Originally posted by dmz
Also, I'm reading in the WSJ today that:
I'm not going to sort this out --- let the Grand Jury find the fire.
No, dmz, I think you can sort it out.
1. Bush hyped discredited information about Iraq's nukes in order to justify the war. The administration has admitted that Bush shouldn't have said what he said about the nukes.
2. Wilson knew something about the Africa nukes story, was ticked off by what he saw as their dishonesty, and so wrote an op-ed telling them off.
3. The Bush administration went after Wilson, and tried to discredit him by telling lots of reporters that it was his wife, a CIA agent, who got him the job, and therefore (for reasons that I still don't understand) he shouldn't be believed.
Here are my specific responses to the op-ed you cited. Feel free to disagree.Here's a link
to the piece.
To be prosecuted under the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act, Mr. Rove would had to have deliberately and maliciously exposed Ms. Plame knowing that she was an undercover agent and using information he'd obtained in an official capacity.
Most of this is false. Here's a link
to the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
1. The term "maliciously" does not appear, and is not implied. You simply have to know you're outing a covert agent.
2. The information does not have to be obtained in an official capacity - that's one possibility, but not the only one.
Mr. Wilson had been recommended for the CIA consulting gig by his wife, not by Vice President Dick Cheney
This is the same shit talking point that ticked me off earlier in this thread. No, Cheney didn't personally say "hey let's get that Joe Wilson to check this out." But Wilson didn't claim that. He said Cheney asked the CIA about it, and the CIA asked him to look into it.
Mr. Wilson, who first "outed" himself as a CIA consultant in a melodramatic New York Times op-ed in July 2003. At the time he claimed to have thoroughly debunked the Iraq-Niger yellowcake uranium connection that President Bush had mentioned in his now famous "16 words" on the subject in that year's State of the Union address.
He didn't claim to have thoroughly debunked it, the CIA claimed that, George Tenet claimed that, and the White House ultimately admitted it by saying they shouldn't have included those 16 words.
Here's what Wilson said about it in his op-ed.
It was my experience in Africa that led me to play a small role in the effort to verify information about Africa's suspected link to Iraq's nonconventional weapons programs.
The vice president's office asked a serious question. I was asked to help formulate the answer. I did so, and I have every confidence that the answer I provided was circulated to the appropriate officials within our government. The question now is how that answer was or was not used by our political leadership. If my information was deemed inaccurate, I understand (though I would be very interested to know why).
"Played a small role" and "help formulate the answer" and "if my information was deemed inaccurate, I understand" are very, very different from "he claimed to have thoroughly debunked" the issue.
But his day in the political sun was short-lived. The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report last July cited the note that Ms. Plame had sent recommending her husband for the Niger mission. "Interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD [Counterproliferation Division] employee, suggested his name for the trip," said the report.
His wife claims that she didn't recommend him, but her bosses asked her about him after they or someone else thought of him first, because of his expertise (ambassador to Africa and Iraq, Africa director for NSC). She responded to their request by saying yeah, he's qualified. See this article -
guess who initially leaked a supposed CIA memo saying that Plame was at the meeting where Wilson was recommended? Talon News. That's right, Jeff Gannon.
The same bipartisan report also pointed out that the forged documents Mr. Wilson claimed to have discredited hadn't even entered intelligence channels until eight months after his trip. And it said the CIA interpreted the information he provided in his debrief as mildly supportive of the suspicion that Iraq had been seeking uranium in Niger.
That might be true, but this is what Wilson said about the forged documents: "While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake..." and then later "As for the actual memorandum, I never saw it. But news accounts have pointed out that the documents had glaring errors they were signed, for example, by officials who were no longer in government and were probably forged." So he was told that someone had this document, and that's why the CIA was interested in this issue, but he never saw them himself, and he also read in the media that they were believed to have been forged. Maybe it was that specific document that got the CIA's interest in the Niger-Iraq connection, or maybe it was something else. But it doesn't matter to his trip or his conclusion.
About the same time, another inquiry headed by Britain's Lord Butler delivered its own verdict on the 16 words: "We conclude also that the statement in President Bush's State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that 'The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa' was well-founded."
Yup, the Brits stood by it. But it had been explicitly discredited by the CIA
and removed from a Bush speech at Tenet's insistence. The White House has subsequently acknowledged that it shouldn't have been in his speech. So why does it matter that someone else in a different country is standing by it?