Skip to comments.Joseph Wilson EPIC Lecture 6/14/2003 Outline/Transcript
Posted on 10/09/2005 8:55:28 PM PDT by Fedora
The following outline and transcript, created by the poster, are based on an audio recording of Joseph Wilson's evening keynote lecture to the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) on June 14, 2003, delivered several weeks prior to Wilson's New York Times op-ed of 7/6/2003 which preceded the controversial Robert Novak article mentioning Valerie Plame's CIA background. Wilson's speech was immediately preceded by that of the other keynote speaker, Ray McGovern of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. After their individual speeches Wilson and McGovern held a joint question-and-answer session. Other participants in the forum and their respective topics of discussion included (biographical summaries are my abbreviations of original; see original link for additional details):
Introduction: Erik Gustafson, Gulf War veteran and EPIC founder; Zaid Albanna, Iraqi native and EPIC board member.
The Future of the Kurds in Post-War Iraq: Nijyar Shemdin, United States representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government and member of Iraqi National Congress of the Kurdistan Democratic Party; Mohammed Sabir Ismail, Iraqi-born physicist and PUK representative; Tanya Gilly, member of the Board of Directors of the Kurdish foundation and Women for a Free Iraq and participant in US State Department Future of Iraq project.
A Short History of Western Imperialism in Iraq: Judith Yaphe, Senior Research Fellow with the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.
Religious Politics & Emerging Political Movements in Iraq: Juan Cole, Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the University of Michigan; Phebe Marr, senior fellow in the Institute for National Strategic Studies at National Defense University.
Human Rights and Humanitarian Concerns: Sermid D. Al-Sarraf, Esq., Iraqi-American attorney from Los Angeles who works with the Iraqi Jurist's Association; George Devendorf, Director of Emergency Operations for Mercy Corps; Bill Frelick, director of Amnesty International USA's Refugee Program; Marc Garlasco, Senior Military Analyst for Human Rights Watch.
Consequences of War & Occupation: Stephen Zunes, Middle East editor for the Foreign Policy in Focus Project, political analyst for National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio, the BBC, and MSNBC; Alistair Millar, Director of the Washington, DC office of the Fourth Freedom Forum; Glen Rangwala, lecturer in politics at Cambridge University, UK, coordinator of the Campaign against Sanctions on Iraq, originator of allegation that a major British intelligence dossier on Iraq issued by the Blair government had been plagiarized from a PhD student's thesis; Nathaniel Hurd, independent consultant on Iraq policy.
Iraqi Views on the Aftermath & Post-Conflict Resolution: Sam Kubba, Iraqi immigrant to US, Democratic Party member, FCDC Steering Committee Chair, Chairman and CEO of American Iraqi Chamber of Commerce, founding member of Iraqi American Alliance; Anas Shallal, co-founder of The Peace Cafe, a venue promoting dialogue among Jews and Arabs; Rahman Al-Jebouri, Iraqi native, coordinator of the Iraq Foundation; Jawad Al-Amiri, Iraqi immigrant to US active on Iraqi American Council; Tanya Gilly (see above on Gilly).
Outline and transcript notes: Due to the length of the lecture, only some select quotations are transcribed in full, with the outline indicating the general structure of Wilson's lecture and where the quoted comments fall in that structure. Digital numbers indicate minutes and seconds into audio where quoted statements occur. Passages in quotation marks are transcriptions of Wilson's original. The audio was transcribed in August 2004 and the transcript does not reflect any changes to the EPIC website which may have been made since that time. For the original audio see EPIC's website.
I. Wilson's lecture:
A. Opening chit-chat
[1:25: "Let me just start out by saying, as a preface to what I really want to talk about, to those of you who are going out and lobbying tomorrow, I just want to assure you that that American ambassador who has been cited in reports in the New York Times and in the Washington Post, and now in the Guardian over in London, who actually went over to Niger on behalf of the government--not of the CIA but of the government--and came back in February of 2002 and told the government that there was nothing to this story, later called the government after the British white paper was published and said you all need to do some fact-checking and make sure the Brits aren't using bad information in the publication of the white paper, and who called both the CIA and the State Department after the President's State of the Union and said to them you need to worry about the political manipulation of intelligence if, in fact, the President is talking about Niger when he mentions Africa. That person was told by the State Department that, well, you know, there's four countries that export uranium. That person had served in three of those countries, so he knew a little bit about what he was talking about when he said you really need to worry about this. But I can assure you that that retired American ambassador to Africa, as Nick Kristof called him in his article, is also pissed off, and has every intention of ensuring that this story has legs. And I think it does have legs. It may not have legs over the next two or three months, but when you see American casualties moving from one to five or to ten per day, and you see Tony Blair's government fall because in the U.K. it is a big story, there will be some ramifications, I think, here in the United States, so I hope that you will do everything you can to keep the pressure on. Because it is absolutely bogus for us to have gone to war the way we did."]
C. Critique of Bush's four reasons for going to war with Iraq
[Includes statements: 5:13: "Now here in the United States on September 11, 2001, we suffered the lost of two buildings in New York and severe damage to one building in Washington and we suffered the loss of roughly 3,000 lives. In Iraq during the Shock and Awe bombing campaign, we now know that over 3,000 Iraqis were killed. . .and Lord knows how many buildings in downtown Baghdad and elsewhere were destroyed. . .how can we possibly assume that the anger that we felt when 3,000 of our fellow citizens were killed is not going to be felt in spades--not just in Iraq where 3,000 deaths represents to the relative population 10 times the number of deaths we suffered in our terrorist attack; or throughout the rest of the world. . .Of course we didn't find any terrorists when we got to Iraq, just as we haven't yet found any weapons of mass destruction, though on that score I remain of the view that we will find chemical and biological weapons, and we may well find something that indicates that Saddam's regime maintained an interest in nuclear weapons--not surprising if you live in a part of the world where you do have a nuclear-armed country, an enemy of yours, which is just a country away from you.". . .]
D. Argument against military intervention as means of liberation
[Includes statements: 14:05: "But I do know. . .that in order to have a liberation strategy, you have to have people who are willing to fight for their own liberation. Otherwise you will never get that liberation bounce that Ken Adelman promised us--that Richard Perle promised us, when he said that Iraqis would be cheering us from the rooftops at our marching in there." 15:52: "Evidence of that can be found in the Habbaniya gold market today. The price of gold jewelry in Habbaniya is cheaper than it is anywhere else in the world. And that is because the middle class has had to liquidate all their assets. In Iraq, like in many other parts of the world, people keep their assets, their wealth, in gold. . ."
E. Critiques results of war
[Includes statements: 19:00: "And even our military--and I speak to a lot of them; I used to be the political advisor to the commander in chief of US Armed Forces, Europe and I still have contacts in the command--even some of our military officers were absolutely dismayed at the slaughter they were inflicting upon poorly-trained, poorly-equipped Iraqi conscripts on the way up there."]
[Includes statements: 19:46: "The real agenda in all this, of course, was to redraw the political map of the Middle East. Now that is code, whether you like it or not, but it is code for putting into place the strategy memorandum which was done by Richard Perle and his study group in the mid-90s, which was called 'A Clean Break: A New Strategy for the Realm'. And what it is, cut to the quick, is if you take out some of these countries, or some of these governments, that are antagonistic to Israel, then you provide the Israeli government with greater wherewithal to impose its terms and conditions on the Palestinian people. . .But that is the real agenda. You can put weapons of mass destruction out there, you can put terrorism out there, you can put liberation out there. Weapons of mass destruction got hard-headed realists on board, through a bunch of lies. . ."
II. Follow-up Q&A discussion:
B. Three questions taken for McGovern and Wilson: Regular cash payments to Iraqis? Importance of Iraqi middle class to creating democracy? How would Wilson suggest supporters go about implementing his proposals for Iraqi reconstruction?
C. Four questions taken for McGovern and Wilson: Risks to whistleblowers? Geopolitical agenda behind Iraq war to fill power vacuum left by fall of Soviet Union? Recommended talking points for talking to representatives? What do whistleblowers need to do to wake the public up?
8:05: In response to the question about risks to whistleblowers, Wilson refers to self as "the retired American ambassador to Africa who has been talking to the New York Times and the Washington Post".
11:08: In response to the question about what whistleblowers need to do to wake the public up, wherein the questioner mentions that, "You know, the documents are out there, thanks to Mr. [Glen] Rangwala and others, it was out there that this was all a lie, even before the war", McGovern replies that of all the administration's "lies", "the forgery of course is the most flagrant", and then Wilson adds, "on the last one [i.e. on the last question about what whistelblowers need to do], the administration was very careful about only talking, on the forgery, only talking at the Presidential level about uranium sales from Africa, until such time as it came out that they were talking about Niger, and then that was subsequently denied by the State Department, it was difficult to sort of make the case, although I think some of the people inside could have probably talked about it a little bit more openly ahead of time. The real problem with this is how this intelligence was used once it got in the hands of the policymakers, and clearly this was emphasized--the rumor part of it, the RUMINT was emphasized, and the debunking of it was just set aside. I think it probably has legs, too, because of the course the press operates on profits, and if they can make a scandal out of this they'll do it, you know, that'll be great. And you already hear people talking about the 'i' word."
13:33: In response to the question about the geopolitical agenda behind the Iraq war, Wilson replies, "On the other ones, the geopolitical situation, I think there are a number of issues at play; there's a number of competing agendas. One is the remaking of the map of the Middle East for Israeli security, and my fear is that when it becomes increasingly apparent that this was all done to make Sharon's life easier and that American soldiers are dying in order to enable Sharon to impose his terms upon the Palestinians that people will wonder why it is American boys and girls are dying for Israel and that will undercut a strategic relationship and a moral obligation that we've had towards Israel for 55 years. I think it's a terribly flawed strategy."
Do we actually have anyone in the CIA or State who is not a left-wing moonbat anti-Semite?
"...lecture to the Education for Peace in Iraq Center..."
One only needs to see the name of this organization to know where they are coming from.
Great work Fedora.
Can you double-check Part I.B.? Is that Ray McGovern or Joe Wilson speaking?
"Do we actually have anyone in the CIA or State who is not a left-wing moonbat anti-Semite?"
Hopefully we do, but I don't think they attended this lecture :-)
IB is Wilson. McGovern doesn't start talking until the follow-up Q&A session in II, where I've included a few small snips from him as context for Wilson's comments.
LOL! To get the full Joseph Wilson Experience, you really have to listen to the audio. "Pompous" was the nicest word that came to mind as I sat listening to it.
BTW one thing I included was Wilson's reference to the gold market in Iraq, which is one of his areas of business interest, it's worth noting.
Thank you for the work you have done to dig up this transcript. My suggestion is that you email this to Christopher Hitchens and ask him for comment. Christopher Hitchens seems to be the lone voice from the left who has supported Bush's efforts in Iraq, I would respect anything that he had to say on the subject.
things like this make me think that if fitz and co. go after a cheap shot press move , it will be very easy to crush it. those at the top of the plamme thing had better realize if this is another delay deal with puffed up charges and they can't make it stick , careers will be ruined but not at the WH. i'm not talking about denial of real facts i'm talking about an attempt to destroy bush. then well fitz may gain fame but not for the reasons he was promised. get ready to push back. rather was the warm up act.
I find it interesting that he inserts into his rant, apropos of nothing, that he went to Niger on behalf of the government and NOT the CIA. The only reason to my mind he would say something so out of place is that he suspects he could be in trouble for publicly discussing CIA intelligence gathering and is laying the groundwork for an argument that his mission was really on behalf of State or some other department and therefore not subject to the same secrecy obligations.
Thanks for the suggestion!
.... and yet we have seen some detailed accounts elsewhere (including from Joe "Blowhard" Wilson himself) about how he met with half a dozen CIA people to receive his assignment. Wilson described it later in the summer of 2003 when he was trying to refute allegations that his wife had any role in getting him the mission (she did) and he described how he didn't know any of the CIA people in the room, blah blah blah (of course, that said nothing to the question of what Valerie had done to cause him to be invited to that room at Langley in the first place).
Anyway, when you read all of his accounts and references to his mission across the many months there are many variations and inconsistencies. He definitely does not have a stable and rigorous mind, which is probably why even the other liberals at State tired of him and stalled his career in the mid-90s. I know I could not put up with his bloviating for very long.....
Yes, there are a lot of ways cheap shots could be countered.
Interesting line of thought. That is one of the curious discrepancies in Wilson's account of events. What he's said on that has not been self-consistent or consistent with other sources. It makes you wonder what the explanation for the inconsistency is.
Thus, and to begin with, Joseph Wilson comes before us as a man whose word is effectively worthless. What do you do, if you work for the Bush administration, when a man of such quality is being lionized by an anti-war press? Well, you can fold your tent and let them print the legend. Or you can say that the word of a mediocre political malcontent who is at a loose end, and who is picking up side work from a wife who works at the anti-regime-change CIA, may not be as "objective" as it looks. Rove Rage
Given the CIA's institutional hostility to the "regime change" case, the blatantly partisan line taken in public by Wilson himself... Plame's Lame Game
And I think it does have legs. It may not have legs over the next two or three months, but when you see American casualties moving from one to five or to ten per day, and you see Tony Blair's government fall because in the U.K. it is a big story, there will be some ramifications, I think, here in the United States, so I hope that you will do everything you can to keep the pressure on.
This highlights the significance of Wilson identifying himself as a source for the Guardian. Are ex-diplomats legally allowed to assist covert operations aiming to topple American allies? I must've missed the part of the Constitution that authorized Joseph Wilson to make his own foreign policy.
Yes, I think you're absolutely right in that what we know about the facts of the matter is that it WAS in fact a CIA assignment. I gather he went to Langley where he met with a group that included both CIA people (including his wife) and State people, where he was vetted for the assignment which was then approved.
I think what Lyin' Joe may be thinking at the time of this speech is that because (i) he is a former State person, (ii) there were State people in the room, and (iii) he was never asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and apparently was never informed his assignment was secret, therefore if he were later to be prosecuted for disclosing classified CIA information one of his possible defenses was that he didn't "knowingly" do so because he didn't subjectively believe it was a CIA assignment, but rather for a different agency.
Another possibility is that, being part of this anti-Bush cabal composed of former CIA people and then-current CIA people in Alan Foley's department, he simply wanted to distance himself from the CIA, but did it in the most clumsy way possible.
Clarke is another lunatic in the Clinton administration. They all got big heads & thought they were smarter than anyone else during the Clinton administration. That's why we are in the mess we are today. No one knew a damn thing about running the country & protecting us from TERRORISTS!
They were all too busy being "smart", "wonderful", "leaders", etc.
Who knows what he was doing after he left the government...as we found out he was only a phone call away from reasserting himself in the region.
I have always found it very interesting that Chomsky quotes Knut Royce (yes, that's the one who along with Timothy Phelps confirmed Plame's status in Newsday) as the one American journalist who told the truth about the first Gulf War. Royce wrote an article citing a US diplomat as his source wherein he said that Saddam had wanted a diplomatic solution but the White House ignored the proposal. In Wilson's book he refers to a call a received from Phelps about Novak's article...Wilson says he had met Phelps 12 years earlier in Iraq. I think it's quite possible that Wilson has been leaking information out of school for a long, long time.
I tend to think it was a French-led intelligence operation assisted by Saddam's intelligence agents (who had penetrated the Iraqi resistance by infiltrating Jordanian intelligence units working with MI6 and the CIA in the 1990s) and sympathizers from a few other intelligence agencies, including a Carter/Clintonista faction of the CIA.
Director Goss for one. There are more conservatives then you would expect.
Wesley Clark's another one--and interestingly, during the Kosovo War when Wilson was stationed in Germany as political advisor to the United States European Command, he was assisting Clark's predecessor, George Joulwan, from 1995 to about July 1997; Clark took over from Joulwan July 10, right about the time Wilson left.
That's what it looks like to me.
Our long national nightmare is over!!!!Anyone could read this, compare it to the Kristof and Pincus pieces and figure out who he was and who he was married to and see his obvious anti-Semitic,anti-Administration slant.
And who do you think was funding EPIC? Heh..Fedora Bless you..
Recall that Wilson seemed to have been caught out in a lie on the forged Niger uranium contract (saying he knew the names and dates therein were wrong at a point in time months before he otherwise should have been aware of the existence of that document). Supposedly there has been an FBI investigation into the forged Niger uranium contract. I wonder if this investigation has looked into Wilson's inconsistent statements on this matter. Were I in charge of this investigation I would consider French interests as among the likely suspects for the forger of this document, and consider whether Wilson first learned of this document through French sources.
I should add that while I find it quite interesting that Fitzgerald has recently contacted Wilson, I am pessimistic that Fitzgerald will follow the facts all the way to where ever they may lead because (i) once he clears the senior White House people (if in fact he does) then the conflict of interest that was the rationale for appointing a Special Counsel disappears, and the investigation of any possible crimes by Wilson, CIA people or journalists is likely to simply get folded back into the Justice Department and (ii) if Fitzgerald and his FBI team start focusing on Wilson, they may find themselves butting up against the FBI investigation into the forged Niger uranium contract (if in fact it is still ongoing).
Now that's another interesting question. . .
On the anti-Semitic issue, the DNC has already been embarrassed by Wilson's cospeaker McGovern:
A handful of people at Democratic National Headquarters distributed material critical of Israel during a public forum questioning the Bush administration's Iraq policy, drawing an angry response and charges of anti-Semitism from party chairman Howard Dean on Friday.
"We disavow the anti-Semitic literature, and the Democratic National Committee stands in absolute disagreement with and condemns the allegations," Dean said in a statement posted on the DNC Web site.
One witness, former intelligence analyst Ray McGovern, told Conyers and other House Democrats that the war was part of an effort to allow the United States and Israel to "dominate that part of the world," a statement Dean also condemned.
It seems to me that if Dean condemns McGovern, he needs to condemn Wilson in the same breath, for they are not only saying the same thing, they are saying it from the same podium, as the EPIC conference illustrates.
The French angle becomes more plausible if Wilson's financial interests are factored in: his wife prior to Valerie was a French diplomat (serving a function frequently used as a cover by French intelligence) and, along with the French-American politician Pierre Salinger, a registered lobbyist for the President of Gabon, Omar Bongo, who was the chief African ally of the French oil company TotalFinaElf, a major beneficiary of the Oil-for-Food bribes which prior to the Iraq War had a contract with Saddam's regime worth an estimated 12.5 to 27.0 billion barrels of oil reserves.
Fedora--all of that crowd is--McGovern, Johnson--almost all if not all of those former diplomats always endorsing Kerry was this crowd and most in one way or the other are on the Saudi payroll(thru "think" tanks or with Saudi businesses). This is why they have so vehemently opposed Bush..
Good points, especially the French oil interests - the oil contract that Saddam offered to Total created an extremely powerful financial interest in France (as well as Russia, as I recall) against regime change. We should also consider that it need not necessarily be the case that French intelligence per se is behind the uranium contract forgery and other efforts to undermine the US; in other words even though Chirac, French oil interests and others may have been actively working against us (and using Wilson as a tool), I would not assume that that is necessarily the case for the professionals constituting the leadership of French intelligence.
I know Wilson's Rock Creek associates are Saudi-linked. I haven't looked into EPIC's funding yet. Do you have any specifics on that?
Wilson was also hanging around with MoveOn.org, so given that and the left-wing groups represented at EPIC, it's a good guess Soros is another funding source.
Yes, I am referring to the elements of French intelligence that would be aligned with Chirac on that, and there are likely intelligence veterans who feel about Chirac's policies as some here felt about Clinton's--I have a French friend who speaks of Chirac in the same tone as "the disgusting socialist Mitterand", as he puts it. Unfortunately Chirac is currently in a position where he can hire and fire at the executive level and issue overall policy directives, which is why I referred to it a French intelligence operation, without implying that everyone in French intelligence is happy with it. And yes, Russia also had a large stake in Iraqi oil, as did China, and some Western oil companies and other oil companies had smaller stakes as well; I emphasize France in this context because TotalFinaElf had the largest contract with Saddam and Wilson's background is in French Africa, but there are certainly other angles to it that are relevant to the big picture. I think Wilson was working for some much bigger interests.
If you go to the website and click it says the speakers' bureau is sponsored by and lists a number of groups like Amnesty-Ineternational and churches, etc..but you'd have to get a copy of their IRS filing to get the full details. My hunch is Saudi and pro-Saddam folks, but it started in 1998 obviously to fight sanctions so their may be some money there from elsewhere as well (French maybe). It smells.
The first mention I find of his speech here is by a blogger on July 16, 2003 in response to an article by Kevin Drum in The Washington Monthly (foremerly edited by Matt Cooper. oddly enough.)http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2003_07/001661.php#018818
At the time, (Joe) Wilson was based in Stuttgart, serving as the political adviser to George Joulwan, the U.S. general in charge of the European command; Plame was based in Brussels. Meeting in Paris, London, and Brussels, they got very serious very quickly. On the third or fourth date, he says, they were in the middle of a "heavy make-out" session when she said she had something to tell him. She was very conflicted and very nervous, thinking of everything that had gone into getting her to that point, such as money and training.
She was, she explained, undercover in the C.I.A.
In 1997, Plame moved back to the Washington area, partly because (as was recently reported in The New York Times) the C.I.A. suspected that her name may have been on a list given to the Russians by the double agent Aldrich Ames in 1994.
Wilson was caught off guard when around July 9 he received a phone call from Robert Novak, who, according to Wilson, said he'd been told by a C.I.A. source that Wilson's wife worked for the agency. "Can you confirm or deny?" Wilson recalls Novak as saying. "I need another source."
Wilson says he replied, "I'm not going to answer any questions about my wife."
At this point, Wilson says, he and his wife thought the leak could be contained if no one picked it up.
This strikes me as very significant. If Fitzgerald is looking at the disclosure act to bring indictments against Government officials who talked about Wilson's trip at all and we have Wilson dicussing it at a lecture, I would assume his attempts to indict on that statute fall apart.
He is left with perjury, obstruction, and conspiracy. As far as I know, it is not criminal to talk about a highly visible attmept to undermine one's efforts.
Also from Wilson's book... WHO is the friend who just "happened" to bump into Novak on the street before Novak's article was even written. I think that "friend" is most likely the leaker Fitz is looking for... (jmho - a set up of sorts, or they stupidly tried using Plame's position to BOLSTER Wilson's claims)
You're exactly right - more people should keep this in mind.
Fedora, have you read TheLastHurrah (emptywheels) analysis? Pretty interesting, even if I don't agree with it. Judith Miller may have been backed into a corner on perjury charges... interesting on WHY...
Honor the Legacy was initiated by U.S. war veterans and the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC). The coalition also includes: Amnesty International USA, Oxfam America, the National Council of Churches of Christ, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Veterans for Common Sense.
This seems to refer specifically to the cosponsors of their Honor the Legacy program, but it's probably a good indicator of where their general funding originates. Several of the groups I see mentioned there were part of the Cold War CPUSA front funding network--the National of Council of Churches/World Council of Churches was one of their chief fundraising sources, along with some charities like the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Stern Family Fund, the Rubin Foundation, etc. (for a more detailed list see the appendix to S. Stephen Powell, Covert Cadre). This network is now interlinked with the "Shadow Party" funding network largely subsidized through Soros, Peter Lewis, Jane Fonda, and Stephen Bing (I say "through" because they may be conduits for funds originating elsewhere).
You're famous.October 10th, 2005 http://americanthinker.com/comments.php?comments_id=3345
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Joe Wilson's speech
A month before Robert Novak wrote his column supposedly outing Valerie Plame, Joseph Wilson gave a speech in which he talks in the third person about a person who is obviously himself, allows Valerie Plame to be identified as his wife, and discloses his intense opposition to the war in Iraq, as well as his anti-Israel sentiments. He makes clear that he is the source of the Kristoff/Pincus leaks about his mission. He even says that this thing has legs, that it will take two or three months, but it has legs implying, perhaps, that he had already been working with the Kerry campaign to make this issue big attacking the President's credibility on the war.
Clifford May noted this Wilson speech in July 2003, but only to show that Wilson wasn't credible because of the kind of groups to which he was speaking and how easy it was to find out from non-Administration people who his wife was and where she worked because he, in fact, had done so. He did not go into the substance of the speech or the important fact that his wife was already listed there on the website bio.
The speech was given at EPIC, the Education for Peace in Iraq Center, a left wing organization, which has, a least for the moment, an audio file of the speech on its website A poster at the Free Republic website named Fedora transcribed parts of the speech.
Here are some highlights:
"Let me just start out by saying, as a preface to what I really want to talk about, to those of you who are going out and lobbying tomorrow, I just want to assure you that that American ambassador who has been cited in reports in the New York Times and in the Washington Post, and now in the Guardian over in London, who actually went over to Niger on behalf of the government--not of the CIA but of the government--and came back in February of 2002 and told the government that there was nothing to this story, later called the government after the British white paper was published and said you all need to do some fact-checking and make sure the Brits aren't using bad information in the publication of the white paper, and who called both the CIA and the State Department after the President's State of the Union and said to them you need to worry about the political manipulation of intelligence if, in fact, the President is talking about Niger when he mentions Africa. That person was told by the State Department that, well, you know, there's four countries that export uranium. That person had served in three of those countries, so he knew a little bit about what he was talking about when he said you really need to worry about this. But I can assure you that that retired American ambassador to Africa, as Nick Kristof called him in his article, is also pissed off, and has every intention of ensuring that this story has legs. And I think it does have legs. It may not have legs over the next two or three months, but when you see American casualties moving from one to five or to ten per day, and you see Tony Blair's government fall because in the U.K. it is a big story, there will be some ramifications, I think, here in the United States, so I hope that you will do everything you can to keep the pressure on. Because it is absolutely bogus for us to have gone to war the way we did."
"I remain of the view that we will find chemical and biological weapons, and we may well find something that indicates that Saddam's regime maintained an interest in nuclear weapons--not surprising if you live in a part of the world where you do have a nuclear-armed country, an enemy of yours, which is just a country away from you...."
"But I do know. . .that in order to have a liberation strategy, you have to have people who are willing to fight for their own liberation. Otherwise you will never get that liberation bounce that Ken Adelman promised us--that Richard Perle promised us, when he said that Iraqis would be cheering us from the rooftops at our marching in there."
"Evidence of that can be found in the Habbaniya gold market today. The price of gold jewelry in Habbaniya is cheaper than it is anywhere else in the world. And that is because the middle class has had to liquidate all their assets. In Iraq, like in many other parts of the world, people keep their assets, their wealth, in gold...."
"The real agenda in all this, of course, was to redraw the political map of the Middle East. Now that is code, whether you like it or not, but it is code for putting into place the strategy memorandum which was done by Richard Perle and his study group in the mid-90s, which was called 'A Clean Break: A New Strategy for the Realm'. And what it is, cut to the quick, is if you take out some of these countries, or some of these governments, that are antagonistic to Israel, then you provide the Israeli government with greater wherewithal to impose its terms and conditions on the Palestinian people. . .But that is the real agenda. You can put weapons of mass destruction out there, you can put terrorism out there, you can put liberation out there. Weapons of mass destruction got hard-headed realists on board, through a bunch of lies. . ."
And this is from the website about the program:
He is married to the former Valerie Plame and has four children.
Clarice Feldman 10 10 05
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One aspect of that account I find striking: it seems odd that Plame didn't seem concerned about blowing her own cover to a virtual stranger while stationed overseas and concerned that she may have been compromised by Aldrich Ames, but once she came back to Washington and her husband publicly discussed his own work with the CIA, it suddenly became a big deal when Robert Novak mentioned it.
In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake a form of lightly processed ore by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office.
After consulting with the State Department's African Affairs Bureau (and through it with Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, the United States ambassador to Niger), I agreed to make the trip. The mission I undertook was discreet but by no means secret. While the C.I.A. paid my expenses (my time was offered pro bono), I made it abundantly clear to everyone I met that I was acting on behalf of the United States government.
A very relevant observation well put.
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