Skip to comments.My Fisking Of Joseph Wilson's Letter Regarding the Senate Intelligence Report, Niger and Uranium
Posted on 07/17/2004 4:30:30 PM PDT by Shermy
Here's my attempt at "fisking" to Joseph Wilson's recent letter attempting to absolving himself from the Senate Intelligence Report's Bipartisan findings. My comments are in red.
Caution: one might need be a semantics and linguistic expert to decipher the "literary flair" of Joseph Wilson's numerous public statements. But I'll give it a try.
The Hon. Pat Roberts, Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
The Hon. Jay Rockefeller, Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Dear Sen. Roberts and Sen. Rockefeller,
I read with great surprise and consternation the Niger portion of Sens. Roberts, Bond and Hatch's additional comments to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee's Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Assessment on Iraq. I am taking this opportunity to clarify some of the issues raised in these comments.
This is an interesting first move by Wilson. The Senate Intelligence Report itself has plenty of damning information, bipartisanly approved. Wilson targets the Additional Comments appended to the report by these Senators. (All the senators had such additional comments discussing various matters. ) It is a deflective move, in my opinion. However he does address the bipartisan findings, unfairly, as discussed below.
First conclusion (from Sen. Robert's comments): "The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador's wife, a CIA employee."
That is not true. The conclusion is apparently based on one anodyne quote from a memo Valerie Plame, my wife, sent to her superiors that says, "My husband has good relations with 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." There is no suggestion or recommendation in that statement that I be sent on the trip. Indeed it is little more than a recitation of my contacts and bona fides.
Anodyne. Whatever. The fact is Valerie suggested and recommended him, which he denied repeatedly in the past and still does so with this lame logic. The Report also reveals this was not the first time Valerie recommended him for a trip to Niger. She did so in 1999. The reasons are blacked out in the report (as is much of the text). There was a coup in 1999 in Niger which might be related to the reasons for the trip.
The conclusion is reinforced by comments in the body of the report that a CPD [Counterproliferation Division] reports officer stated that "the former ambassador's wife 'offered up his name'" (page 39) and a State Department intelligence and research officer stated that the "meeting was 'apparently convened by [the former ambassador's] wife who had the idea to dispatch him to use his contacts to sort out the Iraq-Niger uranium issue." In fact, Valerie was not in the meeting at which the subject of my trip was raised. Neither was the CPD reports officer.
Joe is a little tricky here. He skips over the fact that his wife wrote a memo too. The fact that the CPD reports officer, presumably in near contact with Valerie, was not at the meeting has no bearing on the truthfulness of the officers assessment. One need not be inside the "meeting". Indeed, the subject of his trip was raised before the "meeting". The meeting didn't pop up out of nowhere.
Let's take a look at the actual words of the Report, whose findings are bipartisanly approved.
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 ambassadors wife offered up his name and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12, 2002 from the former ambassadors 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 (..redaction..) Requesting concurrence with CPDs idea to send the former ambassador to Niger and requesting any additinoal information from the foreign government service on their uranium reports. The former ambassadors 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 hm theres this crazy report on a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq.
The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on the CIAs behalf (..long redaction..). The former ambassador was selected for the 1999 trip after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip in the near future and might be willing to use his contacts in the region (..redaction..).
After having escorted me into the room, she [Valerie] departed the meeting to avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest.
--- This is the first time he admits Valerie was at the meeting. In the Senate Intelligence Report she states she was there for three minutes at the beginning. Wilson has always been deceptive about the meeting, and his wife's recomendation. Here's one example from his interview with Talon News in October 2003. Wilson: I don't know anything about a meeting, I can only tell you about the meeting I was at where I was asked if I would prepare to go, and there was nobody at that meeting that I know. Now that fact that my wife knows that I know a lot about the uranium business and that I know a lot about Niger and that she happens to be involved in weapons of mass destruction, it should come as no surprise to anyone that we know of each others activities.
TN: Did your wife suggest you for the mission? Side point: the current investigation often described as an inquiry into who allegedly "leaked" Plame's name to Novak is broader. It also involves, at least, who leaked similar information to Newsday reporters, and who leaked the documents Mr. Gannon references here. Apparently Mr. Gannon, the Wall Street Journal, and maybe others received the State Department memo detailing Plame's involvement. The Senate Intelligence Report reveals, for the first time, there's a memo authored by Plame herself.
Wilson: No. The decision to ask me to go out to Niger was taken in a meeting at which there were about a dozen analysts from both the CIA and the State Department. A couple of them came up and said to me when we're going through the introductory phase, "We have met at previous briefings that you have done on other subjects, Africa-related."
Not one of those at that meeting could I have told you what they look like, would I recognize on the street, or remember their name today. And as old as I am, I can still recognize my wife, and I still do remember her name. That was the meeting at which the decision was made to ask me if I would clear my schedule to go.
TN: An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?
Wilson: I don't know anything about a meeting, I can only tell you about the meeting I was at where I was asked if I would prepare to go, and there was nobody at that meeting that I know. Now that fact that my wife knows that I know a lot about the uranium business and that I know a lot about Niger and that she happens to be involved in weapons of mass destruction, it should come as no surprise to anyone that we know of each others activities.
It was at that meeting where the question of my traveling to Niger was broached with me for the first time and came only after a thorough discussion of what the participants did and did not know about the subject. My bona fides justifying the invitation to the meeting were the trip I had previously taken to Niger to look at other uranium-related questions as well as 20 years living and working in Africa, and personal contacts throughout the Niger government.
Wilson makes a simple matter complex. His wife suggested him, he then had an interdepartmental meeting, it was decided there he go. The Report notes the CIA thought the trip would not be fruitful because the Nigerien officials would not admit wrong-doing, but that the trip was "worth a try." And to comment further on "conflicts of interest", Wilson has one. He does business with the same Nigerien officials he interviewed, including the Minister of Mines. In the January 2004 Vanity Fair article about Mr. and Mrs. Wilson he mentions that at some unspecified time he sought to gain a gold mining concession in Niger for some interests in "London". Whether this is related to Wilson's work for the Rock Creek Corporation, which one report says is or was "controlled" by Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, that's a web to be untangled by some adventuresome journalist.
Wilson was suggested for the 1999 trip by his wife too. He says here it was uranium related, which is an interesting leak on his part since the Report redacts all reference as to the purpose of the 1999 trip.
Neither the CPD reports officer nor the State analyst were in the chain of command to know who, or how, the decision was made. The interpretations attributed to them are not the full story. In fact, it is my understanding that the reports officer has a different conclusion about Valerie's role than the one offered in the "additional comments." I urge the committee to reinterview the officer and publicly publish his statement.
Wilsons argument is that Valerie didnt suggest him because she didnt hire him. Its a silly argument. And her role is clear not just in Sen. Roberts' "additional comments", but in the bipartisanly-approved text of the report itself.<.font>
It is unfortunate that the report failed to include the CIA's position on this matter. If the staff had done so it would undoubtedly have been given the same evidence as provided to Newsday reporters Tim Phelps and Knut Royce in July 2003. They reported on July 22 that:
"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.' 'We paid his [Wilson's] airfare. But to go to Niger is not exactly a benefit. Most people you'd have to pay big bucks to go there,' the senior intelligence official said. Wilson said he was reimbursed only for expenses." (Newsday article "Columnist Blows CIA Agent's Cover," dated July 22, 2003).
Wilson's "proof" here is an anonymous attribution to a supposed official written by two journalists subject to the current leak investigation. Who this leaker is, if he or she actually exists, would be interesting to know. The journalists claim Valerie didn't recommend Joe, but if you read carefully the actual quoted comments, none say that. But to go to Niger is not exactly a benefit. Thats true, but not for Joe. He does business there.
In fact, on July 13 of this year, David Ensor, the CNN correspondent, did call the CIA for a statement of its position and reported that a senior CIA official confirmed my account that Valerie did not propose me for the trip:
"'She did not propose me,' he [Wilson] said -- others at the CIA did so. A senior CIA official said that is his understanding too."
Another unnamed alleged source.
Second conclusion (From Sen. Roberts' additional comments): "Rather than speaking publicly about his actual experiences during his inquiry of the Niger issue, the former ambassador seems to have included information he learned from press accounts and from his beliefs about how the Intelligence Community would have or should have handled the information he provided."
This proposed conclusion addresses Wilsons claims about details of the forgeries, and his accounts how he knew Cheney got the details of his trip (the latter he doesn't address). A large part of his pubic comments were to suggest Cheney got his report. As the Report states, Cheney did not.
---This conclusion states that I told the committee staff that I "may have become confused about my own recollection after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that the names and dates on the documents were not correct." At the time that I was asked that question, I was not afforded the opportunity to review the articles to which the staff was referring. I have now done so.
On March 7, 2003, the director general of the IAEA reported to the U.N. Security Council that the documents that had been given to him were "not authentic." His deputy, Jacques Baute, was even more direct, pointing out that the forgeries were so obvious that a quick Google search would have exposed their flaws. A State Department spokesman was quoted the next day as saying about the forgeries, "We fell for it." From that time on the details surrounding the documents became public knowledge and were widely reported. I was not the source of information regarding the forensic analysis of the documents in question; the IAEA was.
Joe proves Roberts' point - he relied on press reports. One possibility for Joe's repeated claims about the press reports might be to dissuade consideration of the possibility that his wife told him about the documents. A high-ranking American official who investigated claims for the CIA that Iraq was seeking uranium to restart its nuclear programme accused Britain and the US yesterday of deliberately ignoring his findings to make the case for war against Saddam Hussein. The retired US ambassador said it was all but impossible that British intelligence had not received his report - drawn up by the CIA - which revealed that documents, purporting to show a deal between Iraq and the West African state of Niger, were forgeries. The ex-diplomat says he is outraged by the way evidence gathered by the intelligence community was selectively used in Washington to support pre- determined policies and bolster a case for war.
Wilson's July 6, 2003 New York Times piece was not his first public appearance via the media on Niger matters - just the first one by name. For at least two months before July 6 he had been talking to the press, and talking about the forgeries. Heres excerpts from a June 29 Independent article.
When he saw similar claims in Britain's dossier on Iraq last September, he even went as far as telling CIA officials that they needed to alert their British counterparts to his investigation. ...
...The former diplomat - who had served as an ambassador in Africa - had been approached by the CIA in February 2002 to carry out a "discreet" task: to investigate if it was possible that Iraq was buying uranium from Niger. He said the CIA had been asked to find out in a direct request from the office of the Vice-President, Dick Cheney.
During eight days in Niger, he discovered it was impossible for Iraq to have been buying the quantities of uranium alleged. "My report was very unequivocal," he said. He also learnt that the signatures of officials vital to any transaction were missing from the documents. On his return, he was debriefed by the CIA.
One senior CIA official has told reporters the agency's findings were distributed to the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Justice Department, the FBI and the office of the Vice President on the same day in early March. Six months later, the former diplomat read in a newspaper that Britain had issued a dossier claiming Iraq was seeking to buy uranium in Africa. He contacted officials at CIA headquarters and said they needed to clarify whether the British were referring to Niger. If so, the record needed to be corrected. He heard nothing, and in January President George Bush said in his State of the Union speech that the "British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa".
A high-ranking American official who investigated claims for the CIA that Iraq was seeking uranium to restart its nuclear programme accused Britain and the US yesterday of deliberately ignoring his findings to make the case for war against Saddam Hussein.
The retired US ambassador said it was all but impossible that British intelligence had not received his report - drawn up by the CIA - which revealed that documents, purporting to show a deal between Iraq and the West African state of Niger, were forgeries.
The ex-diplomat says he is outraged by the way evidence gathered by the intelligence community was selectively used in Washington to support pre- determined policies and bolster a case for war.
The first time I spoke publicly about the Niger issue was in response to the State Department's disclaimer. On CNN a few days later, in response to a question, I replied that I believed the U.S. government knew more about the issue than the State Department spokesman had let on and that he had misspoken. I did not speak of my trip.
My first public statement was in my article of July 6 published in the New York Times, written only after it became apparent that the administration was not going to deal with the Niger question unless it was forced to.
But the government was "dealing" with the Niger question, as the Report indicates. Wilson means that there should be something "forced" publicly. This might be related to the fact that as early as May 2003 he became a foreign policy adviser to the John Kerry presidential campaign.
I wrote the article because I believed then, and I believe now, that it was important to correct the record on the statement in the president's State of the Union address which lent credence to the charge that Iraq was actively reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. I believed that the record should reflect the facts as the U.S. government had known them for over a year.
The contents of my article do not appear in the body of the report and it is not quoted in the "additional comments." In that article, I state clearly that "as for the actual memorandum, I never saw it. But news accounts have pointed out that the documents had glaring errors -- they were signed, for example, by officials who were no longer in government -- and were probably forged. (And then there's the fact that Niger formally denied the charges.)"
The first time I actually saw what were represented as the documents was when Andrea Mitchell, the NBC correspondent, handed them to me in an interview on July 21. I was not wearing my glasses and could not read them. I have to this day not read them. I would have absolutely no reason to claim to have done so.
Why does Andrea Mitchell have them? Why wouldnt he read them, isnt he a bit curious? He's freindly with Mitchell, he could have asked them later. Wilson is defensive about never having seen the documents, or anything else that might give the impression that he got information from his wife, whether he did or not.
My mission was to look into whether such a transaction took place or could take place. It had not and could not. By definition that makes the documents bogus.
This reasoning does not make the documents bogus, and does not define anything. Wilson commonly answers different questions than asked. After all, he was a successful diplomat. If one asks him did the Iraqi seek uranium in Niger as stated by Bush he answers, effectively, no, they did not and could not buy uranium from Niger.
The text of the "additional comments" also asserts that "during Mr. Wilson's media blitz, he appeared on more than thirty television shows including entertainment venues. Time and again, Joe Wilson told anyone who would listen that the President had lied to the American people, that the Vice President had lied, and that he had 'debunked' the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa."
My article in the New York Times makes clear that I attributed to myself "a small role in the effort to verify information about Africa's suspected link to Iraq's nonconventional weapons programs." After it became public that there were then-Ambassador to Niger Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick's report and the report from a four-star Marine Corps general, Carleton Fulford, in the files of the U.S. government, I went to great lengths to point out that mine was but one of three reports on the subject. I never claimed to have "debunked" the allegation that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa. I claimed only that the transaction described in the documents that turned out to be forgeries could not have occurred and did not occur. I did not speak out on the subject until several months after it became evident that what underpinned the assertion in the State of the Union address were those documents, reports of which had sparked Vice President Cheney's original question that led to my trip. The White House must have agreed. The day after my article appeared in the Times a spokesman for the president told the Washington Post that "the sixteen words did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of the Union."
--- For explanation, Wilson is saying here that the early reports to the U.S. from a foreign intelligence source were based on the forged documents, though the U.S. didn't see the actual documents until late 2002. I cant find Wilson saying debunked in quotations, but this is one of his early leaks to the press using a similar term, from May 2003. When I raised the Mystery of the Missing W.M.D. recently, hawks fired barrages of reproachful e-mail at me. The gist was: "You *&#*! Who cares if we never find weapons of mass destruction, because we've liberated the Iraqi people from a murderous tyrant."
The New York Times
Missing In Action: Truth
By Nicholas D. Kristof
I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged. (Note-Wilson couldn't have known some documents were "forged" at the time of his trip, which this sentence seems to imply otherwise).
The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade. In addition, the Niger mining program was structured so that the uranium diversion had been impossible. The envoy's debunking of the forgery was passed around the administration and seemed to be accepted -- except that President Bush and the State Department kept citing it anyway.
"It's disingenuous for the State Department people to say they were bamboozled because they knew about this for a year," one insider said. Another example is the abuse of intelligence from Hussein Kamel, a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein and head of Iraq's biological weapons program until his defection in 1995.
...Now something is again rotten in the state of Spookdom.
Wilson often stated that the names and dates were wrong on the forgeries. I'm not sure what the IAEA specifically said in February 2003. The bipartisan Report states:
"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 caid, "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 conclusin 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 cdocuments were "forged." He also said he may have become confused about his own recollectin 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 though he had seen the names himself. (!) The former ambassador reiterated that he had been able to collect the names of government officials which should have been on the document.
Interestingly, the Senate Intelligence Report notes that the earlier reports from foreign intelligence about the transaction had no inconsistencies about names and dates save for one "Wednesday" should have been a "Friday". Which is intriguing, because it was assumed these earlier reports reflected the information in the forged documents that were later turned over to the U.S. The Report notes that there is an ongoing FBI "disinformation" investigation.
When I raised the Mystery of the Missing W.M.D. recently, hawks fired barrages of reproachful e-mail at me. The gist was: "You *&#*! Who cares if we never find weapons of mass destruction, because we've liberated the Iraqi people from a murderous tyrant."
I have been very careful to say that while I believe that the use of the 16 words in the State of the Union address was a deliberate attempt to deceive the Congress of the United States, I do not know what role the president may have had other than he has accepted responsibility for the words he spoke. I have also said on many occasions that I believe the president has proven to be far more protective of his senior staff than they have been to him.
So someone on Bush's senior staff lied. However, the bipartisn report debunks that, and Bush cited British intelligence. Interestingly, Bush might have lucked out choosing the British reports which weren't tainted by the forged documents. The Report suggests his speech writers, who didn't know any of the doubts about the American intelligence, chose to use the British comment because they felt it safer, as it could be linked by the public to publicly released information - by the British themselves. Indeed, the British have consistently and publicly, and before Wilson's New York Times article, stated that their intelligence about Niger wsan't based on the forged documents. Bush's use of the word "British," gave the anti-Bush spinners an additional complexity to address, or step around.
The "additional comments" also assert: "The Committee found that, for most analysts, the former ambassador's report lent more credibility, not less, to the reported Niger-Iraq uranium deal." In fact, the body of the Senate report suggests the exact opposite:
In August 2002, a CIA NESA [Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis] report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities did not include the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium information. (page 48)
In September 2002, during coordination of a speech with an NSC staff member, the CIA analyst suggested the reference to Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium from Africa be removed. The CIA analyst said the NSC staff member said that would leave the British "flapping in the wind." (page 50)
Etc. I omitted many of Wilson's finds for brevity. Essentially Wilson cherry picks comments from the Report that don't really address the point Sen. Roberts is making. By reciting many Wilson seems to hope the reader forgets what Sen. Roberts actually said. It would be take too much time to debunk each of the inferences Wilson suggests, so I will only recite what the Report, agreed to by all Senators:
Conclusion 13. The report on the former ambassador's trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts' assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal, but the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analysts believed that the report supported their assessment that Niger was an unlikely to be willing or able to sell uranium to Iraq.
It is clear from the body of the Senate report that the intelligence community, including the DCI himself, made several attempts to ensure that the president did not become a "fact witness" on an allegation that was so weak. A thorough reading of the report substantiates the claim made in my opinion piece in the New York Times and in subsequent interviews I have given on the subject. The 16 words should never have been in the State of the Union address, as the White House now acknowledges.
I undertook this mission at the request of my government in response to a legitimate concern that Saddam Hussein was attempting to reconstitute his nuclear weapons program. This was a national security issue that has concerned me since I was the deputy chief of mission in the U.S. Embassy in Iraq before and during the first Gulf War.
At the time of my trip I was in private business and had not offered my views publicly on the policy we should adopt toward Iraq. Indeed, throughout the debate in the run-up to the war, I took the position that the U.S. be firm with Saddam Hussein on the question of weapons of mass destruction programs, including backing tough diplomacy with the credible threat of force. In that debate I never mentioned my trip to Niger. I did not share the details of my trip until May 2003, after the war was over, and then only when it became clear that the administration was not going to address the issue of the State of the Union statement.
It is essential that the errors and distortions in the additional comments be corrected for the public record. Nothing could be more important for the American people than to have an accurate picture of the events that led to the decision to bring the United States into war in Iraq. The Senate Intelligence Committee has an obligation to present to the American people the factual basis of that process. I hope that this letter is helpful in that effort. I look forward to your further "additional comments."
Joseph C. Wilson IV, Washington, D.C.
I'm running out of time, so I'll challenge only one word in this remaining text: "Sincerely."
Finally, I post here some lines from Sen. Roberts' additional comments, which explain my reference to Wilson's "literary flair" at the start of this post:
In an interview with Committee staff, Mr. Wilson was asked how he knew some of the things he was stating publicly with such confidence. On at least two occasions he admitted that he had no direct knowledge to support some of his claims and that he was drawing on either unrelated past experiences or no information at all. For example, when asked how he knew that the Intelligence Community had rejected the possibility of a Niger-Iraq uranium deal, as he wrote in his book, he told Committee staff that his assertion may have involved a little literary flair."
Ping. I gave it a shot.
Very well done!
ping to you guys too.
We owned the 20,000 American troops that participated in the operation until they got down to Bosnia, when they became part of a NATO operation which was under the command of George Joulwan in his NATO hat--it's a little complicated for people who don't have the business to understand. George and I went down to--General Joulwan and I--went down to Geneva and we spoke with the UN Humanitarian organizations early on and we set up a liaison office so that we could marry up, to the best--to the largest extent possible, the civilian and military cultures that would be involved in this. And George used to brief this. He used to have a slide--two slides--one that was a big "M" little "c" and the other which was a big "C" little "m." Now the point he tried to make with that was when you do these sort of operations you go in big military--the military takes care of all the tasks that it can take care of so long as the situation is insecure. But the military also works very closely with a small civilian component for the humanitarian relief activities that the civilian component can deliver more efficiently than the military can and for which the civilian component is in fact organized to do. As the situation becomes more secure and the civilian component can operate in relative security, you grow the civilian component as you're shrinking the military component. So some of those tasks that the military is taking in the first place are shifted over to the civilian.
Here he takes a simple concept that could be explained in one sentence and manages to turn it into a pedantic lecture. He seems to be in the habit of using verbal distraction to deflect and confuse and intimidate. Cutting through his words to their lack of substance like you're doing here is precisely what's needed to counter that tactic.
tHIS WILSON AFFAIR IS TAKING TOO MUCH INC AS IT IS. THEY SHOULD GIVE IT A REST.
"SO WILSON WENT NIGER TO FIND OUT IF SADDAM PURCHASED URANIUM, HE FOUND NOTHING TO PROVE SUCH ALLIGATIONS."
Would he want to find proof?
THE ADMINISTRATION'S ATTACK DOGS WENT AFTER HIM.
Maybe. But didn't he first? Isn't he a Kerry attack dog?
HE SHOULD HAVE LIED AND SAID YES SADDAM PURCHASED ENOUGH URANIUM TO MAKE A THOUSAND BOMBS SO MAY BE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN PROMOTED TO SECRETARY OF STATE?
How would that get him to be Secretary of State under Kerry? What would he do to be Secretary of State under Kerry?
"SO WILSON WENT NIGER TO FIND OUT IF SADDAM PURCHASED URANIUM, HE FOUND NOTHING TO PROVE SUCH ALLIGATIONS."
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
No. He went to see if they TRIED to do so. Big difference.
HE FOUND NOTHING TO PROVE SUCH ALLIGATIONS.
Nothing to prove he bought uranium, yes. But again, that was not the point. According to the Senate Report his work bolstered the case that he attempted.
HE SHOULD HAVE LIED AND SAID YES SADDAM PURCHASED ENOUGH URANIUM TO MAKE A THOUSAND BOMBS SO MAY BE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN PROMOTED TO SECRETARY OF STATE?
No, he should have told the truth, which as that while Saddam did not succeed in purchasing uranium, it was not for a lack of trying. Then he could have refrained from accusing Bush of lying about the same.
tHIS WILSON AFFAIR IS TAKING TOO MUCH INC AS IT IS. THEY SHOULD GIVE IT A REST.
On this we agree. The ink used to print his books was a total waste.
Family reqires my attention ... Will be back A.M. tomorrow.
Thanks for the ping.
great post, worth bookmarking.
I guess you haven't been following this. Wilson lied. Wilson was working for Kerry when he made up this story. His original report only bolstered tha assertions that were made regarding Iraq attempting to buy uranium from Niger.
Good job Shermy. Wilson's style of writing in so stilted that it's boring. Maybe that's the idea.
"British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa".
Funny how Joe Wilson thinks "British Government" means "Joe Wilson", "recently sought" means "purchased", and "Africa" means "Niger".
Even if one of these assumptions were true (the only one that I would concede is the the President was alluding to Niger when he mentioned "Africa"), it still shouldn't have been the trigger for Joe Wilson to done what he did.
That is unless, of course, that was the point from the start?
Follow me...Wilson was and is not a Bush supporter. Nor was he nor is he an Iraq war supporter. He had made no secret of that well before he was sent to Iraq.
Could it be possible, probable, and even reasonable to conclude that Wilson was sent to Niger to do nothing else than to find nothing?
It is fact that he never ventured out while he spent his 8 days in Niger. The sipping mint tea with government officials is well known and Wilson didn't deny this. He is said to have met with a few people and asked a question, "Has anyone tried to buy uranium from you"? Now, mind you, that buying yellowcake, alone, has some very serious implications and actions from the international community...for both the buyer and seller...none of which are desirable.
He goes there, "finds" nothing, and comes back and says "found nothing".
So, what spoiled the plans?
Well, the MI-6 had been investigating too. And, OVER AND ABOVE THE FORGED DOCUMENTS, they found credible evidence that Saddam TRIED TO aquire (not that they actually did acquire, but tried to acquire) yellow cake from an African country.
Well, the President wasn't supposed to say anything like that in the State of the Union. Wilson was sent with the expressed purpose of finding nothing. When the President cited the British intelligence, Mr. Wilson immediately assumed he was referring to his "in-depth investigation", as opposed to, um, I don't know, THE BRITISH investigations.
This is how much of a pompous ASS this Wilson character is. Your typical "world-and-universe-revolves-around-me-so-anything-that-is-said-around-me-must-be-talking-about-me"-type guy. You know, the type of guy you always wanted to punch out when you were growing up.
So, his panties go into a wad and straight up his crack. Why?
Any reasonable person would have looked at the statement and said, "Well, I didn't find anything in Niger, but the British must have found something there or elsewhere in Africa". A phone call to someone would have made it simple that "Hey Joe, we weren't using your report, we have other intelligence". If Joe Wilson was such an dutiful public servant as he makes himself out to be, that would have been what he would have done and he would have been satisfied with that result.
But, of course, he didn't do that?
He griped to the media. He griped louder. He wrote an op-ed column in the New York Times calling the President of the United States, in no uncertain terms, a liar.
Conincidentally, Wilson's accusation is THE cornerstone for the "Bush Lied!" mantra. When "they" say "Bush lied about WMD", they are talking about the SOTU address and the British intelligence/Africa reference.
But, what was Wilson's greatest folly? He failed to read the "16 words", plain and simple. If he would have listened to the actual words that were spoken (or read them later), there is NO WAY that he should have or could have concluded that the President was talking about Joe Wilson, a purchase of uranium, or Niger specifically.
Unless, of course, he had a reason all along. Perhaps that's why he was selected to go to Niger in the first place?
This is a fundamental job requirement if you plan to associate the word Ambassador with your name.
La Lettre du Continent
18 mars 2004
Ancien conseiller Afrique de Bill Clinton et ancien ambassadeur au Gabon, Joe Wilson pourrait devenir le conseiller Afrique de John F. Kerry, s'il rentre à la Maison Blanche. On se rappellera également que le très francophile Joe Wilson a, le premier, dénoncé la manipulation des services américains reprise par George Bush sur la vente supposée d'uranium nigérien à l'Irak (LC Ndeg.433).
Thank you, Shermy, this is impressive work.
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