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Karl Rove and Occam's Razor

There's an old law in logic called "Occam's Razor." It states that, when presented with multiple solutions for a given problem, the simplest one is usually the best one.

I figured I'd apply Occam's Razor to the Rove/Plame issue, and see what comes out.

Let's see. Ambassador Joseph Wilson goes to Africa to investigate rumors that Iraq is looking to buy uranium to develop nuclear weapons. He pokes around a bit, drinks some tea, comes home, and writes his report.

Then he starts talking publicly about his investigation, saying that he found no evidence to support those rumors.

The only problem is, his report actually DOES support them.

So, at the White House, they have a dilemma. Wilson is out-and-out lying about his report, but they can't contradict him because his report is classified.

So, when reporters start calling White House officials for comment, they can't tell them that Wilson is talking out of his ass. Instead, they try to warn off the reporters from putting too much stock in his statements.

"So, Rove, we have Joe Wilson saying Cheney sent him to Africa, and then completely lied about his report. Does the White House have any comment?"

"You know we can't comment on classified reports. But I can tell you that Cheney didn't send Wilson."

"Oh, he didn't. Then the CIA Director did?"

"From what I understand, his wife works at the CIA, and she pushed him forward. All I know is, nobody here even heard of him before he was recommended for the job by someone at CIA."

Again, that's just speculation. And I have no problems with the ethicality of that. To me, it looks more and more like Wilson exploited his wife's position for his own political purposes, in effect politicizing her for his own gains. At the point she went along with it, she stopped being an "honest employee" at the CIA and instead became a political operative and forfeited any claim to protection from political retaliation. Once you decide to play political games from your job, you run the risk of people taking similar measures to fight back. It's the nature of politics.

But let's AGAIN look at the facts. The evidence against Rove is -- as of this writing -- virtually nonexistent. Nor is there real evidence that a law was broken. It's highly questionable at best whether or not the law would have covered Ms. Plame, or Mr. Rove, for that matter. Nonetheless, Democrats are fighting over microphones in order to publicly call for his firing.

This is nothing new. In the summer of 2003, Wilson himself said he wanted to see Rove "frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs" over the publication of his wife's employment.

And again there seems to be no one who wants to actually get the best evidence in the whole Plame dustup, and talk to Robert Novak. If whoever told Mr. Novak that Plame worked for the CIA broke a law, then his publishing of that name was a crime of at least equal magnitude. He could settle the whole matter in seconds, but apparently no one wants to do just that.

But again, I have no "inside knowledge" of what's going on, nor do I want any. I'm just one guy sitting back and looking at as much of the big picture as possible, and trying to make sense of it all.

And that last part is what separates me from a lot of people on the left, who have their conclusions already worked out (Rove must go!) and are working backwards from there to try to make the evidence fit their goal.


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Comments (92)

I'm optimistic the Presiden... (Below threshold)
Winston:

I'm optimistic the President will stand by Rove.

Jay - would that be called ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Jay - would that be called "fixing" the evidence? Funny how that works. I just know the dems would not be that diabolical!

Where's your evidence that ... (Below threshold)
Justin Orndorff:

Where's your evidence that Wilson's report actually confirmed the administration's beliefs? A link, citation?

Justin,It's been m... (Below threshold)

Justin,

It's been mentioned repeatedly that the Senate Select Committe on Inteligence's report on the run-up to the Iraq war covered this & found that Wilson was lying through his teeth in his Op-Ed.

Jay your story makes a lot ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Jay your story makes a lot of sense, and it also fits with the Cooper situation, since Cooper did contact Rove, and Cooper also brought up the Wilson issue first.

I actually think it is more likely that Rove was a source contacted by the reporters rather than the whole "Rove was shopping the story around to get back at Wilson through his wife" story.

Also, Wilson was working for Kerry campaign when he published his story and had donated them money-hardly an unbiased source.

Jay,I think your "... (Below threshold)
Ron Wright:

Jay,

I think your "spot on." It's probably what's going on behind the scenes that is interesting that the MSM is too blind to see.l

See these comments over at Dean's World and Roger Simon's:

Dean Here

and Dean Here and RLS Here

Too funny. I find it almos... (Below threshold)
Snewk:

Too funny. I find it almost incredible that you people are defending Rove. Legal and criminal difficulties aside, the email is undeniable evidence that Rove leaked national security information to a journalist to discredit a critic (Joseph Wilson). How does that square with White House policy as it has been previously stated?

And let's keep an eye on Ju... (Below threshold)
arb:

And let's keep an eye on Judith Miller, sitting in jail. She's clearly not there to protect Karl Rove, so who *is* she covering for? Another reporter? Herself? Bueller?

And let's keep an eye on Ju... (Below threshold)
Snewk:

And let's keep an eye on Judith Miller, sitting in jail. She's clearly not there to protect Karl Rove, so who *is* she covering for? Another reporter? Herself? Bueller?

Perhaps Tenet?? Remember, there were two senior officials.

Do you suppose she would go... (Below threshold)
arb:

Do you suppose she would go to jail to protect ANY Bush administration official?

RE: Justin Orndorff at July... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Justin Orndorff at July 13, 2005 07:44 AM

Where's your evidence that Wilson's report actually confirmed the administration's beliefs? A link, citation?

Not to belabor the point, Justin, but did you read Jay Tea's post? There's a link (that has been posted and reposted as reminded by Cyberludite) that covers this briefly. Check the right margin of that page and you'll find links to numerous resources. Check out the FindLaw documentation and start reading. Wilson goofed and has since tried to deflect. His book and much of this sideshow is his resurrection tour.

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

Again, get the source docs and skip the speculative talking points.

As usual Jay Tea, you're th... (Below threshold)
jYt:

As usual Jay Tea, you're the well-written voice of reason here at WizBang. This is pretty much the same conclusion I had reached myself. The whole Rove thing is overblown and there has been no crime committed. The problem is that Rove is being hurt now by the appearance of impropriety, and his lawyer sure isn't helping matters.

Of course, as you point out, Wilson's report is actually factual and no one really has any problems with it (it's his public comments they have a problem with that aren't backed up by his report), so that also puts the kibosh on Rob's shrill call to revoke Plame's security clearance for a fraudulent report. He has so many facts wrong in the last two paragraphs of his "Rove Already Convicted In The Press" story that I'd think he was working for the New York Times.

BTW, for those of you asking for links, here you go (props to Toby928 for previously providing this):

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3827/is_200407/ai_n9459118

From the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report:

"The former ambassador's wife suggested her husband for the trip to Niger in February 2002. The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on behalf of the CIA, also at the suggestion of his wife, to look into another matter not related to Iraq. On Feb. 12, 2002, the former ambassador's wife sent a memorandum to a Deputy Chief of a division in the CIA's Directorate of Operations which said, "[m]y husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." This was just one day before the same Directorate of Operations division sent a cable to one of its overseas stations requesting concurrence with the division's idea to send the former ambassador to Niger."

"Conclusion: Rather than speaking publicly about his actual experiences during his inquiry of the Niger issue, the former ambassador seems to have included information he learned from press accounts and from his beliefs about how the Intelligence Community would have or should have handled the information he provided."

Read the link for further details.

I suspect that the real sou... (Below threshold)
stephen:

I suspect that the real source is a Democrat on the Intelligence commitee. There is no way that the MSM would have maintained confidentiality for Rove prior to the election. Example: the see-BS TANG memo forgeries.

Is Occam's Razor anything l... (Below threshold)
John:

Is Occam's Razor anything like Ockham's Razor?

Welcome back, Jay Tea!... (Below threshold)
BR:

Welcome back, Jay Tea!

The 7/10/04 Wapo article linked in the main post above erroneously assumes "classified" in their sentence: " The disclosure of Plame's identity, which was classified, led to an investigation into who leaked her name."

In the days prior to Novak's first article, which he sent off for publication on 7/11/03, he called the CIA: "The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him."

And more details in Novak's followup article: "At the CIA, the official designated to talk to me denied that Wilson's wife had inspired his selection but said she was delegated to request his help. He asked me not to use her name, saying she probably never again will be given a foreign assignment but that exposure of her name might cause "difficulties" if she travels abroad. He never suggested to me that Wilson's wife or anybody else would be endangered. If he had, I would not have used her name. I used it in the sixth paragraph of my column because it looked like the missing explanation of an otherwise incredible choice by the CIA for its mission."

So, how "classified" could her name and the fact that she works for the CIA be, if the CIA spokesperson himself discussed it with a reporter (Novak)?

From what I've read, she was already potentially endangered years earlier by Agee, and pulled off her assignment to a desk position at Langley. Unless she has a private underground tunnel from her home to her office, surely anyone could see her go to work if they wanted to.

Novak further wrote:
"How big a secret was it? It was well known around Washington that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. Republican activist Clifford May wrote Monday, in National Review Online, that he had been told of her identity by a non-government source before my column appeared and that it was common knowledge. Her name, Valerie Plame, was no secret either, appearing in Wilson's "Who's Who in America" entry."

I believe we're going to see the Plame Affair unravel into exposure of yet another CIA/left attack on Bush going all the way back to the forged Niger docs.

Re: Wilson, specifically. What African official would ever admit it if he were secretly doing business with Iraq? What if the French company, Cogema, which controls the uranium mines in Niger, were in cahoots? Wilson describes Cogema in his 9/18/03 interview by Josh Marshall.

And that last part is wh... (Below threshold)
joe:

And that last part is what separates me from a lot of people on the left, who have their conclusions already worked out (Rove must go!) and are working backwards from there to try to make the evidence fit their goal.

In this way, leftists are like creationists. Creationists start with the conclusion ("Bible is literal fact!") and make up stuf to fit it ("intelligent design").

I did read the link. Howeve... (Below threshold)
Justin Orndorff:

I did read the link. However, I'd prefer the actual report and testimony from all parties involved. Since there's so much the public doesn't know I'll move on to my point.

Let's go with your logic then. (I'm of the opinion that Wilson had no reason to lie in his article or his report, Wilson worked under Republicans and even supported Republican candidates in the past.) Why would he all of the sudden chose to smear the WH?

But, for the sake of argument, let's say that he _did_ lie in his findings. Is Karl Rove's leak of a CIA official's identity and exposure of Brewster Jennings & Associates excusable or warranted? If Rove was a Democrat, would you say the same thing?

I suspect that Miller is pr... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I suspect that Miller is protecting somebody either in the CIA or State department.

I also strongly suspect that Rove was simply used as a confirming source, rather than an admistration officcial out there shopping around a story to get back at Wilson. For one thing the Cooper story pretty much seems to shoot the "shopping around" bit out of the water, since Cooper called Rove and Cooper brought up Wilson in the conversation not Rove.

arb,I'd be intereste... (Below threshold)
jYt:

arb,
I'd be interested to know what Judith Miller could be protecting "herself" or "another reporter" from. She didn't even write a story on this and was presumably called because of her appearance in white house administration phone logs. If that's true, they already know who she talked to, they just want to know what they talked about. If you have an actual theory here instead of just blue-skying, please present it because right now your ideas make about as much sense as saying that the's protecting the Pope.

Agreed, Just Me. And Coope... (Below threshold)
BR:

Agreed, Just Me. And Cooper called under the guise of asking about "welfare reform" ! Then in the last 2 minutes, suddenly sprung the Niger subject.

Re: Just Me on Cooper's e-m... (Below threshold)
Justin Orndorff:

Re: Just Me on Cooper's e-mail with Rove.

Actually, Cooper was discussing welfare reform when Rove switched over to Wilson.

As for who she's protecting, many reports suggest either herself, 'Scooter' Libby or someone higher up. Failing that, the State department is another possibility.

Re: jYt. The NYT have never given any records to the investigators. She's being held in contempt because she's failed to divulge who her sources were, despite being given a blanket waiver from her sources.

Snewk: You are presuming th... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Snewk: You are presuming that Plame's identity and job function were actually classified. However, let's apply Occam's Razoe to that subject. She's married to someone who is well known in the State Department and certain international circles (that in itself would generally disqualify her from covert ops). If she really was an undercover op, why wouldn't she have gone herself? After all, she's supposed to be the snoop. Additional points: (1) The Vanity Fair photo shoot. (2) An NBC reporter (I can't find the reference right now, but I think it was on Power Line yesterday) has admitted that Plame's identity was already known to the White House press corps prior to Novak's report.

So what does Occam's razor tell us? She wasn't a covert op; she was a desk jockey. And she used her position to try to undermine the person who, in effect, is the CEO of her organization. Remember, it's not the CIA's job to set foreign policy. The conclusion is that Plame, far from being a valuable undercover agent, was acutally part of a rogue element at the CIA involved in, among other things, abuse of government resources and violations of the Hatch Act. Will she ever be prosecuted for any of this? Not a chance.

Now, as for Judith Miller: This is indeed where it gets more mysterious. I don't believe for a minute that if Miller's source were someone in the Bush Administration, that Miller or the NYT would be doing to these lengths to protect that person. That leaves three possibilities:

(1) The source is someone who isn't very important, but Miller and the NYT have decided to make the point that they are a law unto themselves, and the laws of the Unites States do not apply to them.

(2) The source is someone whose disclosure would be highly embarassing and/or have legal consequences to the Democratic Party. Perhaps a Senator on the Intelligence Committee. Perhaps Jamie Gorelick. Perhaps the whole thing was a trap set up by Wilson himself. (I don't think it would be Tennant... he's pretty well discredited on both sides of the aisle, and I don't think anyone would be going to any length to protect him at this point.)

(3) It started with a reflexive opposition to anything that might benefit Bush, however indirectly. Miller and the NYT didn't really think it through because they were confident that they would succeed in quashing the subpoena. They didn't plan for the possibility of losing that round, and now they are stuck for what to do next. So they are stalling for time while they try to come up with a new plan.

Of these two, I think (1) would be a bit brazen even for the NYT. (2) is possible, but a scandal like that just can't be kept secret very long (especially with the alternative media poking around), and in their heart of hearts, they know that. I think the most likely possibility is (3): they jumped into this without thinking, and now they are caught with their pants down.

Strike that, Cooper switche... (Below threshold)
Justin Orndorff:

Strike that, Cooper switched over to Wilson. But that difference is moot.

David Corn (the Nation repo... (Below threshold)
BR:

David Corn (the Nation reporter who was so quick to point the finger at the White House along with Wilson, right after Novak's first article) himself contacted the CIA mentioning both Plame and another CIA Officer. Link:

" So he [Novak] named her in a July 14 column and damaged her career and aided what might have been a White House attempt to punish or discredit Joseph Wilson--an effort that possibly undermined national security and possibly violated federal law."

"Compare this to my experience with the CIA. After I learned from reliable sources the identity of a current National Security Council staffer who once worked with Valerie Wilson at the CIA in weapons counterproliferation, I wondered whether I should make the name of this person public, and I contacted the CIA."

"This NSC staffer might--I emphasize, might--play a role in the Wilson leak scandal. …perhaps this individual--whom I was told is a CIA officer assigned to the NSC--mentioned Valerie Wilson's CIA connection…."

"So should I ID this CIA person working at the White House? As Novak did, I called the CIA. I spoke to Mark Mansfield, a longtime CIA spokesperson. I informed him that I had learned about this CIA officer and mentioned the individual's name. I asked if the CIA would confirm the person's employment at the CIA and whether the agency wanted to make a case for not revealing his or her name. He said he would get back to me--and nothing more. Several hours later, he called. … 'We generally don't comment upon employment,' he said. But did he not want to argue against naming this person. Any guidance, off the record? I asked. No, he said. 'As a general point,' Mansfield added, 'we always prefer that CIA employees--whether they are undercover or overt--not be identified publicly because it can limit opportunities to travel overseas and can have unintended consequences.' "

*****

So there we have a reporter, David Corn, receiving possible classified info on a CIA officer's name and that he works for the CIA, assigned to the NSC, from "reliable sources." Why didn't Corn immediately recognize that as a serious national security breach? In his own words about Novak and the WH – "undermined national security and possibly violated federal law." And why didn't that CIA spokesperson, Mansfield, immediately upon hanging up the phone with Corn, inform the Justice Dept?

Investigate Corn's sources! :)

You know, there's one perso... (Below threshold)
cirby:

You know, there's one person who doesn't get much mention as a possible leak...

Valerie Plame.

A month before the story about her broke, Wilson's version of the Niger story was going nowhere. Teh, suddenly, three separate news sources got hold of it, and ran with Wilson's version.

A month later, and "someone" leaks that Plame was a CIA agent, but what if it wasn't in an attempt to discredit Wilson, but was, instead, a try at making him look more credible? "Wilson said there was no uranium buying, and his wife's a CIA agent, so he probably has better info than most!"

What if Judith Miller is protecting Valerie Plame?

Good points, Cousin Dave an... (Below threshold)
BR:

Good points, Cousin Dave and Cirby!

Cousin Dave - re your (2) being unlikely. No, I think you're onto it. Plame, Wilson are at the heart of it. Remember, CBSgate (Sept 2004) had not yet happened two years ago in July 2003 when Novak's first article appeared. So the MSM and Dems had not yet seen the power of the pajama sleuths.

Justin,Re: jYt.... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Justin,

Re: jYt. The NYT have never given any records to the investigators. She's being held in contempt because she's failed to divulge who her sources were, despite being given a blanket waiver from her sources.

This address 0% of what I actually said. I didn't say anything about the NYT providing any records or address the waiver. "Phone logs" are a reference to administration phone logs, which were provided to the Grand Jury.

Of course, Cooper didn't testify based on the same waiver that Miller got. It took a personal verification from the source (Rove) to get him to talk. Miller has basically said the same thing about how she feels about the waiver, so I don't see why her case is any differnt than his.

My question was, "what could Miller be protecting herself or another reporter from?" Other than just throwing it out there, I'm asking that someone provide a scenario where this makes any sense.

Re: cirby -- enjoying your trip to moonbat-land. How does your theory fit in at all with Novak's story and what we now know about Cooper? Answer, it doesn't. You guys are worse than Hillary when it comes to comspiracy theories.

It's funny how much of what... (Below threshold)
Chris:

It's funny how much of what you people are citing as sources is rehashed conventional wisdom and out and out misinformation that gets circulated around the web so much that you accept it as fact. First, Susan Schmidt's WaPo story was erroneous on several counts. In fact, although the Republicans continue to trumpet that a "bipartisan report" found that Wilson lied, in fact the Democrats specifically refused to sign off on the Niger sectrion of the report. Since they went along with the rest of the report, they obviously had strong feelings about it. But of course, the MSM always lies, until they say something that supports your position. Read the comments by Pat Roberts et al in the report. I guess saying "Republicans found that Wilson lied" doesn't exactly sound so convincing, does it?

Second, as much as you may want to point to circumstantial evidence that Plame wasn't as undercover as is portrayed (and the evidence is very circumstantial; just because she's listed as Wilson's wife doesn't automatically make ity clear that she's a CIA operative) since when is is the right or responsibility of anyone in the White House, much less a political operative, to decide that it's OK to reveal her identity. As long as the CIA considered her role classified, Rove had no right to decide that he could ignore that.

As for the allegation that Wilson's report confirmed that Iraq was trying to buy yerllowcake from Niger,if you actually read the Senat report, Wilson says that the former PM told him that Iraq arranged a meeting to discuss expanding trade; he took this to mean that they wanted to talk about yellowcake. However, at the meeting, the Iraqis never brought up the subject. Wilson's report didn't prove anything, which was hi whole point. But because it didn't disprove anything, it was used to support the notion that there might be something going on. Hardly enough to merit inclusion in the State of the Union. Incidentally, the Ambassador to Niger agreed with Wilson's assessment.

Also, I don't know where Jay Tea gets the idea that no one wants to talk to Novak about this. Many reporters have asked, and Novak refuses to say anything.

Finally, here's an article by a former CIA colleague ofm PLame's detailing the damage done by revealing her identity. It was posted on a liberal website (TPM Cafe) so I'm sure most of you will dismiss it out of hand. But I think the writer's credentials for commenting on this matter are at least as solid as, say, Ken Mehlman's.

The Big Lie About Valerie Plame

By Larry Johnson
The misinformation being spread in the media about the Plame affair is alarming and damaging to the longterm security interests of the United States. Republicans' talking points are trying to savage Joe Wilson and, by implication, his wife, Valerie Plame as liars. That is the truly big lie.

For starters, Valerie Plame was an undercover operations officer until outed in the press by Robert Novak. Novak's column was not an isolated attack. It was in fact part of a coordinated, orchestrated smear that we now know includes at least Karl Rove.

Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985. All of my classmates were undercover--in other words, we told our family and friends that we were working for other overt U.S. Government agencies. We had official cover. That means we had a black passport--i.e., a diplomatic passport. If we were caught overseas engaged in espionage activity the black passport was a get out of jail free card.

A few of my classmates, and Valerie was one of these, became a non-official cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. If caught in that status she would have been executed.

The lies by people like Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, and P. J. O'Rourke insist that Valerie was nothing, just a desk jockey. Yet, until Robert Novak betrayed her she was still undercover and the company that was her front was still a secret to the world. When Novak outed Valerie he also compromised her company and every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company and with her.

The Republicans now want to hide behind the legalism that "no laws were broken". I don't know if a man made law was broken but an ethical and moral code was breached. For the first time a group of partisan political operatives publically identified a CIA NOC. They have set a precendent that the next group of political hacks may feel free to violate.

They try to hide behind the specious claim that Joe Wilson "lied". Although Joe did not lie let's follow that reasoning to the logical conclusion. Let's use the same standard for the Bush Administration. Here are the facts. Bush's lies have resulted in the deaths of almost 1800 American soldiers and the mutilation of 12,000. Joe Wilson has not killed anyone. He tried to prevent the needless death of Americans and the loss of American prestige in the world.

But don't take my word for it, read the biased Senate intelligence committee report. Even though it was slanted to try to portray Joe in the worst possible light this fact emerges on page 52 of the report: According to the US Ambassador to Niger (who was commenting on Joe's visit in February 2002), "Ambassador Wilson reached the same conclusion that the Embassy has reached that it was highly unlikely that anything between Iraq and Niger was going on." Joe's findings were consistent with those of the Deputy Commander of the European Command, Major General Fulford.

The Republicans insist on the lie that Val got her husband the job. She did not. She was not a division director, instead she was the equivalent of an Army major. Yes it is true she recommended her husband to do the job that needed to be done but the decision to send Joe Wilson on this mission was made by her bosses.

At the end of the day, Joe Wilson was right. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It was the Bush Administration that pushed that lie and because of that lie Americans are dying. Shame on those who continue to slander Joe Wilson while giving Bush and his pack of liars a pass. That's the true outrage.

It would be hilarious if th... (Below threshold)
John:

It would be hilarious if this flipped back onto the the Democrats and especially if it flipped back on Wilson & Plame, but that would be too good to be true.

I believe the sources were kept secret to keep the story alive. Because the story is likely going nowhere. No conviction for Rove because of lack of evidence of his knowledge or non-knowledge of Plame's status at the CIA and Classified status of some of the information will protect Plame & Wilson.

Regarding Miller protecting... (Below threshold)
arb:
jYt:Records includ... (Below threshold)
Justin Orndorff:

jYt:

Records include phone logs, e-mail, etc. The New York Times is Judith Miller's employer.

An alternative reason for Miller's involvement is if she herself leaked information to reporters, after which reports called administration officials to confirm.

Re; cirby's theory. It's very doubtful. Given Judith Miller's noted past, including her dubious reporting leading up to the war, her ideology would make her the last person that would want to protect Plame or anyone else dissenting from the administration's views.

Justin Orndoff: But, for... (Below threshold)
Carrick:

Justin Orndoff: But, for the sake of argument, let's say that he _did_ lie in his findings. Is Karl Rove's leak of a CIA official's identity and exposure of Brewster Jennings & Associates excusable or warranted? If Rove was a Democrat, would you say the same thing?

You should ask this question of yourself, Justin. It is a playground activity, after all, to blame your own actions on what other people do.

Strike that, Cooper switched over to Wilson. But that difference is moot.

How exactly do you figure that?

Re; cirby's theory. It's very doubtful. Given Judith Miller's noted past, including her dubious reporting leading up to the war, her ideology would make her the last person that would want to protect Plame or anyone else dissenting from the administration's views.

Pure supposition. Suggestion: Quit trying to breath vacuum and wait of the facts to come out.

jYt-Actually, the ... (Below threshold)
cirby:

jYt-

Actually, the "Plame leaked" idea fits quite nicely with the Novak story, since it would have led up quite nicely to the info that he had in hand when he wrote it. Novak said he spoke to "senior administration officials," but never said where *they* got the info - which certainly could have come from another reporter poking around and dropping hints. By the time anyone spoke to Rove on this, it was a good three or four weeks after the initial leak.

Plame told some folks, who told some folks, who tipped Novak and Rove and others. Things went south from there, because someone didn't think things through before the initial leaks.

Chris-

Besides yellowcake, the only thing Niger exports that Iraq might import in any quantities is goats. Not to mention, of course, that some of the Iraqis in the delegation were known to have worked on the Iraqi nuke program (unless they're buying Very Expensive Radioactive Goats, there's something wrong with your theory).

Chris hyperventilates: .... (Below threshold)
Carrick:

Chris hyperventilates: . In fact, although the Republicans continue to trumpet that a "bipartisan report" found that Wilson lied, in fact the Democrats specifically refused to sign off on the Niger sectrion of the report.

You might add to their shame and disgrace they refused to sign off on the Niger section.

In any case, you can separate out the facts from the conclusions. Every independent reading of the report, be it the WaPo article, the WSJ article, or the factcheck.org research report, have come to the conclusion that Wilson's editorial (and his book) were erroneous in their conclusions.

Here is my favorite section of the factcheck.org report (entitled "Bush’s '16 Words' on Iraq & Uranium: He May Have Been Wrong But He Wasn’t Lying"):

A British intelligence review released July 14 calls Bush’s 16 words “well founded.”

A separate report by the US Senate Intelligence Committee said July 7 that the US also had similar information from “a number of intelligence reports,” a fact that was classified at the time Bush spoke.

Ironically, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who later called Bush’s 16 words a “lie”, supplied information that the Central Intelligence Agency took as confirmation that Iraq may indeed have been seeking uranium from Niger.

Both the US and British investigations make clear that some forged Italian documents, exposed as fakes soon after Bush spoke, were not the basis for the British intelligence Bush cited, or the CIA’s conclusion that Iraq was trying to get uranium.

What I want to know is why ... (Below threshold)
JRD:

What I want to know is why Wilson latched onto Rove as the source so quickly ("frog-marched out of the white house"). Especially since Wilson was claiming that Cheney's office was behind the Niger trip, why not suspect Cheney or his staff? What information did Wilson have that Rove was the leak? What if this was a setup against Rove from the start?
Certainly more probable than any of the evil Rove master planner theories that I've been hearing.
JRD

Justin,"Records in... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Justin,

"Records include phone logs, e-mail, etc. The New York Times is Judith Miller's employer."

Yes, records do include phone logs, and if I was referring to NYT phone logs, then you'd be right. However, I'm referring to White House administration phone logs. I said that explicitly, twice. White House administration phone logs aren't NYT records and can be provided by the White House (as they were) without any permission from the NYT.

Back to arb -- the article from the widely respected news and judicial analyst at Men's News Daily makes much of the confidentiality waivers. Miller and Cooper always maintained that these blanket waivers were not sufficient. Cooper got his "personal" waiver just before he was to got to jail. Isn't the more obvious answer that Judith Miller has the same belief as Cooper and is waiting for her explicit permission rather than that reporters are now acting as leakers of classified information to administration officials instead of the other way around? I'd really be interested to hear your Cooper theory in light of your Miller theory.

In any event, you're free to have your conspiracy theories and I'm free to laugh in your face now and again when they're proven wrong beyond all doubt.

Strike that, Cooper swit... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Strike that, Cooper switched over to Wilson. But that difference is moot.

Moot? How is it moot? If the assertion is that Rove was shopping Plame's name around town to discredit Wilson, then I would say there is a big difference between Rove bringing up the subject and Cooper bringing it up.

If Rove called Cooper or brought up the subject when Cooper called him, then it *might* fit with the theory that Rove wanted to leak the info. Since Cooper brought up the subject, that sounds more like Cooper was shopping for info and wanted to see what Rove knew.

That's a BIG difference. It's not moot.

I'll have to add a number (... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

I'll have to add a number (4) to my list above. According to an article that Power Line posted yesterday afternoon, Miller and the special prosecutor have some history and don't like each other. Thus, the possibility exists that the whole thing is the result of personal grudges. I'm not sure where to rank that in the list.

RE: Justin Orndorff's post ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Justin Orndorff's post (July 13, 2005 10:03 AM)

(I'm of the opinion that Wilson had no reason to lie in his article or his report, Wilson worked under Republicans and even supported Republican candidates in the past.) Why would he all of the sudden chose to smear the WH?

I have no idea but others do provide some insight. An example:

Our Man in Niger
Exposed and discredited, Joe Wilson might consider going back.

Clifford D. May [July 12, 2004]

"In 1991, Wilson's book jacket boasts, President George H.W. Bush praised Wilson as 'a true American hero,' and he was made an ambassador. But for some reason, he was assigned not to Cairo, Paris, or Moscow, places where you put the best and the brightest, nor was he sent to Bermuda or Luxembourg, places you send people you want to reward. Instead, he was sent to Gabon, a diplomatic backwater of the first rank."

"After that, he says in his memoir, 'I had risen about as high as I could in the Foreign Service and decided it was time to retire.' Well, that's not exactly accurate either. He could have been given a more important posting, such as Kenya or South Africa, or he could have been promoted higher in the senior Foreign Service (he made only the first of four grades). Instead, he was evidently (according to my sources) forced into involuntary retirement at 48. (The minimum age for voluntary retirement in the Foreign Service is 50.) After that, he seems to have made quite a bit of money — doing what for whom is unclear and I wish the Senate committee had attempted to find out."

"But based on one op-ed declaring 16 words spoken by the president a lie, he transformed himself into an instant celebrity and, for a while, it seemed, a contender for power within the chien-mange-le-chien world of foreign policy. That dream has now probably evaporated. It is hard to see how a President John Kerry would now want Wilson in his inner circle. But if he desired to return to Gabon or Niger I, for one, would not be among those opposing him."

Wilson's background from CPS Advisory Group

So, and this is wild speculation by me with some insight from NRO's May, it's possible that this was simply a career move. Wilson, a career diplomat, was not going anywhere with the Republican Party and saw a job opportunity with the Democrats. The Iraq war opened a door for his renewed involvement in international diplomacy and, perhaps to curry favor with the Democrats, he took some initiative. He appeared to have higher positions while under the care of a Democratic CiC (though I don't really know the internal hierarchies of the Federal government). GWBush was not going to insert him as a high-flyer no matter what, but if he could spin his "tea-sipping" work within the new, anti-war sentiment and help Kerry get elected, he could cash in that chit with a receptive and victorious Kerry administration. Recall that Wilson was a foreign policy advisor for Kerry's Presidential run.

Seeing as Wilson seems to enjoy the limelight, I'd venture to say he was looking for a high profile promotion. Quite basic really.


But, for the sake of argument, let's say that he _did_ lie in his findings. Is Karl Rove's leak of a CIA official's identity and exposure of Brewster Jennings & Associates excusable or warranted? If Rove was a Democrat, would you say the same thing?

If (a BIG if) he lied and broke the law as determined by a court, and not one of public opinion, then no... it is not excusable and he should punished according to statutes. Warranted? Different matter and some grey area. Given Wilson's attempt to undermine the Presidency in the single most important issue of the past ten years, then the disclosure is warranted in my mind. I would consider Rove's revelations patriotic though there might still be legal consequences for the action. He could be seen as doing the wrong (legal) thing and the right (ethical) thing for the right (patriotic) reason.

Were Rove a Democrat, I think I would still feel the same way considering the totality of all that I know. As more becomes known, I may shift positions, but as it stands that seems unlikely.


Now let me put the shoe on the other foot. What should be done about Wilson's actions? Should there not be some repercussions beyond what has happened already? Does he not bear any responsibility for originating (or partaking in) this cascade of events?

jYt:"Of course, Co... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

jYt:

"Of course, Cooper didn't testify based on the same waiver that Miller got. It took a personal verification from the source (Rove) to get him to talk."

There's a complicating factor regarding Cooper that makes the story even muddier. He is, apparently, the son-in-law of Time's publisher. (Ahh, nepotism -- regarded as unethical everywhere in corporate America. Except, apparently, the MSM.) One wonders whether or not Time would have been willing to give an average staff reporter or stringer the same cover that they have given Cooper.

You all can spin this all y... (Below threshold)
liberal troll:

You all can spin this all you want.

The problem is that it is not up to the people reading your blog, it is up to Fitzgerald and the Grand Jury.

so suck on that.

What Novak has said, and I ... (Below threshold)
cancon:

What Novak has said, and I believe he wrote in his column a few days after the intial Plame name dropping, is that everyone in Washington media knew Plame worked at Langley as a WMD specialist and several Washington columnists and others have backed Novak on that statement

gee could Ms. Plame have been one of those CIA leakers the NY Times and other liberal media rags were using to bash Bush, hmmmm......and might that explain why her position at the CIA was common knowledge

don't forget Plame was not working covert operations then she was an analyst for the WMD division........

so how come it wasn't a secret in Washington in the first place, are perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Wilson not very discreet........

ergo no secret, no crime

Wilson especially LIED abou... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Wilson especially LIED about the nuclear threat and the WMD Sadam had acquired, didn't he... Oh wait, it was Bush who lied. Put that "razor" to your throats, losers.

yes, it's all a Liberal con... (Below threshold)
blithe:

yes, it's all a Liberal conspiracy to bring down the righteous, infallible, god-fearing...


... all this lying is nauseating me. how you neo-cons do it all the time is beyond me.

The problem is tha... (Below threshold)
The problem is that it is not up to the people reading your blog, it is up to Fitzgerald and the Grand Jury.

Funny.

That's what most of us on the right have been saying in response to the lynch-mob mentality of the Democrats.

So if the Grand Jury fails to return an indictment on Rove, are you lefties going to suck on it?

In case the rest of you nut... (Below threshold)

In case the rest of you nutbags don't notice the correction ran by the Washington Post that is present right there on the webpage Jay Tea has linked to claiming Joe Wilson was full of shit I will paste it here:

_____Correction_____
In some editions of the Post, a July 10 story on a new Senate report on intelligence failures said that former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV told his contacts at the CIA that Iraq had tried to buy 400 tons of uranium from the African nation of Niger in 1998. In fact, it was Iran that was interested in making that purchase, but no contract was signed, according to the report.


So in essence it is Jay Tea That is full of shit!

i think both sides are stup... (Below threshold)
politics suck:

i think both sides are stupid on this matter
but why if Rove did not do anything illegal, why did the white house try to cover up his participation to begin with? why 2 years ago when questioned about it, couldnt they just bring it out in the open ?

So in essence it is Jay ... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

So in essence it is Jay Tea That is full of shit!

Did you actually read the article or just the correction? The 1998 incident was not the only transaction discussed in the piece. The location of the paragraph and its brevity would indicate that it was a relatively unimportant issue. In fact, in the paragraph just before the mention of the Iran attempt to by yellowcake, there is a reference to a June 1999 incident in which an Iraqi inquired about a purchase, but Niger refused to sell it because of the sanctions (so says Niger.)

You really should read the whole article before shooting your mouth off.

why if Rove did not do anyt... (Below threshold)
Take the 5th:

why if Rove did not do anything illegal, why did the white house try to cover up his participation to begin with? why 2 years ago when questioned about it, couldnt they just bring it out in the open ?

Posted by: politics suck at July 13, 2005 04:15 PM


It's 6:50 EST and this stopped everyone!

This just goes to show you ... (Below threshold)
Jim:

This just goes to show you that you can't trust Libs. Plame and Wilson were known Libs in Washington. Why is a Republican administration using a Lib to investigate something so important? By the way, according to sources I believe are reliable, Wilson had mentioned his wife's career at the CIA on his website way before anyone outed her. Also, after all the info came out about Wilson's lies, Kerry's people removed Wilson's bio and info from Candidate Genius' website.

To all those wondering "who... (Below threshold)
al mascitti:

To all those wondering "who is Miller protecting," you should be aware that journalists don't decide to protect anonymous sources based on whether we agree with them or not. A promise of confidentiality is just that, a promise. Break it and you'll never hear another off-the-record comment the rest of your career. I don't think it's Rove - the evidence indicates it's someone else, and that that someone may have lied to the grand jury - but if Karl Rove told me something off the record, even if I hated his guts, he'd have my word that I wouldn't give up his name. And I wouldn't, even if my bosses ordered me to.

Not even if he signed a wai... (Below threshold)
BR:

Not even if he signed a waiver 18 months ago? A waiver specifically requested by Fitzgerald, and specifically signed by Rove to ensure full cooperation by all journalists called by the Fitzgerald grand jury.

Nope, that doesn't explain Judith Miller's silence. If she also wants a special waiver from Rove like Cooper requested, why doesn't she ask for it? This whole allegation that the waivers were signed under coercion, is just a delaying tactic ploy to shield her true source, hoping the grand jury will expire in the next four months and not be renewed. Meanwhile, she and the rest of the anti-Bush factions in the CIA and MSM can milk their attack on Rove and Bush.

Btw, to commenters above calling Wilson a Republican - for goodness sake - he contributed to both the Gore and Kerry campaigns. He even listed his wife's address as Brewster Jennings in the publicly-available campaign contributions report. Brewster Jennings & Assoc. ("BJ") - her so-called cover company. Imagine being an agent out in the field with BJ as your cover, then Wilson, a known ex-Ambassador, publicizes that his wife is connected to BJ.

From JustOneMinute's 7/15/04 post:

"Wilson, Joseph C. Mr. IV
4/22/1999 -$1,000.00
Washington, DC 20007
J. C. Wilson Intl. Ventures/Strateg -[Contribution]
GORE 2000 INC

Wilson, Valerie E. Ms.
4/22/1999 $1,000.00
Washington, DC 20007
Brewster-Jennings & Assoc. -[Contribution]
GORE 2000 INC

These two records show that GORE 2000 INC refunded $1,000.00 of the $2,000 he contributed on 3/26/99; the limit at the time was $1,000. On the same darn date of the refund, Wilson's wife was credited with a $1K contribution. Perfectly legal as far as campaign finance law goes, but note the employer listed for his wife."

Liberal left toe: The p... (Below threshold)
Carrick:

Liberal left toe: The problem is that it is not up to the people reading your blog, it is up to Fitzgerald and the Grand Jury.

I've got no problems with that. Why do you think I would have problems with that?

al mascitti : break it a... (Below threshold)
Carrick:

al mascitti : break it and you'll never hear another off-the-record comment the rest of your career.

So like, are you a real reporter, or are you just giving us the "West Wing" version of the world?

Washington being Washington, I have a hard time believing it. Last I heard there, people back-stab you in you your back-stab wounds, and an "honest politician" is one who stays bought.

BR,So, I guess you... (Below threshold)
jYt:

BR,

So, I guess you totally had it pegged that Cooper would name Rove as his source, huh? Oh, wait a minute. No you didn't. When neither Miller nor Cooper had testified, you said, "Since Novak was not facing jail with Miller and Cooper, I deduct Novak has already told what he knew to the Grand Jury. Novak, being conservative, would more likely have protected Rove if Rove were the source. So that tends to negate Rove being the source." Now that we know that Rove was Cooper's protected source, you're left with Miller. You were already dead wrong on one, but you hold out hope for the other. Surely she's protecting someone else, right? On the other hand, perhpaps it's just that Rove wasn't as careful about what he told her and fears her testimony more than Matt Cooper's.

As to why she doesn't ask for a waiver, how do you know she hasn't already. Cooper asked for his privately, then publically revealed it was granted. Perhaps Miller did exactly the same thing, but her's wasn't granted. Perhaps she didn't ask for it and would prefer to be a martyr (in all liklihood a big book deal will be coming her way). Perhaps her source is another Bush administration official that isn't about to grant the waiver. Who knows. I advise waiting to find out. Maybe we never will, but until we do, it's all just speculation.

Oh, and I guess Judith Miller was really, really known as a huge friend of the left when she wrote all the stories on "Saddam Hussein illegally developing, building, and storing chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons" during the run-up to war. Perhaps you should go read some of her bylines between 2001 and 2003 to see just how deeply entrenched she is with the Bush White House.

cirby,When Wilson ... (Below threshold)
jYt:

cirby,

When Wilson first wrote his op-ed on July 6th for the New York Times, it created quite a stir. I'm not sure what period of time his story wasn't going anywhere that you're referring to. Novak named Plame less than two weeks later in his July 14th column and we now know that Rove talked with Cooper on the 11th. That's seven days after Wilson's piece in the times.

Naturally, what your story is really missing is any type of proof or even the insinuation of any proof. You say that the timeline fits (which you got totally wrong, anyway) and that's all you've got. Your same theory could work for anyone that ever knew Plame was an agent, so that naturally includes Plame. This is just the best your fevered imagination can come up with and therefore belongs in the same conspiracy league with, "Man never landed on the moon" and "The Bush Administration Blew up the World Trade Center."

I guess I can add you to the list of people to laugh in the face of when and if this is resolved. Feel free to really, really laugh hard in my face if it does turn out to be Plame. I'll take my chances on that one.

jYt - you're quoting BR out... (Below threshold)
BR:

jYt - you're quoting BR out of context.

AD, your info above is verr... (Below threshold)
BR:

AD, your info above is verrrry interesting. Especially this quote from Chris May's 7/12/04 article, "Our Man in Niger": [But whose man, is the question]


"[Wilson]… forced into involuntary retirement at 48. (The minimum age for voluntary retirement in the Foreign Service is 50.) After that, he seems to have made quite a bit of money — doing what for whom is unclear and I wish the Senate committee had attempted to find out."

l'Affaire Plame – French Connection I, II and III?

I – French co. Cogema controls the uranium mines in Niger

II – Forged Niger docs – French agent and a diplomat

III – Mission to Niger in Feb 2002 – a damage control coverup of Niger/France/Iraq uranium dealings?

Tactic: Hide the truth in plain sight, but discredit it with forged docs. (Reverse op in CBSgate: tell a lie and hope your forgery doesn't get exposed.)

The British have a phrase: "going native" – first used in India when a British colonial official began "sleeping" with the locals. During the cold war, one of England's big spies "went native" in Morocco. Could this have happened again in Africa and the MidEast? Never can tell what that heat will do to ya after years in Niger, Togo, South Africa, Burundi, French Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, and Iraq, at least four of them former French colonial assets.

I wonder if a subpoena for the financial records of J. C. Wilson Intl. Ventures has crossed Fitzgerald's desk yet. Perhaps the internal security people at the CIA are already looking into it, a la Cotechna – UN – Iraq Oil-for-Food – Saddam – UN & French officials - kickbacks.

One item in the above-linke... (Below threshold)
BR:

One item in the above-linked bio, made me smile:

"He [Wilson] has been decorated as a Commander in the Order of the Equatorial Star by the Government of Gabon."

Sounds like a voodoo cult :)

First, congratulations on b... (Below threshold)
mj:

First, congratulations on being one of the few right-wing blogs that allow comments.

"nobody ever heard of him until...?"

Uh, hm. Do you read? Anything? Other than wingnut blogs, I mean? GHW Bush appointed Joseph Wilson as amabassador to Baghdad, where Robert Novak (at the time) credited him with having the "stuff of heroism" in how he handled the situation. Novak somehow changed his mind on Wilson for telling the truth about Iraq and Niger.

There's no way that Rove "hadn't heard" of Joe Wilson. Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove (George Bush, Jr's nickname for him, not mine) has been with the Bush family since Watergate, and was instrumental in political campaigns of Sr and Jr since the late 70's. He's the reason Jr is president, because he's a political genius. Rove misses nothing. It's absurd to claim that he (and his) had never heard of the US Ambassador to Iraq in Baghdad on the eve of the first Gulf war.

Whoever it was in the White House that was calling journalists, trying to get them to publicly identify Plame as an agent didn't just break a Federal law. That person also:
- blew up Brewster-Jennings, the front corporation that CIA set up as a cover for their agents.
- ended the intelligence careers of anyone associated with Plame in her cover role.
- endangered the lives of CIA agents in the field.
- damaged our nation's ability to fight the war on terror, because Plame and her associates were tracking weapons of mass destruction, which was Jr's excuse for going to war in Iraq.

Whoever did this was a traitor, and deserves not firing but stiff jail time. Even if it's Turd Blossom, George Bush, Jr's genius political advisor. This is not an issue of liberal or conservative, it's an issue of the integrity of the United States, and the safety of its people.

Of course, what matter are those things, when you have a political party to protect?


there is a whole lotta defe... (Below threshold)
topsecretk9:

there is a whole lotta defending and investment on the left to support Wilson and "get Rove" which tells me they smell a "rather-gate" like scenario and gettin' desparate...for instance I will have NO emotional investment if Rove does time IF (unless of course we've changed things to guilty until proven innocent--let me know) he committed a crime...when he gets out of jail he and Sandy Berger can hook up and start a firm.

Commit a crime...go do the time. So what? Karl's gone. SO??? but wait, just what if heels turn and it turns out say...Judy wasn't too careful when she chatted with Libby (who says it was a reporter that told him Plames name)...Judy let slip just a few other details, other than the Plames name, details that commoners just wouldn't have...maybe details that only covert CIA agents would (or should) be privy to...maybe about the authenticity of classified documents? or some such, hell Kristoff's office just down the hall

maybe Miss Judy inadvertently screwed an anonymous source "of info" to a senior Admin. official...maybe there is an investigatin of a leak, but not the leak(ing) we think and for that she sits tonight in jail cursing Coopers insistence for a "specific" waiver rather than the highly confusing Fitzgaerald written "all persons" waiver.

Coopers insistence for a "s... (Below threshold)
topsecretk9:

Coopers insistence for a "specific" waiver rather than the highly confusing Fitzgaerald written "all persons" waiver.---becuase she ain't getting one of those from her covert CIA and spouse source on info

So, why has it taken so lon... (Below threshold)
sdk:

So, why has it taken so long for the Rove-Plame issue to come out?

Wasn't Bush supposed to get to the bottom of this, and fire whomever -- 2 years ago?!

Doesn't give me too much confidence in his finding Osama, when he can't find a worm in the apple he's eating!

TopsecretK9, whew, telepath... (Below threshold)
BR:

TopsecretK9, whew, telepathy-in-progress...

After I posted French Connection I, II, III above, it suddenly dawned on me that if there is a HUGE coverup going on with regard to actual or attempted transfer of uranium to Iraq and if the Wilson/Plame team is involved either in arranging it or covering it up with forged docs and obstructing real investigation into it, then Judith Miller's life could be in danger. Perhaps she's already spilled the beans to Fitzgerald, but to protect her: we're given this charade about her refusing to talk, while in reality she may be in protective custody. This would put the real targets of the GJ at ease, giving them the impression that the link to them (Miller) is staying quiet.

It's a complicated business, so when trying to unravel it, one sounds complicated too. But do you follow me?

RE: BR's post (July 14, 200... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: BR's post (July 14, 2005 12:10 AM)

"How far does the rabbit hole go?" asked the mighty tracker.

Yes, BR, that muddy employment record piqued my interest too. I've not considered the Cogema angle but that's some interesting math. Maybe there was more to the uranium mining than has been discovered and Wilson was indeed volunteering for duty to "sip green tea", er, coverup, er, investigate crazy, yellowcake stories. With Wilson's long-time associations overseas, his previous marriage with a French diplomat, and his own disclosures, one might become curious if one was thinking creatively.

From Vanity Fair's profile on Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame - "I have a number of clients, and basically we help them with their sort of investments in countries like Niger," explains Wilson. "Niger was of some interest because it has some gold deposits coming onstream. We had some clients who were interested in gold.... We were looking to set up a gold-mine company out of London."

Just what are his associations abroad? Does he work with Germany? Or France? Would either of those countries have benefitted from sabotaging yellowcake investigations? That's a rhetorical. Yes, this is wild speculation and a bit of a fun exercise in "what ifs". Nevertheless, stranger things have certainly been exposed by crazy thoughts.

But on a more practical note, Fitzgerald must be digging for more than the superficial. And he has some special, personal motive to do so:

The Passive Karl Rove and the Active Judith Miller
[John Podhoretz]

Fitzgerald already has a major bone to pick with Miller. He believes she materially and dangerously impeded his investigation into a terrorist-financing scheme run by the Holy Land Foundation

Read from that point onward to look for Fitzgerald's possible motivations beyond the obvious. It's interesting background and puts an even bigger target on Miller.


Trivia: V. Plame graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in journalism in 1984. Might provide enlightenment that she knows how the press and media investigations work. Think she can recognize a leak when she sees one?

Trivia 2: The Wilsons moved to the Palisades, an affluent neighborhood of Washington, D.C., from their "rented apartment in the Watergate".

This is too rich - Classical training in journalism, lived in Watergate, caught up in spy expose, appear on cover of Vanity Fair "Deep Throat" edition. A Hollywood fiction writer couldn't make this stuff up... well, not credibly anyway.

AD - wow, WOW!In t... (Below threshold)
BR:

AD - wow, WOW!

In the above-linked Forged Niger docs, UK Telegraph article of 5 Sept. 04, a paragraph close to the bottom caught my eye:

"Giacomo" was allegedly first engaged by the French secret service to investigate genuine fears of illicit trafficking in uranium from Niger. He collected a dossier of documents - some real, some forged by a diplomat - by offering large sums of money to Niger officials."

"…forged by a diplomat…"

What country's diplomat would this be?
Who would benefit from forged docs that discredit Niger sales of uranium to Iraq?

Not Niger – if Giacomo was in Niger collecting his dossier, the word "diplomat" wouldn't apply. It would be "Nigerien official" or some other title.

Not likely Iraq - it wouldn't benefit Saddam, would it?

The CIA source who told Seymour Hersh (in March 03 after the UN's ElBaradei announced they were forgeries), that the forgeries were created in "late summer 2002" to embarrass the WH, is mistaken on the date or deliberately fed false info to Hersh. It's bad enough that the CIA source claimed a rogue-CIA faction did it to embarrass the WH. But it might be much worse:

Layer upon layer of deception: the forgeries were already in possession of French agent "Giacomo" earlier, and ex-diplomat Wilson claimed he was cognizant of them as forgeries in Feb 02. If the forgeries were actually created to mask a secret uranium transaction involving Wilson/Plame themselves, then Seymour Hersh's CIA source was feeding him a cover story.

BR,Do you aways ta... (Below threshold)
jYt:

BR,

Do you aways talk about yourself in the 3rd person?

Anyway, feel free to add whatever context you fee is necessary to where I quoted you. Just saying, "that's out of context," isn't a defense. What did I cut out of the original quote that was relevant context?

Also, since Cooper has now come out and said that Rove was who he was protecting and was the source that he was willing to go to jail to protect, why is it not believable that Miller, a great friend of the Bush administration, would go to jail rather than name Rove or another administration source. You're good at coming up with loosely held-together conspiracy theories, but bad at answering the obvious questions starting you in the face.

BRSimplified who-d... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

BR

Simplified who-dunnit of yellowcake conspiracy:

Pre Gulf War:
1976-78 - Wilson in Niger
1978-79 - Wilson in Togo
1981-82 - Wilson in South Africa
1982 - Wilson in Burundi (Deputy Chief of Mission in Bujumbura)
1985-86 - Wilson serves in the offices of Senator Albert Gore and Representative Thomas Foley as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow
1986-88 - Wilson in Congo (Deputy Chief of Mission in Brazzaville)
1988 - Wilson is Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as the number two to Ambassador April Glaspie
July 1990 - Wilson left as acting Ambassador after Glaspie returns to America and as "Desert Shield" unfolds
August 1, 1990 - Wilson dines with someone he describes as "Saddam's principal arms buyer in Paris"
August 2, 1990 - Wilson awakened and alarmed by discovery that Iraq had invaded Kuwait, meets with Tariq Aziz to discuss
August 6, 1990 - Wilson meets with Hussein, "the last time the Iraqi president would talk to a U.S. government official"; beginning of several months of negotiations with Iraqi officials
September 1990 - "...I will bring my own fucking rope" incident; chutzpah and grandstanding not particularly popular; State Department considered him arrogant and demanding


Post Gulf War:
1992-95 - Wilson becomes ambassador to Gabon
- Wilson goes to Stuttgart and thence to the N.S.C., for which he would revisit Niger
- Plame at London School of Economics, then College of Europe, an international-relations school in Bruges; stays in Brussels working for "energy consulting firm", Brewster-Jennings front
1995-97 - Wilson serves as Political Advisor to the CiC of US ArmedForces, Europe


1997:
- Plame moves back to the Washington area, partly because C.I.A. suspected that her name may have been on a list given to the Russians by the double agent Aldrich Ames in 1994
- Wilson moves back to Washington as a senior director for African affairs at the NSC; however, Wilson not universally popular because of what was perceived to be too strong sympathies for the interests of the Africans and Europeans
- Wilson based in Stuttgart and serving as the political adviser to George Joulwan, the U.S. general in charge of the European command
- Plame based in Brussels
- Wilson meets Plame at reception at the Washington home of the Turkish ambassador
- Meeting in Paris, London, and Brussels, they got very serious very quickly and Plame confides covert activity to Wilson on 3rd or 4th date


1998:
- Wilson retires and enters private sector because of desire for kids and economic difficulties associated with living off two government salaries
- Wilson sets up consultancy, J. C. Wilson International Ventures, with an office in downtown Washington at the headquarters of the Rock Creek Corporation, an investment firm of which little is known; "I have a number of clients, and basically we help them with their sort of investments in countries like Niger," explains Wilson. "Niger was of some interest because it has some gold deposits coming onstream. We had some clients who were interested in gold.... We were looking to set up a gold-mine company out of London."

1999:
April 1999 - Wilson revisits Niger to "help return the country to democratic rule"

2002:
early 2002 - Plame asks Wilson to come in and discuss Niger and uranium (a subject he'd discussed with the C.I.A. before); Wilson claims Plame's role as messenger only
2002 and beyond - Review the link. Too much to summarize but has much of the debate regarding Cheney's "involvement" or lack of it among much else


Not much on Plame here and not unanticipated. Wilson's record more visible. Of note is his language skills, his access to numerous African political functionaries, his access to "arms buyer(s?)", his associations with France, his advisory positions to clients interested in mining, his mining procedures expertise, his commentary that government pay was inadequate but that he traveled to Niger to research yellowcake pro bono, and his rapid acquistion of wealth immediately after leaving government. With his revisiting Niger in 1999, could he have been establishing uranium mining for Iraq via France? Could his new company have received an advanced payment from Hussein or some other entity on Iraq's behalf? What other documents exist to support/dubunk yellowcake mining in Africa and what percentage are real and not diversionary frauds? Lastly, curious was Plame's disclosure of such important covert activities so early in their courtship. I have another speculation here but I'll hold off for now. It has to do with personal relationships and it's a bit too cynical... even for me.

BR, I haven't had a chance to thoroughly review the Italy/France dossier angle yet but it looks interesting. Conspiracists might speculate that Wilson, once out of State duties, may have been a trading partner/advisor of the French to either mine uranium for themselves or to launder uranium for Hussein's Iraq once sanctions were lifted. With such a vested interest, one would be motivated to discredit any snooping going on in the region and any reports of yellowcake from that region would certainly threaten business among much nastier things. Volunteering services to throw off the dogs or discredit what was found would be imperative both for salvaging future enterprises or for self-preservation from a government that would be rather upset if such interests were discovered. Plame could have served as a nice insider to report when things were getting hot whether intentionally complicit or coincidentally useful. Now, remember, this are wild speculations and just an exercise of what-ifs. But something in Denmark still stinks and the Rove "leak" isn't really that interesting. The yellowcake story still has legs though it is no longer the lede. My earlier theory of a job promotion for Wilson seems less and less likely... this intentional leak almost seems more plausible though it is violates "Occam's Razor".

Oh, the cybersleuthing, even if hypothetical, is so much more fun than the Rove diversion.

Amendment:It could... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Amendment:

It could also be speculated that the mining was actually for nascent Iranian processing. Certainly there would be economic incentives to sell these nuclear materials and/or technologies to even a rogue nation whether such an action was wise or not. If I recall correctly, many countries (perhaps surreptitiouly) continued to sell arms to Iraq while sanctions still existed. Those same countries wanted to expedite the lifting of those sanctions.

So the crazy theory on yellowcake could be applied to Iran rather than Iraq and the tangent would still apply to the schemes as implied.

Wow, AD, that's some time l... (Below threshold)
BR:

Wow, AD, that's some time line! Very enlightening. Much food for thought. (Better than Food for Oil : ) What fun!

Agreed, the Rove diversion is just noise, probably deliberately planted as a smokescreen. When people like Wilson shout so loudly, it tells me they've got something to hide. The (hysterically howling) pot calling the kettle black. They give themselves away.

Regarding the 1999 period in the time line:

I just read (Link) not only did Plame arrange for Wilson's 2002 trip to Niger, but also earlier in 1999:

"In Fact, His Wife Suggested Him For 1999 Trip, As Well. 'The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on the CIA’s behalf … The former ambassador was selected for the 1999 trip after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future and might be willing to use his contacts in the region …' (Select Committee On Intelligence, 'Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq,' U.S. Senate, 7/7/04)"

1999 – Both Wilson and Iraqi diplomats visit Niger. (Haven't yet figured out exact dates – 3 conflicting dates below, unless there were 3 or more events in 1999):

1999 - FebHersh's version:
"In the fall of 2001, soon after the September 11th attacks, the C.I.A. received an intelligence report from Italy’s Military Intelligence and Security Service, or SISMI, about a public visit that Wissam al-Zahawie, then the Iraqi Ambassador to the Vatican, had made to Niger and three other African nations two and a half years earlier, in February, 1999."

1999 -April - in your timeline

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

I'm interested in getting exact dates in 1999 because of the businessman angle. When I first read the word "businessman" as intermediary somewhere days ago, I didn't give it much thought, assuming it was some local in Niger. But in light of your time line, it takes on new meaning. Wilson himself spoke expansively about Cogema's uranium mines in Niger, in his 9/18/03 interview by Josh Marshall; e.g., "Niger is one of several partners within that consortium."

What a tangled business. C... (Below threshold)
BR:

What a tangled business. Could the real life movie script read like this:

Secret uranium transactions between Niger/Iraq (or any other rogue nation or group); facilitated by France's Cogema who controls existing uranium mines in Niger; facilitated by Plame/Wilson – in many ways, as described in AD's time line above; facilitated by the use of a seaport in Benin (another former French colony, bordering Niger) where the US Navy discovered uranium from Niger destined for Iraq and stored in a warehouse; facilitated by Cotechna (of UN Annan/Food for Oil-Kickbacks infamy).

Then the coverup: facilitated by "a cast of thousands" supporting the main characters Wilson, Plame, ElBaradei, Kofi Annan. Non-speaking parts: Plame, French agent "Giacomo", Italian walk-in journalist Burba (actually Burba carried the props). Possible-speaking parts: Judith Miller, David Corn, Seymour Hersh. Speaking-with-forked-tongue parts: Dem politicians and ex-NSC staffers, Richard Clarke, Rand Beers. Hysterical howling part, Wilson.

Denouement : hmmmm…. Pajama sleuths watching from the shadows as the good guys win in the end.

Credits: Wardrobe – Dior pajama suits; Makeup – Bain de Soleil suntan lotion for those blogging from nudist colonies.

Ending with the usual "fictional" disclaimer, with a twist: life is stranger than fiction.

Links: <a href="http... (Below threshold)
BR:

Links:
Cotechna is an inspection company with a history of corruption:

"Cotechna Inspection SA, a Swiss-based company that held the agreement for inspection that verified the proper completion of contracts and authorized payment. The firm had already been involved in previous inspection scandals in several Central Asian countries. Their inspection contracts extended to 44 countries When Pakistani Prime Minster Benazir Bhutto woke up to find her husband "Mr. Ten Percent" Asif Ali Zardan convicted and jailed, Cotechna was the corrupt inspection firm involved."

Joseph Wilson on Cogema:

"Niger is one of several partners within that consortium. And there are actually two mines and two consortia--two consortiums. The operating partner for each of the mines is the French uranium company. And the whole thing is set up in such a way that certain taxes paid that go into the treasury, the ministry of finance, there are export permits that are required--the whole thing is bureaucratically rather heavy to ensure some semblance of transparency. And it was all put together in the context of sort of the French system of doing this. But my point being that even if the two governments had decided they wanted to do a clandestine transfer of uranium from one country to the other then it would be very difficult to effect without an awful lot of people knowing."

RE: BR's post (July 14, 200... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: BR's post (July 14, 2005 09:17 PM)

Good catch on the 1999 Plame recommendation. I forgot to include that in the timeline and it would be a significant event. It looks as if 1999 is shaping up to be a seminal moment with the establishment of Wilson's advisory business in '98 being a pillar to the story.

So Plame appears to be able to recommend names and have those recommendations stick. That would not be surprising since it appears her job was to collect information and make judgement calls based on that information. It could be argued that there was a conflict of interest in sending one's spouse to an area where that spouse might have a stake. Or it could be considered wise spying to utilize all assets available, and the tools acquired as liason would have been timely. At any rate, any chance other information wasn't exchanged during pillow-talk? Was this Niger association set up not as a fact-finding mission but rather a part of a business investment where Wilson was the fulcrum? Wilson could have had many contacts with Niger/Africa previously, and these U.S. government sanctioned trips (to Wilson, he could publicly proclaim them to be service to the U.S. when in reality they were nothing of the sort) were designed to grease the wheels as well as ensure that no new discoveries derailed any previously established tracks.

Yes, 1999 is shaping up to be a very good year. I'm surprised that there hasn't been more coverage of the '99 trip and Wilson's business ventures. The focus has been on the forged documents and their impact on driving policy in Iraq rather than hard evidence of ties to yellowcake in Niger. Maybe the info is "out there" and I've just not ever looked before - most likely is the latter.

Plame had noted previously that she sought a "worldly" companion. Well, I'd say Wilson is living up to his moniker. Your puzzle seems to be making lots of sense since things "fit" pretty well. It keeps coming back to "Who did Wilson meet and when?" and "Why?". If the Wilson's increase in income due to the business venture was lucrative, might Plame have incentive to contribute to its success? Would placing her husband in the proper channels help protect that success? Certainly she and her husband discussed each other's business, so they both would be quite aware of risk and rewards in furthering this adventure.

Very interesting indeed. I just noticed your U.N. and Cotechna notes and this story may very well have lots of tentacles. Different motives and angles for different people... all of which eventually center on money. But the Wilsons intrigue me most at the moment since they seem to be, as you noted earlier, currently "hiding in plain sight". Wilson's staged appearance this afternoon to ask for the removal of Rove's security clearance is just another example of pushing the diversion envelope - just as was his book. Plame seems to be able to summon that spy talent and remain silent, but Wilson just can't seem to help himself. Perhaps it is he who has the most to lose and, since he opened his trap when he wrote the book and traveled around the world to promote it, he must maintain the offensive.

Hmm. MacRanger asks some si... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Hmm. MacRanger asks some similar Plame Questions and notes Christopher Hitchens' theories. It would appear that different people at different times analyzing some of the same and different data are coming to some of the same or similar conclusions. There is a bigger scandal going on. Too much of this makes sense, even for wild conspiracists like us. I hope that Fitzgerald is looking deeply and behind the right doors.

AD, just read your two post... (Below threshold)
BR:

AD, just read your two posts above. Spot on!

Hee, I've been so busy reading, I haven't even looked to see if there are more recent wizbang threads happening.

Here's some of what I'm looking at, below.

After reading AD's link to ... (Below threshold)
BR:

After reading AD's link to the Vanity Fair Jan 04 article and more, the amazing Wilson coverup becomes even clearer. The article contains lots and lots of oddities when compared to other data. For example:

Vanity FairJan 04: "… though Wilson does not work for Rock Creek and merely rents space and facilities there."

[Can't tell if Wilson claimed this or if it's the author's dub-in. It's likely that Wilson and Plame and Plame's bosses would have vetted this puff piece before publication, so why did they allow that easily-exposed lie? Was there such a rush to attack Bush that they got careless? I'd say the whole article is a break in security on many levels.]

>Middle East Policy Council - Oct 02:
Joseph C. Wilson - Former U.S. Chargé d'Affaires, Baghdad; Strategic Advisor, Rock Creek Corporation

See RogerLSimon and his commenter sleuths' research on Wilson and Rock Creek Corp. already a year ago in July 04, in an appropriately named post: Heart of Darkness.

AD, thanks for your link to... (Below threshold)
BR:

AD, thanks for your link to the Hitchens theory. But I think we're light years ahead. That leak to Seymour Hersh that Hitchens is relying on, may also have been disinfo. I think the date given by Hersh's anonymous CIA source: "late summer 02" - is the main disinfo. That would get Plame and Wilson off the hook about having seen the forged docs as early as Feb 02 when Wilson was being briefed for his trip to Niger in a meeting at the CIA offices.

Think of the triple ridiculousness of this: In the Vanity Fair piece:
"At the meeting Wilson was told that the office of Vice President Dick Cheney had asked for further information about a document that was a 'purported memorandum of agreement or a contract covering the sale of 'yellowcake' uranium by Niger to Iraq'. Wilson never saw the document, and he did not know if anyone in the room had, either."

Triple CYA ? Blame Cheney for sending him on a mission based on a "purported" memo, claim you never saw it yourself and imply neither did your wife or anyone else at the CIA (huh, sure sounds like an amateur way to run an investigative mission to Niger), but later in the article claim that the Burba forged docs are different forgeries and didn't appear until Sept. 02 (date-coincident with Hersh's CIA source referring to a "late summer 02" plot to embarrass Bush). So I'm trying to figure out the truth on the subject of the Memorandum vs the Burba docs.

I can't get over that comical ad – so which is it, Daisy or Maisy!

Links showing Wilson kne... (Below threshold)
BR:

Links showing Wilson knew of forgeries in Feb 02 era (which he later denied to the Senate Committee and on the internet):

5/6/03 article by Nick Kristof of NYT. [Apart from showing Wilson knew about or had already seen known forgeries in Feb 2002, this article is also important regarding the "leak" chain. It was written two months before Novak's 7/14/03 article. It was written right after Kristof and his wife had breakfast with Wilson and Plame at a conference sponsored by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, per the Vanity Fair article. Kristof works with Judith Miller at the NYT. Seems to be an obvious source chain: Wilson/Plame to Kristoff to Miller, unless Miller also knows Plame personally/professionally, since Miller's government beat as a reporter was WMD. Either way, at this point in my reading, it looks like Miller is either protecting Kristof and/or Wilson/Plame directly.]

6/12/03 article by Walter Pincus of WaPo.
Jan 04 article in Vanity Fair.
7/10/04 article by Susan Schmidt in WaPo.
JustOneMinute site. There's lots more research at that site, besides this link.

Excerpt from Kristof's 5/6/... (Below threshold)
BR:

Excerpt from Kristof's 5/6/03 article after his breakfast with Wilson/Plame:

"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 [would that be Plame chiming in as she passes the sugar?], that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged."

"The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade. … The envoy's debunking of the forgery was passed around the administration…."

Links showing Wilson den... (Below threshold)
BR:

Links showing Wilson denying knowledge of forged Niger docs in Feb 02:

9/18/03 Wilson interview by Josh Marshall.

"TPM: And, just to be clear, at this time, you hadn't seen these documents that turned out to be forgeries?

WILSON: No, I hadn't. I had just been briefed on a memorandum of agreement covering the sale."

[Then how on earth did he know about the wrong signature and date? Or did he "find" forgeries in Niger and bring them back and say – look what I found - they're obviously fake. Move on, nothing more to see in Niger. Otherwise, if he already knew about the "wrong signature/wrong date" detail during his CIA briefing before his trip, it gets even more ridiculous: they send him on a mission to check out a forgery, but they don't show it to him??]


Further Links of Wilson denying:

7/10/04 article by Susan Schmidt in WaPo, already linked above. Excerpt:

" The report also said Wilson provided misleading information to The Washington Post last June [6/12/03 article by Walter Pincus]. He said then that he concluded the Niger intelligence was based on documents that had clearly been forged because 'the dates were wrong and the names were wrong.' "

" 'Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong" when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports', the Senate panel said. Wilson told the panel he may have been confused and may have 'misspoken' to reporters."

The July 2004 Select Intelligence Committee's Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Assessment on Iraq has 521 pages. Here is the part on Niger. (Wilson's name doesn't come up; he is referred to as "former ambassador" throughout.)

Besides the data in the abo... (Below threshold)
BR:

Besides the data in the above Senate Report showing lots of other info on suspected Niger/Iraq uranium dealings, here's a link quoting various press reports of this too. It is astounding that Plame would so cavalierly dismiss the need for serious investigation, her job after all.

Catching up on my reading o... (Below threshold)
BR:

Catching up on my reading of later wizbang threads, I came across a post by our pet troll, Frameone. Since it's another part of the puzzle, I may as well post it here too.

[Thanks to Frameone for that] WP 12/26/03 article. You've just given me another piece of the puzzle - another fake doc! Planted with several conservative news agencies, including Talon. Then, when the "Who's The White House Gannon-Enabler?" angle had no legs, the bait had to be personally called in by reporters to entrap Rove, but he didn't bite.

Btw, Novak's article was published on 7/14/03, but already written by 7/11/03 and sent out for syndicated publication. Cooper's call to Rove was around 11 am on">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8525978/site/newsweek/">on 7/11/03. Days earlier, Novak had informed Rove about his upcoming article, so Rove already knew of its contents when he spoke to Cooper. Cooper's subsequent 11:07 AM, breathless "super-double-triple top secret deep background info from Rove" e-mail to his bureau chief can hardly be evidence in court of Rove's exact words. E-mails can be faked too - if Cooper was the first one in that conversation to mention Wilson's wife and her CIA affiliation, does anyone think he'd put that in his e-mail? I'm hoping Rove has a tape of the conversation.

The planners of the Plame part of the 1999-2005 op against Bush wanted from the start to re-create Watergate II, with old Watergate ghost John W. Dean in the wings still egging it on with flawed strategy advice and analyses, starting as early as 2003. There's a particularly revealing article on 10/3/03. How ironic that the Wilsons even lived in the Watergate complex before they struck it rich. It's really funny to see it all backfire - as the first one should have. (But Nixon fell for Dean's bait then and participated in a coverup of wrongdoings which could be laid at the CIA's corrupt faction's door.)

Since there's no new thread... (Below threshold)
BR:

Since there's no new thread yet covering this past weekend's NBC appearance by Matt Cooper on Sunday, I'll just continue here in this thread.

Here's another link, <a hre... (Below threshold)
BR:

Here's another link, Cooper's 7/17/03 TIME article, showing Wilson's flip-flopping on the Niger/Iraq forgeries, this time all in one breath: first he says he didn't see the Niger-related forgeries, but then he goes on to describe them:

"For his part Wilson says he did not deal with the forgeries explicitly in his report because he never saw them. However, Wilson says he refuted the forgeries' central allegation that Niger had been negotiating a sale of uranium to Iraq. Wilson says he explained in the report that several Nigerien government signatures would be required to permit such a sale — signatures that were either absent or clearly botched in the forged documents."

"… After he submitted his report in March 2002, Wilson says, his interest in the topic lay dormant until the State of the Union address in January 2003. In his speech, the President cited a British report claiming that Hussein's government had sought uranium in Africa. Afterward, Wilson says, he called a friend at the Africa bureau of the State Department and asked if the reference had been to Niger. The friend said that he didn't know but, says Wilson, allowed the possibility that Bush was referring to some other country on the continent. Wilson says he let the matter drop until he saw State Department spokesman Richard Boucher say a few months later that the U.S. had been fooled by bad intelligence. It was then that Wilson says he realized that his report had been overlooked, ignored, or buried."

***

(I doubt those were Boucher's exact words; more likely Wilson and the reporter's wishful thinking. The UN's Elbaradei of the IAEA publicly announced that certain docs were not authentic, in March 03. I can just imagine what leading questions reporters asked Boucher in the next televised press conference.) (From my reading elsewhere, I'm not so sure Wilson even made a written report at all; I've read "verbal" report to a CIA debriefer who went to his home.)

Anyway, that last bolded section implies his "overlooked, ignored or buried" report warned of "bad intelligence" aka forgeries. And Wilson is oh so concerned that the WH get it right – a last ditch effort before the Iraq war started on 3/19/03.

Ha, how funny: three schem... (Below threshold)
BR:

Ha, how funny: three schemes colliding?

1. Wilson/Plame wanting to hide Iraq/Niger connections, possibly with the use of internally-created forged docs, for their own reasons;

2. UN, Russia, China, Germany, etc. and particularly France not wanting the war to start, planting forged docs via French agent "Giacomo" to Burba in Italy Sept. 02, then passed on to US and UK govts;

3. Dems wanting to embarrass and impeach Bush for relying on forged docs to start a war.

No wonder Wilson got himself stuck between conflicting stories. On the one hand, he has to distance himself and Plame from the forgeries; on the other hand the Dems want him to embarrass the WH with the forgeries.

Which is it gonna be - Daisy or Maisy ??? (I wonder if people throughout the US hear that radio ad with the Caribbean accent for a drink called Malibu. Wish I had an audio clip to post. It's so funny and so appropriate here. It ends with "You confushun-maka, you…")

How many sets of forged doc... (Below threshold)
BR:

How many sets of forged docs are there? Are Set 1 and 2 the same? Or 3 different sets?

SET 1 - Internally created Niger forgeries by anti-Bush faction of CIA: "Late Summer 02", but possibly earlier, like Feb. 02. More on this at JustOneMinute, regarding "VIPS" group.

SET 2 - Forged Docs – 22 page dossier, some real some fake, passed on by French agent "Giacomo" to Italian journalist Burba in Sept. 02, then to US Embassy in Oct. 02 and UK Govt. (Described as 22-page dossier in the Hersh article, linked in Set 1.)

SET 3 - Forged State Dept. INR memo allegedly outing Plame, planted with several conservative news organizations.

Unknown at this point which set ElBaradei exposed as not authentic.

Whew, with this much deception flying around, what a headache it must be for any leader to function efficiently based on the data he is given.

After Matt Cooper appeared ... (Below threshold)
BR:

After Matt Cooper appeared on NBC Sunday, 7/17/05, I read his underlying article for TIME mag posted online two years ago on 7/17/03, here. It is full of oddities in light of what we now know. Besides Wilson's amazing contradictions of seeing but not seeing the Niger forgeries, a different paragraph caught my eye:

" In an exclusive interview Lewis Libby, the Vice President's Chief of Staff, told TIME: 'The Vice President heard about the possibility of Iraq trying to acquire uranium from Niger in February 2002. As part of his regular intelligence briefing, the Vice President asked a question about the implication of the report. During the course of a year, the Vice President asked many such questions and the agency responded within a day or two saying that they had reporting suggesting the possibility of such a transaction. But the agency noted that the reporting lacked detail. The agency pointed out that Iraq already had 500 tons of uranium, portions of which came from Niger, according to the International Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA). The Vice President was unaware of the trip by Ambassador Wilson and didn't know about it until this year [2003] when it became public in the last month or so.'"

***

So, if Saddam's Iraq already had a known history of buying uranium from Niger, then Plame's ridicule ("there's this crazy report") and Wilson's attempt to discredit any possibility of Niger/Iraq uranium dealings are indicative of deliberate obstruction of a national security investigation re Iraq/Niger/France, and begs further investigation into Plame/Wilson's vested interests, not only financial but also to what country or group they give allegiance. They have been feted long enough by the Rosenberg fan club crowd; it's time the truth comes out. Hopefully, the Fitzgerald team has already done this investigation all the way.

Saddam is now no longer able to conduct uranium transactions - for Iraq. (Who knows what use his hidden monies are being put to now.) But if the French company which controls Niger's uranium mines, Cogema, was involved in the IAEA finding (Niger uranium already sold and shipped to Saddam's Iraq) and if Plame/Wilson are still currently involved in some way, the potential national security risk continues until they are either exposed and removed from sensitive access or cleared.

Interesting that the left h... (Below threshold)
BR:

Interesting that the left has been mostly silent after Matt Cooper's interview on Sunday by Tim Russert. He nailed Cooper on admitting he has other sources too, which he's not talking about.

I'll just make a few more posts: for me, the puzzle was completed last night. Now I'll mostly sit back and watch the fun.

Serendipity! Last night wh... (Below threshold)
BR:

Serendipity! Last night while Googling for a Judith Miller interview of Rand Beers of 3/23/04, I came across something else that made me realize the fake Niger docs matter was also shopped to the Kerry campaign on 9/30/02 by an anti-war group "TrapRockPeace.org" out of Deerfield, MA (connected to a sister UK group) to dissuade him from voting "yes" in the Senate to authorize use of force, before the Iraq war began. This is the same time French agent "Giacomo" handed the 22-page dossier with fake Niger docs to Italian journalist Burba. Not until 10/9/02 did Burba hand-deliver photocopies to the US Embassy in Italy.

At TrapRockPeace.org, Glen Rangwala (of the sister anti-war group in the UK) writes prolifically, including Counter Dossier I, Counter Dossier II dated 9/29/02 (and its separate update on 6/20/03 just before Wilson's op-ed piece). But the day after 9/29/02, the US group delivered Counter Dossier I, II among other dossiers, to Kerry's campaign office. Such efficient coordination.

Links:

6/24/03 post "Bush Knew... But So Did Kerry"

That led to TrapRockPeace.org.
It contains the links to Rangwala's 3 main pieces. Counter Dossier I, II and update. Counter Dossier II and its update contain the Niger uranium attack line.
TrapRockPeace.org home page.

Stylometrics note – Wilson ... (Below threshold)
BR:

Stylometrics note – Wilson and Glen Rangwala (identified in earlier comment) using same word to describe Niger fake docs:

Wilson: "purported" Memorandum – reported in Vanity Fair Jan 04 article. Wilson himself uses the word in an interview on 9/18/03 with Josh Marshall at TalkingPointsMemo:

1. "WILSON: The uranium business in Niger. I knew all of the personalities who would have been involved in this sort of interaction, because I had been at the White House during the time when the transaction purportedly took place. And I had done a lot with them—"

2. "And then I looked into the government bureaucracy side, specifically with those officials who had been in government at the time this document was purportedly signed. "

3. "And since this purported sale was between two sovereign governments, the minister of foreign affairs would have to be involved. Since this involved the sale of uranium, the minister of mines would have to be involved. Since it involved the government totally, the prime minister would be involved, speaking on behalf of the government in signing any particular document."

****

The same word, "purported", appears in Glen Rangwala's 9/27/02 Counter-DossierII, section on Niger:

"The absence of any detail - such as the year (or even the decade) in which this purported attempt to obtain uranium…."

The question is, who said it first? Echoes of CBSgate again. The "OETR" error in one of the fake Killian docs, which should have been "OER." Traced back to Lukasiak's site, where he makes the same error (linked in Sept-Oct 04 threads at wizbang).

The smoke evaporated, the p... (Below threshold)
BR:

The smoke evaporated, the picture becomes clear; how the fake Niger docs were used many times over for many purposes. At times simply to embarrass Bush and Blair; other times to get the attention off Niger; at crucial times just before the Senate vote on Iraq, and just before the war began on 3/19/03 with ElBaradei's 3/7/03 statement of "not authentic." Then followed by Wilson's July 03 op-ed, six months after Bush's State of the Union speech, in a tortuous attempt by Wilson to somehow revive the issue of Niger even though Bush never mentioned the word in his speech. Then 2003-2004, used during the election season. I recall reading lefties' comments at Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo site the night CBSgate happened in Sept. 04 – they were actually eagerly awaiting a CBS 60 Minutes II exposé of Niger yellow cake. They knew beforehand that there was going to be a show on yellow cake. As CBSgate unraveled in the following days and weeks, they couldn't understand why the scheduled yellow cake exposé wasn't happening. They thought it was their trump card. But obviously, they were not privy to the sudden change in plans.

Earlier, in mid July 03, the Niger/uranium matter had already taken a turn – it had become: plant document(s) and verbal data with conservative news agencies on the subject of Niger yellow cake hoping to implicate the WH in a leak – first regarding classified info re Niger/uranium, which later evolved into the issue of Valerie Plame's identity.

Around March 2004 it didn't quite get the anticipated legs when AntiWar.com's Justin Raimondo tried to implicate Gannon/Guckert, the reporter who had a day pass to attend WH press briefings, and who was then recently affiliated with the Talon News organization. One can only wonder if the subsequent revelations of Gannon/Guckert's male-prostitution ads on the internet were previously set up as part of a scheme.

There was an attempt to revive it in Feb. 05 by Bernard Weiner at CrisisPapers.org when he issued the talking point: "Who's The White House Gannon-Enabler?" That didn't stick.

The Plame "outing" ran alongside all of this from 2003 to the present. Reporters trying to entrap Rove, etc. But the WH must have known the plan and didn't take the bait. The left (through David Corn) jumped on Novak's 7/14/03 article. In a way, Wilson's 7/6/03 op-ed was also bait. Exposing himself as the person who went to Niger, begged further investigation by any journalist worth their salt. Then came Schumer's letter of 7/24/03 to the FBI demanding an investigation into who "outed" Plame. Next the left demanded Ashcroft recuse himself from it. Followed by years of milking the matter in the press even after the election, to the present.

Well, they may have gotten more than what they asked for – a full scale grand jury investigation with several counter-intelligence specialists on Fitzgerald's team and a heightened awareness by the public of the MSM's unreliability when quoting "reliable anonymous sources."

A Ship of Fools – A Ditty o... (Below threshold)
BR:

A Ship of Fools – A Ditty of Tools


Last night I wined and dined
With all Three Princes of Serendip
They told me tales of how a ship
Once launched, its course could not unwind

Below, the drunken sailors sang
Oblivious to bells that rang:
The bark was heading for a bang!
The world would watch the tailors hang

While scheming their designs, on tea they sipped
And hid the truth – not all the cake
In Africa could save who baked the fake
For traitors are betrayed by mates loose-lipped

Ah sweet liqueur of serendipity
Inspiring muse of pure serenity




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Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

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