Skip to comments.Senators Rebuke Joe Wilson Claims(About time!)
Posted on 06/01/2007 10:40:44 AM PDT by kellynla
WASHINGTON -- In a rare rebuke of a public official by name, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee has issued a scathing report blasting former Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV.
The report claims Wilson mislead the public and the intelligence committee about his trip to Niger in 2002 on behalf of the CIA to investigate claims that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium in Africa.
Best know as the husband of former CIA officer Valerie Plame, Ambassador Wilson was catapulted to the limelight after he published an Op-Ed in The New York Times on July 6, 2003, that accused the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence on Iraq to make the case for war.
In his New York Times article, Wilson said that in February 2002 he was asked by the Central Intelligence Agency to travel to Niger to investigate "a particular intelligence report" that documented the sale of uranium to Iraq by the Niger government.
The CIA wanted him to "check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office," after Vice President Dick Cheney had raised questions about the purported uranium deals, he wrote.
Once he arrived in Niger's capital, Niamey, Wilson says he met with U.S. Ambassador Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, then "spent the next eight days drinking sweet mint tea" and meeting with former government officials and others involved in the uranium business. "It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place."
And that is what he reported back to the CIA and to the State Department African Affairs Bureau, Wilson wrote. But according to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation, released last Friday, much of what Wilson wrote in the article, and has said since, about the trip "is not true."
Wilson wrote to the committee in July 2004 when they released an exhaustive investigation into the Niger uranium story that included the finding that he had been sent to Niger at the suggestion of his wife. Wilson claimed that was "not true."
At the time, the Committee did not release the full text of the e-mail sent by Valerie Plame on Wilson to her superior that recommended him for the job, "thinking it was unnecessary in light of the other evidence" they had made public.
But now, "considering the controversy surrounding this document," the Senate committee decided to make the full text available to the public. The Valerie Plame e-mail shows without any doubt that she recommended her husband for the mission in Niger.
After recounting an earlier fact-finding mission he had carried out in Niger for the Agency, as well as his good contacts "with both the [prime minister] and the former minister of mines," she concluded by saying that her husband "may be in a position to assist. Therefore, request your thoughts on what, if anything to pursue here."
In sworn testimony before the House committee on Oversight and Government Reform in March of this year, however, Plame denied categorically that she had suggested her husband's name. "I did not recommend him. I did not suggest him," she said.
It was Valerie Plame's recommendation for the mission that caught the eye of Vice President Dick Cheney when Wilson's Op-Ed first appeared and ultimately led to the Special Counsel investigation into how her name supposed classified was "leaked" to the press.
The committee found that internal intelligence community notes of meetings in which Valerie Plame participated "did not mark her name with a (C) as would be required to indicate that her association with the CIA was classified," as both Plame and her husband have said. These aren't the only instance where Wilson's account did not square with the facts, the senators found.
Wilson has said in his book and in numerous public appearances that reports he reviewed from the U.S. ambassador to Niger, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, "indicated that there was nothing to the Niger-Iraq uranium story . . . This too is untrue," the committee found. On the contrary, Owens-Kirkpatrick wrote a cable to the State Department which said that the initial CIA reporting of a Niger-Iraq uranium deal "provides sufficient details to warrant another hard look at Niger's uranium sales."
Although Nigerien officials insisted in meetings with the Americans that no uranium would be sold to rogue nations, "we should not dismiss out of hand the possibility that some scheme could be, or has been, underway to supply Iraq with yellowcake from here," she wrote.
Perhaps the most damning conclusion of the Senate report has been known for nearly three years, but has remained classified until now. In the initial July 2004 report, the Senate committee reported that the intelligence community "used or cleared the Niger-Iraq uranium intelligence fifteen times before the President's State of the Union address and four times after, saying in several papers that Iraq was vigorously pursuing uranium from Africa.'"
Despite that finding, Democrats led by Michigan Sen. Carl Levin blasted President Bush for the "16 words" in the January 2003 speech that described Iraq's efforts to acquire uranium from Africa, calling them an effort to "cherry-pick" intelligence and to "mislead" the country and the world in a "rush to war."
In fact, the U.S. intelligence community continued to believe in the veracity of the Niger uranium story for many months after the speech, and didn't call back its original reporting until June 2003 well after the liberation of Iraq.
The GOP should have ruined this guy, bankrupted him, made his wife & any other loved ones hate him.
Conservatives just don’t have a killer instinct. The left will continue to ruin them personally, with impunity, until this changes.
So now we can expect President Bush to issue a full pardon to Scooter Libby, right?
No killer instinct at all. Conservatives are notably weak in this area, for a bunch of people who bluster on about how tough and individualistic they are.
bump for later
Game on! Let the lawsuits begin, it’s the American way!
You just watch.
That would require a spine, and sadly most GOP types these days lack one.
The fact remains Joe Plame lied, and his wife’s career died.
Now, she can’t even publish a book about the lying....(chuckle)
Interesting that this breaks on a Friday afternoon, isn’t it!
I find the GOP rank & file to be notably weak in this area, too.
Instead, as I recall, the President meekly apologized to the Dems and the media and stated that this was a mistake of his Administration. Mind-boggling.
The left will continue to believe Wilson and Plame, both proven liars.
Evidently Ms. Wilson lied to the Senate. This is perjury, if she was under oath. Why is she not indicted for this? When compared to Mr. Libby, there must be a double standard.
The problem is not conservatives it is Republicans. And the people who run this party are still northeastern country club blue blooders. (Even if some of them do own ranches and say ya’ll)
The Senate Select Committee released this now? With the Democrats in charge? This is very strange. I would have said that Jay Rockefeller is one of the biggest traitors and corrupt liars in the Senate. He has always used his position on the intelligence committee for political gain. Is he the guy who allowed this to be released? The article is very short on details. Or is this one of those Friday sweep it under the rug deals?
This “revelation” is too little, too late. The damage has been done. The myth is ingrained in the public conscience.
Regardless of what happens, Wilson’s charge that Cheney “outted” Plame to get back at Wilson’s Niger claim never made any sense to me.
No, it’s conservatives. I have posted this thought many times on FR and without fail, some revival-tent conservatives creep out and protest that this isn’t the way, we are ‘better’ than the other side, and then go off on some tangent about spiritual salvation.
Spiritual salvation has nothing to do with fighting your enemies in politics. Ruin them, make some examples out of people, and the rest will think twice or three times before going off half cocked.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.