Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Just a request for links.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 02:50:30 AM EST
Right wing talking points - just to appreciate source of this bs. Just some snips from a typical neocon cabal advocate ...

Max Boot via Los Angeles Times - Nov. 2

Plamegate's real liar

But with his investigation all but over, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has found no criminal conspiracy ...

The problem here is that the one undisputed liar in this whole sordid affair doesn't work for the administration. In his attempts to turn his wife into an antiwar martyr, Joseph C. Wilson IV has retailed more whoppers than Burger King.

By leaking this fact to the news media, Libby and other White House officials were merely setting the record straight -- not, as Wilson would have it, punishing his Mata Hari wife.

Wilson had hardly exposed as fraudulent the "16 words" included in the 2003 State of the Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." In fact, the British government, in its own post-invasion review of intelligence, found that this claim was "well founded."

This is not an isolated example. Pretty much all of the claims that the administration doctored evidence about Iraq have been euthanized, not only by the Senate committee but also by the equally bipartisan Robb-Silberman commission. The latest proof that intelligence was not "politicized" comes from an unlikely source -- Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, who has been denouncing the hawkish "cabal" supposedly leading us toward "disaster." Yet, in between bouts of trashing the administration, Wilkerson said on Oct. 19 that "the consensus of the intelligence community was overwhelming" that Hussein was building illicit weapons. This view was endorsed by "the French, the Germans, the Brits." The French, of all people, even offered "proof positive" that Hussein was buying aluminum tubes "for centrifuges." Wilkerson also recalled seeing satellite photos "that would lead me to believe that Saddam Hussein, at least on occasion, was ... giving us disinformation."

So much for the lies that led to war. What we're left with is the lies that led to the antiwar movement. Good thing for Wilson and his pals that deceiving the press and the public isn't a crime.

As I am quite busy in the Iraq anti-war movement, I'll leave this diary to all right-wing conservatives to gloat about their achievement so far in Iraq ::

Melting the Skin Off of Children [GRAPHIC] ◊ by Hunter @dKos
Wed Nov 09, 2005 at 06:03:24 PM PDT

Or the excellent daily series of Iraq suffering by
Iraq War Grief Daily Witness (photo) Day 174 ◊ by RubDMC
Wed Nov 16th, 2005 at 08:22:55 AM PST

Just let DoJ Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald do his job ::

Debunking the Joe Wilson Smears

"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

▼ ▼ ▼ MY DIARY

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 03:34:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
which I have commented on, or the Butler Report from the UK.  It's quite a stretch to say that a bipartisan, unanimously approved Senate report, and the UK Butler report are lies, and the product of right wing sources.  You evidently think that just saying it makes it true?
by wchurchill on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 06:46:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poor Blogmanship ...

Read my diary on your challenge ::
Conspiracy Indictment Next?! - Josh Marshall TPM Agrees
¶ DoJ Press Release

I have appreciated your diaries on economic themes.

As many comments reflect and  several suggestions are given: do your homework on this topic before writing a diary. When you can't take criticism, don't write on this topic. But troll rating a day later is poor sportmanship and does not invite a discussion.

"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

▼ ▼ ▼ MY DIARY

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 10:58:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
with your criticism on my troll rating.  It was unfair.  I should have just made my comment, and let it go.  I apologize.
by wchurchill on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 12:54:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No problem :: handshake.

PS You cannot undo a rating fully to none, but
you can change the troll rating to a different number.
A 2 I don't mind, but a 1 hurts.


"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."


'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 02:17:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City has been sold more times than any other piece of property in this cosmopolitan city, yet title to the structure has never once been delivered to any of its wide-eyed buyers.

As with all scams and frauds, promises and presentations, but nothing of substance from the liar behind them.

It's nothing new. From little old ladies to ladies of the evening, from speculators to sailors to socialites, there is an endless array of anecdotes about innocents who have followed liars down the primrose path, and bought the Brooklyn Bridge.

But as any gendarme can tell you, there are no new scams.  Con men just keep running the golden oldies on new pigeons.

Like the freshly thawed tripe laid out here by wchurchill. The lazy fraud hasn't even bothered to stir it once with a greasy spoon before dishing it out. The same pap is available verbatim on Free Republic -- day old, month old, year old.

Put your money back in your pocket, pilgrim.

And give a big wink to the next rube heading this way . . .

Frames exist within larger frames. Draw a larger frame around your opponent's frame; he will appear wrong or insufficient. This is how wizards play.

by Antifa (antifa@bellsouth.net) on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 05:17:45 AM EST
Have you forgotten what perjury and obstruction of justice means?  

Fitzgerald does not have to prove one thing about Plame or her outing.  He merely has to show that Libby lied under oath and impeded the grand jury's investigation.  Both of these promise to be the easiest prosecutions ever.  

But what was Libby lying about?  Is he really as innocent as a new-born lamb?

So the new story is that Plame's name was floating around Washington DC for months.  Story it is, and it is two-fold:  1) Her name was hardly on everyone's lips, and 2) the original rumor came from . . . where?  I don't think it was the CIA:  They are not in the habit of destroying their own undercover ops, in fact, they've gotten Congress to pass laws against this sort of thing.  Serious laws--felony-level.  

Could it be the White House, which alternates between claiming it didn't do it, and claiming that lawlessly putting government agents at risk of their lives is no of more significance than failing to feed a parking meter?  

If the White House really did blow human int operations in the Middle East--as it appears--this actually could qualify as treason . . .

We now are hearing a bit about how the White House leaked Plame's name into the press corps so that they could hear it repeated back to them--an interesting new  approach to "plausible deniability."  Criminality is implicit in the very concept.  

But since when do we believe Woodward as a source?  Watergate was a long time ago, and he seems to have long since repented of investigative journalism.  Now that he himself has been implicated in the Plame Affair we can see him spinning for all he is worth.  He can tell us whatever he likes, but I hope he remembered to tell Fitzgerald the truth, unlike a certain other media whore working at another major "paper."  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 06:12:35 AM EST
I couldn't believe my eyes when I was Bob "Watergate" Woodward turn into a Bush sycophant—because a sycophant you must be to get the level of access needed to write Bush at War.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 06:21:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember, it's not the sex, it's the lying about it...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 06:33:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wchurchill, I was afraid you were gone. and thanks for the provocative diary.

Just one point to be very precise: we agreed that Valeris Plame was not an undercover agent for the purpose of the Intelligence Act of 1982 (which has the requirement that you have to be overseas less than 5 years ago). That does not mean that she actually was not an undercover agent as such, and that this was classified information - the leak of which would still be criminal, but under other acts.

As to the fact that there was an underlying crime, the simple fact that the CIA has pushed for the investigation, that a independent special prosecutor was appointed (after the AG recused himself, no less) and that he was able to convince the grand jury and the judge to keep this going - and that he ended up with some indictments, shows that something fishy happened - or was covered up.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 06:33:27 AM EST
thanks for the welcome Jerome.  I basically agree with your statement.  The law was written to protect our CIA undercover agents overseas, and then protect them for an additional five years when they get back.  I don't think the CIA is really susposed to have undercover agents over here--that's more the FBI,,,,though I guess with the Patriot Act, maybe that has changed.  But I don't think that when the law was written, lawmakers had undercover CIA domestic agents in mind.
by wchurchill on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 06:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Her cover involved working for a front company. She was in the process of leaving that cover. But she still traveled over seas under her "cover" within the last 5 years.

So technically, no, she was not "living overseas" but she was still operating under cover and had an identity and contacts that needed protection as she made the long switch back to stateside life.

Regardless, as Fitz said repeatedly, her status was classified, she worked in the NOC division of the CIA and very FEW people knew about it.

by spiderleaf on Sat Nov 19th, 2005 at 01:29:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That, and revealing her also unmasked the CIA cover firm she 'worked in', which was even bigger damage than just revealing Plame.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 19th, 2005 at 03:57:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly. We have no idea how many other agents were using Brewster Jennings as a front company.
by spiderleaf on Sat Nov 19th, 2005 at 03:03:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that as Woodward and others come out with statements that they knew about Valerie Plame's CIA role prior to the date that Liddy shared the information, we will find that the charge of "leaking confidential" information will have to be dropped.  I wouldn't be surprised if by the time the case rolls around, their will be dozens of people who admit they knew.  I've heard of several others, who appear very credible, and I imagine the defense team will track connections to those and find more,,,and I further think the defense team may not be releasing all of the people they are aware of that knew, right now.  They may hold it back until they have their case together.
by wchurchill on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 07:06:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The defense team may have proof that Libby was befriending a bear and some 10 year old girls too. That will get him off since lying under oath is readily refuted by the plea of "sick creep".

Why are people so drawn to bullshit? Must be the fly in us.

by citizen k (sansracine yahoo.fr) on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 03:16:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that as Woodward and others

  1. Who others?

  2. What is the relevance? Do you think Woodward hearing it but not writing about it and keeping to himself (at least, Pincus denies that he was told about it) instantly proves that other journalists haven't first heard it from Libby?

  3. Forgive me, but you sound like you have only read the mainstream media and pro-Bush blog accounts of the whole affair. Contrary to your contention that this is something we aren't aware of on the left blogosphere, your 'blatant repeated Wilson lies' were debunked several times on leftist blogs, but repeated several times on the other two sources. (And no, this is not an ad hominem - this is a critical complaint, I suspect the real reason is that your prime source of news was the MSM, and you haven't had much time [and trust] to read up on it in the left blogosphere due to work.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 07:08:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. I imagine that you already know these two, and probably will criticize them.  But with Woodward this means that three people knew.  But debunking won't stop their testimony.   Cliff May,Maj General Paul Vallely
  2.  Yes, I think that at trial it will be revealed that these three have told others.  I also am projecting that many others will be revealed who knew--obviously can't prove that now, we'll just have to wait and see.
3A.  I am puzzled, and trying to understand, with the criticizm that I'm using MSM or data from right wing blogs.  I think you actually know that I try to get as close to source material as I can on the Web.  The three most well researched and documented reports on the leak, IMO, are the Butler report, the Senate investigation, and the Libby indictment/Fitzgeraldn press conference transcript.  As of now I have not found what I consider to be an effective, well thought out, and documented criticism of the first two (haven't read your thoughtful piece below yet (serious about thoughtful, not a snark)), and I did follow the links on this thread to what posters were refering to. Now I do Google searches that sometimes puts me on sites I'm unfamiliar with--point 1 above for example.  I think I've seen criticism of all 3 who have come forward on knowing this info in advance--that is May, Vallely, and Woodward.  But like them or not, I'm saying they will testify under oath to what they have said, and I think a jury will find them credible.  But leaving my Google searches aside for a moment, why do I get this "right wing web site" criticism when my main three sources are clearly not that?
3B.  You are correct that I'm not following other blogs--either right or left wing.  One reason is other time demands.  A second reason is I find this blog, by far, the most intellectual blog I've looked at--so it's the only blog I read.  And in general I find posters open to other points of view that are documented and logical--they, we, of course criticise points of view we disagree with, but that's a good thing.

I of course meant to be provocative with this piece, and maybe went a little too far--particularly with the title.  Obviously I'm jumping way ahead of the facts saying "Libby innocent".  But I was just afraid that the site was considering this case a done deal, and wanted people to open up to the fact that it may not be.  For example many posters have misunderstood what the Grand Jury process is all about--I didn't get responses to my post below on that.  And I won't regurgitate my other arguments, but hopefully they've been a least understandable, even though not accepted.

by wchurchill on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 12:46:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no time for a full reply now (it's Domino Day...), but yes I know of those supposed other two. I digged up the stuff on Clifford May so far.

His claim is here. Josh Marshall casts first doubt on the timeline here, suggesting that he must have learnt it after Wilson's July 6 column. May repeats his claim here,  where he omits the detail that he was told by an ex-government official (honk honk!), and adds a detail reinforcing Marshall's hypothesis: he was told in July. But the actual proof is in the wording of his July 11 column here, where it is clear the "his wife sent him" version Bob Novak published on the 14th wasn't yet known to him.

Libby told Miller on the 8th. (While Woodward's informant, most likely Cheney, told it in middle Juny, probably the 20th.)

Meanwhile, in addition to stuff you find in the linked Josh Marshall article, this USAtoday article details that Plame's identity was not at all common knowledge earlier. And in the link I gave for May's second version of how he learnt Plame's identity, which was actually in a debate with Spencer Ackerman in letters, you find Ackerman quoting from one of the six whom Libby told, who points out that this was given as new information.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 03:35:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First, some more points on Clifford May. His source's characterisation as "former government" might mean many things - it could be a desk officer, it could be Richard Perle. At any rate, with the timing established, this only points to an even wider government operation at discrediting Wilson - after Libby, at least another whisperer was active. (Or two - Pincus's was not Libby.)

Now to Vallely. He's a guy who would have deserved the view you have of Wilson. MediaMatters has a good account of how he changed his story multiple times. Rather than the short quote in WorldNutDaily, I recommend you read the full letter of Wilson's lawier, reproduced f.e. here, it contains tidbits on the third person the Wingnut blogosphere harps on about (the one with the least basis: the claim of a nonexistent report by John Batchelor).

To close off on these two 'witnesses', I note that both are in the pro-Bush 'media', and both are crackpots with a nice record of paranoid conspiracy theories. (They compare to Wayne Madsen on the Left.) Vallely was crazy even before - read a summary here.

Point 2) doesn't need much adding, I only link  the story and quote the part on the journalist who got the leak and thinks it was to discredit Wilson; and also the prior paragraph as it is relevant to another of your claims I left for Jérôme to deal with:

Three weeks ago, intelligence officials said, the CIA returned to the Justice Department a standard 11-question form detailing the potential damage done by the release of the information. Officials said it may have been the first such report ever filed on the unauthorized disclosure of an operative's name. Word of the Justice probe emerged over the weekend after the CIA briefed lawmakers on it last week.

Another journalist yesterday confirmed receiving a call from an administration official providing the same information about Wilson's wife before the Novak column appeared on July 14.

The journalist, who asked not to be identified because of possible legal ramifications, said that the information was provided as part of an effort to discredit Wilson, but that the CIA information was not treated as especially sensitive. "The official I spoke with thought this was a part of Wilson's story that wasn't known and cast doubt on his whole mission," the person said, declining to identify the official he spoke with.

Finally for today, two quick notes on the two big reports. 'Bipartisan' might have the ring of 'objective' to an American like you, but not to an European like me - where one is sloppy, or both share similar views, there won't be objectivity. As for the Butler Report, while it was much more wide-reaching and more inquisive than the Hutton Report, it is still a pro-government report with some spin and many omissions. In particular, the Niger story - IIRC it has been shown that the Butler report mentions separate
reports of the same Niger documents as separate evidence, and omits to say that the February 1999 visit to Iraq (which I covered in the long debunking post) was not relevant to the yellowcake claim.

Post-finally, I recommend that you read through all the Ackerman parts in the May-Ackerman debate, Ackerman covers many further relevant issues, often with source and direct quote, but even if not you can search for the original source.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 06:56:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Update: Lunaville has a point-by-point picking-apart of WaPo's 'fair and balanced' reporting of the Woodward testimony - they repeat the Libby defense team's spin as objective truth in the first half of the article, and report the facts as opinion only after.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 19th, 2005 at 03:56:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
information to look through, and I appreciate that.  I won't be able to respond quickly however.  I'm totally swamped with my work, and then swamped again with family coming in for Thanksgiving.  Just wanted to let you knows I wasn't ignoring, and in fact appreciate, your comments, but I'll be much later than normal in replying.  I don't know if you're in America or not, but if you are, I hope your holidays are good ones.


by wchurchill on Sun Nov 20th, 2005 at 12:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, I missed this. RAW STORY's sources say Woodward's source was Hadley (the same Hadley who put the yellowcake story into Dubya's speech).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 19th, 2005 at 04:19:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First of all as Jerome says, the fact is that even if Mrs.Plame has not been overseas within a 5 year period this does not mean that she is not an agent, she is just not undercover for the time being and might be waiting for a new assignment.

Second, even if her affiliation with the CIA had been buzzing around Washington DC. before Libby knew, this doesn't acquit him of the charges.  The guy is part of the presidential administration and has got access to material that other people don't. His statements as an official person adds credibility to a rumour or a story.  That is why he now is indicted, because he has broken the law and the oath as a top official of the administration.      

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 08:19:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Forgive me, but I don't put much trust in the Senate Whitewash Report, nor in its Democratic members. It was worth as much as the Hutton Report. (Or less - check the long darkened-out passages on page 73/pdf page 83. Also check footnote on previous page...)

Meanwhile, here is this interesting tidbit about Woodward, who is now embroiled in a conflict with Pincus:

In his formal statement in The Post, Mr. Woodward said he had mentioned to Mr. Pincus in June 2003 that Ms. Wilson worked at the C.I.A. But Mr. Pincus, who has written that he first heard about Ms. Wilson from a senior administration official in July, said he did not recall that.

"The way he describes it, which is he walked by and said something about Wilson's wife being at C.I.A., I have absolutely no memory of it at all," Mr. Pincus said in a telephone interview. "And I think he may say that my reaction was 'What!' " like I was surprised. He now thinks I may never have heard him, and said, 'What?' "

Mr. Pincus did recall a later conversation with Mr. Woodward, in October 2003, after Mr. Pincus wrote about administration officials' efforts to discredit Mr. Wilson. He said Mr. Woodward stopped by his desk to tell Mr. Pincus that he "wasn't the only one who had been told," about Ms. Wilson's identity before it was publicly revealed in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak on July 14, 2003. Mr. Pincus said Mr. Woodward "asked me to keep him out of my reporting, and I agreed to do it."

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 08:38:17 AM EST
As Jerome, I'm happy to see you back here to inject an alternative view. For the rest, I'll sit this debate out as an observer and watch the chips falling. All I would like to say that on the gut-level this case feels "icky" to me, just like the Downing Street Memo. It's also like the Fahrenheit 9/11 movie: if only 5 or ten percent of that movie is factually true, something dirty is going on in the US administration. Having said all that, the instinct doesn't need to be right all the time.

Two things: wchurchill, do you have a link or a pdf to the report you refer to?

Secondly, I'm not seeing that much critical response to wchurchill's observation that Wilson's article and the report show discrepancies. I would like that a lot better than ignoring the post altogether, and I really don't care whether it is a right wing talking point. If it is one, disprove it. That's how evolutionists have completely mangled the creationist talking points and will do again with the Intelligent Design: disproving them, not by ignoring them. Anyone?

by Nomad on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 10:09:00 AM EST
Nomad, I have linked to that report (in pdf form - beware, it's huge), and gave the relevant page number. It is the Senate Whitewash Report of summer 2004, which utterly failed to hold the Bush government accountable - hence I compared it to the Hutton report, which tried to whitewash Bliar.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 11:01:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Over 1 year old? Why would it be surprising that after 1 year of investigating a special counsel would have uncovered evidence contradicting the Congressional report? I mean, Fitzgeral has a reputation for being relentless. Even conservatives do not question his ability and honesty.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 11:07:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The relevance of that report in question is to the claim that Wilson lied, not anything Fitzgerald does. That is a separate question - the Bushites now spin as if Woodward's knowledge proves that Plame's identity was generally known to reporters, known before Libby started to talk about it. Which is bunk on its own, of course. What's interesting is that Woodward's informer (who doesn't think it was Cheney?) was willing to talk on his own to Fitzgerald - he either feels very secure for some reason, or feels endangered even more for another reason.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 11:21:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Forgot to add: the reason that Fitzgerald couldn't uncover Woodward is most probably that Woodward didn't tell anyone. Which goes nicely against the Republican spin on the story.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 11:22:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... Got so irked by the earlier responses that wove away the discussion that I missed the relevance of your post; I thought you were linking to the Hutton report. Nice way of me looking silly, posting directly underneath yours.

Thanks for your post DoDo; that was the kind of response I was looking for.

by Nomad on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 08:39:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It may still have been flippant - I didn't have had the nerve to go into details over something I earlier saw covered to death. But below you find wchurchill going into details, and this time me too in my debunking.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 07:55:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
portion of the report that refers to Joe Wilson, the ex-ambassador--maybe 7 or 8 pages.  It's really worth the read, IMHO
by wchurchill on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 03:09:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess... I'm none the wiser myself. Again, I'm not touching this issue. I love watching James Bond movies (the old ones, anyway), but this is too much for a simple soul. I'll wish truth the best of luck.
by Nomad on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 06:04:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In related news, Ted Bundy reveals that he was the victim of slander by women pretending to be dead.
by citizen k (sansracine yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 10:40:18 AM EST
(btw, thanks for the kind comments).  Many of you have asked for the link to the Report on the US Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq.  The report is indeed large, but this links directly to the portion on the Ambassador's trip.  Honestly, it is a hoot!!  I strongly recommend reading this, oh, 7 or 8 pages.  This is a critical source document, as opposed to other's opinions.  This report was of course approved unanamously by the Senate Bipartisan Committee investigating this.  Here are a few tidbits, BUT PLEASE READ THIS PORTION OF THE REPORT FOR YOURSELF.

First, though Wilson initially denied his wife was involved in getting the assignment, of course she was.  Also note the very unbiased description of the assignment she gave to him <snark>.  (Emphasis is all mine).

Some CPD officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador, however, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip. The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador's wife "offered up his name" and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12, 2002, from the former ambassador's wife says, "my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." This was just one day before CPD sent a cable DELETED requesting concurrence with CPD's idea to send the former ambassador to Niger and requesting any additional information from the foreign government service on their uranium reports. The former ambassador's wife told Committee staff that when CPD decided it would like to send the former ambassador to Niger, she approached her husband on behalf of the CIA and told him "there's this crazy report" on a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq.
It was suspected that Iraq was interested in obtaining yellowcake, and that they had approached Niger on this.
On February 18, 2002, the embassy in Niger disseminated a cable which reported that the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal "provides sufficient detail to warrant another hard look at Niger's uranium sales. The names of GON [government of Niger] officials cited in the report track closely with those we know to be in those, or closely-related positions. However, the purported 4,000-ton annual production listed is fully 1,000 tons more than the mining companies claim to have produced in 2001." The report indicated that the ambassador had met with the Nigerien Foreign Minister to ask for an unequivocal assurance that Niger had stuck to its commitment not to sell uranium to rogue states. The cable also noted that in September 2001 the Nigerien Prime Minister had told embassy personnel that there were buyers like Iraq who would pay more for Niger's uranium than France, but the Prime Minister added, "of course Niger cannot sell to them." The cable concluded that despite previous assurances from Nigerien officials that no uranium would be sold to rogue nations, "we should not dismiss out of hand the possibility that some scheme could be, or has been, underway to supply Iraq with yellowcake from here." *The cable also suggested raising the issue with the French, who control the uranium mines in Niger, despite France's solid assurances that no uranium could be diverted to rogue states.


Mayaki said that if there had been any such contract during his tenure, he would have been aware of it. Mayaki said, however, that in June 1999,(                    ) businessman, approached him and insisted that Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Niger and Iraq. The intelligence report said that *Mayaki interpreted "expanding commercial relations" to mean that the delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales. The intelligence report also said that "although the meeting took place, Mayaki let the matter drop due to the UN sanctions on Iraq.",,,,,,,,

Regarding his article on the subject in WaPo, Mr. Wilson says he may have "misspoken", "may have become confused", in the article (oh please, please, can't we have the Libby trial and get this guy on the stand under oath).
The former ambassador also told Committee staff that he was the source of a Washington Post article ("CIA Did Not Share Doubt on Iraq Data; Bush Used Report of Uranium Bid," June 12, 2003) which said, "among the Envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because `the dates were wrong and the names were wrong." Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong" when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports. The former ambassador said that he may have "misspoken" to the reporter when he said he concluded the documents were "forged." He also said he may have become confused about his own recollection after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in March 2003 that the names and dates on the documents were not correct and may have thought he had seen the names himself.
The CIA evidently gives grades to intelligence reports, and this one got a "C", or 3 on a scale of 1 to 5.  They found the most interesting part of his report was that it confirmed Iraq had been looking for yellowcake.  Ironic isn't it, that the bottom line of Wilson's report was exactly the opposite of what he said in his WaPo article.  Odd that the American press doesn't see this as relavent for the American public to know.
The possible grades are unsatisfactory, satisfactory, good, excellent, and outstanding, which, according to the Deputy Chief of CPD, are very subjective.                      SENTENCE DELETED                      The reports officer said that a "good" grade was merited because the information responded to at least some of the outstanding questions in the Intelligence Community, but did not provide substantial new information. He said he judged that the most important fact in the report was that the Nigerien officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999, and that the Nigerien Prime Minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium, because this provided some confirmation of foreign government service reporting.


They did not find Nigerien denials that they had discussed uranium sales with Iraq as very surprising because they had no expectation that Niger would admit to such an agreement if it did exist. The analysts did, however, find it interesting that the former Nigerien Prime Minister said an Iraqi delegation had visited Niger for what he believed was to discuss uranium sales.

by wchurchill on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 12:47:58 PM EST
(1) You are behind the news. the CPD officer quoted in the Senate Whitewash Report was not present at the meeting he speaks about - neither was Plame.

(2) But the trip was decided upon in that meeting - and nothing in the text justifies your claim that Plame gave the assignment, nor is her memo more than a statement of his bona fides. In fact, the firt half of the last sentence in your quote, the half you failed to bold, tells just that. You are repeating right-wing spin without having checked opposing claims - including Wilson's own, or these newspaper articles:

[Newsday 22 July 2003]
A senior intelligence officer confirmed that Plame was a Directorate of Operations undercover officer who worked `alongside' the operations officers who asked her husband to travel to Niger.

"But he said she did not recommend her husband to undertake the Niger assignment.  `They (the officers who did ask Wilson to check the uranium story) were aware of who she was married to, which is not surprising,' he said.  `There are people elsewhere in government who are trying to make her look like she was the one who was cooking this up, for some reason,' he said.  `I can't figure out what it could be.'

'She did not propose me', he [Wilson] said--others at the CIA did so. A senior CIA official said that is his understanding too.'

(3) A general point: all you bring is about how the possibility that Iraq may be willing to buy yellowcake could be maintained. This is what I call paranoid logic: you have a theory, and make up additional theories on how it could still be true with new evidence; instead of testing multiple theories with new evidence. The question is, who practised paranoid logic: the "intelligence community", or the political leadership, which only listened to those experts supporting their side. I'm inclined to believe the latter, and this is done in a bipartisan way - after all, WMD lies didn't start with the Bush government, one has but to think only of Desert Fox. At any rate, these points made by the CIA later that year imply that the intel community was less to blame:

(1) The evidence is weak. One of the two mines cited by the source as the location of the uranium oxide is flooded. The other mine cited by the source is under the control of the French authorities... (3) we have shared points one and two with Congress, telling them that the Africa story is overblown and telling them this is one of the two issues where we differed with the British.

(4) The original intel reports Wilson was sent to investigate concerned an Iraqi delegation visit in February 1999. That these discussed purchase of uranium were clearly debunked - also by what Makiya said. (And also by what other officials said - for example, one Mai Manga admitted to Wilson that Iran has sought yellowcake, but said that Iraq hasn't.)

(5) The claim that the Iraq delegation in the summer of 1999 wanted to purchase uranium isn't just merely former PM Makiya's speculation - the Senate Whitewash Report (and/or its source) grossly mis-interprets the passage, no delegation actually visited. It was merely a future visit a businessman suggested. Your claim that the bottom line of Wilson's report was the opposite of what he claimed is wildly overblown to say the least.

(6) Furthermore, there is that weasel line: did not provide substantial new information. Which only means: it confirmed earlier information.

(7) And indeed it did. You, copying right-wing spin and the MSM, also grossly misrepresent Wilson's original claim - which was not about Iraq seeking yellowcake, but actually purchasing it:

[New York Times op-ed]
I spent the next eight days drinking sweet mint tea and meeting with dozens of people: current government officials, former government officials, people associated with the country's uranium business. It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place.

Given the structure of the consortiums that operated the mines, it would be exceedingly difficult for Niger to transfer uranium to Iraq. Niger's uranium business consists of two mines, Somair and Cominak, which are run by French, Spanish, Japanese, German and Nigerian interests. If the government wanted to remove uranium from a mine, it would have to notify the consortium, which in turn is strictly monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Moreover, because the two mines are closely regulated, quasi-governmental entities, selling uranium would require the approval of the minister of mines, the prime minister and probably the president. In short, there's simply too much oversight over too small an industry for a sale to have transpired.

[Meet the Press]
I assumed that they were talking about one of the other countries and not Niger since we had, I believed, at the time effectively debunked the Niger arms uranium sale.

(8) Notice that "we" in the last quote. The part you Wilson-haters always forget that Wilson wasn't the only one who made a trip and concluded that the yellowcake is safe. Admiral Fulford, dispatched to warn the Nigerians about al-Qaida seeking Uranium, reached the same conclusion. Suggested reading is this  TNR article, which also points out that Fulford didn't heard about the Iraq link, even tough by his position he should have if it was important.

Your only point that remains is Wilson's messing up on the forgeries, which frankly I don't see as serious an error as you. We don't actually know Wilson's actual words - this was in an article that was only yet anonymously paraphrasing Wilson.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 07:00:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by one.  but I just can't spend the time to do it.  At least I can't now, and I totally disagree with most, I guess all, of your comments, but I just can't respond as I would like to.  So I'm just going to put in my calendar at 6 and 12, maybe also, 18 months, and see what happens to this case.  We don't have to wait for decades to decide this--so let's just see.  

I have also made the same calendar notes on the "no growth" scenario vs. one I presented which was strong growth.  I'm happy just to bet my money and my choice of jobs on the way I think, and,,,we'll just see.

by wchurchill on Sun Nov 20th, 2005 at 03:34:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
diary, the sources are the US Government web site for the full senate report, and WaPo for Wilson's article, among others.  I don't take this kind of argument seriously of course, I mean "hey, you're just a right wing idiot using neocon talking points"--what does that mean?  It usually means I can't confront your logic, so I'll call you names.
by wchurchill on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 01:02:56 PM EST
Or it could mean that these accusations have been around long enough that they've been discussed and debunked until everyone's simply exhausted and nauseated by the whole thing and then they start wondering why on earth anyone would post a diary on a site populated by people that may be left or liberal or moderate or progressive or whatever else but are certainly united in a dislike of the Bush Administration and the tactics of the right and so it just seems odd or trollish or offensive that someone would present this diary not as an academic inquiry but with seeming joy and veritable gloating and then they get sort of pissed off.

It could be that.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 01:17:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like that statement: Ad hominem attack on diary, great!

I believe many persons have been involved in the excellent series of investigative journalism at dKos :: CIA leak case of Valerie Plame and attempt to smear Joe Wilson by the WHIG team of Bush-Cheney neocon cabal.

Oui aka creve coeur and new creve coeur @dKos.

To return to Kindergarten for a rehash is not my cup of tea.

  ««  click on pic for info Joe Wilson

"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."


'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 03:56:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A couple of comments are suggesting the grand jury's proceedings imply a much stronger implication of guilt than they actually do.  There are a lot of places to look to get a little better understanding of what this means but wikpediais probably as good as any.  From Wikipedia, some criticisms of grand juries:
Some argue that the grand jury is unjust as the defendant is not represented by counsel and/or does not have the right to call witnesses. Intended to serve as a check on prosecutors, the opportunity it presents them to compel testimony can in fact prove useful in building up the case they will present at the final trial.
In practice, a grand jury rarely acts in a manner contrary to the wishes of the prosecutor. Judge Sol Wachtler, the former Chief Judge of New York State, was quoted as saying, "A grand jury would indict a ham sandwich." As such, many jurisdictions in the United States have replaced the formality of a grand jury with a procedure in which the prosecutor can issue charges by filing an information (also known as an accusation) which is followed by a preliminary hearing before a Judge at which both the defendant and his or her counsel are present. New York State itself has changed procedures that define how grand juries are formed to no longer require jurors to have former jury experience.
Personally, I support the grand jury concept, because it is a step that prevents a prosecutor from issuing an indictment totally on his own, but you have to realize what the indictment actually means.

For example, do you know that Libby was not allowed to have his lawyer in the room when he testified.  When Fitzgerald brought the indictment to the jury, no one argues the other side of the case.  Neither Libby nor his lawyer was even there.  This case, when presented in court with the defendant and his lawyers there, and speaking, is going to be far from easy.

by wchurchill on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 01:23:34 PM EST
I haven't found any Wilson link yet, but here is a link that has a lot of information about Libby. And he is in serious deep shit...lying to the FBI, to a Grand Jury, and having numerous other witnesses contradicting his testimony. He's busted, and unless he sings, he will be going to prison...

The Fitzgerald news conference (post Libby indictment)

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 04:05:20 PM EST
from my above post, called here's the link:the Report on the US Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq.  You may want to read the post as I've made an attempt at summarizing.

I agree with you that the charges are serious.  I was initially outraged like most people on this site.  But as I read more, listened to people that were aware of Plame belonging to the secret service, and then read the Senate Intelligence Report, it looked to me like Libby was getting framed.  And I was concerned with the lack of press coverage on Wilson's blatant, and documented, lies.  I've read and heard the Fitzgerald news conference--in fact I think you and I both commented on it when it first came out.  I remain puzzled, and therefore very open to changing my mind on this, due to Fitzgerald's great track record.  Puzzled because it looks like so quickly his "confidentiality" charge is going to fall apart.  And maybe in the trial they will nail him with perjury and obsruction.  But remember, all we've heard so far, also true of the grand jury, is the prosecution's side of the case.  But clearly if what Fitz laid out in the press conference holds to be true, Liddy will serve the time.  I'm about to read some of the referenced material in posts above.

by wchurchill on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 05:45:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
course meant CIA.
by wchurchill on Fri Nov 18th, 2005 at 03:40:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Extended coverage ::

Clifford May vs. Patrick Fitzgerald ◊ by BooMan
Fri Oct 28th, 2005 at 03:30:38 PM PST

FitzMan -- My New Hero ◊ by BostonJoe
Fri Oct 28th, 2005 at 11:46:16 AM PST

Special Day PropaGannon Team  √ Victory ... ◊ by Oui
Fri Oct 28th, 2005 at 04:14:14 AM PST

"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

▼ ▼ ▼ MY DIARY

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 17th, 2005 at 04:33:54 PM EST
by wchurchill on Sun Nov 20th, 2005 at 02:26:58 AM EST
I just saw Woodward's comment that implies that Plame's identification was known before Libby's "leak", and was passed around in a very offhand manner.  In a court of law, where both sides present their case (unlike the grand jury and PFitz's comments to the press), I would imagine the leak of confidential information charges will fade away.
Woodward, who along with Post colleague Carl Bernstein gained acclaim as an investigative reporter during the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, gave a deposition to a special prosecutor investigating the matter on November 14.

Woodward said the source made the 2003 comments in a "casual and offhand" nature, not as part of a conspiracy to smear the agent, Valerie Plame, and her husband, retired career diplomat Joseph Wilson, a Bush administration critic.

Woodward said he did not believe there was an "underlying crime" when his source first mentioned Plame's identity to him.

"When it all comes out -- and hopefully it will come out -- people will see how casual and off-hand this was," he said.

"Remember the investigation and the allegations that people have printed about this story is that there's some vast conspiracy to slime Joe Wilson and his wife, really attack him in an ugly way that is outside of the boundaries of political hardball.

"The evidence I had firsthand, a small piece of the puzzle I acknowledge, is that that was not the case."

by wchurchill on Tue Nov 22nd, 2005 at 03:07:26 AM EST
He said the source told him Plame was a CIA analyst on weapons of mass destruction. In his experience, Woodward said, such analysts are not undercover. Fitzgerald has said Plame had covert status.

hmmm--seems like obstruction and perjury may still be around, but leaking confidential info????

by wchurchill on Tue Nov 22nd, 2005 at 03:19:00 AM EST


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