Sep 06 2006

Two Plame Memos – Lots Of Questions

Published by at 12:07 am under All General Discussions,Plame Game

I was lambasting someone over at JOM for believing the INR memo that State created for Powell and Armitage couldn’t be the memo that Armitage learned from because I had seen a July 7th version, and there was a supposed internal draft dated June 10th for internal review between Grossman and Ford (author of the memo). The only differences between the two memos is the date and recipient (Grossman for the earlier one, Powell for th elater one).

I had to apologize to the gent for not knowing that the second, later memo is completely unnecessary and actually against guidelines regarding keeping a record of who knew what when. If all you do is change date and recipient, then something is wrong. To show someone a memo you received from someone else you write a cover letter and attach the original. But that did not happen here.

But even more curiouser is the fact the earlier version of the memo looks older when you compare the two – like it has seen more copier cycles.

There is one minor difference in the text in the first paragraph, where two missing sources is reduced to one (the other having been on leave for the ealier version, then not on leave for the later version). But what really struck me was the sign off for the author – totally different. Now an assistant may have signed off for Ford on one of them – but there is no way those initials are the same.

The author (identified as the “drafter” on the cover page for the 6/10 version) was Neil Silver:

I’m Director of the Office for the 12
Analysis of Strategic Proliferation and Military Affairs in 13
the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the State 14

This quote comes from testimony to the US Senate by Silver implicating Ambassodor Bolton in trying to remove certain people at State. Why am I not surprised! Silver hangs out at liberal think tank it appears. More here at Newsmax on Fingar, Ford and Silver – all names on the original memo.

If Armitage was briefed on the 6/10 memo then he would have informed Powell of the Plame angle and therefore there is no need for 7/7 memo. Conversely, if the 7/7 memo is legit then the fact it is to Powell (and therefore cc’d to Armitage) means there is no reason to assume Armitage was aware of the 6/10 ‘working draft’. There is no substantive difference in the two memos to require a 7/7 memo EXCEPT the fact it was the final product to Powell and Armitage. I could be wrong – as usual. But the memos do not make sense given how records are kept in the government.

Update: This update is for the Plamiacs at JOM to figure out the meaning of. One of the suggestions I heard was that the INR memo of 6/10 was initiated because of the 6/12 Pincus story. Obviously that cannot be true so the only reason the 6/10 version of the memo was created was supposedly in response to the 5/6 Kristof article. OK, I guess that means someone tasked people at State to contact the CIA about the first article ghost written by Kristof for Wilson. So the theory is Armitage wants to see information on 6/12-13 (the 13th being the day he met with Woodward and blabbed about Valerie) and he sees this memo. But doesn’t tell Powell (only Woodward?). Weeks go by. In that time the OVP and WH now know of Valerie’s role, but not Powell? Libby is talking to Miller on 6/25 with details supposedly in hand and yet Armitage knows and Powell doesn’t? Then Wilson comes out on 7/6 with his article and wants to know what this is all about ASAP. And instead of just forwarding the ‘existing’ 6/10 memo, Carl Ford (or Marc Grossman or someone) types up a whole new version of the memo – because one person mentioned in the memo is now back from leave and accessible (yet no conclusions in the memo changes)? The Secretary needs information and someone types a whole new memo up? And why couldn’t Armitage tell Powell the details, give him a copy of the 6/10 memo since he had supposedly seen it?

I know government is at times dysfunctional, but this seems a bit of a stretch. I still find it hard to believe the 7/7 memo was required to be written given the 6/10 version existed! This is a memo about a newspaper article. There is no way, with the Iraq war freshly underway, anyone is going to spend any extra time on this matter to write a new version with minor, editorial changes.

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Two Plame Memos – Lots Of Questions”

  1. RBMN says:

    From the stories about Armitage, “the gossip,” if you tell him something, you’d better make sure that he knows he can’t share it with reporters. Or maybe … if you want it shared with reporters … make sure you don’t tell him (Armitage) it’s a secret.

    From a leak about someone who’s not covert, comes an investigation of something that’s not a crime, comes real political trouble and distraction for President Bush. Is that too cynical? I suppose.

  2. lurker9876 says:

    Unfortunately, RBMN, it could be a preparation of distraction if the Dems win the house and start the impeachment process against Bush!

    No, it wouldn’t be as cynical until then!

  3. patch says:

    Can’t remember where I read this, but Grossman, a good friend of the Wilsons, changed Valerie Wison’s last name in the memo to Plame.

    What a disgusting Kafkaesque affair. The State Department and the CIA who were at war with the White House knew and concealed material evidence in this affair.

    Now that’s the real obstruction of justice.

  4. clarice says:

    Why not assume that Armitage told Grossman of his conversation with Woodward and the memo was redone to create a fake record, one which would suggest Armitage didn’t know until July 7? Add to that Armitage’s repeated refusal to give Woodward a waiver and you’ve done a pretty good job of creating a trail that leads away from Armitage, haven’t you?

  5. Tom Bowler says:

    According to a July 2005, Walter Pincus/Jim VandeHei article in the Washington Post, the 6/10 memo was reprinted in order to bring Powell into the loop:

    “On July 6, 2003, shortly after Wilson went public on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and in The Post and the New York Times discussing his trip to Niger, the INR director at the time, Carl W. Ford Jr., was asked to explain Wilson’s statements for Powell, according to sources familiar with the events. He went back and reprinted the June 10 memo but changed the addressee from Grossman to Powell.”

    The memo may have been formatted to insert the current date when printed, so my guess is it’s not a fake paper trail. Certainly sounds like there were a couple of departments out of control — State and the CIA — and like a lot was going on at the lower levels without the knowledge of people — like Powell and Tenet — at the top.

    The article URL is

  6. patch says:


    You are a genius!

    It boggles the mind at the amount of deviousness that the State Department had in this whole affair.

    What really steams me is that the whole State Department cabal watched and remained silent while Libby and Rove were hounded by Fitz. Even after the Libby indictment, they were going to remain silent until Bob Woodward blew the whistle.

    Fitz indicted the wrong person for obstruction of justice.

  7. Sue says:


    I’m a little slow on the memo flak. The way I understand the memo of June 10th is it was in response to questions propounded to Grossman from Libby. Late May, early June, Grossman verbally tells Libby who the envoy is. At some point after this verbal exchange took place, the memo shows up. However, I did not know the memo of June 10th (I thought it was dated the 12th, but it doesn’t matter in where I am going) had not been seen by Libby or anyone else until voila Armitage needs it to explain his speaking to Woodward. So, your theory, and correct me if I’m again missing what you are saying, the memo that was faxed to Powell dated July 7th is the original memo and it was back-dated to explain Armitage’s knowledge when he met with Woodward on June 12 (13, I don’t remember the exact date). There was no June memo?

  8. Sue says:

    Okay, after reading Clarice’s message, I’m not sure I am on the right track again. ::frown::

  9. Sue says:

    Oh, crap. I’m so far off it isn’t even funny. They didn’t know about Woodward at that time. Hmmm….I’m truly confused…

  10. Sue says:

    One other thing that might have caused the memo to be written on June 10th. A warning phone call from Wilson on June 8th.

  11. clarice says:

    Another theory is that DoS got a heads up that the editorial was coming out, and hurredly prepared this to be faxed to Armitage and Powell and didn’t simply put a cover on the old one was to cover their rears–that is, they didn’t want their bosses to think they knew all about this and didn’t tell them.