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December 08, 2005


wow - what an opus.

Amazing work.

Small request: when you do these extended research pieces, can you include somewhere a summary of conclusions?

Great synthesis, thanks.

>summary of conclusions

I'm with Pacha - a few "in other words"'s and a short summary would make it a lot easier not to miss any key points.



After having written this, I wonder whether it DOES make more sense that these were passed onto INR. It's pretty clear there are sane people in NP.

It weakens the argument (one I've made for a while) that these came into Bolton's shop to postpone their eventual debunking). I mean, they would kind of have to go to NP, because of the topic. But if he was supposed to prevent their distribution, he dropped the ball a bit.

But it may be that the Rex Ryu's of the world are sane people (by all accounts Ryu is a phenomenal analyst). And they want to consult with other sane people before making up their minds about stuff, like dodgy documents.

All this points to the relevance that there must always be consequences that are encorced. The rules, laws and directives are in place and whenever they are not followed, people die and a country wanes.

OT, but have you assembled some large networks map or org charts? If you have, it seems like that itself would be good to publish, to help all kinds of further research.

Just saw the update: That summary seems to capture it, now that I've been through it all.

Thanks. It helps to get a sense of where it's all headed as I work my way through.

this seems like a nice start on the north american side of the niger forgeries distribution and use problem.

you've teased out a lot from the little info these operators have left behind.

kind of like figuring out what the dinosaur looks like from the few bones left.


This is interesting, but there is a substantial point on which we appear to differ in our take on the evidence.

You say: "Which might explain why no one at WINPAC [knew?] they were obvious fakes until eight months affter the INR analyst identifies them as fakes."

I'm not sure why you say eight months (a typo?) but the documents were distributed to one or more people in the CIA well before that. We know that for a fact because the SSCI Report points out [page 62] that the "CIA received copies of the foreign language documents on January 16, 2003." (quite possibly someone at the CIA may have had it earlier, but let's leave that aside for the moment). In the next sentence, the SSCI Report says, "Two CIA Iraq WINPAC analysts told Committee staff that after looking at the documents, they did notice some inconsistencies." They claim dubiously that "it was not jumping out at us that the documents were forgeries." This can mean anything.

My point is that WINPAC knew more than they divulged to the SSCI. All it would have taken for anyone seeing the forgeries was to check a few names and dates and compare them to the original CIA Niger reporting. That would have told them this was screamingly bogus.

Also, it is completely unbelievable that the CIA would receive documents in Oct 2002 that seemed to back up the uranium claim in their intel reports and completely ignore it and pretend it is totally not important. That doesn't pass the smell test. I will try and cover these points in greater detail in my next series on the forgeries.

ok, so, WHO DELETED THE SENTENCE! i am dying to know!
BTW, huge fan here! you do remarkable work!

oops! apologies to all, a bit behind the curve just now. still a big fan!

A truly first-rate post here. Glad to see EW driving a Mack Truck through this critical alleyway.

Showered as we are in propaganda, we need to work extra hard to stay focused on the big picture. Which chiefly means: Yellowcake Forgeries. The Achilles' Heel of the Neocons. The Plame situation should be seen mainly as a searchlight pointed at this big picture.

If the genesis and distribution of these strangely amateurish forgeries can be precisely linearly plotted, at some point, the world will be a much healthier place. Though Fleitz may beg to differ.

Keep on truckin!

EW, I hate to post something off-topic, but regarding the Viveca Novak/Luskin testimony, have you considered this?

Viveca Novak may have heard that Rove was Cooper's source from someone who knew about the internal Time e-mail on July 11th, 2003, and not from Cooper himself. Given Viveca Novak's position, I think she was MORE likely to know about Rove's conversation with Cooper from someone who knew about Cooper's e-mail to Kelly, rather than from Cooper himself.

So when Viveca Novak spoke to Luskin back in early 2004, before Rove's first grand jury appearance, she may have telegraphed the fact that there was internal Time e-mail memorializing Rove's conversation with Cooper. And that's a LOT more information than simply saying that she heard around the office that Rove was Cooper's source... This may be one of the crucial details that Fitz wanted to learn: did Viveca Novak talk to Luskin about the Time e-mail? If she did, what did she say of it? At the very least, knowledge of that internal Time e-mail would have indicated to Luskin/Rove that the upcoming Supreme Court battle was not just about a reporter, but about a news organization battling to keep its records private. (Until this past summer, all the public knew about was that Cooper had "notes" that Time was refusing to turn over, not that there was internal e-mail involving other reporters/editors at Time.)

If Viveca Novak talked about the existence of internal Time e-mail, Luskin/Rove would have known that once the Supreme Court appeal was lost in June 2005, there was no reason for Cooper to go to jail, because the internal Time e-mail itself was going to show that Rove told Cooper about Mrs. Wilson's CIA identity. I think this is why Luskin/Rove let Cooper off the hook, in fact.

I am confident Fitz is going to explore just what Viveca Novak knew about that internal Time e-mail, and what she conveyed to Luskin of its contents (and when). I have a hunch that this internal Time e-mail is what her deposition was all about...

Again, apologies for going off-topic...


You're right. Eight months is incorrect. Three.

I'm not saying WINPAC shouldn't have known. I'm saying something is giving them plausible deniability for not having examined the documents earlier. Now if Repubblica is right and CIA received copies in summer 2002, then it's even more incriminating. But it doesn't change the fact that CIA needs to be able to pretend they weren't forgeries earlier than January (with the January date, they could still "plausibly" claim they were pursuing the matter after they received copies, as they apparently did.

One of the reasons I'm so suspicious of their SCI processes at WINPAC is because of the SOTU discrepancy. Foley was insistent an early draft of SOTU included the Niger claim. Joseph says no. Apparently WINPAC files back Joseph's story (while Condi's blabbermouth backs Foleys). If someone was not logging stuff in WINPAC's safes, then it would make it fairly easy to remove early drafts of SOTU. And Niger forgeries.

And remember, our main focus on this has always differed. You've been proving what they had to reasonably have known. For the most part, I've been looking at how they built their cover story. Which is why the question of distribution is more critical to what I'm doing. I don't doubt some of the people at CIA knew very early these were fakes. But if the documents were really circulating, they risked exposure by those who weren't in on this.


I honestly think Vivnovka learned of Cooper's source from the Wash bureau chief of Time James Carney. Just gut level feel. But I think he was outspoken on this earlier, and since the Vivnovka thing has broken, he has been silent, Kelly has been taking the lead. And Kelly described Carney as being one of the people who knew of the identity (plus himself and Cooper), but said the identity wasn't guarded as closely as it should have been.

Now, I imagined he would have just revealed the identity. But perhaps Vivnovka found the email...


I didn't mean to minimize the work you are doing in any way. It is very important to explore the other aspects of the issue - including the issue of distribution - and the cover story....which you are doing very well. I was just saying that we have a difference in the issue of whether someone at the CIA saw this earlier or not. There was clearly a cover-up going on regardless.



Oh, I didn't take it as such. But it's something I'm very aware of. You and I look at this totally differently, so you keep track of some details (well, all details) and I keep looking at other things. I think the two approaches are very complimentary.

EW and Eriposte,

write books

as far as code word materials go, very shocking behavior -- regardless of whether they had ulterior motives. Where was the security officer? Any violations would usually be written up. There should be a paper trail -- or a story about why there is no paper trail.

Fact of a paper trail somewhere may be why the violations were mentioned, and casually downplayed, as you quoted.

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