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Sunday, 30 October 2005
Restoring Honesty, Part 1
In May 2003, at about the same time that he became an adviser to the John Kerry presidential campaign, Joe Wilson also became a rat bastard in the service of New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof. Wilson fed Kristof his own version of the events surrounding his vacation to Niger in February-March 2002, including the factoid that he had been sent there on account of Vice President Dick Cheney.

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.
That's cause-and-effect. To anyone reading that sentence, the reasonable conclusion to draw is that Cheney sent Wilson to Niger.

Why does this matter? Because it demonstrates that Wilson was using an editorial writer at probably the most powerful newspaper in the world to advance the notion that Dick Cheney and/or his staff were directly involved in sending Wilson to Niger.

But that isn't what happened.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:06 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (12) | Permalink

Sunday, 30 October 2005 - 2:44 PM CDT

Name: Rider

What unbelievable bullshit. What unbelievable stupidity.

Here's what Wilson said:

"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. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office."

He does NOT say the vice president sent him. He does NOT say the vice president asked him to go. He does NOT say he ever met with or talked to the vice president nor even the vice president's office. He says the vice president's OFFICE made an inquiry. He says he learned of this from officials at the CIA. He says the CIA sent him so THEY could repsond to the vice president's OFFICE.

What part of "vice president's office had questions" do you not understand? What part of "agency officials asked if I would travel" do you not understand?

I thought this was about the stupidest thing I ever heard of the first time I heard it. The only thing more stupid is that anyone is still peddling this lie at this late date. Joe Wilson told the truth. That's why he was attacked and that's why he is still being attacked. When are you going to stop lying about this?

Sunday, 30 October 2005 - 2:54 PM CDT

Name: Rider

"In 2002, after an inquiry to the CIA by the Vice President concerning certain intelligence reporting, the CIA decided on its own initiative to send Wilson to the country of Niger to investigate allegations involving Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium yellowcake, a processed form of uranium ore. Wilson orally reported his findings to the CIA upon his return."

That's exactly what Wilson described. Is Fitzgerald lying about this too now?

Keep attacking him though so everyone can understand how the White House Attack Machine operates when someone tells the truth. They send out the lying, flying monkeys and they never, ever, ever call them back or godforbid apologize. So they just keep flying and lying long after there's no point. Has there ever been an administration so afraid of the truth?

Sunday, 30 October 2005 - 3:09 PM CDT

Name: TP

What's the source for that Wilson quote? I'm not being obtuse; I have a (chronological) reason to wonder.

When Wilson was prepping the Big Media rollout for his and wife's martyrdom, he must have at least intimated to Kristof and Pincus and Corn that "Cheney's office" was directly involved in his trip. Why did he do that? To simulate the highest plausible degree of proximity between himself and the war cabinet.

If he came off of that, it's only because he was compelled to by the facts.

Keep on restoring that honesty, Rider.

Sunday, 30 October 2005 - 3:15 PM CDT

Name: TP

No, I don't think Fitzgerald is lying here. He puts it correctly: "[...] the CIA decided on its own initiative [...]"

If this was entirely the doing of the CIA, then why was it ever necessary for anybody to associate Wilson's trip with the VP? Verifying that sort of thing is supposed to be part of their job, whether Cheney wanted it looked into or not. Wilson is the one who makes that connection.

Kristof was fed that rationale by Wilson himself in May 2003. Wilson was using Kristof to make the suggestion. Why is that so hard for you to come to terms with?

Sunday, 30 October 2005 - 4:21 PM CDT

Name: Rider

Why didn't Wilson say it was ENTIRELY the doing of the CIA? Because it wasn't ENTIRELY the doing of the CIA. That would have been misleading. His trip came about as the result of an inquiry from the office of the VP. If there had been no inquiry, there would have been no trip. The VP requested or someone from his office requested the CIA look into this. Did the VP send Wilson? No. Wilson didn't say that. Why did the CIA send Wilson? The VP had raised a question, so the CIA decided to send Wilson. That's exactly what Wilson said. He made a report of his findings to the CIA so they could send the findings up to the office of the VP by way of responding to the inquiry. He told the truth, and you know he did.

Sunday, 30 October 2005 - 4:47 PM CDT

Name: Rider

"Though I did not file a written report, there should be at least four documents in United States government archives confirming my mission. The documents should include the ambassador's report of my debriefing in Niamey, a separate report written by the embassy staff, a C.I.A. report summing up my trip, and a specific answer from the agency to the office of the vice president (this may have been delivered orally). While I have not seen any of these reports, I have spent enough time in government to know that this is standard operating procedure." - Amb. Wilson

Sunday, 30 October 2005 - 4:58 PM CDT

Name: Rider

The quote is from Wilson's op ed in the NYT, July 6, 2003, "What I Didn't Find In Africa."

Reprinted here:

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0706-02.htm

Cheney's office WAS directly involved in the trip. If there had been no inquiry, there would have been no trip. The CIA initiative was the proximate cause of the trip, yes. That's what he said. That's exactly the same thing Kristof said. Duh.

Proximity to the war cabinet was the last thing on his mind, I would venture to say. His whole point in writing was to make it clear that the war cabinet was a bunch of lying bastards. He had no need even rhetorically to associate himself with those perfidious snakes.

You strain credulity well beyond the breaking point in attempting to force that interpretation on his words and thereby miss his entire point, that what was coming out of the White House about Niger yellowcake was a complete crock of bullshit.

Sunday, 30 October 2005 - 6:28 PM CDT

Name: Rider

Restoring honesty:

http://www.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/10/30/18754/437

Joseph Wilson's letter to the SSCI correcting their mis-statements.

The lies of the RNC about Wilson have been rebutted publicly and repeatedly. At this point continued repetition of these lies is wilful and inexcusable.

Sunday, 30 October 2005 - 7:24 PM CDT

Name: Rider

And as long as I'm ranting uncontrollably, I feel compelled to add that I look stunning in thigh-high fishnet stockings.

Sunday, 30 October 2005 - 11:17 PM CST

Name: TP

Thanks for the link. I'll have to study Wilson's letter a little more, but it strikes me as just more of the "I-didn't-inhale" sort of stuff.

No one, to my knowledge, has ever said that Plame authorized her husband's trip. That would suggest a level of executive authority that I don't think anyone believes she had or has. But she certainly facilitated it to a degree that bears a strong resemblance to ---at least--- making the "suggestion."

Monday, 31 October 2005 - 5:13 PM CST

Name: Rider

We are both fools, TP.

I have been asking repeatedly why the WH has vociferously insisted for two years and counting that the Vice President had nothing to do with Wilson's trip to Niger. Obviously, Wilson never asserted that, so why have they (and you) made such a big deal out of claiming that he had?

You thought it was to point out that Wilson was a lying SOB. Wrong. I thought it was because they wanted to make Wilson look like a lying SOB. Wrong.

They cooked up that lie as pretext for their (legal) claim that they were not attempting to out his wife, merely setting the record straight. "See, it wasn't the VP who sent Wilson to Niger (they would tell Miller, Novak, Cooper, Russert, etc.). No, it was his CIA wife who did that."

Scott McClellan made a statement to that effect, in fact:

“There is a difference between setting the record straight and doing something to punish someone for speaking out,” McClellan said. "There were some statements made (by Wilson) and those statements were not based on facts," McClellan said. "And we pointed out that it was not the vice president's office that sent Mr. Wilson to Niger.”

So, the statement, "His wife arranged his trip to Niger," was of course both the leak and the subsequent talking point. The statement was made to the reporters, they claimed, in order to correct Wilson's claim that Cheney had sent him to Africa. Never mind that Wilson never claimed that and that you practically have to stand on your head to twist that meaning out of his words.

Anyway, we can both quit. They will never stop telling that lie, because they need it for legal purposes; not, as you think, to make Wilson out to be a jerk. I always figured it was lame to try and make a fmr. ambassador out to be a ne'er-do-well who had to depend on his wife's connections. Now you can see that wasn't their intention at all.

Monday, 31 October 2005 - 11:27 PM CST

Name: TP

Kristof was merely repeating what Wilson and Plame told him.

Do you really think the three of them met over breakfast one morning and the idea that Plame was with the Company never occurred to Kristof?

Get real.

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