Apr 16 2006

Marc Grossman, Man Of Mystery

Published by at 2:37 pm under All General Discussions,Plame Game

Update: The memo comes in two versions here and here. (oops! wrong Plame Post)

Update: Well, that rumor I heard is turning out to be true. Marc Grossman and Joe Wilson went to the same college and graduated the same year. And as we now know went on to the state department and got the same job in neighboring countries. Clarice posted the detail here.

Marc Grossman ’72- Under Secretary of State for Political Affair Before being sworn in as Under Secretary for Political Affairs in March of 2001, Grossman served in a number of Foreign Service positions. From 1994 to 1997 he was the Ambassador to Turkey. Other positions include Special Assistant to the Secretary of State and Executive Secretary of the Department of State.

Joseph Wilson ’72- former ambassador to Gabonese Republic and to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome. He served in Iraq as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy from 1988 to 1991.

Fitzgerald either knew this and hid it, or was clueless. Personally, I cannot wait to see his next filing. He should have some ‘splaining to do. His chief witness is tied to the truth challenged Wilsons.

Update: Some very niave people think a mark of Secret on a paragraph namin Valerie Wilson means she was a NOC covered under the IIC IIPA act. It means just the opposite. A NOC’s name would never, ever be put in a memo like this. Especially one simply TS. The fact her name is in the memo indicates she was not a NOC being covered at all costs by the CIA. Many people in the CIA do not know the names of NOC’s. Let alone at State. And what fool would give a NOC name to a WH Press Secretary? Forget it folks. NOC is well above Secret.

Update: Tom Maguire seems to think Grossman’s testimony about 2 WH people ‘calling’ 6 reporters on Plame clears State and Armitage. I disagree. Grossman’s testimony does not indicate one way or the other whether State knew before the 2 WH sources ‘talked’ to reporters. We know from the record much of what Grossman said is a tissue of speculation – at best. Libby did not call reporters about Plame, he never mentioned plame. Strike one Grossman. Grossman claims their was an planned attack on Plame – but even Fitzgerald admists holding documents which outline the administration’s response which do not include Plame. Strike two on Grossman. Grossman claimed the INR memo was a smoking gun. Strike three. And if Grossman withheld (or Fitzgerald withheld) his personal relationship with the Wilsons – go directly to jail and do no pass ‘go’. Grossman is on thin ice here because his claims hold up as well as Joe Wilson’s. When I see proof the WH knew before Grossman (which is impossible given Grossman supposedly unearthed Plame’s role in response to a Libby request) then I think all this points more to State.

Update: Anyone going to be shocked if Grossman knows Rand Beers, the other Kerry campaign worker to know Joe Wilson and his wife! They have travelled together (here), and worked together (here and here), and get quoted together in the same story (opposite sides, here). Why am I not surprised, they both worked for or around State. Is this damniing? Not on its face.

Update: Reading the rantings of Marc Grossman in this latest Leapold piece I think we have found our man. The guy is as obsessed and emotional as Larry Johnson and the VIPS loons. He probably was part of the effort to get back at Bush. It is quite likely he knew the Wilsons and knew of Val’s position. Wilson called friends in State to discuss how to deal with the SOTU. Grossman echoes Wilsons rants line for line. We may have the conspirators who tried to play a sad hoax on the American people throug a compliant and easily fooled media. Read Grossman’s comments and tell me the guy is ‘objective’!

Update: Clarice Feldman pointed me to a comment by Cecil at Just One Minute and points to this Jason Leapold article from a few days ago which identifies Marc Grossman as a key ‘leakers’ to the press pointing the finger at the White House and Libby!

Attorneys as well as current and former administration officials close to the case said Grossman was the lone dissenting unnamed official quoted in a September 28, 2003, Washington Post story who told two Post reporters that “two top White House officials” called “at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson’s wife.”

“Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,” the Washington Post quoted the senior administration official, whom sources have identified as Grossman, as saying. According to sources, Grossman told the Post that the Plame Wilson leak was “wrong and a huge miscalculation, because they were irrelevant and did nothing to diminish Wilson’s credibility.”

Additionally, Grossman provided a dissenting opinion for a July 20, 2005, Associated Press story. Identified as a “retired state department official,” Grossman told the AP that a classified State Department memo disputed the legitimacy of administration claims that Iraq sought to acquire uranium from Niger. The memo also contained a few lines about Plame Wilson’s CIA employment, which were marked as secret.

It seems Marc Grossman may be more than friends with Joe and Val, he may be a cohort in their grand plans to get Kerry elected. But no matter, we seemed to have found a leaker who has been one of the few consistent with the Wilson angle. Which is consistently wrong! Fitzgerald has a very, very tainted witness on his hands it seems. Which does not bode well, given this kind of statement from another Leapold piece:

Grossman has turned out to be an important witness for the prosecution, people close to the probe said.

Now did Fitzgerald knowingly or unkowingly taint his case with a key witness who has personal ties to those who claimed they were wronged, but weren’t, and who claimed Bush lied, when they lied?

Update: Folks, I am hearing a rumor there is another, deeper connection between Wilson and Grossman that would tie the two together quite closely. More when I get confirmation it is for real and where to link to. In the meantime, Tom Maguire has his post up on the latest breaking news and notes there are a lot of new potential witnesses out there!

Update: Reader JFORRIK notes in the comments below that Valerie coordinating the visit of President George H.W. Bush to Greece and Turkey in July 1991, the same time Grossman was at the Turkish Embassy. And that Joe and Val met at at a reception at the Washington home of the Turkish Ambassador to the US in 1997. Was Marc Grossman there?

Update: Reader SBD posts in the comments section concerning a meeting in 1995 between US Ambassador Marc Grossman and a Greek Leader from Athens. One person from the Athens Embassy attended. So it is possible and likely Valerie and Grossman knew each other, or of each other, while she was stationed in Athens.

Addendum: For those not interested in slogging through this post here are the highlights:

(1) Grossman held the same position in the Turkish Embassy Joe Willson did in the Iraqi Embassy at the same time during Gulf War I. (I bet they met!)

(2) Grossman was in charge of the European area for State when Valerie Plame was under cover in Europe and pulled out due to the Aldrich Ames leak. (I bet they met!)

(3) Who else would Wilson call in the State Department in spring 2003 whom he knew well enough and who was high enough in the ranks to pass a threat to Condi Rice to set the record straight on the SOTU or else?

End update

I have been wondering about Team Libby’s recent focus on Marc Grossman and trying to figure out if he had motives beyond loyalty to Richard Armitage that might come into play. And given Fitzgerald’s combined lack of intellectal curiousity and baised tunnel vision, I also wonder of Fitz-Magoo missed something fairly obvious that is going to destroy his position. Fitzgerald reminds me too much of the gullible type, willing to go off and prove something passed to him from elsewhere.

So let’s explore some wild speculation. First, we look at Marc Grossman’s resume and a lot of interesting things jump out:

In 2005, Ambassador Marc Grossman completed 29 years of distinguished public service when he retired from the State Department as the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Appointed by President Bush, Ambassador Grossman served as the Department’s third-ranking official, responsible for directing U.S. diplomacy worldwide from 2001 to 2005.


Ambassador Grossman previously served as the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources from 2000 to 2001.


Ambassador Grossman was Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs from 1997 to 2000. In this capacity, he was responsible for over 4,000 State Department employees posted in 50 sites abroad with a program budget of $1.2 billion. He played a lead role in orchestrating NATO’s 50th anniversary Summit in Washington in 1999 and helped direct U.S. participation in NATO’s military campaign in Kosovo that same year.


In 1994, President Clinton appointed Ambassador Grossman U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. In Turkey, he promoted security cooperation, human rights and democracy and forged a vibrant U.S.-Turkish economic relationship. Ambassador Grossman had previously served as the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission from 1989 to 1992.

As the Executive Secretary of the State Department and Special Assistant to the Secretary of State from 1993 to 1994, Ambassador Grossman managed operations for the senior State Department leadership. He had previously served as the Deputy Director of the Private Office of Lord Carrington, the NATO Secretary-General, from 1983 to 1986 and at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan from 1976 to 1983.

Wikepedia provides some additional information from 1986-1989:

Before assuming these duties, Grossman served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs. He was Executive Assistant to Deputy Secretary of State from September John C. Whitehead 1986 to January 1989.

In the Wikepedia listing we see Mr. Grossman’s stint from 1986-1989, but there is nothing for the very, very interesting period 1989-1993 (which just happens to coincide with the first Gulf War) except a strange reference to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs. This position is in a very interesting area of the state department given the time period. Here is the current description for that area of State:

The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM), led by Assistant Secretary John Hillen, is the principal link between the Departments of State and Defense. The Bureau provides policy direction in the areas of international security, security assistance, military operations, defense strategy and policy, military use of space, and defense trade.

In one resume he is the Deputy to The Mission in the Embassy in Turky from 1989-1002, and another he is with Political Military Affairs during the same period. Either way I think Grossman was posted in Turkey in this period, a country bordering Iraq during Gulf War I. Suffice to say the military affairs group would be involved with Gulf War I issues. Plus all the State Department efforts and players during that key time. Hence Marc Grossman likely worked, possibly hand in hand, with Joe Wilson during Wilson’s stint in Iraq:

Wilson was a member of the U.S. Diplomatic Service from 1976 through 1998. From 1988 to 1991, he was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq

Interestingly, this is the exact same position Grossman held at the same time in Turkey. Knowing the small size of the State Department and events in their neighboring countries it is clear Grossman and Wilson should know each other quite well.

But there may be even more. I also highlighted Grossman’s stint as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs from 1997- 2000. Interestingly, this post might put Grossman in a position to know another key player – Valerie Plame. Again, from the current position description or this post:

The Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, headed by Assistant Secretary Daniel Fried, implements U.S. foreign policy in Europe and Eurasia. The Bureau promotes U.S. interests in the region on issues such as national security, NATO enlargement, coordination with the European Union and other regional organizations, support for democracy, human rights, civil society, economic prosperity, the war on terrorism, and nonproliferation.

This means Grossman dealt with all the European and Asian Embassies. Including the Embassy in Athens, Greece. A station that was known to house Valerie Plame in the 1990’s (here and here):

When the Chicago Tribune searched for Plame on an Internet service that sells public information about private individuals to its subscribers, it got a report of more than 7,600 words. Included was the fact that in the early 1990s her address was “AMERICAN EMBASSY ATHENS ST, APO NEW YORK NY 09255.”

A former senior American diplomat in Athens, who remembers Plame as “pleasant, very well-read, bright,” said he had been aware that Plame, who was posing as a junior consular officer, really worked for the CIA.

As I highlighted, it seems obvious some folks in the State Department had to know the supposed State Department employee Plame was actually CIA agent Plame. And it would make sense this information would be kept at the highest levels. So there is every reason to suspect Valerie and Marc may have crossed paths, especially when Valerie was forced to come back to the US due to being outed by Aldrich Ames:

In 1997, Plame moved back to the Washington area, partly because (as was recently reported in The New York Times) the C.I.A. suspected that her name may have been on a list given to the Russians by the double agent Aldrich Ames in 1994.

This was huge news in the IC community. It would be impossible for Grossman not to know agents in his zone (and under State Department cover) had been pulled and who they were. I would be surprised to find out otherwise.

So, who would Wilson call in the State Department if he was planning with other Kerry Campaign members to start a misinformation campaign against Bush? Well, Marc Grossman could be one of the folks Wilson admits he contacted at the State Department. Again, from the Vanity Fair article we get this story of events from the unreliable Joe Wilson:

In early May, Wilson and Plame attended a conference sponsored by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, at which Wilson spoke about Iraq; one of the other panelists was the New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof. Over breakfast the next morning with Kristof and his wife, Wilson told about his trip to Niger and said Kristof could write about it, but not name him. At this point what he wanted, Wilson says, was for the government to correct the record. “I felt that on issues as important to our whole society as sending our sons and daughters to kill and die for our national security we as a society and our government have a responsibility to our people to ensure that the debate is carried out in a way that reflects the solemnity of the decision being taken,” he says.

Kristof’s column appeared on May 6. On June 8, when Condoleezza Rice was asked about the Niger documents on Meet the Press, she said, “Maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery.”

Wilson immediately called a couple of people in the government, whose identities he will not divulge—”They are close to certain people in the administration,” he says—and warned them that if Rice would not correct the record he would. One of them, he says, told him to write the story. So at the beginning of July he sat down to write “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.”

Hmm. Who do you call in the State Department you left many years ago who would know you enough to carry a message to the National Security Advisor? A message which is mostly threat? Who would by stupid enough to put their career on the line to (a) either pass this threat to Rice or (b) back up an old pal as he tried to backpeddle his way out of trouble. If Grossman knew Wilson, like I think he did, then he had plenty of other issues to divert Fitzgerald’s efforts towards Libby. My guess: Grossman knew the Wilsons since 1997-1998 (when Joe met Valerie at a DC party and then later married her). Grossman tipped Armitage of Plame’s CIA position to give the impression of credibility to Joe Wilson – possibly even knowing she had a role in sending Joe to Niger twice. What happened then is hard to unravel. Everyone would be jumping up raising hands saying “I have something on the subject” – this is a favorite game of show-off in DC. So Armitage may have passed it on to the White House via Powell.

But one thing is clear. If Fitzgerald has no idea of long term relationship between Grossman and Wilson he is truly a bumbling idiot. And if is does know and ignored exploring it? Well, he is a corrupt bungling idiot. However, in all fairness to everyone, there is some chance I suppose Marc Grossman never, ever met Joe or Valerie Wilson during all these opportunities.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Marc Grossman, Man Of Mystery”

  1. sbd says:

    Given the fact that Turkey and Greece have a long standing dispute regarding the island of Cyprus, the two embassies would have to be in constant contact.

    FOREIGN RELATIONS;Greek ambassador on Greek-Turkish relations BBC Summary of World Broadcasts September 30, 1995, Saturday

    SECTION: Part 2 Central Europe, the Balkins; BALKANS; TURKEY; EE/D2422/B

    LENGTH: 558 words

    Greek ambassador on Greek-Turkish relations

    SOURCE: Source: Anatolia news agency, Ankara, in Turkish 1000 gmt 27 Sep 95

    [25] Text of report by the Turkish news agency Anatolia (with agency subheads)

    Greece’s ambassador to Ankara Dhimitrios Nazaritis name and title as received has expressed a desire for Ankara and Athens to concentrate on those areas in their bilateral relations where cooperation is possible and disregard those where solutions are difficult to achieve .

    Assessing the possibility of establishing a dialogue between Turkey and Greece to an Anatolia correspondent, Ambassador Nazaritis said: ” It is very important to explain yourself when you talk about a dialogue. Certain circles take dialogue to mean a process where bilateral problems are solved. However, there are various other issues that can be discussed during a dialogue between two countries. For instance, the issue of the interests of the countries can also be raised.”

    We Should Learn To Live With Problems

    Explaining what “other issues” means, Ambassador Nazaritis said: Turkey and Greece have joint political interests in regions such as the Caucasus and the Middle East. Both Turkey and Greece are politically and diplomatically active in these regions. We can discuss the issue of the two countries undertaking economic cooperation regarding these regions. The goal should be to establish an atmosphere of trust between Greece and Turkey.

    “Turkey and Greece should learn to live with their problems,” said Nazaritis and continued:

    “There are problems in our bilateral relations. It would be better for everybody involved to try to disregard these problems. It would be better to concentrate on issues where we can undertake joint work instead of quarrelling over problems. I also believe that we should not take short cuts in finding solutions, since solutions need intensive and comprehensive work. In short, let us not argue over issues but go around them and try to find out whether other possibilities exist.”

    Recalling that the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey will meet in New York, Ambassador Nazaritis said that the meeting had lost some of its importance in view of the fact that Turkish Foreign Minister Erdal Inonu may resign or his party may not take part in the new government.

    I Discussed Turkish-Greek Relations With the US Ambassador

    Regarding reports that Ambassador Nazaritis met with US Ambassador to Ankara Marc Grossman within the framework of the pressure applied by the United States on Greece so that it could engage in dialogue with Turkey, Ambassador Nazaritis said: “It is correct that we had dinner with Ambassador Grossman. We had a friendly discussion regarding Turkish-Greek relations during our meeting.”

    The Greek press reported that the undersecretary of the US ambassador to Athens was also present at the dinner and that the meeting was an indication of Washington’s pressure on Athens to engage in a dialogue with Turkey.

    Explaining that Greek goals regarding Turkey were misinterpreted in Turkey, Ambassador Nazaritis said: Greece has no intention of undermining the interests of Turkey. We want our neighbours to enjoy stability because the opposite will adversely affect us.

    Noting that Greece seeks to expand its relations with Turkey, Ambassador Nazaritis added: A lasting solution to the Cyprus issue, which will also be fair for all sides, will play a very important role in furthering Turkish-Greek relations.

    LOAD-DATE: September 29, 1995


  2. mary mapes says:

    This may interest you, first archived on the internet Feb. 8,2003

    Link 1

    Link 2

    Link 3

    CPS Corporate & Public Strategy Advisory Group is a consultancy company providing strategic advice in public affairs and corporate and investment development, to both corporate and public spheres.

    CPS represents its clients’ global interests through its offices in Brussels, Istanbul and Washington.

    What CPS does for Turkish interests in European Union affairs

    As of 8 November 2000, the Turkish-European Union (EU) relationship has entered into a new phase with the adoption by the European Commission of the Accession Partnership document….

    Joseph C. WILSON–Strategic Advisor….He is married to the former Valerie Plame and has two sons and two daughters.

  3. sbd says:

    Here’s some interesting facts about Hillary Clinton and the Plame Game crowd.

    Back in 1996, Hillary visited Bosnia as well as Germany where I believe Joe Wilson was stationed. She then went to Turkey where Marc Grossman was ambassador. Her next stop was Athens where Valerie Plame was stationed.

    Kind of ironic,


  4. jforrik says:

    Excellent job! You make a strong case that Grossman knew both Wilson and Plame from professional ties throughout the 1990’s. The links and timeframes you cite led me to find more of those ties. In the link about Plame in the Duluth News Tribune, “Plame’s identity, if truly secret,was thinly veiled” , was this paragraph: “The former senior diplomat [in Athens] recalled, for example, that she [Plame] served as one of the “control officers” coordinating the visit of President George H.W. Bush to Greece and Turkey in July 1991. ” Recall that Marc Grossman was the Deputy Chief of Misson in the embassy in Turkey at the time [served in that capacity 1989-1992]. So, their paths may have crossed as early as 1991.

    Also, while Grossman was Ambassador to Turkey,[November1994-June1997], Joe met Valerie Plame for the first time in February 1997 at a reception at the Washington home of the Turkish Ambassador to the US . Joe was there to RECEIVE AN AWARD FROM THE AMERICAN TURKISH COUNCIL! [This was Brent Scowcroft’s group.] Don’t you think Marc Grossman knew all about this and Joe Wilson at the time?

    IIRC, the person that Joe Wilson went to see to intercede with Condi was her mentor, none other than Brent Scrowcoft. And that he was the one that suggested that Wilson write the Op-ed. Definately there were people at State that knew all about the personal and professional relationships of Wilson and Plame. Think Marc Grossman mentioned anything in passing to Libby? Why not.

    Great job digging , AJ.

  5. clarice says:

    My source says we can add this, AJ–Grossman and Wilson were in college classmates:


    Marc Grossman ’72- Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
    Before being sworn in as Under Secretary for Political Affairs in March of 2001, Grossman served in a number of Foreign Service positions. From 1994 to 1997 he was the Ambassador to Turkey. Other positions include Special Assistant to the Secretary of State and Executive Secretary of the Department of State.

    Joseph Wilson ’72- former ambassador to Gabonese Republic and to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome. He served in Iraq as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy from 1988 to 1991.

  6. clarice says:

    The Sept 28, 2003 article in which Grossman points fingers and claims it was a “revenge” outing was one of the articles that Fitz presented to the grand jury. (Exh D of Libby’s last filing.)

  7. Eye on the Watcher’s Council…

    As you may know the members of the Watcher’s Council each nominate one of his or her own posts and one non-Council post for consideration by the whole Council. The complete list of this week’s Council nominations is here. Here’s wha…

  8. MerlinOS2 says:

    I located this info via wikipedia on Grossman, can’t vouch for the source but sounds interesting

    Interestingly enough, at the same time Feith and Perle were greasing Turkish palms and Grossman was presiding over in Ankara, the CIA’s Brewster-Jennings network and Valerie Plame were focusing on nuclear proliferation in Turkey. This scrutiny led them to trace private citizens in America as well as lobby groups like the American-Turkish Council – which is precisely where Plame met future husband Joseph Wilson, while “on duty” at a 1997 reception held by then-Turkish ambassador to the U.S. Nuzhet Kandemir.