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July 16, 2006


Blog reporting, that's really great. Keep it up!

So my first two comments.

That adds some detail. The person who DID tell Wilson he might have to publish himself was at State. And the person who Wilson discussed Condi with was "former government official" "who was close to the Administration" "who knew Dr. Rice."

I'm going to rule out Bolton as the senior official at State. That would leave Grossman, Armitage, and the Assistant Secretaries for African and Near Eastern Affairs as likely possibilities.

Why doesn't he just name names? Give dates? It could have been anybody, it could have been a friend, a nobody, all one person. His lack of specificity is an ongoing flaw.

Telling him to go ahead and publish himself seems completely non-nefarious to me. He has a POV that others may not agree with or choose to publish his way. Free country, write an article, see what happens. And he did.

It doesn't surprise me that a former ambassador would be reluctant to reveal his inside contacts in any government. Especially since some of those contacts may still work for an administration known for its vindictiveness (with the Wilsons as Exhibit A). The real interesting question to me is whether any of his attempts at correction through the inside route reached to higher levels, to Condi or The Dick or whoever. If Wilson is right that the OVP workup on him started in March '03, then the answer would appear to be "yes."

He's going to have to name names if his lawsuit gets off the ground.

Excellent questions, mtw. It's good to have this clarified.

His lack of specificity is an ongoing flaw.

It may be unfortunate, but it's certainly understandable, and it's hard to see how it's an ongoing flaw in light of this:

Telling him to go ahead and publish himself seems completely non-nefarious to me. He has a POV that others may not agree with or choose to publish his way. Free country, write an article, see what happens. And he did.

Which seems completely right to me, as does Wilson's decision to publish. The point is, in part, that Wilson did not run for the spotlight or hastily turn to the public with his complaints. He quite appropriately tried, on several occasions, to intervene privately with the administration in his capacity as a functionary involved in the matter. As it became increasingly clear that playing that role was utterly ineffectual - even in the simple sense of getting the administration to listen to him - he took steps to play a role as citizen out in the public, again not seeking the spotlight initially (as with Kristof), and then ultimately deciding that he was going to speak in his own name, and forcefully. The fact that he did try, repeatedly, to intervene with the administration privately also tends to gut the (relatively weak, in any case) rightwing talking point that it was inappropriate for him to publish in the Times given his wife's occupation. I'm quite sure that other people married to undercover CIA agents have published on the Times and Post op-ed pages (governmental D.C. is a relatively small town, after all) without their spouse thereby being exposed. But even beyond that, the tradeoff against such a risk was undoubtedly heightened by the fact that Wilson could know with considerable certainty that the private avenues to the administration were closed to him.

For what it's worth, my money is strongly on Grossman, hedging on Kansteiner.

Nice work, emptywheel. Now can you get Wilson to address the hundreds (thousands? millions?) of other trivial - er, I mean crucially important - details that we hash over? And now that VPW is in the public mix, how about an answer from her to the question that I know everyone else is as dying to hear about as I am: p. 39 of the SSCI report states that "in response to questions from the Vice President's Office and the Departments of State and Defense on the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal, CPD officials discussed ways to obtain additional information." The SSCI report strongly implies, though it does not state, that such discussion was held on February 12. Was there such discussion before February 12? And can you confirm that it was on February 12 that CPD learned of the question(s) from the Vice President's Office?

Um. Maybe I shouldn't abuse the resource, Jeff, certainly not while we're in the middle of a press blitz. But I promise to get to that one next.

And I agree, it's likely it's Grossman. Which means those two emails may pertain to this. Which may hurt Fitz' case, if Libby's lawyers can say, "Look Grossman told Wilson to go public, he must have a grudge against the Administration."

The next day, I called a former government official who knew Dr. Rice and expressed my disgust at her continuing refusal to tell the truth.

Brent Scowcroft?


Yeah, given the way he's described that one, I'd say the odds on it being Scowcroft are pretty damn high (not to mention he describes working with Scowcroft to make them sane elsewhere in the book).

Kim: Blog reporting, that's really great. Keep it up!

I second it. Wow, emptywheel. You get to the answers quickly.

Lukery, saw your analysis on your website. Thanks.

Yea, I bet Scrowcroft for the person with access to Condi -- he was her mentor during Bush I, and in the late summer, early fall of 2002 was the sponsor of getting Wilson recommended to think tank panels and like places, with Wilson taking the doubtful stance on invasion.

Grossman was also close to Wilson, having been Ambassador to Turkey when Wilson was Ambassador to NATO, and they had to work together dealing with multiple problems related to using Turkish NATO bases for the Northern No-Fly Zone over Iraq. Grossman and Wilson had this relationship just as The Wilsons were developing their relationship, so he may well have known both V & J.

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