Nov 05 2005

Wilson Roundup, 11/05/05

Published by at 2:36 pm under All General Discussions,Plame Game

Wow, things are moving fast as more and more people engage in the Plame-Wilson questions. The spotlight is definitely moving from the WH to the CIA. The recent leak about CIA holding centers around the world probably broke the patience of the American people. You cannot be harping on Libby for days on end for a non-outing of Plame (who sat in a desk watching data go by) and then turn around and out 100’s of agents trying to get life saving information from KNOWN 9-11 terrorists (Sheik-Mohamed). The media and CIA have crossed the line from debate to undermining and sabotaging our self defenses. They have also put at risk all our alliances with countries willing to hold these extremely dangerous prisoners.

Now we will finally see an investigation into the CIA war on the US – and the dems will not be able to hold it back. Their call to look into exaggerated and hyped intelligence will include the exaggeration, hype and lies of Joe Wilson. And others. The media will also be called to task – by the American people. Because America, outside the beltway, sees these players as all one big mess of partisanship. There is no differentiating between media partisans, congressional partisans, etc. All we know is there is a big, ugly, useless war in DC and it needs to be ended now. Americans do not suffer fools well.

It is time to clean house on our bought and sold media and politicians and power broker bureaucrats and financiers. Americans can topple these little empires in the blink of a few elections.

And to that end we need to continue to see the focus shift from Libby to the Wilsons and other CIA operatives out fighting us in our efforts in Iraq.

Powerline has some very powerful posts out today. One is on comments by Bill Bennett and the outrage at the duplicity of the media. The outing of hundreds of CIA agents should now be the focus of Congress.

Powerline also has a link to this Stephen Hayes article on the bumbling democrats’ move to look at pre-war intelligence.

But several Senate Democrats–led by Intelligence Committee members Carl Levin, Richard Durbin, and Vice Chairman Jay Rockefeller–were undeterred. Despite signing on to the findings of the exhaustive report, they pressed for a second report analyzing how the Bush administration had misused intelligence. In so doing, the Democrats trumpeted the presumed results of the investigation even as they pressed for its conclusion.

Their interest in using the forthcoming report as a political tool was laid bare when Senator Carl Levin released his own “study” of prewar claims on October 21, 2004–two weeks before the presidential election. Levin had grown increasingly frustrated that Phase II of the Senate report would not be completed in time for the election. So he decided to go public with his “findings.” If the timing of the report’s release suggests Levin’s motivations were political, its contents remove any doubt. The 45-page study is riddled with inaccuracies. Quotations are taken out of context. Bush administration claims are misrepresented. Even names and dates are wrong.

I sense a bit of Braer Rabbit in the WH and Republican resistance. The tar in this scandal is wide open, thanks to the CIA leaking the terrorist prisoner camp operation. Powerline’s observations on the democrat overt operation on Bush, using Michael Barone as a launching point, are here.

This article in The American Thinker is by someone from the Reagan era of the CIA (is this some of the CIA patriots coming out of the woodwork long predicted by Mac Ranger?). It is an excellent juxtaposition between the right way to do things and the Wilsons’ way of doing things.

Perhaps an outline of how we did things at the CIA during the Reagan Administration will help to illustrate just how appalling the agency’s handling of Mr. Cheney’s query really was:

It’s quite rare for a Cabinet member to actually ask for intelligence – and even more rare for the Vice President or the President to ask – so when they do it’s a very big deal. President Reagan’s great Director of Central Intelligence, William J. Casey, made clear to all of us that when a top-level official personally asked the CIA to check into something, he was to be notified immediately. No matter what else was going on that day that demanded Casey’s total attention – a revolution in Asia, a covert action in Eastern Europe, another of Bob Woodward’s fantasies in The Washington Post—a direct query from any of the four or five top Administration officials took precedence over everything else. After all, they were our primary customers.

Did this happen here? No – just the opposite. The Wilson trip had lots of characteristics of being hidden from the higher ups – while the visible work by the US embassy in Niger was used for cover.

Sometimes we could rely wholly on our own people to do whatever research, or snooping, had to be done. Other times, we needed help from people who didn’t work for the CIA – or even for the US government – but who for whatever reason had the access necessary to help get the information we sought. This would include former government officials, academic experts, business executives, scientists and people from the world of politics both here in the US and overseas. Bill Casey was a great CIA director for many reasons, not the least of which was his Rolodex. It was the size of a Ferris wheel. Casey seemed to know everyone on earth who had ever accomplished anything, and he had a genius for flipping through his Rolodex and plucking out the one individual in the entire world capable of helping us find out whatever we needed to know – and then talking that man or woman into lending a hand.

It was always done quietly – if a meeting was necessary, we held it away from the office—and with no paper trail whatever.

Again, was this Wilson’s trip set up this way? In some ways yes – in one way no. Wilson met all the key intel community leads at an introductory meeting set up by Val before he went.

Of course you don’t know who they are because they never, ever talked about what they did, not even to their friends and colleagues—never gave a speech about it, and never published op-ed essays about it even if they thought the resulting Reagan policies were wrong-headed. They understood that in taking on an assignment for the CIA – however brief, however informal – they were expected to keep their mouths shut.

You folks have more than a few IQ points to rub together – I won’t insult you by reading or interpreting this one.

When we had our answer to the top official’s query – whether it took us an hour or a month – that answer went to Casey himself, who would review it personally to be sure it was an adequate response. Because the President, the Vice President, and the Secretaries of State and Defense were the CIA’s primary customers, Casey considered it his personal responsibility to oversee the agency’s responses to their queries.

I actually believe the overall reporting did go this route. We know the Wilson involvement was not passed along and Tenet was not aware there was a hidden investigation in parallel to the ones being done by the Ambassador and an ex-General. This leads me to think the Wilsons were covering up something.

This article ends with two questions, one of which is answered quite well at Powerline.

A reader alerted me this was coming out – and here it is! The latest nominee to the growing list of people who knew Valerie Plame worked at the CIA. At the end of this post I started the list of who knew (and I am wondering why I didn’t know since so many others did). We can now add a General and his wife to the list since Joe Wilson outed Valerie himself in the FOXNews studios

Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely told WorldNetDaily that Wilson mentioned Plame’s status as a CIA operative in at least three, possibly five, separate conversations in 2002 in the Fox News Channel’s “green room” in Washington, D.C., as they waited to appear on air as analysts.

Vallely said, citing CIA colleagues, that in addition to his conversations with Wilson, the ambassador was proud to introduce Plame at cocktail parties and other social events around Washington as his CIA wife.

“That was pretty common knowledge,” he said. “She’s been out there on the Washington scene many years.”

Fitzgerald – are you paying attention to this? BTW, I hate to say ‘I told you so’ – but I grew up in McLean VA right outside the front gate of Langley. This was not hard to predict in June. And before I started this blog I predicted it in 2003 as the story broke.

Anyway, back to real important stuff, like the source of the Niger Forgeries. Mac Ranger has expounded on my view that Martino makes no sense as the source of the forgeries. And he points to other evidence on the subject. From a Seymour Hersh story

Another explanation was provided by a former senior C.I.A. officer. He had begun talking to me about the Niger papers in March, when I first wrote about the forgery, and said, “Somebody deliberately let something false get in there.” He became more forthcoming in subsequent months, eventually saying that a small group of disgruntled retired C.I.A. clandestine operators had banded together in the late summer of last year (2002) and drafted the fraudulent documents themselves.

“The agency guys were so pissed at Cheney,” the former officer said. “They said, ‘O.K, we’re going to put the bite on these guys.’ ” My source said that he was first told of the fabrication late last year, at one of the many holiday gatherings in the Washington area of past and present C.I.A. officials. “Everyone was bragging about it—‘Here’s what we did. It was cool, cool, cool.’ ” These retirees, he said, had superb contacts among current officers in the agency and were informed in detail of the sismi intelligence.

This points to the VIPS nuts like Larry Johnson, etc. Now this came out 10/20/03. And if true then that would mean the niger forgeries could not date back to 2000. Obviously we have some time lines to resolve. But it is interesting that only 8 months after they became known as forgeries, this kind of rumor was spreading around. Mac points us to Laura Rozen and some well sourced information on the documents’ origins:

Just confirmed with a former US intelligence official who was briefed on it at the time that a surprising claim in this Washington Post story tonight is indeed true: that Rocco Martino was a walk-in to the US embassy Rome and tried to sell the Niger forgeries to them, months before the Italian reporter Elisabetta Burba brought them to the embassy at the direction of her editor at her Berlusconi-owned magazine. (My source thought he remembered Martino’s walk in occurring in the early spring of 2002, but wasn’t positive). The CIA Rome station chief reportedly threw Martino – and the forgeries – out.

Doing some checking and we learn the forgeries may have had elements of the Rome break in – circa 2001

The letterheads and official seals that appeared to authenticate the documents apparently came from a burglary at the Niger Embassy in Rome in 2001.

Since the documents are a combination of real and fake documents, and the linkage to the 2001 break in is not tight, we still have little evidence of when the documents were created.

Back to Mac for some more answers:

So the question, who is would be the most likely person to have some old Nigerian docs laying around in a drawer or briefcase, maybe some that they picked up during previous trips to the region.

“Now the question: What was Wilson doing in Niger in 1999? That is besides the “Uranium issues”. I wonder though, Did Joe happen to bring back, oh.. any Nigerian “letterhead” with him from his trip to Niger in 1999? Would have been real convenient if he did.

Very. One thing to remember about forgeries – they can tell a lot about the forger and where the documents have been. Forensic science is quite powerful these days.

Have a great day folks.

One response so far

One Response to “Wilson Roundup, 11/05/05”

  1. MaidMarion says:


    Wonder why Chris Matthews hasn’t had Seymour Hersh on as a guest to ask him about his “forged documents” source…

    Seymour was sticking to his position as late as 18 September 2004 when he gave an interview to Mary Jacoby (

    “Jacoby: Do you have any idea of the origin of the forged Niger documents that Bush cited in his January 2003 State of the Union address as proof that Iraq was seeking uranium to make nuclear weapons?

    Hersh: I don’t really know. I know that they think it was an inside job. And my idea is that there were people in the government who knew that you could give these guys [the neoconservatives] anything, and within three days, if it said the right thing, there would be a principals meeting [of the senior foreign policy officials] at the White House on it. And one idea would be to get them in a position where they really walked on their dongs, in a way. Give them some bad stuff. They’d have a big meeting about it and [the neocons] would finally be exposed as ludicrous. Nobody anticipated that [the forged documents] would end up in the State of the Union address. I mean, it’s beyond belief. I don’t believe in these conspiracy theories, about [Michael] Ledeen [a neocon operative] and these things. He’s too smart for that. Because it was designed to be caught.”