Imagine you're Condi. The guy whom you stuck a shiv in has been wandering around the talk show circuit for the past week, insisting you're responsible for the 16 words that made it into the SOTU. Next Thursday, he's going to go before the House Government Reform Committee and repeat the same story under oath.
If you're Condi, you think maybe you can ride it out, just do the Sunday shows and try to refute George Tenet by lying, not under oath (most Americans, Rove has told you, can't distinguish between sworn testimony and Tim Russert). Just keep repeating your lies over and over again, and maybe you can save
your husband Bush's ass from having to admit that he trumped up a war on a set of forgeries.
But then Waxman decides to call the guy who debunked the documents right when they came into State, Simon Dodge. Dodge, of course, realized that the forgeries had a funky seal. He implied, in fact, that the person who made the forgeries used the funky seal to make it look more authentic.
FWIW, Dodge is not going to make Condi look like a complete liar, as Tenet would if he had even an ounce of credibility left. It is conceivable that Dodge's warnings never made it beyond his immediate email list, at least not before January 2003. But Dodge is going to get right to the core of the hoax, to the way WINPAC served as a filter for any efforts to debunk the forgeries--or any other crappy intelligence claims. And once we get into that scheme, we could blow the whole lid off this thing.
Come to think of it, we might see both Condi and Tenet completely discredited next week.
Update: Well, I guess Dodge will make Condi look like an idiot. Why else would State be preventing him from testifying (unless it's a Bolton recidivist, which is a distinct possibility). [Damn the wifi gods! I've got free wifi, but with no ability to open Waxman's PDF!! Someone help! Send the text!!]
Well, whatever it is, Dodge is the single person I've been most interested in hearing from publicly. Which is enough reason for Condi to obstruct justice by impeding his testimony.
Update: The wifi gods do love me, they do!! I finally got into the PDF. I'm even more excited now, given the list of documents they're looking for:
- The memo to the NSC telling Hadley et al not to use the Niger claim (one thing this will show is that Hadley really misrepresented the content of the memo at his July 22, 2003 press briefing).
- The January 24 excerpt of the NIE. Eureka!!! This one may well show that Hadley, Libby, and Bob Joseph, after having been told that Alan Foley wouldn't approve their claims, had faxed over so they had CYA to include the 16 words in the SOTU. This could be very very interesting.
- Anything from State to EOP about the Niger claim. This might be very interesting, particularly any discussion as to why Colin Powell would not, under any circumstances, voice the Niger claim. It would likely explain why,just a week or so after the SOTU, Powell did not use the Niger claim.
- Simon Dodge emails. Me, I'll take any and all evidence relating to Simon Dodge. Damn--anyone want to send me to DC next week?
- Any backup to the SOTU and Condi's op-ed repeating the Niger claim.
- "The September 2003 joint report of the Department of State and CIA Inspectors General
on the Alleged Iraqi Attempts to Procure Uranium from Niger." This will be very very interesting. It's a document that admits a lot of what we've been looking for (including some stuff about the Italian scam, I think). Let me put it this way: this is the one review of the 16 words that has never been released publicly. That, by itself should recommend it.
Next week is gonna be fun. Waxman is not fucking around.