Skip to comments.MoveOn PAC Calls for Rove's Resignation, Questions President's Failure to Act
Posted on 07/11/2005 12:13:42 PM PDT by areafiftyone
Contact: Trevor Fitzgibbon, Jessica Smith, Steve Smith or Alex Howe, 202-822-5200, all of Fenton Communications
WASHINGTON, July 11 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Michael Isikoff reports in the July 18 issue of Newsweek that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove revealed to Time Magazine reporter Matt Cooper that Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joe Wilson, worked for the CIA.
Statement by Tom Matzzie, Washington Director, MoveOn PAC:
"This report makes two things clear:
"First, in revealing the identity of a covert CIA agent, Rove either knowingly broke the law, or committed an act of gross negligence. In either case he should resign or the President should fire him.
"Second, the President failed to act upon learning that his chief political adviser blew the cover of a CIA agent.
"These facts raise several questions to which the President owes the American people answers: What did he know? When did he know it? And why did he fail to act?
"Clearly Rove sought to retaliate against Plame's husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, for correctly refuting Administration claims that Saddam Hussein sought to acquire 'yellowcake' uranium in Africa, part of the case the President was attempting to make for invading Iraq. Clearly, Rove put the protection of President Bush's political agenda ahead of national security when he disclosed Plame's identity. He jeopardized the safety of an under cover intelligence agent who was working to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. Clearly Rove's and the President's willingness to remain silent about this until the very last minute caused significant pain and anguish to two journalists, one of whom is now in jail, for refusing to reveal Rove as their source."
We should definitely consult these people before nominating anyone to the Supreme Court.
Move On just never lives up to its title!
This is like, so last April ;'}
What can be done to get a FOREIGN INFLUENCE election probe done on MoveOn.org?
I believe there's actually a FEDERAL LAW against this. So Soros and all of his Foreign Election Buying and MoveOn front work may in fact be a crime.
But then again, Democrat = Criminal, WHAT WAS I THINKING??
I call for Move On to move out of the United States or, failing that, to register as an agent of a foreign power.
This an indication of competance.
If there were no calls for his head, he would not be doing his job.
Heard Henry (pigface)Waxman also sent one of his famous OINK LETTERS
"Statement by Tom Matzzie, Washington Director, MoveOn PAC:"
Statement to Tom Matzzie by Saleman: STFU you traitor!
HA HA HA HA omg I haven't laughed so hard for a long time....Move on....just MOVE ON!!!!!
I agree completely. If it pisses lefties off, it must be the right thing.
First, Valarie Plame isn't an undercover operative, she's an analyst and hasn't done undercover work for about eight years.
Second, Rove didn't give her name to Cooper.
Third, Cooper could have found her name the same way I did, on Joe Wilson's home page which was still up the day after the Novak column appeared.
Fourth, it was Wilson, not Bush, that was proven wrong about Hussein's attempts to buy yellowcake.
That being said, Howard Dean should resign or be fired from DNC leadership... oh, wait... I take that back. Keep him in place for the next 20 years, please.
(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,
I get it... This is one of those games where the object is to count the number of lies in the article... I lost track after the first ten or so...
move on is a hate group! They get zero of my attention, I consider them to be members of the terrorist groups.....
The Bush administration owes Mr. and Mrs. Wilson an apology for wrecking her CIA career. Aren't Bush and Rove men enough to apologize to the Wilsons?
Change your name to MOVEOUT, and do it.
UglybikerPAC calls for MoveOnPAC to "Bite It".
There are more than a few problems with this press release: Hussein did seek yellowcake ore from Africa. That is not what Wilson was supposed to look into.
We do not know that Valerie Plame was a covert operative.
Most importantly, unlike George Soros, Karl Rove has not been convicted of any crime.
2. The fact that she worked at the CIA was known, as was her name. Again the issue is did someone reveal her position as an undercover operative for the CIA
We are investigating to see who revealed her undercover status. Frankly, I don't care who is was, they should be punished.
Let me clarify my previous post: Wilson sat in bars in Niger asking about Iraq seeking yellowcake there. That, however, is not what the president said. It is clear that Iraq was seeking yellowcake from Africa, just, perhaps, not specifically Niger.
ROFLMAO!! You bad!
Are they FACTS?
I can't find any facts at this time to support that notion.
Idiot. She hasn't been covert since they caught Aldrich Ames YEARS ago. Go troll someplace else (but you are funny with your made up facts and figures tee hee0.
This whole issue will go the same route the Downing Street Memo went - down the toilet!
"I agree completely. If it pisses lefties off, it must be the right thing."
So true. It is said you can judge a man by the friends he keeps. It appears you can also judge a man by the enemies he makes. Bush can wear this as a badge of honor.
About the only ones taking the MoveOn.org seriously are the hags and nags in the mainstream media -- thinking they are their ticket to the Pulitzer Prize. These people don't seem to understand that the way to distinguish themselves is by demonstrating to everybody their superior powers of observation and analysis -- and not that their seniority entitles them to the next Pulitzer Prize.
I hope it doesn't work that way yet. Proving that they are the most gullible to dysfunctional individual's propaganda and incapable of distinguishing between the authentic and the bogus won't work anymore -- as even the distinguished Dan Rather should have proven. Why is it the motley mob in the newsrooms always seem to be the last to figure these things out?
The unedited Mature version is very sexually graphic & gross.
Mrs. Wilson is not a covert CIA operative now, thanks to treasonous revelations by Novak, Rove, and one other Bush administration official (according to Novak).
History of Tom Matzzie...
A New York Times' "source" aka leaker of anything against President Bush (even if he has to make it up).
Tom Matzzie former Online Mobilization Manager at the AFL-CIO, Web Editor, AFL-CIO.
Prior to joining the AFL-CIO he was an activist and organizer at the Campaign for America's Future.
Tom Matzzie is online mobilization manager at the AFL-CIO and rode the bus on the Show Us the Jobs tour. Learn more at www.showusthejobs.com
Tom Matzzie was recently the Director of Online Organizing for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. Prior to joining the campaign he was the Online Mobilization Director for the AFL-CIO.
MoveOn Washington director Tom Matzzie.
Matzzie is a recycled AFL-CIO hack, who has written for The Dissident Voice a self described "Radical Newsletter in the Struggle for Peace and Social Justice" he bluntly calls President Bush a "son of a bitch" and is a vocal supporter of ex KKK Kleagle/Democrat Senator Robert Byrd.
Thomas Matzzie, Online Mobilization Manager, AFL-CIO
Joan Blades, co-founder, MoveOn.org
Zack Exley, National Organizing Director, MoveOn.org
Becky Bond, Producer, Working Assets Online
Stuart Trevelyan, Principal, Carol/Trevelyan Strategy Group
Adam Luna, Director of Field Strategy, Campaign for Americas Future
Duane Peterson, True Majority
Prior to joining MoveOn, Tom was director of online organizing for the Kerry-Edwards campaign - managing an organizing program for the campaign's 2.8 million person e-mail list. From 2000 to 2004 he was online mobilization director at the AFL-CIO building the union movement's Internet program - including the 3.2 million e-mail activists on the lists of the unions of the AFL-CIO. Tom (age 30) is also one of the top Social Security organizers in the country. From 1998 to 2000 he organized the coalition opposing Social Security privatization at the Campaign for America's Future. He has appeared on network and cable television, on nationally syndicated radio and is cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press and other major daily publications. He holds a degree in Economics and International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame.
Matzzie coordinated list serves for working groups of the so-called Mobilization for Global Justice (MGJ) organization. The MGJ has organized "anti-capitalist convergences" in front of the IMF and World Bank, which it wants to shut down for causing an "economic smallpox."
The online universe of New Grassroots activists consists of several overlapping email lists totaling perhaps 6,000,000 people: AFL-CIO and affiliates (3,200,000), JohnKerry.com (2,800,000), MoveOn.org (2,800,000 domestic), DNC (~1,000,000), Democracy For America (~600,000), TrueMajority.com (440,000) and other organizations and state Democratic parties.
Campaign for America's Future, a labororiented group with a 527 account, has taken a lead role in a coalition of liberal groups, such as the NAACP, the National Organization for Women, and the Center for American Progress, to campaign against private accounts. On the day of Bush's State of the Union address, CAF helped organize press calls for spokespeople against private accounts.
The Alliance for Retired Americans, a non-profit group associated with the AFL-CIO and other unions, has voiced concern about Social Security reform on its Web site. The Alliance for Retired Americans Voter Mobilization Fund is the group's 527 arm.
MoveOn.org, which opposed George W. Bush during the 2004 election, has begun broadcasting a national television spot as well as placing a full page ad in The New York Times last week against private accounts. Tom Matzzie, MoveOn's Washington Director, says they will use the group's 501©(4) in the campaign instead of its 527, the MoveOn.org Voter Fund. Another branch of the group, MoveOn PAC, plans to remain active for the 2006 mid-term elections by building a ground campaign in every Congressional district to oppose Bush's policies, according to its Web site.
Fundraising Online: Cashing In on the Internet Revolution. It was moderated by Aaron Myers, Director of Internet Operations for Edwards For President.
The panel included Tom Matzzie, Online Mobilization Manager for the AFL-CIO, and Zephyr Teachout, former director of online organizing at Dean for America
To elect progressive candidates to state and local office.
Contact Person: Tom Matzzie
Contact Address: 1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tom Matzzie funded, in part, by hate America activist and crook George Soros.
So, is that what it takes now?
In order to get one's message out in the newspapers, one has to buy a full-page ad and then they will take up one's cause. Whatever happened to the good old days when you could just buy them lunch? I guess even the best of them can't eat more than ten lunches a day -- which is how they've gotten their distinctive "shapes" and appearances, disabling them from getting out anymore and tracking down real news stories.
It's much easier to just sit back and rewrite a news story from a full-page ad. No muss, no fuss. Modern journalism.
Their best customers always seem to be the unions with their unlimited budgets for such purposes. The Demagogues just ride their backs.
So when was she, and when did she stop, and why exactly is she not now.
You seriously don't believe what you write, do you? If so, you are in for a really big disappointment in this case...
She had not been covert since 1994, when it was suspected that Aldrich Ames gave her name to the Russians. She was then was assigned DC desk duties as an analyst. Her name, was no secret either, having appeared in Wilson's Who's Who in America entry. Crawl back under your rock.
Bob Novak said his calling her an operative in his column had no meaning: I used it indiscriminately. It doesnt have any meaning and I certainly dont know what she did for the CIA.
Wilson is maxed out as a contributor to John Kerry's presidential campaign,"
Wilson makes no secret of being a left-leaning Democrat and said yesterday he intends to endorse Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) for President.
Ambassador Joseph Wilsons wife, shown at a 1999 state dinner
Joe Wilson, former Acting Ambassador to Iraq, at a Seattle forum in August held by a Democratic Congressman: "At the end of the day, it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs."
It was well known around Washington that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA....Her name, Valerie Plame, was no secret either, appearing in Wilson's "Who's Who in America" entry.
I regret that I referred to her in my column as an "operative," a word I have lavished on hack politicians for more than 40 years. While the CIA refuses to publicly define her status, the official contact says she is "covered" -- working under the guise of another agency. However, an unofficial source at the Agency says she has been an analyst, not in covert operations....
Novaks July 14 column included this paragraph: 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. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.
Robert Novak, which tells us that Valerie Plame's name was included in Joseph Wilson's "Who's Who In America" entry. Recall that Plame is also identified by her maiden name on Wilson's bio webpage.
Talon News interview with Ambassador Joe Wilson.
Background: In February 2002, former Ambassador Joe Wilson was sent to Niger by the CIA to investigate allegations that Iraq had tried to buy uranium. He says that he told the administration that the allegations were probably false. In the January 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush made reference to British intelligence that differed with Wilson's conclusion. The subsequent controversy over the "16 words" was the result of the former ambassador's July article in The New York Times that accused the White House of exaggerating the threat posed by Iraq. A week later, columnist Robert Novak published the name of Wilson's wife, identifying Valerie Plame as a CIA operative. Wilson accused the Bush administration of leaking his wife's name to Novak.
TN: Regarding the mission to Niger to investigate the possibility of Iraq purchasing uranium to develop nuclear weapons, why were you selected to go?
Wilson: Well, remember that in February 2002, I had not yet spoken out on any aspect of the proposed gulf war. Remember also that when I did speak out -- if you take a look at my writings, you can find the 3 articles I did for the San Jose News, you can find them on their website under perspective -- I argued that disarmament was a legitimate national security objective and one that was underpinned by international law and that in order to get there we might actually have to have a credible threat of force facing Saddam, and for that threat of force to be credible, we would have to be prepared to use it.
So nowhere in anything that I said was I saying that we might not or should not consider the use of military force. What I did say was 2 things. One, if we were going to use military force, it ought to be smart military force for the right reasons rather than something dumb, and frankly the invasion, conquest, and occupation of Iraq for the purpose of disarming Saddam struck me as the highest risk, lowest reward option. I also argued that to do this seriously, we ought to understand that sending our men and women to kill and to die for our country is the most solemn decision a government has to make and we damn well ought to have that debate before we get them into harm's way instead of after.
Those were the premises under which I argued that we ought not to rush into an invasion, conquest, occupation, war. That said, that all took place well after my trip. I was selected to go to Niger because there was maybe one other person in the U.S. government who knew those who had been in office at the time this purported agreement memorandum was signed, and his credibility was somewhat damaged not by anything he did, but by the fact that he had been an ambassador out there and as a consequence, he had to be the daily point of friction with the military junta during the time he was out there. I was senior director for African affairs at the time. I started my career in Niger and had a whole series of relationships and a great credibility with that group of people who had been in power at the time.
I also happen to know a fair amount about the uranium business, having served in 3 of the 4 countries in Africa that produce uranium, including having been ambassador to the Gabonese Republic which is also a uranium exporter.
TN: Did your wife suggest you for the mission?
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.
TN: Did the White House have any advance notice that you were going on this mission?
Wilson: I doubt it. The way that this works is that the vice president is acknowledged as asking the CIA briefer if he has anything on this subject. That is taken by the CIA briefer as a tasker. The CIA briefer goes back and tasks it at the operational level. The operators then decide how best to answer the question and in this case they did a number of things that I am aware of. One, they had this meeting at which they tried to fill in all information gaps they had, and two, they asked me if I would clear my schedule to go, and three, after I said that I might be prepared to do that, we gamed out what might be gained by my going out there.
There were also two other reports that were produced, one by the ambassador in the field who went to the government and got their explanation of how the business works and their denials that this would have happened. There was another visit by a four-star Marine Corps general Carlton Fulford who was the DSINC at COLCOM and he also reported as was quoted in the Washington Post as saying there was nothing to this.
But there would not be any particular reason for the White House to have known how the question was answered. All the vice president cares about is the answer. When the report is done, American law and procedures are such that you do every thing you can to protect the identity of the person who actually makes the trip. That's called protection of sources.
But remember of course, February of 2002 was well before I had taken any position whatsoever on the war. I was not partisan in any sense on any of this stuff, nor am I now for that matter.
TN: How would you compare your investigation and conclusions about Iraq's efforts to purchase uranium from Africa to the investigation and conclusions of the British government?
Wilson: All I know is what the British government put in its white paper which is essentially that Iraq was attempting to purchase uranium in Africa. They have since said that part of that information that led to that conclusion in the white paper was the same forged documents that we have acknowledged that we had and the IAEA has sort of said were forgeries. They also said they have one additional piece of information of which they are not telling anybody about.
Now Article 10 of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 calls on all member nations to turn over whatever information they have on prohibited weapons programs to the IAEA. They have not done so. They did not share with us the details of that specific piece of additional intelligence they have. Now it's hard for us in the United States, [even with a] $40 billion a year intelligence apparatus, to determine if this information was useful or not useful because they have not been able to subject it to any testing. They haven't been able to run it though our files, they haven't been able to independently verify it. They don't know the details of it, so you are essentially taking on faith that this one bit of information that the British continue to claim they have but haven't shared with anybody is accurate.
TN: I sense doubt from you.
Wilson: It's not so much doubt as it is a given in the intelligence business that you are skeptical of information until you are able to subject it to independent verification one way or another. At the end of the day, the analytical community sees thousands of bits of information every day, a good part of that information is bogus or in some way tainted. Their job is to go through the information, test it, verify it, compare it with what we already know to determine what the real facts on the ground are.
TN: You have mentioned that you are not partisan. Doesn't that appear to be the case considering the candidates you've supported?
Wilson: Including Bush. When Ed Gillespie was running around doing his little schpiel, he knew that I contributed to the Bush campaign but decided he would selectively use information on candidates I have supported to bolster a case that simply cannot be made. I contributed to the Bush campaign, the Gore campaign, and I contributed to the campaign of Ed Royce on several occasions. He is a conservative Republican from Orange County, California, and I have contributed to a number of other candidates. I contributed to the Kerry campaign after I made my trip out to Niger -- well after that. Almost a year and a half after that. But I will tell you this: I reserve the right to participate in the political process of my country just like any other citizen.
I was named ambassador to Gabon by George Herbert Walker Bush. One of the highlights of my professional career was serving a charges d'affair in Baghdad in the run up to the gulf war. When I came back to Washington and was introduced to the war cabinet, President Bush introduced me as a true American hero, and I take great pride in that.
TN: Your activities of late have some suggesting that there's certainly a partisan motivation.
Wilson: I make no bones about the fact that I believe that the President of the United States and the policies that he has pursued have been inconsistent with the approach that he articulated in his speech at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley as a candidate and inconsistent with his statements in the debates he had on foreign policy with Al Gore. I make no bones about that fact that I do not subscribe to the neo-conservative agenda. I think it is horribly dangerous. I do not subscribe to the strategy for a clean break -- a new strategy for the security of the realm, which is Mr. Perle's study group's approach to how Israel should position itself in relationship to the United States. I make no bones about that.
TN: The so-called neo-cons, who do you think that they are?
Wilson: I think the administration is dominated by two groups in the foreign policy apparatus who have forged an alliance of convenience in the aftermath of 9/11. The one group, I call the whack-a-moles, and that group is championed principally by Vice President Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, and I think they are probably characterized as best I can see by an approach that says we see a threat, we whack it, we bring our boys home, the threat reemerges, we go whack it again. So that group is for aggressive military action without the subsequent devotion to reconstruction or nation-building in the aftermath.
The second group, I call the johnpur and pith helmet crowd, the ill-liberal imperialists and I think their names include people like Mr. Libby, Mr. Abrams, Mr. Wolfowitz, and the other signatories of the 1998 letter to President Clinton calling for the regime change to be translated into the military overthrow of Saddam Hussein. I think their approach is articulated by people like Mac Boot who wants to establish a beachhead in Iraq for the purposes of redrawing the political map of the middle East.
TN: Is that something you don't agree with?
Wilson: It's not whether I agree with it or not. It's that if that is the agenda, we as a society have not debated that as a reason for having conducted this war. We debated this war on three pillars, based on the three pillars that the president put forward. The threat posed to our national security by weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein. The operational ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, in other words terrorists with a global reach. The half-pillar, I call it, that there might be a linkage between the weapons of mass destruction state and the terrorist groups, that is the transfer of weapons of mass destruction. The third pillar was the liberation of the Iraqi people from the tyranny of thirty years' duration. Those are the grounds on which we debated going to war. We did not debate on the grounds of redrawing the map of the Middle East.
TN: Certainly you could have foreseen that the removal of Saddam's regime would lead to something of that sort. Correct?
Wilson: The argument that I tried to make was that the weapons of mass destruction were the only legitimate national security issue we faced. There was international legal underpinning for an approach to that which included as I called it, the muscular disarmament. In other words, the disarmament of the regime that included a credible use of force to ensure he complied. The president went up and got 1441 which allowed us to do that. The problem in my judgment was that they short-circuited that process and decided instead of allowing the process to move to its natural conclusion, or test it a little longer, that they would just go ahead and march to Baghdad. I think the collateral damage and the consequences of that are not in our nation's interest. I think that at the end of the day we will find it has been a tremendous recruiting tool for al Qaeda and other like-minded international terrorist organizations.
The great irony is that at a time when our military prowess is at its peak, our political and moral authority is at its lowest ebb. A year or two years after we had the sympathy of the world, we are looked upon as a real menace in the world by a large percentage of the population, and I don't think that bodes well for our future.
TN: Is there any threshold or any amount of weapons of mass destruction that would have caused you to support the war?
Wilson: I supported the disarmament. I thought there were a number of things we could have done before putting Americans in and occupying Iraq. Some of those were articulated in the Carnegie endowment study -- in fact that particular chapter was written by Gen. Chuck Boyd, a retired 4-star Air Force general and former POW and former deputy commander in chief of U.S. forces Europe.
There were others who thought that there were other steps we could take including Bill Owen who talked about the possibility of putting in a complete information umbrella over Iraq as well as steadily increasing the pressure by putting a number of other inspectors there. What was forgotten in all of this is that the use of military force is always the bluntest instrument in our arsenal.
TN: If we subsequently find weapons of mass destruction will that change your mind as to the validity of Operation Iraqi Freedom?
Wilson: I have always said that I believe we will probably find chemical weapons, biological precursors, and we would find continuing interests in resuscitating the nuclear weapons program. I never discounted the potential threat to the region and that posed to us by weapons of mass destruction programs. I always thought it was a legitimate concern. I just thought there were other ways we could successfully disarm Saddam Hussein.
When the president gave his State of the Union address, and Powell gave his speech over at the United Nations, they said the following: Scientists have been moved into neighboring countries, told that if they allowed themselves to be interviewed, they would be subject to death. That effectively makes the scientists doing the R&D on this stuff dysfunctional at best. They said that those who had been involved according to our intelligence in WMD programs were busy cleaning up the sites and if they are cleaning up the sites, they are not busy building weapons of mass destruction. They said that we have inspectors roaming through the palaces of Saddam Hussein. If people are roaming through the palaces, then those people who are busy in those programs are moving things and not building weapons.
They also said that we have satellite photos -- flash to the photos -- and we are hearing everything they're saying -- flash to the tape recordings. Now most people who are in the disarmament business and non-proliferation business will tell you that disruption is a significant measure of success. So the question really becomes, if it was a significant measure of success to be disrupting these weapons of mass destruction programs, why then did we need to invade, conquer, and now occupy Iraq?
Additionally, it's not so much as what I had to say in the run-up to the war, but the fact is that when we went in, when we went up the Tigris and Euphrates River valleys, we completely bypassed the nuclear site Tuweta. In fact we didn't circle back and secure that site until after images were broadcast around the world that showed kids suffering from severe radiation sickness as a consequence of the looting that went on at these sites and their tainted drinking water or them swimming in barrels of water that contained uranium yellowcake.
We also, according to one Congressman, and I haven't verified this independently, did not secure the Iraqi version of the CDC where the biological precursors would have been held. According to an article that Scott Ritter wrote in the New York Times, we did not secure all of the archives the inspectors had been going though when they were there prior to 1998.
TN: So the implication is?
Wilson: The implication to me is that this was not in fact a war to secure weapons of mass destruction. And the fact that we have not found the WMDs [leads to two questions]: One, did he ever have it -- is it a bluff as some are saying -- or, two, did he in fact manage to transfer it as both George Tenet and others, myself included, feared? The time they would transfer to a non-state actor was in the last moment -- in the final throes of the regime. I called it a posthumous last laugh and that should be of some concern to us. We did, in fact, precipitate by our actions that transfer. And again it gets back what I said earlier. The question was never whether or not you had the credible threat of force or even use force. The question always was, whether you did it smartly, intelligently for the right reasons or did it dumbly, for the wrong reasons.
TN: Rep. Peter King of New York called for an investigation of your violation of CIA secrecy when you came forward with your role in the Niger investigation. Is it possible that you endangered undercover operatives in Niger with your public statements on the matter?
TN: Were you required to sign a...
Wilson: No. This was not a CIA mission. Mr. King would do well to inform himself. I specifically told the CIA that I don't do clandestine and that I would do a government activity. I briefed the State Department before I went out there, I secured the clearance of the ambassador before I went to Niger. I spoke with the ambassador here when I went there. I made it clear to my interlocutors that I was posing questions on behalf of my government. My particular look at this was not clandestine, it was a look at how the industry operates. How is Niger mined? Who owns those mines? There are two mines. Who controls the product from the time it's in the ground until it arrives at its destination?
Secondly, I looked at the bureaucratic structure. How does the bureaucracy work? Who would have to sign it. The Niger participation in the uranium mine was through a state-owned company. The company reported to a minister, the minister of energy and mines. That minister is part of the council of ministers. In order for a decision covering the sale of 500 tons of uranium from Niger to Iraq, in order for that to take place, there would need to be a number of signatures on these documents: the minister of mines, and the foreign minister, because it was a decision between two sovereign governments, and the prime minister, acting on behalf of the government. It might also have had to have the signature of the president.
TN: So this could not have been done any other way?
Wilson: Then it would have to be gazetted. It would have to be registered with their equivalent of the Federal Register. I also looked into the possibility that you could have an off-the-books transfer which is a legitimate question. It struck me as I looked at this that at the end of the day, you're looking at 500 tons, not a pocketful of blood diamonds, and the people who control the ore from the time it is in the ground to the time it arrives at its destination are the French uranium company.
TN: Well the French haven't exactly been...
Wilson: The fact that you don't like the French or that the French seem to have favored a different approach on this is far different from the French violating U.N. Security Council resolutions of which they are signatories, and clandestinely transferring 500 tons of uranium to a rogue country like Iraq is a real reach. Not withstanding that, it was very clear to everybody I spoke to in my talks to them that if you wanted to pursue this further, which was beyond my scope, beyond what I said when I left Washington, if you want to pursue this any further, go talk to Cogema. In fact, actual fact you could see from a number of open sources what the sort of shipping records are throughout this, its not an easy thing to do. It would not have been just the French, just because of the nature of the business. The production schedules are set every year. Every couple of months the consortium members meet to adjust production schedules based upon a sort of updated demand on the part of the customers.
The uranium in Niger is produced at a loss, it is more expensive to produce uranium from Niger than it is to buy it on the open market. So there is not a lot of incentive to overproduce, and in any event, the producers are required to: one, obviously abide by IAEA regulations, and two, just to get 500 tons of yellowcake into Iraq would require that you work through the U.N. Sanctions Committee. If you are a legitimate sovereign nation, and whatever you think of the French, they are a legitimate sovereign nation, they are a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. Additionally, if they really wanted to get Saddam Hussein uranium, they can get him uranium more easily from their own nuclear industry rather than doing a deal from Niger.
TN: Regarding the revelation of your wife as a CIA operative, do you think Karl Rove was behind the leak?
Wilson: Scott McClellan has admitted that Karl Rove spoke about it to the press after the leak took place. Now the only thing that we're disputing now with these guys is whether or not he used the term "fair game" or not. Now my contemporaneous notes from a journalist who called me say that that is precisely the term he used. My credibility, my batting average with this administration on truthfulness is about 3 for 3 so far.
TN: But the question again: Is Karl Rove the leaker?
Wilson: I don't know the name of the leaker. I will say this: the CIA is an executive branch agency that reports to the President of the United States. The act of leaking the name of a national security asset to the press was a political act. There is a political office that is attached to the office of the President of the United States. That office is headed by Karl Rove.
It is a useful place to start asking questions. Now, nobody has told me the name of the leaker or who authorized the leak. I did not know until I saw the Washington Post article that there were apparently two waves. There was the wave of the leak, two by six, two leakers to six journalists. And then there was a subsequent wave when Karl Rove and perhaps the communications office were pushing the story.
TN: Novak says it wasn't the White House.
Wilson: Well I don't care. Novak has changed his story so much that it's hard for me to understand what he is talking about. He also says that he isn't one of the six, but that issue is somewhere between Novak and the Washington Post and the person who leaked. I can tell you only that Novak called me before he wrote his story asking for a confirmation, and he confirmed to me after he wrote the story that there were two senior administration officials who provided the information to him. And I can tell in the week after his story appeared, I was getting calls from reputable members of the press saying that the White House was pushing the story.
Wilson: Including my favorite, a respected journalist calling me up, and saying, "I just got off the phone with Karl Rove, he tells me your wife is fair game."
TN: Any names attached to these journalists?
Wilson: Well the only one that I have actually used is Andrea Mitchell and that was in the second wave. The other two, one was a producer, and I had not used his name before, and I will not use it now. The third one is a fellow who me he was going to prepare to confirm it but he then sort of went back on that, so I keep his name private as well.
TN: Is that the basis for the "frog-march" remarks?
Wilson: Well the "frog-march" remark, the basis for that of course is the telephone call saying that "your wife is fair game." Absolutely.
TN: What do you think he meant by "fair game"?
Wilson: That it was okay to go ahead and drag my wife out into the public square and administer a beating, to "slime" her as they say, or use her to in somehow discredit me.
TN: What was the "sliming" part of it?
Wilson: I don't know.
TN: The fact that she got you the job?
Wilson: I don't know.
TN: That to me is the "Washington way."
Wilson: Well that is certainly what they are trying to say, that some nepotism was involved, which of course is not the case. You will have to ask them why they decided that they would "out" the name of a national security asset.
TN: Nicholas Kristoff wrote in the New York Times recently that the CIA believes that Aldrich Ames may have betrayed your wife to the Russians prior to his arrest in 1994. That would make her not an undercover operative for the CIA in effect.
Wilson: I don't know where Kristoff got that. I think that there is a fair amount of material in the public record to suggest that there is a lot of concern that Mr. Ames betrayed a number of American operatives during his spying.
TN: Including your wife?
Wilson: I don't know about that. I can't tell you anything about that.
TN: But if that is in fact true, then the leak is not necessarily a leak.
Wilson: Let me put it to you this way, I don't believe that the CIA would refer this to the Justice Department frivolously, if they thought it was a frivolous matter or if it was not a leak that might be a violation of the Intelligence Agents Identification Act.
TN: There are some who are skeptical that the CIA is fully on board with our actions in Iraq.
Wilson: Well, the CIA is not a policy organization, the CIA is paid to provide the best intelligence information it can.
TN: So you don't believe the CIA has an agenda that's different from that of the White House?
Wilson: Well in the particular piece of this that I own, the trip to Niger, the CIA produced my report, but there were two other reports produced that said that "Gee this story of uranium going to Iraq is just bogus." Subsequent to that we now know this particular "16 words" were the subject of a number of telephone conversations and a couple of memoranda that somehow were lost in the system or forgotten about. But the two uncontested facts in this matter are the following: The 16 words in the State of the Union did not rise to inclusion in the State of the Union, that's the White House's statement. Had my report or the other two reports been accepted instead of this information that was based as we know on forgeries and even at the time didn't pass the smell test for an Italian weekly tabloid, then the President would not have found himself in this predicament. That is not a CIA betrayal of the political system, that is if anything a political betrayal of the intelligence assessment process.
And the second uncontested fact is that a national security asset's name was leaked to the American public in what may have been a crime but certainly is considered to be of sufficient concern to the CIA that they referred the matter to the Justice Department. Now in neither of those it seems to me do you have nefarious CIA involvement unless you are prepared to make the argument that the CIA would have "outed" one of its own, which seems to me to be highly, highly unlikely.
TN: From your perspective, your wife indeed was a covert operative at the time of the disclosure of her name to Robert Novak?
Wilson: It's not really from my perspective and remember this is not a crime that has been committed against my wife or against me. If there was a crime, it was committed against our country. The CIA has referred the matter to the Justice Department for further investigation, I don't believe that's a frivolous referral.
TN: If it's determined that in fact there was no leak, that no crime was committed, are you prepared to take back some of the things you've said?
Wilson: Well, actually what I have said is that I would support the investigation, and the investigation will turn up what the investigation turns up. And if there is anything to take back in all of this, it would only be the handcuffs part of the frog-marching out of the White House. Because irrespective of whether or not the Justice Department determines that there was a crime committed and there is prosecution of that crime, even in this bare-knuckles town of Washington, it is below the belt of politics to drag a family member out into the public square to administer a beating because you find yourself unable to adequately discredit her husband who is your adversary in this particular matter.
TN: So you don't blame Rove for the leak, you blame him for pushing the story and dragging your wife into the public square?
Wilson: It's not so much that I blame him, it's that my information which I have no reason to disbelieve and every reason to believe, particularly since Mr. Rove has now acknowledged through Mr. McClellan that he in fact did talk about my wife to members of the press, that the White House actually pushed this story.
TN: I don't recall him saying that.
Wilson: I think if you go back and take a look at something Mr. McClellan said last week or the week before, you'll find that. I think there was a statement that he acknowledged that he did speak about it to somebody. That's what I've seen anyway. Notwithstanding that, after all, this President set a certain standard when he was a candidate that he was going to come to Washington to restore the dignity and honor to the White House, he also said he was going to come to Washington and change the tone. Now is that what he meant, that the family members of people who point out the truth are subject to being slimed, to being dragged out into the public square, to being outed? I doubt it, frankly I think that is probably not what he had in mind but I'd certainly like to see a little more suggestion of that from him.
TN: You don't suggest the President had any involvement in this?
Wilson: On the contrary, I have said repeatedly that I don't think for a moment that the President of the United States would be doing that sort of behavior. Moreover I have also said that I don't believe that for a moment that the White House would have seen fit to do to my wife what they have done simply because I contributed $2,000 to a campaign that wasn't their own.
TN: How about the Vice President?
Wilson: As for the Vice President, I reserve comment.
TN: Earlier this month, the Washington Post ran a lengthy article on the Wilson/Plame family. The writer decribes her family and goes on to say "a few months after that July evening, her name and her occupation would be published and broadcast internationally. In the public imagination she would become Jane Bond as her husband later put it. A clandestine operative isn't supposed to be famous, but her identity was leaked to journalists by administration officials for what Joe Wilson alleged was retaliation for his criticism of the White House's Iraq policies."
If Mrs. Plame was in deep cover, why is a Washington Post writer in your home preparing an in-depth article a few months before the scandal broke?
Wilson: The article that he was preparing had nothing to do with my wife. The article that he was preparing had to do with the opinion piece that I was writing for the New York Times. In fact, the article that they were going to do was going to be a profile on me, which was the initial reason they were going to do it because they had done a profile several months earlier on the hostages we had been responsible for during Desert Shield/Desert Storm and as a consequence of that, called me up and said, "I'd like to do a profile on you as the person who was responsible for saving those hostages."
Now the timing was such that I said that I'm about to do this article, and if you'd like to come out and do it now, I'd be delighted to do it. So he did not know when he was in the house that she was anything other, and I believe he makes that point in the article, that he knew her as anything other than the mother of twins who was also active in the post-partum depression counseling community. And by the way, early on I did not say that I thought it was retaliation, I've always said that I thought that the rational reason for doing this, despicable as it may have been, was to discourage others from coming forward. It was only after the Washington Post began to leak out stories of people saying it was for spite and pure revenge that I have taken that on board as a possible motive.
TN: That notion comes from just their writings?
Wilson: I think that's their interpretation. I've always been consistent in saying that I thought it was designed to discourage others from coming forward. Because at the end of the day, I had already said my piece, which by the way I might remind you was a very modest piece, it was entitled, "What I did not find in Africa."
TN: Do you dispute any of David Kay's findings?
Wilson: I have no reason to dispute it. I have not really any reason to look closely at it. Other people are looking closely at it. I think David Kay is doing as good a job as anyone can do. I would have loved to have had him do the job without a 130,000 Americans being in on the ground. I would have loved to have had the inspectors have as much time as they needed without two or three or four Americans being killed every day.
We're at just the beginning of this occupation phase. One of these days, we might find it turn very, very nasty. I certainly hope not, but it is a very dangerous proposition to be in there the way we are, not just for our soldiers in Iraq, but for everything that we are about, our position as leaders, the respect people used to have for our leadership, the years that we spent directing and putting in place a system that encourages international law and a peaceful resolution of disputes. A whole international legal system that underpins everything we did in the first Gulf War, for example, all of that is at risk.
TN: Let's say we have moderate success in setting up a constitutional, democratic government in Iraq and that the terrorist activities there diminish or stop. Does that change your opinion of our place in the world? Does it justify what we have done?
Wilson: My opinion of our place in the world is actually a very positive opinion. I happen to be proud of being an American citizen. I'm proud to be a patriot. I would like to see us in a position where we do continue to influence behavior in the world in a positive way. There is nothing better than our system of governance, our respect for human rights, and our respect for the rule of law, make no mistake about it. What I worry about in Iraq, and I also believe now we are there, we have an obligation to do everything we can to see that the vision articulated by the President of the United States in his speech at the American Enterprise Institute is in fact realized.
I said as much in a speech I gave to the Rotary Club last week. Now I happen to believe that we need to try to realize the President's ambitions despite the obstacles that his administration puts in the way of success. I think that the President has been badly advised, that those who are responsible for the reconstruction have done a miserable job, that a cynic could be excused for concluding that the Balkanization of Iraq is an acceptable outcome for them, because that is where we are headed unless we really turn this around. How do we turn it around? I think we need to internationalize it as soon as possible, not because that means we give up a lot of authority and we give up a lot or responsibility and we lose control of decision making process.
TN: That seems to be the only acceptable compromise with nations like France.
Wilson: I actually think we will continue to shoulder the vast amount of the burden, but what is important is to have a lot of flags there, not just the U.N. flag, because there is a lot of hatred of the U.N. as the administrator of the sanctions regime for 13 years. Because at the end of the day, what you need to succeed in this. You need to persuade Iraqis that this is not an occupation, but it is an international effort to help them in their time of need. After thirty years of tyranny, and three wars and shock and awe, the only way you are going to succeed in doing that is to get a lot of faces from a lot of different countries in there with them. I also think that in the immediate term, understanding that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, doesn't mean we can't try. Now what we really need to do in the immediate term is secure public safety and secure basic human needs and secure services.
TN: You told Tim Russert on Meet the Press that you would actively work for the defeat of George W. Bush in 2004.
Wilson: I think what I said was that so long as his foreign policy was headed in the direction it is headed then I would actively work for it. It is safe to say that I will actively work on behalf of the Democratic Party's candidate.
The President is in charge of this Republican administration, and this Republican administration is dominated by a part of the Party that I don't see eye to eye with on virtually anything.
TN: And those are the neo-cons?
Wilson: The neo-conservative and the cultural conservative coalition.
TN: Which Democrat candidate do you think is the strongest?
Wilson: I happen to like John Kerry. I think he is a man of great experience. He's a veteran. He's a man who at a very young and tender age came back from Vietnam and went up and sat in front of his Senators and said this war is a mistake, and who is going to be the person who sends the last man out to die for a mistake? For somebody like me, with my past, with the accolades and laurels I can rest on writing a modest little story about what I did not find in Africa, was I thought consistent with my rights as a citizen and with my civic responsibilities. For John Kerry in his youth, to go and do that, with his entire life ahead of him rather than behind him, I felt was an act of integrity and courage. You look for those character qualities in a candidate.
TN: Why did you write the op-ed piece?
Wilson: I wrote the piece because I had given my government three and a half months to correct the record. From the time I first appeared on CNN and said that if the government looked into its files it would find it had more information on this than they are letting on. Until two weeks after Dr. Rice went on Meet the Press and said maybe somebody in the bowels of the agency knew something about this, but nobody in my circle. Both of those statements have proven to be untrue. I wrote this because the essence of democracy, the essence of the most fundamental decision that a government has to make, that is, sending its sons and daughters off to kill and die for our country is a debate that is based upon a set of commonly accepted facts.
And if those facts, are not facts at all, but bits of information that have been thrown in the mix because they happen to support a political decision that has already been taken, then I think the argument can be made legitimately that we have gone to war on false pretenses. Moreover, when you are talking about weapons of mass destruction, the threat that weapons of mass destruction in the hands of either rogue states or non-state actors is the single most significant threat that we face in the next two decades in my judgement. And it seems to me, that this is the sort of thing you don't fool around with, because at the end of the day it's the credibility of not only the president but it's the credibility of this administration and successive adminstrations the next time we have to go to the mat over weapons of mass destruction issues. It is absolutely vital we understand what it is what we are doing in this as a democracy.
TN: Don't you think the message is clear to other countries that might develop weapons of mass destruction? I speak of the other two members of the "axis of evil," North Korea and Iran. Don't you think this mission's upside benefit is showing that the United States is willing to take action to preclude them from achieving these goals?
Wilson: On the contrary, I think the lessons to both these was you should get your nuclear weapons in place quickly. First of all, I think that is one lesson, but I also think the lesson to these guys may well be that the United States is only willing to take on the weak sister. At the end of the day, Iraq posed no threat. We had destroyed its army. Its army was already weakened as a consequence of the Iran-Iraq war. We effectively destroyed it 13 years ago. What we didn't destroy, we starved with 13 years of sanctions.
What we didn't starve, we effectively contained and destroyed with our no-fly zone for 13 years. It was just a shell we were fighting. Now if you are a population of 47 million people, it seems to me you draw two conclusions: one if the Americans really will come after us, let's get our nukes in place quickly. But two, more to the point, they're just taking the low-hanging fruit, they're not willing to come and attack us, which should actually embolden them. Now I don't know which of those conclusions they drew, but those are the two options I see.
TN: Thank you, Ambassador Wilson.
According to this person, it was Plame who ended the marriage. (Sesler did not respond to calls for comment.)
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 is the son of freelance journalists who lived in California and then moved around Europe while he and his brother were growing up. He went to the University of California at Santa Barbara and characterized himself as a "surf dude" with some carpentry skills.
Wilson met his second wife, then the cultural counselor at the French Embassy in Burundi. They spent a year back in Washington on a congressional fellowship, during which time he worked for Al Gore, then a senator from Tennessee, and Tom Foley, then House majority whip. "It was," Wilson says, "happenstance" that he worked for two Democrats.
In early May, Wilson and Plame attended a conference sponsored by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, at which Wilson spoke about Iraq; one of the other panelists was the New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof. Over breakfast the next morning with Kristof and his wife, Wilson told about his trip to Niger and said Kristof could write about it, but not name him.
In the days after the Novak column ran, a producer from ABC-Wilson will not say who-phoned him at home and said, "They're saying things about you at the White House so off-the-wall we can't even put them up." NBC's Andrea Mitchell called him that weekend, he says, and told him that sources at the White House were telling her, "The real story here is not the 16 words-the real story is Wilson and his wife." Next, Wilson got a call from a journalist whom he won't name-but who is widely thought to be Chris Matthews-who, according to Wilson, gushed, "I just got off the phone with Karl Rove. He says your wife is fair game. I gotta go." Click.
In fact, in the spring, Plame was in the process of moving from noc status to State Department cover. Wilson speculates that "if more people knew than should have, then somebody over at the White House talked earlier than they should have been talking."
The report states that a CIA official told the Senate committee that Plame "offered up" Wilson's name for the Niger trip, then on Feb. 12, 2002, sent a memo to a deputy chief in the CIA's Directorate of Operations saying her 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." The next day, the operations official cabled an overseas officer seeking concurrence with the idea of sending Wilson, the report said.
The report also said Wilson provided misleading information to The Washington Post last June. He said then that he concluded the Niger intelligence was based on documents that had clearly been forged because "the dates were wrong and the names were wrong."
"Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the 'dates were wrong and the names were wrong' when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports," the Senate panel said. Wilson told the panel he may have been confused and may have "misspoken" to reporters. The documents -- purported sales agreements between Niger and Iraq -- were not in U.S. hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip to Niger.
Wilson's reports to the CIA added to the evidence that Iraq may have tried to buy uranium in Niger, although officials at the State Department remained highly skeptical, the report said.
It cracks me up how the LSM is cooking this story, "push a string" style!
"It doesn't matter who is destroyed, as long as we bring down the Rove!"
But, she was "WORKING TO STOP THE SPREAD OF NUKULAER WEAPONS", no wonder they are foaming at the mouth.
Hillery! better watch out there might just be an ambitious
young female staffer out to become president someday.
If the Bush Administration apologized to all the Demmie plants in the State Department and other government agencies, they wouldn't have time for anything else.
But you knew that, didn't you, MM? ;-)
Joe Wilson's wife was outed by:
Joe Wilson (in his Who's Who entry)
Joe Wilson (on his website)
Numerous members of the DC cocktail party circuit
All that was before Rove talked to Cooper or Novak wrote his story.
Now, the Senate intelligence committee said that Joe Wilson lied about his findings, and it appears he did so for political purposes? when will you be woman enough to apologize for supporting this traitor? When will Valerie Plame apologize for sending a political operative to do intel work in a time of war? When will Joe Wilson apologize for lying to the American people?
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