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January 14, 2007


Morning ew - go get 'em!

Hard to believe that all of this started under Ashcroft's tenure and it was never supposed to see the light of day because of his "oversight" on the matter.
Looking forward to your new book and especially your reporting along with Christy, Jane, and Pach at the trial.
Thank you for all you have done to keep us non-lawyers informed on this mess.

Interesting. I harken back to the 'forgery' question. Wilson did not report the docs were forgeries - he says he was not shown the docs. But the story that he said they were forgeries got added to the myth. Is that some of the intel that was not shared about the docs?

Time can heal all wounds, it also exposes certain truths. Looking back, the authors of PNAC knew long before GeeW became Prez, that the eventual take down of Iraq and Iran were on the table. GeeW is an insignificant player. The problem that the PNAC authors, it controllers and its Corporate partners faced was that somewhere in the midst of their planning, they didn't expect to incur problems with Valerie Plame, whose group was working on nuclear proliferation concerning Iran and Joe Wilson, who was working on the Niger forgeries concerning the buildup to Iraq, would become such a problem for them.
It makes sense now - it didn't matter to those in the Bush Adm., if an undercover NOC was outed, Valerie and her group and Joe Wilson were the stumbling block - so the position the BUSH Adm, PNAC and certain elements of the Corporate world have taken are now very predictable. The controller, Cheney, along with Addington, Libby, Wolfowitz, Perle, Lundeen and others that we don't hear so much about are all about the intricate web of lies and deceit to cover up the original plan - to invade Iraq and eventually Iran. They had to take Joe and Valerie out of the equation. Imagine if WMD's had been actually found at the beginning of the war, that is what the Bush-Cheney cabal were counting on, but it never came to fruition. Why? I often wonder if some elements of the Intelligence agencies discovered that these WMD's were to be planted so that the embedded reporters would find them and somehow, it was stopped. That would make sense to me and that would explain why the lying and cover-up concerning this is the real back story. Marcy, I can't wait to get your book. All the best.

So if we assume for the moment that Waas isn't just making stuff up for this column, where does that leave us?

Since Libby will testify that he's a very very forgetful person, it will be fairly easy for him to say that he forgot which date he told Judy about the trip report. Unless, of course, Libby was attempting to suggest to Judy that Wilson was responsible for the reports that Zahawie visited Niger to establish trade relations in 1999, in which he really made trouble for himself.

If I understand you correctly, ew, what you're saying here is that

1.(a) someone doctored the Wilson trip report that Libby was supposed to be leaking before it was released, or (b) the report was wrong from the start.


2. The new discrepancy is that (a)Wilson said he was unable to interview some principals, but that he did have access to all of the relevant Iraq information before the trip, but the new Waas article says that (b)the REPORT ITSELF states that Wilson DID NOT have access to all of the relevant reporting prior to his trip, because all of the classified material was kept from him.

and therefore

3. Libby was using 2(b) to tell reporters that Wilson may not have known which stones to turn over, and therefore calling into question Wilson's conclusions, on the argument that "Wilson didn't have all the intelligence, so he didn't talk to the right people."

And then to complicate matters, even though Libby told reporters he was leaking the trip report, he was actually showing them the (repudiated) NIE sections about the yellowcake and aluminum tubes.

4. D'you think that Waas was able to write this becuase he's seen the original report?

I didn't realize Wilson had been sent to Niger in 1999 to investigate a potential Iraq uranium deal. This made reading the post confusing.

Regarding the Waas "tidbit," I was reading it differently--in a way that makes it NOT a tidbit. Waas says the report states Wilson was restricted from interviewing officials and was denied some Intel.

The SSCI includes DO testimony that agrees with this (i.e. some intelligence was not provided to Wilson).

My understanding from Wilson is that he and the then-ambassador to Niger agreed Wilson would restrict his interviews only to officials he knew (i.e. past officials), and that he did NOT see the forgeries until AFTER his trip.

In this regard, I don't see a "tidbit."


It's a question of what the report SAYS, and what the DO reports officer says he said. Read it closely. The DO reports officer is more concerned about stuff he gave Joe, but the contemporaneous record agress with Joe, not the Reports officer.

In other words, whereas with teh "names of peopel who should be on a uranium deal" and the "Mayaki meeting in Algiers or Niger," It's unclear whether Wilson was inaccurate, or the Reports officer. But if he said Wilson didn't have the info--when he did--that says the Reports Officer was the one who got details wrong.

Isn't Waas talking (partially) about this:
On February 26, 2002, the former ambassador arrived in Niger. He told Committee staff that he first met with Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick to discuss his upcoming meetings. Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick asked him not to meet with current Nigerien officials because she believed it might complicate her continuing diplomatic efforts with them on the uranium issue. The former ambassador agreed to restrict his meetings to former officials and the private sector.


Yes, absolutely. That is, stuff that Joe admitted himself.

Didn't really matter anyway. THe people who would have been involved in the Niger sale were those who had been ousted through democratization in 1999-2000. Exactly the people with whom Joe had close relations from having coaching them through democratization.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. I'm saying I'm with clbrune don't see any tidbit in your Waas tidbit. Both of those elements have been reported.

It's the first one that hasn't been (though I have my doubts, which is why I'm treating as I am). If it is as Waas says, and the report (as distinct from the Reports Officer's discussion to SSCI) says Joe didn't get intell, that's important new info. If it's simply a inexact repetition of the news that the Reports Officer disavowed (correctly) of giving Wilson the underlying details, then it's not new.

Many thanks for all your hard work. I'm a sort of fair weather Plame-iac, but I always read your posts.

Looking forwad to the trial, eh!

I suppose I'm not the only one who's never been able to figure out some of the most basic questions: How would "Joe Wilson's wife sent him..." discredit him even if it were true? How'd Novak come to refer to her as Valerie "Plame"? Etc.

Oh, what a tangled web...

I think OVP knew most of the WMD stories weren't true but were counting on something turning up to justify the war. Within weeks of April 9th, it was clear this wasn't going to happen and they started working on a campaign to discredit the CIA. I wonder if they outed Plame as a warning to the CIA or, even, for the purpose of stopping whatever she was working on.

It was also revenge against Wilson and a warning to any other critics who might think of speaking out.

I think they were in full-on panic mode as liberated Baghdad went so quickly all to hell. That their "neocon mission" was more important than seriously facing the situation developing in Iraq makes me sick.

God, I hope Cheney takes the stand.

What is your trial schedule like? Have you blogged about it?

Mentioning the forgeries reminds me of the recent American raid upon the Iranian consulate-under-remodeling in Irbil. If the US wanted to plant faked Iranian documents (about arms sales, for example, in the build-up to the next stage of this unholy war), it would be easier with official seals and letterhead!

Taking the computers, papers, office equipment, etc., may have been the prime motivation for the raid. That office has been there for ten years, why raid it NOW? Any diplomats among the detainees would probably be handed over as of secondary importance. With the computer, printer, letterhead paper, and various signatures and stamps, just about any sort of document could be made to look authentic.

In fact, if I were a war-monger trying to plant evidence, and my previous efforts were easily exposed (IIRC, some of the names were wrong and the seal was hand-drawn), I'd do anything to avoid more embarrassment... like getting current documents for comparison and real government stamps. That way, they could be shown to an ambassador (such as Mr Wilson) and pass the sniff test.

[The following is somewhat outrageous speculation. I don't claim that it is original with me. Anyone wishing to claim the credit for it, please step forward.]

What if the original plan to smear Joe Wilson was not just the boondoogle line, but something much more nefarious? What if Ari Fleischer's confusing press conference statement was the opening salvo is a much nastier campaign to imply that Joe Wilson was involved in helping Iraq obtain yellowcake? Now that is a smear even Karl Rove could be proud of. I think it would have gone like this: The big push (from AF1 in Africa) to get people asking questions about who sent Joe Wilson was designed, not so much to out his wife, but to get him on record with some sort of evasive answer. Then, Ari holds his presser and makes it sound like the Iraqis approached Joe Wilson. Then they would release selected details of the trip report that would make it sound like Joe Wilson wasn't really trusted by the CIA or the State Dept. Then, they would get Judith Miller to quote a "former Hill staffer" as saying that some folks in the government suspected that Joe Wilson was in on the Iraq-Niger deal. Sounds totally far-fetched but I can think of a few folks (Jeff probably knows who I'm think of) who would have eaten that up.

I, for one, very much look forward to Ari Fleischer's testimony at the Libby trial.


Yup. I've always wondered if that were possible.

need some more clarification on WO's theory please, not following that depth

Sounds totally far-fetched but I can think of a few folks (Jeff probably knows who I'm think of) who would have eaten that up.

I know who you are thinking of. The people who believe Sibel Edmonds that Wilson's friend, Grossman, was running some illicit arms deal via Turkey. Right?

Sorry for the delay in responding to this (real work intervened).


Do you remember the whispering campaign against Richard Clarke? I refuse to repeat the insinuations here, but it was personal, nasty, and much like what we know Rove pulled off earlier in his career in some state-level races. If you take a look at ew's post about the Fleischer comments (http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2005/10/the_conspiracy_.html),
you have to wonder why he said what he did. There is not much more to this than trying to fit those comments with the oddities in Judith Miller's testimony, and Karl Rove's proclivities for nastiness.


I was thinking more of some your confreres over at JOM.

Marcy, I don't know if anyone has called this piece by Robert Parry to your attention. It's reprinted at TomPaine.com and is titled Scooter's Time-Travel Trial. It's far and away the best article I've seen on the entire Plame/Wilson story. And that includes yours, which I've followed religiously. I've also ordered your book. This Parry piece is brilliant.

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