Fat Steve's Blatherings

Friday, July 15, 2005

Linkfest: Plame/Wilson Spins Out of Control

      Update: It turned out there were some bad links in this piece, as well as a few errors by me.  My thanks to commenter jdm for spotting them (though he got one wrong.  Hah!).  Rather than alter the original, which is against the blogging ethos, I did an updated version, which corrects the errors and bad links, and also has some new material I've found in the last four days.

      Update: WELCOME, Anchoress and Polipundit visitors.  Look around, leave reasonably polite comments, offer me bribes, read the archives.  Hope you enjoy the place.

      Update: Big hat tips to Tom Maguire, Mickey Kaus, and Google, without whose help I wouldn't have been able to put this monster together.  Me Dr. Frankenstein, you all Igor.

      Update: Instalanche!  Thanks, Glenn.  Fellow Instapundit junkies, look around too.

      Update: And hello, visitors from Betsy's Page and What Attitude Problem.  Join the party.

      Update: Got a link from Goldtalk, which is a site run by a conservative radio talk show host that I hadn't previously encountered.  Unfortunately, I can't fight my way past their user interface.  Someone there expressed an interest in obtaining a list of these links.  If any of you want one, feel free to e-mail me, and I'll send it to you.  Or I'll figure out a way to post the raw html, and you can cut and paste that.  Just do me the courtesy, please, of crediting my site.

      It just gets more and more delicious.  The MSM spun the Plame story along, but it's falling apart on them.
      Now I understand why the MSM is so insistent on keeping their sources confidential.  As we've learned about this story, we've found that the reporters can't be trusted to get the simplest things correct.  The 'Bush lied, people died' story is completely discredited.

THE HOUSE OF SAUD MUST BE DESTROYED -- AND WILL BE!

30 Comments:

  • excellent round up of information.
    Keep up the good work.

    By Blogger Mark K. Sprengel, at 1:34 AM  

  • Very good.

    You may want to add the questions about Plame being covert at the time she was "outed", due to her posting back to the U.S. and having had twins, etc.

    By Blogger Bruce Hayden, at 4:33 AM  

  • There are a few items that you left out, and I'm surprised because it is fairly well discussed in the MSM.

    First, and most significant, is that you are essentially saying that Wilson lied.

    The story about Iraq-Niger uranium was discredited because the memorandum used as evidence of the alleged attempt was demonstrated to be a forgery.

    By the time Dubya made his SOTU Address, the CIA no longer backed the position that Iraq had made any such attempt, let alone obtained uranium.

    There was a big back-n-forth between the NSC contributors to the SOTU and CIA on the issue. NSC wanted to keep the language, because Dubya and this Republican administration wanted to keep the language, so they attributed it to the Brits. The CIA backed-off.

    However, this episode alone demonstrates that Dubya and his boys were spinning the intelligence.

    Regarding Rove, there are many many more questions, not the least of which is that the professional spinners have had a long time to get their story straight.

    But they're not out of the box yet.

    Even under the circumstances described in today’s stories, was Rove’s behavior ethically acceptable? And if so, why didn’t he come forward sooner?

    Did press secretary Scott McClellan know Rove was Novak’s second source when he insisted that it was ridiculous to suggest that Rove was involved? What did Rove tell Bush about this, and when?

    And who is this new anonymous leaker?

    And of course, we still don’t know about Novak’s first source and his or her motives.

    Then there’s the:

    “The Jonathan Randel Leak Prosecution Precedent”

    Randel was a Drug Enforcement Agency analyst, a PhD in history, working in the Atlanta office of the DEA. Randel was convinced that British Lord Michael Ashcroft (a major contributor to Britain’s Conservative Party, as well as American conservative causes) was being ignored by DEA, and its investigation of money laundering. (Lord Ashcroft is based in South Florida and the off-shore tax haven of Belize.)

    Randel leaked the fact that Lord Ashcroft’s name was in the DEA files, and this fact soon surfaced in the London news media. Ashcroft sued, and learned the source of the information was Randel. Using his clout, soon Ashcroft had the U.S. Attorney in pursuit of Randel for his leak.

    By late February 2002, the Department of Justice indicted Randel for his leaking of Lord Ashcroft’s name. It was an eighteen count “kitchen sink” indictment; they threw everything they could think of at Randel. Most relevant for Karl Rove’s situation, Court One of Randel’s indictment alleged a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. This is a law that prohibits theft (or conversion for one’s own use) of government records and information for non-governmental purposes. But its broad language covers leaks, and it has now been used to cover just such actions.

    Randel, faced with a life sentence (actually, 500 years) if convicted on all counts, on the advice of his attorney, pleaded guilty to violating Section 641. On January 9, 2003, Randel was sentenced to a year in a federal prison, followed by three years probation. This sentence prompted the U.S. Attorney to boast that the conviction of Randel made a good example of how the Bush Administration would handle leakers.

    Karl Rove may be able to claim that he did not know he was leaking “classified information” about a “covert agent,” but there can be no question he understood that what he was leaking was “sensitive information.” The very fact that Matt Cooper called it “double super secret background” information suggests Rove knew of its sensitivity, if he did not know it was classified information (which by definition is sensitive).

    United States District Court Judge Richard Story’s statement to Jonathan Randel, at the time of sentencing, might have an unpleasant ring for Karl Rove. Judge Story told Randel that he surely must have appreciated the risks in leaking DEA information. “Anything that would affect the security of officers and of the operations of the agency would be of tremendous concern, I think, to any law-abiding citizen in this country,” the judge observed. Judge Story concluded this leak of sensitive information was “a very serious crime.”

    By Blogger Ghost Dansing, at 4:46 AM  

  • You should add the Susan Schmidt WaPo article published about the Foreign Intelligence Committtee's report regarding Wilson, his subsequent complaint letter to the editor, the rebuttal from the WaPo's ombudsman, and the subsequent op-ed the LA Times published uncritically. Don't have the exact dates, but just about this time last year. One of the most interesting exchanges in the entire mess, and very revealing about Wilson. Don't lie to people who buy ink by the barrel.

    By Anonymous Aubrey, at 4:50 AM  

  • And despite claims that Plame was a covert officer, the evidence is that people all over Washington knew that Plame was working for the CIA.

    To you outsiders who have never worked in classified environments this argument may seem good.

    However for people who have actually worked in these environments, whether it be diplomatically or for intelligence agencies, are explicitly told in security briefings not to go 'spy spotting' if they are around areas where case officers may be working.

    If they happen to have a good hunch that the person they are working with is under official or non-official cover they are also briefed to shut their mouths on the matter.

    For you people also making the argument that "she wasn't covert at the time so it doesn't matter". It's rediculous, disregards security and is borderline unpatriotic. Case officers will have rests after long postings overseas. It's a given. She may of been on Washington assignment at the time she was outed however that doesn't change the fact that all the agents, informants and contacts she may of handled in the past are now useless because some nitwit who has a complete disregard for national security couldn't care less.

    Whoever actually outed her should be thrown into prison for a very long time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:36 AM  

  • It goes even further back than what you have outlined. And includes several more people. Richard Clarke, Sandy Berger to name two. There is also a audio tape from ABC news in 1999 that reports the link between Osama and Saddam and their joint efforts to acquire nuclear WMD from the Sudan, which I believe is indeed a country in Africa. The loony left has gone completely off it's rocker trying to prove "Bush lied and people died" that they ignore truth. And further try to make everything else into some sort of conspiracy by the Replubicans. Maybe this is just the latest in their attempts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:47 AM  

  • Ghost said:
    There was a big back-n-forth between the NSC contributors to the SOTU and CIA on the issue. NSC wanted to keep the language, because Dubya and this Republican administration wanted to keep the language, so they attributed it to the Brits. The CIA backed-off.

    Well that's a bit of a dishonest spin. The British did tell us that Iraq had recently sought uranium and still stand by it today. Read the Butler Report.

    This isn't right either:
    And if so, why didn’t he come forward sooner?

    Nice strawman.

    Rove was not, and is not, allowed to speak about his testimony in front of the Grand Jury. Furthermore, he gave Cooper and Miller the right to identify him over a year ago. That's a fairly dishonest strawman that the Left raises. The prohibtion against speaking of one's testimony is why Rove's lawyer is doing all the talking.

    A final half-truth spin from Ghost:
    Randel leaked the fact that Lord Ashcroft’s name was in the DEA files, and this fact soon surfaced in the London news media.

    No, Randel sold the information to the London Times. Moreover, Randel gave actual government documents to the Times. Those database files were considered Government Property. The law under which Randel was convicted applies to those misusing government assets. The law provides a 10 year sentence for those convicted of the theft, embezzlement, or conversion of government property. The "broad language" doesn't exist nor does it cover leaks. Randel was guilty because he took cash!

    Needless to say, the Media was quite upset about it at the time as it was seen as a first step towards punishing those who give information to the Media. But there is a difference between _give_ and _sell_.

    Quilly Mammoth

    By Blogger Quilly_Mammoth, at 9:00 AM  

  • I have a little trouble with the sacredness of Plame's double secret, undercover, license to kill, cloak and dagger, CIA agent status. According to Joe Wilson's book, she outed herself as a CIA Agent to him on their third date. Once again, THE THIRD DATE. According to various publications, that's when women decide if their are going to get "randy", not when they blow their NOC status. If she was so concerned about her status in the CIA, she was very reckless to do this. What would have stopped old Joe after that from running around telling the guys at the sports bar, "Dude, I'm bangin' a CIA agent!"?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:08 AM  

  • Wilson is a liberal Democrat, huh? That's funny, because he voted for George H.W. Bush in 1992. I've got to wonder at your other unattributed facts...

    By Blogger Barrett Brown, at 9:18 AM  

  • What I want to see is Joe Wilson get his just deserts. When will reporters ask him real questions.

    MSM: "Joe, did VP Cheney have anything to do with your going to Niger?"

    Joe: "Well, err...no. But what you need to understand, um you see..."

    MSM "Well Joe then why did you say that he did? Why did you lie Joe?"

    By Blogger ryoushi, at 9:31 AM  

  • Two days after Novak's article, David Corn, writing in the Nation, was the first to suggest that Valerie Plame not merely worked for the CIA but was in fact a "top-secret operative." See this article on NRO: http://www.nationalreview.com/may/may200507150827.asp

    By Anonymous Cliff, at 9:53 AM  

  • I should have added in the above: David Corn's source was clearly none other than Joe Wilson, speaking either on background or "hypothetically." (For more on that scroll through NRO's Corner).

    By Anonymous cliff, at 9:54 AM  

  • Ok. So who told the reporter? It's not like reporters have access to classified information.

    And, if the reporter was relying on 'washington social circle knowledge' (read: rumor) than why didn't the government take the appropriate actions at the time to stop the baseless rumors? This whole mess could of been stopped dead in the tracks if the reporters admitted they were relying on rumor.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:58 AM  

  • Good job.

    Here is the Wash Post article that blasted Wilson out of the water on July 10, 2004.

    The writer to whom Wilson gave dubious leaks at the Washington Post is Walter Pincus, a national security vet who is roughly Novak's age.

    Pincus also received a leak seemingly similar to the one received by Novak, and wrote about it in October 2003. He was then subpoenaed by Fitzgerald; his source identified himself to Fitzgerald, so Pincus agreed to provide testimony.

    Bonus wrinkle - when describing this incident on Nov 26 2004, the Post desribed Pincus' source as a "current or former administration official". Ahh!

    George Tenet, Ari Fleischer, and others had achieved "former" status by Nov 2004.

    Anyway, lots of details about Wilson's leaking in the Weekly Standard.

    Tom Maguire

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:59 AM  

  • thanx for your chronology

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:14 AM  

  • Ghost:

          You write: There are a few items that you left out, and I'm surprised because it is fairly well discussed in the MSM.

          First, and most significant, is that you are essentially saying that Wilson lied.


          Not quite.  I am explicitly saying that Wilson lied.

          The story about Iraq-Niger uranium was discredited because the memorandum used as evidence of the alleged attempt was demonstrated to be a forgery.

          That was one of Wilson's lies.  In fact, the reports on Iraq trying to buy Niger uranium came in around the end of January 2002.  Wilson went to Niger in February, for eight days.  The forged documents were received around October 16th, 2002.  Wilson never saw the forged documentsThe Butler Report said the reports of Iraq trying to buy uranium from Congo and Niger were "well founded."  And Wilson's own report stated he'd been told of Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in 1999.

          When the forged documents turned up, the CIA wasn't sure what to make of them, and the British had their own intelligence that they'd relied on.  Since no one seems to have relied on the documents, despite the MSM spin, and since I spent a LONG time on that post, I left the forged document story out (although many of the links refer to them).  I see now that was a mistake.

          By the time Dubya made his SOTU Address, the CIA no longer backed the position that Iraq had made any such attempt, let alone obtained uranium.

    There was a big back-n-forth between the NSC contributors to the SOTU and CIA on the issue. NSC wanted to keep the language, because Dubya and this Republican administration wanted to keep the language, so they attributed it to the Brits. The CIA backed-off.

          However, this episode alone demonstrates that Dubya and his boys were spinning the intelligence.


          The CIA was always worried about the fragmentary nature of the reports, and the State Dept. didn't want to hear it, but British Intelligence stood by the claim.  They still do, as far as I can tell.

          The Senate Intelligence Committee report flatly said they found no evidence of intelligence distortion, or attempt at intelligence distortion.  David Kay said that Saddam was seeking to reconstitute his nuclear weapons program.  Last year, the CIA still hadn't taken a definite position on whether Saddam tried to buy African uranium.

          In the end, it was a judgment call, but Bush didn't "spin" any intelligence.

          Regarding Rove, there are many many more questions, not the least of which is that the professional spinners have had a long time to get their story straight.

          But they're not out of the box yet.

          Even under the circumstances described in today’s stories, was Rove’s behavior ethically acceptable?  And if so, why didn’t he come forward sooner?


          There is indeed much we don't know here, but you seem to assume that Rove is guilty of something.  The evidence is tending the other way.

          And since Fitzgerald seems to have asked everyone who testified to the grand jury to keep their mouths shut, it's not greatly surprising to me that Rove didn't come forward.  Besides, he may have been playing rope-a-dope with the MSM, letting them work themselves into a frenzy, then embarrasing them when the facts came out.

    [SNIP]

          Then there’s the:

          “The Jonathan Randel Leak Prosecution Precedent”

    [SNIP]
          Randel leaked the fact that Lord Ashcroft’s name was in the DEA files . . .


          At the moment, we don't know who leaked what to whom.  We don't even know there were any leaks at all.  Andrea Mitchell and Clifford May both said they knew Plame was a CIA employee before the Novak story ran, and an ex-CIA agent said casual acquaintences of Plame and Wilson also knew.  Wilson volunteered the story of his trip to Kristof, at a breakfast with his wife present -- maybe they told him, and later Pincus at the Washington Post.  Judy Miller wrote about weapons of mass destruction, maybe she met Plame during that and was the original leak source.  But the reporters appear to have called Libby and Rove, rather than the White House calling reporters, arguing that the administration wasn't conducting a vendetta against Wilson and Plame.

          My judgment is that after Wilson's flagrantly dishonest op-ed, reporters checked up on Wilson, found out he was married to Plame, called administration figures to get comments, and told Libby and Rove that they had been informed that she worked for the CIA.  Libby and Rove emphasized that the real issue was that Wilson's article was wrong, and didn't think anything of the CIA question.

          Your mileage may vary.

    THE SAUDS MUST BE DESTROYED!

    By Blogger Stephen M. St. Onge, at 10:17 AM  

  • This entire affair was initiated, orchestrated and executed by the Wilsons. They had help from CIA elements that specialize in dirty tricks that found themselves out of favor in a Republican Administration. Elements that would do anything to discredit said administration. It was done for a single minded purpose with the added reward of great celebrity in the cottage industry left wing republican bashing that sells so well to it's captive audience. Write a book or tell a tale that bashes this President or the people around him and you are guaranteed major news segments, scads of greenbacks and the eternal praise of the "progressives". Then add the bonus of spin, smoke and cover fire from your MSM promoters and it becomes a "Slam Dunk".

    By Blogger McWizard, at 11:53 AM  

  • ‹i›Barrett Brown: Wilson is a liberal Democrat, huh? That's funny, because he voted for George H.W. Bush in 1992. I've got to wonder at your other unattributed facts...‹i›

    Joe Wilson voted for Bush 41? How do we know that? Because Wilson said so?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:03 PM  

  • Well done, Steve.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:40 PM  

  • Even if he did vote for GHWB in 92, that was ten years ago. Does anyone doubt that this man was ardently opposed to removing Saddam and hates GWB?

    At any case this guy obviously was giving money to BOTH Gore and Bush to hedge his bets, being a DC insider and sleazebag. Him giving 1.000$ to Ted Kennedy would indicate he is lying about being a Republican.

    PS. The person the ousted Plame was Plame, by abusing her position to pursue partisan politics and nepotism.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:26 PM  

  • Hey Ghost,

    This is the second time I have read the Randel article without proper attribution. That article was written by John Dean and posted on FindLaw.

    This is a major copyright violation.

    By Blogger Patrick, at 5:55 PM  

  • Well, in addition to the specific "Dubya endorsed" Jonathan Randel legal precedent, this is the real issue:

    "Rove leak is just part of larger scandal" By Daniel Schorr, CSM

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0715/p09s02-cods.html

    By Blogger Ghost Dansing, at 7:05 PM  

  • Fat Steve replies:

          Thank you all for coming, and thank you all for not being abusive to each other.  And special thanks to Tom Maguire, who's done so much heavy lifting on this subject.  You da man, Tom!
    ------

    Anonymous, at 8:36 AM wrote:

    And despite claims that Plame was a covert officer, the evidence is that people all over Washington knew that Plame was working for the CIA.

    To you outsiders who have never worked in classified environments this argument may seem good.

    However for people who have actually worked in these environments, whether it be diplomatically or for intelligence agencies, are explicitly told in security briefings not to go 'spy spotting' if they are around areas where case officers may be working.

    If they happen to have a good hunch that the person they are working with is under official or non-official cover they are also briefed to shut their mouths on the matter.


          Anonymous, follow the links on this subject, and it appears that this wasn't someone with a security clearance (like Rove), playing "spyspotter" and breaking her cover.  Plame's CIA employment appears to have been widely known among reporters, and people in her neighborhood.

          Now, I happen to think Novak did wrong in his original column.  He should have written that Wilson was recommended for the trip by 'a good friend at the agency,' or 'somone he knows well at the agency.'  But he claims to have talked with someone there, and the person didn't make it clear that he, Novak, shouldn't disclose the nature of Wilson's link with Plame.

          So, I can't agree that: Whoever actually outed her should be thrown into prison for a very long time.  The offense doesn't rise to that level of seriousness.
    ------

    Anonymous, at 8:47 AM:

          I agree that there's a lot of evidence linking Osama to Saddam.  In fact, I have a long Word ® file on my old, slow computer that one day soon, I hope, I'll transfer to my new computer and linkfest.

          But that was a bit too far off topic for this linkfest, and too much work for one day to boot.
    ------

    Anonymous, at 9:08 AM:

          Ah, thanks for the information that she told Wilson about her status early on.  I haven't read his book.  The new Harry Potter is on the couch, unopened!  That's much better fiction.
    -------

    Barrett Brown, at 9:18 wrote:

    Wilson is a liberal Democrat, huh? That's funny, because he voted for George H.W. Bush in 1992. I've got to wonder at your other unattributed facts...

          So?  I'm a conservative Republican, enrolled in the GOP before conception, and I *shudder* *GAG* voted for Clinton in 1992.  But Wilson gives most of his political contributions to Democrats, associates with left-wing causes, and in all other ways acts like a Democratic on the left of his party.
    ---------

    ryoushi, at 9:31 AM wrote:

    What I want to see is Joe Wilson get his just deserts. When will reporters ask him real questions.

    MSM: "Joe, did VP Cheney have anything to do with your going to Niger?"

    Joe: "Well, err...no. But what you need to understand, um you see..."

    MSM: "Well Joe then why did you say that he did? Why did you lie Joe?"


          Actually, that's one I have to give him a pass on.  Cheney didn't ask for someone to be sent to Africa, but he did ask about the rumors.  Seems likely that Wilson heard 'Cheney is interested in this question' and assumed that the V.P. knew he was being sent to Niger.  In short, a false conclusion, but an innocent one.

          But yes, it would be nice to see some media people really grilling him on the inaccuracies in his story.  But they don't seem to care if he lied about, e.g., the forged documents he never saw.
    ----------

    McWizard, at 11:53 AM wrote:

    This entire affair was initiated, orchestrated and executed by the Wilsons.

          I wouldn't be at all surprised, by I don't have evidence.  What I do have evidence of is that Wilson lied, repeatedly, about his African trip.
    ------

    THE SAUDS MUST BE DESTROYED!

    By Blogger Stephen M. St. Onge, at 8:06 PM  

  • Cheney dropped the matter,
    your link (TIME: )doesn't say that.
    Additionally, it quotes Libby:

    (...)The Vice President was unaware of the trip by Ambassador Wilson and didn't know about it until this year when it became public in the last month or so."

    10 to 1 that turns out to be a lie: if Libby &/or Cheney testified as such, perjury.

    Time continues:
    Other senior Administration officials, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, have also claimed that they had not heard of Wilson's report until recently.
    another lie... check Fitz's subpeona's on Bush's African trip, timelines of press conferances along etc.

    Fat said:
    Wilson, a Lefty Democrat,
    hahaha...

    was very much against removing Saddam from power, from the Gulf War
    your Gulf war link, presumably, refers to comment Wilson was against marching to Baghdad. So was entire Bush I white house, and still is (Snowcroft etc).

    As far as "against removing" SH, I guess that means "you're with us or against us", right? Further reading in that link detailing author's reasons for claiming Wilson's "no uranium purchase" was bunk. He fails to mention that ever single claim Powell made at UN turned up bunk: Aluminum tubes, drone aircraft, mobile labs.

    You think maybe... just maybe there's a pattern there?

    Fat said:
    convinced the 'Iraq tried to buy Niger Uranium' reports were wrong before he visited Niger.
    a) you link 404's
    b) State Dept and other CIA analysts had same view.

    Fat Said:
    By September 2002, the British government was convinced that(etc.)
    after several years denials, it was admitted several months ago this was based on fake Italian memos. BTW, the same ones which were basis for CIA doubt.

    Fat Said:
    On October 1st, 2002, a National Intelligence Estimate was issued saying that Saddam had sought African Uranium.
    Bush gave 'em 2 weeks to produce that, +- 10% of time required. Bush made his decisions prior to that release, as evidenced by voluminous record of comments by his admin.

    Fat Said:
    When we invaded Iraq and didn't find the WMDs that Wilson believed Saddam had,(...)
    Time link again: doesn't say what you claim.

    ...
    Anyway, you get the idea.

    By Anonymous jdm, at 9:42 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous jdm, at 10:01 PM  

  • Oops... apologies for double post.

    By Anonymous jdm, at 10:02 PM  

  • Nice job, Steve - keep up the great work! I'll be back to keep up on your blog.

    By Anonymous Kyle Welsh, at 10:34 PM  

  • Fat Steve; You are on target. I think the "ROVE-Man" gave the MSM and the MSLD (liberal democrates) a "HANGMAN'S NOOSE" after lefty Wilson's dishonest Times op-ed. My advice to Wilson, MSD,MSLD, don't mess with the "ROVE-MAN" no more.

    By Anonymous Tony Natale, at 11:17 PM  

  • To Anonymous re: your 8:36 comment.
    Should the person who "outed" the already out Plame rot in prison if it turns out that that person was Judy Miller, or David Corn, or some lefty holdover in CIA?
    Because it's starting to look like that's the way to bet.

    By Anonymous RADCRAFT, at 11:27 AM  

  •       jdm, I'm sorry I took so long to get back to this.  I was both busy and slightly ill Sunday and Monday.

          Below, quotes from my original post are in bold, jdm's in italic.

    me:
          Cheney dropped the matter,

    jdm:
          your link (TIME: )doesn't say that.

          OOPS!  I should have included this link and this one on that point.  The Time and Dubya Report imply he didn't follow up, the WSJ link states "he made no further inquiries about the information."  Also, in the next link after Time's, Tenet says the trip was organized by the "CIA's counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative."  And finally, with all the anti-administration leaks, no one has yet said they prepared a report for Cheney.

    jdm:
          Additionally, it quotes Libby:

          (...)The Vice President was unaware of the trip by Ambassador Wilson and didn't know about it until this year when it became public in the last month or so."


          10 to 1 that turns out to be a lie: if Libby &/or Cheney testified as such, perjury.


          And your evidence Libby or Cheny lied is . . . ?

    jdm:
          Time continues:
    Other senior Administration officials, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, have also claimed that they had not heard of Wilson's report until recently.
    another lie... check Fitz's subpeona's on Bush's African trip, timelines of press conferances along etc.


          OK, lets check.  According to a frequently unreliable source, and another unreliable source, the memo seems to have been prepared after Wilson's op-ed in the NYT.  Since Bush and Powell were in Africa July 8th through 11th, and travelling on the 7th and 12th, no one on the plane could have easily leaked the memo.  Novak's column went out on the news wire on the 11th.  That leaves a very narrow window for it to leak to Rove or Libby.  Especially since State didn't believe Saddam had sought uranium in the first place, and had no reason to hurt Wilson, who was on their side.  Do you have evidence to the contrary?

    Me:
          Wilson, a Lefty Democrat,

    jdm:
          hahaha...

          Wilson worked in the Clinton administration, and he donated money to Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Charles Wrangel, and John Kerry, whom he also campaigned for.  (Wilson contributed over twice as much to Democrats as Republicans).  He accused Bush of being willing to start "another war" to win the 2004 election, accepted an award from The Nation, and said "This is a radical regime, not a Republican administration.  It is the most oppressive crowd I have ever seen and is a real threat to our republic.  While I am not an expert in elections I can see how people might believe the last two elections were stolen.  The lesson for the Democrats is to stop rolling over and stand up for what you believe in.  The Republicans believe the Democrats and the press are soft and can be pushed around and that is what they are doing. To the detriment of us all." (Here.)  I say that makes him a left-wing Democrat, no matter what he may claim otherwise.

    Me:
          . . . was very much against removing Saddam from power, from the Gulf War

    jdm:
          your Gulf war link, presumably, refers to comment Wilson was against marching to Baghdad. So was entire Bush I white house, and still is (Snowcroft etc).

    As far as "against removing" SH, I guess that means "you're with us or against us", right? Further reading in that link detailing author's reasons for claiming Wilson's "no uranium purchase" was bunk. He fails to mention that ever single claim Powell made at UN turned up bunk: Aluminum tubes, drone aircraft, mobile labs.

    You think maybe... just maybe there's a pattern there?


          OOPS!  Should have added this link, Wilson's op-ed, in which he says he was opposed to invading Iraq.

          That Bush I was against removing Saddam I knew, but we were discussing Wilson and this administration.  I'll have more on Saddam's weapons programs below.

    Me:
          convinced the 'Iraq tried to buy Niger Uranium' reports were wrong before he visited Niger.

    jdm:
    a) you link 404's
    b) State Dept and other CIA analysts had same view.


          Well, the link does fail for some reason, though I cut and pasted directly from the address bar.  Try this version, and click on the last two links, "Joseph Wilson, Liar," and "Joseph Wilson, Liar: Part II."  The "Part II" link also refutes your claim that the CIA agreed that Iraq was not trying to buy uranium.

          You are quite ready, I notice, to impute bad motives and lying to anyone who disagrees with your position, but never question the motives, honesty, or accuracy of those who support your position.  You might want to consider that the 'Iraq didn't try to buy uranium' chorus might be as stupid, dishonest, and selective of evidence as you conceive the administration to be.

          By the way, you, and the whole 'Iraq didn't try to buy uranium' group seem to routinely conflate the propositions 'Iraq didn't succeed in importing Niger uranium,' 'Iraq didn't succeed in getting uranium exported from Niger,' 'Iraq didn't succeed in getting an agreement to with Niger to buy uranium,' and 'Iraq didn't attempt to buy Niger uranium.'  These are somewhat different propositions.  You also confuse 'Niger' with 'Africa,' although Wilson himself, in his op-ed, mentions that Niger is not the only African country selling uranium.

          It is definite that much pre-war intelligence was wrong.  But a great deal remains uncertain, e.g., what happened to the stocks of chemical and biological weapons Saddam admitted to having, and which weren't accounted for when he expelled the inspectors in 1998?  And saying 'we didn't find a whole bunch of centrifuges to slap the uranium tubes into' is not the same as saying 'the tubes weren't intended for eventual centrifuge use' either.  Kay said he found hidden equipment to restart a WMD program.  That last link also has information on aerial vehicles, missiles, the nuclear program, and aluminum tubes that is worth reading.

    Me:
          By September 2002, the British government was convinced that(etc.)

    jdm:
          after several years denials, it was admitted several months ago this was based on fake Italian memos. BTW, the same ones which were basis for CIA doubt.

          Link?  All the reports I've seen say the British did not base their information on the phony memos, and still stand by the story.  As noted in the "Part II" link, the CIA thought Saddam had tried to buy uranium, and thought that before October 2002, when they saw the forgeries.

    Me:
          On October 1st, 2002, a National Intelligence Estimate was issued saying that Saddam had sought African Uranium.

    jdm:
    Bush gave 'em 2 weeks to produce that, +- 10% of time required. Bush made his decisions prior to that release, as evidenced by voluminous record of comments by his admin.

          Again, no links.  Also, since the administration spent at least February through September talking about Iraq, and since the CIA started looking into reports Iraq was buying uranium in February at the latest, they had ample time to reach a decision.  I haven't seen anyone from the CIA say they needed more time.  You have evidence they didn't have enough time for the Estimate?

    Me:
          When we invaded Iraq and didn't find the WMDs that Wilson believed Saddam had,(...)

    jdm:
    Time link again: doesn't say what you claim.

          No, it's a link to National Review, which said: "And consider this: Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Wilson did believe that Saddam had biological weapons of mass destruction.  But he raised that possibility only to argue against toppling Saddam, warning ABC's Dave Marash that if American troops were sent into Iraq, Saddam might 'use a biological weapon in a battle that we might have. For example, if we're taking Baghdad or we're trying to take, in ground-to-ground, hand-to-hand combat.' He added that Saddam also might attempt to take revenge by unleashing 'some sort of a biological assault on an American city, not unlike the anthrax, attacks that we had last year.'" (italics in original)

          Wilson also said, in his op-ed, "I was convinced before the war that the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein required a vigorous and sustained international response to disarm him. Iraq possessed and had used chemical weapons; it had an active biological weapons program and quite possibly a nuclear research program -- all of which were in violation of United Nations resolutions."

          Anyway, you get the idea.

          It's rather amazing to me, particularly in light of all the evidence Bush wante to go into Iraq before 9/11.


          I have seen no such evidence, and you provide none.  The sources I saw said (this was years ago, I do NOT have time today to go looking for them) that Bush wanted to settle things amicably with Saddam before 9/11.

          I deleted the accidental duplicate post.  Thank you for disagreeing with me more or less politely, too.  But given that you don't provide evidence for your claims, and I find so much contradicting them, my opinions remain unchanged.

    THE SAUDS MUST BE DESTROYED!

    By Blogger Stephen M. St. Onge, at 4:36 PM  

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