approach was about uranium sales.

Wilson's Op-Ed is simply wrong about what the CIA charged him with doing in Niger. This allows him, in the Op Ed, to hide the fact that he found evidence that Iraq had been seeking uranium from Niger.

Eric

How did the Kerry campaign learn that Joe Lies! was Kristoff's source? Or was it just conincidence they hired the former ambassador who caused such a kerfuffle throughout the remainder of the summer?

Did the Kerry campaign use the NYT? Or did the Kerry campaign and the NYT work in conjunction? (Recall the NYT used their six-degrees-of-separation argument to discredit the Swiftboaters. The Left then dismissed them based on this coverage.)

JM Hanes

Carot-
Oh Lordy, I just can’t resist! You’re shovelin’ turds alright:

#1: Historic Republican Talking Point, repeatedly denouced by Dems in the 20th century, newly resurrected for use in the 21st. “Anyone else who did this would be in jail.” Yet Clinton roams free!

#2: Shit-for-Logic: The President may actually exercise the authority granted to the Chief Exec. by law, thereby proving he has no respect for the rule of law. Bonus points for a classic Everybody-Knows premise.

# 3: “Whether Wilson was working for the Dems or not, or working against Bush in any way nothing he has said is basically inaccurate” (excepting, of course, all those times he mispoke or was misquoted).

Geez, why didn’t you relay this turd to candidate Kerry? He apparently thought Wilson had been thoroughly discredited and felt compelled to expunge the guy from his campaign website as though he never existed. Bonus points for gratuitous advice, speaking of which, you might want to clean up the following:

“There were no WMD's” Should read: “There are no WMD’s.”
“The documents were a forgery.” Never cited by the Administration.
“Saddam didn't buy uranium from Niger.” Who said he did & when did they say it?
“The truth is apolitical.” which is why it’s ignored so routinely in the capital.
“No lies will work here.” Absurd on its face.

#4: “Everything is the Republican's fault…” This should really be Turd Numero Uno! “Nothing can be accomplished by making the Dems look bad,” and when the Dems figure that out, their election prospects will improve considerably. Unfortunately, they remain in denial, which, I must agree, is probably why they can’t seem to fix the problem.

#5: “The Iraq war was wrong.” The past tense here is an esp. nice touch. Run, don’t walk, to Murdoc Online with your prognostications so that he can update his list.

#6: “The war was about the oil. If it wasn't then it should have been.” Choose one; we’ll talk.

# 7: “If Bush really cared about people in the [Darfur] region why didn't he care about them?” Oh dear, I'm afraid I’ll just have to wing it on this one: Because the he decided to take Kerry’s advice and go the U.N. route? Because he’s saving his pennies for the invasion of North Korea? Because President Bush doesn’t like black people? So many turds, so little time!

p.lukasiak

can someone here explain to me how the documents which claimed that a sale of yellowcake had been arranged could be something other than forged, when it was proven that the information in the documents was bogus?

Seriously, explain how BOGUS information about an IMPOSSIBLE sale could be gotten from GENUINE, UNFORGED documents...

[Third time lucky. TM]

Syl

Can someone explain to me why the FACT of documents being FORGED is so important if information contained in them was BOGUS?

Syl

You see, it has not been established that the information briefed from a memo which was a brief someone had gotten from a briefing was ever PROVEN BOGUS.

Syl

And can you explain to me why the fact there was ever a DOCUMENT that was FORGED means squat when the information it contained was never used in the 16 words anyway?

Wilson's a liar

Eric - No doubt, the Kerry campaign used the New York Times. Don't forget, Kerry's media guru at the time was Chris Lehane, the guy who got the "Rats Ad" story planted on the front page of the Times in the 2000 campaign. He was VERRRRRY good at manipulating reporters; in fact, a NYT story later in the campaign about Lehane specifically mentioned his uncanny ability to get reporters talking to each other about a story he planted, so that eventually nobody remembers where it came from. Sound familiar?

dogtownGuy

well herein-lies the problem...per the talking points Wilson was not charged with "DE-BUNKING" anything, rather dispatched to go find out if there was any truth and/or additional information that could be used by the Intelligence Community, not him, to ascertain the validity of foreign intelligence reporting. And He did!

He provided the Intelligence com. an affirmative on an effort.

The problem is the Lame Stream Media is ignorant of the actual scope (via the talking points) of Wilson's trip, so they allow Wilson to proclaim (lie) that he not only "debunked" a sale, but that he "de-bunked" the forgeries as well.

This is why Kristof looks like such a fool.

JM Hanes

NEWSFLASH:
Self-appointed self-help pseudo-guru p.lukasiak condemns search for for "damning 'evidence' that is easier to explain by miscommunication than by lying." Chastened Democrats see the light and agree amongst themselves to stop calling their Chief Executive a liar. "After all," conceded one former partisan, "the President's miscommunication skills are indisputable." "Intelligent discussion of the C.I.A. (A.K.A. "The Leaky Sieve") may now commence!" declared an anonymous official of dubious rank.

UPDATE: The nomination of Tim ("Tommy-boy") Maguire, whose Obsessive Parsing recently earned him a Nobel Prize, for top dog at Justice is widely expected to sail through the Senate. In other news, CNN's popular "Where Are They Now" reports on the conviction of p.lukasiak for the "wanton practice of psychiatry without a license" and "spurious distinctions which may (or may not) make a difference." One juror explained that changing your comments ex post facto just doesn't cut it in the court of public opinion. Lukasiak has been sentenced to a year in Remedial Logic 101.

Joe

I don't know, p. (can I call you p.?), from a quick perusal of your website, I presume you would be the forged document expert here.

p.lukasiak

And can you explain to me why the fact there was ever a DOCUMENT that was FORGED means squat when the information it contained was never used in the 16 words anyway?

good question. An even better question is why didn't the White House say "Joe Wilson is "debunking" a claim that we didn't make.... and although Mr. Wilson's efforts were essentially redundant, and we had no intention of making claims based on those documents because they had been discredited by other means, we do appreciate his efforts on behalf of the US government"...and let it fade into history?

and the answer to that is simple -- there were lots of other examples of the administration making claims about Niger. One major example was a State Department Fact Sheet dated 12/19/2002 created in response to Iraq's Declaration to the UN about its WMDs. The 'fact sheet' said...

The Declaration ignores efforts to procure uranium from Niger. Why is the Iraqi regime hiding their uranium procurement?

Unlike Bush's SOU statement, that is specific with regard to the country in question (Bush said "Africa") and was not qualified with "the British government has learned."

So while the White House could have "rebutted" Wilson's column with regard to the reference to the State of the Union, they still had the rest of the administration statements, which were specific and unqualified, to contend with.

Joe Wilson became the focus of the White House efforts to discredit its critics because he was providing answers at the point in time that the media was finally starting to ask questions. Lots of Bushco's claims had been rebutted in the run up to the war, and the media ignored it. But no WMDs were being found, the media was asking "Why", and Joe Wilson had the answer.

clarice

I believe the Administration was punctilious is not making claims not justified by the intel at hand. They stuck on the WMD question to the matters in the NIE as to which EVERY US intel agency signed on to. (Even Wilkerson admits that).

I am getting so angry about this Dem political nonsense...GRRR And when I get that angry watch out...........It's about time for me to dust off the secret memo to Rockefeller and writing in Jewish publications what a shanda it is that Levin and Waxman are behaving this way..Hell, Maybe I'll sign up for a tour of Hadassah with Ed Kock, and those gals are more ferocious that I am.

JM Hanes

p.l.
"Joe Wilson had the answer." Joe Wilson had tea with a bunch of folks who -- as you would put it -- might (or might not) be terminally stupid enough tell a party guy about their deepest, darkest, oh-so-clandestine illegal dealings with anybody on the oh-so-obviously-just-shoot-me-wrong side of the U.S. ledger.

Syl

p.l.

"The Declaration ignores efforts to procure uranium from Niger."

But there were efforts to procure uranium. Even Joe Wilson discovered that.

So what's your point?

Neo

Lost in all the noise is that the infamous "16 words" are in fact true. And can be determined to be true from the information gleaned by Joe Wilson on his trip to Niger.

In February 2002, Wilson met with Niger’s now former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki who told him of a visit by an Iraqi delegation in June 1999 who were interested in “expanding commercial relations” with Niger. Mayaki said he interpreted the overture as a bid to buy uranium yellowcake. (See Senate Intelligence Committee report, Page 43.)

So the crux of the Joe Wilson Op-Ed piece in the New York Times (i.e. "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium" was untrue, based on forgeries) can be disproven by the every information that Joe Wilson reported to his CIA debriefers in March 2002, which he conveniently forgot to mention since then. Afterall, "Ibrahim Mayaki" isn't exactly a household word, not even with Nexus-Lexus. Has anyone held Joe Wilson utter "Ibrahim Mayaki" ?

And besides, how would Joe Wilson know that the "16 words" were based on forgeries and not his own statements, unless his wife or one of her colleagues told him otherwise, but of course, it would be illegal to do so.

TP

The whole problem I have with the "Bush Lied" mantra is the image of all of those soldiers (and imbedded reporters) getting in and out of their chemical warfare outfits every time there was Iraqi artillery fire. You would think that if Bush was telling a lie so elaborate, it would be easy enough to plant some WMD and find them. As I recall, nobody expected to find nukes. The real danger on the nukes was that unless we left 100,000 troops on his border in the midst of unfriendly populations, he would have reconstituted the program, or eventually, started carrying on a suicide bombing program in Kuwait on the troops we had stationed there.

ratdog

A Tough Case? No Lie
It's Never Easy To Prove Perjury

By Michael N. Levy

Sunday, November 6, 2005; Page B01

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/04/AR2005110402300.html

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