Nov 04 2005

Wilsons & Uranium Trade

Published by at 1:59 pm under All General Discussions,Plame Game

Updates at end, keep scrolling!

The pieces are starting to fall together more and more. Or should I say the Wilson Gambit is falling apart. What do we know today? Well, first off we have to push away from the theory that all actions leading to Wilson’s Op-Ed and Valerie’s outing were actions to reach that point. I disagree. I think all the actions up until that point where for a totally different purpose, one which is conveniently lost by the Op-Ed and Valerie outing.

Right now the list of people who knew about Valerie is ridiculously large. Now we can add the Kerry campaign to that list.

And there are more. Way back I stated, from personal experience, Valerie was probably well known among Washington’s elite circles of media and pols and power players. To confirm this, Prosecutor Fitzgerald naively questioned the Wilsons’ neighbors. To say I am unimpressed with Fitz is putting it mildly. Her CIA cover would be known by the power players, not her neighbors. And that includes the press! But I digress. What is important is not a non-leak, but what was the Wilson Op-Ed and leak meant to distract attention from?

Let’s begin with major diversion from standard protocol. There were a lot unusual aspects to Wilson’s 2002 trip to Niger, as highlighted by Clarice Feldman:

Why didn’t the Agency require Wilson to sign a non disclosure agreement respecting his trip to Niger?

A good question, indeed, because this stunning lapse allowed him to make false charges about it, to which the Administration could offer only a limited, ineffective response without first declassifying information. I don’t know the answer to the question, but it certainly does suggest that those who believe this jaunt was a set up against the Administration have more than a little basis for that belief. Congress should make this question a prominent part of its inquiries into the matter.

That is one possible answer. The other may be the other clauses in the non-disclosure agreement. Some may cover specifics on how to report and may include a pledge of total accuracy, truthfulness and completeness. I have not seen one of these, but there is typically more there than just a requirement not to talk to the uncleared.

Why did the Agency pay only his expenses?

If Wilson’s services were required – and they certainly appear to me not to have been – why was he only reimbursed for his expenses? I think it not impossible (having worked for the government myself) that doing so would avoid having to go through the bureaucracy, having to justify the trip, and leaving a paper trail in the personnel and accounting offices. Paying only his expenses, which might be hidden in the discretionary expenses of such an operation, would have further disguised the Mission from superior officials in the Agency.

I had not caught onto this angle yet, but to hide his trip(s) from upper management and oversight this approach would make a lot of sense. Did the 1999 trip include similar ‘discrepancies’?

Why have his report remain oral?

This also seems inexplicable to me and certainly adds to my suspicions that the Mission was designed to minimize its paper trial. If minimizing a paper trail was important, for what purpose? To sandbag the Administration remains after all this time my best guess.

Indeed. The record is slim on this. And nothing is public about the 1999 trip details. It would be interesting if there were similar issues with the 1999 trip from a CIA process point of view. So we need to look at these actions not to cover up for a future political attack, but as possibly a cover up of past actions – conveniently used for a future political attack.

I highlighted what I could find about Wilson’s business trip to Niger in 1999 here, and the fact it could have overlapped with the arrival of the Iraqi trade delegation. Reg Jones provided a comment with even more information on Wilson’s business trip:

1. “…My bona fides justifying the invitation to the [CIA] meeting were the trip I had previously taken to Niger [in 1999] to look at other uranium related questions…” [Wilson,7/19/04, letter to SSCI]

2. “…The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on behalf of the CIA, also at the suggestion of his wife, to look into another matter not related to Iraq…” [SSCI report: Additional Views, P. 443]

So we can conclude from Joe’s own words that he, through his new company, was working for the Government of Niger, dealing with trade opportunities. That is his self described company role as he discussed the 1999 trip in the Oct 2003 UVA event covered in the referenced post. So the trip must have been abour trade in uranium (but not with Iraq). Was it with Libya?

Very possibly. Flopping Aces has found this 2004 article discussing the period in question:

However, European intelligence officers have now revealed that three years before the fake documents became public, human and electronic intelligence sources from a number of countries picked up repeated discussion of an illicit trade in uranium from Niger. One of the customers discussed by the traders was Iraq.

These intelligence officials now say the forged documents appear to have been part of a “scam,” and the actual intelligence showing discussion of uranium supply has been ignored.

[..]The Financial Times has now learnt that three European intelligence services were aware of possible illicit trade in uranium from Niger between 1999 and 2001. Human intelligence gathered in Italy and Africa more than three years before the Iraq war had shown Niger officials referring to possible illicit uranium deals with at least five countries, including Iraq.

This intelligence provided clues about plans by Libya and Iran to develop their undeclared nuclear programs. Niger officials were also discussing sales to North Korea and China of uranium ore or the “yellow cake” refined from it: the raw materials that can be progressively enriched to make nuclear bombs.

The raw intelligence on the negotiations included indications that Libya was investing in Niger’s uranium industry to prop it up at a time when demand had fallen, and that sales to Iraq were just a part of the clandestine export plan. These secret exports would allow countries with undeclared nuclear programs to build up uranium stockpiles.

Folks, the fake documents became public in late 2002 – early 2003 (remember, these were a core element of Wilson’s early leaks to the press and in his Op-Ed). This would put the time frame for this human intelligence right into 1999-2000. That is very close to the time of the first Wilson trip to Niger ‘on business’.

One nuclear counter-proliferation expert told the Financial Times: “If I am going to make a bomb, I am not going to use the uranium that I have declared. I am going to use what I acquire clandestinely, if I am going to keep the program hidden.”

This may have been the method being used by Libya before it agreed last December to abandon its secret nuclear program. According to the IAEA, there are 2,600 tons of refined uranium ore-”yellow cake”-in Libya. However, less than 1,500 tons of it is accounted for in Niger records, even though Niger was Libya’s main supplier.

Which not only backs up President Bush’s claims leading up to the war – it leads us to Mac Ranger. Mac Ranger also sniffed this gambit out in “Hide the Cake”. The above article basically confirms Mac’s theory is plausible and possible, per the sourced WMD expert (wonder who it was?). Mac reviews a lot of what the blogosphere has been able to determine from the material available here. But then in his latest post he teases again!

This is not about a leak, the leak was a “bone” thrown to divert attention from the Scandal. Not only of rogues trying to discredit a President, but to also hide their multi-million dollar “Cake” operation.

The question on everybody’s lips is who is the CIA source – who is no partisan gunslinger- who leaked to Novak, the gist of the Plame Game?

I am prepared to tell you, and on more than one reliable source, that Mr. Hoagland, nails that mystery as well. It’s as we say, “A Slam Dunk”.

Well, Hogan’s Op-Ed piece, the subject of his post is here and is a pile of insufferable dribble. But Mac tips his hand. The only CIA source named is George Tenet!

Some final loose ends brought to you by people who comment at this site. Lucky Bogey linked this FreeRepublic post, which had more on Wilson’s shady business associates:

Wilson ran his company out of the offices of an investment company called Rock Creek Corporation. Rock Creek was controlled by Mohammed Alamoudi….. the Alamoudi-affiliated company Delta Services–a Swiss subsidiary of the Saudi company Delta Oil–handled Iraqi oil export contracts in 2000 and 2001 and was revealed in 2003 as a recipient of Iraqi Oil-for-Food vouchers channeled through Abu Abbas, a Palestinian terrorist with Iraqi connections….. Also, while in Germany, Wilson had worked on Iraqi-related issues with Turkish General Cevik Bir, a critic of US policy towards Iraq.16 Wilson and Bir expressed similar views on Iraq when they spoke together at events held by the American-Turkish Council (ATC), a Turkish-American business association headed by Brent Scowcroft,17 …….. Wilson’s contact with the ATC also brought him into contact with his future wife, Valerie Plame, whom he met while receiving an ATC award during a reception at the Turkish embassy in Washington.20 …. While Wilson was pursuing his foreign investment ventures, he also served as a foreign policy advisor to the 2000 Presidential campaign of Al Gore. A company the Gore family had a long-term relationship with, Occidental Petroleum, shared business interests with Alamoudi-affiliated companies in Africa and the Middle East, and employed as Vice President for Middle East business Odeh Aburdene,24 who shared a complex network of relationships with Rock Creek’s Elias Aburdene and Joseph Wilson–notably, all three contributed to Arab-American Congressional Caucus leader Nick Rahall,25 who supported Muslim lobbying groups linked to terrorists and opposed military action in Iraq.26

Shady indeed. Wilson is not coming out of this new flood of information as Mr Clean. He seems more than willing to deal with some seriously dangerous people on seriously dangerous matters. And it apparently allows him to live a very well off life style.

Finally, Maid Marion (the monikers these people think up!) has another, less publicized Knight-Ridder article from the period before Wilson outed himself in the NY Times (June 12, 2003):

Making his case for war with Iraq, President Bush in his State of the Union address this year accused Saddam Hussein of trying to buy uranium from Africa even though the CIA had warned White House and other officials that the story didn’t check out.

A senior CIA official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the intelligence agency informed the White House on March 9, 2002 – 10 months before Bush’s nationally televised speech – that an agency source who had traveled to Niger couldn’t confirm European intelligence reports that Iraq was attempting to buy uranium from the West African country.

Who is this mystery Senior CIA official? Was it Valerie Plame? Was it someone else? March 9 is the Wilson debriefing at the Wilson home with Val and Joe and two DO agents. This article was written around the time of the first Pincus article and a month after the first Kristof one. The next Kristof article would come out within the day (if memory serves me correctly). This is highly detailed for the period.

The CIA’s March 2002 warning about Iraq’s alleged uranium-shopping expedition in Niger was sent to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Justice Department and the FBI the same day it went to the White House, the senior CIA official said.

This source knows a lot about the timeline, but still has the erroneous impression that the Wilson report debunked all Niger concerns. I will bet this article did not escape the eagle eye of Tom Maguire. It is the first I have seen of it though.

Nevertheless, continued interest in Cheney’s office, the NSC, the State Department and other agencies prompted the CIA to ask a retired U.S. ambassador to Niger to go there in February 2002 to inquire into the alleged deal, he said.

The CIA kept any reference to the former diplomat’s identity out of its March 2002 message to the White House.

The message quoted a CIA “source” as saying he had spoken to people close to the Niger government, former senior officials and people involved in the country’s mining industry, who all rejected the reports that Iraq was trying to buy uranium. The former ambassador said he believed what they were telling him.

The message contained the names of people to whom the source spoke, said the senior CIA official.

It wasn’t until February 2003 that the CIA obtained the original Iraq-Niger documents on which the uranium story was based, he said.

Whoever this is, they had the story accurate and early (I had to go back and keep checking the date to make sure I was in the right time period). But that last line is false. The CPD (yes, Valerie’s CPD) had the documents filed in a safe in October 2002 – where they laid while no one looked at them until Feb 2003 (re senate investigation).

And speaking, again, of Tom Maguire – he has a fine time fisking the shifting alibi’s of Kristof’s blatant errors in his early pieces.


Added the missing links to Mac’s and Tom’s posts. Also, stepping back from this post I realized that the Knight Ridder article, combined with Mac Ranger’s hint about the CIA source both point towards George Tenet. The Knight Ridder piece reflects a level of detail and accuracy probably only available from an in depth CIA internal investigation into the Wilson story – probably in response to the Kristof story the month prior. The fact that the envoy’s name was not mentioned in reports to the WH, but there were names of conacts in Niger, and the fact that there was no proof of Iraq efforts (which is not an absence of efforts) all point to someone high up in the CIA or close to the Plame group. I doubt Plame so the source for Ridder must be Tenet.

Maquire also lends credence to my theory that the NY Times and Washington Post knew Valerie worked at the CIA and was associated with Joe’s trip since all the reporting in those initial reports pointed to the debreifing at the Wilson home – a meeting with only 4 people. Only two of which would vouch for the forgeries being associated with the report: Joe and Val. Tom finds more evidence Val was the second source to Wilson:

On Oct. 11, 2003, Mr. Kristof broke major news about Ms. Plame’s history at the CIA, telling us that she was moved into an early retirement path in 1994 after possibly being outed by Aldrich Ames.

He also described his own reporting relationship with Ms. Plame:

I know Mrs. Wilson, but I knew nothing about her CIA career and hadn’t realized she’s “a hell of a shot with an AK-47,” as a classmates at the CIA training “farm,” Jim Marcinkowski, recalls. I’ll be more careful around her, for she also turns out to be skilled in throwing hand grenades and to have lived abroad and run covert operations in some of the world’s messier spots. (Mrs. Wilson was not a source for this column or any other that I’ve written about the intelligence community.)

Well. “I knew nothing about her CIA career” might mean:

(a) I had no idea she was at the CIA;

(b) I knew she was at the CIA, but I had no idea what she did.

(c) I know what she is doing at the CIA *now*, but I had no idea of the career path that brought her here.

I would think a direct statement would be easy and appropriate – was Ms. Plame a source for the May 6 column, and/or the June 13 column? Was she a source for any earlier columns?

If this Oct 11, 2003 denial is meant to be a denial, then there is no harm in clarifying it.

Don’t hold your breath Tom. The number of people who knew Val was CIA is increasing every day (note to Fitz) and more and more this ‘outing’ appears to be cover for something else. Those Niger trips had nothing to do with the Iraq war and the rationale for going to war. They were used later for a political war over those subjects. But that was not the purpose of the trips in 1999 and 2001. They were for ‘busines’.


Tom has his hands on a transcript of Russert talking about his deposition here. I wil lbe posting on this later – but it clearly shows Russert and NBC also knew about ‘Mrs Wison’ before Novak;’s article:

RUSSERT: Well, that’s exactly right. “Meet”–Joe Wilson had been on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, which you moderated because I was on vacation.
RUSSERT: I came back after that interview, after The New York Times piece, and there was a discussion about Joe Wilson and I didn’t know very much. And then when I read Novak’s column the following Monday, I said, `Oh, my God, that’s it. Now I see. It’s his wife, Valerie Plame, CIA, sent him on the trip. Now I understand what everybody was trying to figure out.

And now we can add to the growing list of people who knew Valerie worked at the CIA prior to Novak’s article – and not from the WH

NBC news (Andrea Mitchell is only one)
NY Times
Washington Post
Kerry Campaign
Larry Johnston
Valerie’s Parents
Judith Miller
Pincus and Leiby

Yo! Fitz! Are we learning yet?

20 responses so far

20 Responses to “Wilsons & Uranium Trade”

  1. LuckyBogey says:

    AJ is on a roll! During my on-line searches yesterday of the NYT archives, I think I found a possible connection with Judith Miller going back to Joe Wilson, Sandy Berger, and the 98 Clinton African tour. Who did the NYT send on these trips? Someone should explore the NY Times reporters’ connection to Wilson (i.e. 1996-2003). Fedora at FreeRepublic keeps doing some great work on Ego-Joe and writes:

    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, minus any alimony and child support payments, plus income from Plame’s 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, 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”. Wilson’s book states that he and Plame purchased this home in May 1998 after being married for one month.…..

    …… JACQUELINE C WILSON was a registered agent for Gabon. She registered as an agent of Gabon on June 17, 1998 (not long after their divorce) and had received $100,000 prior to the registration. Summary of payments by year: 1998 ($280,00), 1999 ($250,000); 2000 ($75,000 ); 2001 ($39,000); and 2002 ($8,000). She was not listed as an agent in 2003….. in addition to the payments you list, I found another $38,000 payment, which IIRC didn’t turn up in some searches but was there if you poked around enough in the FARA website and Google caches…..

    ……. Something interesting on that is that a year before Wilson gave the keynote address to EPIC’s annual Iraq Forum, Ritter was one of the speakers at that event. He gave a special screening of the movie In Shifting Sands, which was financed by Iraqi agent Shaker Al-Khafaji with Oil-for-Food vouchers. A few months later Al-Khafaji made a payment to Jim McDermott after McDermott went to Baghdad with David Bonior. Bonior was also getting donations from Abdurahman Alamoudi, relative of Wilson’s Rock Creek associate Mohammed Alamoudi. Not a direct tie but not many degrees of separation either…..

    And more interesting tidbits: …. Fouad Makhzoumi – Future Millennium Foundation, Inc. FARA Registrant’s Foreign agent: W. Patrick Lang – on behalf of Lebanon……

    We have a story folks! How many years have all these reporters known Joe Wilson? No wonder the MSM wants to talk about Karl, Scooter and Secret prisons!

  2. jcox31mc says:

    Just wondering……could all of this be some kind of “undercover” investigation that President Bush,
    Vice-President Cheney, Rove, Libby, Fitz, Tenet, certain members of Congress, etc. are all aware of and they are just waiting for a little more information before arrests are made and all is revealed. Maybe even the last minute meetings between Rove and his attorney’s and the checking with neighbors of the Wilson’s were to finalize plans and/or to throw off the press and other person’s involved. Just a thought…..

  3. AJStrata says:


    We don’t know. It easily could be, but the Fitzgerald investigation put a huge damper on any moves the WH or Administration could make. The CIA request for a probe was probably designed to do just that – hold off investigations into Plame and Wilson.

    The problem is the left, and the CIA, are used to controlling information to form, shape and guide ‘the masses’. If you are playing a game usually you want to be one step ahead. The Wilson side is quickly being out paced by the blogosphere and losing control over the message.

    Yes, there will be an investigation – and it begins with a very, vry expensice Libby defense team. They now have free reign to probe. The reason Libby left government was to free his hands and enjoin allies. He and his friends have a lot of flexibility now.

  4. patch says:


    Can hardly wait for the “frogmarch” of traitors.

  5. mary mapes says:

    you know my nuance problems…is this what you mean by the Russert/Mitchell exchange…

    that Russert knew the Wilson to Niger part and Wilson’s wife Valerie worked for the CIA, independently of each other….what was the revelation to him (and others)…was the ‘boing, I get it…Valerie was the one who had a hand in sending him…that he just didn’t piece the two together…that it was widely known she worked at CIA, the mystery to Russert (and Novak and others) was her role in sending him?

  6. mary mapes says:

    Also AJ
    I am sure you are keeping tabs…but, LCJ is theorizing on the CIA Prison leaks story. Interesting. Not sure if he feels the need to spin a true national security crisis leak because after all this leak would appear to help the anti-war effort and his need to keep good on his over emphasis on how bad leaks are

    In any case he has 2 scenarios (of where the leak came from)

    1- VIPs inspired (he has his money on this one, but that his just his opinion–wink, wink) to hurt Goss for toeing Bush’s line (Rogue bad bad bad bad guys) who should be SHOT
    2- Angered Bush guys trying to drive a stake through the CIA (um, yeah…and compromise and on-going and useful Intel operation)

    I actually think, that this post is one of his most treacherous and frankly concerning.

  7. Snapple says:

    AJ writes: “To confirm [that Valerie’s CIA employment was not known], Prosecutor Fitzgerald naively questioned the Wilsons’ neighbors.”

    I don’t think that Fitzgerald is naive.
    I think that this 11th hour FBI search was just a dog-and-pony show. They were so obviously FBI in their black suits. Fitzgerald has gone after terrorists and even claimed that there were links between Al Qaeda and Iraq.

    “The former Manhattan prosecutor was asked about his 1998 indictment against Osama bin Laden that asserted that al Qaeda had an “understanding” with Iraq that it would not “work against that government” and that “on certain projects, specifically including weapons development,” they would “work cooperatively.” Mr. Fitzgerald testified that “there was that relationship that went from opposing each other to not opposing each other to possibly working with each other.”

    I keep hoping Plamegate is some big terrorist/corruption/Iraq investigation and Rove was just the red herring to fool the media.

    The way Wilson is acting, I think he knows he’s in trouble for something, so he is pretending to be a dissenter from the official policy. That way, when he gets arrested, he can claim he was framed by the Neocons because of his views.

    I really don’t think Wilson is a dissenter. I think he’s in trouble because of something he did that is now being investigated.

    Just my opinion. I am no expert or Washington player.

  8. MaidMarion says:



    “Why didn’t the Agency require Wilson to sign a non-disclosure agreement respecting his trip to Niger?”

    “Why did the Agency pay only his expenses?”

    “Why have his report remain oral?”

    Here’s my take:

    On Wilson’s previous trip to Niger (1999), it has been reported that one of the reasons the CIA used him was because “he was already going there” on business anyway. This says to me that the CIA didn’t “task” him to take the trip; the CIA was simply taking advantage of this pre-planned travel opportunity. It says to me that Wilson’s consulting business paid for his flight, food, & lodging. The only “expenses” the Agency should have picked up, therefore, would have been for any additional activity Wilson conducted on behalf of the CIA which he had not already planned to conduct on behalf of his own business.

    When he came back from that trip, he should have been debriefed by DO case officers and they, in turn, should have written their collection reports which should have been distributed pro forma via classified channels throughout the government. My guess is Wilson did NOT sign a non-disclosure agreement with the CIA for the 1999 trip. If he paid for that entire trip, then he owned all of the information that he acquired. He was simply passing on to the CIA information which he had acquired during his business travel.

    Wilson was the “source” of any information which entered classified channels through any intelligence report written by the DO case officers. He would NOT, himself, have written any report subsequent to his 1999 trip. And, while any information distributed by the CIA would have been classified, Wilson himself would have been free to talk about everything he found out about his trip which he paid for on his own dime.

    As for his February 2002 trip, we need to establish what expenses he was reimbursed. If the Agency reimbursed Wilson for his flight, food, & lodging, then that indicates they “tasked” him to take the trip, i.e., he wasn’t “already going there”. If such was the case, then the CIA would “own” the information derived from the Feb 2002 trip, and I would have expected the CIA to request a signed non-disclosure agreement. I don’t know the specific legal aspects of this…but I think this is where we need to obtain the detailed answers.

    In any event, Wilson would NOT have been required to write any report about his Feb 2002 trip to Niger. Regardless of who paid for it, he was simply a “source”, as he had been in 1999. He was debriefed, as it occurred, in his own home which is not unusual…especially if his business paid for the trip. And his debriefers dutifully wrote their intelligence report and distributed it pro forma through classified channels.

    I would love to find out the date-time-group of the debriefer’s report, actually.

  9. MaidMarion says:


    Re. Landay’s June 12, 2003 article and the identity of his source…

    a. I can’t imagine George Tenet talking to a KnightRidder journalist… I have absolutely no idea about this, but I can’t imagine the Director of CIA talking to a KnightRidder reporter… Robert Novak, yes; Jonathan Landay, no.

    b. the CIA director would not have known or cared about the exact 2002 debriefing date of Mr. Joseph Wilson, even on June 12, 2003 when this issue was bubbling. Moreover, that would not have been an important piece of data for the Director of CIA/DCI to pass on to a journalist. Keep in mind, the debriefing date could NOT have been the same date that the WH received the information! Those DO debriefers needed at least a few hours to write up their report, get it blessed by their editors, and have it released into classified channels! Even IF this had been a hot item back in March 2002, you’ve gotta give these CIA wonks a bit of turnaround time.

    I have no idea how quickly the CIA editors turned around their reports…but since the DO debriefers didn’t exactly debrief Wilson as he was deplaning I doubt the editors had their hair on fire either.

    Landay’s source sounds to me to have been Joe Wilson, Plame, or someone in Plame’s supervisory chain.

    For our purposes, though, it’s important to establish the date-time-group of the CIA report which was generated from the Joe Wilson Feb 2002 debrief.

  10. BurbankErnie says:

    Must read from the American Thinker from an ex-spook:

    Two Questions for George Tenet

    The “nuts”:

    “• Why did the CIA, under your direction, treat the Vice President’s query about Iraqi efforts to purchase yellowcake in Niger so casually?

    • When Joe Wilson started blabbing in public about his CIA mission to Niger – and lying about what he reported to the CIA upon his return – why didn’t you say something rather than allow the President’s credibility to be shredded?”

    Please, like they say, read the whole thing.

  11. AJStrata says:

    Maid Marion,

    First on the trip comment. You are thinking this through as an intellectual property issue with the government. But the non-disclosure statement covers what the CIA told Wilson to prep for the trips, his contacts in the CIA, etc. What is really strange is Joe had a lot of access and visibility going into the deal. He was brought in to meet with key intel community people at the meeting where most thought it a waste of time. So Joe was supposed to have the non disclosure form simply to cover the people he met.

    On the second point about Tenet – I agree it is hard to believe this is Tenet. If you recall my initial reaction was Plame or someone right above her. But Tenet could have been the one. The mistake between the debrief date and the report date actually points to someone coming to this fresh, still mangling dates and events, someone reading a report of an investigation. It is very detailed and accurate for the time it was written.

    It would be very nice to know who this was – no doubt about it.

  12. GrammieMac says:

    Good morning, everyone – AJ, I’ve run across something which may provide a bit more specificity to the question of when in 1999 Wilson was on his first trek for the CIA. This is at here

    It’s in a July 14, 2005 entry titled “Joe Wilson’s Top Ten Worst Inaccuracies And Misstatements”, and is at #5.) Wilson Has Claimed His 1999 Trip To Niger Was Not Suggested By His Wife: “CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: ‘Who first raised your name, then, based on what you know? Who came up with the idea to send you there?’ Joe Wilson: The CIA knew my name from a trip, and it’s in the report, that I had taken in 1999 related to uranium activities but not related to Iraq….’…..’I HAD DONE A LOT OF WORK WITH THE NIGER GOVERNMENT DURING THE PERIOD PUNCTUATED BY A MILITARY COUP AND A SUBSEQUENT ASSASSINATION OF A PRESIDENT.’ ‘So I knew all the people there”

    This was on CNN’s “Late Edition”, July 18, 2004 – so just 11 days after the release of the Select Committee report.

    He “had” done a lot of work with the Niger government during a period punctuated by a military coup – tells us his ’99 CIA jaunt was then later than April 9th-10th.

    Curiouser and curiouser – and what work would he have been doing “with the Niger government duriing a period punctuated by a military coup…assassination of a president”? Just what was “JC Wilson International Ventures”?

    Hmmmmm. Have a great day.

  13. GrammieMac says:

    Previous post revisited: either it’s too early in the morning for me to be brighter than a 15-watt bulb, or I’m just late to the “parsing-Joe-Wilson” party.

    It’s just registered that in Wilson’s reply to Blitzer, Wilson very plainly stated that his 1999 trip to Niger for the CIA was “related to uranium activities”.

    Because he’s been so mum about that trip, as compared to so vociferous about the 2002 trip, perhaps we can surmise that for the 1999 trip he was required to sign a secrecy agreement. If so, would he not have been violating that restriction in his remark to Blitzer?

    Musings: we know there was a Wilson-Gore connection; a Wilson-Clinton connection. Has anyone come across any hints or indicators of a Wilson-Frank Rich connection? Sure would like to be a fly on the wall over at FOX news during a Shawn/Hunt notes-comparing session re: the oil-for-food scandal. They’ve done yeomans’ work.

    As have you, AJ- congratulations on your much-deserved award!

  14. GrammieMac says:

    Correction to just above: NOT Frank Rich; should be MARC Rich. My apologies for my mix-up.

  15. Seixon says:

    I’m glad you picked up on the fact that the CPD received the documents and then just sat on them. There’s much more information to this effect in the intelligence reports, and I might write about it later. The underlying theme is that the CPD kept a wrap on the forged documents it received, and the rest of the CIA was kept in the dark about them. In the end, WINPAC had to get copies of the documents from the INR, even though CPD had them the whole time. Thus, WINPAC didn’t get its hands on the documents until Jan 16 2003.

    And of course, by sheer coincidence, Valerie Plame works at CPD.

  16. sbd says:

    Maybe this will help shed some light on the matter. Ever wonder why Libya gave up their weapons program so quickly?

    “I was told about this amazing wiretap where British Intelligence overheard a call from North Korea to Libya saying, ‘My god, if the Americans ever go into Iraq, they’re going to find out about our nuclear program. And who’s going to pay all the Iraqi nuclear scientists in Libya if Saddam falls?”

    Exclusive Special Report

    Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, July 29, 2003

    Niger-Iraq Uranium Reports Involve Ongoing Libyan Deception Ops

    The Libyan External Security Organization (ESO) passed on, in a single transaction and through a Libyan intermediary, a file of forged documents to Italy’s SISMI (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare). According to Italian sources, the documents appeared to be part of a larger, ongoing Libyan double-deception operation designed to discredit US decisionmaking and the US leadership. The documents were designed to take issues which were in fact verifiable — or approximately verifiable — by US intelligence agencies and then provide seemingly valid collateral documentation. By then exposing the “valid collateral documentation” as fake, the premise of the intelligence — and the subsequent US policy —would then be undermined and discredited.

    Libyan and other sources have told this Service that, in fact, yellowcake was being procured (or at least had been the subject of agreements) from Niger for Iraq during the embargo period, but by the Libyan Government. The yellowcake was being used for weapons development programs by Iraq and Libya (and possibly Egypt, one of the partners in the strategic weapons program) being conducted by joint teams in the Libyan facilities at Sabha and Kufra.2 When asked whether the ESO documentation was designed to cover up and distract from Libyan involvement in the Iraqi nuclear program, one key Libyan source told this Service that this was only part of the objective. This Service was told that it was part of a broader plan, involving other documents and deception operations, designed to more comprehensively discredit US decisionmaking. This Service, on November 8, 2000, discussed how Iraq and Egypt had agreed with Libya in 1999 that Libya should act on behalf of all three countries to procure NoDong-1 strategic weapons-capable ballistic missiles from North Korea. The pattern for Libya-Iraq strategic weapons cooperation — which had been evident even before that time — was thus clearly established in the current context.

    Further down on the page…
    Loftus: “I was told about this amazing wiretap where British Intelligence overheard a call from North Korea to Libya saying, ‘My god, if the Americans ever go into Iraq, they’re going to find out about our nuclear program. And who’s going to pay all the Iraqi nuclear scientists in Libya if Saddam falls?’”

    Shawn: “You’re saying before the war there were Iraqi nuclear scientists working on a potential bomb in Libya before we launched this [war in Iraq]?”

    Loftus: “Yeah. This was a treaty signed by a man called Ali Sobree. He was the Foreign Minister of Iraq. And he went to [Libyan leader Mu’ammar al-] Qadhafi and they worked out a whole protocol. Qadhafi would donate a hollowed out mountain in Libya; Iraq would provide the nuclear scientists, and North Korea would provide the uranium. And they would literally make a factory for nuclear weapons. And once that factory was complete, we had lost the war on terrorism. People don’t realize that even a small nuclear weapon can kill 300,000 people. That’s one hundred 9-11’s. So that’s why we put [garbled] bin Laden on the back burner — we were really focusing on getting the Ali Sobree protocol — we had to smash that ring.”

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  17. AJStrata says:


    Yes, we had seen that here, but thanks for the comment.

  18. […] Folks, I am so fortunate to celebrate our 100k visitor yesterday with a smashing 16+K visitors (thanks to World Net Daily) that same day. I am also cursed with all day meetings at NASA today Tuesday, November 8th). For all the wonderful folks who came by to visit yesterday, may I suggest some time in our archive? We have followed the Plame investigation for a while and the recent posts on uranium and the Wilson, plus Joe Wilson’s 1999 visit are a good start. There is also the theory Wilson divulged the very short lived cover fore Valerie at Brewster and Jennings, not to mention the speculation about a Wilson-CIA cover up. […]

  19. […] Cogema is a major player in the Hussein bribery scandals. Was Wilson looking for illegal uranium trade with Saddam or covering it up? Wilson claims uranium could not be shipped out of Niger because the French are watching. But being an expert on the region and the uranium trade, one has to assume Wilson would know this claim is false due to this: “Mines can be abandoned by Cogema when they become unproductive. This doesn’t mean that people near the mines can’t keep on extracting,” a senior European counter-proliferation official said. […]

  20. […] Too many posts to keep track of! One thing we did post on was how the Wilson trip in 2002 was handled in a way to be hidden from higher ups. This could be ‘plausible deniability’ or hiding a rogue effort – but it is important to realize how uniquely the Wilson trips were handled. […]