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Former Envoy Talks in Book About Source of C.I.A. Leak [Wilson/Plame fiasco]
The New York Times ^ | 4/30/04 | David Johnston, Richard Stevenson

Posted on 04/30/2004 6:36:22 AM PDT by Gothmog

Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV says in a new book that he believes the White House official behind the disclosure of his wife's identity as an undercover C.I.A. officer was "quite possibly" I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. But Mr. Wilson offers no firm evidence to support his assertion, and the White House has denied it.

Mr. Wilson writes that Mr. Libby "evidently seized opportunities to rail openly against me" and was an "ardent neoconservative" who had the "motive and means" to conduct a covert inquiry to identify Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame.

Her name was disclosed by Robert D. Novak in his syndicated column in July 2003 after Mr. Wilson publicly criticized the Bush administration's handling of reports that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Niger, in Africa. Federal prosecutors are investigating who gave Mr. Novak the information about Ms. Plame; disclosure of an undercover officer's identity can be a crime.

The book, being published on Friday by Carroll & Graf, is titled "The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's C.I.A. Identity — A Diplomat's Memoir."

The Plame-Novak controversy has its roots in the State of the Union address in 2003 when Mr. Bush said that the British government had learned that Iraq had sought uranium in Africa, a possible indication of Saddam Hussein's interest in nuclear weapons.

Mr. Wilson has said and recounts in the book that he knew that Mr. Bush's remark about Africa was wrong. Mr. Wilson traveled to Niger in February 2002 at the C.I.A.'s request to investigate the assertion and concluded that it was false. The C.I.A. told him it had become involved because Mr. Cheney had asked whether there was any truth to the reports about Iraq's interest in Niger's uranium, the book said. The White House has maintained that Mr. Cheney did not learn about Mr. Wilson's trip until Mr. Wilson wrote an Op-Ed article about it for The New York Times last July 6.

Mr. Bush's comment in the State of the Union address, Mr. Wilson writes, ignored two previous inquiries by Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, an American ambassador to Niger, and Carleton Fulford, a Marine Corps general, who also found that the Iraq-Niger story was not credible.

Mr. Wilson writes that a White House effort to damage him began at a March 2003 meeting called to develop a critique of him for the vice president's office. Citing an unnamed source "close to the House Judiciary Committee," Mr. Wilson writes that "either the vice president himself or, more likely, his chief of staff, Lewis (Scooter) Libby chaired a meeting at which a decision was made to do a work-up on me."

Mr. Wilson writes that the meeting was attended by senior Republicans, possibly including Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker. On Thursday, a spokesman for Mr. Gingrich, Rick Tyler, said Mr. Wilson's account was a "complete fabrication."

Mr. Wilson says those in the meeting decided that "the strategy of the White House was to confront the issue as a `Wilson' problem rather than as an issue of the lie that was in the State of the Union address."

As to the leaker, Mr. Wilson does not limit his suspicions to Mr. Libby. He says another person whose name "has most often been repeated to me" is Elliott Abrams. Mr. Abrams is a former official in President Ronald Reagan's administration who became embroiled in the Iran-contra affair and now works in the National Security Council.

Last year, Mr. Wilson identified Karl Rove, senior political adviser to Mr. Bush, as the probable source of the leak, but he later backed off from that accusation. In the book, he writes that Mr. Rove circulated information from the work-up on him within the administration.

The White House has denied that Mr. Libby, Mr. Abrams or Mr. Rove were involved in the disclosure.

Asked about Mr. Wilson's account, Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said he was "simply not going to review or promote a book whose author has said his primary purpose is to pursue a political agenda to defeat the president."

Mr. Wilson is supporting Mr. Bush's Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, in the presidential race.

Apart from the White House denials, the issue of how Mr. Novak obtained the information for his column has turned from an embarrassment into a serious legal matter. In December, after a preliminary three-month inquiry by the Justice Department and the F.B.I., Attorney General John Ashcroft referred the matter to Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the United States attorney in Chicago.

Mr. Fitzgerald has conducted a grand jury investigation into the disclosure as a special counsel, summoning several current and former White House aides to testify. No one has been charged.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: cialeak; josephwilson; novak; politicsoftruth
"Mr. Wilson writes that the meeting was attended by senior Republicans, possibly including Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker. On Thursday, a spokesman for Mr. Gingrich, Rick Tyler, said Mr. Wilson's account was a 'complete fabrication.'"

Yep, Wilson throws out all the dem bogeymen (Rove, Cheney, and now Gingrich) in an attempt to make money off of his riduclous claims.

I wonder, will the government waste more money investigating this farce or will Wilson make more money in book sales.

1 posted on 04/30/2004 6:36:23 AM PDT by Gothmog
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To: cyncooper; Shermy; Grampa Dave
Y'all were interested in this yesterday, so here's an update.
2 posted on 04/30/2004 6:37:09 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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For those interested, the LA Times is much more dismissive, I guess because they didn't get a sneak peek at it like the NY Times did. Here's some of their coverage:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-wilson30_apr30,1,5078788.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

"Wilson entertained questions in a series of interviews with a handful of reporters Thursday as part of a highly orchestrated publicity campaign for the official release of his book...The launch included leaking the book itself to the New York Times on Thursday, a flurry of TV appearances, a nationwide book tour and a possible speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Boston this summer, his publicist said."
3 posted on 04/30/2004 6:40:22 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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To: Gothmog
This from a man who has publically stated that his purpose in life is now to declare war on the Bush administration. Thus sharing the life goal of Usama Bin Laden and Saddam BinLockedUp Hussein.
4 posted on 04/30/2004 6:40:45 AM PDT by epluribus_2
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To: Gothmog
I'm looking forward to Wilson's appearance on the Chris Mathews show:

Chrissy: SCOOTER LIBBY! AH!

Wilson: Dick Cheney.

Chrissy: KARL ROVE! AH!

Wilson: George Bush.

Chrissy: Did I say SCOOTER LIBBY yet?
5 posted on 04/30/2004 7:00:03 AM PDT by Spotsy (Bush-Cheney '04)
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To: Gothmog
Very interested and I appreciate the ping.

This kind of writing drives me nuts:

Her name was disclosed by Robert D. Novak in his syndicated column in July 2003

Her name was well known and Wilson had her name on his own bio posted for all to see--for years. He lists her as "The former Valerie Plame".

I assume the reporter meant her status as CIA.

Sloppy? Intentionally misleading?

As to Wilson's musings, he's a malicious gossip. How I hope the grand jury is really looking into the goings on of the Wilsons and whoever else was involved in creating this Niger spin.

6 posted on 04/30/2004 7:04:05 AM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Spotsy
Don't forget Rumsfeld and Halliburton. How they have been left out so far just shows how much work Wilson has to do.
7 posted on 04/30/2004 7:05:36 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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To: Gothmog
Ooh, thanks for that. What a pompous a**. He fits in perfectly with the Kerry campaign.
8 posted on 04/30/2004 7:08:49 AM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Gothmog
Revised Transcript:

Chrissy: SCOOTER LIBBY! AH!

Wilson: Dick Cheney.

Chrissy: KARL ROVE! AH!

Wilson: George Bush.

Chrissy: Did I say SCOOTER LIBBY yet?

Wilson: Halliburton. Oil.

Chrissy: Yeah, BECHTEL! HAH!

Wilson: Rumsfeld.

Chrissy: WOLFIE! WOLFIE! WOLFIE! AND SCOOTER!
9 posted on 04/30/2004 7:12:42 AM PDT by Spotsy (Bush-Cheney '04)
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To: cyncooper
Hey, do you want to get ahead of the curve? I just did a search for Plame and found this excerpt of the Wilson fable on the NYTimes web site, dated May 1.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/01/books/chapters/chapter-wilson.html

'The Politics of Truth'
By JOSEPH C. WILSON

Published: May 1, 2004
Chapter Seventeen

A Strange Encounter with Robert Novak

Late on Tuesday afternoon, July 8, six days before Robert Novak's article about Valerie and me, a friend showed up at my office with a strange and disturbing tale. He had been walking down Pennsylvania Avenue toward my office near the White House when he came upon Novak, who, my friend assumed, was en route to the George Washington University auditorium for the daily taping of CNN's Crossfire. He asked Novak if he could walk a block or two with him, as they were headed in the same direction; Novak acquiesced. Striking up a conversation, my friend, without revealing that he knew me, asked Novak about the uranium controversy. It was a minor problem, Novak replied, and opined that the administration should have dealt with it weeks before. My friend then asked Novak what he thought about me, and Novak answered: "Wilson's an asshole. The CIA sent him. His wife, Valerie, works for the CIA. She's a weapons of mass destruction specialist. She sent him." At that point, my friend and Novak went their separate ways. My friend headed straight for my office a couple of blocks away.

Once he related this unsettling story to me, I asked him to immediately write down the details of the conversation and afterwards ushered him out of my office. Next, I contacted the head of the news division at CNN, Eason Jordan, Novak's titular boss, whom I had known for a number of years. It took several calls, but I finally tracked him down on his cell phone. I related to him the details of my friend's encounter with Novak and pointed out that whatever my wife might or might not be, it was the height of irresponsibility for Novak to share such information with an absolute stranger on a Washington street. I asked him to speak to Novak for me, but he demurred - he said he did not know him very well - and suggested that I speak to Novak myself. I arranged for him to have Novak call me and hung up.

Novak called the next morning, but I was out, and then so was he. We did not connect until the following day, July 10. He listened quietly as I repeated to him my friend's account of their conversation. I told him I couldn't imagine what had possessed him to blurt out to a complete stranger what he had thought he knew about my wife.

Novak apologized, and then asked if I would confirm what he had heard from a CIA source: that my wife worked at the Agency. I told him that I didn't answer questions about my wife. I told him that my story was not about my wife or even about me; it was about sixteen words in the State of the Union address.

I then read to him three sentences from a 1990 news story about the evacuation of Baghdad: "The chief American diplomat, Joe Wilson, shepherds his flock of some 800 known Americans like a village priest. At 4:30 Sunday morning, he was helping 55 wives and children of U.S. diplomats from Kuwait load themselves and their few remaining possessions on transport for the long haul on the desert to Jordan. He shows the stuff of heroism." The reporters who had written this, I pointed out, were Robert Novak and Rowland Evans. I suggested to Novak that he might want to check his files before writing about me. I also offered to send him all the articles I had written in the past year on policy toward Iraq so that he could educate himself on the positions I had taken. He would learn, if he took the time, that I was hardly antiwar, just anti-dumb war. Before I hung up, Novak apologized again for having spoken about Valerie to a complete stranger.

The following Monday, July 14, 2003, I read Novak's syndicated column in the Washington Post. The sixth paragraph of the ten-paragraph story leapt out at me: "Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report."

When I showed it to Valerie, she was stoic in her manner but I could see she was crestfallen. Twenty years of loyal service down the drain, and for what, she asked after she had read it. What was Novak trying to say? What did blowing her cover have to do with the story? It was nothing but a hatchet job. She immediately began to prepare a checklist of things she needed to do to minimize the fallout to projects she was working on. Ever efficient, she jotted down reminders to mask the emotions swirling through her body. Finally, as the enormity of what Novak had done now settled on her, she sat in the corner and wondered aloud if she would still have any friends left after they found out that the person they knew was not her at all but a lie that she lived very convincingly.

Amid the welter of emotions I felt that morning, I tried to understand a particular element of Novak's story.

He cited not a CIA source, as he had indicated on the phone four days earlier, but rather two senior administration sources; I called him for a clarification. He asked if I was very displeased with the article, and I replied that I did not see what the mention of my wife had added to it but that the reason for my call was to question his sources. When we first spoke, he had cited to me a CIA source, yet his published story cited two senior administration sources. He replied: "I misspoke the first time we talked."

A couple of days before Novak's article was published, but after my friend's strange encounter with him, I had received a call from Post reporter Walter Pincus, who alerted me that "they are coming after you." Since I already knew what Novak had learned about Valerie, I was increasingly concerned over what else might be put out about her. I assumed, though, that the CIA would itself quash any article that made reference to Valerie. While not yet familiar with the specifics of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, I knew that protection of the identity of agents in our clandestine service was the highest priority, and well understood by the experienced press corps in Washington. Novak had still been trolling for sources when we spoke on the telephone, so I assumed that he did not have the confirmations he would need from the CIA to publish the story. I told Valerie, who alerted the press liaison at the CIA, and we were left with the reasonable expectation that any reference to her would be dropped, since he would have no way of confirming the information-unless, of course, he got confirmations from another part of the government, such as the White House.

Quite apart from the matter of her employment, the assertion that Valerie had played any substantive role in the decision to ask me to go to Niger was false on the face of it. Anyone who knows anything about the government bureaucracy knows that public servants go to great lengths to avoid nepotism or any appearance of it. Family members are expressly forbidden from accepting employment that places them in any direct professional relationship, even once or twice removed. Absurd as these lengths may seem, a supervisor literally cannot even supervise the supervisor of the supervisor of another family member without high-level approval. Valerie could not have stood in the chain of command had she tried to. Dick Cheney might be able to find a way to appoint one of his daughters to a key decision-making position in the State Department's Middle East Bureau, as he did; but Valerie could not-and would not if she could-have had anything to do with the CIA decision to ask me to travel to Niamey.

The publication of the article marked a turning point in our lives. There was no possibility of Valerie recovering her former life. She would never be able to regain the anonymity and secrecy that her professional life had required; she would not be able to return to her discreet work on some of the most sensitive threats to our society in the foreseeable future, and perhaps ever.

I had many questions for Novak: What did the inclusion of Valerie's name add to his article? So what if she worked on intelligence related to weapons of mass destruction? There was nothing nefarious about that. All this had happened because Novak chose not to heed the entreaties of government officials to whom he spoke and who, by Novak's own admission, asked that he not publish her name or employment. While Novak has since downplayed the request of the CIA that he not publish her name, I wondered which part of 'NO' he didn't understand. Murray Waas, writing in the American Prospect, has a different take:

Two government officials have told the FBI that conservative columnist Robert Novak was asked specifically not to publish the name of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame in his now-famous July 14 newspaper column. The two officials told investigators they warned Novak that by naming Plame he might potentially jeopardize her ability to engage in covert work, stymie ongoing intelligence operations, and jeopardize sensitive overseas sources.

So what if she conveyed a request to me to come to the Agency to talk about Niger? She had played absolutely no part in the decision to send me there. Should an agency of the U.S. government not ask me about the uranium business in Niger, a subject that I knew well, just because my wife happened to work in the same suite of offices?

Lamely attempting to shirk responsibility, Novak claimed that the CIA no was "a soft no, not a hard no." On the wings of that ludicrous defense, he soared to new heights of journalistic irresponsibility. But Novak has long since demonstrated that he is not so much a scrupulous journalist as he is a confirmed purveyor of the right-wing party line, whether it's touting the truth or-as it all too often is, unfortunately-promoting the big lie. In this instance, in addition to buying into the big lie, Novak was slavishly doing the bidding of the cowards in the administration who had decided that the only way to discredit me was to betray national security. I will defend his First Amendment rights as a journalist, but I don't have to like what he did. In fact, watching Valerie's face fall as she realized that her life had been so irreparably altered, I felt that punching the man in the nose would not have been an unreasonable response.

I decided that I would not rise to Novak's bait or dignify his article with a published response, and that I would not speak about Valerie other than hypothetically. It was not up to me to confirm or deny her employment; it was up to the CIA. A few days later, Newsday reporter Timothy Phelps, whom I had met in Iraq twelve years earlier, informed me that he had heard from the CIA that what Novak had reported vis-à-vis Valerie's employment was not incorrect. I declined to be drawn into a confirmation even then.

The week was not without its drama, however. Even though I had been avoiding the press since the day after my article appeared in July, I had still been intently following the reporting about Novak's article in the media. Too intently. I was waking up in the middle of the night and pacing the floor, as I had during that critical period in Baghdad during Desert Shield. Back then, my mind would be going a thousand miles a minute, trying to gain an edge on the thugs in the Iraqi regime; now I was trying to predict what the thugs in my own government would do, so I'd be ready to react effectively to their next move. I would get up at 3:00 a.m., after only a few hours of sleep, and review press reports from around the world. In Britain, meanwhile, Prime Minister Tony Blair was under the gun for possibly having "sexed up" the case he had made on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. In Australia, Prime Minister John Howard was subjected to similar hard questions as well; he would subsequently be censured for having deceived his parliament. Howard and British Foreign Minister Jack Straw were both obliged to tell their press that they did not know Joe Wilson.

Four days after Novak's article appeared, Britain was convulsed by the suicide of a former weapons inspector named David Kelly, a longtime civil servant in the ministry of defense. Kelly had been a source for the BBC's exposé of the charge that the government had exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam. He had been under increasing pressure from the investigation and had apparently killed himself. I received several calls from friends wondering, first, whether it had in fact been a suicide; and, if not, was I watching my own security? They also wanted to know how I was bearing up under the pressure. I, too, wondered about Kelly's death and later told a BBC producer that I hoped the inquest into his death would be credible.

I was horrified that I could actually harbor suspicions-ones that were also being expressed by others-that a democratic government might actually do bodily harm to a political opponent. I laughed it off for my friends and pointed out that my golf handicap had gone down two strokes in the two and a half weeks of my enforced vacation. And I rationalized that in situations like the one in which I now found myself, it was important to be either so visible that your adversaries would be among the first to be blamed should anything out of the ordinary happen to you, or so invisible that nobody really knew who you were.

That same week, on Thursday, July 17, David Corn called to alert me that what Novak had done, or at least what the person who had leaked Valerie's name to him had done, was possibly a crime, in that it might represent a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. Corn then published a detailed explanation of the law to ensure that other journalists, as well as regular readers of The Nation, understood all the legalities involved.

Toward the end of that week, network producers and television correspondents were calling with rapidly mounting frequency. We had clearly entered a new phase. The questions were no longer about whether or not Valerie was CIA; rather, they sought to uncover some supposedly as-yet-unexplained link between the two of us and the trip to Niger.

Over the weekend, the calls became more insistent and more pointed. And the sources being cited by the reporters were consistently "White House officials or senior White House officials," so I could only conclude that the decision to push the story had been made at a high level in the administration. At that point, I knew that I would have to address the issue more publicly.

NBC's Andrea Mitchell, who had been guest-hosting Meet the Press when I'd been on the show two weeks earlier, reached me at home on the Sunday night after Novak's article appeared to ask for my reaction to "what White House sources were telling her about the real story being not the sixteen words but Wilson and his wife." I agreed to do an interview with her the following day in my office. Although I had planned not to appear on any television shows prior to Thursday, July 24, when I was scheduled to do The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I felt I had no choice but to try to stop the White House from continuing to push this canard.

The principal question remained unanswered: Who had so badly served the president? Who Valerie was and what she did, or who I was and what I did, were merely the administration's means of obfuscating the real issue and confusing the public. The White House was trying to fling dust into the eyes of the press and public while descending into what a Republican staffer on the Hill later called a "slime-and-defend" mode.

On Monday morning, July 21, I sat down with Andrea and answered her questions. I was scrupulous in speaking about Valerie only hypothetically; I was careful to qualify my statements and to use the subjunctive: "If she were as Novak alleged, then. . . ." In response to Andrea's questions regarding statements made by White House officials about Valerie's professional life and its connection to me, I noted that the sources of the original leaks from the administration to Novak might have violated the law.

When the interview aired on the Monday evening news, NBC had systematically edited out every one of my qualifiers regarding Valerie's status, no doubt because of time constraints. They thus substantively changed the tenor of the interview and gave CIA lawyers cause to briefly consider whether or not I myself might have been in violation of the same law as the senior administration officials who had originally leaked the information about Valerie to Novak. I later called Andrea to request a copy of the full interview, so as to be able to defend myself, but nbc policy disallows providing transcripts of interviews in their unedited versions. I asked Andrea therefore to make sure that the full interview was preserved on tape in the event legal questions arose in the future. She agreed to do so.

That afternoon I received the call from Chris Matthews tersely informing me that Karl Rove had entered the fray with the comment that my wife was "fair game." To make a political point, to defend a political agenda, to blur the truth that one of the president's own staffers had scripted a lie into the president's mouth, one of the administration's most senior officials found it perfectly acceptable to push a story that exposed a national security asset. It was appalling.

The next morning I appeared on the Today show. Katie Couric was the interviewer. Unfortunately, I was on remote location, in Washington-my one chance to sit face-to-face with "America's sweetheart," and all I could see was the unblinking eye of the camera in front of me. At least the spot was televised live, so the hypotheticals that I used to qualify what I said about Valerie were not edited out. Again I made the point that the leak might well have been a violation of the law.

Although I received hundreds of phone calls from the national and international press in subsequent days, not once did I again hear a reporter cite White House sources in relation to that particular story. In the weeks ahead, the attacks from the White House reverted to more typical forms of character assassination.

[Note: I have not read through this yet, but it should be fun to debunk, although really annoying to have to put up with his self-aggrandizement]





10 posted on 04/30/2004 7:18:19 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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To: Spotsy
And Elliot Abrams! And Newt Gingrich! Don't forget Rush!
11 posted on 04/30/2004 7:19:18 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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To: Gothmog
I had to excerpt!! LOL!
12 posted on 04/30/2004 7:20:54 AM PDT by Spotsy (Bush-Cheney '04)
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To: Gothmog
In the 'words mean things' department, the following is a lie: "Mr. Wilson has said and recounts in the book that he knew that Mr. Bush's remark about Africa was wrong."

The President said in his Address that the Iraqis had tried to buy Uranium in Africa, accordind to British Intellegence.

Wilson stated in his report that the Iraqis had not actually bought any, which to me and the rest of the world directly implies the Iraqis had tried to buy Uranium, the exact opposite of the above quote.

Lest we forget, Joseph Wilson reeks of Agitprop lies. So does the Author of this piece.
13 posted on 04/30/2004 7:22:38 AM PDT by shamusotoole
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To: cyncooper
Wilson claims Novak wrote “Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame,…”

As far as I remember, Novak never mentioned her name. Just that his wife worked at the CIA. Everyone found out about his wife because they did a simple internet search and found her listed on Wilson’s bio. Can’t Wilson even get the quote right?

Wilson claims Valerie’s “Twenty years of loyal service…”

Last I heard, she did not even get hired at the CIA until 1989 or so. It’s fifteen years, why lie about something so obvious?

Wilson claims “Valerie could not have stood in the chain of command had she tried to.”

She didn’t, she got Foley to do it. Also, if the rules were so tight, how did Wilson get selected in the first place? Wouldn’t those rules have prevented him?

I’m sure there’s more foolishness from this clown.
14 posted on 04/30/2004 7:35:11 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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There is:

Wilson fumes “What did the inclusion of Valerie's name add to his article?”

Well, to everyone who’s not a self-serving moron, the precise reason how the Bush Administration was duped into sending a Clinton political hack.

Wilson asks “Should an agency of the U.S. government not ask me about the uranium business in Niger, a subject that I knew well,..”

Oh, and how did Wilson know anything about this? In his first stint in Nigeria he was the state dept flunky in charge of the motor pool. What, they were fueling their cars with yellowcake?

Later Clinton did make him ambassador to Africa for a couple of years. I’m sure all the other ambassadors thought it was so great having this popinjay cruise the continent meddling in his affairs that they made sure he got all the latest info on Nigerian yellowcake.

I don't know if I can read any more of this crap. It's just too ridiculous.
15 posted on 04/30/2004 7:52:36 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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To: Gothmog
Oh my!

This is very interesting, indeed. Why Valerie was a veritable Jane Bond.

I found this next portion quite interesting, as it underscores my point yesterday that there was a coordinated attack launched against Blair, Bush and I had forgotten, PM Howard:

I would get up at 3:00 a.m., after only a few hours of sleep, and review press reports from around the world. In Britain, meanwhile, Prime Minister Tony Blair was under the gun for possibly having "sexed up" the case he had made on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. In Australia, Prime Minister John Howard was subjected to similar hard questions as well;

~snip~

I have long posted that I thought it no coincidence that these charges were made at the same time. Notice how Wilson completely avoided (while indulging in shameless histrionics about fearing for his own life while wondering if Kelly was "really" a suicide) mentioning that the British investigation revealed it was the BBC that had "sexed-up" their reporting, not Blair regarding the dossier.

Combine the BBC lies with Wilson's mispresentations of how his trip to Niger related to the "sixteen words" and we can see what was going on here.

As I've said, I hope the grand jury is really investigating the Wilsons and whoever else was in on this deception, so this part caught my eye:

...gave CIA lawyers cause to briefly consider whether or not I myself might have been in violation of the same law as the senior administration officials who had originally leaked the information about Valerie to Novak.

Did they "consider briefly", or is it an ongoing investigation?

Stay tuned...

16 posted on 04/30/2004 8:34:36 AM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Shermy
Don't miss an excerpt of Wilson's tome post at #10.
17 posted on 04/30/2004 8:35:31 AM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Gothmog
I went back and looked and Novak did mention Plame by name in his first column, but since Wilson had it posted already (since 2001? I believe) on the internet he can hardly claim that her *name* was secret. He claims her employment at the CIA is the issue, though the phrase "Novak revealed her name" is often used as if it was not publicly known.

In that excerpt you posted he makes her sound like a super spy. Hmmmmmmmm
18 posted on 04/30/2004 8:39:31 AM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Gothmog
is this potentially libelous?
19 posted on 04/30/2004 8:44:02 AM PDT by smonk
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To: cyncooper
Thanks for the correction. Y'all are much more organized and have links, etc. I'm just going by memory. I could have sworn the original article never mentioned her by name.

Regardless, it's going to be interesting to see if Novak responds. He might not because of the investigation. I hold out little hope the FBI is investigating Plame and Wilson. No obvious treason and it's not against the law to be a communist.

Regarding the rest of this Wilson excerpt -- in particular the parts about appearing on TV -- I have a way FOX could make some $$$ of this:

"Next on FOX, 'When animals attack.'

"We've taken the two most brutal publicity hounds and placed them before a single camera.

Next, on 'When Animals Attack,' Richard Clarke vs. Joseph Wilson in a brawl between two overweening egos."

20 posted on 04/30/2004 8:52:24 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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To: smonk
Nah, he said he 'believes' and Gingrich is a public figure. It's just hype for his book. I mean, who listens to Gingrich now anyway?
21 posted on 04/30/2004 8:54:23 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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To: cyncooper; Allan; Mitchell; Kenny Bunk
Quite apart from the matter of her employment, the assertion that Valerie had played any substantive role in the decision to ask me to go to Niger was false on the face of it. Anyone who knows anything about the government bureaucracy knows that public servants go to great lengths to avoid nepotism or any appearance of it.

A non-denial denial.

Two government officials have told the FBI that conservative columnist Robert Novak was asked specifically not to publish the name of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame in his now-famous July 14 newspaper column. The two officials told investigators they warned Novak that by naming Plame he might potentially jeopardize her ability to engage in covert work, stymie ongoing intelligence operations, and jeopardize sensitive overseas sources. ... Lamely attempting to shirk responsibility, Novak claimed that the CIA no was "a soft no, not a hard no."

Something I myself have said here. Novak's blame that the CIA didn't warn him enough was absurd. I also speculated that the "leak" to Novak wasn't malicious, just inside-the-beltway chatter and gossip. Novak blew his reputation to keep his mouth shut, if he ever had any.

BTW, how does this story comport with the malicious Bush admin leaking story???

22 posted on 04/30/2004 9:40:13 AM PDT by Shermy
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To: Shermy
Joseph Wilson, Niger, Uranium and Bush’s Famous Sixteen Words: Evolution of a Confused Story
23 posted on 04/30/2004 9:43:00 AM PDT by Shermy
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To: Shermy
As far as the CIA warning goes, I'm more willing to believe Novak than Wilson and some CIA bureaucrats looking to cover their butts.

Novak calls around to find out the motivation for sending a Clinton hack.

He talks to a number of people. Two inform him of the Plame CIA connection (I think they were State Dept., maybe they were DOD or Energy, whatever).

Novak calls the CIA to get confirmation. There are some, like Foley, the CIA will ID.

The CIA gives Novak the SOP answer -- 'We don't want ANY of our employees ever named in the press.'

Now, Novak has been an investigative reporter for what, 30+ years? He certainly knows what the rules are. If the CIA did have a real problem, they would have told him -- and Novak would have complied. It was not THAT big a story for him to risk his 30+ year lucrative career for this.

In fact, it reminds me of the Sherlock Holmes line 'the dog didn't bark.' The CIA didn't 'bark' becuase Plame was not a super-secret NOC. Either because of the Ames scandal or through her own sloppy behaviour, Plame was no longer considered by the CIA to be a 'vital' protected source. Hence, the SOP response.

Wilson claims two unnamed sources told him that Novak was specifically warned. Well, Wilson is a big liar and I'm sure the CIA bureaucrats, under fire from within and without, are busy bleating out excuses.

Now, how Wilson's contorted version comports with his bogus claims about the WH being the source of the leak? It doesn't.

If Cheney, Rove, Libby, or other 'senior WH officials' told Novak that Plame was a CIA bureaucrat Novak wouldn't have needed confirmation from the CIA and wouldn't have needed to call the CIA.
24 posted on 04/30/2004 10:12:23 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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To: Shermy
By the way, thanks for your timeline. I thought that Wilson and Kristof met at the dem senate policy meeting before the Kristof article, not after.
25 posted on 04/30/2004 10:13:47 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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To: Gothmog
Novak himself said a CIA official aasked him not to use the name. Novak's excuse - he wasn't warned strongly enough.

See his second article.
26 posted on 04/30/2004 11:04:10 AM PDT by Shermy
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To: Shermy
I'm not arguing with you that a CIA official asked him not to ID Plame. Let me try explaining my thoughts a different way.

Option 1 -- Novak is told by 2 admin sources (not at the level of Cheney, Rove, etc, because if they told him, he would not have to call the CIA to confirm) that Plame works for the CIA. So Novak calls the CIA to confirm.

Novak [on the phone with a CIA communications dept. bureaucrat]: "Hello, my name is Bob Novak and I'm working on a story and my sources tell me a certain person, Valerie Wilson or Valerie Plame, works for the CIA. Can you confirm that?"

CIA flunky: "You mean the the nationally syndicated reporter Bob Novak? The one who regularly appears on TV?"

Novak: "Yes, are you able to confirm that Valerie Plame or Valerie Wilson works for the CIA."

CIA dunderhead: "Well, as you know, the CIA does not confirm or deny whether any person works for the CIA. Certainly not to a reporter who reaches millions of readers a day!"

Novak: "Yes, I know that. I've been an investigative reporter who knows all the rules since before you were born and does not want to risk my career, but is this something you can confirm?"

CIA simpleton: "Well, hold on a moment."

[Slight delay as the CIA poltroon checks the list of intel assets which should under no circumstances be revealed in the press by a nationally syndicated reporter.)

CIA dullard: "Uhm, Mr. Novak, as you know, the CIA does not confirm or deny whether any persons works for the CIA."

Novak: "Yes, but I've got two other sources who tell me she does. Is there a problem with that?"

CIA picklebrain: "Uh, I just must repeat Mr. Novak, the CIA does not officially confirm or deny whether any person or persons work for the CIA."

Novak: "OK, bye." Novak hangs up.

CIA muddlehead: "Uh, OK, bye Mr. Novak. Be seeing you around, or maybe not, tee hee hee, we are the CIA you know, (giggle). Hello, Mr. Novak? Can I call you Bob? Hello?

Option 2 -- Novak is told by 2 admin sources that Plame works for the CIA. So Novak calls the CIA to confirm.

Novak: "Hello, my name is Bob Novak and I'm working on a story and my sources tell me a certain person, Valerie Wilson or Valerie Plame, works for the CIA. Can you confirm that?"

CIA flunky: "You mean the the nationally syndicated reporter Bob Novak? The one who regularly appears on TV?"

Novak: "Yes, are you able to confirm that Valerie Plame or Valerie Wilson works for the CIA."

CIA buggleswarm: "Hold on let me check."

[Slight delay]

CIA snoozecatcher: "Uhm, Mr. Novak, we can not confirm that and we would caution you that information on CIA personnel is considered highly classified. That information might endanger CIA lives. The CIA would be strongly, at the highest level, opposed to any such disclosure. I can not express to you how strongly the CIA would be opposed to having any such information published on this topic."

Novak: "OK, can I talk to your boss?"

CIA buttermunch: "Yes, sir, please hold."

CIA official #2: "Hello, Mr. Novak? I've been told you have a question regarding the identification of a person in relation to the CIA. As you know, the CIA does not confirm nor deny whether any person works for the CIA.

"As you know, this information is kept secret for very good reasons as CIA empoloyees lives may be put in danger. Without saying that this is such a case, I must inform you that the CIA would be strongly opposed, and perhaps take legal action, if any person the CIA might consider to be a valued assett was identified in the press.

Novak: "OK, I know the rules, it's nothing to jeopardize my career over. Thanks for your time, bye."

The short version. Novak found out that Plame worked for the CIA from sources other than the WH. It's worth noting that Novak is not under any legal obligation not to reveal she is a CIA agent unless she is a 'NOC' class agent.

So, he checked with the CIA to make sure she was not covered. The CIA 'didn't bark,' so he proceeded.

The rest is just Wilson lieing his butt off and CIA bureaucrats covering theirs.

27 posted on 04/30/2004 12:22:21 PM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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