Powered by TypePad

« Was Valerie Plame Covert? Once More, with Feeling | Main | Plame To Sue CIA - The Irony And The (Near) Ectasy »

May 31, 2007

Comments

Rocco

Sue

One theory I've read is that the CIA was trying to cover-up the Zahawie visit to Niger in early February 1999. That visit was the Niger-Iraq connection. From Wowie Zahawie

clarice

Rocco, to my mind that remains the most likely explanation--

Jeff Dobbs

Sue:
So those of us who don't like it should just shut up. Gotcha ya...

Well, I don't want to put words in Sara's mouth, but it almost sounded like you [and me, to which I've admitted] hate Bush as much as the moonbats.

I have to be careful, another bourbon and I'll be stomping my feet in a tantrum fit for a child (which, if I had another bourbon I might also accuse Sara's post as resembling)

PeterUK.

RichatUF,

Athens is a notoriously leaky and dangerous place for intelligence officers,quote,

"During training, every new operations officer hears the story of CIA station chief Richard Welch: He was killed by Greek "November 17" terrorists in Athens in 1975 after his cover was blown in an American publication run by rogue CIA officer Philip Agee. (The traitorous Agee, not surprisingly, now lives in Cuba".

All the major intelligence agencies have operations there,easy access into Europe,close to the Middle East and the former Soviet Union.As it says above,Greece has its own leftist terror group,these have connections to other world terror organisations,A British diplomat was assassinated there,as have others. A very dangerous place for a beginner.

lurker9876

I have read that Joe Wilson went over there as a cover up for either his deals or business?

anduril

The stint at the Embassy may have provided a bit of a come on to foreign services. She could have been talent spotting in London and Belgium, passing leads off for others to hopefully exploit but keeping her hands clean of any actual recruiting. At the same time, foreign services might approach her--a very junior dip who quit but is still active in international business might move back into government work or work her way up as a contractor to where she could get a clearance. So she could be an attractive recruitment target for foreign services, but would supposedly turn the tables on them, being Agency all along. But as I say, winding up as Joe Wilson's third smacks of serious existential despair.

Jeff Dobbs

[VIMH: You haven't told everyone that mrs hit and run and kids are out of town]
Cut the bullcrap, you mean "warned".

Yeah, whatever, ALERT, CODE RED, mrs hit and run and kids are out of town and I am UNSUPERIVSED with no supervisory duties...

You satisfied?

[VIMH: No. You didn't bring me a pepperoni calzone]
Tough sh**

Maybeex

I just this very second figured out what VIMH stands for.

PeterUK.

anduril ,
The point being in Athens,Plame will have been photographed if she went to the Embassy,somewhere she will have been on file.Traveling to Langley every day would have been noticed.

Other Tom

Two Martinis, almond-crusted Mahi-Mahi, healthy veggies, some extremely cheap Chardonnay--and what is the first thing I do? Why, I check in with my buds, of course.

Maybee, I think you're wasting your time posing questions to poor Douglas concerning Plame or anything else. He got exposed in a transparent effort to deceive, was challenged to explain himself and to answer a few questions, and promptly became too ill to respond. I believe he might now be found somewhere on the Pawtucket roster, if he is lucky.

Rocco

I believe this document (Please forgive the lefty leanings here) included among the forgeries, is authentic.

1. TLC NIGER DOC 1 and DOC 1A*

Cryptome Brief Description:
A letter from the Niger embassy in Rome to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Niger announcing Mr. Zahawie's trip also dated February 1, 1999. Probably authentic. [niger-doc-001]
A telex dated February 1, 1999, identical in text to the preceding letter. Probably authentic. [niger-doc-04]
[TLC Note: The Niger Ambassador's name is actually Adamou Chekou; *link to DOC 1A added on 2/20/06]

Link to Document: TLC Doc 1, Cryptome Doc 04; TLC Doc 1A, Cryptome Doc 001

Translation of contents by Cryptome [with my correction added for Zahawie's name and Niamey]:
0097652**
01/02 14:57
MINAFET 520****
626290 NIGER I

MINAFET 5200NI
626290 NIGER I

FAX # 803:9*: ASA**RONE OF 02/01/99

DESTINATION: HIS EXCELLENCY MISTER THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFAIRS
AND OF AFRICAN INTEGRATION

NIAMEY

I HAVE THE HONOR TO BRING TO YOUR ATTENTION THAT THE EMBASSY
OF IRAQ AT THE VATICAN JUST INFORMED ME THAT HIS EXCELLENCY
MR. WISSAM AL ZAHAWIE, AMBASSADOR OF IRAQ TO THE VATICAN,
WILL CARRY OUT AN OFFICIAL VISIT IN OUR COUNTRY IN THE ROLE
OF REPRESENTATIVE OF HIS EXCELLENCY MR. SADDAM HUSSEIN, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
OF IRAQ.

HIS EXCELLENCY MR. ZAHAWIE WILL ARRIVE IN NIAMEY ON FRIDAY THE 5TH OF FEBRUARY 1999 AROUND
18:25 THROUGH AIR FRANCE FLIGHT # 730 FROM PARIS.

I WOULD BE GRATEFUL OF THE DISPOSITIONS THAT YOU COULD MAKE HAPPEN REGARDING THIS.

REALLY HIGH CONSIDERATION

SIGNED: HIS EXCELLENCY A*MNON CHE*OU

------ AMBASSADOR NIGER ROME

636290 NIGER I*

*********** ***************

0029

Maybe this is what they were trying to discredit?

RichatUF

A blast from the past

RichatUF

Sue

I am flabbergasted to find out I hate Bush as much as the moonbats do.

Me too.

Good thing I stopped and got some bourbon on the way home.

Pour me another one...

Jeff Dobbs

Maybeex:
I just this very second figured out what VIMH stands for.

Yeah, I only referenced it once or so...and should have more,,,,

Voice In My Head

anduril

PeterUK, of course. In Athens she would have been under "official cover" pretending to be a very junior dip, a very suitable role for her, given her age and educational background. Every intelligence service in the world, or at least those with a presence in Athens, would be checking her out (obviously including photos) to try to figure out whether she was really DoS or might be Agency--just like they check out all the diplomats, and add them to their databases.

After a few years she "quits" DoS and goes off, supposedly, for more schooling. She's no longer openly affiliated with the government--her cover is "non-official" and, since she's overseas, she's also "covert" for purposes of the IIPA. Now, other intelligence services might have their suspicions of her, but she's established her legend as a "former" diplomat who has moved on. Either way, other services might make a run at her for the reasons I already gave, while she's talent spotting for the Agency. That's fine, because other parts of the Agency will be watching her trying to learn who's who around her.

However, once she goes back to a desk job at Langley, well, any cover she had is definitely blown--count to 5 years from her return and you get the cutoff date for when anyone can sing to the world about our gal Val, the formerly covert spy, without worrying about the IIPA. That also means that the Agency should be very careful about using anyone who was associated with her at all, because if the bad guys have been doing their job they will notice her and start researching her past all over again.

RichatUF

Sue

First, sorry for the italics. Hit post while answering phone without double checking. My bad

Second, And not the fact that you know the Shiner distributor either. Or was it Lone Star? Or Both?!!?!??

Why don't I believe you? ::grin::

Sue

The minute her name was actually associated with the planning of the trip, there was a legitimate reason for her name to have come up.

One explanation Wilson gave as to why people thought Valerie was involved in the 2002 trip was she had recommended him for the 1999 trip. I never understood why there was a difference in the two situations. If he was qualified in 1999, was he not also qualified in 2002? And if so why all the run around? Your explanation works as well as any I can come up with.

Jeff Dobbs

Sue:
Pour me another one...

Well...if you were coming this way...(mrs hit and run will be coming down I-30 in july...but...nevermind)

Or....if JMH would come over on I40 (or Hwy150?)..........big fish fry tomorrow in our neighborhood.....jus sayin)

Jeff Dobbs

Sue:
Why don't I believe you? ::grin::

Because YOUR'RE sober.

hic....

Maybeex

OT- Dinner sounds goood!

So, who else here would just love to know what embarrassed her so much about the 1999 trip. heh.

Sue

Well...if you were coming this way

Should I just stand out on the interstate with a sign that reads "Mrs. Hit and Run...need ride going your way...have beer..."?

::grin::

Rocco

Here's what Wilson said about his 99 trip to the Univerity of Virginia's UVA

In fact after the President, the military dictator had been assassinated, I went to see his successor and at the request of some of my friends there and some of the colleagues with whom I had been working, I went to see the new military dictator and I told him in no uncertain terms, that the only way he was going to get out of this mess, not just alive, but perhaps with a chance to restore his own personal honor, and the honor of his organization, the Presidential guard that had been responsible for the assassination of his predecessor. The only chance he had was to get out and effect a change back to democratic rule as quickly as possible. I told him, I said, that you need to understand from my experience in Africa that your successor president probably will not be very comfortable with you standing watching his back after you have effected the transition. After all, your organization was responsible for the assassination of your predecessor shooting him in the back. Therefore, I said to him, I think that you probably ought to leave the country for a while. Those are pretty strong words to walk into a military barracks and tell a guy who has assassinated his predecessor and has assumed responsibility for his country.
I came back a year later during the course of the transition and the president met me at the airport. He was on his way to Nigeria. He was still present as the transition had not taken place although the elections had taken place.
Sue

Maybee,

The part of her memo where she says "end of story" makes me think something happened about that trip. Did she pester someone to send him? Was she told never again? Why the need for a memo to begin with? If they knew him, had used him before, why the need to put his qualifications in a memo? And did you notice his qualifications? That would get you a cup of coffee at our office...as receptionist. What good does having good relations with someone do if you don't have the skills to ask the right questions?

Sue

Rocco,

I have come to disregard anything Joe Wilson says. How do you tell truth from fantasy? I get the impression he is one of those people who tells you what they wished they had done or said instead of what they actually did or said. However, it is a fact he was there. It is also a fact he said his wife recommended him. Therefore, confusion reigns as to which trip she was involved in. And at that point, I'm confused as to why it mattered.

RichatUF

anduril says...

...After a few years she "quits" DoS and goes off, supposedly, for more schooling...
And while she is in school her skills go stale, espically if she were in a full-time program at LSE. If she kept her skills fresh, she would have brought alot of attention to herself and defeated the purpose. And if the CIA wanted to use her as bait, why give her a junior position in the US Embassy, what kind of access [including her looks] could she get in a couple of years?

...Either way, other services might make a run at her for the reasons I already gave, while she's talent spotting for the Agency...

But why would a state even run the risk of burning an in-place agent in London. Now I might buy the argument if a group: diamond traders, weapons dealers, etc: would run the risk to get some former gov't talent. And the US has agreements with GB regarding intelligence matters-running a recruitment op like that would probably not fly unless GB signed off.

I don't know...h&r pass some of the burbon this way...going glass in hand

RichatUF

Jeff Dobbs

Sue:
Should I just stand out on the interstate with a sign that reads "Mrs. Hit and Run...need ride going your way...have beer..."?

Yes. No.

Oh crap. The dates aren't making sense right now and mrs hit and run is not here......you're good for a couple weeks anyway...stand down on the I30 sign

Jeff Dobbs

NEW THREAD.

topsecretk9
Which makes me curious that the damage assessment of the Plame (or is it Wilson) name hasn't leaked...

...One theory I've read is that the CIA was trying to cover-up the Zahawie visit to Niger in early February 1999. That visit was the Niger-Iraq connection. From Wowie Zahawie

-------

...As U.S. and British troops began flooding into Kuwait, Col. Gadhafi grew agitated, diplomats said. Italian press accounts quote then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as saying that Col. Gadhafi had called him to say he feared he would be America's next target. "Tell them I will do whatever they want," said one diplomat, recounting the call. In ***early**** March 2003 just days before the start of the Iraq war, Saif and Musa Kusa, a top Libyan intelligence official, contacted the British to say that Col. Gadhafi wanted to "clear the air" about WMD programs in exchange for assurances that the U.S. would not try to topple his regime, according to several accounts...

... "We needed something bold, something big enough to have impact," he said. "Shock therapy! We knew the Americans would not find yellowcake in Iraq--as we warned them--but that there was yellowcake in Libya, and that this card was worth something." ...

Washington was skeptical. To prevent leaks and sabotage by neoconservatives and other officials opposed to normalizing relations with Tripoli, details of the Libyan overtures and some half-dozen secret meetings that followed the March overture over the next seven months in London, Geneva and even Tripoli were known to only a handful of senior U.S. officials.

...Yet as American forces became bogged down in Iraq, Col. Gadhafi's enthusiasm for giving up his WMD programs seemed to wane. Libya had yet to acknowledge even that it possessed banned weapons and programs, a senior official told me. And while the Libyans had agreed in principle to let a team of U.S.-U.K. weapons experts visit sites in Libya, no date had been set. "No agreement on a date meant there was essentially no agreement on a visit," the official said. The talks stalled.

---------

In chapters devoted to Pakistan's chief customers--Iran, North Korea and Libya--Mr. Corera traces the outflow of blueprints and materials, particularly intense in the 1990s. Alas, the U.S. intelligence services at the time, although supposedly devoted to preventing nuclear proliferation, were almost completely in the dark about the biggest proliferation racket going. Their analysts were aware that Pakistan was importing nuclear technology. They failed to grasp that such purchases were often intended for re-export.

By the close of the 1990s, the CIA started to scrutinize Khan's activities and travels, still without realizing their full importance. One of the more curious details in Mr. Corera's book is that the agency turned to Joe Wilson, the husband of CIA officer Valerie Plame, to investigate some of Khan's African visits. To this end, Mr. Wilson traveled to uranium-rich Niger in 1999, a full three years before he went there to investigate Saddam Hussein's possible attempts to buy "yellowcake" uranium. Mr. Wilson found nothing worrisome in Niger either time.

Unsurprisingly, 9/11 changed everything. Documents captured by the U.S. in Afghanistan suggested Pakistan-Taliban nuclear cooperation, alarming the CIA. The agency pressed harder for clues to Pakistan's nuclear export activities. More and more evidence implicated Khan. The decisive moment came in 2003, when Libya turned its nuclear program over to the U.S. and Britain. Libyan documents supplied direct proof of Khan's dealings...


________

copies of the Niger forgeries to the IAEA/U.N. on February 4

(This is the time period Wilson was calling all around State to find out if the 16 words were in reference to Niger - State (Walter K? told him that it could be to the other african countires and - um - for the short time being wilson was saitisfied)

________

Only some time after the forgeries were revealed on March 7 by the IAEA director general Mohamed El Baradei did the inspectors receive further ill-defined information.
topsecretk9

--NEW THREAD.

Posted by: hit and run | June 01, 2007 at 10:28 PM--

figures.

anduril

Have it your way, Rich. The Agency trains her for 2-1/2 years, then sends her to Athens, London and Belgium for the next, oh, seven or eight years to do--nothing but study? You know best.

topsecretk9

Khan, Zahawie and Wilson were all in Niger in February 1999.

and like 2002

Mr. Wilson found nothing worrisome in Niger

On a lighter note, the above is not altogether a resume builder. I don't think it's a leap to think at a minimum his CIA sponsored intelligence missions were over.

RichatUF

Yikes...I'm missing the new thread.

and anduril your missing my point. I'm saying she was doing other work after she finished school [if in fact she went]-not that she was doing "nothing"

RichatUF

cathyf

While we are on the subject of Plame's covertness timeline, remember that the CIA told Waxman that Plame's CIA affiliation was classified under "Executive Order 12958", which was issued on April 17, 1995 (and revoked by EO 13292 on March 25, 2003). Unless the CIA was just baldfaced lying, her covertness did extend past April 17, 1995.

clarice

It's a good point cathyf, and you are shrewd to note it.

DouglasS

Other Tom: "Joe Wilson simply lied when he said she had 'nothing to do with it.' … any claim that she had nothing to do with the trip is falsehood"

Other Tom seems to have simply lied when he said that Wilson said she had "nothing to do with it." You presented those words as an exact quote. Can you find the place where he actually said those exact words? I can't. I think your purported quote is in the category of fake and also not very accurate.

I think that like many other people have done, you're presenting a mangled version of something Wilson said in his book (p. 5, browsable here):

Apart from being the conduit for 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. Though she worked on weapons of mass destruction issues, she was not at the meeting I attended where the subject of Niger's uranium was discussed, when the possibility of my actually traveling to the country was broached. She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip.

Please consider the following two statements:

A) Val played a minor role in my trip. However, the key point is that she didn't originate the idea of sending me, and she didn't make the decision to send me.

B) She played no role whatsoever in my trip.

In my opinion, A is a fair paraphrase of what Wilson actually said, and B is not. Trouble is, you, like many people, are claiming Wilson said B, even though he didn't.

Speaking of statements like "nothing to do with it," do you think it's fair to claim that Cheney had "nothing to do with it [Wilson's trip]?" Keep in mind what SSCI said:

Officials from the CIA’s DO Counterproliferation Division (CPD) told Committee staff that in response to questions from the Vice President’s Office and the Departments of State and Defense on the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal, CPD officials discussed ways to obtain additional information [portion redacted] who could make immediate inquiries into the reporting, CPD decided to contact a former ambassador to Gabon who had a posting early in his career in Niger.

In other words, "questions from the Vice President’s Office" were a major influence behind Wilson's trip. But of course that fact doesn't stop folks like Power Line from making statements like this:

the Vice-President's office had nothing to do with it [Wilson's trip]

Cheney and Plame both played some kind of a role in Wilson's trip. Cheney's defenders falsely deny this. Plame's defenders do not.

"I have never understood that she 'sent' him"

As I showed above, you did indeed claim that "she 'sent' him."

"Wilson also remained silent when others--including Senator Rockefeller -- interpreted him as claiming that the Vice President had sent him."

It would help if you let us know what statement by Rockefeller you're thinking of. Anyway, no one, including Wilson, is responsible for all the myriad ways they may get misinterpreted or misquoted.

"Remaining silent when on notice of a material false statement is a species of fraud"

That's hysterically funny. I guess you're going to explain why Bush didn't speak up when Gonzales swore that DOJ never objected to Bush's NSA program. I guess you're also going to explain all the instances of Maguire ignoring "material false statement[s]" that populate threads like this one.

Here's another fun one: Cheney telling us that Saddam had "reconstituted nuclear weapons," and then waiting roughly six months before bothering to mention that he didn't really mean to say that. By your standard, this is "a species of fraud," not just on Cheney's part, but also on the part of all his colleagues (Bush et al) who are guilty of "remaining silent when on notice of a material false statement."

Hmm, let's see. It's Wilson's job to correct everyone who puts words in his mouth, but Cheney has no need to correct bogus words that ended up in his mouth with no help from anyone else at all. IOKIYAR.

"you seem unduly picayune in branding as a 'lie' the assertion that 'Armitage was the leaker' "

That statement ('Armitage was the leaker') is easily interpreted as follows: 'Armitage is the only person who leaked Plame's identity to the press.' To the extent that certain people seem to be promoting that interpretation, they are telling a lie, and it's far from picayune.

"I've seen no 'proof' that Plame drove herself to work at Langley every day … But I have seen the assertion made often, and I have never seen it refuted"

Here's some speculation: the CIA would prefer not to encourage an in-depth discussion regarding how many classified employees drive to Langley every day. Maybe it's a somewhat common practice and they'd rather not talk about it, because talking about it would lead to a discussion of various non-obvious counter-measures they use to feel comfortable doing it.

"how on earth did she get to her desk"

Here's a possibility: maybe she mostly worked at home. Or in any number of other possible locations, outside of Langley.

My point is that many people say, as if it's a proven fact, that she drove to Langley every day. This just proves that lots of people are making up their own facts.

"I'll leave it to you to explain to everyone here why you chose not to include the phrase, 'Didn't happen.' "

Because it's completely irrelevant to my point. In the referenced post, what you were saying "didn't happen" was "Rove … pushing the story."

I'll leave it to you to explain to everyone here why you chose not to include what followed the phrase "didn't happen." Here's the more complete context:

"...he knew Rove was pushing the story shortly thereafter." Pushing? You mean, like, calling people up and alerting them to the fact that Plame sent Wilson? Didn't happen. And neither Rove's statement to Novak nor his statment to Cooper was "unsolicited." Remember, it was Cooper who called Rove, not the reverse, and the purpose of the call was to discuss welfare reform. Cooper brought up the Wilson thing.

One more time: last year you stated, as if it was a proven fact, that "Plame sent Wilson." And in this thread, you claimed you never said it. Which is what I pointed out here.

By the way, if you had really been trying to say that what "didn't happen" was "the fact that Plame sent Wilson," then the rest of the thread would have been filled with people like Mike telling you how wrong you are. Guess what: didn't happen.

"What difference does it make whether anyone claimed that Plame 'sent' her husband, as opposed to claiming merely that she 'recommended' him?"

Because there's a material difference between making a decision ("sent") and making a suggestion ("recommended"). The former requires authority. The latter does not.

Anyway, what's relevant about "sent" is that it's the claim made by the White House and a bunch of their pals. Trouble is, the claim is not supported by the facts, as Bond has belatedly acknowledged.

Also, as I've explained, there's a material difference between claiming "she 'recommended' him" in a way that falsely implies that she was the first and only person to do that, as compared with saying that she merely went along with a direction that had already been set by others.

"Isn't the point that her husband lied in saying she had 'nothing to do' with the assignment?"

Uh, no. The point is that people like you are lying when you falsely suggest that you're fairly paraphrasing what he actually said.

"Can't we all agree that, 'but for' Valerie, Joe wouldn't have gone?"

That's a silly and unanswerable hypothetical question. "But for" Joe's mom, he also "wouldn't have gone." That doesn't mean Joe's mom "sent" him, or played any role in his trip.

Can't we all agree that, 'but for' Cheney asking questions, Joe wouldn't have gone? Yes, there's some indication that a trip was being considered before Cheney spoke up, but it seems the plans accelerated significantly after he spoke up. Also, while we know of an occasion when Cheney asked questions, we are not in a position to assume that no one in his office asked similar questions prior to that.

"isn't his statement a plain and simple lie?"

If you're willing to misquote someone and take their words out-of-context, you can prove that anything is a "lie."

"Isn't it true beyond serious doubt that the answer to the question, 'who leaked to Bob Novak' is 'Armitage was the leaker?' "

It's typical that you have a hard time keeping track of the difference between a fact and a guess. Here's something we can treat as a fact: Armitage leaked to Novak. I think we can even say the following is a fact: Armitage was the first to leak to Novak. Trouble is, Rove also leaked to Novak (yes, a confirming statement is a kind of a leak; see SF-312). And here's something that's only a guess: no one leaked to Novak other than Armitage and Rove.

By the way, I realize that the question "who leaked to Bob Novak" preceded the question "who leaked," but that doesn't mean the former question is more important than the latter. The story started with the former question only because Novak happened to be the first to write an article. That doesn't mean the other leaks to other journalists are less offensive than the leaks to Novak.

"It would appear that poor Douglas is still quite ill"

Uh, no. It's a little thing called enjoying the nice weather. And it's another little thing called taking the time to be thorough and to make sure I've got my facts straight. You should try it sometime.

"2,155? How can that be?"

You missed this part: "at least."

"I almost wish it hadn't been completely debunked by the evidence at the Libby trial."

We'd appreciate hearing an example of what you think was "completely debunked by the evidence at the Libby trial."

DouglasS

Mike: "I was merely inferring from all the headlines and general mention in the media that they wanted to know the ‘story’ behind the Niger Mission"

Yes, they wanted to know the story. And as with any story, there's a long version and a short version. This is the short version, as told by the White House: she sent him. That's the story that was told by Rove, Libby, Bartlett, Fox et al (including you). Trouble is, that story is not supported by the facts.

"because the VP claimed that he hadn’t ‘suggested’ or ‘requested’ it"

And that was a straw man set up by the VP, because Wilson never claimed that Cheney ‘suggested’ or ‘requested’ Wilson's trip. Read what Wilson actually said in his op-ed. His description of Cheney's role is essentially identical to SSCI's description of Cheney's role.

"I understand that you do agree that Plame ‘suggested’ the mission, and that she ‘suggested’ Wilson for the mission"

Uh, no, because when you say it that way you imply that she originated those ideas. Her 2/12/02 email, which Bond shared with us so eagerly (albeit with some highly suspect redactions), makes clear that someone else had raised the idea that CIA should send Wilson to Niger. The plain reading of her memo is that she merely cooperated with an idea that already had been set into motion by others.

"she ‘convened’ the interagency meeting"

That word ("convened") can mean a lot of things. It can mean that her boss said to her 'set up a meeting for me.' Something a secretary does. And the fact that she "stayed at the meeting only long enough to introduce her husband" (Bond's pdf, p. 211) is a powerful indication that folks other than her were truly running the show.

If all I told you about meeting X is that it was "convened" by person Y, you would naturally assume they ran the meeting. You would probably be surprised to learn that they weren't even present for most of the meeting.

"The first thing I noticed is that the definiton [of 'sent'] doesn't include the word authorized."

Rove said she "authorized the trip." Libby said she "sent" him. Are you really claiming they weren't both saying essentially the same thing? Really? Can you articulate the difference? Maybe right after you tell us about the meaning of "is?"

And you're still dodging the central point, which has nothing to do with the word "authorized." Bond has now admitted Plame didn't "send" Wilson. In fact, Bond is suggesting no one ever made that claim. Trouble is, the White House and their supporters has spent the last few years making precisely that claim.

"Could it be that Douglas is being just a bit anal about this?"

Uh, no. I'm just paying attention to what people actually have said, rather than some fantasy of what they've said.

DouglasS

boris: "If the CIA doesn't treat their own information as classified that obligation does not pass to others."

Classified information is classified information. If someone at the CIA is breaking some rules (which is just an unproven allegation on your part), that doesn't mean that classified information magically becomes unclassified.

"Otherwise one is in the position of asking 'is this classified' for every single item of information they provide."

No. Not "every single item of information." Only "every single item of information" where there's room for uncertainty. If my pal at the CIA tells me that Bush likes to bicycle, it's a matter of common sense to understand that this information is not classified. But if my pal at the CIA tells me that Valerie Plame is an "agency operative" working "on weapons of mass destruction," a reasonable person understands that there's at least a chance that this information might be classified.

You're ignoring the plain language of SF-312, which is also simple common sense: if you're not sure, ask first. It's a matter of common sense that the proper practice is to err on the side of security. And this is explicitly required by SF-312.

There isn't the faintest sign that Rove et al ever asked. There also isn't the faintest sign that any CIA official ever said to them anything like this: 'say whatever you want to whomever you want, because nothing about her status is classified.' In the absence of such a declaration, Rove et al were not in a position to be certain her status was unclassified. Since they were not certain, they were obliged to ask. Trouble is, they didn't.

"That would clearly be ridiculous."

Here's what "would clearly be ridiculous:" a policy that encourages people with a security clearance to assume that everything they hear is unclassified, unless explicitly told otherwise. In other words, when dealing with classified information, err on the side of having a big mouth. The folks who formulated SF-312 emphatically rejected this ridiculous policy which you're promoting.

By the way, if it's really true that her status was unclassified, then there was no need for the coverup. Fleischer would have and could have simply said this: 'yes, Rove and Libby discussed Plame with reporters, and there's nothing wrong with that because her status is unclassified.' And the original statements to reporters would have been on the record. There would have been nothing to hide. If your theory is correct, that her status was unclassified, then why all the hiding? The answer is clear: they knew she was classified, and they knew what they did was wrong, and that's why they went to great lengths to hide their actions, both during and after.

"Zero terrorist attacks in 5 years doesn't cout?"

Maybe you haven't noticed, but Americans are being killed in "terrorist attacks" on a daily basis.

And if you want to claim that only "terrorist attacks" inside our borders are what concern you, then you have to acknowledge that Clinton's record on that score is way ahead of Bush's.

DouglasS

jane: "I believe that if the left had gotten behind this war from the beginning, it would be over now."

Last time I checked, "the left" wasn't in charge of the war. If I remember correctly, the GOP controlled Congress and the White House for roughly the first 45 months of the war. I know it's terribly old-fashioned of me, but that tells me that the GOP is fully accountable for what our government did during that period. You seem to be suggesting that Bush would have done the right thing, except he was terribly afraid that Cindy Sheehan and Barbra Streisand were going to say something mean about him.

It's great to understand the GOP concept of accountability: blame for the war is placed on everyone except the people who designed, sold, and ran it.

sue: "Valerie Plame Wilson has told 3 separate stories to 3 separate agencies. Which one is correct?"

In this many of those three instances have I seen a complete transcript: one. In the other two, we're expected to completely rely on Bond's characterization of her remarks, supported only by snippers of text taken out-of-context. No thanks. Let us know when Bond is ready to show us a complete transcript of the other occasions he expects us to get excited about.

In the meantime, we'd love to hear your speculation about why Bond has not offered those transcripts (he's obviously familiar with the concept of redaction).

Likewise for your speculation about why 4 of his 6 Republican colleagues on the committee decided they didn't want to be associated with this particular crusade of his. Maybe it's because they know what's in the transcripts Bond seems reluctant to share with us.

Aside from that, it seems to me that your priorities are kind of odd if you think that assessing Plame/Wilson's credibility is more consequential than assessing Bush's. There's a weird logic that goes something like this: 'it's obvious Bush is a liar, and it's getting more and more ridiculous to claim he's not, so we'll do the next best thing and try to prove that Wilson's a liar too.' Where would we be without misdirection.

"I don't understand why they are fighting so hard to keep Val away from the 2002 mission."

It's not a question of "fighting so hard to keep Val away from the 2002 mission." It's a question of objecting to an outright lie: that she sent him.

I don't understand why the White House fought so hard to sell that lie. Actually, I do understand. They were desperate to discredit him, and they had nothing legitimate to work with (like, say, non-forged documents), so they made the best of a bad situation and tried to make him look like a wimp who couldn't find work without help from his wife. Lame? Yes. But it's all they had, so they ran with it. And as this thread illustrates, various folks are still running.

"The part of her memo where she says 'end of story' makes me think something happened about that trip. Did she pester someone to send him? Was she told never again?"

I think you're confused. "The part of her memo where she says 'end of story' " is obviously not a reference to the 1999 trip.

"If they knew him, had used him before, why the need to put his qualifications in a memo"

It could be that there were some new people around, and a memo like this would be a good way to make sure everyone is up to speed.

"It is also a fact he said his wife recommended him."

Are you saying it's "a fact he said his wife recommended him" for his 2002 trip? Really? Source?

lady: "These are 'country club' Republicans and are no better than the 'limousine liberals.' Out of touch elitists."

What's incredibly ironic about your remark is that it's exactly the 'country club' Republicans who want the cheap labor guaranteed by amnesty. Who do you think clips the grass and washes the dishes at the country club? And who works for cheap wages at the corporations who pay for the memberships at the country club?

rick: "Nobody gets much credit for effective prevention - something that didn't happen is hard to measure."

Good point. Here's something that "didn't happen" on Clinton's watch: 9/11.

DouglasS

rich: "She wrote the memo"

Right. The memo which documents the fact that the idea of sending him started with someone else.

"wrote (oops, drafted) the cable"

Right. The cable that Bond doesn't bother to share with us. Gee, I wonder what it really said.

"convened the meeting"

Right. The meeting that she essentially didn't attend. Some "convened."

"the helpful phone call that Joe Wilson made to Walter Keinstenner"

I think you mean Kansteiner. First of all, it was a visit, not a phone call (see Wilson's book, link cited above, page 17). And I have no idea what claim you're making about this visit.

"How is it a distortion to say 'she was involved in the decision to send him' ?"

Because the reports officer cited by Bond said she wasn't "involved in the decisionmaking."

By the way, who are you quoting ("'she was involved in the decision to send him")? What Libby et al said went beyond that. They simply said she sent him. No need to bother with "involved."

"who sent him? Who signed the travel orders"

Maybe someday someone will tell us. All we know so far is that it wasn't her.

"Seems no one really wants to say how the mission was planned."

Seems Bush isn't really eager to order the CIA to release all sorts of documents that would answer these questions (maybe you forgot that he has the power to do so). I wonder why that would be.

"Valerie Plame Wilson was involved in … the execution of the mission"

Really? In what way? Source, please.

"Valerie Plame Wilson was involved in … the debriefing"

Really? In what way? Source, please. Maybe you didn't notice that the reports officer cited by Bond specifically indicated that "she couldn't be involved … in [his] debriefing" (p. 210 of the Bond pdf).

I guess you also didn't notice that according to SSCI (p. 43), she "did not participate in the debrief."

"She was a GS-14, right she had no 'authority'. "

No one has claimed she "had no 'authority.' " What's being pointed out is that she didn't have the authority to send Wilson on this trip. And even if she did have the authority, she didn't exercise it. As Bond has admitted: she didn't send Wilson.

By the way, please try to keep your talking points in order. I though we were supposed to believe she was a lowly desk-jockey, a pencil-pusher, and therefore outing her was no big thing. Now you're pointing out that she actually had a senior position. Please try to pick one story and stick with it.

"Joe was sent (funny after Plame offered up his name) in Feb 1999. This always seems to get lost."

Uh, not exactly. It "always seems to get lost" in the thinking of rightys who like to claim that he wasn't qualified for his 2002 trip to Niger. It becomes more difficult to make this claim in light of the fact that CIA had already used him in Niger.

By the way, please try not to change the subject. The question is not whether or not she sent him in 1999. Who knows, maybe she did. It's hard to say, because there's very little information available about that. The question is whether she sent him in 2002.

"Also the remaining of the sentence shows that [redacted] pursued the 'separate Niger matter' using liaison-so maybe [redacted] had second thoughts on Joe’s tea sampling abilities."

Who knows. Lots of things are possible. Bond redacted the document so heavily it's hard to tell. But it's clear that someone other than Plame first came up with the idea of sending Wilson to Niger in 2001/2002.

"Valerie recommended Joe for the Feb 1999 trip and the Feb 2002 trip, why am I skeptical that she had no role in the Feb 2001 trip."

What "Feb 2001 trip?" Wilson went to Niger in 2001? Or Plame did? Really? Tell us more.

"the ellipsis are part of the original"

One would feel more confident of that if Bond had given us a photo of the printed email, instead of giving us a retyped version. People make all sorts of mistakes, innocent and otherwise, when they retype things.

"The only thing redacted was the 'separate Niger matter' [probably AQ Khan] and the names and offices in the distribution, which was probably done as she was writing the memo."

Really? "Done as she was writing the memo?" So as she wrote the email, she actually typed "[redacted]?" And "[my husband]?" I can't tell if you're serious.

"And the cable’s distribution was…or from the SSCI, July 04, page 39"

Speaking of mysterious ellipses. It looks like you were about to answer my question and suddenly decided to talk about something completely different. I had asked you your source for claiming that her cable was sent to "to the larger IC and FS community."

"It is appropriate to say she was involved in the decisionmaking to get Joe Wilson the trip"

Yes, provided you think it's "appropriate" to invent your own facts. You need to talk to the reports officer who said that she wasn't "involved in the decisionmaking." Please remember this is precisely the same person who is the source for the famous "offered up his name" quote that appears in SSCI 2004, a quote that rightys love to repeat.

"I still don't get why it is an argument that Valerie Plame Wilson wanted Joe to go to Niger"

The Bush narrative depends on the idea that Plame sent Wilson. The whole idea is that he's an incompetent who can't get a job without help from his wife. Classic Rovian character assassination.

"he went, even after the current US Ambassador to Niger didn't see the point"

It's true that Owens-Kirkpatrick "didn't see the point." That's because she was already convinced that the yellowcake allegations were baloney.

"and prevented him from talking to then current officials"

It's true that she asked him to not talk to "then current officials." They probably would have considered the question insulting. Aside from that, there was also a certain logic in talking to prior officials. The forged documents were about a deal from 1999, so it made sense to talk the people who were in power at that time.

DouglasS

top: "Don't the lefties wonder why her superior (and the CIA) who planned the Niger mission, accepted the suggest of Joe Wilson as a suitable candidate and then signed off on the mission hasn't all these years ever even leaked and come to her rescue?"

No, the lefties wonder how rightys can be so ignorant as to not notice that the reports officer who was misquoted in SSCI 2004 has indeed "come to her rescue" and insist that Bond set the record straight.

"It's really sad they have to diig in so deep to prop up these truth challenged shysters in order to keep them heros."

The "truth challenged shysters" are Bush et al, and you've done a great job of summarizing your relationship with them.

"Khan, Zahawie and Wilson were all in Niger in February 1999"

Really? We know Wilson was there in 1999. How do you know it was February?

By the way, it wasn't Khan. It was an associate of his, allegedly.

Sorry to confuse you with the facts.

clarice: "Libby was the point man on getting the NSA approval from DoJ"

Right. That would explain why Gonzales and Card, but not Libby, were sent to give Ashcroft his get-well card.

may: "I did not recommend him, I did not suggest him"

I think it's helpful to keep in mind the question she was answering: "Did you make the decision to send Ambassador Wilson to Niger?" And this was her answer, in slightly fuller form:

No. I did not recommend him, I did not suggest him, there was no nepotism involved -- I didn't have the authority.

"Do you think she neither recommended him nor suggested him?"

I think I've already answered that earlier in this thread. Let me know if you think otherwise. In short: I think she cooperated with a plan that was initiated and directed by others. I think this scenario is highly congruent with the known facts. The White House and its pals have spent several years promoting a different scenario, which requires distorting the known facts and treating guesswork as fact.

"she said the proof that she did neither was borne out in the Libby trial. Do you think that's accurate?"

I don't have a transcript of the trial, so I'm not in a position to guess about what part of the trial she's talking about.

"who else here would just love to know what embarrassed her so much about the 1999 trip."

I missed the part where she said she was embarrassed about "the 1999 trip."

peter: "wasn't it crass incompetence by the CIA sending Plame's husband in the first place"

Of course. The fact that he had many years of respected experience in Africa and Iraq are completely irrelevant. It would have made much more sense to send someone with experience in, say, horse breeding.

Obviously it was a terrible mistake to send someone who would return with a truthful answer, rather than the politically desirable one.

"Athens is a notoriously leaky and dangerous place for intelligence officers … a very dangerous place for a beginner."

Rich made a mistake by suggesting there was a reference to Athens, Greece. It was Athens St, NYC. Then again, maybe that's also "a notoriously leaky and dangerous place for intelligence officers."

And we're always happy to have your breathless speculation, even if it involves the wrong hemisphere.

Rich, great job with the careful, attentive research.

anduril: "The stint at the Embassy"

See above.

Next up, anduril will explain that the Embassy Suites Hotels are part of the State Dept.

topsecretk9

snooze.

RichatUF


DouglasS...

APO 09225->Larson Barracks Germany...mail depot...as addressed would go to US Embassy-Athens (which would be in Greece)

Great eye...just like missing the point about a memo, a cable, AND a meeting...a Rovian plot, ridiclous, did Rove turn on his mind control machine and make Val suggest Joe, and type the memo and cable, and hold Joe's hand to the meeting room

and thanks for finding the article...

graf...A former senior American diplomat in Athens, who remembers Plame as "pleasant, very well-read, bright,"

or

...After the completion of her Athens tour, the CIA reportedly sent Plame to study in Europe...

or from the VF article

...Meanwhile, Plame learned Greek-she can also speak French and German-and was sent to Athens. There she had what is known as "State Department cover."...

What was the distribution of the famous "she didn't recommend him cable"...

a treasure trove of links

from the SSCI re the mystery cable...

...This was just one day before CPD sent a cable [………………………] requesting concurrence with CPD’s idea to send the former ambassador to Niger and requesting any additional information from the foreign government service on their uranium reports...

The redacted portion is at least 28 characters long and concurrence would seem to imply the message was going sideways. I'd be interested in seeing the actual cable and its distribution list. But the meeting is enough...a sizable interagency group had a meet-and-greet with Joe and Val, most were skeptical, and he still went.

Rovian Plot indeed

RichatUF

Maybeex

DouglasS-
rich: "She wrote the memo"

Right. The memo which documents the fact that the idea of sending him started with someone else.

I think you need to re-read the memo. The idea of using him as a liason for a different project in 2001 started with someone else....end of story. There is no other person documented in the memo talking about the *new* mission.

"convened the meeting"

Right. The meeting that she essentially didn't attend. Some "convened."

Some essentially. She facilitated it, she introduced him in it. Convene, of course, means to begin or assemble. She convened it.

"Did you make the decision to send Ambassador Wilson to Niger?" And this was her answer, in slightly fuller form:

No. I did not recommend him, I did not suggest him, there was no nepotism involved -- I didn't have the authority.

"Do you think she neither recommended him nor suggested him?"

I think I've already answered that earlier in this thread. Let me know if you think otherwise

I think you have not answered. Did you make the suggestion? No. I didn't recommend him, I didn't suggest him.
But she did recommend him and suggest him. I believe her that she didn't make the decision. They are not the same.

"she said the proof that she did neither was borne out in the Libby trial. Do you think that's accurate?"

I don't have a transcript of the trial, so I'm not in a position to guess about what part of the trial she's talking about.

I, like you, have no idea what part of the trial she is talking about.

Maybeex

*** I think you have not answered. Did you make the DECISION? No.
I didn't recommend him,
I didn't suggest him.****

DouglasS

rich: "Athens"

Oops, good point. My mistake. Sorry about that, and thanks for the correction.

"did Rove turn on his mind control machine"

No, I think it's more like this: George Soros turned on his mind-control machine and got Rove to tell Cooper that Plame "authorized the trip." Then more mind-control: Libby and Bartlett told Fleischer that Plame sent Wilson. Then more mind-control: the White House making lots of public statements telling us that Rove et al had nothing to do with any of this. I especially like this Soros mind-control trick: getting Hayden, a Bush appointee, to say that Plame was covert. Same thing with another Bush appointee: Fitzgerald. More mind-control: getting the reports officer to say that Plame wasn't "involved in the decisionmaking." More mind-control: getting Libby to lie under oath. More mind-control: getting the jury, judge and Bush-appointed prosecutor to all fail to see that Libby's lie was simply the result of Soros-induced mind-control.

So you're absolutely right: there's been a whole lot of mind-control going on.

"a treasure trove of links"

Thanks, but I've already seen that. But this would be helpful: which one of those documents will help us understand why you mentioned "Keinstenner?"

Another mystery: who were you quoting when you put the following words in quotes: 'she was involved in the decision to send him?'

Another mystery, since you pointed out that "no one really wants to say how the mission was planned:" why hasn't Bush released the documents which will finally answer lots of questions like that?

Another mystery, since you claimed "Valerie Plame Wilson was involved in … the execution of the mission." Really? What's your source?

Another mystery, since you claimed "Valerie Plame Wilson was involved in … the debriefing." Really? What's your source? Please note that I cited two references indicating the exact opposite of what you claimed.

Another mystery, since you mentioned "the Feb 2001 trip." What "Feb 2001 trip?"

Another mystery, since you claimed that stuff like "[my husband]" was "done as she was writing the memo?" Really? Are you serious? Why would she type something like that?

Another mystery, since you said "it is appropriate to say she was involved in the decisionmaking to get Joe Wilson the trip." Why are you make a claim that's exactly contrary to what the reports officer said, as cited by Bond?

Another mystery, since you said her cable was sent "to the larger IC and FS community." What's your source for this claim?

"The redacted portion is at least 28 characters long"

What a joke. How does the length of the redacted text tell you anything about what was redacted?

"I'd be interested in seeing the actual cable and its distribution list."

Exactly. You know virtually nothing about the "distribution list." But you had no trouble asserting, as if it's a proven fact, that she sent the cable "to the larger IC and FS community." Nice job demonstrating you have a hard time telling the difference between a fact and a guess. You fit in perfectly around these parts.

DouglasS

may: "The idea of using him as a liason for a different project in 2001 started with someone else"

As far as I can tell, the words "a separate Niger matter" were written by Bond, not Plame. You expect me to take his word for it. No thanks. In any case, even if we accept those words at face value, the memo shows that what "started with someone else" was the idea of CIA sending Wilson to Niger. So "someone else" raised that idea before Plame did. And for what purpose? We don't really know. What could "a separate Niger matter" be? Maybe the CIA was thinking of buying goats?

"She facilitated it"

I think most people would assume that someone who "facilitated" a meeting ran it, and was present for it. So by that very ordinary understanding, your claim is incorrect.

"I believe her that she didn't make the decision."

Then I wonder how you feel about the statements by Rove et al which claimed she did.

"she did recommend him and suggest him"

If your evidence is her email, I don't see where the email uses those words, or synonyms for those words. On the contrary; the closest usage is this: "I am hesitant to suggest anything again." In other words, she is explicitly expressing a reluctance to make a suggestion.

In my opinion, the email fits a scenario where her manager says something like this: "I'm thinking of sending Joe. I need a memo summarizing the situation and listing his qualifications, so I can send that around to let people know what's happening, and to solicit opinions." That would be an utterly ordinary request for a manager to make, and her email is perfectly congruent with such a request.

Simple question: when you claim "she did recommend him and suggest him," are claiming she was the first person to do this? If so, how do you know? And are you claiming she was the only person to do this? If so, how do you know?

PeterUK.

"peter: "wasn't it crass incompetence by the CIA sending Plame's husband in the first place"

"Of course. The fact that he had many years of respected experience in Africa and Iraq are completely irrelevant".

Kind of missed the point there Dougie,sending Joe was bound to raise questions about his connections.
More to the point, the CIA and te CPD should have been monitoring raw material sources as a matter of course.Why not? Surely they weren't all in VP Encounter therapy groups.

"It would have made much more sense to send someone with experience in, say, horse breeding."

Have you seen her teeth? But seriously,why would anyone tell an American former B list Ambassador they were involved in illegal trading of Uranium?
Someone like Joe would have attracted interest like flies in Africa,though I must inform you Africa is Veeerrry Biiigg!
If you think that any malefactor would be seen talking to the American ex diplomat you are mistaken.

PeterUK.

"...Meanwhile, Plame learned Greek-she can also speak French and German-and was sent to Athens. There she had what is known as "State Department cover."...

Terribly useful to counter the secret Greek,French and German WMD programmes,a shame all the usual suspect speak Korean,Urdu, Farsi and Arabic.Still being able to order lunch in four languages must be useful somewhere.

Maybeex

Opa!

As far as I can tell, the words "a separate Niger matter" were written by Bond, not Plame. You expect me to take his word for it. No thanks. In any case, even if we accept those words at face value, the memo shows that what "started with someone else" was the idea of CIA sending Wilson to Niger. So "someone else" raised that idea before Plame did. And for what purpose? We don't really know. What could "a separate Niger matter" be? Maybe the CIA was thinking of buying goats?

If you cannot read that and see the [redacted] of [CP office 2] plan to use Joe's contacts and NOW this report are separate matters, I'm afraid we are at a standstill.

If you think someone convening or facilitating a meeting is going to stay all the way through it, those are your expecatations. Either way, pretending your wife merely had the misfortune to meet you in the hallway but had nothing to do with the meeting would be disingenous.

Simple question: when you claim "she did recommend him and suggest him," are claiming she was the first person to do this? If so, how do you know? And are you claiming she was the only person to do this? If so, how do you know?

Am I claiming this?I am stating that her and her husband's protestations that she did not recommend him, did not suggest him, and there was no reason for someone to think she did ring hollow.
If there is more background to the story of who suggested him, and who cried in her office, those people and documents have not yet surfaced. That story has not been told by anyone other than Valerie, and then at at time after documents showed her original story didn't work, time-wise. Any outside obeserver- which is what we and the people in the administration are- could see this memo and come to the logical and supportable conclusion that she had a role in her husband going to Niger.


It would have been unimportant and noncontroversial had the Wilsons not tried to portray it differently.

Sue

Maybee,

You are beating your head against a wall. He won't even answer the simple question of why Valerie has 3 different versions of what should have been one explanation. If he was right, she would have had one version, and that would be that. The fact that he can't answer that simple question tells you who wins the debate with the wall. ::grin::

clarice

It is interesting, isn't it, that the CIA IG has never turned up the hallway crybaby or the third person Cal said impelled her to suggest her husband for this trip? Certainly the Dem chairs of the relevant committee will not call her back for open hearings on her tap-dancing, but there is nothing to prevent any Congress critter from writing DoJ and requesting a perjury investigation.

DouglasS

peter: "sending Joe was bound to raise questions about his connections"

Excellent point. Wilson was an unlikely choice, to the point of being strikingly suspicious. Since Wilson was precisely someone who had traveled to Africa many times in the past, anyone watching him would be shocked, I say shocked, to notice him doing such a thing again. That would be "bound to raise questions," all right. If CIA had any sense at all, they would have picked someone from a little village in Texas who had never been on airplane before, who couldn't even find Africa on a map, let alone speak any of the local languages or know any of the local people. Maybe someone with experience breeding horses, sweeping floors at the Bush hacienda, or doing RNC oppo research.

That would have been much more in the traditional Bush style of executive recruiting (what moonbat naysayers ignorantly call "cronyism"), and would therefore be much less likely to be noticed and "raise questions."

"the CIA and te CPD should have been monitoring raw material sources as a matter of course"

I have no idea what you're trying to say. As far as I can tell, until she was outed Plame was indeed one of our key people who had indeed "been monitoring raw material sources as a matter of course." That's why she was in a position to immediately know that the yellowcake allegations were bogus.

"Have you seen her teeth?"

I'm so glad you mentioned that, because you're putting your finger on what's so dysfunctional about political discourse in our system: there isn't nearly enough energy being put into making fun of how people look. For example, I'm appalled to notice that in this entire thread no one has made any incisive comments about Waxman's nose. If we truly loved democracy, we would never allow such a thing to happen.

"why would anyone tell an American former B list Ambassador they were involved in illegal trading of Uranium?"

To the extent they'd be willing to admit such a thing to any American who asked, it would be more likely to be an American who had actually stepped foot in their country in the past and knew their people, language and culture. But the US government has zillions of current and former employees with work experience in Niger, right? I guess that's why you'd be hard-pressed to name more than one or two.

Anyway, thanks for reminding us what a moron Poppy is. Only a moron would decide that a "B list Ambassador" should be called a "true American hero."

"Someone like Joe would have attracted interest like flies in Africa"

Indeed. Since he had been there many times before, his presence would be considered quite extraordinary.

"If you think that any malefactor would be seen talking to the American ex diplomat you are mistaken."

Indeed. Whereas if CIA had sent, say, AG AG, local "malefactors" would have been all over him like flies on feces. Birds of a feather and all that.

DouglasS

peter: "a shame all the usual suspect speak Korean, Urdu, Farsi and Arabic"

A shame you don't realize that people from the Middle East travel frequently in Europe. Therefore they often know European languages and know lots of people who know European languages. Therefore if you want to communicate with bad guys and with people who might know or be doing business with bad guys, knowing European languages could actually help.

Then again, I realize you'd be more impressed with Plame if the only language she spoke was Texan. Her travels in Europe and the Middle East would doubtlessly have been far more fruitful if that had been the case.

PeterUK.

"A shame you don't realize that people from the Middle East travel frequently in Europe."

Of course I do,I live there you dick.Interesting to note that the educated ones all speak English,not much point in conversing in a third language then is there? These are the ones Val would meet swanning around embassies and colleges.
No, Counterprolifetation Woman is an anachronism, left over from the Cold War,educated for the wrong conflict by an outdated agency which missed all the most significant changes of the 20th century.

Rocco

I've often wondered if Douglas Rohn from INR was at the meeting. His signature is on the notes attached to the June 10, 2003 Ford Memo.

Notes - Niger/Iraq uranium Meeting, CIA 2/19/02

Meeting apparently convened by Valerie Wilson, (Enlightened) a CIA WMD managerial type and the wife of Amb. Joe Wilson, with the idea that the agency and the larger USG could dispatch Joe to Niger to use his contacts there to sort out the Niger/Iraq uranium sale question. Joe went to Niger in late 1999 in regard to Niger's uranium program, apparently with CIA support.

PeterUK.

"To the extent they'd be willing to admit such a thing to any American who asked, it would be more likely to be an American who had actually stepped foot in their country in the past and knew their people, language and culture".

Which makes my point,the CIA evinced an utter dereliction of duty not having sources in a major uranium producing country.

Your right about Waxman's nose.Please would you post your picture?

DouglasS

may: "if you cannot read that and see the [redacted] of [CP office 2] plan to use Joe's contacts and NOW this report are separate matters, I'm afraid we are at a standstill."

Let's take this one step at a time. Here's something I can see: the Senate Committee recently issued a 229-page pdf. Here's something else I can see: Bond and a couple of his pals use 18 pages of this pdf (pages 205-222; those are the printed page numbers, not page numbers as calculated by Adobe Reader) to make a fuss about Plame and Wilson. Here's something else I can see: on p. 207, Bond presents to us what is an obviously retyped version of an email Plame wrote. Here's something else I can see: no one in this thread (or, for that matter, anywhere else, as far as I can tell) has made even a feeble attempt to explain why Bond retyped the email instead of giving us a photographic page image. Providing documents in the form of redacted photographic images is exactly what's widely done throughout the rest of the pdf. For example, see pages 14-51. In fact, about two-thirds of the whole pdf consists of such photographic images.

This is how many other examples there are of Bond's technique (i.e., an entire document being completely retyped rather than being incorporated photographically) being used elsewhere in the pdf: zero. The 2004 SSCI report contains 524 pages. This is how many examples there are in that document, of Bond's technique being used: zero. It would interest me greatly if anyone can present a single example of the Senate Intelligence Committee ever using Bond's technique, anywhere, anytime. The way Bond did this is highly unusual and suspect.

Here's something else that no here (or anywhere else, as far as I can tell) has even tried to explain: why two-thirds of his R colleagues on the committee decided they didn't want to touch his analysis with a ten-foot pole.

Anyway, here's something else I can see: p. 207 includes the following text: "[a separate Niger matter]." Here's the obvious question: who wrote those words? And here's the obvious answer: Bond. (I realize Rich has suggested these words were "done as she was writing the memo," but that proposition is ludicrous, as I've explained upthread.)

Here's the problem: why should I accept Bond's unsubstantiated claim that the other matter was truly "separate?" This requires me to imagine that CIA had an idea about sending Wilson to Niger in 2001, but it had nothing to do with yellowcake. Really? What other reason could there possibly be?

If you can't bring yourself to even try to provide remotely plausible answers to these various questions, then indeed "we are at a standstill."

Completely aside from all that, even if you accept that it was truly a "separate" matter, it still proves that someone at CIA was suggesting that Wilson go to Niger, prior to the time that Plame was involved. It distorts the picture to sweep this fact under the rug.

"If you think someone convening or facilitating a meeting is going to stay all the way through it, those are your expecatations."

Nice job minimizing what actually happened. It's not that she merely didn't "stay all the way through it." It's that she "stayed at the meeting only long enough to introduce her husband" (p. 211). This is sufficient to conclusively demonstrate that her role in the process was minor, regardless of how you want to define words like "convene" or "facilitate."

"pretending your wife merely had the misfortune to meet you in the hallway but had nothing to do with the meeting would be disingenous"

Here's a good example of being "disingenuous:" pretending that "stayed at the meeting only long enough to introduce her husband" is fairly described as she didn't "stay all the way through it."

Anyway, please remind me where Wilson said Plame "had nothing to do with the meeting."

"there was no reason for someone to think she did"

Please remind me where Wilson/Plame said "there was no reason for someone to think she did."

"if there is more background to the story of who suggested him, and who cried in her office, those people and documents have not yet surfaced."

One of many questions you and yours pals duck is this: why has Bush declined to release the documents that would easily answer these questions? It's ludicrous to imagine that he's keeping those documents hidden because he's concerned they would hurt Plame. It's infinitely more logical to imagine the opposite.

"then at at time after documents showed her original story didn't work, time-wise"

Uh, sorry, but you (collectively) haven't come close to proving this. Either that, or I have no idea what you're talking about.

"she had a role in her husband going to Niger"

Please remind me where Wilson/Plame said that she had no role whatsover in "her husband going to Niger."

"It would have been unimportant and noncontroversial had the Wilsons not tried to portray it differently."

That's hysterically funny. The people who "tried to portray it differently" are the White House and their pals. They said, and still say (including in this thread) that she sent him. That's a lie.

Here's another of the many questions that you and your pals duck: why is that OK with you?

Rocco

...This was just one day before CPD sent a cable [………………………] requesting concurrence with CPD’s idea to send the former ambassador to Niger and requesting any additional information from the foreign government service on their uranium reports...

Page 39, SSCI

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 CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador's wife "offered up his name" and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12, 2002, from the former ambassador's wife says, "my 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." This was just one day before CPD sent a cable ^ ^ H ^ H ^ ^ ^ m ^ H requesting concurrence with CPD's idea to send the former ambassador to Niger and requesting any additional information from the foreign government service on their uranium reports. The former ambassador's wife told Committee staff that when CPD decided it would like to send the former
ambassador to Niger, she approached her husband on behalf of the CIA and told him "there's this crazy report" on a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq.

So Val "offered up his name and a memorandum on Feb 12, 2000, one day before CPD sent a cable on Feb 13 to ? requesting concurrence.

My guess is that cable was sent to the US Embassy Niamey.

For 4 months, from Oct 15, 2001 until Feb 18, 2002, the US Embassy, Niamey (Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick) was absolutely positive that a deal would be impossible. Yet, 5 days after that mystery cable was sent, Owens-Kirkpatrick sends a cable requesting "another hard look"?

FISH ON!

Roger

Athens. Plame was probably after personnel files in Cyprus. They keep them there. Germany is also a UN headquarters and they run neat programs like UNV(PC).

Her schooling. European like Ames list. It would be neat to get a copy of the list. International law is UN.

Plame and leaks out of Athens. It's a pretty neat place. I think she went back to Bethesda during her missing time and used her blowness to get other people in trouble.

WMD. The future of WMD is is bio weapons. She missed this and her career wasn't that great. She worked in traditional areas like nukes and power. This is very old and not that exciting.

Plame wasn't in counter intelligence. She probably got a hold of people's files. Joe makes perfect sense if you look at Ames, Howard and their CIA trainer. She would turn one of ours.

DouglasS

sue: "He won't even answer the simple question of why Valerie has 3 different versions of what should have been one explanation."

What a joke. A reasonable person might say this: "I don't understand the answer you gave; please clarify." Or "I claim your answer is bogus, and here's my proof."

Here's what an unreasonable person does: pretend I haven't even attempted to provide an answer. Trouble is, I did, here.

Anyway, it's hysterically funny to hear you whine that I'm allegedly ducking questions. Of the questions that have been addressed to me here, this is how many I've made at least an attempt to answer: all of them, as far as I can tell. Of the questions I've raised here, this is how many have been answered: almost none. In other words, the ducking is all yours.

RichatUF

DouglasS...

...Thanks, but I've already seen that. But this would be helpful: which one of those documents will help us understand why you mentioned "Keinstenner?'...

Wilson's book, "The Politics of Truth", p. 17. I believe [I don't have the book in front of me] Wilson went to see him on the on or about 15 Feb 2002 in regards to the Niger trip. He also called him after the 2003 SOTU speech. They swim in the sea-Corporate Council on Africa, experience in Francophile Africa, etc.

...why hasn't Bush released the documents which will finally answer lots of questions like that?... Peace: its better to have the CIA inside the tent pissing out, then outside the tent pissing in.

...Another mystery, since you claimed "Valerie Plame Wilson was involved in … the debriefing." Really? What's your source?

...two CIA DO officers debriefed the former ambassador who had returned from Niger the previous day. The debriefing took place in the former ambassador's home and although his wife was there, according to the reports officer, she acted as a hostess...
SSCI, "Former Ambassador"
...I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.

We know that Joe Wilson talked to Kristof and that the DO's that did the debrief didn't. There were 4 people in the room. This was also in one of the Fitzgerald filings and Valerie's name was redacted...a good leak.

Opps...Another mystery, since you mentioned "the Feb 2001 trip." What "Feb 2001 trip?" forgot a few words, proposed trip by [redacted] that was handled by liasion instead.


...Another mystery, since you claimed that stuff like "[my husband]" was "done as she was writing the memo?" Really? Are you serious? Why would she type something like that?...

Yes, find->replace with...I have to do this with some of the stuff I write at work, I don't think it is unreasonable to believe that it is done in house at the CIA

...Another mystery, since you said her cable was sent "to the larger IC and FS community." What's your source for this claim?...

So the cable went to no one. If they were requesting concurrence and Joe was making phone calls the CPD was somehow able to keep it in a small circle. The cable probably went to Gen.Fulord's office, US-Embassy Niger, and US Embassy-Chad [and yes thats speculation on my part, but Joe went to an interagency meeting composed of the spectrum of the IC and FS, keeping the mission quite didn't seem to be a concern]

... But you had no trouble asserting... The cable had to go the larger IC and FS community if for no onther reason than to get everyone on the same sheet of music, Joe was going to sniff out the Niger story for them?

...Nice job demonstrating you have a hard time telling the difference between a fact and a guess. You fit in perfectly around these parts....

So where do I fit in...idle speculation, misspellings, and an occasional joke...End of story. Madness-she wrote the 12 Feb memo, she drafted the cable on 13 Feb, she went to the interagency meeting on 18 Feb, and she "played hostess" on 5 March-you win, she wasn't involved, how could she be?

RichatUF

MikeS

Douglas, your argument is reminiscent of Clinton’s claim that fellatio isn’t sex.
The least ridiculous part of your argument is that others also participated in the decision to send Joe. No one is disagreeing with that.

The Office of the VP asked the CIA who had sent Wilson to Niger. I don’t know the exact wording used in the request nor do I know the exact wording of the reply, but the answer was Val. Armitage acquired knowledge of Val’s participation in an entirely different way, but he characterized it in the same way.

Your insistence that the word ‘sent’ has a grander and more specific meaning than that in the dictionary is childish. Your insistence that anyone who doesn’t agree with your grander and more specific definition is some how dishonest is also childish.

DouglasS

clarice: "it is interesting, isn't it, that the CIA IG has never turned up the hallway crybaby or the third person Cal said impelled her to suggest her husband for this trip?"

It is interesting, isn't it, that Bush has pointedly avoided ordering the CIA to release all sorts of documents that would tell us what really happened.

By the way, you don't know what the "CIA IG" has or has not "turned up," because the CIA IG has not issued a public report, and probably never will. It's utterly typical that you would claim to know facts that you don't actually know.

peter: "No, Counterprolifetation Woman is an anachronism, left over from the Cold War,educated for the wrong conflict by an outdated agency which missed all the most significant changes of the 20th century."

If Plame was incompetent, I guess we have to realize that Bush et al were worse. She was right about yellowcake; he wasn't.

"the CIA evinced an utter dereliction of duty not having sources in a major uranium producing country"

Yes, and of course you know they have no sources, and claim this as a proven fact, because they haven't told you about their sources. But of course if they told you about their sources, you'd be whining about how that represented "an utter dereliction of duty." Nice scam you've got.

Anyway, the CIA had lots of information about what was happening in Niger, probably through sources we don't know about, and definitely through sources we do know about, like Fulford and Owens-Kirkpatrick.

"Please would you post your picture?"

No. But I found yours.

RichatUF

DouglaS says...

...Anyway, the CIA had lots of information about what was happening in Niger, probably through sources we don't know about, and definitely through sources we do know about, like Fulford and Owens-Kirkpatrick...

But doesn't this run counter the SSCI and Wilson's own book: the CIA didn't have much of any sources in Niger that's why he went (and not to mention lots of French contacts)

...She was right about yellowcake; he wasn't...

AQ Khan

Or the stuff they still had


Or this rather unreported story

graf...

...reported that more than 100 bars of uranium as well as an unknown quantity of uranium contained in helmet-shaped cases, had disappeared from the nuclear centre in Kinshasa as part of a vast trafficking of the material going back years...

Funny, all that was going on, and Joe Wilson missed all of it.

RichatUF

PeterUK.

"If Plame was incompetent, I guess we have to realize that Bush et al were worse. She was right about yellowcake; he wasn't".

Right about which yellow cake from where? If you reply "yellow cake from Niger" where did Bush mention yellow cake from Niger.
But isn't the point that the CPD should have briefed the administration who should not have had to ask.After all it is the CIA's job.

"the CIA had lots of information about what was happening in Niger, probably through sources we don't know about, and definitely through sources we do know about, like Fulford and Owens-Kirkpatrick."

So there was no reason to send the unemployed ex-Ambassador? They already had lots of information with which to brief the administration.

DouglasS

rocco: "5 days after that mystery cable was sent, Owens-Kirkpatrick sends a cable requesting 'another hard look'? "

The only mystery is why this mystifies you. Owens-Kirkpatrick is a diplomat, and she was doing what diplomats do: be diplomatic. Yes, she was still very skeptical. That's why right after suggesting "another hard look," she then reiterated her skepticism: "However, the purported 4,000-ton annual production listed is fully 1,000 tons more than the mining companies claim to have produced in 2001" (SSCI p. 40). But while still skeptical, she also knew that some very important people (including the people who ultimately sign her paycheck) were beating a drum about yellowcake. She was too diplomatic to thumb her nose at them. So she threw them a bone with "another hard look."

Speaking of Owens-Kirkpatrick and her skepticism, it's worth recalling this passage from p. 42:

Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick told Committee staff she recalled the former ambassador saying "he had reached the same conclusions that the embassy had reached, that it was highly unlikely that anything was going on."

rich: "Wilson's book, 'The Politics of Truth', p. 17. I believe"

Is there an echo in here? I already mentioned that your reference to "Keinstenner" probably had something to do with that page.

"I don't have the book in front of me"

That doesn't matter, because I've already mentioned that the book is easily browsable here.

It's becoming really clear that you're not reading my posts. Obviously you're not obliged to, but why are you pretending to respond to material which you obviously haven't read?

"They swim in the sea-Corporate Council on Africa, experience in Francophile Africa, etc."

I have no idea what you're trying to say. Do you think your words would make more sense to me if I tried wearing some tinfoil?

"its better to have the CIA inside the tent pissing out, then outside the tent pissing in"

More inscrutable ponderings. Where do I get the magic decoder ring to translate your haikus into English?

"The debriefing took place in the former ambassador's home and although his wife was there, according to the reports officer, she acted as a hostess..."

Wow. You're joking, right? This is the proof you bring to support your claim that "Valerie Plame Wilson was involved in … the debriefing?" A statement that says "she acted as a hostess?" And of course it's even funnier when we notice that you conveniently omitted the next phrase: "and did not participate in the debrief" (SSCI, p. 43).

You're quite a joker. One more time, because it's so rich: your idea of convincing us that you weren't full of crap when you said she "was involved in … the debriefing" is to point us toward a sentence that tells us she "did not participate in the debrief."

Next up, you'll be explaining how the idea of being "involved" in something is completely consistent with the idea that you "did not participate" in it.

You'll also be explaining how your decision to omit those last six critical words ("did not participate in the debrief") was not a highly dishonest act on your part.

You can't make this stuff up. Classic wingnuttery in action.

I won't bother reminding you that you've left a bunch of questions unanswered, although I'm sure your answers would be similar comic gems.

"There were 4 people in the room. This was also in one of the Fitzgerald filings and Valerie's name was redacted"

Aside from the fact that you made all sorts of undocumented claims and proved nothing, what's your point?

"proposed trip by [redacted] that was handled by liasion instead"

Where did you get the wacky idea that the "proposed trip" was in 2/01? You have a vivid imagination. Plame's email doesn't mention that date. Ever consider a career in fiction?

"I have to do this with some of the stuff I write at work"

Really? You have to type "[my husband]" instead of "my husband?" I hope you're paid well.

Aside from the absurdity of inserting the gratuitous brackets, I guess you're suggesting that Plame's CIA colleagues weren't allowed to know that her husband's name was Joe Wilson, even though this was common knowledge outside the CIA and definitely unclassified information. As I've said, you're incredibly witty.

"yes thats speculation on my part"

Here's an idea: next time don't pretend you're presenting facts when you're actually just presenting speculation. I realize you have a very hard time grasping the difference.

"you win, she wasn't involved"

Nice job with the straw man. I realize it's all you have. I never said "she wasn't involved." The White House didn't tell a bunch of reporters she was "involved." They claimed she sent him. That was a lie.

DouglasS

mike: "the least ridiculous part of your argument is that others also participated in the decision to send Joe"

You're suggesting that she "participated in the decision to send Joe." Small problem: as I've mentioned multiple times upthread, Bond cited the reports officer who said Plame wasn't "involved in the decisionmaking."

"No one is disagreeing with that."

Uh, no. When the White House repeatedly claimed that she sent him, they were indeed "disagreeing" with the idea that she "participated in the decision to send Joe." They were going beyond that. They were claiming she was the Decider. That's the plain meaning of the claim they made, that she was the one who sent him.

"The Office of the VP asked the CIA who had sent Wilson to Niger. I don’t know the exact wording used in the request nor do I know the exact wording of the reply, but the answer was Val."

I think you're thinking of this memo, which Rocco helpfully cited. Trouble is, the memo doesn't say what you claim it says. It says she "convened" a meeting. It's a big leap from that to claiming she sent him.

"Armitage acquired knowledge of Val’s participation in an entirely different way, but he characterized it in the same way."

Wrong on both counts. "Armitage acquired knowledge of Val’s participation" via the same aforementioned memo. In other words, the only reason he knew was because of the fact that people were writing memos in response to questions that Cheney was asking. And I would like to see a source for your claim that "he characterized it in the same way."

Armitage's interview with Woodward is here (pdf). Armitage is saying Plame is involved, but he's not saying that Plame "sent" Wilson. And aside from that, Armitage being careless and wrong would not be an excuse for Libby, Rove and Fleischer to be careless and wrong (or deliberately wrong).

"Your insistence that the word ‘sent’ has a grander and more specific meaning than that in the dictionary is childish."

By no means am I insisting on any meaning of "sent" outside of what's ordinary and obvious. But that's beside the point. You're missing the point, completely and utterly. It's helpful, but not necessary, to take into account the meaning of the word. It's not necessary because even a Martian who knew nothing about that word would still be able to tell the White House lied. That's because the White House said "sent," and Bond has now disavowed the claim that she "made the decision to send him" (pdf, p. 210).

That's why there's no need to make a fuss about what the word means. It's sufficient to notice that the word Bond disavows is precisely the word that the White House repeatedly used to make their claim. Bond is saying the White House was wrong, unless you want to argue that the word means one thing when they say it and something else when he says it. Then again, I've seen folks here make claims just as ridiculous as that, with a straight face, so I won't count on the idea that no one would dare make such a claim.

One more time: we don't have to take into account what the word means (although the meaning is simple and obvious). We only need to notice that they both used the same word.

clarice

Armitage said she played a role in sending him and he did it on the basis of the INR memo . Enough already--it's like watching a demented cat chasing its tail, Doug. Booorrrringgg

Maybeex

Even Novak, in the original column, said Wilson's wife suggested him.
Even in the link you provide about Bartlett, he was reading the same INR memo that Armitage read. If he indeed said what Fleisher said he said.

DouglasS

rich: "But doesn't this run counter the SSCI and Wilson's own book: the CIA didn't have much of any sources in Niger that's why he went"

It's relative. It's always nice to have more sources. But they had enough to know the story was bogus, even before he went.

"Funny, all that was going on, and Joe Wilson missed all of it."

As usual, you're being completely incoherent. Wilson wasn't sent to Congo, and didn't make any claims about Congo. He was clear about this in his op-ed.

Anyway, speaking of missing things, here's what's really funny: the guy who ran the CIA while it ostensibly "missed all of it" ended up with a medal. Makes perfect sense, right?

DouglasS

peter: "Right about which yellow cake from where? If you reply 'yellow cake from Niger' where did Bush mention yellow cake from Niger."

The 16 words were a reference to Niger. Let me know if I really need to drag your pathetically ignorant butt through the relevant citations.

"But isn't the point that the CPD should have briefed the administration who should not have had to ask.After all it is the CIA's job."

If you're saying CIA should have warned Bush that the yellowcake story was weak, here's something I guess you don't know: they did.

"So there was no reason to send the unemployed ex-Ambassador? They already had lots of information with which to brief the administration."

The administration wasn't taking no (as in 'there's no substance to the yellowcake allegations') for an answer. So it's no surprise that extra efforts were made, even though everyone knew they would lead to the same answer: there's no substance to the yellowcake allegations.

DouglasS

clarice: "Armitage said she played a role in sending him and he did it on the basis of the INR memo ."

Is there an echo in here? That's essentially what I just said.

"Booorrrringgg"

Yes, hearing you repeat what I said as if I hadn't just said it is indeed "booorrrringgg."

Here's something else that's "booorrrringgg:" watching you make asinine claims and then run for cover when challenged for proof.

Maybeex

On the stand, here is what Cooper said Rove told him:
MC Ah sure, we're interested in Wilson story. And he immediately said, don' t get too far out, don't lionize or idolize him. He said a number of things would be coming out. He said DCI had not sent him. He said VP had not been involved. THen he said, it would come out who was involved in sending him. He said his wife. I until that point didn't know Wilson had a wife. I said the wife. He said she worked in WMD at the Agency, I took the CIA, not EPA. We talked a bit more, at the end he said, I've already said too much.
---
oh no! Another word! Involved!

And here's what Cooper said Libby said:
MC Mr Libby said, "Yeah, I've heard that too," or "Yeah, I've heard something like that too." Pleasantries at the end, maybe another question or two in there.

---

And Libby testified to the Grand Jury that he only knew Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. I have not seen a quote from Libby saying Plame sent Wilson.

Not that it matters.
She didn't suggest him, she didn't recommend him.

DouglasS

may: "Even Novak, in the original column, said Wilson's wife suggested him."

Wow, that settles everything, then. If Novak said it, it must be true. Next up, you'll be telling us that Rove and Libby had nothing to do with this. After all, that's what the White House said, and if the White House said it, it must be true.

"Even in the link you provide about Bartlett, he was reading the same INR memo that Armitage read."

I know. What's your point?

"If he indeed said what Fleisher said he said."

I think I'm catching on to your system. People who make statements favorable to the Bush narrative (e.g., Novak) are assumed to be honest and people who make statements unfavorable to the Bush narrative (e.g., Fleischer) are assumed to be dishonest. What a great labor saver! So much more efficient than dealing with the quaint drudgery of reasoning and analysis.

Maybeex

You are saying that the WH repeatedly said that Plame sent Wilson. I am refuting that, beginning with the quote heard round the world from Novak.
In the one third-hand instance you find from Bartlett, any observation that he might have had that she "sent" him (or they sent him, as is also said by Bartlett according to Fleisher) is coming from a report from State from a meeting in which Plame appeared to introduce her husband for the purpose of suggesting him to go to Niger. It was his reading, not an official WH position, and there is no evidence this Bartlett observation went any further than Air Force 1. However, it was obviously a misreading of the memo, because other than being a conduit of a message to him from a co-worker, she had nothing to do with it and she didn't attend the meeting.

But you know, who cares about sent? She didn't send him. She didn't make the decision. She didn't suggest him. She didn't recommend him. End of story.

DouglasS

may: "On the stand, here is what Cooper said Rove told him"

It would be nice if you gave Marcy Wheeler credit for her liveblog that you're quoting from. It would also be nice if you didn't ignore this disclaimer she provided: "treat this as a liveblog, not a transcript; I'm no court reporter!"

"oh no! Another word! Involved!"

A liveblog is a fairly reliable way to get a general sense of what was said. It's not a reliable basis for making detailed claims about exact language that was used, which is what you're doing.

Aside from the fact that it's being filtered through a liveblog, Cooper's testimony more than three years after-the-fact is probably not quite as accurate, with regard to specific language, as the email Cooper wrote as soon as he got off the phone with Rove. According to that email, Rove told Cooper that Plame "authorized the trip."

"here's what Cooper said Libby said"

Presumably you don't mean to convey the impression that Libby leaked only to Cooper. Libby also had a lot say to Miller. Presumably you also don't mean to convey the impression that a confirmation ("I've heard that too") isn't a leak. It is.

"I have not seen a quote from Libby saying Plame sent Wilson."

Fleischer testified that Libby said this: "Ambassador Wilson was sent by his wife."

It's also not hard to understand where Libby got that idea. Cheney wrote this on a clipping of Wilson's op-ed (pdf): "Or did his wife send him on a junket?"

Cheney didn't just write that on the clipping. Libby testified that Cheney discussed that idea with him:

Q. And do you have any recollection of when it is that you discussed with Vice President Cheney, his comments about whether or not Ambassador Wilson had been sent on this trip by his wife as a junket?

A. I know that there -- that Vice President Cheney asked -- made some comments like that. I think of them in my mind as later, you know, later in July or August or later, asking not so much in me, but just sort of how did he come to be sent on this? I don't know if he also made them earlier. That sort of runs together for me.

That's from this pdf. And there's more:

Q. And lastly, it says, "or did his wife send him on a junket?" Do you recall the Vice President indicating or asking you or anyone in your presence whether or not Ambassador Wilson's wife had arranged to have him sent on a junket?

A. I think I recall him -- I don't recall him asking me that particular question, but I think I recall him
musing about that. …

Q. And the Vice President had written notes on the Novak [note: Fitz meant to say "Wilson"] column from July 6th that you see that says, "did his wife send him on a junket"? Correct?

A. That's correct, sir.

Q. And there were times when the Vice President asked questions like that, whether or not his wife had been sent on a junket. Correct?

A. Correct, sir.

That's from this pdf.

Cheney came up with the idea of discrediting Wilson by claiming that Plame sent Wilson on a junket. We see this idea in Cheney's own handwriting. We have testimony from Libby that Cheney and Libby discussed this idea. We have testimony from Fleischer that Libby conveyed this idea to Fleischer.

I think all this serves as an adequate equivalent of "a quote from Libby saying Plame sent Wilson."

"You are saying that the WH repeatedly said that Plame sent Wilson. I am refuting that, beginning with the quote heard round the world from Novak."

You're observing that Novak said "suggested," and you're claiming that this proves that the White House didn't say "sent." Sorry, but that's nonsense. You seem to be forgetting that Novak's main source, apparently, was Armitage, not the White House. I'm not claiming that Armitage ran around saying "sent." I'm pointing out that Libby and Rove were doing that.

"In the one third-hand instance you find from Bartlett"

Why are you suggesting that all I have is "one third-hand instance … from Bartlett?" I have Fleischer quoting Bartlett and Libby. I have Cooper quoting Rove. I mentioned that previously. And in this comment I'm also citing Cheney's handwriting and comments to Libby. All of that adds up to "one third-hand instance?" You need to check your arithmetic.

"It was his reading, not an official WH position"

As in so many other areas, the White House somehow gets its hands on some kind of scrap of information that it finds politically useful, and then it runs with that information without showing much regard for whether or not the information is truthful (and this is aside from the fact of her employment status being classified). Yes, someone reading the INR memo carelessly, while driving with one hand and operating a Blackberry with the other hand, could jump to the conclusion that she sent him. Great! That's just what we're looking for! Let's go ahead and leak that "fact" to lots of reporters. But let's not do this: ask around first to make sure it's actually true. Because if we did, we would very quickly run into the reports officer who will tell us Plame wasn't "involved in the decisionmaking."

And then when we're done, we can lie to the country and tell them we have no idea who the leakers are.

And then when the coverup finally fails, we can argue that outing covert agents is perfectly fine as long as you can somehow manage to ostensibly skirt IIPA. And that Plame wasn't really covert, anyway, even though Hayden said she was. Great country! Surely this story inspires all our other covert agents to experience a great sense of confidence and security, knowing that their employers are working really, really hard to protect them, and would never let political considerations get in the way of doing so. After all, we're kind of hoping that every non-Republican quits the IC, right?

Maybeex

Valerie Plame and/or her division sent Joe Wilson on his trip. When the OVP asked the CIA why Joe Wilson went, they were told his wife worked in the department that sent him. When the State Department asked their INR people why Joe Wilson went, they were told his CIA wife had introduced him at the meeting they attended that ended with him deciding to go.

Sent, recommended, or suggested. It doesn't matter. Until you can prove they knew there was some reason they couldn't mention Plame worked at the CIA, it was legitimate for them to say she had something to do with him going. She did.

PeterUK.

"The 16 words were a reference to Niger".


" Let me know if I really need to drag your pathetically ignorant butt through the relevant citations."

I think you should "drag your pathetically ignorant butt through the relevant citations."

The word "Niger" does not appear,the word is "Africa".

Now Douglas, we know you are stupid even for a retard,but if you want to play with the grown-ups, get a frigging clue.

PeterUK.

"If you're saying CIA should have warned Bush that the yellowcake story was weak, here's something I guess you don't know: they did."

So George Tenet's, Director of Central Intelligence for the United States Central Intelligence Agency,"Slam Dunk" was a euphemism for,"nothing to see here"?

Sorry Witless S,you are out of your depth.

PeterUK.

"nd there were times when the Vice President asked questions like that, whether or not his wife had been sent on a junket. Correct?"

The questioner is out of his mind,of course it is legitimate for the VP to ask what government employees are up to.

lurker9876

the question VP asked was "Who was sent on a junket?" Not whether or not his wife was sent on a junket. Not whether or not her husband was sent on a junket.

There is nothing wrong with VP asking what government employees or SPOUSES were / are up to.

DouglasS

may: "When the OVP asked the CIA why Joe Wilson went, they were told his wife worked in the department that sent him."

Right. Trouble is, there's a big leap from "worked in the department that sent him" (what CIA told the White House) to "she sent him" (what the White House told us).

"Until you can prove they knew there was some reason they couldn't mention Plame worked at the CIA"

Hayden said she was covert. Fitzgerald said she was covert. That's good enough for me.

Let's be clear about what you're saying: if someone's covert enough for DCI to call them covert, it's still OK to "mention [they] worked at the CIA." Is that really what you think? Pretty amazing.

Simple question, one of many that you and your pals consistently duck: if what the White House did was OK, why did they go to great lengths to hide their actions, both during and after? Why not just say everything on-the-record? By the way, those great lengths included lying under oath and risking jail time. Why would someone do such a thing if they sincerely believed that no one did anything wrong?

"it was legitimate for them to say she had something to do with him going"

You're exceptionally obtuse, even for this place. And that's saying a lot.

Yes, "she had something to do with him going." And so did his mom. After all, how could he have gone if he hadn't been born?

We realize you live on a parallel planet where we have a handwritten note by Cheney that says this: "did his wife have something to do with him going on a junket." Trouble is, back here on Earth, Cheney's note actually says this: "did his wife send him on a junket." Not the same thing.

Likewise, we realize you live on a parallel planet where we have testimony from Fleischer indicating that Libby said "she had something to do with him going." Trouble is, back here on Earth, Fleischer quoted Libby saying this "Wilson was sent by his wife." Not the same thing.

Please consider the following statements:

A) She had something to do with him going

B) She sent him

A is what you said. B is what Libby said. I know a bunch of people enrolled in elementary school, and I'm sure everyone of them could instantly grasp that A and B are not the same. Why can't you?

No one (including the press) was ever interested in hearing about all the people who "had something to do with him going." That would have been a long, boring list. What folks wanted to know was who sent him. The White House gave us an answer: her. That answer was false.

DouglasS

peter: "of course it is legitimate for the VP to ask what government employees are up to"

No one has claimed otherwise. The problem is not that Cheney asked questions about Wilson's trip. The problem is that the White House promoted misinformation about Wilson's trip.

Any by the way, it's important to notice that Cheney didn't just ask questions. He asked leading questions. Here's a good example of a leading question: "did his wife send him on a junket." You can see those words, in Cheney's handwriting (pdf). And Cheney raised this idea with Libby, according to Libby's testimony. The question Cheney asked is very different from this question: "who sent him." The latter question would imply that Cheney really wanted to know. The former question implies that Cheney had a particular version of reality that he was promoting. And this version of reality was conveyed to the press, even though it was false. And this is comepletely aside from the question of outing an agent.

lurker: "There is nothing wrong with VP asking what government employees or SPOUSES were / are up to"

True. The problem is not that the White House asked questions. The problem is that the White House outed an agent, and also told a phony story about the genesis of Wilson's trip.

"the question VP asked was 'Who was sent on a junket?' Not whether or not his wife was sent on a junket. Not whether or not her husband was sent on a junket."

Wrong. Cheney asked "did his wife send him on a junket."

DouglasS

peter: "The word 'Niger' does not appear,the word is 'Africa'."

You're claiming the 16 words are not about Niger. Trouble is, they are.

I guess you're not familiar with Robb-Silberman, which says this:

Intelligence Community agencies did not effectively authenticate the documents regarding an alleged agreement for the sale of uranium yellowcake from Niger to Iraq. The President referred to this alleged agreement in his State of the Union address on January 28, 2003-- evidence for which the Intelligence Community later concluded was based on forged documents. ...

the NIE ... did note that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake' from Africa. This statement was based largely on reporting from a foreign government intelligence service that Niger planned to send up to 500 tons of yellowcake uranium to Iraq. ... For reasons discussed at length below, several months after the NIE, the reporting that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger was judged to be based on forged documents and was recalled ... In addition to recalling the reporting, CIA briefed the congressional intelligence committees in June 2003 that, given the recall of the earlier reporting, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that Iraq had recently sought uranium from Africa.

(Emphasis added.) Get that? Bush's 16 words were about Niger. R-S explicitly states that the 16 words were a reference to "an alleged agreement for the sale of uranium yellowcake from Niger to Iraq." And this Niger "reporting" was based on forged documents. And in the absence of those documents, it was no longer reasonable to conclude that "Iraq had recently sought uranium from Africa." In other words, once we knew the documents were forged, we could stop worrying about Africa. Not just Niger. Africa.

Let's continue. Since you're unfamiliar with Robb-Silberman, I guess you're also unfamiliar with the 2004 SSCI report, which says this (p. 72):

K. Niger Conclusions ... (U) Conclusion 12. Until October 2002 when the Intelligence Community obtained the forged foreign language documents on the Iraq-Niger uranium deal, it was reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa based on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reporting and other available intelligence.

This SSCI passage makes no sense if there were ever any serious yellowcake allegations aside from Niger (not that the Niger allegation itself was serious).

The passage is delicately phrased, but it's clear what it means. Once we obtained the forged documents, it was no longer "reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa." This is the exact same point that R-S made, except R-S was slightly more blunt.

Since you're unfamiliar with Robb-Silberman and the 2004 SSCI report, I guess you're also unfamiliar with the Butler Report. Bush's 16 words in the SOTU were supposedly based on UK intel. UK intel on this subject is described at length in the Butler Report. If we take a look at Butler, we can get a sense of what countries in Africa were considered a yellowcake risk. As far as I can tell, Butler mentions two African countries, in connection with yellowcake. They are Niger and Congo. "Niger" is mentioned 27 times. "Congo" is mentioned twice. Let us know if you think this supports your clam that the UK intel was not about Niger.

Also helpful is the UK Parliamentary Report of 9/03 (pdf). Congo is mentioned this many times: zero. Niger is in there ten times.

Something else from that report:

The SIS’s two sources reported that Iraq had expressed an interest in buying uranium from Niger, but the sources were uncertain whether contracts had been signed or if uranium had actually been shipped to Iraq. In order to protect the intelligence sources and to be factually correct, the phrase “Iraq has sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium from Africa” was used. At the time of producing the dossier, nothing had challenged the accuracy of the SIS reports. [page 28]

In other words, the UK said "Africa" instead of Niger specifically for the purpose of protecting a source. We're being told explicitly why Bush said "Africa" instead of "Niger." An educated guess is that Bush was quoting more-or-less directly from the above-mentioned dossier.

By the way, it's very hard to take the Congo story seriously. One reason: Congo has exactly one uranium mine, which was sealed with concrete and flooded with water about sixty years ago. There is concern that people might try to extract material illegally, but the idea of clandestinely getting significant quantities out of a long-dormant, flooded mine is beyond ludicrous.

Something else about word counts. SSCI 2004 mentions Niger 240 times. Congo and Somalia: 6 each. This has a lot to do with the fact that numerous intel reports referenced in SSCI focused on Niger and said nothing about the other two countries. This, in turn, has a lot to do with the existence of the forged documents.

Same analysis regarding the very helpful Robb-Silberman report: Niger 48, Congo 1, Somalia 1.

Something else. If the 16 words weren't about Niger, Bush wouldn't have responded to Wilson by outing Plame. He would have responded to Wilson by simply saying this: "you said if I was talking about Niger; guess what: I wasn't." (Wilson's op-ed indicated explicitly that he was claiming knowledge only about Niger.)

One more thing. If the 16 words weren't about Niger, there would have been no need for Tenet to fall on his sword and admit that "these 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the President." He did that because people were paying attention to Wilson, and because people were realizing the Niger claim was essentially based on nothing other than forged documents. But if Bush had been talking about Congo/Somalia, these issues would have been wholly irrelevant.

"I think you should 'drag your pathetically ignorant butt through the relevant citations.' "

Done. Now we're looking forward to the citations you'll provide to back your claim that the 16 words weren't about Niger.

"So … 'Slam Dunk' was a euphemism for,'nothing to see here'?"

You look awfully cute trying to hide behind that tiny fig leaf (those two words).

If all CIA had ever said was those two words, and nothing else, then you'd have some kind of point. Trouble is, they did say lots of other things. For example, they told Bush to remove the Niger allegation from his 10/02 Ohio speech. We haven't really been given a clear explanation for how that allegation nevertheless managed to creep back into the SOTU, after CIA had already communicated to the White House that the allegation was weak.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame