Skip to comments.Wilsongate: Motive, Means, and Opportunity
Posted on 11/21/2005 2:28:31 PM PST by Fedora
Wilsongate: Motive, Means, and Opportunity
The Buried Story Behind Plamegate
Since Robert Novak mentioned Valerie Plames CIA background in July 2003, the media has focused on trying to trace the leak of Plames name to the White House, but has devoted less follow-up to another newsworthy angle in Novaks original story. Novak wrote:
The CIA's decision to send retired diplomat Joseph C. Wilson to Africa in February 2002 to investigate possible Iraqi purchases of uranium was made routinely at a low level without Director George Tenet's knowledge. . . 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. . . After eight days in the Niger capital of Niamey (where he once served), Wilson made an oral report in Langley that an Iraqi uranium purchase was "highly unlikely," though he also mentioned in passing that a 1988 Iraqi delegation tried to establish commercial contacts. CIA officials did not regard Wilson's intelligence as definitive, being based primarily on what the Niger officials told him and probably would have claimed under any circumstances. . . All this was forgotten until reporter Walter Pincus revealed in the Washington Post June 12 that an unnamed retired diplomat had given the CIA a negative report. Not until Wilson went public on July 6, however, did his finding ignite the firestorm.1
In Novaks original context, the point of mentioning Plames CIA background was to help answer the question, why did the CIA decide to assign its Iraq-Niger uranium investigation to Wilson? As Novak explained in a follow-up article:
I was curious why a high-ranking official in President Bill Clinton's National Security Council (NSC) was given this assignment. Wilson had become a vocal opponent of President Bush's policies in Iraq after contributing to Al Gore in the last election cycle and John Kerry in this one. During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife.2
In other words Novak stumbled across Plames CIA background in the process of investigating why the CIA assigned a critic of Bushs Iraq policy to its Iraq-Niger uranium investigation and whether there was a partisan motive involved.
Further pursuit of this line of investigation points beyond Plamegate--the scandal of Novak leaking Plames name--to an underlying scandal that may be more properly called Wilsongate: the scandal of Joseph Wilson misusing his wifes CIA access for partisan purposes. The investigation of Wilsongate may be organized into three parts: motive, means, and opportunity.
Novaks questioning of why the CIA sent Wilson to Niger serves as a bridge to a more general inquiry into Wilsons motive for publicizing his claims about the CIAs Niger investigation. Novaks initial investigation into Wilsons Niger trip raises broader questions about Wilsons financial interests, foreign policy agenda, and political allegiances.
Motive: Introduction: A Tale of Two Stories
Novaks article actually records two conflicting accounts of who initiated Wilsons involvement in the CIAs Niger investigation, one coming from two Bush administration sources (the first still unknown, the second now known to be Karl Rove) and one coming from a CIA source (now identified as CIA spokesman Bill Harlow, who presumably got his information from either written records or checking verbally with one of the CIA Counterproliferation Division [CPD] personnel handling Wilsons trip):
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.3
In Wilsons book, his version of the story is closer to what Novak reports the CIA told him:
Apart from being the conduit of a message from a colleague in her office asking if I would be willing to have a conversation about Nigers uranium industry, Valerie had had nothing to do with the matter. She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip. The suggestion that Valerie might have improperly influenced the decision to send me to Niger was easy to disprove.4
However, a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) review of prewar intelligence on Iraq found evidence contradicting both Wilsons version and what Novak was told by the CIA. The SSCI report mentions that the CIA had previously sent Wilson to Niger in 1999 after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future and might be willing to use his contacts in the region. In relation to Wilsons 2002 trip to Niger, a CPD reports officer told Senate investigators that Wilsons wife offered up his name. Consistent with this officers statement is a memo Valerie Plame sent the CPDs Deputy Chief on February 12, 2002, the day before CPD sent a cable to a CIA overseas station requesting concurrence with the idea of sending Wilson to Niger. In the memo Plame says 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.5
In response to criticisms arising from the SSCIs findings, Wilson published an article in the Los Angeles Times defending himself:
In the last two weeks, since the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on intelligence failures, the smear attacks have intensified. . .The primary new charge from the Republicans is that I lied when I said Valerie had nothing to do with my being assigned to go to Niger. That's important to the administration because there's a criminal investigation underway, and if she did play a role, divulging her CIA status may be defendable. In fact, though the Senate committee cites a CIA source saying Valerie had a role in the assignment, it ignores what the agency told Newsday reporters as early as July 2003, long before I ever acknowledged Valerie's CIA employment. "A senior intelligence officer," the reporters wrote, "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.' " Last week, a CIA source repeated this to CNN and the Los Angeles Times.6
Wilson elaborated his defense in a letter published online and addressed to SSCI Chairman Pat Roberts and Vice-Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV:
First conclusion: "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. The conclusion is reinforced by comments in the body of the report that a CPD reports officer stated the "the former ambassador's wife offered up his name'" (page 39) and a State Department Intelligence and Research officer 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. After having escorted me into the room, she departed the meeting to avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest. 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. 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.
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).
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."7
Several things are noteworthy about Wilsons defense.
First, Wilson misleadingly portrays the source contradicting his story as Republicans, when in fact he is being contradicted by CIA witnesses and documents cited in the body of a bipartisan SSCI report coauthored by three Democrats sympathetic to Wilson: Jay Rockefeller, Carl Levin, and Richard Durbin. Additional comments attached to the report by Republicans on the SSCI mention that their Democratic colleagues on the committee would not allow the body of the report to include the conclusion, The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassadors wife, a CIA employee. However, despite this conclusion not being included, the body of the report still includes mention of the interview, memo, and cable which form the basis of the conclusion--as the additional comments to the report put it, there was no dispute with the underlying facts. Wilsons dispute is with the underlying facts agreed upon by all members of the SSCI, not merely with the Republican commentary on those facts. Even Wilsons Democratic supporters on the SSCI did not attempt to dispute the facts Wilson finds objectionable, the best they could do in his defense was to suppress the body of the report from mentioning what was logically implied by the undisputed facts.
Second, Wilson performs a sleight-of-hand when he dismisses the CPD reports officers statement on the grounds that the officer and Valerie Plame were out of the room when the CIA asked Wilson to take the assignment. Obviously both Plame and the officer could have discussed the matter with other CIA personnel on other occasions when Wilson was not present and would have no knowledge of the discussion, which is the significance of the memo from Plame predating the CPD cable requesting an overseas CIA stations concurrence with the idea of sending Wilson to Niger. Wilsons dismissal distracts from the CPD officers testimony without answering it.
Third, Wilson distorts the memo he quotes in his attempt to explain it away. Wilson attempts to reduce the phrase he quotes to a recitation of his credentials and insists, There is no suggestion or recommendation in that statement that I be sent on the trip. But when the actual quote is read in full and in context there is in fact a recommendation that Wilson be sent on the trip, explicitly indicated as the purpose of the credentials being recited: "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." The end of this phrase indicates explicitly that the purpose of reciting Wilsons credentials is to recommend his qualifications for shedding light on this sort of activity, i.e., on Iraqs alleged attempts to acquire uranium from Niger, the subject that prompted Plame to recite Wilsons credentials in the first place. Furthermore, Wilsons commentary on the memo fails to note its historical context: it was written a day before CPD sent a cable to a CIA overseas station seeking concurrence with the idea of sending him to Niger.
Fourth, Wilson attempts to defend himself against the SSCIs findings by quoting Newsday, CNN, and the Los Angeles Times citing anonymous CIA sources, which raises the question of why these anonymous sources contradict the version of events attested to by CIA witnesses before a Senate committee and recorded in CIA internal memos and cables.
A final item of interest is Wilsons quotation of an anonymous CIA source defending him by arguing, to go to Niger is not exactly a benefit. Most people you'd have to pay big bucks to go there. This becomes especially interesting when juxtaposed with other facts. On another occasion when Wilson was denying his wife played any role in his Niger trip, while he was delivering a lecture to the Middle East Institute on May 13, 2004, Wilsons self-defense included this comment:
There are nepotism rules in the United States government that ensure that my wife would not be involved in any decision sending me. . .8
This is an intriguing comment when coupled with the fact that the CIA had previously sent Wilson to Niger in 1999 after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future. Deepening curiosity are the facts that federal nepotism laws seem to exclude people hired for intelligence purposes9 and that Wilson always insists he received no financial compensation from the CIA for his trip. If Wilson didnt get paid anyway, why does he associate denying his wifes role in his trip with defending himself against violation of nepotism rules? This unexplained puzzle invites inquiry into possible financial motives involved in Wilsons trip.
Motive Part 1: Wilsons Financial Interests in Niger
Wilsons finances are a complex and murky subject, but his financial interests can be summed up under three headings:
1) His ex-wife Jacquelines lobbying for French African interests;10
2) His own consulting ventures for investors in African oil, telecommunications, and gold;11
3) Valerie Plames employment with the CIA and cover as an energy analyst for the front company Brewster-Jennings & Associates.12
For present purposes, the third item can be reduced to noting that Brewster-Jennings was linked to Saudi Aramco (aka Aramco), historically linked to both Saudi royal family and Rockefeller family interests, and that Plame listed Brewster Jennings & Associates as her employer while filling out tax return forms listing a 1999 contribution to Al Gore, whose familys financial interests were linked to Occidental Petroleum (aka Oxy). To indicate the potential significance of these oil industry connections, the first two items require more elaboration. But first for background it will be useful to summarize Wilsons activity in Africa.
Background: Joseph Wilson in Africa
Wilson began his State Department career in Niger from 1976 to 1978 and later served at various African posts, notably Congo (aka Republic of the Congo, Congo-Brazzaville) from 1986 to 1988 and Gabon from 1992 to 1995. He left the State Department in 1997 to serve a year as National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for African Affairs, where his duties included organizing a visit by President Clinton to Africa in March 1998 to promote a bill which would increase US investment in Africa, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Wilson retired from government service in July 1998 and opened J.C.Wilson International Ventures Corporation, which advised American and foreign companies seeking to invest in African oil, telecommunications, and gold.
Wilsons activity in Africa involved interaction between US and French interests on both a personal and a political level. Wilson had entered diplomatic service partly because he was interested in France and was hoping for a job that would take him to Paris, and most of his State Department assignments were in French-speaking parts of Africa. While stationed in Burundi from 1982 to 1985 he met a Frenchwoman named Jacqueline Marylene Giorgi.13 Giorgi had been raised in Africa and had returned there to work with the French Ministry of Cooperation (Ministere de la Cooperation aka MINCOOP), the equivalent of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which handles nonmilitary aid to foreign countries.14 In Burundi she worked with the French embassy as a cultural counselor,15 a position often used as a cover by Frances equivalent to the CIA, the Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieur (DGSE).16 Jacqueline M. Giorgi became Wilsons second wife on July 1, 1986,17 just as he was beginning his assignment in Congo, where she would work at the World Health Organization while he worked with the US State Department.18
Congos economy was dominated by the influence of the French oil company Elf Aquitaine (aka Elf, a successor to a series of French oil companies and in turn succeeded by TotalFinaElf in 2000 and Total in 2003). In 1979 France had installed Congos President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, a cousin of Gabons ruler Omar Bongo, who had risen to power in the 1960s while in the pay of French intelligence and had since then supported French intelligence operations in Africa and secured Elf access to one of its major oilfields.19 Sassou-Nguesso was a Marxist and received Soviet military support, but Wilson decided that Sassou-Nguessos government was not the rigidly Communist regime that the American right wing liked to set up as a bogeyman and that his acumen and wisdom outweighed his communist background. Against the reservations of more conservative members of the State Department, Wilson encouraged Washington to involve Sassou-Nguesso in negotiating peace in nearby Angola, where a Soviet-backed regime was fighting an insurgency backed by the CIA and French intelligence. Wilson felt that the insurgency was the main barrier to peace in Angola, and he worked with Sassou-Nguesso and later with Bongo and the Clinton administration to facilitate a peace process which had the effect of entrenching Angolas regime against its opposition.20 Meanwhile Angola emerged as one of the fastest-growing oil producers in Africa, spurring both competition and partnership between US companies--particularly Chevron, a partner of Saudi Aramco--and Elf.21
Interaction between US oil companies and Elf also figured into Wilsons assignment in Gabon from 1992 to 1995. In Gabon one of Wilsons priorities was to encourage President Bongo to support increased investment by US oil companies in Gabons oil industry, up to then dominated by France via Elf.22 Occidental Petroleum, linked to the financial interests of then-Vice President Al Gore, soon won several contracts in Gabon, and Occidental and other US oil companies also began increasing their influence in other parts of Africa. This increased US presence in Africas oil industry provoked rivalry with Elf in Gabon and elsewhere.23 The French ambassador to Gabon Louis Dominici began encouraging the press to report that Wilson was an agent of US interests and an enemy of Gabons regime, which Wilson countered by cultivating closer ties with Bongo.24 Wilson worked with Bongo to advance the peace process in Angola and to press for human rights reforms in Equatorial Guinea,25 another emerging oil producer where France was competing for influence with Spain.26
Meanwhile Bongo was also active in events in Congo involving Elf interests. In August 1992, just as Wilson began his assignment in Gabon, there was a regime change in Congo. With Soviet influence retreating from the region, Congos population was calling for Bongos cousin Sassou-Nguesso to allow free elections. Bongo and the French, seeking to give the appearance of allowing reforms without actually losing control, decided to play both sides by financing the Presidential campaign of Sassou-Nguessos rival Pascal Lissouba. But in a move unanticipated by the French, Lissouba, short on cash to pay his civil servants and troops, cut a deal with Occidental for funding in exchange for granting Occidental $150 million in future production rights. Alarmed at the prospect of Occidental competing for one of Elfs most vital oil supplies, the French pressured Lissouba to cancel the deal with Occidental. After Lissouba cancelled the deal, Elf and French intelligence continued providing him ostensible support against Sassou-Nguessos forces, using La French Intercontinental Bank for Africa (FIBA), which was jointly owned by Bongo, to help Belgian arms dealer Jacques Monsieur launder payments for weapons sales from Russia and Iran to Lissoubas supporters. However at the same time Elf was arming Lissouba, it was also secretly arming Sassou-Nguesso for a return to power. With assistance from Angola, supported by the French and the Clinton administration, Sassou-Nguesso overthrew Lissouba and became President again in 1997, during Wilsons term as NSC Senior Director of African Affairs.27
At the NSC, Wilson capped off his career of government service by organizing Clintons historic visit to Africa in March 1998. Clintons trip was intended partly to encourage a policy of increasing US imports of African oil, a policy encouraged by State Department spokesman James Rubins announcement that Angola will soon be supplying 10 percent of U.S. oil imports, which is considerably more than Kuwait before the Gulf war.28 Clintons policy was also being promoted by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), a group whose events were heavily financed by oil interests.29 Wilson was highly active in promoting the investment policies favored by the Clinton administration and the CCA, as one observer recalls:
During the Clinton administration, this editor operated a web site about Africa and Wilson served on the National Security Council as a senior director for African affairs, for one year, June 1997-July 1998. As a result, this editor, at the time also a member of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), got to observe Wilson playing out his National Security Council role. In all candor, this editor was skeptical about his motives then, and remains so. The CCA at the time was dominated by oil interests. It still is.
Wilson's service on the National Security Council happened during a period when the Clinton administration was urging American businesses to get more deeply involved in Africa and was urging Congress to push forward legislation known as the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which ultimately passed, but during the Bush administration. It was also a period when it was becoming patently clear to the Clinton administration that coastal Africa, especially Atlantic coast Africa, was awash in oil. One need only go back through the archives to see how many times Secretary of State Albright pointed this out to the Congress and the American people to validate how excited the Clinton administration was about African oil. Clearly they saw an alternative building to Mideast oil. My memory says Madam Albright and her team bragged with excited breath how Africa's oil exports to the US were at seven percent and would increase to 13-15 percent within the foreseeable future.
The problem was the Clinton team was dealing with rogues, such as those who ran Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Congo Republic. Nigeria had a ruthless military dictator, and while the Clinton administration took certain actions against Nigeria, it refused to place an embargo on its oil. Angola was run by a former Soviet ally and well-known ruthless and corrupt Marxist-Leninist dictator, Eduardo dos Santos. In 1993, while Wilson was ambassador to Gabon, an oil rich country run by a French puppet, Omar Bongo, Clinton declared dos Santos the legitimate president of Angola even though he had not won a run-off election against Dr. Jonas Savimbi, an election required by Angolan law. Angola is arguably as oil rich or more oil rich than Nigeria. In 1997, during Wilsons tour of duty at the Africa desk in the National Security Council, Angola invaded the Congo Republic and, supported by France, overthrew the democratically elected government of President Pascal Lissouba and replaced him with Denis Sassou-Nguesso, a friend and relative through marriage of President Omar Bongo of Gabon.
Throughout all this, Wilson pranced about Washington telling Americans in business that Africa is the next great "Coming" in business and that they should hasten there to invest. You might recall that Clinton visited Africa, the first sitting president to do so. On Clintons return to the US, a gala extravaganza was thrown at a swanky Washington hotel to celebrate the great achievements of the trip, and Wilson paraded about the stage like a high school cheerleader at a championship basketball game singing the praise of Africa as a haven for investment. I recall standing there in amazement, am[a]zed that a nation of the stature of the US would have people like this acting so childishly and so unprofessionally on their stage. African diplomats in the audience did all they could to hold in their omlets.
Just after Wilson played Madison Avenue Mister building up Africa as a place to invest, from his perch in the National Security Council, he resigned and nearly instantly started a firm known as JC Wilson International Ventures, Corp., a firm specializing in Strategic Management and International Business Development.30
As this quote indicates, after Wilson retired from his career of government service in Africa in July 1998, he began profiting from increased US interest in Africa. So did Jacqueline Wilson.
1. Jacqueline Wilsons African interests
In the wake of Clintons trip Gabons President Omar Bongo prepared to visit the United States, hiring as lobbyists the French-American politician Pierre Salinger of the public relation firm Shandwick Public Affairs, along with Jacqueline Wilson.31 According to records filed with the US Department of Justice in compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), on June 17, 1998, while Joseph was in his last month of service as NSC Senior Director for African Affairs, Jacqueline registered as a lobbyist for Bongo. FARA records show that Jacqueline received at least $790,000 from Gabon for lobbying services related to AIDS policy and other issues from 1998 to 2002, including $100,000 received prior to her registration in June 1998 and $250,000 in the first half of 1999. Meanwhile, in July 1998 Joseph Wilson retired from government service early at the age of 48, leaving behind an estimated $125,000-a-year job for a reduced pension of approximately $50,000 a year,32 minus any alimony and child support payments, plus income from Plames CIA salary and from a new business Wilson launched at that time, J.C. Wilson International Ventures Corporation. The financial terms of the Wilsons divorce settlement are unknown. A curious fact is that in one public record posted on a genealogy website the name Jacqueline C. Wilson is listed with a phone number [(202) 342-9888] associated with 4612 Charleston Terrace NW in Washington, DC,33 a home the October 8, 1998 Washington Post records as recently being purchased from Barry Zuckerman Properties for $735,000 by Joseph Wilson and Valerie E. Wilson.34 Wilsons book states that he and Plame purchased this home in May 1998 after being married for one month.35
2. Joseph Wilsons African interests
At the time Jacqueline divorced him and began lobbying for Gabon, Joseph Wilson retired from government service and launched J.C. Wilson International Ventures Corporation, a business development and management company that aimed to capitalize on Wilsons diplomatic contacts by advising companies seeking to invest African gold, oil, and telecommunications. As Wilson described it:
I opened a boutique consulting business to help American and international companies invest in Africa. Risk assessment, project development, and strategic management were my focus, as I wanted to take the lessons of my foreign service years and put them to use managing businesses in an international setting. . .My list of clients was small. . .my geographical reach extended into Africa, Western Europe, and Turkey. . .I had become involved in gold mining in West Africa--including in Niger, which was just opening up some fields--as well as telecommunications and the petroleum sector. Oil from Africa was emerging as an alternative to oil from the Persian Gulf, with new discoveries in Angola and Equatorial Guinea fueling a surge of interest.36
Elsewhere a profile article on Wilson added:
. . .Wilson decided to retire and go into the private sector because "we wanted to have kids, and felt that it had become very difficult to live off two government salaries." He set up a consultancy, J. C. Wilson International Ventures, with an office in downtown Washington at the headquarters of the Rock Creek Corporation, an investment firm of which little is known. Wilson's right-wing critics have been quick to condemn the affiliation as "murky," though Wilson does not work for Rock Creek and merely rents space and facilities there.
"I have a number of clients, and basically we help them with their sort of investments in countries like Niger," explains Wilson. "Niger was of some interest because it has some gold deposits coming onstream. We had some clients who were interested in gold. . .We were looking to set up a gold-mine company out of London."37
Some clarification of Wilsons murky affiliation with Rock Creek Corporation has been offered at greater length elsewhere,38 but it will suit present purposes to highlight how Rock Creeks interests coincided with Wilsons African investment interests. Rock Creek was controlled by Mohammed Alamoudi, whom Wilson had met in 1997 through a reception organized for the World Bank by Westar Group, a Westar Energy affiliate which managed Alamoudis interests in Washington and like Wilson was involved with the Corporate Council on Africa.39 Alamoudi was a member of the Saudi-Ethiopian Alamoudi dynasty, which was heavily invested in the segments of the African economy Wilson was seeking to penetrate. The Alamoudi oil empire, centered around the Saudi-based company Delta Oil, included African ventures such as Arab-African Petroleum Company (ARAPCO), created in 2002 to buy oil concessions in Africa and develop them with foreign partners.40 Alamoudi investments in African telecommunications included a Pan-African telecommunications project launched in 2001 by Pan African Communications Network (PACONET) with financing from a fund chaired by former South African President Nelson Mandela and cofinanced by the International Finance Corporation (IFG), the American International Group (AIG, a group including the Houston-based company El Paso Energy Corporation), and the African Development Bank (ADB).41 Alamoudi investments in African gold included MIDROC Gold Mine Private Limited Company, a subsidiary of the Alamoudi company MIDROC (Mohammed International Development Research Organization & Companies) launched in 2003.42 Under Alamoudis direction Rock Creek was chaired by Elias Aburdene, an Arab-American international banking advisor and lobbyist who had previously advised banks linked to organized crime and intelligence community figures involved in the S&L Scam.
As Rock Creek illustrates, Middle Eastern investors were interested in African investments, which sheds light on Wilsons comment that my geographical reach extended into Africa, Western Europe, and Turkey. Besides sharing office space with Saudi investors at Rock Creek, Wilson also served as an adjunct scholar to the Middle East Institute, a think tank partly financed by Saudi Arabia, presided over by Wilsons long-time friend Edward Walker, Jr., and chaired by former Clinton administration ambassador to Saudi Arabia Wyche Fowler.43 Additionally, Wilson advised American-Turkish investment groups, making use of Turkish contacts he had cultivated while stationed at the US embassy in Iraq from 1988 to 1991 and while advising joint US-UK-Turkish covert operations in northern Iraq as part of his duties as political advisor to the United States European Command from 1995 to 1997. Wilsons Turkish clients notably included the American-Turkish Council (ATC), which is the US counterpart of the Turkey-based Turkish-U.S. Business Council (Turk-Amerikan IS Konseyi aka TAIK). TAIK operates under the secretariat of a group formed by leading Turkish corporations (Dis Ekonomik Iliskiler Kurulu aka DEIK, the Foreign Economics Relations Board) and supported by the Turkish government in an effort to advance Turkeys international economic relations. Towards this end the ATC has cultivated relations with US political figures through means such as an annual conference in Washington where board members visit members of Congress and the Administration. Former FBI agent Sibel Edmonds has recently alleged that while she was with the FBI the ATC was a target of corruption, criminal, and counterintelligence investigations, a charge the ATC denies.44 It was while accepting an ATC award during a reception at the Turkish embassy in Washington in early 1997 that Wilson met his future wife Valerie Plame.45
Motive Part 1: Conclusion: Nepotism in Niger?
Plames initiation of Wilsons trips to Niger in 1999 and 2002 takes on a new significance in light of Wilsons business interests in Africa. Specifically of interest are Wilsons pair of comments about his business interests in Niger quoted above:
I had become involved in gold mining in West Africa--including in Niger, which was just opening up some fields--as well as telecommunications and the petroleum sector. Oil from Africa was emerging as an alternative to oil from the Persian Gulf, with new discoveries in Angola and Equatorial Guinea fueling a surge of interest.
"I have a number of clients, and basically we help them with their sort of investments in countries like Niger," explains Wilson. "Niger was of some interest because it has some gold deposits coming onstream. We had some clients who were interested in gold. . .We were looking to set up a gold-mine company out of London."
Although Wilson does not identify his clients who had an interest in Niger gold investments, it may be observed that during the time frame referenced by his comments, the first gold mine in Niger, known as the Samira Hill Gold Project, was being developed by a pair of Canadian-based companies, Etruscan Resources and Semafo.46
Now there is no implication here of any wrongdoing on the part of any companies investing in Nigerien gold, which is in itself a legitimate business. Nor is there necessarily anything wrong with Wilson profiting from his diplomatic experience by advising clients on Niger gold investments. But what raises an eyebrow is when Wilson mentions I had become involved in gold mining in West Africa--including in Niger, which was just opening up some fields, and then he proceeds to try to dismiss the notion that nepotism may have been involved in his wife sending him to Niger by invoking defenders who scoff, to go to Niger is not exactly a benefit. Well, perhaps going to Niger would not be a benefit for most people; but most people arent Nigerien gold mining consultants who share office space with Saudi billionaires who invest in gold mining in Africa. Nor does Wilson help dispel an appearance of impropriety when he tells us that during the time he was in Niger conducting an investigation for the CIA:
Not all of the conversations focused on the uranium industry; some of my callers were interested in discussing the business climate. . .47
Again, this does not in itself demonstrate any actual wrongdoing on Wilsons part. What it does demonstrate is that he had a vested interest in travelling to Niger at taxpayer expense, and thus that his wife had a vested interest in recommending him for the trip. It thus demonstrates a motive that might explain why Wilson persists in denying against the evidence of witnesses and documents that his wife played any role in his trip to Niger.
Motive Part 2: From African business to Iraqi politics
At this point the reader may be thinking, Well, maybe Wilson had a hidden motive to go to Niger, but what does that have to do with his motive for what he said about Bushs speech on Iraq? The answer is nothing--yet. But within the same set of business associations that Wilson cultivated in the interests of his African investment pursuits, a motive for his interest in influencing Iraq-related foreign policy and domestic politics may also be detected.
Background: Wilson, Iraq, and the war within the CIA
Wilsons involvement in Iraq-related issues traces from his post at the US embassy in Iraq from 1988 to 1991 and from his assignment as political advisor to the United States European Command from 1995 to 1997. In the latter capacity he politically advised joint US-UK-Turkish covert operations in northern Iraq, Operation Provide Comfort and Operation Northern Watch.
These operations involved the CIA and, more generally, the intelligence community, which at this time was embroiled in political infighting that stemmed from Vietnam-era conflicts and foreshadowed Wilsons conflict with the Bush White House. At the upper level of the intelligence community hierarchy, in the wake of the Aldrich Ames scandal, the Clinton administrations first CIA Director, R. James Woolsey, Jr., had gotten into bureaucratic conflicts with, on the one hand, FBI Director Louis Freeh, and on the other, Clintons first NSC Advisor Anthony Lake. In 1970 Lake, along with Morton Halperin, had resigned from the Nixon NSC after Halperin came under suspicion of involvement in leaking The Pentagon Papers and other classified information about US military operations in Vietnam to the New York Times. He and Halperin had subsequently become associated with the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a far-left think tank linked to the KGB and Cuban intelligence that was active in the post-Watergate campaign to undermine US counterintelligence capability. When Lake became Clintons NSC Advisor he proposed resolving bureaucratic friction between the FBI and CIA by increasing the NSCs role in coordinating the other two agencies, a proposal which received a cool reception from Woolsey. Woolsey resigned as CIA Director in early 1995 and was replaced by John Deutch, who would resign in late 1996 after carelessly handling classified information stored on his computer. President Clinton then attempted to install Lake as CIA Director, but was forced to withdraw the nomination in the face of conservative objections to Lakes background. Instead Lake and Deutchs former assistant George Tenet became CIA Director, while Lake was replaced at NSC by Sandy Berger, who thus became Joseph Wilsons boss when Wilson went to NSC in 1997.48 In summer 2003 Wilson, Lake, and Halperin all advised the Secure America Project of the Fourth Freedom Forum, a group founded by antinuclear activist Howard Brembeck and presided over by David Cortright, a veteran of the IPS-linked antinuclear group SANE/Freeze now working with the MoveOn.org-affiliated Win Without War coalition.49
The controversy over Clintons nomination of Lake epitomized management-level tensions in the Clinton-era intelligence community which were reflected on the operational level by disputes over the CIAs Iraq operations. While planning how to overthrow Saddam Husseins regime in the early 1990s, the CIA and its foreign allies had debated two different plans involving two different resistance groups. The Saudis, Britains MI6, and elements of US intelligence associated with Arabists in the State Department favored a coup to replace Saddam with a Sunni government of ex-Baathists and former members of Saddams regime, to be led by MI6 asset Iyad Allawi through a London-based resistance group called the Iraqi National Accord (INA). As an alternative to the INA coup plan, Shiite resistance leader Ahmed Chalabi favored overthrowing Saddam through an armed uprising by a popular coalition including Kurdish groups united under an umbrella called the Iraqi National Congress (INC). With support from certain Congressmen and the first Bush administration, the INC began developing a plan for a popular uprising, but the incoming Clinton administration became opposed to this policy. This led to a division between supporters of the INC, who included Woolsey and Pentagon advisor Richard Perle, and supporters of the INA, who included the NSCs Lake and Tenet, along with Secretary of State Warren Christopher and CIA Near Eastern Division chief Steve Richter. The INCs scheduled plans for an uprising in early1995 floundered after a promise of support from CIA agent Bob Baer went unfulfilled. The following year an INA coup attempt coordinated by CIA Jordanian station chief David Manners also failed, after the CIA ignored a warning from the INC that Iraqi intelligence agents had penetrated Jordanian intelligence units involved in the operation and forewarned Saddam Hussein. Following the unsuccessful 1995 coup, Lake ordered an FBI investigation of Baer for conspiring to assassinate Hussein, and Lakes former assistant Tenet replaced Deutch as CIA Director.50 Relations between Tenets CIA and Chalabi grew tense, and flared into open hostility as the Iraq War approached. The conflict culminated with Chalabi being investigated on suspicion of spying for Iran, Tenet resigning, and Chalabi subsequently claiming that Tenet had led a smear campaign against him.
51 For outside observers it is difficult to evaluate the charges from either side with any degree of certainty, but it is at least clear that during the transition from the Clinton administration to the second Bush administration, Allawis supporters at CIA and MI6 fell on one side of a bureaucratic divide in the intelligence community and Chalabis supporters fell on the other.
After the second Bush administration came into office, the Vice Presidents office and Pentagon set up their own intelligence channel stovepipe which connected with Chalabi by flowing around the Clinton-era intelligence channels centered in the CIA and the State Departments Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). This move prompted a chorus of protests from far-left opponents of Bush like IPS, as well as anti-Bush outlets marketing to far-right anti-Semitic groups like Lyndon LaRouches Executive Intelligence Review (EIR).52 Both extremes united in their hatred of Bushs Middle Eastern policy and found a lowest common denominator in conspiracy theories alleging that the Bush administrations foreign policy was controlled by a cabal of pro-Israeli neoconservatives. These extremist allegations were mediated to the mainstream media by a group of former intelligence agents founded in January 2003 calling themselves Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), founded by retired CIA agent Ray McGovern. Following his retirement in 1990 McGovern, who holds a certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University, took leadership positions in the left-wing religious charities Bread for the City (descended from the Vietnam-era antiwar group Community for Creative Non-Violence) and Servant Leadership School. In 1993 he disrupted services at Georgetowns Holy Trinity Parish by standing during Mass every week to protest the Catholic Churchs policy on womens ordination. Within a week of 9/11 McGovern publicly blamed Israel for terrorism in a Christian Science Monitor editorial, and when the Iraq War arrived he elaborated conspiracy theories attributing the war to Oil, Israel, and Logistics, which embarrassed a meeting of House Democrats on June 16, 2005 when he told them that "Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation. . .The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic."53 Joining McGovern on the original VIPS Steering Group was former CIA agent David MacMichael, who had been investigated by the FBI for his contact with the IPS-linked pro-Sandinista groups the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA, tied to the Soviet front the World Peace Council and Communist agent Orlando Letelier) and the Center for Development Policy (CDP, cofounded by Letelier) in the 1980s before going on in 1989 to found the Association of National Security Alumni (ANSA), which partnered at a January 1993 Moscow conference with longtime CIA critic Victor Marchetti and retired KGB agents from the Association of Foreign Intelligence Veterans Association (aka Foreign Intelligence Veterans Association, FIVA) in calling for intelligence reforms.54 Other VIPS charter members were Bill and Kathleen Christison (who announced their resignation from VIPS on July 15, 2003), longtime apologists for the Palestinian cause whose articles are regularly posted on websites with an anti-Zionist slant such as Alexander Cockburns Counterpunch, the Holocaust revisionist site Institute for Historical Review, and the white supremacist site Stormfront.org.55 VIPS email address and articles were initially hosted in early 2003 at Counterpunch by Cockburn, whose was simultaneously a columnist for the relatively more mainstream The Nation and The Los Angeles Times. Articles by VIPS and McGovern also appeared in LaRouches Executive Intelligence Review starting in February 2003.56 VIPS extremist views were broadcast to a mainstream audience from March 2003 on by sources such as AP writer John Lumpkin, longtime IPS associate Seymour Hersh, Agence France Presse, New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof, and Reuters writer Jim Wolf. Particularly noteworthy was a full-length Hersh piece in the October 2003 The New Yorker echoing VIPS complaints about the Pentagons intelligence stovepipe.57
Over the course of 2003 Wilson became increasingly associated with VIPS, which shared his general views on Middle Eastern policy. Wilsons own account and his public statements indicate that he shared the views of some of his business associates who sided against what they saw as neoconservative influence on Bushs Iraq and Middle Eastern policy.
1. Wilson worries about Neocons
According to Wilsons account, his negative views on neoconservative Iraq policy were shared by two fellow associates of the American-Turkish Council. The first was ATC chairman Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor to the Ford administration and the first Bush administration. Scowcroft had numerous links to the intelligence community and private enterprises associated with upper-echelon intelligence community figures, including enterprises with interests in Iraq and the surrounding region. His affiliations have included Kissinger Associates (KA), whose board member William Simon also consulted for Bechtel Corporation, a major contractor for Saudi Aramco. KA itself consulted for the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) while BNLs Atlanta branch was using $4 billion in unreported government-funded loans to illegally arm Iraq prior to the Gulf War. While consulting for KA prior to the Gulf War, Scowcroft had sat on the board of KAs client Santa Fe International Corporation (now GlobalSantaFe Corporation), a subsidiary of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC). Scowcroft has also sat on the board of Pennzoil-Quaker State, acquired in 2002 by Royal Dutch/Shell, which held a contract with Saddam Husseins regime to explore oil fields after UN sanctions were lifted, and which while sanctions were still in place bought 6.4 million barrels of Iraqi crude oil from Oil-for-Food-implicated company African Middle East Petroleum (AMEP), allegedly without knowledge of AMEPs illegal kickbacks to Iraq. Scowcroft has lobbied for Pennzoil in relation to a project of interest to the ATC involving the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), a consortium of oil companies seeking to develop $8 billion of Caspian oil fields in the region north of Iraq near Turkey. Scowcroft has recently chaired the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) U.S. Middle East Project, directed by Palestinian advocate Henry Siegman, with Saudi Arabian Prince Bandar bin Sultan serving as Honorary Chair. In his capacity as U.S. Middle East Project Chair Scowcroft joined Odeh Aburdene and other Middle Eastern business figures in participating in a 2002 CFR study group on Harnessing Trade for Development and Growth in the Middle East which was funded by Lebanese businessman and politician Fouad Makhzoumi.58 According to FARA records Makhzoumis Future Millennium Foundation has employed as a lobbyist former Defense Intelligence Administration (DIA) officers W. Patrick Lang, a VIPS member with links to Lyndon LaRouches propaganda apparatus at Executive Intelligence Review, whom Joseph Wilson has described as a longtime colleague of mine.59
According to Wilson, he and Scowcroft became close through their work on the ATC, developing a relationship intimate enough that Wilsons book mentions Plame having a crush on Scowcroft. Wilson records that in the days following 9/11 he and Scrowcroft privately shared their concerns about what they perceived as increasing neoconservative influence on Bushs Middle Eastern and Iraq policy:
One of my professional activities during this period led to a seat on the Defense subcommittee of the board of the American Turkish Council. . .Its chairman was retired General Brent Scowcroft. . .To my great pleasure, our work with the American Turkish Council threw us together from time to time. We fell into an easy relationship. . .After board meetings or other events, we often Metroed back across town together. As the obsession with Iraq overtook many influential members of the Bush administration, our conversations turned more frequently to the emerging debate on Iraq and the merits of the approach being advanced by the prowar crowd. . .When Brent Scowcroft and I would talk about the strident tone of the neoconservatives, he was dismissive. Right-wing nuts he called them. I was more alarmed, but he reassured me that they did not enjoy senior administration support. . .I listened and wanted to believe him. . .Brent Scowcroft was becoming increasingly concerned that perhaps his earlier optimism had been misplaced. No longer certain that the administration would shun the neoconservative path, he wrote a piece that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on August 15, 2002.60
Wilson mentions that his and Scowcrofts views were also shared by another ATC associate, Turkish general Cevik Bir. Wilson had worked with Bir while he was advising the United States European Command on joint US-UK-Turkish operations in Iraq, and like the Turkish government Bir had been critical of US policy towards Iraq at that time. In May 2002 Bir and Wilson attended the ATCs annual conference and cochaired a symposium where they joined in opposing views on Iraq put forth by Richard Perle.61
2. Wilson becomes an antiwar spokesman
According to Wilsons account, his comments to the ATC in May 2002 were his first public comments on Iraq since the Gulf War and the beginning of his path towards becoming an antiwar spokesman. Up to approximately October 2002 his opposition to the war was expressed in close coordination with Scowcroft, who brought Wilsons first article on Iraq to the attention of the Bush administration after it was published in the San Jose Mercury News on October 13, 2002. During this period Wilson also worked with the Alliance for American Leadership, a Democratic foreign policy advisory group headed by Clintons former ambassador to Morocco Marc Ginsberg. Ginsberg appeared frequently on FOX News and arranged Wilsons earliest TV appearances on FOX, opening the door to TV appearances on other networks.
Meanwhile Wilson increasingly began to interact with left-wing and pro-Muslim media contacts and activists. His October 2002 San Jose Mercury News article was distributed through left-wing antiwar websites such as AlterNet, BuzzFlash.com, CommonDreams News Center, and truthout. Through his TV appearances he met left-wing antiwar spokesmen such as Norman Lear of People for the American Way (along with Warren Beatty and other members of what Wilson describes as the most committed progressives in Hollywood, that den of iniquity continually being smeared by right-wingers), Tom Andrews of Win Without War, Mike Farrell of Human Rights Watch, and Katrina van den Heuvel and David Corn of The Nation. He joined Andrews in promoting a Win Without War rally on January 31, 2003. He accepted Corns invitation to contribute an article to The Nation and was published by that magazines website on February 13, 2003. He also accepted an invitation to become a spokesman for the Middle East Institute.62
Wilsons February 2003 Nation article, titled Republic or Empire?, echoed the concerns about neoconservative influence he and his ATC associates had previously expressed among themselves, but by now Wilson had by and large. . .come to share the editorial perspective of The Nation,63 and his language began to incorporate elements from left-wing conspiracy theories combining anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism with anti-Zionism:
Then what's the point of this new American imperialism? The neoconservatives with a stranglehold on the foreign policy of the Republican Party, a party that traditionally eschewed foreign military adventures, want to go beyond expanding US global influence to force revolutionary change on the region. American pre-eminence in the Gulf is necessary but not sufficient for the hawks. Nothing short of conquest, occupation and imposition of handpicked leaders on a vanquished population will suffice. Iraq is the linchpin for this broader assault on the region. The new imperialists will not rest until governments that ape our worldview are implanted throughout the region, a breathtakingly ambitious undertaking, smacking of hubris in the extreme. Arabs who complain about American-supported antidemocratic regimes today will find us in even more direct control tomorrow. The leader of the future in the Arab world will look a lot more like Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf than Thomas Jefferson.64
Wilsons June 14, 2003 comments to the annual Iraq Forum of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC), where he gave the joint keynote lecture with VIPS Ray McGovern, made the implicit anti-Zionist element in his anti-neocon rhetoric more explicit:
The real agenda in all this, of course, was to redraw the political map of the Middle East. Now that is code, whether you like it or not, but it is code for putting into place the strategy memorandum which was done by Richard Perle and his study group in the mid-90s, which was called A Clean Break: A New Strategy for the Realm. And what it is, cut to the quick, is if you take out some of these countries, or some of these governments, that are antagonistic to Israel, then you provide the Israeli government with greater wherewithal to impose its terms and conditions on the Palestinian people. . .But that is the real agenda. . . my fear is that when it becomes increasingly apparent that this was all done to make Sharon's life easier and that American soldiers are dying in order to enable Sharon to impose his terms upon the Palestinians that people will wonder why it is American boys and girls are dying for Israel and that will undercut a strategic relationship and a moral obligation that we've had towards Israel for 55 years.65
Thus between September 11, 2001 and June 14, 2003, Wilson had begun publicly echoing his business colleagues and VIPS associates opposition to what he characterized as Israeli influence on the Bush administrations Iraq policy.
Motive Part 3: A Motive for Forgery
By June 2003, Wilsons opposition was not only to the Bush administrations foreign policy, but to the Bush administration itself. He, like Scowcroft and like the antiwar bloc of the UN Security Council, had tried and failed to influence Bushs foreign policy through verbal persuasion. He now turned from persuasive to coercive tactics. His words now began to reflect not only a foreign policy motive but also a partisan political motive, and his actions began to suggest coordination with a propaganda campaign that had been launched against President Bush and his foreign allies by French intelligence, other foreign intelligence elements, and partisan elements of the Democratic Party.
Background 1: Operation Nigergate: France & Friends target Bush and his allies
Frances role in creating the Niger forgeries is currently a matter of speculation and debate. It is possible that Rocco Martino, the Italian-French double agent who distributed the forgeries in October 2002, was motivated by profit rather than political goals, which appears to be the current opinion of FBI investigators.66 Among theories proposing a political motivation, some have argued that the forgeries were intended to help Italian intelligence support Berlusconi and Bushs case for war. This theory faces several difficulties, such as explaining why the resources available to Italian intelligence were unable to design a forgery more convincing than one that was immediately suspected by even journalists who viewed it--as one French agent interviewed put it, Niger is a French-speaking place and we know how things are there. But nobody would have confused one minister with another they way they did in that useless piece of garbage.67 Alternative theories propose that the forgeries were intended to help French intelligence discredit Bush and his allies by making their case for war appear to rest on fabricated evidence.68 This theory is plausible as an explanation for how the forgeries were eventually put to use after they were created, a topic which will be discussed more in later paragraphs. But as an explanation for the origin of the forgeries, it faces the issue that according to Martino and intelligence sources interviewed by journalists, he initially tried to sell his forgeries to France, rather than to proponents of war against Iraq. It also faces the chronological issue that Martino first began manufacturing forgeries following a staged break-in to Nigers embassy in Rome on January 1, 2001, which was significantly before the Iraq debate between the US and France became heated (though it is unclear whether the specific forgeries Martino distributed in October 2002 were created at this time or later, as Martino is known to have distributed a number of different documents at different times, some authentic and some forged). These considerations seem to make the simplest hypothetical scenario one where Martino and his accomplices initially began creating forgeries for profit in early 2001, and someone only decided to use some of his forgeries as a political weapon after the debate over Iraq heated up in late 2002. Again this is only offered as a hypothetical scenario based on what is currently known, which is limited. The FBIs basis for its position has not yet been shared with the public.
But even if the motive behind the creation of the forgeries remains uncertain, what is more evident is the role that French intelligence played in trying to foist the information in the forgeries off into US intelligence files, an effort that will here be called Operation Nigergate. After the French had already become aware that Martino was selling forgeries, Martino tried to pass forged documents to Italian Panorama journalist Elisabetta Burba around October 8, 2002, as the UN was renewing weapons inspections in preparation for debate over whether to pass a second resolution against Iraq authorizing military action. Burba says she was skeptical of the documents authenticity. In the process of trying to authenticate them her editor-in-chief Carlo Rossella passed a copy on to the US embassy for fact-checking. After this, on November 22, 2002, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director for Nonproliferation told State Department officials that French intelligence had received information about Iraq attempting to acquire uranium from Niger. Then the French waited until March 4, 2003--after Bushs January 2003 State of the Union speech and Colin Powells February 2003 UN speech--to inform the US that the information passed on in November 2002 was based on forgeries, which was something French intelligence had already known prior to sharing the information with the US in the first place.69
While Martino and the French were busy trying to pass off the forgeries to Bush, simultaneous propaganda campaigns were underway against two of Bushs key European allies, Italys Silvio Berlusconi and Britains Tony Blair. Because Martino had worked for Italian intelligence as well as French intelligence and remained in contact with Italian intelligence agents and assets, antiwar propagandists could spread rumors plausibly attributing Martinos actions to Berlusconi. Martino had also passed forgeries on to MI6 in late 2001, which made an anonymous British official sound plausible when he told BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan that Tony Blairs government had sexed up a September 2002 dossier on Iraqs WMD (the September Dossier). In the wake of Gilligans report and a story by Dan Plesch of the Guardian, Blair supporter John Reid complained on June 3, 2003 that rogue elements in the intelligence community were out to smear Blair. Australian intelligence veterans and antiwar journalists also tried to implicate John Howard along with Blair.70
Active in encouraging speculation against Berlusconi and Blair were former US intelligence agents linked to VIPS who shuttled between the US and European media. Former CIA agent Vince Cannistraro, who in retirement had gone to work as a security advisor for the Vatican and an intelligence consultant for ABC News (where Morton Halperins son Mark Halperin served as Political Director) had been serving since the Clinton administration as a frequent source for US correspondents of Britains Guardian, which was also quoting Valerie Plames former CIA colleague Larry Johnson (later of VIPS) by September 2002. Cannistraro also served as a source for the Italian media. Although during the Clinton administration various articles had quoted Cannistraro linking Iraq to Al Qaeda, from about September 2002 on Cannistraro began telling US and European reporters that there was no evidence of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. He also began complaining, as he expressed it to the Guardian on October 9, 2002, Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements and there's a lot of unhappiness about it in intelligence, especially among analysts at the CIA. Cannistraro elaborated to the Washington Post on October 25, 2002, they are undertaking a campaign to get George Tenet. . .fired because they can't get him to say what they want on Iraq. Later Cannistraro would claim that Saddam Hussein used him to make peace overtures to the US via Iraqi agent Tahir Habbush in December 2002, when Hussein was reportedly sending similar messages through channels such as former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter--an antiwar propagandist financed by Iraqi agent Shakir Al-Khafaji--to sympathetic world leaders such as Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Nelson Mandela. Meanwhile as Cannistraro was serving as Saddam Husseins courier and discrediting Bushs war effort in the European media, the German TV show Panorama broadcast a similar message from VIPS Ray McGovern and David MacMichael, along with Bob Baer and former UN weapons inspector David Albright, in an episode which aired March 6, 2003, a day before Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, headquartered in Vienna, Austria) first publicized the Niger forgeries. Later Germanys ZDF Television, which been airing interviews about the forgeries with ElBaradei, Baer, and Seymour Hersh, supplied a video of the Niger forgeries to ABC News for a July 15, 2003 show which quoted Cannistraro blaming the forgeries on Italian intelligence: The Italians, as a NATO ally, thought they had some valuable information that played into current NATO requirements as well as U.S. and U.K. requirements about Iraq and Saddam Hussein, and they passed it on.71
Concurrent with the dissemination of accusations against Bushs allies, elements of the Democratic Party had begun to form an antiwar coalition against Bush, with an aim towards influencing both the war debate and the 2004 Presidential campaign. This process seems to have begun independently of the French-led Nigergate operation, but as the Iraq debate escalated and the wars international opponents joined forces, US politics and international intrigues came together.
Background 2: The Rockefeller Plan: Domestic partisans target Bush.
As President Bush prepared to present his case against Iraq to Congress and the UN, an antiwar turn by the Democratic Partys left wing was heralded by former President Jimmy Carter in a Washington Post article on September 5, 2002 titled The Troubling New Face of America. After accusing the US of abusing human rights at Guantanamo Bay, Carter criticized Bush administration hawks and echoed those members of the UN Security Council then advocating prolonged weapons inspections instead of military action, writing, We cannot ignore the development of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, but a unilateral war with Iraq is not the answer. There is an urgent need for U.N. action to force unrestricted inspections in Iraq. But perhaps deliberately so, this has become less likely as we alienate our necessary allies. Carter followed up his comments on Iraq by adding, Tragically, our government is abandoning any sponsorship of substantive negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. Our apparent policy is to support almost every Israeli action in the occupied territories and to condemn and isolate the Palestinians as blanket targets of our war on terrorism, while Israeli settlements expand and Palestinian enclaves shrink.72 Carter, who when he was in office had been embarrassed by his brother Billys public anti-Israeli statements, had previously been a target of Libyan73 and Saudi74 attempts to influence him, and during the Oil-for-Food investigation it would emerge that in 1999 he had entertained complaints about UN sanctions from a delegation of Iraqi religious leaders whose visit had been arranged by Iraqi agent Samir Vincent. Vincent was working to influence political leaders on Iraqs behalf in conjunction with Tongsun Park,75 previously investigated on suspicion of bribing Congressmen on behalf of Korea during the Carter administration.76 More recently Parks associate Maurice Strong, like Carter, had helped enable North Koreas nuclear program by insisting on rewarding threats with aid.77
A week after Carters article, on September 11, 2002--the anniversary of 9/11--two Democrats with ties to Arab and Muslim lobbying groups, West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall and former Senator James Abourezk, left for Iraq leading a US antiwar delegation calling itself The Mission to Baghdad.78 Mission organizer Rahall, who had worked as an assistant for West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd before being elected to Congress, had been active in legislation involving oil drilling, as well as lobbying for Palestinian rights in conjunction with groups such as the National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA). In 1997 he had travelled to the Middle East on an NAAA fact-finding mission in the company of Rock Creeks Elias Aburdene, and since the 1996 elections his campaign contributors had included Aburdene, Occidental Petroleums Odeh Aburdene, convicted terrorist financier Abdurahman Alamoudi, and--on September 25, 2002--Joseph Wilson.79 Rahall extended an invitation to join the mission to Abourezk, who had a similar background. Abourezk had been present in Libya with Billy Carter to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Muammar Qaddafis reign in 1979, and the next year he had founded the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which allied with left-wing groups in providing legal support to advocates of Palestinian rights.80 Rahall and Abourezks trip to Iraq was sponsored by the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA), whose communications director Sam Husseini had previously been media director for Abourezks ADC. IPA was a left-wing media relations group that had been founded with financing from the Stern Family Fund, a traditional funding source for various Communist Party fronts and fellow-travelling groups such as IPS.81 IPA founder Norman Solomon joined Rahall and Abourezk on their trip, along with among others IPS cofounder Saul Landau, invited by Abourezk; Landaus filmmaking associate Sonia Angulo; James Jennings of Conscience International (CI), an Atlanta-based group that had been defying UN sanctions and US travel restrictions by making trips to Iraq to deliver humanitarian aid since 2001; and retired Troy, Michigan businessman Harold Samhat, who was cochair of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services and committee member of the Arab American National Museum. The groups ostensible mission to encourage Saddam Hussein to accept renewed UN weapons inspections was endorsed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Arab League, and former South African President Nelson Mandela. In Baghdad the delegation met with former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who had recently made the antiwar film In Shifting Sands, financed by Iraqi agent Shakir Al-Khafaji with Oil-for-Food vouchers. The delegation also met high-ranking Iraqi officials and attended the Sixth Iraq Solidarity Conference (aka Baghdad Peace Conference) on September 16. The conference was attended by 170 delegates from 80 countries, including Ritter; Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, an Oil-for-Food beneficiary; George Galloway, a UK politician implicated in the Oil-for-Food scandal; and a delegation from the World Workers Party, the North Korean-linked group behind the antiwar fronts International Action Center (IAC) and ANSWER, headed by longtime Communist fellow traveller Ramsey Clark, who had led anti-sanctions trips to Iraq during the 1990s.82 Media contacts listed in IPA press releases for the Mission to Baghdad included former Oil-for-Food program head Denis Halliway; Scott Ritter; IPS Phyllis Bennis and Stephen Zunes; Detroit bishop Thomas Gumbleton, an IAC associate who had co-led Ramsey Clarks trips to Iraq during the 1990s; and Kathy Kelly of Voices in the Wilderness, an anti-sanctions group founded in 1996 which also travelled to Iraq with IAC in the 1990s.83
Abourezk returned to the US on September 16 and started a tour of TV appearances, and other Democrats began making antiwar statements.84 Following Bushs September 19, 2002 warning that if the UN would not disarm Saddam Hussein the US and its allies would, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a member of the Socialist International-linked Congressional Progressive Caucus who had been giving press conferences with Denis Halliday and Scott Ritter over the past two months, announced he was forming a Congressional antiwar coalition. Kucinichs coalition initially consisted of 19 Democrats, notably including Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus member Barbara Lee, who had cast the lone vote against military action in Afghanistan after 9/11; and Washington Congressman Jim McDermott, another member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who had criticized military action against Afghanistan. Concurrent with his announcement, Kucinich issued a statement questioning whether Iraq posed a Weapons of Mass Destruction threat: There is no credible evidence linking Iraq to Al-Queda [sic]. Nor is there any credible evidence of Iraqs possession of weapons of mass destruction, their capability, or their intent to deliver such weapons.85 On September 20 this sentiment was echoed by West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, who stated, Instead of offering compelling evidence that the Iraqi regime had taken steps to advance its weapons program, the president offered the U.N. more of a warning than an appeal for support. . . We must not be hell-bent on an invasion until we have exhausted every other possible option to assess and eliminate Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction program.86 Byrds speech was praised by New York Senator Hillary Clinton.87 On September 23 former Vice President Al Gore--then still a Presidential contender in the 2004 campaign--made his first antiwar statement, claiming an attack on Iraq would undermine the War on Terror.88 On September 25 Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle made a speech on the Senate floor accusing President Bush of politicizing the war debate.89 On September 27 Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy jumped on the bandwagon, arguing that the US should keep its focus on Al Qaeda instead of Iraq and also stating, I have heard no persuasive evidence that Saddam is on the threshold of acquiring the nuclear weapons he has sought for more than 20 years. . .[and] there is no clear and convincing pattern of Iraqi relations with either Al Qaeda or the Taliban.90 It may be observed that most of these statements were made before the British released their September Dossier on September 24, 2002, and also prior to the US publishing its own National Intelligence Estimate on October 1 and prior to the UN releasing any results from the inspections Iraq had just agreed to let resume on September 16, indicating that these speakers simultaneously-timed decisions to oppose the war and express skepticism about Iraqs potential threat were made on some basis other than an objective investigation of the currently-available evidence.
On the same day Kennedy made his statement, a second delegation of US Democratic Congressmen arrived in Iraq, consisting of Kucinichs antiwar coalition ally McDermott, Michigan Congressman and former Democratic Whip David Bonior, and California Congressman Mike Thompson.91 McDermott had voted against the Gulf Waf, and had opposed sanctions against Iraq since travelling there in August 1991.92 Bonior, who had also voted against the Gulf War, was an early Congressional ally of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), cofounded by John Kerry in 1978 as an offshoot of the Communist Party-linked Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). He had become a pro-Muslim lobbyist in the 1990s, sponsoring bills for the repeal of anti-terrorism legislation, advocating the release of accused terrorist Sami Al-Arians associate Mazen Al-Najjar, and receiving campaign contributions from Al-Arian, Abdurahman Alamoudi, former Clinton Justice Department figure Jamie Gorelick, and Mission to Baghdad participant Harold Samhat.93 Accompanying the Congressmen to Baghdad was Iraqi agent Shakir Al-Khafaji, who later paid McDermott a check.94 Also travelling with the Congreessmen was the Church Council of Greater Seattle, an antiwar religious coalition, and joining them in Baghdad was a delegation led by Bert Sacks of Citizens Concerned for the People of Iraq, a Seattle-based affiliate of Voices in the Wilderness which had begun traveling to Iraq with Ramsey Clarks IAC in the 1990s.95 IPA again handled media relations for the trip, issuing press releases listing media contacts that included Mission to Baghdad participant James Jennings as well as Sacks.96 During the trip, McDermott spoke live from Baghdad to ABCs This Week on September 29 to comment on a statement he had previously made, The President of the United States will lie to the American people in order to get us into this war.97 After returning to the US McDermott elaborated his statement in an October 10 speech to Congress, in which he listed nine arguments against war, one of which denied evidence of Iraq possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction and included the insinuation that the US was responsible for Iraqs noncompliance with UN weapons inspections:
There has been no solid information regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction since UNSCOM and IAEA arms inspectors left Iraq in December 1998 in advance of the U.S. Desert Fox bombing operation. . . Since that time, there have been no verifiable reports regarding Iraq's WMD programs. It is important to get inspectors back into Iraq, but U.S. threats for years made that virtually impossible by setting a "negative incentive" in place.98
Within a week of McDermotts September 29 statement, on October 3, Boniors Michigan Senate counterpart Carl Levin, a close associate of the far left and Muslim lobbies,99 began a campaign to replace Bushs proposed war resolution with an alternate resolution that would only authorize the President to use force if the UN authorized military action.100 This revision would have effectively enabled Russia, China, and France to delay military action indefinitely. Levins effort failed, but in January 2003, another opportunity for Bushs opponents to undermine his war policy arose.
Following the November 2002 elections, in which Republicans regained control of the Senate, Robert Byrds fellow Democratic West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller--whose famous family has oil interests linked to Saudi interests as well as long-term political ambitions, it is worth recalling--was slated to ascend in January to Vice-Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on which Levin also sat. Even before assuming his new position, Rockefeller announced his intention to split the committee along party lines into two separate committees: a Democratic group under himself as Vice Chairman and a Republican group under Republican Chairman Pat Roberts.101 As this was being debated, on January 6, 2003 Capitol Hill Blue reported that a media outlet owned by its parent company had received a memo from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) outlining a strategy to undermine confidence in President Bush in the coming weeks by [c]laiming the Bush administration has manufactured evidence against Saddam Hussein and used that evidence to encourage Britain and other allies to join the American fight against Iraq.102 Later in 2003 FOX News reported it had obtained a similar memo being circulated by a staffer for Rockefeller, alleged to be Christopher Mellon. The memo proposed to use classified intelligence gathered by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee against President Bush:
We have carefully reviewed our options under the rules and believe we have identified the best approach. Our plan is as follows. . .Pull the majority along as far as we can on issues that may lead to major new disclosures regarding improper or questionable conduct by administration officials. We are having some success in that regard. For example, in addition to the president's State of the Union speech, the chairman has agreed to look at the activities of the Office of the Secretary of Defense as well as Secretary Bolton's office at the State Department. The fact that the chairman supports our investigations into these offices and co-signs our requests for information is helpful and potentially crucial. . .[W]e have already compiled all the public statements on Iraq made by senior administration officials. We will identify the most exaggerated claims and contrast them with the intelligence estimates that have since been declassified. . . The Democrats will then be in a strong position to reopen the question of establishing an independent commission. . . Prepare to launch an independent investigation when it becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to usefully collaborate with the majority. We can pull the trigger on an independent investigation at any time--but we can only do so once. . .In the meantime, even without a specifically authorized independent investigation, we continue to act independently when we encounter foot-dragging on the part of the majority. For example, the FBI Niger investigation was done solely at the request of the vice chairman; we have independently submitted written questions to DoD; and we are preparing further independent requests for information. . . Intelligence issues are clearly secondary to the public's concern regarding the insurgency in Iraq. Yet, we have an important role to play in the revealing the misleading--if not flagrantly dishonest methods and motives--of the senior administration officials who made the case for a unilateral, preemptive war.103
This memo, laying out what will here be called the Rockefeller Plan, refers among other things to Vice Chairman Rockefeller triggering the FBIs investigation of the Niger forgeries. Rockefeller requested this investigation from the FBI on March 14, 2003, specifying that the Bureau seek to determine the extent to which the forgeries were part of a disinformation campaign.104 Rockefellers request had been preceded by a request on January 29 from his Intelligence Committee colleague Levin to the CIA asking for details on what the US intelligence community knew about the Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium from Africa mentioned in President Bushs January 28 State of the Union address. While awaiting the CIAs reply, which came on February 27 and did not mention the forgery issue,105 Levin travelled to New York to meet with UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix on February 1,106 and then he, Rockefeller, and their Intelligence Committee colleagues Pat Roberts and John Warner went on their own secret fact-finding mission to the Middle East on February 15, stopping along the way in Naples, Italy to be briefed by the head of Allied forces in Southern Europe, and ending their trip in England before returning to the US on February 25.107
After Levin got back, he and Joseph Wilson appeared together on ABCs Nightline on March 4, 2003.
Foreground: The Franco-American Axis converges: Wilson turns partisan
On Nightline, Wilson, Levin, and left-wing theologian Susan Thistlethwaite of Chicago Theological Seminary joined together to debate war supporters James Woolsey, John McCain, and Richard Land. Asking questions from the audience were French ambassador Jean-David Levitte and German ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger. Levitte, Levin, and Wilson all called for prolonging UN inspections before war, with Levittes call to Give peace a chance being echoed by Wilson suggesting, Give disarmament a chance.108
A few days later on March 7, 2003, the IAEAs ElBaradei made what became the first public reference to the Niger forgeries. ElBaradei, speaking to the UN Security Council, contradicted the British September Dossiers claims on Iraqi attempts to require uranium from Africa, claiming that the British had based this claim on the Niger uranium forgeries. The next day ElBaradeis comments were reported by the New York Times and Washington Post.
The Post coverage of ElBaradeis comments, reported by Joby Warrick, included some follow-up quoting an anonymous U.S. official:
Knowledgeable sources familiar with the forgery investigation described the faked evidence as a series of letters between Iraqi agents and officials in the central African nation of Niger. The documents had been given to the U.N. inspectors by Britain and reviewed extensively by U.S. intelligence. The forgers had made relatively crude errors that eventually gave them away--including names and titles that did not match up with the individuals who held office at the time the letters were purportedly written, the officials said. We fell for it, said one U.S. official who reviewed the documents.109
That same day, March 8, 2003, in following up the controversy generated by the Post quote of the anonymous source, CNNs Renay San Miguel interviewed Joseph Wilson. In the course of the interview, Wilson said:
. . .I think it's safe to say that the U.S. government should have or did know that this report was a fake before Dr. ElBaradei mentioned it in his report at the U.N. yesterday.
The interviewer then asked,
Mr. ElBaradei did tell our Richard Roth today, during an interview, that the intelligence isn't just coming from the U.S., that there were other countries involved. Which other countries do you think, and how is it that all of these intelligence agencies or intelligence agencies from these countries that were involved could be taken in by these forgeries?
Well, the report I saw said that the Brits were involved. Maybe it was the British that passed this report on. I don't know who else might have been involved, but I can tell you this: The report in "The Washington Post" today said -- quoted a U.S. official as saying, "we just fell for it." That's just not good enough. Either he's being disingenuous, or he shouldn't be drawing a government paycheck.
The interviewer followed up by asking for Wilsons advice on damage control, to which he responded:
I would not want to be doing damage control on this. I think you probably just fess up and try to move on and say there's sufficient other evidence to convict Saddam of being involved in the nuclear arms trade. . .110
Wilson later recalled the interview in the following terms:
The next day a State Department spokesman was quoted as saying, We fell for it.
I was astounded by the spokesmans comment. Within days after it made the news, I was on the set of CNN, waiting to do an interview, when David Ensor, a CNN national security reporter, happened by. He was looking at the story with an eye out for the perpetrators of the forgeries and asked me what I knew about the Niger uranium business. I told him that as far as I knew, the State Department spokesman had not spoken accurately.
I could have told him a lot more. I knew that in addition to my report, there were reports in the government files from our ambassador and from a Marine Corps general. I knew that at the State Department African Bureau, nobody in the management chain of command had ever believed there was anything to the story that a spokesman was now claiming they fell for.. . .As I sat there in the green room, I concluded that the U.S. government had to be held to account. It was unacceptable to lie about such an important issue.
I told Ensor that I would be helpful in his efforts to ferret out the truth, and offered to answer a question or two on the air and to provide leads to him. While I was not willing at that stage to disclose my own involvement, it was not a difficult decision to make, to point others in the right direction. The essential information--the forged documents--was already in the public domain; the State Department spokesman had purposely deceived the public in his response, or else he himself had been deceived. Whichever the case, in my mind it was essential that the record be corrected.
When I went on the air, the CNN newscaster, prompted by Ensor, asked me about the We fell for it line. I replied that if the U.S. government checked its files, it would, I believed, discover that it knew more about the case than the spokesman was letting on. I then added that either the spokesman was being disingenuous, or he was ill-informed. . . .111
There are a number of items of interest in Wilsons comments, the analysis of which will be deferred to later sections of this article. For now in relation to the question of motive, it will only be noted that this was Wilsons first public comment on the Niger forgeries, and that it came two months after Capitol Hill Blue reported intercepting a DNC plan to accuse Bush of manufacturing evidence against Iraq, and a week before Senator Rockefeller made his March 14, 2003 request for the FBI to investigate whether the forgeries were part of a disinformation campaign.
As the FBI began looking into the forgeries for the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, Wilsons anonymous leaks to the media began. Around this time Wilson joined the Kerry campaign, influenced according to his own account by his former NSC colleague Rand Beers, who had quit the Bush administration just before the war started in March and had joined Kerry in mid-May 2003.112 On May 2 Wilson mentioned his Niger trip while speaking at a Senate Democratic Policy Committee meeting where another speaker was New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof.113 Over the next two months, starting on May 6, Wilson would be quoted anonymously by Kristof,114 Walter Pincus of the Washington Post,115 John Judis and Spencer Ackerman of The New Republic,116 and Andrew Buncombe and Raymond Whitaker of Britains Independent.117 Wilson first revealed himself as the anonymous source mentioned in this series of articles orally in a June 14, 2003 lecture to the EPIC Iraq Forum.118 He finally revealed himself in print in his July 6, 2003 New York Times editorial, What I Didnt Find in Africa,119 published simultaneously with a feature on him by Richard Leiby and Dana Priest in the Washington Post120 and coordinated with national TV appearances. Notably, Wilson appeared with Andrea Mitchell on NBCs Meet the Press that day, followed by Carl Levin through prearrangement with the producer.121
The next month in the wake of Wilsons New York Times article, Dennis Kucinich and Carl Levin both spoke to Congress calling for an investigation into the inclusion of the African uranium claim in Bushs State of the Union address. As Levin was speaking to the Senate on July 15, Kucinich held a press conference with VIPS Ray McGovern and retired Australian intelligence agent Andrew Willkie.122 The next day Wilsons Nation friend David Corn accused the Bush administration of leaking Plames name to Novak,123 a charge echoed July 17 by TIME reporter Matthew Cooper.124 Two months later at the request of CIA Director George Tenet, the Department of Justice began investigating the Plame leak.125
Thus from March 4, 2003 on there is a clear convergence between the French forgery operation, the Rockefeller staffers plan to use the Senate Select Intelligence Committee to trigger an investigation of Bushs case for war, and Wilsons statements. The French side of the equation is intrinsic in the Niger forgeries underlying Wilsons claims, and is epitomized in the remarkable phenomenon of Wilson literally mimicking the talking point of a French ambassador by pleading to give disarmament a chance during his Nightline appearance with Levin. The Rockefeller Plan side of the equation is evident in the contact between Wilson and Levin, the parallelism between the Senate Select Intelligence Committees actions and Wilsons statements, and Levins explicit references to Wilsons claims about his trip to Niger.
Verifying that Wilson shared the partisan agenda against Bush as well as Frances agenda against Bushs allies, there is evidence in Wilsons own words in this statement from his EPIC lecture of June 14, 2003:
Let me just start out by saying, as a preface to what I really want to talk about, to those of you who are going out and lobbying tomorrow, I just want to assure you that that American ambassador who has been cited in reports in the New York Times and in the Washington Post, and now in the Guardian over in London, who actually went over to Niger on behalf of the government--not of the CIA but of the government--and came back in February of 2002 and told the government that there was nothing to this story, later called the government after the British white paper was published and said you all need to do some fact-checking and make sure the Brits aren't using bad information in the publication of the white paper, and who called both the CIA and the State Department after the President's State of the Union and said to them you need to worry about the political manipulation of intelligence if, in fact, the President is talking about Niger when he mentions Africa. That person was told by the State Department that, well, you know, there's four countries that export uranium. That person had served in three of those countries, so he knew a little bit about what he was talking about when he said you really need to worry about this. But I can assure you that that retired American ambassador to Africa, as Nick Kristof called him in his article, is also pissed off, and has every intention of ensuring that this story has legs. And I think it does have legs. It may not have legs over the next two or three months, but when you see American casualties moving from one to five or to ten per day, and you see Tony Blair's government fall because in the U.K. it is a big story, there will be some ramifications, I think, here in the United States, so I hope that you will do everything you can to keep the pressure on. Because it is absolutely bogus for us to have gone to war the way we did. . . I think it probably has legs, too, because of the course the press operates on profits, and if they can make a scandal out of this they'll do it, you know, that'll be great. And you already hear people talking about the i word.126
With this statement, Wilson declares his motive in his own words: his express intent, motivated by a desire to change a foreign policy he finds bogus, is to ensure that the Niger forgery story grows legs by encouraging lobbyists in his audience and media muckrakers to work towards impeaching (the i word) the President of the United States and causing the fall of the Prime Minister of Great Britain. And from the date of this statement--June 14, 2003--it is evident that this was his intent even before Robert Novaks July 14, 2003 article mentioning Valerie Plame.
Motive: Conclusion: Nonpartisan Whistleblower or Partisan Propagandist?
In summary, Wilsons words, actions, and associations suggest three distinct but related motives for his behavior:
1) A business motive for his two trips to Niger.
2) A foreign policy motive, shared by his business associates, for opposing the War on Iraq.
3) A partisan political motive, shared by foreign opponents of the war and elements of the Democratic Party, for trying to unseat Bush and Blair.
Wilsons defense against allegations regarding the first motive has already been addressed. The second and third motives have already been upheld by the weight of his own words. But to rest the case it will be good to conclude by addressing Wilsons defense against charges of partisanship:
. . .Libby evidently seized opportunities to rail against me as an [expletive deleted] playboy who went on a boondoggle arranged by his CIA wife--and was a Democratic Gore supporter to boot.
So what if Id contributed to the Gore campaign? I had also contributed to the Bush campaign. So what if Id sat on a Gore foreign policy committee? I had had no political role whatsoever in the campaign. Moreover, my trip to Niger was taken more than two years after the Gore-Bush election, and I had not even been involved in any partisan activities during the campaign. And it was not until the spring of 2003, several months after, the presidents State of the Union address, that I contributed to the Kerry campaign and began to work with his foreign policy committee.
Would a staunch Republican have disregarded the facts and offered findings from Niger that were different than mine? Intelligence collection is not party-specific. Perhaps a Republican would have allowed the lie to pass without comment, but if so, that is a Republican problem.127
It would be easy to digress at length to the fallacies in Wilsons defense. For instance, there have been any number of cases where political partisans financed members of both parties for various tactical reasons (as has already been illustrated by the French backing both sides in the Congo); and Wilsons insinuation that Republicans are liars, while it may serve as an emotional distraction from the issue, does not help build his case for being nonpartisan. But for the sake of the present argument, it is only necessary to make one main point in rebuttal. The real issue is not whether Wilson had a career as a partisan Democrat prior to the beginning of his nationally-publicized attacks on Bushs 2003 State of the Union address. The real issue is what motivated Wilson to begin attacking Bushs State of the Union address at the time he did. Wilson verifies his partisan motives even in the process of trying to dismiss charges of partisanship: several months after, the presidents State of the Union address. . .I contributed to the Kerry campaign and began to work with his foreign policy committee. Wilson volunteers elsewhere, For. . .three months, I privately urged the administration through contacts and third parties to correct the record. I also shared what I knew with Nick Kristof of The New York Times and Walter Pincus of The Washington Post, as well as with several Democratic Senators and I met with the staffs of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.128 During this period when Wilson says he was talking to Democratic Senators and working with the Kerry campaigns foreign policy committee, Senator Kerry told an audience in Lebanon, New Hampshire on June 18, 2003, as reported by the Associated Press:
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday that President Bush broke his promise to build an international coalition against Iraq's Saddam Hussein and then waged a war based on questionable intelligence.
''He misled every one of us,'' Kerry said. ''That's one reason why I'm running to be president of the United States.''
Kerry said Bush made his case for war based on at least two pieces of U.S. intelligence that now appear to be wrong that Iraq sought nuclear material from Africa and that Saddam's regime had aerial weapons capable of attacking the United States with biological material.129
Four days after Kerrys statement, Howard Dean, then trailing Kerry by 10 points in New Hampshire primary polls, followed his rivals lead, telling Meet the Press, We were misled. . .The question is, did the president do that on purpose or was he misled by his own intelligence people? When asked to comment on Kerrys statement, Senator Rockefeller--perhaps not yet a Kerry supporter at this early stage in the 2004 campaign, though he would later join Robert Byrd in cochairing Kerrys West Virginia campaign--dismissed his remarks as politically motivated, saying, The senator is running for president.130 Indeed. Even to Senator Rockefeller, when he was not denying the obvious to protect his own interests, the partisan motive for using such rhetoric during an election campaign was transparent.
If Wilsons motive was to help the perpetrators of Operation Nigergate and the Rockefeller Plan unseat Bush and his allies, the next question to be tackled is, by what means did Wilson and his accomplices attempt to carry out their coup? In the realm of public relations at least the assassination weapon of choice is the poison pen, which is mightier than the sword, so the selected means of attack was a propaganda campaign against Bush, targeting his case for war. For purposes of analysis and discussion, this propaganda campaign can be broken down into four phases:
1. Developing antiwar talking points.
2. Planting the forgery.
3. Publicizing the forgery.
4. Mop-up: Publicizing the alibi.
The first two phases began prior to Wilsons activation in Phase 3, where he came to center stage.
Phase 1: Developing antiwar talking points.
In the first phase of the campaign, anti-Bush propagandists developed their talking points. These echoed talking points that had been developed by the antiwar movement over the course of late 2002 and early 2003.
Just as the proponents of any war seek to rally public support by providing a list of moral justifications for the war, a casus belli, opponents of any war seek to counter arguments for that war with a list of corresponding antiwar talking points. Over the course of two World Wars and the Cold War, the powers that sit on the UN Security Council have developed antiwar propaganda into an art. During the Cold War the former Soviet Unions international antiwar umbrella, the World Peace Council (WPC), effectively distributed talking points through means such as international antiwar conferences. After the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein began hosting a similar semi-annual conference, the Baghdad Peace Conference. In September 2002 as the Iraq War approached, Hussein convened a scheduled Baghdad Peace Conference two months early in order to hold an emergency session on strategies for deterring military action against Iraq.131
It was this emergency conference that Congressman Rahall and Senator Abourezks Mission to Baghdad delegation attended on September 16, 2002. As previously mentioned, joining Rahall and Abourezk on their trip to Baghdad was Saul Landau, cofounder of the Institute for Policy Studies. IPS had been one of the WPCs major US allies during the Cold War, working in cooperation with its European sister the Transnational Institute (TNI). Following historical precedent, IPS and TNI took a leading role in developing the talking points that would be used by the Iraq antiwar movement.
IPS and TNIs most visible media spokesperson during the buildup to the Iraq War was Phyllis Bennis, who had been part of the Iraq antiwar movement since the Gulf War. Bennis and TNI worked closely with the antiwar coalition United for Peace and Justice (UPJ), a descendant of the Vietnam-era Communist Party front the Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice (PCPJ), affiliated with John Kerrys Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).132 A year before Joseph Wilson gave the keynote address to the annual Iraq Forum of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC), Bennis lectured at the same event on June 15-16, 2002, speaking on The Iraq Debate Inside the Beltway and citing UNSCOM weapons inspectors Scott Ritter and Richard Butler to support the statement that there is no longer any nuclear or long-range missile capacity in Iraq. Bennis lecture preceded a pair of presentations by Ritter himself, who gave a special screening of the film In Shifting Sands, financed by Iraqi agent Shakir Al-Khafaji with Oil-for-Food vouchers.133 The next month, Bennis debated war advocate Richard Perle on the July 1 episode of NewsHour with Jim Lehrer134 and wrote a five-point antiwar argument that was read into the record of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iraq by longtime Iraq antiwar ally Senator Paul Wellstone on July 31, 2002. Benniss antiwar argument included a supplementary point about weapons inspections which addressed both nuclear and biochemical weapons, stating with regards to nuclear weapons,
There has been no solid information regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction since UNSCOM and IAEA arms inspectors left Iraq in December 1998 in advance of the U.S. Desert Fox bombing operation. . .The IAEA report was unequivocal that Iraq no longer had a viable nuclear program. The UNSCOM report was less definitive, but months earlier, in March 1998, UNSCOM chief Richard Butler said that his team was satisfied there was no longer any nuclear or long-range missile capability in Iraq. . . Since that time, there have been no verifiable reports regarding Iraq's WMD programs. It is important to get inspectors back into Iraq, but U.S. threats have made that virtually impossible by setting a "negative incentive" in place. If Baghdad believes that a U.S. military strike as well as the maintaining of crippling economic sanctions, will take place regardless of their compliance with UN resolutions regarding inspections, they have no reason to implement their own obligations. If the United States refuses to abide by the rule of international law, why are we surprised when an embattled and tyrannical government does so?135
Armed with this word-twisting, issue-dodging argument from ignorance, Bennis launched into a campaign of media appearances on behalf of the antiwar cause, with her far-left affiliations typically going unmentioned by such hosts as CBS and CNN.136 Meanwhile a list of counterarguments similar to Bennis was packaged into a talking-points format in an August 2002 report of the IPS-affiliated think tank Foreign Policy in Focus written by Stephen Zunes and titled Seven Reasons to Oppose a U.S. Invasion of Iraq. Zunes argument included a full point titled There Is No Firm Proof that Iraq Is Developing Weapons of Mass Destruction, echoing Bennis point on weapons inspections and elaborating,
In its most recent report, the International Atomic Energy Agency categorically declared that Iraq no longer has a nuclear program. . . Although Iraqs potential for developing weapons of mass destruction should not be totally discounted, Saddam Husseins refusal to allow UN inspectors to return and his lack of full cooperation prior to their departure do not necessarily mean he is hiding something, as President Bush alleges. More likely, the Iraqi opposition to the inspections program is based on Washingtons abuse of UNSCOM for intelligence gathering operations and represents a desperate effort by Saddam Hussein to increase his standing with Arab nationalists by defying Western efforts to intrude on Iraqi sovereignty. Indeed, the Iraqi defiance of the inspections regime may be designed to provoke a reaction by the United States in order to capitalize on widespread Arab resentment over Washingtons double standard of objecting to an Arab country procuring weapons of mass destruction while tolerating Israels nuclear arsenal. . .U.S. officials have admitted that there is no evidence that Iraq has resumed its nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons programs. Scott Ritter, a former U.S. Marine officer who served as chief weapons inspector for UNSCOM, responded to a query on a television talk show in 2001 about Iraqs potential threat to the U.S. by saying: In terms of military threat, absolutely nothing. His military was devastated in 1991 in Operation Desert Storm and hasnt had the ability to reconstitute itself. . .In terms of weapons of mass destruction, we just dont know. . .We should be trying to get weapons inspectors back into Iraq, so that we can ascertain exactly whats transpiring in Iraq today instead of guessing about it.137
One may well wonder how Ritter was able to confidently declare Iraq a military non-threat while simultaneously confessing ignorance of the state of Iraqs WMD arsenal. Perhaps enough money from Saddam Hussein can make UN weapons inspectors turn a blind eye to self-contradiction as well as WMD. In any case, in addition to disputing allegations of Iraqs possession of nuclear and biochemical Weapons of Mass Destruction, Zunes point on WMD also warned that forcibly disarming Saddam Hussein would dramatically increase the likelihood of his ordering the use of any weapons of mass destruction he may have retained--a point logically in tension with the point that our lack of knowledge of Iraqs WMD program constituted a lack of a threat, illustrating how these points were essentially pretexts for countering any possible case for war rather than genuine arguments addressing factual situations and realistic risks. Zunes other talking points included among other items a critique of arguments alleging Iraqs sponsorship of terrorism.
Bennis and Zunes talking points received wide distribution from antiwar media in late 2002 and early 2003. A modified version of Zunes August 2002 Foreign Policy in Focus report was published in the September 30, 2002 issue of The Nation,138 which had previously published Bennis views on Iraq sanctions.139 The November 11 and December 2, 2002 issues of The Nation included articles by Bennis.140
The December 2, 2002 issue also featured an article by regular Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn that was posted on November 14 to that magazines website and was simultaneously published on Cockburns own website Counterpunch.com,141 soon to become the host of VIPS in February 2003.142 On December 4, 2002 the website of The Nation posted a debate between Cockburn and David Corn, whom Cockburn had attacked for mentioning the role of the World Workers Party in the antiwar movement.143 Despite such Stalinist-Trotskyite family feuding, in the March 3, 2003 issue of The Nation Cockburns regular column--again crossposted to Counterpunch.org, now hosting VIPS--shared space with a new writer Corn had invited to contribute, Joseph Wilson.144
By this time, Wilson says, he had known Corn through their mutual appearances on FOX News for some time and had by and large. . .come to share the editorial perspective of The Nation.145 Reflecting this, Wilsons antiwar speeches had come to echo the talking points of Bennis and Zunes and their comrades, with modifications specifically arguing with Bushs pro-war speeches and eventually incorporating Wilsons own unique talking points about his Niger trip For instance, Wilsons article How Saddam Thinks, published in the San Jose Mercury News October 13, 2002 and reprinted by CommonDreams.org a day after that website had featured an article by Zunes,146 regurgitated Zunes paradoxical WMD logic by arguing that One of the strongest arguments for a militarily supported inspection plan is that it doesnt threaten Saddam with extinction, a threat that could push him to fight back with the very weapons were seeking to destroy.147 Wilsons article Republic or Empire?, posted online on the website of the The Nation on February 13, 2003 in anticipation of that magazines March 3 printed edition, echoed Zunes points on WMD and terrorism and added a third point to counter Bushs more recent talking point emphasizing how the war would liberate the Iraqi people from tyranny.148 Wilsons June 14 lecture to the 2003 EPIC Iraq Forum, in which Zunes participated, developed the same three points and added a fourth based on combining the WMD and terrorism points into an additional point dismissing concerns posed by the threat of Iraq exporting WMD to terrorists. In the process of making these points Wilson elaborated an anti-neoconservative/anti-Zionist conspiracy theory sprinkled through the subtext of Bennis and Zunes talking points, as previously quoted.149
The empirically-demonstrable convergence between IPS talking points and Wilsons potentially throws some light on an intriguing albeit unsubstantiated allegation Senator Trent Lott made to Sean Hannity on March 20, 2003. Lott stated he had received some information that the Democrats had tested various antiwar talking points on focus groups:
They'd been doing some focus groups or they'd been doing some polling that indicated maybe, don't attack the men and women (in uniform) but you can attack the diplomatic effort by Bush.150
Although Lotts allegation is again unsubstantiated, it fits the pattern of data detailed above indicating a continuity between the talking points of IPS and those of Democratic foreign policy consultants like Joseph Wilson.
Against the Phase 1 background of the antiwar movements talking points, it is possible to place the Phase 2 planting of the Niger forgeries in a broader context. The antiwar movements talking points were broader in scope than just WMD or the Niger forgeries. For instance, on a non-WMD-related talking point, in late 2002 Vince Cannistraro was quoted disputing the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda.151 With respect to WMD-related talking points, Glen Rangwala--a UK scientist associated with the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI), which worked with Voices in the Wilderness and George Galloways Emergency Committee on Iraq (ECI)--accused a new Iraq dossier Britain released on February 3, 2003 (the so-called Dodgy Dossier) of plagiarizing a graduate students thesis.152 Meanwhile in the process of publicizing the forgeries IAEA chief ElBaradei disputed US allegations about Iraq intending aluminum tubes for nuclear purposes.153 It appears possible that there were several simultaneous propaganda operations of which Operation Nigergate was only one, and indeed, there was some contact between figures active in several different controversies. For example, Rangwala since November 2002 had been listed as an IPA spokesman in IPA press releases, alongside IPS Phyllis Bennis and VIPS David MacMichael; he was quoted in a VIPS memo published on May 1, 2003; he was quoted by Nicholas Kristof in the May 6, 2003 New York Times article which featured the first anonymous leaks from Wilson; he, Wilson, and Zunes all spoke at the June 14, 2003 EPIC Iraq Forum; and he and Dan Plesch of the Guardian coauthored a book accusing the British government of manufacturing WMD evidence.154 Against this background, the planting of the Niger forgeries may be viewed as one prong of a multi-pronged progpanda operation to discredit the various arguments underpinning the case for war. Operation Nigergate aimed specifically to discredit one argument underpinning the case for Iraqs nuclear threat: namely, to discredit the allegation made by Britains September 24, 2002 dossier that there is intelligence that Iraq has sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium from Africa.155
Phase 2: Planting the forgery.
Within two weeks of the release of the September Dossier, attempts to plant the Niger forgeries in British and US intelligence files began. Around October 8, 2002, Rocco Martino began peddling his forgeries, first to the French DGSE he says (confirming information from other sources), and then to Italian Panorama journalist Elisabetta Burba.156
According to Burba she was skeptical of the documents authenticity. Her editor-in-chief Carlo Rossella requested verification of the documents from the US embassy in Italy, headed by Melvin Sembler. Thus the forgeries entered US State Department files.157
From here the forgeries spread through the US intelligence community via several routes. According to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligences review, within the State Department, the documents passed from the Italian embassy via the Bureau of Nonproliferation (NP) to the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), headed by Carl Ford (who has also worked for Cassidy & Associates, a firm that lobbies for Gabon and was purchased by Shandwick Public Affairs in 2000), who was assisted on WMD-related issues until September 2002 by Greg Thielmann (later to join VIPS158). The INR was immediately suspicious, with one analyst commenting in an email to other intelligence community colleagues, youll note that it bears a funky Emb. of Niger stamp (to make it look official, I guess). On October 16, 2002 INR made copies of the documents available at meeting of the Nuclear Interdiction Action Group (NIAG) attended by representatives of a number of agencies including CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Department of Energy (DOE). Analysts from the DIA, NSA, and DOE picked up copies at the meeting. None of the four CIA representatives who attended the meeting recall picking up copies, but a later internal inspection found copies in the vault of the CIAs Counterproliferation Division (CPD),159 where Valerie Plame worked under Alan Foley of the CIAs Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC).160 CIA spokesman Bill Harlow told Seymour Hersh in March 2003 that the CIA did not obtain an actual copy of the forgeries until after the Presidents January 2003 State of the Union address.161 Contradicting this, Vince Cannistraro later told Hersh that the State Departments Italian embassy had passed the forgeries to the CIAs Italian station, headed by Jeffrey Castelli, and that the CIAs Italian station had passed them on to CIA headquarters.162 Whether the CPD got the documents through this alleged route, from the meeting where the INR made copies available, or through another channel is unclear.
On November 22, 2002 (a date that in retrospect takes on symbolic significance), the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director for Nonproliferation told State Department officials that France had information on an Iraqi attempt to buy uranium from Niger. France then waited until March 4, 2003 to inform the US that this information was based on Martinos forgeries.163
Meanwhile on December 17, 2002, analysts from the CIAs WINPAC produced a paper, U.S. Analysis of Nigers Declaration, 7 December 2002, which critically reviewed a disclosure Iraq had just made to the UN. The paper included statements that Iraqs declaration failed to explain its procurement of aluminum tubes and does not acknowledge efforts to procure uranium from Niger, one of the points addressed in the U.K. dossier. The day after this paper was produced WINPAC, the State Departments NP, and the NSC began helping prepare a fact sheet to be released following a speech by UN ambassador John Negroponte and a press conference by Secretary of State Colin Powell. Despite a suggestion by the WINPAC Director to change the Niger reference to Africa, despite a suggestion by an INR analyst to change the phrase efforts to reported efforts, and despite a check by the State Departments Office of United Nations Political Affairs with NP to make sure WINPAC had reviewed some last-minute changes to the final draft of the fact sheet, the fact sheet was posted to the State Departments website with the same language used in WINPACs December 17 paper: efforts to procure uranium from Niger.
After seeing the WINPAC paper, an INR analyst sent an email to a DOE analyst on December 23, 2002 expressing surprise that WINPACs paper had not mentioned that the INR took a skeptical view on the aluminum tube and Niger uranium issues. The DOE analyst mentioned in reply, it is most disturbing that WINPAC is essentially directing foreign policy in this matter. There are some very strong points to be made in respect to Iraqs arrogant non-compliance with UN sanctions. However, when individuals attempt to convert those strong statements into the knock out punch, the Administration will ultimately look foolish--i.e. the tubes and Niger!164
Along similar lines, Seymour Hersh reported in March 2003, after ElBaradei had publicized the forgeries:
The chance for American intelligence to challenge the documents came as the Administration debated whether to pass them on to ElBaradei. The former high-level intelligence official told me that some senior C.I.A. officials were aware that the documents werent trustworthy. Its not a question as to whether they were marginal. They cant be sort of bad, or sort of ambiguous. They knew it was a fraud--it was useless. Everybody bit their tongue and said, Wouldnt it be great if the Secretary of State said this? The Secretary of State never saw the documents.. . .A former intelligence officer told me that some questions about the authenticity of the Niger documents were raised inside the government by analysts at the Department of Energy and the State Departments Bureau of Intelligence and Research. However, these warnings were not heeded.
Somebody deliberately let something false get in there, the former high-level intelligence official added. It could not have gotten into the system without the agency being involved. Therefore it was an internal intention. Someone set someone up.165
Hersh later added,
a former senior C.I.A. officer. . .had begun talking to me about the Niger papers in March, when I first wrote about the forgery, and said, "Somebody deliberately let something false get in there." He became more forthcoming in subsequent months, eventually saying that a small group of disgruntled retired C.I.A. clandestine operators had banded together in the late summer of last year and drafted the fraudulent documents themselves.
"The agency guys were so pissed at Cheney," the former officer said. "They said, 'O.K, we're going to put the bite on these guys.'" My source said that he was first told of the fabrication late last year, at one of the many holiday gatherings in the Washington area of past and present C.I.A. officials. "Everyone was bragging about it-'Here's what we did. It was cool, cool, cool.'" These retirees, he said, had superb contacts among current officers in the agency and were informed in detail of the sismi intelligence.
"They thought that, with this crowd, it was the only way to go-to nail these guys who were not practicing good tradecraft and vetting intelligence," my source said. "They thought it'd be bought at lower levels-a big bluff." The thinking, he said, was that the documents would be endorsed by Iraq hawks at the top of the Bush Administration, who would be unable to resist flaunting them at a press conference or an interagency government meeting. They would then look foolish when intelligence officials pointed out that they were obvious fakes. But the tactic backfired, he said, when the papers won widespread acceptance within the Administration. "It got out of control."166
Whether or not the allegation of Hershs source is accurate, what may be stated as established fact is that between October and December 2002, copies of the Niger forgeries and references to the forgeries had been widely distributed through the US intelligence community, and a specific reference to Niger had been posted to the US State Department website. From here information would begin to leak outside the US intelligence community, initiating Phase 3 of Operation Nigergate.
Phase 3: Publicizing the forgery.
Neither the September Dossier nor Bushs State of the Union address actually referred to Niger, and both British and US intelligence would later insist they had evidence of Iraqs attempts to acquire uranium from Africa independent of the Niger forgeries.167 But for Operation Nigergates propaganda purposes, the mere presence of the forgeries in British and US files was sufficient to cast doubt on the case for war. The next step was to publicize that doubt by leaking it to sympathetic politicians and reporters.
The posting of the Niger reference to the State Departments website got the ball rolling. This prompted a public denial from Niger on December 24, 2002 and a request for substantiating informtation from the director of the IAEAs Iraq Nuclear Verification Offfice, Jacques Baute, on January 6, 2003.168 Iraqi scientist Jafar Dhia Jafar would later publish a book which mentioned that on January 20, 2003 while being questioned by Baute, he was informed that Baute was in possession of information about Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium from Niger which had beenrecieved from a certain country on the condition that it wasnt shown to Iraq.169
Bautes request for more information was echoed throughout January by Senator Carl Levin, who had been pushing for the US to share more information with the UN since December 2002.170 Levin also sent a request the day after President Bushs January 28, 2003 State of the Union address asking the CIA to provide him with details on what the US intelligence community knew about Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium from Africa.171 Then on January 31 in anticipation of Powells speech to the UN, Levin, along with Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joseph Biden, signed a letter from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle asking President Bush to have Powell brief Congress on newly-acquired intelligence before going to the UN with that information.172 The next day Levin travelled to New York to meet with UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix.173
On February 4, the day before Powells UN speech, someone briefed Baute on the Niger forgeries and provided him with copies. Who provided the briefing and forgeries to him and where they did so have been reportedly differently by different sources. According to Bautes account as reported by Seymour Hersh, he was briefed by the US mission in Austria while aboard a plane en route from IAEA headquarters in Vienna to UN headquarters in New York, and upon reaching New York he was provided with copies of the documents by the US.174 What the Senate Select Committee on Intelligences report says regarding this is censored at a key point, reading, On February 4, 2003, the U.S. Government passed electronic copies of the Iraq-Niger documents to [3/4 line deleted] the IAEA. Because the Director of the IAEAs INVO [Iraq Nuclear Verification Office] was in New York at the time, the U.S. Government also provided the documents to him in New York.175 So far this seems consistent enough. But slightly at variance with these accounts is a July 18, 2003 article by Walter Pincus and Dana Priest which depicts the briefing occurring in Vienna rather than on the plane from Vienna: On Feb. 4, the U.N. inspectors' Iraq team was called to the U.S. mission in Vienna and verbally briefed on the contents of the documents. A day later, they received copies, according to officials familiar with the inspectors' work. A couple weeks earlier, Pincus and Richard Leiby had reported that the copies of the forgeries the inspectors received came from the CIA: In early February, the CIA received a translation of the Niger documents and in early March, copies of the documents, which it turned over to the International Atomic Energy Agency.176 A seemingly different account is found in a March 8, 2003 article by Ian Traynor, stating that Britain provided the documents to the IAEA in Vienna: British officials named the state of Niger as the source of the uranium and passed their evidence to the UN nuclear watchdog, the international atomic energy agency, in Vienna. Hans Blix curiously stated as reported in an April 22, 2003 article by Sally Bolton, The CIA say they got a copy of the document from the UK.177 This is contradicted by a September 2003 British Parliamentary investigation which states, In February 2003 the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) received from a third party (not the UK) documents that the party had acquired in the autumn of 2002 and which purported to be evidence of Iraqs attempts to obtain uranium from Niger. In March 2003 the IAEA identified some of the documents it had received as forgeries and called into question the authenticity of the others. Britains July 2004 Butler Report similarly though somewhat more vaguely states: it was not until early 2003 that the British Government became aware that the US (and other states) had received from a journalistic source a number of documents alleged to cover the Iraqi procurement of uranium from Niger. Those documents were passed to the IAEA. . .178
On February 15, 2003, Levin, Rockefeller, and their Intelligence Committee colleagues left for their secret fact-finding mission abroad, returning February 27.179 Less than a week later, Levin and Joseph Wilson appeared together with the French ambassador Jean-David Levitte present on ABCs Nightline on March 4, 2003180--the same day the US was first informed that the information French intelligence had provided on November 22 had been based on the Niger forgeries. Four days after his Nightline appearance with Levin, Wilson made his first public statement on the Niger forgeries, prompted by CNNs David Ensor, who was investigating the origin of the forgeries.181
Ensors prompting was intended to get Wilson to comment on a quote the March 8 The Washington Post writer Joby Warrick attributed to an anonymous U.S. official.
Knowledgeable sources familiar with the forgery investigation described the faked evidence as a series of letters between Iraqi agents and officials in the central African nation of Niger. The documents had been given to the U.N. inspectors by Britain and reviewed extensively by U.S. intelligence. The forgers had made relatively crude errors that eventually gave them away--including names and titles that did not match up with the individuals who held office at the time the letters were purportedly written, the officials said. We fell for it, said one U.S. official who reviewed the documents.182
Several things are striking about Warricks quote. For one thing, six weeks earlier on January 26, 2003, another Post writer, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, had quoted someone else saying something remarkably similar to the March 8 statement of the anonymous U.S. official:
The Iraqi government believes it has done enough to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors and now regards a war with the United States as almost inevitable, a top adviser to President Saddam Hussein said today. Providing a rare glimpse into the strategic thinking of Hussein's secretive, authoritarian government, his chief adviser on weapons issues, Gen. Amir Saadi, suggested Iraq would not alter its policy toward the inspections and overall disarmament. Although U.N. and U.S. officials demand that the government work actively to resolve conflicts over the private questioning of scientists, the handover of documents and a host of other issues, Iraq believes that it is already "doing all the things we think can prevent war," he said. . .
Administration officials also contend they have strong evidence that Iraq has active programs to manufacture chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. But Saadi dismissed those claims, noting that allegations advanced by the administration last year that Iraq was using imported aluminum tubes to enrich uranium have largely been dismissed by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"It was a lie and they fell for it," he said.183
It is also interesting that although Warricks Post article does not name the anonymous official, Joseph Wilson is more specific. In his book he says it is a State Department spokesman:
. . .I was on the set of CNN, waiting to do an interview, when David Ensor, a CNN national security reporter, happened by. He was looking at the story with an eye out for the perpetrators of the forgeries and asked me what I knew about the Niger uranium business. I told him that as far as I knew, the State Department spokesman had not spoken accurately. . .
As I sat there in the green room, I concluded that the U.S. government had to be held to account. It was unacceptable to lie about such an important issue.
I told Ensor that I would be helpful in his efforts to ferret out the truth, and offered to answer a question or two on the air and to provide leads to him. While I was not willing at that stage to disclose my own involvement, it was not a difficult decision to make, to point others in the right direction. The essential information--the forged documents--was already in the public domain; the State Department spokesman had purposely deceived the public in his response, or else he himself had been deceived. Whichever the case, in my mind it was essential that the record be corrected.
When I went on the air, the CNN newscaster, prompted by Ensor, asked me about the We fell for it line. . .184
Elsewhere Wilson names the State Department spokesman he has in mind:
Wilson says he let the matter drop until he saw State Department spokesman Richard Boucher say a few months later that the U.S. had been fooled by bad intelligence. It was then that Wilson says he realized that his report had been overlooked, ignored, or buried.185
Thus, Wilsons first comments on the Niger forgeries represent a convergence of several curious items rolled into one:
1) Wilsons fingering of Richard Boucher as the anonymous source for Warricks Washington Post quote;
2) Wilsons prompting by CNN, a network which seems to have inherited its founder Ted Turners antiwar spin and anti-Israeli bias;186 and
3) Warricks attribution to an anonymous source of a phrase strikingly similar to that of an Iraqi spokesman quoted six weeks earlier by Chandrasekaran in the Post, a prime mover in the Watergate coup against Richard Nixon.187
If the public were not regularly assured that the Post and CNN like Joseph Wilson are non-partisan victims of a right-wing smear campaign, someone might begin to suspect the trio were up to something here--particularly in light of Walter Pincus revelation of the behind-the-scenes role of Bob Woodward, who coincidentally has recently released an insider account of the Bush administration along with his latest work of fiction about Deep Throat,188 in the wake of John Dean coming forward to declare that Plamegate is worse than Watergate.189
Was Wilson already playing Deep Throat II by the time of his March 8, 2003 CNN interview? If so, for information he purported to have about the Niger forgeries beyond his own personal knowledge of his February 2002 trip--made over half a year before Martinos documents entered US intelligence files in October--he would have had to have had access to other sources of information about the Niger forgeries. By what means could Wilson have obtained such information?
The most direct potential channel would have been his wife, CIA CPD agent Valerie Plame. Questions about CPDs role in the Niger forgery saga are raised by several unresolved issues, such as the enigma of how and when CPD first obtained the copies of the forgeries found in its vault. Another issue is the discrepancy between the the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence testimony of Plames supervisor Alan Foley and that of his NSC counterpart Robert Joseph. Foley initially testified to the Senate that he told Joseph not to include the African uranium reference in Bushs State of the Union speech on Iraq. After this and other elements of Foleys testimony were disputed by Joseph, Foley located a draft of Bushs speech, which proved to be more consistent with Josephs testimony, and Foley conceded that he may have mixed up his recollection of two different speeches he and Joseph had worked on together.190
Plames intelligence community colleagues may also have been a potential source of information for Wilson on the Niger forgeries. Seymour Hersh reported that Vince Cannistraro had learned about the forgeries a few months after October 2002 through an inside source at CIA: Vincent Cannistraro. . .told me that copies of the Burba documents were given to the American Embassy, which passed them on to the C.I.A.'s chief of station in Rome, who forwarded them to Washington. Months later, he said, he telephoned a contact at C.I.A. headquarters and was told that the jury was still out on this--that is, on the authenticity of the documents.191 VIPS founder Ray McGovern claimed he knew Foley from working with him.192 Wilsons longtime colleague Pat Lang professed inside knowledge of conflicts between DIA Middle East officer Bruce Hardcastle and the Bush administration over Iraq-related intelligence.193 One email Lang circulated online in September 2003 was sent to a distribution list which included both McGovern and Cannistraro as well as associates of Lyndon LaRouches Executive Intelligence Review.194
Wilson also had inside contacts in the State Department. He mentions that after Bushs 2003 State of the Union address he discussed the Africa uranium reference privately with State Department personnel, including Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Walter Kansteiner.195 Kansteiner had been involved in the organization of Wilsons Niger trip196 and like Wilson was also associated with the Corporate Council on Africa and Brent Scowcroft.197
Finally, Wilson had contacts in Congress who could have been potential sources of information. As mentioned previously, Wilson says he also shared what I knew with . . .several Democratic Senators and. . .met with the staffs of the House and Senate Intelligence committees,198 and among the Democratic Senators and Senate Intelligence Committee members he is known to have been in contact with from at least March 4, 2003 was Carl Levin, whose colleague Jay Rockefeller requested an FBI investigtion of the Niger forgeries on March 14. Congressman Henry Waxman was also active in the Niger forgery investigation by March 17, 2003.199
Finally, between ElBaradeis March 7,2003 announcement on the forgeries and Kristofs May 6, 2003 article quoting Wilson anonymously some information about the forgeries was publicized in newspapers, so by the time Wilson talked to Kristof he could have obtained some information from articles on the forgeries or from contact with reporters known to be working on the story, who included David Ensor, Walter Pincus Washington Post colleagues Dana Priest and Susan Schmidt, Seymour Hersh, and Kristof himself.200
Through Wilson, a mixture of information and disinformation about the Niger forgeries leaked to various media outlets from March 8 through July 6, 2003, beginning with his comment for CNNs David Ensor on the We fell for it quote reported by Washington Post writer Joby Warrick. In this Wilson was wittingly or unwittingly assisted by various media contacts, including CNNs Ensor; New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof; Washington Post reporters Walter Pincus, Richard Leiby, and Dana Priest; The New Republic writers John Judis and Spencer Ackerman; British Independent journalists Andrew Buncombe and Raymond Whitaker; and NBC Meet the Press guest host Andrea Mitchell.
Wilsons leaks did not occur in a vacuum. They were concurrent with the leaks to Britains BBC and Guardian that prompted Blair supporter John Reid to complain on June 3, 2003 that rogue elements in the intelligence community were out to smear Blair.201 Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic, Ensor followed up his March 8, 2003 interview with Wilson with a March 14 interview of VIPS Ray Close, who had been writing on the Niger forgeries since March 10.202 In the following months VIPS and similar sources continued to feed stories to both fringe and mainstream media, using channels such as Cockburns CounterPunch, LaRouches Executive Intelligence Review, Seymour Hersh, Nicholas Kristof, the June 14, 2003 EPIC Iraq Forum where McGovern spoke with Wilson, and McGoverns July 15, 2003 press conference with Dennis Kucinich. By July 11 Senator Pat Roberts was voicing sentiments similar to that John Reid had expressed on the other side of the Atlantic:
What now concerns me most, however, is what appears to be a campaign of press leaks by the CIA in an effort to discredit the President. Unnamed intelligence officials are now claiming that they told the White House that attempts by Iraq to acquire uranium from countries in Africa were unfounded. I understand, however, that as late as mid-January, 2003, approximately ten days before the State of the Union speech, the CIA was still asserting that Iraq was seeking to acquire uranium from Africa and that those attempts were further evidence of Saddams efforts to reconstitute his nuclear program. I have seen no documentation that indicates that the CIA had reversed itself after January 17th and prior to the State of the Union.203]
Phase 4: Mop-up: Publicizing the alibi.
With the publication of Wilsons New York Times editorial on July 6, 2003, Phase 3 of Operation Nigergate was complete and the main task of smearing Bushs war effort was done. However after any crime there remains the problem of an alibi. What if the Republicans or investigative journalists discovered Wilsons wifes CIA connection and uncovered the propaganda campaign? Wilson naturally does not say this in so many words, but he does recall his awareness that his anonymity was bound to be short-lived:
In late June, the story began to spin out of control as journalists started to report speculation as fact. At this point I was warned by a reporter that I was about to be named in an article as the U.S. official in question. . .
. . . with my name now openly circulating among the press, it was clear that sooner or later my anonymity was going to be sacrificed on the altar of the story.
I learned that on June 22, the London newspaper The Independent blared a headline across the top of the front page. . .that read Retired American diplomat accuses British Ministers of being liars. I knew then that the story was spinning out of control and that I now had no choice but to write it myself.204
Once again Wilsons story cannot be taken at face value, for the fact is that a week before June 22 he had already publicly revealed himself to his EPIC Iraq Forum audience: I just want to assure you that that American ambassador who has been cited in reports in the New York Times and in the Washington Post, and now in the Guardian over in London. . .I can assure you that that retired American ambassador to Africa, as Nick Kristof called him in his article. . .has every intention of ensuring that this story has legs.205 But even if Wilson was not being as careful to protect his anonymity as he pretends, his comments do reflect his awareness of the obvious eventuality that sooner or later the targets of his attacks were going to fight back. One way to counter this eventuality would be that in the event anyone began to dig too deeply into his background, it could be attributed to White House retaliation against a whistleblower.
Based on what is currently known, it is possible that Wilsons whistleblower defense was not originally part of Operation Nigergate and was only conceived after Novaks article. But is also possible that it was designed ahead of time as a contingency plan, to be activated after word of Valerie Plames CIA association predictably passed through the Washington grapevine to the White House and media. Additional investigation would be required to settle this matter.
In either case, the chain of events that triggered Wilsons whistleblower defense has been well-documented as a result of Patrick Fitzgeralds investigation of Plamegate.206 The paper trail that would eventually leave the White House open to charges of retaliation began to be laid in early June 2003 when Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus, who had a long history of association with both the CIA and IPS,207 asked the CIA about Wilsons as background for an article he was then writing which quoted Wilson anonymously. Pincus Post colleague Bob Woodward claims he told Pincus about Plames CIA background in mid-June, which Pincus denies. Whatever the truth there, the process of responding to Pincus question predictably prompted an exchange of paperwork between the CIA and the State Department. The publication of Pincus article on June 12 naturally drew increased attention to his anonymous source and was, again predictably, followed up in the coming weeks by further inquiries from various reporters to both Vice President Cheneys aide Lewis Libby and President Bushs aide Karl Rove, as well as other administration sources and the CIA. Among the reporters who went to Rove for confirmation of information he had heard elsewhere was Robert Novak, on July 8, 2003. On the same day Novak talked to Rove--whether earlier in the day or later is unclear--he was approached on the street by an as-yet unidentified friend of Wilson, who according to Wilson did not mention that he knew him, struck up a conversation about Wilson, and then reported back to Wilson that Novak was saying, Wilsons an [expletive deleted]. The CIA sent him. His wife, Valerie, works for the CIA. Shes a weapons of mass destruction specialist. She sent him. Three days after Novaks encounter with Wilsons anonymous friend, his July 14 article was pre-distributed by APs wire service on July 11, 2003. By July 16, David Corn, who had solicited Wilson to write his article Republic or Empire? for The Nation back in February, was accusing the White House of targeting Wilson through Plame. The day after that Matthew Cooper of TIME began echoing Corns accusations.
The rest is history.
The evidence considered so far verifies that:
1) With respect to motive, Wilson explicitly expressed an intent, motivated by disagreement over Middle Eastern and Iraq policy, to use the Niger forgery controversy to bring about Bushs impeachment as well as Tony Blairs downfall; and
2) With respect to means, Wilson had potential access to information from inside sources about the Niger forgeries, as well as actual access to media outlets to publicize this information.
Did Wilson also have actual opportunity to channel inside information? Data which help answer this question has already been assembled in the course of prior discussion, but it remains to address the question directly, and to address Wilsons alibi.
1. Wilsons original story before July 6, 2003
A review of Wilsons statements prior to his July 6, 2003 New York Times article reveals no less than six occasions where Wilson or someone quoting him stated or implied he had inside knowledge of the Niger forgeries:
1) In his interview comments prompted by CNNs David Ensor on March 8, 2003 (six days before Ensor interviewed VIPS Ray Close):
. . .I think it's safe to say that the U.S. government should have or did know that this report was a fake before Dr. ElBaradei mentioned it in his report at the U.N. yesterday.208
Wilsons later recollection of these comments and their context is also worth repeating:
David Ensor, a CNN national security reporter, happened by. He was looking at the story with an eye out for the perpetrators of the forgeries and asked me what I knew about the Niger uranium business. . .
I told Ensor that I would be helpful in his efforts to ferret out the truth, and offered to answer a question or two on the air and to provide leads to him. While I was not willing at that stage to disclose my own involvement, it was not a difficult decision to make, to point others in the right direction. The essential information--the forged documents--was already in the public domain; the State Department spokesman had purposely deceived the public in his response, or else he himself had been deceived. Whichever the case, in my mind it was essential that the record be corrected.
When I went on the air, the CNN newscaster, prompted by Ensor, asked me about the We fell for it line. I replied that if the U.S. government checked its files, it would, I believed, discover that it knew more about the case than the spokesman was letting on.209
2) In comments quoted by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times on May 6, 2003 (an article also referencing Seymour Hershs Who Lied to Whom? and quoting VIPS Patrick Lang):
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.
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.210
3) In comments quoted by Walter Pincus in the Washington Post on June 12, 2003 and echoed in articles by Pincus on June 13 and June 22. Pincus reported on June 12:
Armed with information purportedly showing that Iraqi officials had been seeking to buy uranium in Niger one or two years earlier, the CIA in early February 2002 dispatched a retired U.S. ambassador to the country to investigate the claims, according to the senior U.S. officials and the former government official, who is familiar with the event. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity and on condition that the name of the former ambassador not be disclosed.211
During his trip, the CIA's envoy spoke with the president of Niger and other Niger officials mentioned as being involved in the Iraqi effort, some of whose signatures purportedly appeared on the documents.
After returning to the United States, the envoy reported to the CIA that the uranium-purchase story was false, the sources said. Among the envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong," the former U.S. government official said.
However, the CIA did not include details of the former ambassador's report and his identity as the source, which would have added to the credibility of his findings, in its intelligence reports that were shared with other government agencies. Instead, the CIA only said that Niger government officials had denied the attempted deal had taken place, a senior administration said.
"This gent made a visit to the region and chatted up his friends," a senior intelligence official said, describing the agency's view of the mission. "He relayed back to us that they said it was not true and that he believed them."
On June 22 Pincus said similarly:
Similar questions have been raised about Bush's statement in his State of the Union address last January that the British had reported Iraq was attempting to buy uranium in Africa, which the president used to back up his assertion that Iraq had a reconstituted nuclear weapons program. In that case, senior U.S. officials said, the CIA 10 months earlier sent a former senior American diplomat to visit Niger who reported that country's officials said they had not made any agreement to aid the sale of uranium to Iraq and indicated documents alleging that were forged.212
4) In his lecture to the EPIC Iraq Forum on June 14, 2003:
. . .I just want to assure you that that American ambassador who has been cited in reports in the New York Times and in the Washington Post, and now in the Guardian over in London, who actually went over to Niger on behalf of the government--not of the CIA but of the government--and came back in February of 2002 and told the government that there was nothing to this story, later called the government after the British white paper was published and said you all need to do some fact-checking and make sure the Brits aren't using bad information in the publication of the white paper, and who called both the CIA and the State Department after the President's State of the Union and said to them you need to worry about the political manipulation of intelligence if, in fact, the President is talking about Niger when he mentions Africa. That person was told by the State Department that, well, you know, there's four countries that export uranium. That person had served in three of those countries, so he knew a little bit about what he was talking about when he said you really need to worry about this. But I can assure you that that retired American ambassador to Africa, as Nick Kristof called him in his article, is also pissed off, and has every intention of ensuring that this story has legs. . . [T]he administration was very careful about only talking, on the forgery, only talking at the Presidential level about uranium sales from Africa, until such time as it came out that they were talking about Niger, and then that was subsequently denied by the State Department, it was difficult to sort of make the case, although I think some of the people inside could have probably talked about it a little bit more openly ahead of time.213
5) In comments quoted by John Judis and Spencer Ackerman in a New Republic article posted online June 19, 2003 and dated June 30, 2003:
One year earlier, Cheney's office had received from the British, via the Italians, documents purporting to show Iraq's purchase of uranium from Niger. Cheney had given the information to the CIA, which in turn asked a prominent diplomat, who had served as ambassador to three African countries, to investigate. He returned after a visit to Niger in February 2002 and reported to the State Department and the CIA that the documents were forgeries. The CIA circulated the ambassador's report to the vice president's office, the ambassador confirms to TNR. But, after a British dossier was released in September detailing the purported uranium purchase, administration officials began citing it anyway, culminating in its inclusion in the State of the Union. "They knew the Niger story was a flat-out lie," the former ambassador tells TNR. "They were unpersuasive about aluminum tubes and added this to make their case more persuasive."
. . .After a few weeks of traveling back and forth between Baghdad and Vienna, Baute sat down with the dozen or so pages of U.S. intelligence on Saddam's supposed nuclear procurements--the aluminum tubes, the Niger uranium, and the magnets. In the course of a day, Baute determined, like the ambassador before him, that the Niger document was fraudulent.214
6) In comments quoted by Andrew Buncombe and Raymond Whitaker in the Independent on June 29, 2003:
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. . .215
. . . in his first interview on the issue, the former US diplomat told The Independent on Sunday: "It is hard for me to fathom, that as close as we are and [while] preparing for a war based on [claims about] weapons of mass destruction, that we did not share intelligence of this nature."
Asked if he felt his findings had been ignored for political reasons, he added: "It's an easy conclusion to draw." Though the official's identity is well-known in Washington--he was on the National Security Council under President Clinton--he asked that his name be withheld at this stage. . .
In February 2002, the former diplomat--who had served as an ambassador in Africa--was approached by the CIA 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.
Up through the June 29 Independent article, Wilsons story consistently depicted him exposing the Niger documents as forgeries upon his return from his February 2002 trip, and Wilson consistently gave the impression he had inside knowledge that the government knew the documents were forgeries from that time. This impression was conveyed not only by inferences but also by direction quotations, such as Pincus quotation of Wilson saying that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong", as reported in an article Wilson referenced in his June 14, 2003 EPIC lecture by alluding to that American ambassador who has been cited in reports in the New York Times and in the Washington Post.
2. How Wilsons (and Pincus) story changed after July 6, 2003
However, starting July 6, 2003, Wilson changed his story, now emphasizing that he never saw the Niger forgeries at the time of his February 2002 trip. His own New York Times article published that day mentioned:
In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake--a form of lightly processed ore--by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. . .216
(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.)
Walter Pincus and his coauthor Richard Leiby kept step with Wilsons about-face in a Washington Post article published the same day:
A senior administration official said yesterday that Wilson's mission originated within the CIA's clandestine service after Cheney aides raised questions during a briefing. "It was not orchestrated by the vice president," the official said. He added that it was reported in a routine way, did not mention Wilson's name and did not say anything about forgeries.
Wilson has been interviewed recently by the House and Senate intelligence committees, which are expected to focus on who in the National Security Council and the vice president's office had access to a CIA cable, sent March 9, 2002, that did not name Wilson but said Niger officials had denied the allegations.
Wilson said he went to Niger skeptical, knowing that the structure of the uranium industry--controlled by a consortium of French, Spanish, German and Japanese firms--made it highly unlikely that anyone would officially deal with Iraq because of U.N. sanctions. Wilson never saw the disputed documents but talked with officials whose signatures would have been required and concluded the allegations were almost certainly false.
Wilson likewise told Andrea Mitchell that day:
When I came back from Niger, and debriefed, I had not, of course, seen the documents, but one of the points that I made was if these documents did not contain certain signatures--specifically, the signature of the Minister of Energy and mine and the prime minister--then they could not be authentic.218
Wilson later added in a letter to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee that he forwarded to a website for posting:
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. 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.219
3. Wilsons dilemma
Why did Wilson change his story after July 6, 2003 to emphasize that he never saw the forgeries at the time of his Niger trip? As Pincus and Leiby mention, by July 6 Wilson had testified to the House and Senate intelligence committees, which had opened hearings the week of June 15 that Pincus had been following.220 When the Senate committee later reviewed prewar intelligence on Iraq, they asked Wilson about a discrepancy they had found between his public statements and their own investigation of government witnesses and documents, which indicated that not only did Wilsons original report on his February 2002 Niger trip not mention anything about forgeries, but the US government did not even have the forgeries at that time, since Rocco Martino would not pass them on until October 2002. The body of the Senates report summarized Wilsons response to this when questioned:
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 said, "among the Envoys 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 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 former ambassador said that he may have "misspoken" to the reporter when he said he concluded the documents were "forged." He also said he may have become confused about his own recollection 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 thought he had seen the names himself. The former ambassador reiterated that he had been able to collect the names of the government officials which should have been on the documents.221
Additional comments attached to the Senate report by its Republican members because the Democrats on the Intelligence Committee would not allow them in the body of the report elaborated:
Conclusion: 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.
At the time the former ambassador traveled to Niger, the intelligence community did not have in its possession any actual documents on the alleged Niger-Iraq uranium deal, only second hand reporting of the deal. The former ambassadors comments to reporters that the Niger-Iraq uranium documents may have been forged because the dates were wrong and the names were wrong, could not have been based on the former ambassadors actual experiences because the Intelligence Community did not have the documents at the time of the ambassadors trip. In addition, nothing in the report from the former ambassadors trip said anything about documents having been forged or the names or dates in the reports having been incorrect. . .Of note, the names and dates in the documents that the IAEA found to be incorrect were not names or dates included in the CIA reports. . .
These and other public comments from the former ambassador, such as his comments that his report debunked the Niger-Iraq uranium story, were incorrect and have led to a distortion in the press and in the publics understanding of the facts surrounding the Niger-Iraq uranium story.222
4. Wilsons alibi(s)
Wilson and his defenders have used several strategies to try to deflect criticisms raised by the Senate committees findings. Their counterarguments will now be considered.
Wilsons supporter Joshua Marshall has tried to defend him by challenging the Senate committees findings, as well as the similar findings of Britains Butler Report.223 Marshall argues that British and US intelligence had received a summary of Martinos forgeries from Italian intelligence by early 2002. To support this argument Marshall cites an article by Dana Priest and Karen DeYoung mentioning a written summary of the Niger forgeries.224 He equates this written summary with the first of a pair of reports British intelligence received in June 2002 and September 2002, mentioned in Parliamentary inquiry published before the Butler Report.225 He asserts that this written summary was the same summary the Italians had earlier provided to the Americans, which the CIA used to brief Joe Wilson before they sent him off to Niger.
Marshall seems to be assuming that the forgeries Martino passed on to Elisabetta Burba in October 2002 are identical to documents he had passed on to various intelligence agencies earlier, which is not clear, since it is known that he passed on more than one set of documents at different times to different parties, and likewise, that US intelligence received several different reports about alleged Iraq-Niger interaction, some more detailed than others, and not all based on Martinos information. But this unsubstantiated assumption is not the most serious flaw in Martinos argument. A bigger problem is that his theory does not attempt to explain how Wilson was briefed before his February 2002 trip on a written summary that, according to the Parlimentary inquiry Marshall cites, would not be received by British intelligence until June 2002. But even this is not the biggest problem with Marshalls argument. The fatal flaw in his argument is that in the process of making it, he overlooks the evidence of the Priest and DeYoung article he links as his reference on the written summary. The article states:
U.S. intelligence officials said they had not even seen the actual evidence, consisting of supposed government documents from Niger, until last month. The source of their information, and their doubts, officials said, was a written summary provided more than six months ago by the Italian intelligence service, which first obtained the documents.226
This article is dated March 22, 2003, so more than six months ago means around September 22, 2002. Therefore this is not a reference to a document used to brief Wilson before his February 2002 trip. So Marshalls defense does not get Wilson off the hook.
Wilsons own self-defense while standing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence took a meeker stance than Marshalls attack on the SSCIs facts. Instead Wilson suggested that perhaps he had confused his memory of his Niger trip with information that had become public knowledge after ElBaradeis March 8, 2003 announcement, and perhaps he had misspoken to Pincus when he said he had concluded the documents were forged after his Niger trip. According to this defense, the fault lies with Wilsons memory and his choice of words when speaking to reporters.
This sounds plausible in the abstract, but in the concrete it does not hold up against the actual evidence of government documents related to Wilsons trip and his own statements to reporters. Wilsons memory might be plausibly blamed if what he told reporters only diverged from the facts by miscellaneous errors of detail that could be traced to media reports, but in fact what he said was made up from whole cloth and cannot be explained by memory confusing his experience what the media was reporting.
Wilson was not sent to Niger because of any suspicions of forged documents raised by names and dates. Such suspicions could have been checked from public records without sending anyone to Niger, just as the IAEA later checked the forgeries with Google, and in fact all names mentioned in the intelligence at issue had already been checked out before Wilson was sent:
On February 18,2002, the embassy in Niger disseminated a cable which reported that the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal provides sufficient detail to warrant another hard look at Nigers uranium sales. The names of GON [government of Niger] officials cited in the report track closely with those we know to be in those, or closely-related positions. However, the purported 4,000-ton annual production listed is fully 1,000 tons more than the mining companies claim to have produced in 2001.. . .The cable concluded that despite previous assurances from Nigerien officials 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. The cable also suggested raising the issue with the French, who control the uranium mines in Niger, despite Frances solid assurances that no uranium could be diverted to rogue states.227
What prompted US intelligence to check into the report Wilson was sent to investigate was not names and dates. What was at issue were political and logistical considerations, due to the amount of uranium reported and the likelihood that such an increase in production would require the complicity of a French-controlled mining consortium and Nigerien government officials, and also due to the risk Iraq faced of being caught:
At the time, all IC analysts interviewed by Committee staff considered this initial report to be very limited and lacking needed detail. CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Department of Energy (DOE) analysts considered the reporting to be "possible" while the Department of States Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) regarded the report as "highly suspect," primarily because INR analysts did not believe that Niger would be likely to engage in such a transaction and did not believe Niger would be able to transfer uranium to Iraq because a French consortium maintained control of the Nigerien uranium industry. . .228
IC analysts at the CIA and the DIA were more impressed with the detail and substance of the second report. One analyst noted that the report provided much more information than they had seen previously in similar reporting about alleged uranium transactions to other countries. INR analysts continued to doubt the accuracy of the reporting, again because they thought Niger would be unwilling and unable to sell uranium to Iraq and because they thought Iraq would be unlikely to risk such a transaction when they were "bound to be caught.
Thus Wilson was not sent to check into any names and dates. Accordingly before he left for Niger his CIA briefing did not cover any suspect names and dates he was supposed to check into:
On February 20,2002, CPD provided the former ambassador with talking points for his use with contacts in Niger. The talking points were general, asking officials if Niger had been approached, conducted discussions, or entered into any agreements concerning uranium transfers with any "countries of concern" [1/2 line deleted]. The talking points also focused on whether any uranium might be missing from Niger or might have been transferred and asked how Niger accounts for all of its uranium each year. The talking points did not refer to the specific reporting on the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal, did not mention names or dates from the reporting, and did not mention that there was any such deal being reported in intelligence channels. 229
Likewise Wilsons report back to the CIA upon his return did not discuss any forgeries or suspect names or dates:
. . .nothing in the report from the former ambassadors trip said anything about documents having been forged or the names or dates in the reports having been incorrect. . . 230
So it is not as if there were any suspect documents, names, or dates involved in Wilsons trip that his memory could have mixed up with what was reported after ElBaradeis announcement. Bad memory does not explain why Wilson told CNN a day after ElBaradeis statement, before there had been any significant reporting for his memory to get confused about, I think it's safe to say that the U.S. government should have or did know that this report was a fake before Dr. ElBaradei mentioned it in his report at the U.N. yesterday. It does not explain why Nicholas Kristof reported Wilson saying, 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. It does not explain why Walter Pincus quoted him saying, the dates were wrong and the names were wrong, the former U.S. government official said. It does not explain why John Judis and Spencer Ackerman reported after interviewing him, He returned after a visit to Niger in February 2002 and reported to the State Department and the CIA that the documents were forgeries. It does not explain why Andrew Buncombe and Raymond Whitaker reported after interviewing him, The retired US ambassador said it was all but impossible that British intelligence had not received his report. . .which revealed that documents. . .were forgeries. . . He also learnt that the signatures of officials vital to any transaction were missing from the documents. Bad memory does not get Wilson off the hook, either. If he embellished his memories of his actual experience with information he had picked up from the news or other sources, it was not a result of bad memory.
Wilsons defense that he misspoke does not work, either. No one misspeaks the same story to four different newspapers over a two-month period.
Away from the scrutiny of Senate cross-examination, Wilson has taken a more aggressive defense, accusing the reporters he spoke to of misquoting him. Asked by Paula Zahn to respond to criticisms based on the Senate committees findings, Wilson accused all reporters who quoted him prior to his own July 6, 2003 New York Times article of misquoting him:
I'm not exactly sure what public comments they're referring to. If they're referring to leaks or sources, unidentified government sources in articles that appeared before my article in "The New York Times" appeared, those are either misquotes or misattributions if they're attributed to me.231
This of course is not credible. For one thing, Wilsons claim that he was misquoted contradicts his admission to the Senate that he was Pincus source and his defense that he misspoke, which was an implicit admission that Pincus quoted him accurately. For another thing, four professional newspapers do not independently misquote someone exactly the same way, using direct quotations. The score is 4 to 1, and Wilsons credibility loses that game.
But it is not necessary to rest the case on the already-weighty probability of four independent witnesses against one, because there is also the weight of Wilsons own words to add to the case. When Wilson spoke to the EPIC Iraq Forum after Kristof and Pincus articles had already come out, he had an opportunity to correct the reporters he now alleges misquoted him. Instead he enthusiastically identified himself as the source quoted by those reporters and made no corrections to what they had quoted him saying:
. . .that American ambassador who has been cited in reports in the New York Times and in the Washington Post, and now in the Guardian over in London, who actually went over to Niger on behalf of the government--not of the CIA but of the government--and came back in February of 2002 and told the government that there was nothing to this story, later called the government after the British white paper was published and said you all need to do some fact-checking and make sure the Brits aren't using bad information in the publication of the white paper, and who called both the CIA and the State Department after the President's State of the Union and said to them you need to worry about the political manipulation of intelligence if, in fact, the President is talking about Niger when he mentions Africa. . .I can assure you that that retired American ambassador to Africa, as Nick Kristof called him in his article, is also pissed off, and has every intention of ensuring that this story has legs.
Later in the same lectures follow-up question and answer session, as Ray McGovern was discussing the forgeries, Wilson added,
. . .the administration was very careful about only talking, on the forgery, only talking at the Presidential level about uranium sales from Africa, until such time as it came out that they were talking about Niger, and then that was subsequently denied by the State Department, it was difficult to sort of make the case, although I think some of the people inside could have probably talked about it a little bit more openly ahead of time.232
One wonders what people inside Wilson is referring to here. This was at least the second occasion when Wilson had implied inside knowledge about the forgeries. The first was his very first public comments on the forgeries to CNN. Wilson has tried to dissociate his CNN comments from later reporting on his Niger trip by emphasizing that he did not speak about his trip during the interview:
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 US 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.233
Indeed, Wilson did not speak of his trip. He spoke about the subject he was prompted to speak on by CNN national security reporter David Ensor: the subject of the Niger forgeries (a subject Ensor, who Wilson says just happened by, just happened to be investigating, and just happened to interview VIPS Ray Close about a few days later). What Wilson said about that subject is quite interesting:
. . .I think it's safe to say that the U.S. government should have or did know that this report was a fake before Dr. ElBaradei mentioned it in his report at the U.N. yesterday.
Now what is so interesting about Wilsons comment here is that until ElBaradeis press conference day before, nobody knew about the forgeries outside a small circle in US intelligence and a few foreign intelligence agencies. Who was included in this circle? Seymour Hersh reported,
Vincent Cannistraro. . .told me that copies of the Burba documents were given to the American Embassy, which passed them on to the C.I.A.'s chief of station in Rome, who forwarded them to Washington. Months later, he said, he telephoned a contact at C.I.A. headquarters and was told that the jury was still out on this--that is, on the authenticity of the documents.234
According to Cannistraros account, he had to call a contact at CIA headquarters to get information about the forgeries. So how was it that a day after ElBaradei went public, in response to an inquiry about a Washington Post article asked by a CNN reporter who just happened by and just happened to be doing an investigation of the forgeries, Joseph Wilson just happened to be there at the scene suggesting, as he characterized his comments in his book, that if the U.S. government checked its files, it would, I believed, discover that it knew more about the case than the spokesman was letting on?235
And thus, in a twist of ironic justice, Wilson hangs himself with the first words out of his mouth.
1Robert Novak, Mision to Niger, Chicago Sun-Times, July 14, 2003, online at Townhall.com, http://www.townhall.com/columnists/robertnovak/rn20030714.shtml.
2Robert Novak, The CIA Leak, Chicago Sun-Times, October 1, 2003, online at Townhall.com, http://www.townhall.com/columnists/robertnovak/rn20031001.shtmll.
3Novak, Mission to Niger.
4Ambassador Joseph Wilson, The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wifes CIA Identity: A Diplomats Memoir, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2004, 5, 6-7.
5United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence Communitys Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004, Chapter 2, Niger, 39-47 (pdf pages 4-12) and Additional Comments, 443 (pdf page 3), online at GPO Access, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html.
6Wilson, A Right-Wing Smear Is Gathering Steam: Ex-envoy says the GOP has Targeted him and his Wife, Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2004, online at Common Dreams News Center, http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0721-06.htm.
7Letter, Joseph Wilson to Pat Roberts and J. Rockefeller, published at Ambassador Joe Wilson's Letter to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, BuzzFlash, http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/05/07/con05233.html, July 15, 2005.
8Wilson, speaking on The Politics of Truth: From Yellow to White, May 13, 2004, audio online at Middle East Institute: MEI Publications: Transcripts and Speeches, http://www.mideasti.org/publications/publications_transcripts.html, quote begins at 25:54 into audio. Cf. Wilson on Meet the Press, October 5, 2003, transcript online at MSNBC: Meet the Press with Tim Russert, http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3131258/: I have no idea what they were trying to suggest in this. I can only assume that it was nepotism. And I can tell you that when the decision was made, which was made after a briefing and after a gaming out at the agency with the intelligence community, there was nobody in the room when we went through this that I knew.
9For instance: Any employee who has authority to take, direct others to take, recommend, or approve any personnel action, shall not, with respect to such authority. . .appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position any individual who is a relative (as defined in section 3110(a)(3) of this title) of such employee if such position is in the agency in which such employee is serving as a public official (as defined in section 3110(a)(2) of this title) or over which such employee exercises jurisdiction or control as such an official. . .For the purpose of this section. . .'agency' means an Executive agency and the Government Printing Office, but does not include. . .the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency. . .and, as determined by the President, any Executive agency or unit thereof the principal function of which is the conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence activities. . .": United States Code Title 5 Section 2302, Prohibited personnel practices, online at Office of the Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives,http://uscode.house.gov/uscode-cgi/fastweb.exe?getdoc+uscview+t05t08+179+1++()%20%20AND%20((5)%20ADJ%20USC):CITE%20AND%20(USC%20w/10%20(2302)):CITE.
10Information on this subject in this section is derived primarily from records for "Gabon", United States Department of Justice Criminal Division: Foreign Agents Registration Unit (FARA), http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fara/fara1st98/COUNTRY/GABON.HTM and related pages from the FARA website and corresponding Google caches. Also see Le Jackpot des Lobbyistes US? (La Lettre du Continent, 328, June 5, 1999), BDP Gabon-Noveau, http://www.bdpgabon.org/ancien_site/bdp/revelationspol1.html; Jim Lobe, African Governments Spend Millions in Lobbying, CorpWatch, http://www.corpwatch.org/news/PND.jsp?articleid=98, May 20, 2001.
11On this aspect of Wilsons finances references may be found in my previous article What Wilson Didnt Say About Africa: Joseph Wilsons Silent Partners, FreeRepublic.com, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1256475/posts, October 25, 2004.
12Walter Pincus and Mike Allen, Leak of Agent's Name Causes Exposure of CIA Front Firm, The Washington Post, October 4, 2003, Page A03, online at washingtonpost.com, http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A40012-2003Oct3?language=printer; Richard Leiby and Dana Priest, The Spy Next Door: Valerie Wilson, Ideal Mom, Was Also the Ideal Cover, The Washington Post, October 8, 2003, Page A01, online at washingtonpost.com, http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A58650-2003Oct7?language=printer; Phil Kuntz, Unsolved Mystery: Is Brewster Jennings Linked to the CIA?, The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2003, online at Crytpome, http://cryptome.org/plame-brewster.htm; Michael C. Ruppert with Wayne Madsen, COUP D'ETAT: The Real Reason Tenet and Pavitt Resigned from the CIA on June 3rd and 4th: Bush, Cheney Indictments in Plame Case Looming, From the Wilderness Publications, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/060804_coup_detat.html, June 8, 2004; Deborah Orin, Report: Plame Gave Money to Anti-Bush Group, FOXNews.com, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,163777,00.html, July 27, 2005.
13Discovered by FReeper Verginius Rufus, citing Whos Who in America, 1998: FReeper Paperjam, Is this the French Connection we were looking for?, FreeRepublic.com, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1512059/posts, October 30, 2005, Post 57.
14Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 68-69.
15Vicky Ward, Double Exposure, Vanity Fair, January 17, 2004, online at Standing up for truth amid a culture of lies, Jim Gilliam, http://www.jimgilliam.com/2004/01/vanity_fairs_profile_on_joseph_wilson_and_valerie_plame.php .
16FRANCE: The Colonel Who Riles a Minister", United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo: UNMIK, http://www.unmikonline.org/press/mon/mechain.html.
17Embassy Deputy in Iraq, Unschooled as Diplomat, Plays the Top U.S. Role, The New York Times, December 18, 1990, v140, pA7(N), p8(L), col 1 (22 col in).
18Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 68-69.
19Alain Lallemand, The Field Marshal, Center for Public Integrity, http://www.publicintegrity.org/bow/report.aspx?aid=155&sid=120.
20Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 67-76, 205, 250-252, 271-272, 275-276.
21Howard W. French, "Competition Heats Up for West Africa's Oil Wealth," New York Times, March 7, 1998; Chevron Group Produces New Angolan Oil Field Three Years Ahead of Schedule, Chevron, http://www.chevron.com/news/archive/chevron_press/1996/96-2-5.asp, February 5, 1996; Chevron and Partners Hit All Time High For Angola Offshore Production, Chevron, http://www.chevron.com/news/archive/chevron_press/1998/98-12-14-1.asp, December 14, 1998.
22Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 193-194, 196.
23Philp M. Mobbs, The Mineral Industry of Gabon, U.S. Geological Survey: Mineral Resources Program, http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/country/1994/9212094.pdf, 1994; French, "Competition Heats Up for West Africa's Oil Wealth"; Changes in oil acreage in Gabon, Alexander's Gas & Oil Connections, http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/company/cna75243.htm, Volume 2, Issue 28, December 22, 1997; Le continente noir entre ancien et noveau monde: Washington a la conquete d espaces vierges en Afrique, Le Monde diplomatique, http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/1998/03/LEYMARIE/10153.html, March 1998, English edition online at http://mondediplo.com/1998/03/12africa.
24Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 192, 199-205.
25Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 205, 250-252.
26Equatorial Guinea, Energy Information Administration: Country Analysis Briefs, http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/eqguinea.html; Equatorial Guinea: Profile, afrol News: Countries, http://www.afrol.com/Countries/Equatorial_Guinea/eqg_profile.htm.
27LAffaire Elf: Les circuits financiers, radiofrance internationale, http://www.rfi.fr/Fichiers/evenements/elf/circuits.asp; Lallemand; Tom Masland, An African big man in trouble: six months on, Laurent Kabila's Congo is mired in graft--and he has double-crossed his neighbors., Newsweek, December 15, 1997, v130 n24 p37(3); French, "Competition Heats Up for West Africa's Oil Wealth; Congolese ex-leader guility of treason, BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1732822.stm, December 29, 2001.
28For background on Clintons Africa trip see Frank Smyth, A New Game: The Clinton Administration in Africa, FrankSmyth.com, http://www.franksmyth.com/clients/franksmyth/frankS2.nsf/0/d6fa5c605a6992f385256b7b00790662?OpenDocument, Summer 1998; Le continente noir entre ancien et noveau monde: Washington a la conquete d espaces vierges en Afrique, Le Monde diplomatique, http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/1998/03/LEYMARIE/10153.html, March 1998, English edition online at http://mondediplo.com/1998/03/12africa; Leaders of Congo, Kenya expected at Clinton summit in Uganda, CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9803/18/africa.summit/, March 18, 1998; French, "Competition Heats Up for West Africa's Oil Wealth.
29The Corporate Council on Africa, http://www.africacncl.org/(3kunlp45qmhfm445v3teel55)/Default.aspx. For examples of the CCAs financing see 1997 U.S.-Africa Business Summit: Attracting Capital to Africa: Sponsors, http://www.africacncl.org/(vlzsp055zvxeqbms0w0ggg45)/CCA_Summits/1997_Sponsorship.asp: Major Underwriters: HSBC Equator Bank, Mobil Africa; Underwriters: Amoco Overseas Exploration Company, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Archer Daniels Midland Company, CAMAC Holdings Inc., Caterpillar Inc., ENRON Corp, Exxon, General Motors, Lazare Kaplan, International Inc., Sooner Pipe & Supply Corporation, SBC Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, The M.W. Kellogg Company, UMC Petroleum Corporation; Sponsors: Chrysler Corporation, Goldman, Sachs & Co., IBM Corporation, Phillips Petroleum Corporation, Philip Morris International, Inc., ABB Lummus Global Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mr. Kevin Callwood, Chevron Corporation, CMS NOMECO Oil & Gas Company, DMS Ltd., Eli Lilly and Company, Ernst & Young LLP, Fluor Daniel, Louis Berger International, Inc., Moving Water Industries, Oracle; 1999 U.S.-Africa Business Summit: 'Attracting Capital to Africa': Sponsors, http://www.africacncl.org/(vlzsp055zvxeqbms0w0ggg45)/CCA_Summits/1999_Sponsorship.asp: Major Underwriters: Amoco, CAMAC, Chevron, Citigroup, Continental Airlines, Enron, Exxon, General Motors, HSBC Equator, Lazare Kaplan International, Inc., Mobil, Ocean Energy, UNDP; Underwriters: Caterpillar, The Coca-Cola Company, CMS Energy, DaimlerChrysler, Eli Lilly and Company, General Electric, Sooner Pipe Supply Company.
30Watch your wallet with this guy!, Talking Proud!, http://www.talkingproud.us/Eagle100503.html, October 5, 2003, archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20031020110250/http://www.talkingproud.us/Eagle100503.html.
31Le Jackpot des Lobbyistes US? (La Lettre du Continent, 328, June 5, 1999), BDP Gabon-Noveau, http://www.bdpgabon.org/ancien_site/bdp/revelationspol1.html; "Gabon", United States Department of Justice Criminal Division: Foreign Agents Registration Unit (FARA), http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fara/fara1st98/COUNTRY/GABON.HTM.
32Figures based on the estimate of a former federal government employee familiar with pay scales.
33JACQUELINE C WILSON, 55, 4612 CHARLESTON TER NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20007 (202) 3429888: Eyeballing Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson IV, Cryptome, http://cryptome.quintessenz.at/mirror/plame-eyeball.htm, citing http://reunite.myfamily.com.
34CHARLESTON TER., 4612-Barry Zuckerman Properties to Joseph C. IV and Valerie E. Wilson, $735,000.: The Washington Post, October 8, 1998.
35Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 276.
36Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 275-276.
37Vicky Ward, Double Exposure, Vanity Fair, January 17, 2004, online at Standing up for truth amid a culture of lies, Jim Gilliam, http://www.jimgilliam.com/2004/01/vanity_fairs_profile_on_joseph_wilson_and_valerie_plame.php.
38For a fuller elaboration see my What Wilson Didnt Say About Africa: Joseph Wilsons Silent Partners, FreeRepublic.com, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1256475/posts, October 25, 2004.
39On Westar see Westar Energy, http://www.westarenergy.com/; Westar Group Inc, Mbendi, http://www.mbendi.co.za/orgs/ct2i.htm; Westar Energy Bribery Scandal, Public Citizen, http://www.citizen.org/cmep/energy_enviro_nuclear/electricity/energybill/westar/.
40Al Amoudis African Strategy, Africa Energy Intelligence, Number 318, March 13, 2002, online at African Intelligence, http://www.africaintelligence.com/ps/AN/Arch/AEM/AEM_318.asp; Filings: Oromin Explorations. Ltd., June 3, 2005, EDGAR Online, http://sec.edgar-online.com/2005/06/03/0001176256-05-000213/Section2.asp.
41Dar Es Salaam, American Group Funds New Data Transmission Project, TOMRIC News Agency, September 12, 2001, posted at Small Island Developing States Network, http://www.sidsnet.org/archive/other-newswire/2001/0612.html; Volunteers Seek To Build An IT Culture In Africa, balancing act news update, http://www.balancingact-africa.com/news/back/balancing-act48b.html, Issue 48, 2001.
42Groum Abate, MIDROC Gold set up with half a billion BR capital, Capital, http://www.capitalethiopia.com/archive/2003/aug/week3/MIDROC%20Gold%20set%20up%20with%20half%20a%20billion%20Br%20capital.htm, August 18, 2003; MIDROC Gold Mine Launches New Exploration Projects, Addis Tribune, http://www.addistribune.com/Archives/2004/01/06-02-04/MIDROC.htm, June 2, 2004.
43For general information on the Middle East Institute see the groups website at http://www.mideasti.org. On MEIs Saudi ties see Robert G. Kaiser and David Ottaway, "Oil for Security Fueled Close Ties: But Major Differences Led to Tensions", The Washington Post, February 11, 2002, A01, reprinted online at Cornell University Library: Collection Development: Middle East & Islamic Studies Collection, http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/saudusxx.htm; Rod Dreher, "Their Men in Riyadh: Ex-U.S. ambassadors who stick with the Saudis", National Review, June 17, 2002, online at FindArticles, http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_11_54/ai_86481294; Clifford D. May, "Scandal! Bushs enemies aren't telling the truth about what he said.", National Review Online, http://www.nationalreview.com/may/may071103.asp, July 11, 2003.
44For general information on the American-Turkish Council see DEIK: Dis Ekonomik Iliskiler Kurulu, TAIK: Turk-Amerikan IS Konseyi: Turkish-American Business Council, http://www.turkey-now.net/Default.aspx, American-Turkish Council, http://www.americanturkishcouncil.org, American Turkish Council, SourceWatch, http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Turkish_Council, American-Turkish Council, Right Web, http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/2874, and John Stanton, Foreign Policy: John Stanton: 'BushCo front group creates a new EuroAsia': Inside the American Turkish Council, posted at SmirkingChimp.com, http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?sid=19921&mode=nested&order=0; on controversies associated with the ATC see David Rose, An Inconvenient Patriot, Vanity Fair, http://www.vanityfair.com/commentary/content/articles/050919roco03, September 2005.
45Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 240-241.
46Thomas R. Yager, The Mineral Industries of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, Great West Gold, Inc., http://www.greatwestgold.com/pdfs/R_The_Mineral_Industries_of_Mali.pdf; Robert Harris and David Duncan, The Development of Nigers First Gold Mine, Etruscan Resources Inc., http://www.etruscan.com/i/pdf/SMEPaperNigerProject.pdf; Semafo, http://www.semafo.com/.
47Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 23.
48For general background see Mark Riebling, Wedge: The Secret War Between the FBI and CIA, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994, 447-452. On Lake and IPS see Tom Wells, Wild Man: The Life and Times of Daniel Ellsberg, New York: Palgrave, 2001, 280-281, 313-315, 407-408, 461-462, 479-480, 555; Walter Isaacson, Kissinger: A Biography, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992, 212-227; Athan Theoharis and John Stuart Cox, The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition, Temple University, 1988; New York: Bantam Books, 1990; S. Steven Powell, Covert Cadre: Inside the Institute for Policy Studies, introduction by David Horowitz, Ottawa, Illinois: Green Hill Publishers, Inc., 1987, 13, 57, 216; William F. Jasper, Security Risk for CIA: Plumbing the depths of Anthony Lakes dubious past, The New American, Volume 13, Number 2, January 20, 1997, http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/1997/vo13no02/vo13no02_lake.htm; W. Raymond Wannall, Undermining Counterintelligence Capability, CI Centre, http://www.cicentre.com/Documents/DOC_Wannall_Undermining_Intel.htm.
49About the Advisers, Secure America, http://www.secureamerica.us/html/about_advisers.html. On the Fourth Freedom Forum see Fourth Freedom Forum, http://www.fourthfreedom.org/Applications/cms.php?page_id=88; Fourth Freedom Forum, DiscovertheNetworks.org, http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/printgroupProfile.asp?grpid=6432.
50Alexander Cockburn and Patrick Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, New York: HarperPerennial, 2000 (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999), 31-57, 164-190, 211-230; Laurie Mylroie, The United States and the Iraqi National Congress, Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, http://www.meib.org/articles/0104_ir1.htm, Volume 3, Number 4, April 2001; David Ignatius, The CIA And the Coup That Wasnt, The Washington Post, May 16, 2003, Page A29, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A61979-2003May15¬Found=true.
52Phyllis Bennis, Understanding the U.S.-Iraq Crisis, Institute for Policy Studies, http://www.ips-dc.org/iraq/primer1.htm, January 2003; Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., Iraq Is a Fuse, But Cheney Built the Bomb, Executive Intelligence Review, Volume 29, Number 38, October 4, 2002, http://www.larouchepub.com/pr_lar/2002/020922_cheney_must_resign.html; Jeffrey Steinberg, Behind the Iraq Dossier Hoax: Intelligence Was Cooked in Israel, Executive Intelligence Review, Volume 30, Number 7, February 21, 2003, http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3007neocon_hoax.html; Edward Spannaus, "Cheney's 'Shadow Government' Comes Into the Sunlight", Executive Intelligence Review, Volume 30, Number 29, July 25, 2003, http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3029cheney_exposed.html; Documentation: From a Memorandum to the President by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Executive Intelligence Review, Volume 30, Number 29, July 25, 2003, http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3029vips_on_cheney.html; Ray McGovern and David MacMichael, Cooking the Books: Falsifying the Evidence: How Bush is Mobilizing for War, interview with Panorama German TV, March 6, 2003, transcript online at Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Memorandum for Confused Americans: Cooking Intelligence for War, CounterPunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/vips03152003.html, March 15, 2003; Tim Reid, Public was misled, claim ex-CIA men, Times Online, May 31, 2003, online at Propaganda Matrix, http://www.propagandamatrix.com/public_was_misled_claim_ex_cia_men.htm; Seymour Hersh, The Stovepipe: How conflicts between the Bush Administration and the intelligence community marred the reporting on Iraqs weapons., The New Yorker, October 27, 2003, posted online at http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact, October 20, 2003; Michael Rubin, Web of Conspiracies: False rumors go from fringe staff go mainstream-again and again., National Review Online, http://www.nationalreview.com/rubin/rubin200405180836.asp, May 18, 2004.
53Ray McGovern bio, Tom Wells: The Speak Truth to Power Program, http://faculty.schreiner.edu/tomwells/ray_mcgovern_bio.htm; Francisco Gil-White, The modern "Protocols of Zion": How the mass media now promotes the same lies that caused the death of more than 5 million Jews in WWII, Historical and Investigative Research, http://www.hirhome.com/israel/mprot1.htm, August 25, 2005; Steven Plaut, CIA Renegades, FrontPageMagazine.com, http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=19643, September 29, 2005; Dana Milbank, Democrats Play House to Rally Against War, The Washington Post, June 17, 2005, Page A06, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/16/AR2005061601570.html; Dean Condemns Anti-Semitic Literature: Dean Slams 'Anti-Semitic Literature' Distributed at Democratic National Committee Headquarters, Associated Press, June 17, 2005, archived at Dean Condemns 'Anti-Semitic Literature' (passed out at Conyers Downing St. forum yesterday), FreeRepublic.com, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1425383/posts. On the Community for Creative Non-Violence and Bread for the City see Community for Creative Non-Violence, http://users.erols.com/ccnv/; Bread for the City, http://www.breadforthecity.org/; Dorothy Day, On Pilgrimmage July/August 1972, The Catholic Worker, July-August 1972, 1, 2, 6, 8, online at The Catholic Worker Movement, http://www.catholicworker.org/dorothyday/daytext.cfm?TextID=523&SearchTerm=internal%20Revenue%20Service. On the Servant Leadership School see The Servant Leadership School, http://www.slschool.org/. On McGoverns disruption of Holy Trinity services see Jim Naughton, Catholics in Crisis: An American Parish Fights for Its Soul, Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1996, review online at Terrence J. Boyle, http://www.tboyle.net/University/Crisis_Book_Review.html.
54United States Congress Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and Nicaraguan OppositionReport of the Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair: With Supplemental, Minority, and Additional Views, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987, Appendix A, Volume 1, 862-863; Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991, 148, 246n3; Ross Gelbspan, Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI: The Covert War Against the Central America Movement, Boston: South End Press, 1991, 193, 247n26; Ex-CIA Worker Says Arms Flow Ended 81, Boston Globe, June 12, 1984, Page 1; Priest Tells Contra Atrocity Incidents, Chicago Tribune, September 18, 1985; Jeane Kirkpatrick, Americans on Managuas Team, Chicago Tribune, September 29,1985, Final Edition, C, Page 13; World Court: U.S. Aid to Contras Illegal, Chicago Tribune, June 28, 1986, Page 1; Chip Berlet, Right Woos Left: Populist Party, LaRouchian, and Other Neo-fascist Overtures To Progressives, And Why They Must Be Rejected, Perforations 2, Volume 2, Number 2, online at Public Domain Inc., http://www.pd.org/topos/perforations/perf2/right_woos_left.html;Association of National Security Alumni, Namebase, http://www.namebase.org/sources/QN.html; Deborah Davis, Ex-KGB agents, U.S. group call for integrity in spying, WE MBL (English edition), Washington, DC, Volume II, Issue 3, February 21,1993, 4 (cf. Glenmore Trenear-Harvey, Foreign Intelligence Veterans Association, intelforum/2002-April Mailing List Archive, http://archives.his.com/intelforum/2002-April/msg00039.html); David MacMichael, The Mysterious Death of Daniel Casolaro, Covert Action Information Bulletin 39, Winter 1991, 53-57, online at Google cache of American Buddha Online Library and Cultural Bazaar http://www.american-buddha.com/mystery.death.htm; News Release: Pre-9/11 Warnings: Interviews Available, Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=658&type=&searchterms=MacMichael, May 20, 2002; News Release: Some Analysis of Powells Speech, Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=557, February 6, 2003.
55Kathleen Christison, Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy, Berkeley: University of California Press, updated edition, 2001; Kathleen Christison, The Wound of Dispossession: Telling the Palestinian Story, Sunlit Hills Press, 2002; Bill Christison Why the War on Terror Wont Work, CounterPunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/christison1.html, March 4, 2002; Kathleen Christison Before There Was Terrorism, CounterPunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/kchristison0502.html, May 2, 2002; Plaut, CIA Renegades.
56Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Memorandum for Confused Americans: Cooking Intelligence for War, CounterPunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/vips03152003.html, March 15, 2003; Ray McGovern, Colin Powell's Blurry Pictures: Former CIA Analyst Asks: Are Intelligence Analysts Still Free to Tell It Like It is?", CounterPunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/mcgovern02262003.html, February 26, 2003; Ray McGovern, Imagery Intelligence of U.S. Blurred, EIR: Executive Intelligence Review, Volume 30, Number 8, February 2003, http://www.larouchepub.com/eirtoc/2003/eirtoc_3009.html. On Cockburns anti-Zionism see Steven Plaut, The Lunatic Left: Ward Churchill and Counterpunch.com, ChronWatch, http://chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=12987, February 11, 2005 and Plaut, The Neonazi Ties of the Leftist Lunabrits, ChronWatch, http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=14355, May 3, 2005.
57John J. Lumpkin, Ex-CIA Officers Defy Bush Administration, Associated Press, March 14, 2003, online at voxfux.com, http://www.voxfux.com/features/cia_agents_defy_bush.html; Seymour Hersh, Who Lied to Whom? Why did the Administration endorse a forgery about Iraqs nuclear program?, The New Yorker, March 31, 2003, online at http://newyorker.com/fact/content/?030331fa_fact1 and Hersh, The Stovepipe; US Should Be "Embarrassed" Over Failure to Find WMDs: Ex-Spies, Agence France Presse, April 18, 2003, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0418-03.htm; Nicholas Kristof, Save Our Spooks, CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/05/30/nyt.kristof/, May 30, 2003; Jim Wolf, U.S. Insiders Say Iraq Intel Deliberately Skewed, Reuters, May 31, 2003, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0531-01.htm. On Hersh and IPS, see Powell, Covert Cadre, 113-115.
58 On Scowcroft, Kissinger Associates, Saudi Aramco, Bechtel Corporation, the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, and the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation see Anthony Sampson, The Seven Sisters: The Great Oil Companies and the World They Shaped, New York: Bantam Books, 1976 (New York: Viking Press, 1975), 293; Senator John Kerry and Senator Hank Brown, The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 102d Congress 2d Session Senate Print 102-140, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 1992, Chapters 4 and 20, online at Federation of American Scientists, http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1992_rpt/bcci/; Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, Kissinger Associates, BNL, and Iraq, Congressional Record, May 2, 1991, Pages H2762-H2765 and Kissinger Associates, Scowcroft, Eagleburger, Stoga, Iraq, and BNL, Congressional Record, April 28, 1992, Pages H2694-H2702 and Scowcroft Improperly Intervened in CCC Program and Many More Lies to Congress, Congressional Record, July 9, 1992, Pages H6237-H6242, online with numerous related links at Federation of American Scientists, http://fas.org/spp/starwars/congress/1991/ and http://fas.org/spp/starwars/congress/1992/; (Self-)Censored Stories: Eight Stories National Media Ignored, Extra! Special Gulf War Issue 1991, May 1991, online at FAIR: Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1513; Murray N. Rothbard, Why the War? The Kuwait Connection, from The Irrepressible Rothbard: The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, edited with introduction by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. and preface by JoAnn B. Rothbard, Burlingame, California: Center for Libertarian Studies, 2000, Chapter 27, reprinted online at LewRockwell.com, http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/ir/Ch27.html. On Royal Dutch/Shell and Oil-for-Food see Kenneth Katzman and Christopher M. Blanchard, CRS Report to Congress: Iraq: Oil-for-Food Program, Illict Trade, and Investigations, Washington, DC: Library of Congress, June 14, 2005, 25 (pdf page 29), online at Federation of American Scientists, www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL30472.pdf; Independent Inquiry Committee into The United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme, The Management of The United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme, September 7, 2005, Volume II, 222 (pdf page 226), online at http://iic-offp.org/Mgmt_Report.htm; AP: Investigators Examining Annans Papers, FOXNews.com, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,146506,00.html, February 5, 2005. On Scowcroft, Pennzoil-Quaker State, and Azerbaijan, see Brent Scowcroft, U.S. Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce: Profile: Officers, http://www.usacc.org/contents.php?cid=26; Alfred Mendes, The Crux of the Matter, Spectrezine, http://www.spectrezine.org/war/Mendes5.htm; David Corn, A Bush Summer Rerun?, The Nation, August 6, 2001, online at http://www.thenation.com/docprem.mhtml?i=20010806&s=corn. On Scowcroft, the CFR U.S./Middle East Project, Henry Siegman, and Fouad Makhzoumi see U.S./Middle East Project Roundtable, Council on Foreign Relations, http://www.cfr.org/project/267/usmiddle_east_project_roundtable.html?jsessionid=96b8b6de022452e9b922a4486ff1e5d5; Henry Siegman, Council on Foreign Relations, http://www.cfr.org/bios/bio.html?id=122; Peter Sutherland, Chair and Henry Siegman, Project Director, Harnessing Trade for Development and Growth in the Middle East: Report by the Council on Foreign Relations Study Group on Middle East Trade Options, Council on Foreign Relations, http://www.cfr.org/content/publications/attachments/Harness_Trade_paper.pdf, Council on Foreign Relations, Inc., 2002; Michel Rocard, Chair, Henry Siegman, Director, and Yezid Sayigh and Khalil Shikaki, Principal Authors, Reforming the Palestinian Authority: An Update: Report by the Independent Task Force on Strengthening Palestinian Public Institutions, The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity - Aman, http://www.aman-palestine.org/documents/Reform%20Update%20-%20final%20version%20pdf.pdf, Independent Task Force on Strengthening Palestinian Institutions, April 2004; Mystery Solved, The New York Sun, http://www.nysun.com/article/19031, August 23, 2005, accessible in full at Campus Watch, http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/2158; Ed Lasky and Richard Baer, Unmasked, The American Thinker, http://americanthinker.com/comments.php?comments_id=2920, August 23, 2005; Mystery About Henry Siegman Solved in New York Sun, CAMERA: Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=35&x_article=963, August 24, 2005.
59"Future Millennium Foundation, Inc.", United States Department of Justice Criminal Division: Foreign Agents Registration Unit (FARA), http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fara/fara1st98/REGS/05202.HTM, "Future Millennium Foundation, Inc.", United States Department of Justice Criminal Division: Foreign Agents Registration Unit (FARA), http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fara/Fara2nd01/REGS/05202.HTM, "Future Millennium Foundation, Inc.", United States Department of Justice Criminal Division: Foreign Agents Registration Unit (FARA), http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fara/Fara2nd02/REGS/05202.HTM, and related pages from the FARA website and corresponding Google caches; Rubin, Web of Conspiracies; Ray McGovern, Not Enough Troops - Or Truth, Miami Herald, October 8, 2004, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1008-25.htm; Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 315-316 (cf. 432-433).
60Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 283, 290-291, 294.
61Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 217, 291-292.
62Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 291-298; 305-323, 360; Press Release: Organized Antiwar Effort Grows--National Campaign Intensifies, Win Without War, http://www.winwithoutwarus.org/html/press_1.31.2003.html, January 31, 2003.
63Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 318.
64Wilson, Republic or Empire?, The Nation, March 3, 2003, posted online February 13, 2003 at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20030303/wilson.
65Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV, The Iraq Forum: Informing Iraq Advocates Since 1998: The 2003 Iraq Forum: June 14, 2003, Washington, DC: Evening Public Lecture: A State of the Movement Address: Evening Keynote Lecture, audio online at EPIC: Education for Peace in Iraq Center, http://www.epic-usa.org/Default.aspx?tabid=68&showlogin=1, outline and partial transcript at Joseph Wilson EPIC Lecture 6/14/2003 Outline/Transcript, FreeRepublic.com, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1499704/posts. Cf Wilson, Republic or Empire? and Wilsons comments to Bill Moyers of February 28, 2003, transcript online at Transcript: Bill Moyers Talks with Joseph C. Wilson, IV, PBS: NOW with Bill Moyers, http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_wilson.html. Contrast the openly inflammatory language of Wilsons EPIC lecture with his more subtle wording of the same point while attempting to avoid an appearance of anti-Semitism in The Politics of Truth, 438: Criticism of Israel is all too often expressed in anti-Semitic terms. While not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, many critics resort to ugly and despicable anti-Semitic behavior. . .I fear that because of the association in the Arab world between Americas misguided invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the policies of the Likud government in Israel, we may see an upsurge of hate crimes against Israel and against Jewish populations everywhere.
66FBI: Financial Gain Drove Uranium Forgery, Yahoo! News, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051104/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/fbi_iraq_uranium, November 4, 2005.
67Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe DAvanzo, Doppiogiochisti e dilettanti tutti gli italiani del Nigergate: L'ammissione di Martino alla stampa inglese: "Americani e italiani hanno lavorato insieme. E' stata un'operazione di disinformazione", La Repubblica, October 24, 2005, online at la Repubblica.it, http://www.repubblica.it/2005/j/sezioni/esteri/iraq69/sismicia/sismicia.html and Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe DAvanzo, "Pollari ando alla Casa Bianca per offrire la sua verita sull'Iraq": Il dossier sull'uranio dal Niger non coinvolgeva la Cia, La Repubblica, October 25, 2005, online at la Repubblica.it, http://www.repubblica.it/2005/j/sezioni/esteri/iraq69/bodv/bodv.html, translation at Berlusconi Behind Fake Yellowcake Dossier, Nur al-Cubicle, http://nuralcubicle.blogspot.com/2005/10/berlusconi-behind-fake-yellowcake.html, October 24, 2005 and Yellowcake Dossier Not the Work of the CIA, Nur al-Cubicle, http://nuralcubicle.blogspot.com/2005/10/yellowcake-dossier-not-work-of-cia.html, October 25, 2005.
68Bruce Johnston and Kim Willsher, Italy blames France for Niger uranium claim, telegraph.co.uk, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/09/05/wuran05.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/09/05/ixworld.html, May 9, 2004; Renato Farina, Cosi Chirac voleva incastrare Berlusconi: Ecco le prove di un intrigo di spie francesi per screditare Italia e Usa sull'Iraq., legno storto, http://legnostorto.com/node.php?id=18676&cid=49183, August 9, 2004, English translation posted by parnasokan at Italy blames France for Niger uranium claim, FreeRepublic.com, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1208597/posts, September 6, 2004; Farina, Il Niger-gate? Mini golpe dei generali prodiani, legno storto, http://www.legnostorto.com/node.php?id=36773, November 1, 2005.
69Bonini and DAvanzo, Doppiogiochisti e dilettanti tutti gli italiani del Nigergate; Juan Cole, "Rocco Martino: I am the Source of the False Niger/Iraq Uranium Story", Bellaciao, http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=2364, August 3, 2004; Italian journalist claims she supplied Iraq-Niger uranium documents to US, ClariNews, http://quickstart.clari.net/qs_se/webnews/wed/bi/Qus-iraq-niger-italy.Rt17_DlJ.html, July 19, 2003; United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence Communitys Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004, Chapter 2, Niger, 36-38, 57-60, 69 (pdf pages 1-3, 22-25, 34), online at GPO Access, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html.
70Bonini and DAvanzo, Doppiogiochisti e dilettanti tutti gli italiani del Nigergate and "Pollari ando alla Casa Bianca per offrire la sua verita sull'Iraq" (cf. Cannistraros comments on SISMI to Ian Masters on Los Angeles public radio KPFK on April 3, 2005, audio at Ian Masters' Background Briefing: Archives, http://www.ianmasters.org/archives.html and partial transcription at Ian Masters, Who Forged the Niger Documents?, AlterNet, http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/21704/, April 7, 2005); Richard Norton-Taylor, MI6 led protest against war dossier: Agencies kept quiet on claims over al-Qaida links and forgeries to avoid embarrassing PM, The Guardian, May 30, 2003, online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,966686,00.html; Patrick Wintour and Mark Oliver, Were victims of conspiracy claims Reid, The Guardian, June 4, 2003, online at http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,970063,00.html; Transcript: John Reid v John Humphrys: Transcript of this morning's interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme between the leader of the Commons, John Reid, and John Humphrys, June 4, 2003, online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,970170,00.html; Matthew Tempest, No 10 backs Reid on 'rogue elements', The Guardian, June 4, 2003, online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,970158,00.html (contrast with buried lead and misleading spin of George Jones and Toby Helm, No 10 fails to endorse Reid claim, telegraph.co.uk, June 5, 2003, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/06/05/nwmd205.xml); Andrew Wilkie, War now no better than terrorism, The Age, http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/03/15/1047583739714.html?oneclick=true, March 16, 2003; Paul Mulvey, Journo claims proof of WMD lies, NEWS.com.au, September 23, 2003, http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,7350504^2,00.html , archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20030923212227/http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,7350504%5e2,00.html.
71Julian Borger, Saddam link to Bin Laden: Terror chief 'offered asylum' in Iraq? US says dealings step up danger of chemical weapons attacks, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,314700,00.html, February 6, 1999; Julian Borger, Iraq-Bin Laden boat bomb link: USS Cole: 17 dead mourned as experts piece together attack, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4078596,00.html, October 19, 2000; Al-Qaida's desire for ever more deaths raises spectre of germ, chemical or nuclear attacks, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/september11/oneyearon/story/0,12361,786137,00.html, September 5, 2002; Carlo Bonini, Allarme della Cia Papa e Roma nel mirino: "Bin Laden e il mullah Omar non si lasceranno prendere vivi prima di averci trascinato in un altro bagno di sangue": Parla Vincent Cannistraro, ex capo dell'antiterrorismo "Colpiranno entro Natale, vogliono il bis delle Torri", La Repubblica, November 18, 2001, online at http://www.repubblica.it/online/mondo/allarmeitalia/papa/papa.html, English translation at Original Analysis, http://www.intelforum.org/zvince1.html; Dana Priest, U.S. Not Claiming Iraqi Link To Terror, The Washington Post, September 10, 2002, Page A01, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59403-2002Sep9.html, archived at NewsMine.org, http://newsmine.org/archive/war-on-terror/iraq/pre-invasion/no-iraq-alqaeda-link.txt; Julian Borger, White House 'exaggerating Iraqi threat': Bush's televised address attacked by US intelligence, The Guardian, October 9, 2002, online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,807286,00.html; Bradley Graham and Dana Priest, Pentagon Team Told to Seek Details of Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties: Effort Bypasses Regular Intelligence Channels; CIA Rift Disputed, The Washington Post, October 25, 2002, Page A24, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14056-2002Oct24.html; Ray McGovern and David MacMichael, Cooking the Books: Falsifying the Evidence: How Bush is Mobilizing for War, interview with Panorama German TV, March 6, 2003, transcript online at Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Memorandum for Confused Americans: Cooking Intelligence for War, CounterPunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/vips03152003.html, March 15, 2003; Falscher am Werk, ZDF.de: Frontal21, April 15, 2003, online at http://www.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/3/0,1872,2041923,00.html; Falschungen fur die Front: Baradei: Irak-Krieg nicht gerechtfertigt, ZDF.de: Frontal21, May 6, 2003, online at http://www.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/10/0,1872,2044298,00.html (cf. Concern Over Iraq Nuke Looting, CBS News, May 5, 2003, online at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/05/iraq/main552369.shtml); Brian Ross, Intelligence Scam: Flawed Uranium Intelligence Came From Forged Documents Sold to Italians, ABCNews.com, July 15, 2003, http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/US/uranium030715_docs.html, cached at http://web.archive.org/web/20030801154848/http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/US/uranium030715_docs.html; Brian Ross, Forged Iraq Documents Were Full of Flaws: Forged Documents Detailing Uranium Sale Were Full of Errors, July 16, 2003, ABCNews.com, http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=129574&page=1; Brian Ross and Chris Vlasto, Possible Deal Aborted? Claim: U.S. Government Spurned Peace Talks Before the War With Iraq, ABC News, November 5, 2003, archived at Information Clearing House, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5164.htm; Julian Borger, Brian Whitaker, and Vikram Dodd, Saddam's desperate offers to stave off war: Washington dismissed Iraq's peace feelers, including elections and weapons pledge, put forward via diplomatic channels and US hawk Perle, The Guardian, November 7, 2003, online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1079769,00.html; AIM Report: Saddam's Secret Campaign to Stop the War - December B, Accuracy in Media, http://www.aim.org/aim_report/2413_0_4_0_C/, December 23, 2004 (cf. Western Peace Activists Invite Mandela to Iraq, Reuters, February 13, 2003, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0213-07.htm).
72Jimmy Carter, The Troubling New Face of America, The Washington Post, September 5, 2002, Page A31, washingtonpost.com, http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A38441-2002Sep4¬Found=true.
73FBI files on Billy Carter, online at Federal Bureau of Investigation, http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/carter_b.htm.
74Senator John Kerry and Senator Hank Brown, The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 102d Congress 2d Session Senate Print 102-140, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 1992, esp. Chapters 6, 12, 13, 16, online at Federation of American Scientists, http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1992_rpt/bcci/.
75The Beneficiaries of Saddam's Oil Vouchers: The List of 270, MEMRI: The Middle East Media Research Institute, Number 160, January 29, 2004, online at http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA16004; Stephen F. Hayes, Saddams man in Washington: The first conviction in the U.N. Oil-for-Food Scandal, Volume 10, Issue 19, January 31, 2005, online at The Weekly Standard, http://weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=5167&R=C3CF345B5; Independent Inquiry Committee into The United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme, The Management of The United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme, September 7, 2005, Volume I, 15-16 (pdf pages 20-21) and Volume II, 40-41, 72-116 (pdf pages 44-45, 76-120), online at http://iic-offp.org/Mgmt_Report.htm.
76House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, Korean Influence Investigation, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1978; Senate Select Committee on Ethics, Korean Influence Inquiry, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1978.
77On Strong and North Korea see Our Man in North Korea, Canada Free Press, January 20, 2003, http://www.canadafreepress.com/2003/ed012003.htm. On Carter and North Korea see Dan Oberdorfer, The peacemaker - role Jimmy Carter played in 1994 North Korea crisis, The Washington Monthly, December 1997, online at FindArticles, http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1316/is_n12_v29/ai_20089207; Jimmy Carter, Erosion of the Nonproliferation Treat, International Herald Tribune, http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/05/01/opinion/edjimmy.php, May 3, 2005.
78On the Mission to Baghdad, see James Abourezk, My visit to Iraq, The Progressive: The Progressive Media Project, http://progressive.org/media_1457, September 23, 2002; Independent American Delegation to Baghdad, IPA: Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=614, September 10, 2002; A Message to the Iraqi National Assembly from the Honorable Nick Rahall, IPA: Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=612, September 15, 2002; Saul Landau, Five Days in Iraq--Before the War, Radio Progreso Weekly, October 2002, online at Transnational Institute, http://www.tni.org/archives/landau/five.htm; Landau, Doom in Baghdad, The Progressive, http://www.mafhoum.com/press4/118S29.htm, November 2002.
79On Rahalls general background, see entry for Nick Rahall II, Carolls Federal Directory, Bethesda, Maryland: Carroll Publishing, 2005, reproduced at Biography Resource Center, http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC. On Rahall, the Aburdenes, Alamoudi, and Wilson, see Shirl McArthur, Congress Launches Fawning Frenzy Over Netanyahu's Har Homa Decision, Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs, June/July 1997, 14-17, online at http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0697/9706014.htm; FReeper GOPcapitalist, Democrats who took radical isalmic & terrorist campaign $$$ (McKinney, Kennedy, Bonoir & more), FreeRepublic.com, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/734671/posts, August 17, 2002; FReeper palmer, Post 11, commenting on Freeper Fzob, FBI investigates spread of radical Islam in U.S., FreeRepublic.com, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/994999/posts, Octobr 4, 2003; Search Criteria: Donor name: aburdene: Recipient: rahall: Cycle(s) selected: 1992, 1990, opensecrets.org, http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.asp?NumOfThou=0&txtName=aburdene&txtState=%28all+states%29&txtZip=&txtEmploy=&txtCand=rahall&txt1992=Y&txt1990=Y&Order=N; Search Criteria: Donor name: aburdene: Recipient: rahall: Cycle(s) selected: 2004, 2002, 2000, opensecrets.org, http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.asp?NumOfThou=0&txtName=aburdene&txtState=%28all+states%29&txtZip=&txtEmploy=&txtCand=rahall&txt2004=Y&txt2002=Y&txt2000=Y&Order=N; Joseph Wilsons federal campaign contributions, Newsmeat, http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?st=DC&last=Wilson&first=Joseph; VPW - Plame Update, Just One Minute, http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2004/10/vpw_plame_updat.html, October 10, 2004.
80On Abourezks general background, see entry for James G(eorge) Abourezk, Contemporary Authors Online, Farmington Hills, Michigan: Thomson Gale, 2002, reproduced at Biography Resource Center, http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC. On Abourezk and Carter in Libya, see transcription summarizing DOJ/FBI interview of Billy Carter, January 28, 1980, FBI file AT97-106, page 7 of 7, online at Federal Bureau of Investigation, http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/carter_b.htm, Part 4, pdf page 43. On the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, see American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, http://www.adc.org/; Daniel Pipes, [Hussein Ibish:] U.S. Arabs' Firebrand, New York Post, March 25, 2002, online at danielpipes.org, http://www.danielpipes.org/article/141; Kamal Nawash, danielpipes.org: Weblog, http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/86, September 10, 2003; Ira Stoll, Bye, Alamoudi, The American Spectator, October 23, 2003, online at http://tas.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=5630; Stephen Schwartz, An Activist's Guide to Arab and Muslim Campus and Community Organizations in North America, FrontPageMagazine.com, http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=7991, May 26, 2003; Lee Kaplan, The Saudi Fifth Column on Our Nations Campuses, FrontPageMagazine.com, http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=12833, April 5, 2004.
81On IPA see IPA: Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/; Chris Arabia, Fifth Column Public Policy Institute, FrontPageMagazine.com, http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=5400, January 7, 2003. On the Stern Family Fund see Ronald Austin Wells, Perspectives on Donor Legacy: What Is It That History Teaches?, The Wells Group, Inc., http://www.wellsgroup.ws/Html/E2cn.html; Robert O. Bothwell, The Decline of Progressive Policy and the New Philanthropy: Progressive Foundations and Other Alternatives to Mainstream Foundations Are Created and Become Substantial, But Fail to Reverse the Policy Decline, COMM-ORG: The Papers: 1995-2005, http://comm-org.utoledo.edu/papers2003/bothwell/bothwellcontents.htm; Don Hazen, David Hunter, Philanthropic Pioneer, Dies at 84, AlterNet, http://www.alternet.org/story/10142/; Powell, 16.
82Note 78, esp. Landau, Five Days in Iraq; September 2002; John Catalinotto, WWP conference maps struggle against capitalist war, Workers World, October 3, 2002, online at http://www.workers.org/ww/2002/wwconf1003.php; Central Intelligence Agency, Putting Noncombatants at Risk: Saddam's Use of "Human Shields", online at http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_human_shields/.
83American Delegation En Route to Baghdad, IPA: Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=613, September 10, 2002; News Release: Breakthrough: Interviews Available, IPA: Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=610, September 16, 2002; Interviews on Iraq: Another UN Resolution?, IPA: Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=606, September 24, 2002.
84Landau, Doom in Baghdad.
85House Coalition Announces Opposition To War: 19 Members Of Congress Representing A Growing Coalition in the House Announce Opposition to War in Iraq, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, September 19, 2002, http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=26537; Statement of Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, http://kucinich.house.gov/UploadedFiles/iraq091902.pdf.
86Steve LaRocque, Byrd Assails Bush Administration's Iraq Resolution, September 20, 2002, Washington File, September 24, 2002, online at United States Diplomatic Mission to Italy, http://www.usembassy.it/file2002_09/alia/a2092407.htm.
87Paul J. Nyden, Senator Byrd Calls Iraq Attack a Distraction, Charleston Gazette, September 21, 2002, online at Why War?, http://www.why-war.com/news/2002/09/21/senatorb.html.
88Former Vice President Al Gore, Iraq and the War on Terrorism, speech to Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, California, September 23, 2002, online at The George Washington University: Democracy in Action: 2004, http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/gore/gore092302sp.html.
89Remarks by Tom Daschle, September 25, 2002, online at Text: Daschle Delivers Remarks From Senate Floor, washingtonpost.com, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/transcripts/daschle.html.
90Remarks of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Eliminating the Threat: The Right Course of Action for Disarming Iraq, Combating Terrorism, Protecting the Homeland, and Stabilizing the Middle East, September 27, 2002, online at Senator Edward M. Kennedy, http://kennedy.senate.gov/~kennedy/statements/02/09/2002927718.html.
91Charles Pope and Chris McGann, McDermott, Others Heading for Iraq, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 25, 2002, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0925-08.htm; Barbara Slavin and John Diamond, Experts skeptical of reports on Al Qaeda-Baghdad link, USA Today, September 26, 2002, online at http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2002-09-26-iraq-alqaeda_x.htm; Democratic Congressmen arrive in Baghdad, CNN.com, http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/09/27/democrats.iraq.trip/, September 27, 2002; Vivienne Waltz, Dems in Iraq: Baghdad vows access, USA Today, September 30, 2002, online at http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2002-09-30-dems-usat_x.htm.
92On McDermotts pre-2002 involvement with Iraq, see Theodore H. Draper, The True History of the Gulf War, The New York Review of Books, Volume 39, Number 3, January 30, 1992, online at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/3019; Post from Ramsey Kysia of November 20, 2000 archived as State Dept response to McDermott letter at CASI - Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq, http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2000/msg01193.html; Michael Rubin, Sanctions on Iraq: A Valid Anti-American Grievance?, MERIA: Middle East Review of International Affairs, Volume 5, Number 4, December 2001, online at http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2001/issue4/jv5n4a6.htm.
93On Bonior, the Gulf War, and Iraq sanctions see Democrat Congressman Accuses Bush of Lying to Provoke War, NewsMax.com, http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/9/29/161817.shtml, September 30, 2002; Robert Jensen, Iraq adds its weight to a sad day of remembrance, San Francisco Chronicle and Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 6, 2000, online at http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/%7Erjensen/freelance/august6.htm. On Bonior and Vietnam Veterans of America, see About Vietnam Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America Household Goods Donation Program: About the Program, http://www.clothingdonations.org/aboutvva.htm; Milestones in VVAF's Work to Ban Antipersonnel Landmines, Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, http://www.vvaf.org/about/milestones.html. On Boniors Muslim lobbying activity, see Gore Commission watered down CAPPS I after lobbying by CAIR,Rantburg, http://rantburg.com/popArticle.asp?ID=30453, April 13, 2004; Abu Ali Bafaquih, Muslim American Power Emerges: Muslim Americans had hardly finished spreading the word about the boycott and placing their Say No. . ., ISNA: Islamic Society of North America: Islamic Horizons, November-December 1420/1999, 26, 28, online at Google cache of http://www.isna.net/Horizons/article.asp?issueid=4&artid=4&catid=4&fromall=1; Google cache of Muslims should contact judiciary committee members on secret evidence today!, CAIR: Council on American-Islamic Relations, May 22, 2000, https://www.cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=5&page=AA; Sarah F. Waheed, Congressional Bias Regarding Israel-Palestine, Palestine Media Watch, http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/manager/pieces/display_message.asp?mid=141, December 8, 2000; Google cache of Second Muslim secret evidence Detainee to be freed, CAIR: Council on American-Islamic Relations, December 11, 2000, https://www.cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=336&page=NR; Diana West, Anti-Indiscrimination, Jewish World Review, January 23, 2002/10 Shevat, 5762, online at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0102/west012302.asp; Bonior, David E. (D) Newsmeat, http://www.newsmeat.com/campaign_contributions_to_politicians/donor_list.php?candidate_id=H6MI12017; Contributions From Individuals - '90: 210 contributions listed for - MI, C-SPAN.org: Campaign Finance Database, http://cspan.politicalmoneyline.com/cgi-win/x_byst.exe?DoFn=MIH6MI1201790.
94Robert L. Pollock, Saddams Useful Idiots: Did any Iraqi money filter back to American war critics?, WSJ.com Opinion Journal, http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110004822, March 15, 2004; Volckers U.N. Cleanup: The Russians are blocking a proper Oil for Food probe., WSJ.com Opinion Journal, http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110004976, April 19, 2004; Jim Brunner, Aide Says McDermott Wasnt Aware of Saddam Link, The Seattle Times, April 17, 2004, online at < a href=http://web.archive.org/web/20040502135433/http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2001905911_mcdermott17m.html>http://web.archive.org/web/20040502135433/http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2001905911_mcdermott17m.html.
95Walt; Pope and McGann. On the Church Council of Greater Seattle, see Church Council of Greater Seattle, http://www.churchcouncilseattle.org/Seattle Community Network: Citizens Concerned for the People of Iraq, http://www.scn.org/ccpi/; Post from Kathy Kelly of May 3, 1998 archived as Bert Sacks op-ed piece at CASI - Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq, http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/1998/msg00196.html.
96Interviews Available: New Congressional Visit to Iraq, IPA: Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=603, September 27, 2002.
97John H. Cushman, Jr., Democratic Congressman Asserts Bush Would Mislead US on Iraq, New York Times, September 30, 2002, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0930-02.htm; Will Vehrs, Baghdad Interview Re-Ignites Partisan Debate, FOXNews.com, http://fox-news.com/story/0,2933,64447,00.html, September 30, 2002; , mcd interview
98McDermott to House of Representatives, October 10, 2002, online at Congressman Jim McDermott Remarks on House Joint Resolution 114, To Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, Seattle Community Network: Citizens Concerned for the People of Iraq, http://www.scn.org/ccpi/index.html.
99E.g. Press Release, Michigan Senators Carl Levin, Debbie Stabenow, Senators Debbie Stabenow, Carl Levin Invite Members of Congress, Staff to View Arab American Museum Exhibit in Russell Rotunda, September 30, 2005, retrieved from ACCESS Community, https//www.accesscommunity.org/documents/09-30-05_Arab_American_Museum_Traveling_Exhibit.doc.
100Background: Debating Iraq, October 3, 2002, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, online at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec02/bkgdiraq_10-03.html.
102Doug Thompson, ÂDems plan to undermine America to beat BushÂ, CapitolHillBlue, January 6, 2003, archived at FreeRepublic.com, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/830866/posts.
103ÂRaw Data: Dem Memo on Iraq IntelÂ, FOXNews.com, November 6, 2003, reproduced at http://www.intelmemo.com/. For additional sources see ÂNews ArticlesÂ and ÂCongressional RecordÂ links at intelmemo.com, http://www.intelmemo.com/.
104United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 57, 72 (pdf pages 22, 37); Hersh, ÂWho Lied to Whom?Â; ÂDemocratic Efforts to Address Misuse of Intelligence Have Been Repeatedly Blocked by RepublicansÂ, Harry Reid, http://reid.senate.gov/record2.cfm?id=248135, November 2, 2005.
105United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 69 (pdf page 34).
106Letter, Carl Levin to Hans Blix, June 9, 2003, online at Carl Levin, http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/supporting/2003/061103BlixLetter.pdf attached to ÂLevin Statement on CIA's Sharing of Intelligence on WMD with the UNÂ, Carl Levin, http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=216418, June 16, 2003.
107Karin Fischer, ÂRockefeller returns from Middle East tripÂ, Charleston Daily Mail, February 25, 2003; Peter Hardin, ÂWarner Delegation Hears Anti-U.S. ViewsÂ, Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 25, 2003.
108ÂWar in Iraq, Why Now?Â, Nightline, March 4, 2003, transcript online at U.S. Senator John McCain: News: Interviews, http://mccain.senate.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=Newscenter.ViewInterview&Content_id=768; Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 321-323.
109Joby Warrick, ÂSome Evidence on Iraq Called Fake: U.N. Nuclear Inspector Says Documents on Purchases Were ForgedÂ, The Washington Post, March 8, 2003, Page A01, online at NewsMine.org, http://newsmine.org/archive/war-on-terror/iraq/pre-invasion/bush-appeals/some-iraq-evidence-fake.txt.
110Joseph Wilson on CNN Saturday, March 8, 2003, transcript online at CNN.com, http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0303/08/cst.07.html.
111Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 325-327.
112ÂDiplomatÂs ÂoutrageÂ finds political outletÂ, The Boston Herald, October 25, 2003, archived at FreeRepublic.com, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1007776/posts; Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 410-411, 442. On Beers cf. .Laura Blumenfeld, ÂFormer Aide Takes Aim at War on TerrorÂ, The Washington Post, June 16, 2003, Page A01, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A62941-2003Jun15?language=printer: ÂFive days before the war began in Iraq, as President Bush prepared to raise the terrorism threat level to orange, a top White House counterterrorism adviser unlocked the steel door to his office, an intelligence vault secured by an electronic keypad, a combination lock and an alarm. . .Beers's resignation surprised Washington, but what he did next was even more astounding. Eight weeks after leaving the Bush White House, he volunteered as national security adviser for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), a Democratic candidate for president, in a campaign to oust his former boss.Â; Ronald Brownstein, ÂKerry is shaping his foreign policy: His network of experts spans a range of opinionsÂ, Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2004, online at deseretnews.com, http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,595055360,00.html: ÂProbably the closest analogue to Bush's Vulcans have been a group of Kerry advisers who hold a weekly conference call directed by Rand Beers. . .That group has included Lee Feinstein, the former deputy director of policy planning at the State Department, and Joe Wilson. . .Most observers considered the Kerry campaign's signing of Beers last May a major coup. . .Â
113Hersh, ÂThe StovepipeÂ; Ward, ÂDouble ExposureÂ; cf. Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 3, 330-331.
114Nicholas Kristof, ÂMissing in Action: TruthÂ, The New York Times, May 6, 2003, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0506-02.htm.
115Walter Pincus, ÂCIA Did Not Share Doubt on Iraq Data: Bush Used Report of Uranium BidÂ, The Washington Post, June 12, 2003, Page A01, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A46957-2003Jun11¬Found=true (cf. Walter Pincus, ÂCIA Says It Cabled Key Data to White House: But Officials Say Document Lacked Conclusion on Iraqi Uranium DealÂ, The Washington Post, June 13, 2003, Page A16, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A52813-2003Jun12¬Found=true; Walter Pincus, ÂReport Cast Doubt on Iraq-Al Qaeda ConnectionÂ, The Washington Post, June 22, 2003, Page A01, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A19822-2003Jun21?language=printer).
116John B. Judis and Spencer Ackerman, ÂThe First Casualty: The Selling of the Iraq WarÂ, The New Republic, post date June 19, 2003, print date June 30, 2003, online at http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?pt=0cQNpJfYxhSff7JJVl4q9T%3D%3D.
117Andrew Buncombe and Raymond Whitaker, ÂMinisters knew war papers were forged, says diplomat: US official who identified documents incriminating Iraq as fakes says Britain must have been aware of findingsÂ, Independent, June 29, 2003, online at http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article110890.ece. Cf. Nicholas Watt, ÂAdmission on Niger claim, Â The Guardian, June 28, 2003, online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,986738,00.html: ÂMr Ehrman. . .asked Mr Straw to comment on recent reports in the US press that a retired US ambassador concluded in February last year, after a visit to Niger, that the allegations were false.Â
118See Note 65.
119Wilson, ÂWhat I DidnÂt Find in AfricaÂ, The New York Times, July 6, 2003, online at Common Dreams News Center, http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0706-02.htm .
120Richard Leiby and Walter Pincus, ÂEx-Envoy: Nuclear Report Ignored: Iraqi Purchases Were Doubted by CIAÂ, The Washington Post, July 6, 2003, Page A13, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A13536-2003Jul5¬Found=true.
121Joseph Wilson interview with Andrea Mitchell, Meet the Press, July 6, 2003, transcript online at JustOneMinute: Footnotes, http://justoneminute.typepad.com/footnotes/2004/07/joe_wilson_with.html; Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 333-334.
122ÂKucinich: What Else Was The Vice President Hiding? Vice PresidentÂs Office Knew Niger Evidence Was Unreliable Almost A Year Before The State Of The UnionÂ, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=28165, July 8, 2003; Carl Levin, floor statement, ÂIraqi IntelligenceÂ, Congressional Record, 108th Congress, First Session, July 15, 2003, online at Federation of American Scientists, http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2003_cr/levin071503.html; ÂKucinich, Former Intelligence Officers To Hold News Briefing On The Administration's Use Of Intelligence In the Lead-Up To The War In IraqÂ, July 11, 2003, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/news2003/0711-06.htm; Edward Spannaus, ÂCheneyÂs ÂShadow GovernmentÂ Comes Into the SunlightÂ, EIR: Executive Intelligence Review, Volume 30, Number 29, July 25, 2003, http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3029cheney_exposed.html.
123David Corn, ÂA White House SmearÂ, The Nation: Blog: Capital Games, http://www.thenation.com/blogs/capitalgames?bid=3&pid=823, July 16, 2003; cf. Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 4, 349.
124Matthew Cooper, Massimo Calabresi and John Dickerson, ÂA War on Wilson? Inside the Bush Administration's feud with the diplomat who poured cold water on the Iraq-uranium connectionÂ, posted July 17, 2003 at TIME.com, http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,465270,00.html.
125Alex Johnson with Andrea Mitchell, ÂCIA Seeks Probe of White House: Agency asks Justice to investigate leak of employeeÂs identityÂ, MSNBC, September 27, 2003, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0927-01.htm.
126See Note 65.
127Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 442.
128ÂJune 16 Testimony of Joseph WilsonÂ, AfterDowningStreet.org: Evidence, http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/288. Cf. Leiby and Pincus, ÂEx-Envoy: Nuclear Report IgnoredÂ; Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 3-4, 328-332.
129Ron Fournier, ÂKerry Says Bush Misled Americans On WarÂ, Associated Press, June 18, 2003, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0618-09.htm.
130Audrey Hudson, ÂSenators reject KerryÂs claim Bush misled U.S.Â, The Washington Times, June 23, 2003, http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030623-122726-4425r.htm. On Rockefeller and KerryÂs West Virginia campaign, see Martha Bryson Hodel, ÂByrd urges vote for Kerry: Says GOP misleading voters on religionÂ, The Cincinnati Enquirer, September 28, 2004, online at http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/09/28/loc_loc1abushykerry.html; ÂA Byrd in Hand CanÂt Beat Two-Termer Bush: West Virginians Rejected ByrdÂs Support Of Liberals Al Gore And John KerryÂ, National Republican Senatorial Committee, http://www.nrsc.org/newsdesk/document.aspx?ID=77.
131Central Intelligence Agency, Putting Noncombatants at Risk: Saddam's Use of "Human Shields", online at http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_human_shields/.
132ÂPhyllis BennisÂ, Institute for Policy Studies, http://www.ips-dc.org/bios.htm#Phyllis%20Bennis; ÂNational Teach-In on Iraq (Produced by IPS; $15.00 DVD)Â, United for Peace and Justice: Merchandise: Videos, http://unitedforpeace.org/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/73; ÂCBS and CNN Avoid Labeling a Far-Left Think TankÂ, Media Research Center: Cyberalert, Volume Eight, Number 31, February 18, 2003, http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030218.asp#4. On the UPJ see excerpts from John J. Tierney, The Politics of Peace: WhatÂs Behind the Anti-War Movement?, Washington, DC: Capital Research Center, March 2005, online at Capital Research Center, http://www.capitalresearch.org/pubs/pubs.asp?ID=446; ÂJakarta Peace Conference: Iraq & the Global Peace Movement: Strategy Conference of the Global Peace Movement, Jakarta, Indonesia, 19-21 May 2003Â, Transnational Institute, http://www.tni.org/history/index.htm. On the PCPJ and VVAW see John E. OÂNeill and Jerome R. Corsi, Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2004, 115-116, 124-125, 131, 157; ÂHanoi John: Kerry and the Antiwar MovementÂs Communist ConnectionsÂ, wintersoldier.com, http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/staticpages/index.php?page=Fedora3; Max Friedman, ÂDid The KGB Use John Kerry?Â, wintersoldier.com, http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/staticpages/index.php?page=KGBKerry, July 6, 2005; Federal Bureau of Investigation, Information Digest Special Report on VVAW, August 25, 1972, FBI file HQ 100-448092, Section 32, pdf pages 31-45, reproduced online with notes at ÂInformation Digest Special Report on VVAW: 8/25/72Â, wintersoldier.com, http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/staticpages/index.php?page=InfoDigestonVVAW. On the lineage from the PCPJ through the UPJ, cf. Friedman [ÂThe same basic leadership showed up in the various Mobes and their successors, including such CPUSA and pro-communist individuals as. . .Leslie Cagan (eventually aligned with the CP faction known as COC). . .Â]; ÂGuide to the Committees of Correspondence (U.S) Records, 1991-1997Â, The Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, http://dlib.nyu.edu:8083/tamwagead/servlet/SaxonServlet?source=/coc.xml&style=/saxon01t2002.xsl∂=body; David Horowitz, ÂPeople Against the American WayÂ, FrontPageMagazine.com, http://www.townhall.com/columnists/davidhorowitz/dh20030514.shtml, May 14, 2003.
133ÂThe 2002 Iraq Forum, June 15-16, 2002, Washington, D.C.Â, EPIC: Education for Peace in Iraq Center , http://www.epic-usa.org/Default.aspx?tabid=157.
134ÂTranscripts: Striking First: a Jim Lehrer NewsHour with Phyllis Bennis, 1 July 2002Â, Transnational Institute: TNI History: 2002, http://www.tni.org/history/index.htm.
135ÂTestimony Prepared for Hearings on Iraq Policy, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 31 July 2002, Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy StudiesÂ, Institute for Policy Studies, http://www.ips-dc.org/comment/Bennis/iraqtestimony.htm.
136ÂCBS and CNN Avoid Labeling a Far-Left Think TankÂ, Media Research Center: Cyberalert, Volume Eight, Number 31, February 18, 2003, http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030218.asp#4.
137Stephen Zunes, ÂSeven Reasons to Oppose a U.S. Invasion of Iraq: FPIF Policy Report, August 2002Â, online at FPIF: Foreign Policy in Focus, http://www.fpif.org/papers/iraq2.html; Stephen Zunes, ÂFPIF Talking Points: Why Not to Wage War with Iraq: August 2002Â, Institute for Policy Studies, http://www.ips-dc.org/downloads/0208iraq.pdf.
138Stephen Zunes, ÂThe Case Against WarÂ, The Nation, September 30, 2002, online at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020930/zunes.
139Readers and David Cortright, ÂKilling Sanctions in IraqÂ, The Nation, January 21, 2002, online at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020121/letter.
140Phyllis Bennis, ÂThe UN, the US and IraqÂ, The Nation, November 11, 2002, online at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20021111/bennis; Phyllis Bennis, ÂHalf a Victory at the UNÂ, The Nation, December 2, 2002, online at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20021202/bennis.
141Alexander Cockburn, ÂThe Antiwar Movement and Its CriticsÂ, The Nation, December 2, 2002, online at http://www.thenation.com/docprem.mhtml?i=20021202&s=cockburn; Alexander Cockburn, ÂThe Anti-War Movement and Its Critics: Merle Haggard Locates Osama; General Hitchens, Hie Thee to Fort Bragg; Whose Left Is It AnywayÂ, Counterpunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn1114.html, November 14, 2002.
142Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, ÂMemo for: President Bush Re: War on IraqÂ, CounterPunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/vips02082003.html, February 8, 2003.
143David Corn, Marc Cooper & Alexander Cockburn, ÂDebating the Antiwar MovementÂ, The Nation, December 23, 2002, posted December 4, 2002 at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20021223/exchange.
144The Nation, March 3, 2003, online at http://www.thenation.com/issue/20030303.
145Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 318, 354.
146ÂSeptember 2003Â Common Dreams NewsCenter: Views Archive, http://www.commondreams.org/views03/september2003.htm.
147Joseph Wilson, ÂHow Saddam ThinksÂ, San Jose Mercury News, October 13, 2002, online at , http://www.politicsoftruth.com/editorials/saddam.html.
150ÂLott: Dems Used Focus Groups to Attack Bush on WarÂ, NewsMax.com, http://www.newsmax.com/scripts/showinside.pl?a=2003/3/21/100946, March 21, 2003.
151Dana Priest, ÂU.S. Not Claiming Iraqi Link To TerrorÂ, The Washington Post, September 10, 2002, Page A01, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59403-2002Sep9.html, archived at NewsMine.org, http://newsmine.org/archive/war-on-terror/iraq/pre-invasion/no-iraq-alqaeda-link.txt; Julian Borger, ÂWhite House 'exaggerating Iraqi threat': Bush's televised address attacked by US intelligenceÂ, The Guardian, October 9, 2002, online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,807286,00.html; Bradley Graham and Dana Priest, ÂPentagon Team Told to Seek Details of Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties: Effort Bypasses Regular Intelligence Channels; CIA Rift DisputedÂ, The Washington Post, October 25, 2002, Page A24, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14056-2002Oct24.html. Contrast with CannistraroÂs comments in Julian Borger, ÂSaddam link to Bin Laden: Terror chief 'offered asylum' in Iraq? US says dealings step up danger of chemical weapons attacksÂ, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,314700,00.html, February 6, 1999; Julian Borger, ÂIraq-Bin Laden boat bomb link: USS Cole: 17 dead mourned as experts piece together attackÂ, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4078596,00.html, October 19, 2000; Al-Qaida's desire for ever more deaths raises spectre of germ, chemical or nuclear attacksÂ, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/september11/oneyearon/story/0,12361,786137,00.html, September 5, 2002.
152Michael White and Brian Whitaker, ÂUK war dossier a sham, say experts: British 'intelligence' lifted from academic articlesÂ, The Guardian, February 7, 2003, online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,890916,00.html. On Rangwala, CASI, Voices in the Wilderness, and the Emergence Committee on Iraq, see ÂCampaign Against Sanctions on Iraq: Newsletter: January 1999Â, CASI - Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq, http://www.casi.org.uk/newslet/jan99.html; ÂHouse of CommonsÂ, CASI - Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq, http://www.casi.org.uk/info/ukcommons.html; Note 65.
153Warrick, ÂSome Evidence on Iraq Called FakeÂ. Cf. ÂInspectors Dispute Iraq AllegationsÂ, The Guardian, January 29, 2003, http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-2360883,00.html, online at NewsMine.org, http://newsmine.org/archive/war-on-terror/iraq/pre-invasion/inspections/dispute-aluminum-tubes.txt; Joby Warrick, ÂDoubts Remain About Purpose Of Specialized Aluminum TubesÂ, The Washington Post, February 6, 2003, Page A29, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32110-2003Feb5.html, online at NewsMine.org, http://newsmine.org/archive/war-on-terror/iraq/pre-invasion/inspections/doubts-aluminum-tubes.txt.
154ÂNews Release: Decoding the New UN Resolution on Iraq: Myth-Shattering Analysis at Accuracy.org/un2Â, IPA: Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=588, November 13, 2002; ÂNews Release: Some Analysis of PowellÂs SpeechÂ, IPA: Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=557, February 6, 2003; Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, ÂIntelligence Officers Challenge BushÂ, Bainbridge Neighbors for Peace, http://www.bnfp.org/neighborhood/VetIntPro_for_Sanity.htm, May 1, 2003; Kristof, ÂMissing in Action: TruthÂ; Note 65; Dan Plesch and Glen Rangwala with Ffion Evans, John Fellows, and Gwenllian Griffiths, A Case to Answer: A first report on the potential impeachment of the Prime Minister for High Crimes and Misdemeanours in relation to the invasion of Iraq., Adam Price MP, August 2004, online at ImpeachBlair.org, http://www.impeachblair.org/report.shtml.
155IraqÂs Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, September 24, 2002, 25 (pdf page 28; cf. p. 6/pdf p. 9), online at 10 Downing Street, http://www.number-10.gov.uk/files/pdf/iraqdossier.pdf.
156Gian Marco Chiocci, ÂParla lÂex 007 Rocco Martino ÂEcco la verita sul NigergateÂÂ, il Giornale, September 21, 2004, 4, online at Ministero della Difesa, http://www.difesa.it/files/rassegnastampa/040922/5X9BK.pdf, English translation at TPMCafe, http://www.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/10/11/3229/1796. Cf. Bruce Johnston and Kim Willsher, ÂItaly blames France for Niger uranium claimÂ, telegraph.co.uk, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/09/05/wuran05.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/09/05/ixworld.html, May 9, 2004; Mark Huband, ÂFrench Probe Led to ÂFake Niger Uranium PapersÂÂ, Financial Times, August 2, 2004 online at Global Policy Forum, http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/justify/2004/0802niger.htm; Chairman Rt. Hon. The Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO, Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction: Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors, London: The Stationery Office, July 14, 2004, 123 (pdf pages 137), online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14_07_04_butler.pdf.
157ÂItalian journalist claims she supplied Iraq-Niger uranium documents to USÂ, ClariNews, http://quickstart.clari.net/qs_se/webnews/wed/bi/Qus-iraq-niger-italy.Rt17_DlJ.html, July 19, 2003; Hersh, ÂThe StovepipeÂ; Bonini and DÂAvanzo, ÂDoppiogiochisti e dilettanti tutti gli italiani del NigergateÂ.
158On Carl Ford and Cassidy & Associates, see ÂCarl Ford Jr.Â, LobbySearch: Lobbyist Profile, http://www.lobbysearch.com/cgi-bin/display_player.pl?id=20031013154400; cf. Jim Lobe, ÂAfrican Governments Spend Millions in LobbyingÂ, CorpWatch, http://www.corpwatch.org/news/PND.jsp?articleid=98, May 20, 2001. On Thielmann and VIPS, see Kristof, ÂSave Our SpooksÂ;Wolf, ÂU.S. Insiders Say Iraq Intel Deliberately SkewedÂ; Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, ÂMemo For: Colleagues in Intelligence: Subject: One Person Can Make a DifferenceÂ, CounterPunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/vips10142003.html, October 14, 2003.
159United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 57-59 (pdf pages 22-24).
160Vernon Loeb, "CIA Is Stepping Up Attempts To Monitor Spread of Weapons", Washington Post, March 12, 2001, Page A15, online at ÂRANSAC Nuclear News, March 14, 2001Â, RANSAC: Russian American Nuclear Security Advisory Council, http://www.ransac.org/Projects%20and%20Publications/News/Nuclear%20News/2001/03_14_01.html; United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 38-39 (pdf pages 3-4); Ward, ÂDouble ExposureÂ; Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 424; Ray McGovern, ÂConscience Before CareerÂ, TomPaine.com, October 2, 2003, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1003-11.htm; Ray McGovern, ÂMore at Stake in Bolton Nomination Than Meets the EyeÂ, TomPaine.com, April 25, 2005, online at truthout, http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/38/10642.
161Hersh, ÂWho Lied to Whom?Â
162Hersh, ÂThe StovepipeÂ.
163United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 59, 69 (pdf pages 24, 34).
164United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 60-61 (pdf pages 25-26).
165Hersh, ÂWho Lied to Whom?Â
166Hersh, ÂThe StovepipeÂ.
167Cf. Chairman Rt. Hon. The Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO, Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction: Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors, London: The Stationery Office, July 14, 2004, 121-125 (pdf pages 135-139), online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14_07_04_butler.pdf.
168United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 61-62 (pdf pages 26-27).
169Summarized by parnasokan at ÂNIGERGATE: THE ANTI BUSH AND BERLUSCONI NETWORKÂ, FreeRepublic.com, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/1511734/posts, October 29, 2005.
170ÂLevin Floor Statement on the Situation in IraqÂ, January 9, 2003, online at Carl Levin, http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=210449; Letter, Senator Carl Levin to President George W. Bush, January 24, 2003, attached to ÂLevin Urges President to Share U.S. Intelligence Information with Weapons InspectorsÂ, January 24, 2003, online at Carl Levin, http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=209011; Letter, Carl Levin to Hans Blix, June 9, 2003, online at Carl Levin, http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/supporting/2003/061103BlixLetter.pdf attached to ÂLevin Statement on CIA's Sharing of Intelligence on WMD with the UNÂ, Carl Levin, http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=216418, June 16, 2003.
171United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 69 (pdf page 34).
172Maura Reynolds, ÂTime Is Running Out, Bush Cautions: He and the British premier, united yet differing, press the U.N. to act quickly on Iraq.Â, The Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2003.
173See Note 106.
174Hersh, ÂThe StovepipeÂ; cf. ÂWho Lied to Whom?Â Cf. Judis and Ackerman, ÂThe First CasualtyÂ.
175United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 67 (pdf page 32).
176Walter Pincus and Dana Priest, ÂU.S. Had Uranium Papers Earlier: Officials Say Forgeries on Iraqi Efforts Reached State Dept. Before SpeechÂ, Washington Post, July 18, 2003, online at GlobalResearch.ca, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/PIN307A.html; Richard Leiby and Walter Pincus, ÂEx-Envoy: Nuclear Report Ignored: Iraqi Purchases Were Doubted by CIAÂ, The Washington Post, July 6, 2003, Page A13, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A13536-2003Jul5¬Found=true.
177Ian Traynor, ÂUK nuclear evidence a fake: British intelligence claims that Saddam Hussein has been trying to import uranium for a nuclear bomb are unfounded, according to UN nuclear inspectors Â, The Guardian, March 8, 2003, online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,909946,00.html; Sally Bolton and agencies, ÂBlix attacks US war intelligence, ÂThe Guardian, April 22, 2003, online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,941231,00.html. Cf. Hersh, ÂWho Lied to Whom?Â: ÂWhat is generally agreed upon, a congressional intelligence-committee staff member told me, is that the Niger documents were initially circulated by the British--President Bush said as much in his State of the Union speech--and that Âthe Brits placed more stock in them than we did.ÂÂ
178Chairman Rt. Hon. Ann Taylor, MP, Intelligence and Security Committee: Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction - Intelligence and Assessments, Colegate, Norwich: Her MajestyÂs Stationery Office (HMSO), St. Clements House, September 2003, 28 (pdf pages 33), online at GlobalSecurity.org, www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/2003/isc-iwmdia_sep2003.pdf; Chairman Rt. Hon. The Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO, Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction: Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors, London: The Stationery Office, July 14, 2004, 123 (pdf page 137), online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14_07_04_butler.pdf; Dana Priest and Susan Schmidt, ÂFBI Probes Fake Evidence of Iraqi Nuclear PlansÂ, The Washington Post, March 13, 2003, Page A17, online at Information Clearing House, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2095.htm.
179See Note 107.
180See Note 108.
181See Notes 110-111.
182See Note 109.
183Rajiv Chandrasekaran, ÂStopping War Not 'Up to Us,' Iraqi Says: Hussein Aide Sees Conflict As InevitableÂ, The Washington Post, January 26, 2003, Page A1.
184See Note 111.
185Matthew Cooper, Massimo Calabresi and John Dickerson, ÂA War on Wilson? Inside the Bush Administration's feud with the diplomat who poured cold water on the Iraq-uranium connectionÂ, posted July 17, 2003 at TIME.com, http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,465270,00.html.
186ÂADL: Ted Turner HasnÂt Learned From His MistakesÂ, Anti-Defamation League, http://www.adl.org/PresRele/HolNa_52/4629_52.htm, January 26, 2005; ÂAn Eason Jordan Timeline of EventsÂ, Easongate.com, http://billroggio.com/easongate/archives/2005/02/an_eason_jordan.php, February 11, 2005.
187Cf. David Halberstam, The Powers That Be, New York: Knopf, 1979.
188Pincus, ÂAnonymous sources: Their use in a time of prosecutorial interestÂ, Nieman Reports, Volume 59, Number 2, Summer 2005, online in pdf format at Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University: Nieman Reports, http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/contents.html and in html format at Nieman Watchdog: Showcase, http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Showcase.view&showcaseid=0019, July 6, 2005; Joe Strupp, ÂPincus: Woodward ÂAsked Me to Keep Him OutÂ of Plame ReportingÂ, Editor & Publisher, http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001523334, November 16, 2005. Cf. Bob Woodward, Bush at War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002; Bob Woodward, The Secret Man: The Story of WatergateÂs Deep Throat, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. On some of the problems with WoodwardÂs claim that Mark Felt was Deep Throat, cf. Carl Limbacher, ÂGeneral Haig: Deep Throat Not Lone SourceÂ, NewsMax.com, http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/5/31/211941.shtml, May 31, 2005; email from Jim Hougan, posted at ÂMore on Mark Felt, Deep Throat, and BennettÂ, Cannonfire, http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2005/05/more-on-mark-felt-deep-throat-and.html, May 31, 2005; Jim Hougan, ÂDeep Throat, Bob Woodward and the CIA: Strange BedfellowsÂ, CounterPunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/hougan06082005.html, June 8, 2005.
189John W. Dean, ÂMore vicious than Tricky Dick: John Dean says the Bush team's leaks are even viler than his former boss's -- and that Plame and Wilson should file a civil suit.Â, Salon.com, http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2003/10/03/dean/index_np.html, October 3, 2003. On Dean and Watergate see Jim Hougan, Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA, New York: Random House, 1984; Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin, Silent Coup: The Removal of a President, (New York: St. MartinÂs Press, 1991).
190United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 64-66 (pdf pages 29-31); Dana Priest and Karen DeYoung with Glenn Kessler, "CIA Questioned Documents Linking Iraq, Uranium Ore", Washington Post, March 22, 2003, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0322-04.htm; Walter Pincus and Dana Priest, ÂU.S. Had Uranium Papers Earlier: Officials Say Forgeries on Iraqi Efforts Reached State Dept. Before SpeechÂ, Washington Post, July 18, 2003, online at GlobalResearch.ca, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/PIN307A.html; Michael Duffy and James Carney, ÂA Question of TrustÂ, TIME, July 21, 2003, online at http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,464405,00.html; Julian Borger, ÂDemocrats step up pressure on uranium claims: Attempt to blame 'tainted' intelligence on CIA boss adds to woes for BushÂ, The Guardian, July 14, 2003, online at Forgotten History, http://www.lossless-audio.com/usa/index0.php?page=1101548993.htm; Timothy Noah, ÂIs Libby the Phantom Bigfoot? An exclusive report from Slate's guesswork unit.Â, Slate, http://www.slate.com/id/2085803/, July 17, 2003; ÂHead of CIA Weapons Analysis Program LeavingÂ, Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=reutersEdge&storyID=3422015, September 10, 2003, archived at ÂHead of CIA Weapons Analysis Program LeavingÂ, FreeRepublic.com, http://188.8.131.52/focus/f-news/979978/posts, September 10, 2003; Ray McGovern and David MacMichael, interview, ÂÂThe Crazies Are BackÂ: Bush Sr.Âs CIA Briefer Recalls How the First Bush Administration Referred to Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and CheneyÂ, Information Clearing House, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4736.htm.
191Hersh, ÂThe StovepipeÂ.
192McGovern, ÂConscience Before CareerÂ.
193Sidney Blumenthal, ÂThere was no failure of intelligence: US spies were ignored, or worse, if they failed to make the case for warÂ, The Guardian, February 5, 2004, online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1141401,00.html. On LangÂs background and relation to Wilson see Note 59.
194Michael Rubin, ÂWeb of Conspiracies: False rumors go from fringe staff go mainstream-again and again.Â, National Review Online, http://www.nationalreview.com/rubin/rubin200405180836.asp, May 18, 2004.
195Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 313-314; cf. 325-326.
196Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 17.
197Reed Kramer, ÂKansteiner To Leave Top Africa Post, Key Embassies in TransitionÂ, allAfrica.com, http://allafrica.com/stories/200310010765.html, October 1, 2003; ÂBoardÂ, The Corporate Council on Africa: About CCA, http://www.africacncl.org/About_CCA/board.asp; ÂWalter H. Kansteiner, IIIÂ, The Scowcroft Group: Who We Are, http://scowcroft.com/html/whoweare.html.
198See Note 128.
199Letter, Representative Henry A. Waxman to President George W. Bush, March 17, 2003, online at Representative Henry Waxman: 30th District of California, http://www.house.gov/waxman/text/admin_iraq_march_17_let.htm. Cf. Harry Kreisler interview with Tom Engelhardt, ÂTaking Back the Word: Conversation with Tom EngelhardtÂ, April 23, 2004, online at Institute of International Studies: Conversations with History, http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people4/Engelhardt/engelhardt-con4.html; Jeffrey Steinberg, ÂThe Henry Waxman Letter: Who Knew What, and When?Â, Executive Intelligence Review, Volume 30, Number 23, June 13, 2003, http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3023wmd_fraud.html.
200Note 110 and David Ensor segment on ÂU.N. Saying Documents Were FakedÂ, American Morning, March 14, 2003, transcript online at CNN.com, http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0303/14/ltm.14.html; Dana Priest and Susan Schmidt, ÂFBI Probes Fake Evidence of Iraqi Nuclear PlansÂ, The Washington Post, March 13, 2003, Page A17, online at Information Clearing House, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2095.htm; Hersh, ÂWho Lied to Whom?Â; Kristof, ÂMissing in Action: TruthÂ.
201See Note 70.
202David Ensor segment on ÂU.N. Saying Documents Were FakedÂ, American Morning, March 14, 2003, transcript online at CNN.com, http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0303/14/ltm.14.html. Cf. Ray Close, ÂWhose Deliberate Disinformation? A CIA Analyst on Forging IntelligenceÂ, CounterPunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/close03102003.html, March 10, 2003; Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, ÂMemo to the President: Forgery, Hyperbole, Half-Truth: A ProblemÂ, Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0319-08.htm, March 19, 2003; Ray Close, ÂWhy the Lies About WMD Matter: A Crime Against American ValuesÂ, CounterPunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/close06102003.html, June 10, 2003.
203ÂSenator RobertsÂ Statement on the Niger DocumentsÂ,United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, http://intelligence.senate.gov/030711.htm, July 11, 2003.
204Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 3, 332. Cf. comments by manyoso, ÂThe Theory of the Two NotebooksÂ, The Next Hurrah, http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2005/10/the_theory_of_t.html, October 11, 2005: ÂI contacted that Independent article author and tried to get him to tell me the name of the ambassador when it came out. He refused, but he put me on the trail... a few days later I contacted someone else who _did_ give me his name. I published Wilson's name and the next day he wrote his op-ed for the NY Times, so Wilson was right... his name was about to come out.Â
205See Note 65.
206For some timeline resources, see ÂPlame affair timelineÂ, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plame_scandal_timeline; ÂPlame Leak timelineÂ, dKosopedia, http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Plame_Leak_timeline; ÂJuly 14, 2004: The Joseph Wilson / Valerie Plame TimelineÂ, JustOneMinute, http://justoneminute.typepad.com/footnotes/2004/07/the_joseph_wils.html; Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane, ÂSenator Pat Roberts (R - KS) Helps to Fix the IntelÂ, The Raw Story, http://rawstory.com/robertsintel.htm.
207On Pincus and the CIA, see Pincus, ÂHow I Traveled Abroad on CIA SubsidyÂ, San Jose Mercury, February 18, 1967, 14; ÂWalter PincusÂ, NNDB, http://www.nndb.com/people/233/000044101/. On Pincus and IPS, see James L. Tyson, Target America: The Influence of Communist Propaganda on U.S. Media, with preface by Reed Irvine, Chicago: Regnery Gateway, 1981, 160-168; Powell, Covert Cadre, 57.
208See Notes 110. On Ensor and Close, see Note 202.
209See Note 111.
210See Note 114.
211See Note 115.
212Walter Pincus, ÂReport Cast Doubt on Iraq-Al Qaeda ConnectionÂ, The Washington Post, June 22, 2003, Page A01, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A19822-2003Jun21?language=printer
213See Note 65.
214See Note 116.
215See Note 117.
216See Note 119.
217See Note 120.
218See Note 121.
219See Note 7.
220Cf. Pincus, ÂReport Cast Doubt on Iraq-Al Qaeda ConnectionÂ.
221United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 45 (pdf page 10).
222United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, ÂAdditional CommentsÂ, 442-445 (pdf pages 2-5).
223Joshua Micah Marshall, ÂJuly 14, 2004Â, Talking Points Memo, http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_07_11.php#003169, July 17, 2004.
224Dana Priest and Karen DeYoung, ÂCIA Questioned Documents Linking Iraq, Uranium OreÂ, The Washington Post, March 22, 2003, online at Common Dreams NewsCenter, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0322-04.htm.
225Chairman Rt. Hon. Ann Taylor, MP, Intelligence and Security Committee: Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction - Intelligence and Assessments, Colegate, Norwich: Her MajestyÂs Stationery Office (HMSO), St. Clements House, September 2003, 27-28 (pdf pages 32-33), online at GlobalSecurity.org, www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/2003/isc-iwmdia_sep2003.pdf.
226See Note 224.
227United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 40 (pdf page 5).
228United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 36, 38 (pdf pages 1, 3).
229United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 108th Congress, Report on the U.S. Intelligence CommunityÂs Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Chapter 2, ÂNigerÂ, 41 (pdf page 6).
230See Note 222.
231Wilson on Paula Zahn Now, July 19, 2004, online at ÂInterview With Carmen bin Laden; Interview With Barbara WaltersÂ, CNN.com, http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0407/19/pzn.00.html.
232See Note 65.
233See Note 7.
234Hersh, ÂThe StovepipeÂ.
235Wilson, The Politics of Truth, 326.
Ping. My ping list for this is somewhat disorganized so I apologize if I missed anyone or mis-pinged someone.
ping to me
Yeah, I had to be long-winded to keep up with Wilson :-) It's meant as a reference piece. There will be some shorter follow-ups.
Well, what do you know? Finally a true depiction.
!!! -bump- !!!
I'll tell you honestly that I think this needs some reworking. As a colleague of mine once advised a doctoral student who was writing a dissertation: "Tell your reader what you plan to say in your introduction, say it in the following chapters, and then tell your reader what you have said in your conclusion."
This whole business is so complicated, it needs some sort of preface outlining your major points and what you will argue, and some kind of conclusion summing up what you have said. I don't mind reading long pieces, and this is clearly a very important and very complicated matter. But it needs to be presented more clearly.
Perhaps other Freepers may see it differently.
Sorry, the previous reply was meant for you.
Bump for later
Can't wait to read this. Gonna go get my jammies on and get comfy.
looks to be well worth the reading, many thanks for your efforts!
edpc, your sarcastic response in post #7 was uncalled for, in my opinion. Sometimes it isn't possible to relate something in a handful of words. The Wilson/Plame saga is one of the most tangled news stories in memory. I applaud Fedora for caring enough to try to untangle it.
Thanks for the input. Yeah, I'm sorely aware it could use some editing. One issue I had to work around was that a concise summary would lack supporting detail. Originally I had added a timeline to serve as a summary, but that would've added even more to the length, so I ended up cutting that out. Ideally I'd have reworked it a bit along the lines you suggest, but I was under a time crunch to get it out there and had to cut off editing after a point. Like I say there will be shorter follow-ups, and hopefully that will be able to address the points you raise, which are well-taken.
When the two of you (Cicero and edpc) do the work yourselves, then you can organize it any way you see fit. Until then, it's foolish and petty to complain about form over substance when someone else has taken the time and trouble to do the heavy lifting.
Many thanks for the ping! :-)
Thanks! My Wilson pinglist is kind of informal but I've noted to keep you on it. Regarding the editorial critique, no worries, but thanks :-)
I'm not complaining about the work, which obviously must have taken a tremendous effort, and is very important. It's just my sense that this essay is too important not to make it more easily accessible to readers.
That may just be my own personal reaction.
It has been one of the difficulties of this whole business that it's very complicated. That enables the media to spin it their way. My own view is that what Fedora argues here needs to be said--that the real conspirators are Wilson, Plame, the rogues in the CIA, Rockefeller and his pals on the Intelligence Committee, Daschle and his successor Harry Reid, and apparently French intelligence.
That's a hell of a conspiracy, so the more clearly you lay it out, the better.
I don't have time to read this now...will read it later. Thanks for this research...
"Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction."
If Novak had written, "Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction," it's likely few would ever have paid attention to any part of this story.
Thanks. I'm planning to see what I can do about a condensed version along those lines that would just hit the highlights.
Bump. Please add me to your ping list.
About to open a new pack of paper to print this out...
Well, Fedora, it's been long-awaited and I can see why. I will have to take some time to study it.
Send this to: Washington Office: Bond Federal Building 1400 New York Avenue, NW, Ninth Floor Washington D.C. 20530
Patrick Fitzgerald ;)
I've wondered if Novak would've worded it differently given the chance to rewrite it. I'll be interested to see what he has to say when his promised tell-all on this comes out.
ROFL! Added you to the ping list :-)
So it is Novaks contention or that Tenet didnt know about Wilsons trip until afterward? I think he needs to be questioned as well-just based on the fact he was a Clinton holdover in an agency with rogue elements out to get the Bush admin..
The MSM have damn good reason to be wetting their collective pants. Nowhere in the collective "News" will you see this level of detail. You are the king of the pajamadeen, sir. I doff my cap to you.
Time to run a ream through Mr. Printer.
Thanks! Hopefully with some help from the blogosphere at least some of the information can reach Fitzgerald's radar.
I think her name, per se, didn't mean anything much to him back then. He mentioned it only as a detail in a larger story. The whole notion that her name was mentioned to "punish" Joseph Wilson is a pure fabrication cooked up by David Corn (and possibly some co-conspirators in setting up President Bush). It quickly became the media's template for the story, and they have never abandoned it.
Yes. I imagine Novak's reporting what either Rove and/or CIA spokesman Bill Harlow told him there; they in turn probably got their information from either Tenet or someone in CIA who had been assigned to dig up the records on it.
Kudos for the great research!
Oh, I forgot to say good job!
Outstanding writing. The folks at AJ Strata's and Mac Ranger have the highest praise for your work, and so do I.
I wonder who will play Joe in the movie?
So much detail, you seem like the internet version of J. Bower Bell.
I agree that some relatively minor editing would make this much more readable. There's also some redundancy: it would be better to use quote snippets as they are needed to build an argument rather than regurgitate large swaths of Wilson's lies and then follow up with the more targetted snippets. That said, this is an impressive compilation and I hope Fedora will figure out a way to get it published so that a wider audience than FR can view it. It's the most authoritative piecing together of all the various strands of evidence that I have yet seen and takes care not to overclaim what can be deduced from the available evidence: in particular, the puzzle regarding motivation for the original forgery lies in its essential elements being put into play in January 2001. Elsewhere on FR, sorry I can't remember where, there's a nice riff on how the French might be implicated in an effort to forestall a CLINTON invasion of Iraq--i.e., tracing the genesis of this plot back as far as 1998. I think more could be said about the possibility that Jacquelyn Wilson actually enabled/encouraged her husband to pursue his affair and eventual marriage to Valerie Plame. There certainly was some very odd timing going on in 1997-1998 and this theory is consistent with the curious appearance of the second Mrs. Wilson's phone number at a house bought by the newly married Plame/Wilsons.
I think Wilson had business interests in Niger, but these were inextricably wrapped up in French business interests in uranium: as the Oil-for-Food scandal showed, the French were shameless about enabling Saddam to persist in his defiance of UN resolutions because they profited so heavily from his perfidy. They had means, motive and opportunity to profit from Saddam's nuclear aspirations and Wilson was uniquely positioned to facilitate this by assisting them in covering up what was really going on.