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IRAQ: A Question Of Trust - The CIA's Tenet takes the fall for a flawed claim......
TIME ^ | July 21, 2003 Vol. 162 No. 3 | MICHAEL DUFFY AND JAMES CARNEY

Posted on 07/13/2003 9:10:40 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

N A T I O N
A Question Of Trust
The CIA's Tenet takes the fall for a flawed claim in the State of the Union, but has Bush's credibility taken an even greater hit?
By


KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS
CIA director Tenet takes the blame for not stopping Bush from making the flawed claim

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Sunday, Jul. 13, 2003
The State of the Union message is one of America's greatest inventions, conceived by the Founders to force a powerful Chief Executive to report to a public suspicious of kings. Delivered to a joint session of Congress in democracy's biggest cathedral, it is the most important speech a President gives each year, written and rewritten and then polished again. Yet the address George W. Bush gave on Jan. 28 was more consequential than most because he was making a revolutionary case: why a nation that traditionally didn't start fights should wage a pre-emptive war. As Bush noted that night, "Every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider the state of the union. This year we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead."

Just how aware was Bush of the accuracy of what he was about to say? Deep in his 5,400-word speech was a single sentence that had already been the subject of considerable internal debate for nearly a year. It was a line that had launched a dozen memos, several diplomatic tugs of war and some mysterious, last-minute pencil editing. The line—"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa"—wasn't the Bush team's strongest evidence for the case that Saddam wanted nuclear weapons. It was just the most controversial, since most government experts familiar with the statement believed it to be unsupportable.

Last week the White House finally admitted that Bush should have jettisoned the claim. Designed to end a long-simmering controversy, the admission instead sparked a bewildering four days of changing explanations and unusually nasty finger pointing by the normally disciplined Bush team. That performance raised its own questions, which went to the core of the Administration's credibility: Where else did the U.S. stretch evidence to generate public support for the war? If so many doubted the uranium allegations, who inside the government kept putting those allegations on the table? And did the CIA go far enough to keep the bad intelligence out?

To that last question, at least, the answer was: apparently not. In what looked like a command performance of political sacrifice, the head of the agency that expressed some of the strongest doubts about the charge took responsibility for the President's unsubstantiated claim. "The CIA approved the President's State of the Union address before it was delivered," said CIA Director George Tenet in a statement. "I am responsible for the approval process in my agency. And ... the President had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound. These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the President."

Yet the controversy over those 16 words would not have erupted with such force were they not emblematic of larger concerns about Bush's reasoning for going to war in the first place. Making the case against Saddam last year, Bush claimed that Iraq's links to al-Qaeda and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) made the country an imminent threat to the region and, eventually, the U.S. He wrapped the evidence in the even more controversial doctrine of pre-emption, saying America could no longer wait for proof of its enemies' intentions before defending itself overseas—it must sometimes strike first, even without all the evidence in hand. Much of the world was appalled by this logic, but Congress and the American public went along. Four months after the war started, at least one piece of key evidence has turned out to be false, the U.S. has yet to find weapons of mass destruction, and American soldiers keep dying in a country that has not greeted its liberators the way the Administration predicted it would. Now the false assertion and the rising casualties are combining to take a toll on Bush's standing with the public.

FOLLOW THE YELLOWCAKE ROAD
How did a story that much of the national-security apparatus regarded as bogus wind up in the most important speech of Bush's term? The evidence suggests that many in the Bush Administration simply wanted to believe it. The tale begins in the early 1980s, when Iraq made two purchases of uranium oxide from Niger totaling more than 300 tons. Known as "yellowcake," uranium oxide is a partially refined ore that, when combined with fluorine and then converted into a gas, can eventually be used to create weapons-grade uranium. No one disputes that Iraq had a nuclear-weapons program in the 1980s, but it was dismantled after the first Gulf War. Then, in the mid-1990s, defectors provided evidence that Saddam was trying to restart the program.

Finally, late in 2001, the Italian government came into possession of evidence suggesting that Iraq was again trying to purchase yellowcake from Niger. Rome's source provided half a dozen letters and other documents alleged to be correspondence between Niger and Iraqi officials negotiating a sale. The Italians' evidence was shared with both Britain and the U.S.

When it got to Washington, the Iraq-Niger uranium report caught the eye of someone important: Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, told TIME that during one of his regular CIA briefings, "the Vice President asked a question about the implication of the report." Cheney's interest hardly came as a surprise: he has long been known to harbor some of the most hard-line views of Saddam's nuclear ambitions. It was not long before the agency quietly dispatched a veteran U.S. envoy named Joseph Wilson to investigate. Wilson seemed like a wise choice for the mission. He had been a U.S. ambassador to Gabon and had actually been the last American to speak with Saddam before the first Gulf War. Wilson spent eight days sleuthing in Niger, meeting with current and former government officials and businessmen; he came away convinced that the allegations were untrue. Wilson never had access to the Italian documents and never filed a written report, he told TIME. When he returned to Washington in early March, Wilson gave an oral report about his trip to both CIA and State Department officials. On March 9 of last year, the CIA circulated a memo on the yellowcake story that was sent to the White House, summarizing Wilson's assessment. Wilson was not the only official looking into the matter. Nine days earlier, the State Department's intelligence arm had sent a memo directly to Secretary of State Colin Powell that also disputed the Italian intelligence. Greg Thielmann, then a high-ranking official at State's research unit, told TIME that it was not in Niger's self-interest to sell the Iraqis the destabilizing ore. "A whole lot of things told us that the report was bogus," Thielmann said later. "This wasn't highly contested. There weren't strong advocates on the other side. It was done, shot down."

Except that it wasn't. By late summer, at the very moment that the Administration was gearing up to make its case for military mobilization, the yellowcake story took on new life. In September, Tony Blair's government issued a 50-page dossier detailing the case against Saddam, and while much of the evidence in the paper was old, it made the first public claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa. At the White House, Ari Fleischer endorsed the British dossier, saying "We agree with their findings."

THE DOUBTS THAT DIDN'T GO AWAY
By now, a gap was opening behind the scenes between what U.S. officials were alleging in public about Iraq's nuclear ambitions and what they were saying in private. After Tenet left a closed hearing on Capitol Hill in September, the nuclear question arose, and a lower-ranking official admitted to the lawmakers that the agency had doubts about the veracity of the evidence. Also in September, the CIA tried to persuade the British government to drop the allegation completely. To this day, London stands by the claim. In October, Tenet personally intervened with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's deputy, Stephen Hadley, to remove a line about the African ore in a speech that Bush was giving in Cincinnati, Ohio. Also that month, CIA officials included the Brits' yellowcake story in their classified 90-page National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons programs. The CIA said it could neither verify the Niger story nor "confirm whether Iraq succeeded in acquiring uranium ore and/or yellowcake" from two other African nations. The agency also included the State Department's concerns that the allegations of Iraq's seeking yellowcake were "highly dubious"—though that assessment was printed only as a footnote.

At a time when it was trying to build public support for the war, the Bush Administration did not share these internal doubts about the evidence with the public. In December, for example, the State Department included the Niger claim in its public eight-point rebuttal to the 12,200-page arms declaration that Iraq made to the U.N. two weeks earlier. And a month later, in an op-ed column in the New York Times titled "Why We Know Iraq Is Lying," top Bush aide Rice appeared to repeat the yellowcake claim, saying, "The declaration fails to account for or explain Iraq's efforts to get uranium from abroad." Nor did the U.S. pass on what it knew to international monitors. When the International Atomic Energy Agency, a U.N. group, asked the U.S. for data to back up its claim in December, Washington sat tight and said little for six weeks.

The battle between believers and doubters finally came to a head over the State of the Union speech. Weeks of work had gone into the address; speechwriters had produced two dozen drafts. But as the final form was taking shape, the wording of the yellowcake passage went down to the wire. When the time came to decide whether Bush was going to cite the allegation, the CIA objected—and then relented. Two senior Administration officials tell TIME that in a January conversation with a key National Security Council (nsc) official just a few days before the speech, a top cia analyst named Alan Foley objected to including the allegation in the speech. The nsc official in charge of vetting the sections on WMD, Special Assistant to the President Robert Joseph, denied through a spokesman that he said it was O.K. to use the line as long as it was sourced to British intelligence. But another official told TIME, "There was a debate about whether to cite it on our own intelligence. But once the U.K. made it public, we felt comfortable citing what they had learned." And so the line went in. While some argued last week that the fight should have been kicked upstairs to Rice for adjudication, White House officials claim that it never was.

NUCLEAR FALLOUT
But if it was good enough for bush, it wasn't good enough for others. Colin Powell omitted any reference to the uranium when he briefed the U.N. Security Council just eight days later; last week he told reporters that the allegation had not stood "the test of time." Nor did Tenet mention the allegation when he testified before the Senate panel on Feb. 11. "If we were trying to peddle that theory, it would have been in our white paper," an intelligence official told TIME. "It would have been in lots of places where it wasn't. A sentence made it into the President's speech, and it shouldn't have."

Did Bush really need to push the WMD case so hard to convince Americans that Saddam should be ousted? In a TIME poll taken four weeks before coalition forces invaded, 83% of Americans thought war was justified on the grounds that "Saddam Hussein is a dictator who has killed many citizens of his Iraq." That's one claim that has never been contested. In the same TIME poll, however, 72% of Americans thought war was also justified because it "will help eliminate weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

The unseen threat of a Saddam with WMD was an argument that played to Bush's strengths. As a politician, Bush has always been better at asserting his case than at making it. After 9/11, his sheer certitude—and the faith Americans had in his essential trustworthiness—led Americans to overwhelmingly support him. The yellowcake affair may have already changed that relationship, for as the casualties mount in Iraq, polls suggest that some of that faith is eroding. Which means the next time Bush tells the nation where he wants to go, it may not be so quick to follow.

—With reporting by Massimo Calabresi, Matthew Cooper and Adam Zagorin/Washington, John F. Dickerson with Bush in Africa, J.F.O. McAllister/London and Andrew Purvis/Vienna

From the Jul. 21, 2003 issue of TIME magazine


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bushdoctrineunfold; iraq; niger; plamegate; tenet; warlist
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1 posted on 07/13/2003 9:10:41 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: *Bush Doctrine Unfold; *war_list; W.O.T.; Dog Gone; Grampa Dave; blam; Sabertooth; NormsRevenge; ...
Bush Doctrine Unfolds :

To find all articles tagged or indexed using Bush Doctrine Unfold , click below:
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2 posted on 07/13/2003 9:13:07 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Stop the presses - the French did it!)
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To: All
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3 posted on 07/13/2003 9:13:40 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Liberals keep wet dreaming. Bush will win big next year.
4 posted on 07/13/2003 9:13:57 PM PDT by nwrep
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To: Pokey78; Jim Robinson
Now it gets interesting!

Drudge pointed to this TIME article!

French secret service 'kept CIA in the dark over Iraq and uranium'

5 posted on 07/13/2003 9:16:13 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Stop the presses - the French did it!)
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To: nwrep
See the article linked at post #5!
6 posted on 07/13/2003 9:22:18 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Stop the presses - the French did it!)
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To: woodyinscc; Dolphy; PhiKapMom; dead
Ya know...why is all this 'stuff' coming out at odd hours? Some of us want to go to bed....but I can't leave the computer :P

Ping
7 posted on 07/13/2003 9:25:16 PM PDT by Calpernia (Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.)
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To: Calpernia
I know the feeling!
8 posted on 07/13/2003 9:26:14 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Stop the presses - the French did it!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I don't remember seeing your name at this one: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/945167/posts

You may want to skim some of these posts...

It feels like it is all coming together...Something big will soon be shown.
9 posted on 07/13/2003 9:28:02 PM PDT by Calpernia (Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Also in September, the CIA tried to persuade the British government to drop the allegation completely. To this day, London stands by the claim.

The CIA also tried to get Czech Intelligence to back off its report that Atta had met with an Iraqi spook in Prague, but the Czechs still stand by their story. That could just be the nature of intelligence work, or just the nature of the CIA, or perhaps there is more going on than meets the eye.

10 posted on 07/13/2003 9:32:28 PM PDT by marron
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To: Calpernia
It feels like it is all coming together...Something big will soon be shown.

Blair will be in town Thursday, it will go down hill for the dims during his visit!!

11 posted on 07/13/2003 9:35:26 PM PDT by woodyinscc
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To: Calpernia
Thanks, I took a quick look and about lost my supper!
12 posted on 07/13/2003 9:38:36 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Stop the presses - the French did it!)
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To: marron
Things are rocking!

The Media really now has stuff to munch on!

13 posted on 07/13/2003 9:47:10 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Stop the presses - the French did it!)
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To: marron
Things are rocking!

The Media really now has stuff to munch on!

14 posted on 07/13/2003 9:47:11 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Stop the presses - the French did it!)
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To: marron
Things are rocking!

The Media really now has stuff to munch on!

15 posted on 07/13/2003 9:47:22 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Stop the presses - the French did it!)
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To: marron
Things are rocking!

The Media really now has stuff to munch on!

16 posted on 07/13/2003 9:47:29 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Stop the presses - the French did it!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
(please note: freeper is not responsible for any damage to computer keyboard, mouse, monitors or other office equipment caused by the nature of posts)

:)
17 posted on 07/13/2003 9:47:30 PM PDT by Calpernia (Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.)
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To: woodyinscc
Whoever makes this live thread or sees it...please ping me.

Thanks.
18 posted on 07/13/2003 9:58:29 PM PDT by Calpernia (Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

A Question of Trust... a flawed claim...

They are clever rhetoriticians... I'll give them that. They are reminiscent of precocious children who imagine that they are fooling you. It's almost fun to watch them do it... to see how far they think they can push their clever little web-spinning before you send them off to bed.

I can't shake the sense that the press has over-reached on this one... by a lot. The viciousness, the single-minded devotion to using the most trivial and asinine arguments to advance an almost ludicrous exercise in hatchet-throwing... is eye-opening.

The lying, the distortions, the almost self-flaggelating desire for defeat that was so evident in their war reporting, now blossoms into a nearly psychotic rant about a line in a speech. It does raise the question: are these people sane?

Flawed claim? The British don't think so. They are standing by that report even today. A question of trust? Time would like to sow such questions, that much is clear. Their reporters and editors hate George Bush viscerally... that much is also clear.

This crusade, this jihad that the press has been on for a week now, over a throwaway line in a speech months ago... is insane. The press corps is so blinded by hatred that they do not see what fools they are making of themselves in public. Partisan? That's only the beginning of what could cause this. Frenzied? Definitely. Lost in a group fantasy? Very clearly. Psychotic? I don't think there can be any doubt after this. At root, the line being advanced by the press this week is a paranoid fantasy... conspiratorial lunacy alleging deliberate lying for the purpose of going to war. Pick your reason why anyone would do such a thing... all of them are paranoid and absolutely crazy.

That we have a press corps that is this far removed from America, from reality, is a serious problem.


19 posted on 07/13/2003 10:06:29 PM PDT by Nick Danger (The liberals are slaughtering themselves at the gates of the newsroom)
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To: Calpernia
Awgggg!

System hung and I could never see that it had posted my comments!

Decided I had a problem and rebooted!

Now I see them, wierd!
20 posted on 07/13/2003 10:09:19 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Stop the presses - the French did it!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Time and the Democrats may be wetting their panties over this, but the American people don't give a damn. The reason is simple. They would rather be safe than sorry. They sleep easier with Saddam gone regardless of whether we ever find WMDs, than with him in power and not knowing what he has. That's all.
21 posted on 07/13/2003 10:14:36 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: Nick Danger
That we have a press corps that is this far removed from America, from reality, is a serious problem.

Amen to that!

Be sure and see the Link at post #5!

I say that just in case you have not !

22 posted on 07/13/2003 10:14:47 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Stop the presses - the French did it!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
See the article linked at post #5!
23 posted on 07/13/2003 10:19:49 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Recall Gray Davis and then start on the other Democrats)
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To: Calpernia
It feels like it is all coming together...Something big will soon be shown..

Tony Blair will be making a speech before a joint session of Congress. Tony Blair will say the same thing about Yellowcake from Africa and maybe explain a little.

Will the DemocRATS call him a liar?

This will probably put the issue to rest.

24 posted on 07/14/2003 12:01:31 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Soddom has left the bunker.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Nick Danger; cyncooper; okie01

This article is still up. FYI it's one of two articles the court says Mr. COoper is being investigated.

Lots of anonymous sources...or does this article tell us who they are??


25 posted on 02/27/2005 3:10:57 PM PST by Shermy
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To: cyncooper

The "Newsday" subpena list says these 5 Time journalists were subpenaed:

Matthew Cooper, John Dickerson, Massimo Calabresi, Michael Duffy and James Carney, Time magazine;

Cooper contributed to the above story, Duffy and Carney are the lead writers.


26 posted on 02/27/2005 3:16:12 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy

Wait, I am lost, which Court case?

I thought Cooper was involved with the outing of Joe Wilson's wife ?


27 posted on 02/27/2005 3:29:37 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (This tagline no longer operative....floated away in the flood of 2005 ,)
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To: Shermy

Hmmm!


28 posted on 02/27/2005 3:30:39 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (This tagline no longer operative....floated away in the flood of 2005 ,)
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To: cyncooper

As I said, the court case mentions the subpoena is for two articles, dated 17 and 21.

The 17 one was more apparent to us because, I suppose, Cooper is listed as a lead reporter on that one. On this one he's listed at the bottom. Interestingly, as far as I've read the other Time journalists have no problem with the govt. Could it be that Cooper provided the anonymous sources here?

Another reason this one was overlooked is that the initial annoucements of the investigation only mentioned Novak and Newsday, IIRC.


29 posted on 02/27/2005 3:31:45 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
This case from Feb. 15. It involves the subpoenas on Judith Miller and Matt Cooper.

This article clearly has "leaky" written over it far beyond the release of Plame's name.

30 posted on 02/27/2005 3:33:56 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy
Thanks for finding and bumping this old article that was published right after Wilson went public.

It is filled with disinfo that can only have come from the rogue CIA and/or State staffers many of us have surmised are behind this story. I can't believe I missed that this article is of interest to the grand jury. I did note they want to know not just about Plame, if anything, but about Wilson and his trip.

Now, some comments about this July 2003 article taken from my vantage point of today:

FOLLOW THE YELLOWCAKE ROAD

How did a story that much of the national-security apparatus regarded as bogus wind up in the most important speech of Bush's term?

~snip~

I note that what we now know is the one thing the 9/11 Commission said had NOT been disproven was the Iraq seeking uranium story. Contrary to what anonymous sources were whispering to reporters, this intelligence was not flawed or widely disputed or disbelieved.

Finally, late in 2001, the Italian government came into possession of evidence suggesting that Iraq was again trying to purchase yellowcake from Niger. Rome's source provided half a dozen letters and other documents alleged to be correspondence between Niger and Iraqi officials negotiating a sale. The Italians' evidence was shared with both Britain and the U.S.

What we knew, even when Wilson and anonymous sources were hinting that part of the basis for Wilson's Niger sojourn were these documents was that we did not come into possession of those documents until well AFTER Wilson's February 2002 trip. In fact, the documents were not given to our Embassy in Rome until October 2002.

When it got to Washington, the Iraq-Niger uranium report caught the eye of someone important: Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, told TIME that during one of his regular CIA briefings, "the Vice President asked a question about the implication of the report."

For a long time the media and Wilson supporters hinted darkly that Libby might be the "leaker" of Plame's name. Cooper and other reporters have now admitted to the grand jury that Libby never mentioned Plame to them (he more than likely did not know about Wilson or his trip, much less why or who suggested him for it).

Greg Thielmann, then a high-ranking official at State's research unit, told TIME

Thielmann has popped up in several anti-administration articles especially around the time of this article.

at the very moment that the Administration was gearing up to make its case for military mobilization, the yellowcake story took on new life. In September, Tony Blair's government issued a 50-page dossier detailing the case against Saddam, and while much of the evidence in the paper was old, it made the first public claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa. At the White House, Ari Fleischer endorsed the British dossier, saying "We agree with their findings."

And at the very moment the Wilson story was getting rolling--the original "Bush lied" story--the anti-Blair "Sexed-dossier" story was getting rolling. Funny how to this day this yellowcake story STILL has not been disproven though you'd never guess that fact from this July 2003 article.

So interesting. I'm going to look up the Appellate ruling again and make a note of the subpoena making reference to this article. This is a MOST interesting find. Thanks for the ping.

31 posted on 02/27/2005 3:39:03 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: Shermy
Going out for a hamburger...meditation time.
32 posted on 02/27/2005 3:40:46 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (This tagline no longer operative....floated away in the flood of 2005 ,)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Better make it a cheeseburger, then.

;)


33 posted on 02/27/2005 3:47:02 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: cyncooper

A couple of things might have been copied from one of those Seymour Hersh ramblings. But clearly there's some new insider stuff in this article.

What sources? "Two senior administration officials" "another official" "an intelligence official"

Lots of packaged leaks right after Wilson's piece, and before Novak's.


34 posted on 02/27/2005 3:48:55 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Wait, I am lost, which Court case?

I thought Cooper was involved with the outing of Joe Wilson's wife ?

The grand jury investigating the Plame Affair probably concluded that no law had been broken in the first twenty minutes after it was empaneled.

Thereafter, it was free to follow where the threads of the investigation led them. Straight to "unauthorized CIA leaks" to the MSM that had real national security implications.

The MSM demanded a special prosecutor. They got one. And now they find themselves being investigated. They are carefully not telling you that, though. They still want you to think this is somehow all related to the Plame Name Blame Game.

But it's not...

35 posted on 02/27/2005 3:49:07 PM PST by okie01 (A slavering moron and proud member of the lynch mob, cleaning the Augean stables of MSM since 1998.)
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To: Shermy
Two senior Administration officials tell TIME that in a January conversation with a key National Security Council (nsc) official just a few days before the speech, a top cia analyst named Alan Foley objected to including the allegation in the speech.

Cooper's work? And Foley was, of course, Valerie Plame's boss in the counter-proliferation section. The one who quietly resigned a month after the Novak story broke...

36 posted on 02/27/2005 3:53:25 PM PST by okie01 (A slavering moron and proud member of the lynch mob, cleaning the Augean stables of MSM since 1998.)
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To: cyncooper

"For a long time the media and Wilson supporters hinted darkly that Libby might be the "leaker" of Plame's name. "

I've thought the clamor was propelled by the outrage and egotism of Wilson. Funny if it turns out that the leakers are his gabby friends.


37 posted on 02/27/2005 3:53:26 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy

I just looked at the court decision again. Thank goodness my husband had showed me the "find" feature so I was able to see the two references quickly and easily.

It appears the first time Cooper was subpoenaed last summer the grand jury was interested in these two articles. He got out of contempt then by giving limited testimony (the Libby didn't mention Plame testimony), And I see the newer subpoena indeed is for the same two articles.

It's funny because I had made it a point to look up and re-read the July 13 article right after I read this decision the first time, but this July 21 article had skipped right off of my radar.

Again, most interesting. I better file it away.


38 posted on 02/27/2005 3:54:49 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: okie01
And Foley was, of course, Valerie Plame's boss in the counter-proliferation section. The one who quietly resigned a month after the Novak story broke...

Yup. I was going to note the same, glad you did.

39 posted on 02/27/2005 3:56:46 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: Shermy

You know what? Chrissy Matthews used to be so bad on this story that I started a drinking game with another freeper. Really.

Every time he would talk about this story and say "Scooter" "Libby" or "Scooter Libby" you had to drink. Two glasses of wine down the hatch, easily.

Now, I missed Matt Cooper's appearance on Hardball the day this appeals court decision came down. I would have broken my boycott to watch it since I follow this story so closely. So I did the next best thing, I looked up the transcript. Neither Chrissy or Cooper mentioned his first subpoena or his testimony basically "clearing" Libby.

Even cynical me was surprised. I didn't think he would flat out ignore it and I thought he might retain a smidgeon of decency and regret smearing Libby's name by practically accusing him of breaking the law. But he did not. My boycott of Hardball stands firm.


40 posted on 02/27/2005 4:01:55 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: okie01

"two senior Administration officials"

Sounds similar to Novak's sources, no? Could it be those reports about Rove blabbing to "six reporters" be misplaced by those who didn't get calls? That it wasn't Bushies doing this?

And perhaps when they called Novak...

Then there's the whole issue of Wilson's leaks prior to his NYTimes article - to mostly the Brit press, part of wanting to take down Blair?


41 posted on 02/27/2005 4:02:16 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Fedora; piasa

Ping to new developments


42 posted on 02/27/2005 4:03:09 PM PST by Shermy
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To: cyncooper

"I better file it away"

Not too deep. I think it's the core of the matter.

the "July 13" and "21" articles are one in the same. 13 is the date it was posted on the web (before Novak's article). 21 the issue date on the paper magazine.

As I read it the first subpena was limited to Libby. Cooper probably said "It wasn't him", he wouldn't answer subsequent questions so they gave him another subpena.


43 posted on 02/27/2005 4:06:17 PM PST by Shermy
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To: okie01

Thinking again about Richard Clarke - he likes to talk. Tenet could be one - he felt slighted by Wilson.


44 posted on 02/27/2005 4:08:00 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy

OK--I made sure to adjust the title in my folder to reflect the article is of interest to the grand jury.


45 posted on 02/27/2005 4:12:57 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: cyncooper
This is turning into a story the MSM does not enjoy reporting on.

At some point, they will begin to ignore it -- as if it isn't happening. Judith Miller and Matt Cooper could be sent off to the big house...and all it will earn them is a column inch of agate type on page C-18.

46 posted on 02/27/2005 4:34:22 PM PST by okie01 (A slavering moron and proud member of the lynch mob, cleaning the Augean stables of MSM since 1998.)
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To: okie01; cyncooper

From a CNN interview

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0502/20/rs.01.html

COOPER: Well, first of all, it's not entirely -- I -- without saying, disclosing, what everyone wants to know, I wouldn't be entirely certain about, you know, the motivation of the leakers, who leaked what, when, where, how.

But that said, look, journalism needs to be able to protect its sources in order to be able to function. It's the only way to ferret out information. And we need to be able to do that.

Now, I will readily concede that at times that may not make the life of a prosecutor easier. But that's not my job in society is to make the life of a prosecutor easier. You know, I gave limited testimony to a prosecutor last year after one of my sources absolved me of our promise of confidentiality, and I was happy to do so, and would do it again.

KURTZ: An aide to Vice President Cheney.

COOPER: I would do it again, right. But this time the prosecutors asked for really, basically, every one of my sources and my notebook. That's much harder to comply with.


47 posted on 02/27/2005 4:38:07 PM PST by Shermy
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To: cyncooper
NBC has said previously that Russert was "not a recipient" of Plame's name. A statement from the network yesterday said "the Special Prosecutor's questions addressed a telephone conversation initiated by Mr. Libby and focused on what Mr. Russert said during that conversation. Mr. Libby had previously told the FBI about the conversation and had formally requested that the conversation be disclosed."

NBC officials said that at the time of the conversation Russert "did not know Ms. Plame's name or that she was a CIA operative" and "he did not provide that information to Mr. Libby." Network representatives would not elaborate on Fitzgerald's interest in learning whether Russert disclosed information to Libby.

From August WashPost last year. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52895-2004Aug9_2.html I remembered that, thought is was just confusion...but maybe not only did Libby not tell - maybe he didn't know! Maybe a reporter told him about Plame's Wilson connection.
48 posted on 02/27/2005 4:48:08 PM PST by Shermy
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To: okie01; cyncooper

The case says less about miller:

Supbpenas "seeking documents and testimony related to conversatins between her and a specified government official "occuring from on or about July 6, 2003 to on or about July 13, 2003,...concerning Valerie Plame Wilson...or concerning Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium."

Presumably that person isn't Libby since long before he released the reporters. Who could it be...and just how did she get involved in this matter...she apparently wrote nothing about Plame


49 posted on 02/27/2005 5:27:02 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy
Who could it be...and just how did she get involved in this matter...she apparently wrote nothing about Plame

If she never wrote about Plame, then wouldn't it have to be "concerning Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium"? She was the Times' "beat writer" on WMD, after all.

In order to have a "source", one must first have a story published, I would think. Indeed, to warrant the GJ subpoena, one would've had to have published a story in which one cited a source. I doubt they can subpoena idle gossip.

Would be nice to know what she published in that time frame. But given Miller's beat and his proximity to Plame, may I suggest Alan Foley?

50 posted on 02/27/2005 5:46:04 PM PST by okie01 (A slavering moron and proud member of the lynch mob, cleaning the Augean stables of MSM since 1998.)
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