Oct 29 2005

Wilson & Media Plan Outing?

Published by at 8:40 am under All General Discussions,Plame Game

I have been accused of not being able to read by some, who are not understanding my positions. So I will stipulate I am not clear in my writing – but I can read. My problem with the indictment is first, Libby was indicted for not outing Plame using his inside knowledge (e.g., “yes, we can confirm from the CIA and others she works for the CIA and she set up the trip for her husband Joe Wilson”). He simply misled by saying he had heard it from other reporters – which was never disproved.

Second Libby may be like me when it comes to memory. I have a nearly photographic memory for technical details, numbers (I can remember my phone number from 1966 when we move from across the street from the entrance of the CIA). But I cannot remember a name to save my life and I definitely cannot put events onto a calendar or timeline. My wife has an excellent memory too. I can track more details – she can nail when something happened years in the past. To the day. Libby seems to have screwed up the sequence because he was not focused on when he learned about Valerie (which was irrelevant early on) but whether he told reporters he could confirm her CIA status and role in Wilson’s lies.

Fourth, the indictment is a selection of information which is not repeated from transcripts, but synopsized by the prosecutor. We do not know whether Libby did testify to the internal meetings and just messed the sequence up or not. The prosecutor is not telling us all of the testimony – just some cherry picked sections he describes for us. If I am guilty of anything it is not treating the document as the Gospel of Fitz. I see no reason to believe Russert over Libby.

Fifth, Fitz takes two party exchanges with no witnesses and selects to believe one side without any evidence. The Russert meeting is the most disturbing. Fitz believes Russert when he claims Libby never discussed Plame. But why would Libby make this whole thing up? Again, either it truly is faulty memory or Russert is not on the up and up. I have not been convinced yet that Libby was so dumb as to make up these stories – he knows better. So to ask me to think a man of his stature, background and knowledge became stupid all of a sudden is too much of a stretch given all we know. And we know a lot.

Finally, Fitz did not determine, without a doubt, the press did not know about Valerie’s role. I have pointed out many times that Kristof and Pincus had to have know about Valerie’s role because she was the only person who would second source Wilson’s claims about the debriefing in their home, which she was at.

So Fitz, all upset about the outing of Plame, uses Libby’s testimony that he only referred reporters to comments from other reporters about Plame instead of his inside knowledge as confirmation of her role. Fitz indicted Libby for not outing Plame. But used that testimony as some kind of evidence regarding a different topic! When he learned about Plame (which is irrelevant if what you are concerned about is whether she was outed).

But let’s speculate ourselves. What if the media planned with the Wilson’s to out Valerie! What if the plan was to draw the Administration into a fight about the intelligence just so Valerie could blow her cover and the Wilson’s get book deals? Do I have evidence of such a wild claim? Why, yes I do.

July 4th, 2003 the Wilson’s hosted a big party to celebrate the holidays. It included Valerie’s parents, and possibly others (I believe Larry Johnson was there). There were also reporters there. And the reporters asked about Valerie’s role at the CIA. Now, the truth is all I have is this Washington Post article from the Washington Post which is written contemporaneously to the party and discusses the outing of Plame. Was all the information culled by reporters at the party? Who knows – it is written that way. And it takes place two days before Wilson’s article runs in the NY Times and the Pincus-Leiby article runs in the Washington Post. And one of the authors of this article (which ran months later) is Leiby.

This leads me to believe Leiby was at the Wilson’s doing final work on the article he and Pincus wrote. So again, we can place reporters with both Wilson’s and probable knowledge about Valerie’s CIA position. But why can’t we speculate like Fitzgerald did? Why can’t we assume there was thought out, multi-staged plan to damage the WH politically. At this stage all the reporters have been peppering the WH for confirmation on Valerie’s role. They know once Wilson goes public in two major newspapers the WH will be more driven to link Wilson’s fuax trip to Valerie! And they have Novak to do the dirty work – egged on by Larry Johnson, who met Novak in the street prior to his article?

Did Fitzgerald disprove this before assuming Libby, who testified he did not out Plame, lied to the grand jury when he was making the case he did not out Plamre? Fitzgerald’s twisted logic tells me we need a new prosecutor to finish this work up. I was concerned our legal system would become a mockery and therefore useless – because without respect it will fail. We have seen this too many times. But to indict someone because they did not out Valerie Plame – using as proof in the indictment they did not out Valerie Plame – is a travesty.

Will not be around today – so if your comment is not getting posted it is because I have to moderate it and that will not happen until late tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience.


BTW, Mac Is Back! Looks like he is going to have to hold down the fort for some of us out of pocket this weekend.

Jack Kelley has an interesting take on the subject here.

15 responses so far

15 Responses to “Wilson & Media Plan Outing?”

  1. Snapple says:

    I think that all these lawyers and their investigators probably have worked through what you see, too. All these lawyers and FBI can figure out timelines and connect the dots.

    On the news they are saying that Libby was really “dumb” to lie four times when he could be discredited by his own notes and several reporters.

    But a lawyer who works for Cheney is not dumb.

    Maybe something else is going on.

  2. Arnsong says:

    In truth, I don’t think that either Libby or Russert would be reliable sources. As AJStrata has said, he has not seen the transcripts, so I think it’s fairly rash to jump to any conclusions about Libby’s guilt or innocence. It seems that those who support Libby’s simply on the basis of ideology believe that Libby could not be “stupid” enough to act in a manner that he knew would get him trouble. In all honesty, that’s a stupid argument. It smacks of attempting to twist the extremely LITTLE that we as the public know about the actual facts of the case in an acquittal, simply because you do not want to see fault in the members of this administration. People with seemingly good intentions make stupid mistakes all the time thinking that power and influence will allow them to sidestep the justice system. I have no idea if Fitzgerald has a case against Libby. But his assessment of what this case and the charges against Libby mean for the sanctity of the justice system is dead on. If the same rules and laws do not apply for the highest officials in government or powerful and monied in the private sector in exactly the same way that it does for the ordinary citizen, and we as a people stand by and watch it happen regardless of political beliefs and affiliation, then we have allowed the very foundation of what makes this country great and beautiful to corrode. We’ll all see if the charges against Libby make sense and hold any water, but the thing to remember is that even great men can do “stupid” or dishonest things. So keep an open mind and don’t make a judgement until you really know more. If you’re not a white house official or part of the investigation team, you’ll probably embarass yourself by making predictions as the guilt or innocence of Libby.

  3. Libby Ain’t That Dumb

    You must head over to The Strata-Sphere and read his latest take on the Plame affair and the Libby indictments:
    But let’s speculate ourselves. What if the media planned with the Wilson’s to out Valerie! What if the plan was to draw the Administra…

  4. gumshoe says:

    AJ –

    you’ve consistently put a lot of weight on this:

    “Finally, Fitz did not determine, without a doubt, the press did not know about Valerie’s role. I have pointed out many times that Kristof and Pincus had to have know about Valerie’s role because she was the only person who would second source Wilson’s claims about the debriefing in their home, which she was at.”

    i’d offer:

    1) if there are indeed rogue CIA parties,
    why not consider a second opinion came from
    one (or both) of the debriefers “on background”.

    Pincus severd at the CIA for several years,BTW.

    2) a spouse,even if he/she works at the CIA,
    is not,imo, a very solid back up for a story.

    the reporting of the debriefing session(from the SSCI report maybe?)
    said she “only acted as a hostess and did not
    attend the debriefing directly”…

    almost a verbatim repeat of her intro of Joe to CIA staff.

  5. gumshoe says:

    good article at the Weekly Standard
    by Stephen Hayes Re: PlameGate

    The Incredibles
    The only debate about Joseph Wilson’s credibility is the one taking place at the Washington Post and the New York Times.
    by Stephen F. Hayes
    10/25/2005 2:30:00 PM

    Hayes observes Pincus being duped and then dismissed by Wilson
    for sloppy reporting,and then going on to spin Wilson’s credibility favorably anyway.

  6. Snapple says:


    In general I agree with you about the rules being for everyone, but what if this protection of CIA identities is protecting people who are really cooperating with our enemies?

    A lot of media and government officials all over the world are getting money from this Oil for Food. Even a very high official in the French police was on the take.

    Wilson and these ex-CIA officials in VIPS seem to be mouthpieces for the terrorists, in my opinion. They aren’t just acting on their honest consciences. I think there is some hold over them. They aren’t just saying that the war was a mistake. I think they want us to fail and the terrorists to succeed.

    A lot of things have gone right in Iraq. Saddam is gone. The people can vote for their leaders and approve a constitution. It has been bloody, but it was even more bloody under Saddam; it just wasn’t in the news because the country wasn’t a democracy. No media got pictures from Abu Graib during Saddam’s reign.

    Wilson’s and the VIPS words are endangering Americans and Iraqis, in my opinion. Wilson is complaining about threats to his wife, but I think that Wilson is threatening Americans and Iraqis. I am very scared of him and the VIPS. I am pretty sure they are helping my enemies the terrorists. The same terrorists who have already killed so many Iraqis.

    Wilson has a consulting company and his wife worked for some CIA front. But maybe they were really doing something else.

    I think that should be investigated by this special prosecutor and the FBI, too.

    I think Wilson’s public criticism of the President’s policy shows that he was not too concerned about protecting his wife’s cover. He would know the White House would be trying to figure out who was talking out of school as soon as he wrote those anonymous articles.
    He has to have known the White House would be checking on why this leftist was sent on a sensitive mission and then shot off his mouth. So maybe he was acting as an agent provocateur to trap the White House.

    Well, he isn’t going to win. Everyone can see what a shrill phoney he is–everyone except himself.

    I am really glad Saddam is gone. He had used WMD against his own people. If he hid them or threw them away before the war, I am sure he would have made them again. Saddam’s intentions were the problem. And WMD were not the only reason we went to war. There were about 30 reasons. And the UN wouldn’t help enforce their own rules because they were bought off.

    So nobody should say the White House broke the law. The White House followed through on the international laws that the bought-off UN wouldn’t enforce.

    I think the people in the White House are real heroes for taking out Saddam. I am glad my gas money isn’t going to Saddam so he can murder his people and attack his neighbors. It made me complicit in mass murder. I am glad that Bush could not be bought-off by Saddam just to give us oil at the expense of Iraqi blood.

    And I hope we soon will hear where we can sent money for Libby’s defense.

    I think the Wilsons have other people taking care of their legal needs.
    I think Wilson has been doing political favors for Saddam like so many politicians and media people in the Middle East, Europe, Ukraine and Russia.

    I think that when Saddam took those captives before the Kuwait War and Wilson helped get them released, this was a ploy to boost Wilson’s prestige.

    I think Wilson is despicable.

  7. Snapple says:

    The media is writing that 2000 Americans have now died in Iraq.
    This is supposed to prove that Bush is a miscalculating loser.

    For many years the US send Saddam billions of dollars to pay for oil and ignored what he did with the money–kill hundreds of thousands of his own people and attack his neighbors.

    Our gas bills fueled Saddam’s orgy of murder.

    When we support these kind of people, sooner or later we pay the price in American blood.

    But the Iraqis had been paying the price in blood for years because we were paying a Hitler billions.

    Now we have to clean up the mess and it is costing us blood and money.

    But while we ignored Saddam’s killing with our money, all of Iraq was ruined. I feel we bear some responsibility for this.

    The loss of these 2000 young lives are tragic, but we are getting off cheap compared to the Iraqis. We didn’t want to see how Saddam was using our money, and they paid the price.

    I think we owe them, bigtime.

    Wilson and his ilk want us to get out so the Iraqis can be murdered and exploited by terrorists and dictators again.

    Why does he want this?

  8. Snapple says:

    Matthew Cooper discusses his conversation with Libby in the October 30, 2005 issue of Time:

    Cooper states:

    “I asked Libby if he had heard anything about Wilson’s wife having been involved in sending him to Niger. Libby responded with words to the effect of, “Yeah, I’ve heard that too.” …….my other source—[was] Rove”

  9. Observer says:

    I see the Republicans have caught the Democratic problem of convoluted reasoning to reach conclusions they like. Even if the evidence doesn’t support them.
    1. No one who has spent any time with the legal system would deny the Rich, the Connected, and the Political get a completely different justice system than the rest of us. If you don’t believe me, go spend a few days in courtrooms.

    2. Fitzgerald didn’t charge anyone. The Grand Jury did. Despite whatever you think, apparently a group of citizens was convinced by the evidence he brought forward. I find it hard to believe the Majority Party, who controls two out of three branches of Government didn’t have a least a few members on the Grand Jury. Apparently, even they decided he had a case.

    3. I think I’ll take a break for a few days until you come back to some facts instead of cherry picking opinions to find something you like.

  10. Observer says:

    Whoops! Forgot to point out that, among those 2000 military deaths was “Edward (Augie) Schroeder, a Boy Scout turned Marine, was killed along with 13 other soldiers on their fifth trip into Al Hadithah, Iraq, to clean out insurgents. Their fifth trip. ”

    FIVE trips to Iraq, and no, he didn’t volunteer to go back. He was sent.

    I wish you hawks would quit talking, join the military and go serve in Iraq a few dozens time. Let’s see if you have the same view with your hands coverd with blood.

    The Observer, an ex- Infantry Platoon leader in Vietnam

  11. LuckyBogey says:

    AJ – This is long winded, sorry, please Moderate/Reduce as you feel necessary to convey my questions. I have a few simple questions from reading the Select committee’s report on Intelligence:

    1. What was PLAME’s involvement while working in WINPAC? Did she participate in any assessments of Iraq seeking uranium? If so, which reports and what information did she provided to her Ambassador husband?

    2. I want answers from the CIA! Did the CIA forge these documents, break into the Niger embassy in Rome, then plant these forgeries to the Italians and French, loose these 21 fake pages in a vault, and not provide the Bush Administration with correct intelligence?

    3. What parts of this report have since been Unclassified?

    Ordered Reported on July 7, 2004 SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE

    On October 1, 2002, in preparation for an SSCI hearing on the NIE the following day, a CIA NESA analyst prepared responses to questions anticipated from SSCI Members. The (REDACTED) WINPAC Iraq nuclear analyst sent the NESA analyst comments for inclusion (Rest of Paragraph is REDACTED) ****WHY?****

    Both WINPAC Iraq nuclear analysts who had followed the Iraq-Niger uranium issue told Committee staff they were not involved in coordinating the Cincinnati speech and did not participate in the speech coordination session on October 5, 2002. The WINPAC Deputy Director for Analysis also told Committee staff he did not recall being involved in the Cincinnati speech, but later clarified his remarks to the Committee in writing saying that he remembered participating in the speech, but did not recall commenting on the section of the speech dealing with the Niger information. ***IS PLAME INVOLVED***

    Page 60
    On December 17, 2002, WINPAC analysts produced a paper, U.S. Analysis of Iraq’s Declaration, 7 December 2002. The paper reviewed Iraq’s “Currently Accurate, Full and Complete Disclosure” to the UN of its WMD programs and made only two points regarding the nuclear program – one noted Iraq’s failure to explain its procurement of aluminum tubes the IC assessed could be used in a nuclear program, and the other noted that the declaration “does not acknowledge efforts to procure uranium from Niger, one of the points addressed in the U.K. Dossier.” An e-mail from the INR Iraq nuclear analyst to a DOE analyst on December 23, 2002 indicated that the analyst was surprised that INR’s well known alternative views on both the aluminum tubes and the uranium information were not included in the points before they were transmitted to the NSC. The DOE analyst commented in an e-mail response to INR that, “it is most disturbing that WINPAC is essentially directing foreign policy in this matter. ***IS PLAME INVOLVED***

    Page 66
    On January 28, 2003, the President noted in his State of the Union address that”… the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” At the time the President delivered the State of the Union address, no one in the IC had asked anyone in the White House to remove the sentence from the speech. CIA Iraq nuclear analysts and the Director of WINPAC told Committee staff that at the time of the State of the Union, they still believed that Iraq was probably seeking uranium from Africa, and they continued to hold that belief until the IAEA reported that the documents were forgeries. ***IS PLAME INVOLVED***

    Page 70
    On March 11, 2003, WINPAC drafted a current intelligence piece (SPWR031103-04) for the Secretary of Defense titled Iraq ‘s Reported Interest in Buying Uranium From Niger and Whether Associated Documents are Authentic. The piece said “we do not dispute the IAEA Director General’s conclusions . . . that documents on Iraq’s agreement to buy uranium from Niger are not authentic.”

    Page 71
    On June 17, 2003, nearly five months after the President delivered the State of the Union address, the CIA produced a memorandum for the DCI which said, “since learning that the Iraq-Niger uranium deal was based on false documents earlier this spring, we no longer believe that there is sufficient other reporting to conclude that Iraq pursued uranium from abroad.” This memorandum was not distributed outside the CIA and the Committee has not been provided with any intelligence products in which the CIA published its corrected assessment on Iraq’s pursuit of uranium from Niger outside of the agency. ***SO THIS IS KEPT INSIDE CIA ONLY, WHY***

    Page 72 Footnote 9
    In March 2003, the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Rockefeller, requested that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigate the source of the documents, (REDACTED, the motivation of those responsible for the forgeries, and the extent to which the forgeries were part of a disinformation campaign. Because of the FBI’s current investigation into this matter, the Committee did not examine these issues. ***DO WE NOT KNOW WHO FORGED THE NIGER DOCUMENS?***

    Conclusion 13. The report on the former ambassador’s trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts’ ssessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal…..

    Conclusion 14. The Central Intelligence Agency should have told the Vice President and other senior policymakers that it had sent someone to Niger to look into the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal and should have briefed the Vice President on the former ambassador’s findings. ***WHY DID THE CIA NOT TELL THE VP?***

    Conclusion 18. When documents regarding the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting became available to the Intelligence Community in October 2002, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts and operations officers should have made an effort to obtain copies. As a result of not obtaining the documents, CIA Iraq nuclear analysts continued to report on Iraqi efforts to procure uranium from Africa and continued to approve the use of such language in Administration publications and speeches.

    Conclusion 19. Even after obtaining the forged documents and being alerted by a State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analyst about problems with them, analysts at both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) did not examine them carefully enough to see the obvious problems with the documents. Both agencies continued to publish assessments that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa. In addition, CIA continued to approve the use of similar language in Administration publications and speeches, including the State of the Union. ***THE CIA IS NO FRIEND OF THE PRESIDENT***

    Conclusion 20. The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) comments and assessments about the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting were inconsistent and, at times contradictory. These inconsistencies were based in part on a misunderstanding of a CIA Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) Iraq analyst’s assessment of the reporting. The CIA should have had a mechanism in place to ensure that agency assessments and information passed to policymakers were consistent. ***TWO PAGES FOLLOW WHICH ARE CLASSIFIED-WHY***

    Conclusion 21. When coordinating the State of the Union, no Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts or officials told the National Security Council (NSC) to remove the “16 words” or that there were concerns about the credibility of the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting. A CIA official’s original testimony to the Committee that he told an NSC official to remove the words “Niger” and “500 tons” from the speech, is incorrect.

    Conclusion 22. The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) should have taken the time to read the State of the Union speech and fact check it himself. Had he done so, he would have been able to alert the National Security Council (NSC) if he still had concerns about the use of the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting in a Presidential speech.

    Conclusion 26. To date, the Intelligence Community has not published an assessment to clarify or correct its position on whether or not Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Africa as stated in the National Intelligence Estimate (ME). Likewise, neither the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) nor the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which both published assessments on possible Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium, have ever published assessments outside of their agencies which correct their previous positions. ***WHY NOT***

  12. MaidMarion says:


    Have been piecing together a timeline of articles mentioning Walter P. Lang (aka W. Patrick Lang aka Pat Lang) and in the process noticed these interesting confluences: Democratic Policy Committee, Larry Johnson, Vince Cannistraro, James Marcinkowski, and Lang. The timing of the articles, especially those on May 5 & 6, 2003 is curious since a Senate Democratic Policy committee conference took place about this time.

    5 May 2003

    Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, “Selective Intelligence: Donald Rumsfeld has his own special sources. Are they reliable?”(12 May 2003 issue; posted 5 May 2003) http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030512fa_fact

    “W. Patrick Lang, the former chief of Middle East intelligence at the D.I.A., said, “The Pentagon has banded together to dominate the government’s foreign policy, and they’ve pulled it off. They’re running Chalabi. The D.I.A. has been intimidated and beaten to a pulp. And there’s no guts at all in the C.I.A.”

    6 May 2003

    Nicholas Kristof, NYT, “Why Truth Matters” http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/05/06/nyt.kristof/

    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. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.

    Patrick Lang, a former head of Middle Eastern affairs in the Defense Intelligence Agency, says that he hears from those still in the intelligence world that when experts wrote reports that were skeptical about Iraq’s W.M.D., “they were encouraged to think it over again.”

    “In this administration, the pressure to get product `right’ is coming out of O.S.D. [the Office of the Secretary of Defense],” Mr. Lang said. He added that intelligence experts had cautioned that Iraqis would not necessarily line up to cheer U.S. troops and that the Shiite clergy could be a problem. “The guys who tried to tell them that came to understand that this advice was not welcome,” he said.

    (NOTE: Matthew Continetti reported over a year later, that Kristof had met Joe Wilson only a few days earlier at a Senate Democratic Policy Committee conference. (Weekly Standard 7/26/2004 http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=4337&R=9F0E3879F): “The first public mention of Joe Wilson’s February 2002 mission to Niger appeared in a May 6, 2003, column by Nicholas D. Kristof in the New York Times. Shortly before, Wilson had met Kristof at a Senate Democratic Policy Committee conference in the capital. As Wilson later recounted to Vanity Fair, he told Kristof about his trip to Niger over breakfast the next morning, and said “Kristof could write about it, but not name him.”)

    29 May 2003

    Jim Lobe, Asia Times Online, “WMD: Will the real culprit stand up”

    As explained by W Patrick Lang, former director of Middle East analysis at the Defense Intelligence Agency, to the New York Times, the OSP “started picking out things that supported their thesis and stringing them into arguments that they could use with the president … It’s not intel,” he said, using an insider’s word for intelligence, “it’s political propaganda.”

    4 June 2003

    James Lobe, Asia Times Online, “The truth, the whole truth and nothing but…”

    The controversy over whether the administration of President George W Bush either exaggerated or lied about evidence that it said it had about the existence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq before the US-led invasion has mushroomed over the past week.

    Much of the evidence on which the WMD case was based came from defectors supplied by the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an exile group headed by Ahmed Chalabi that has been championed by the neo-conservatives – including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Cheney chief of staff I Lewis Libby and Defense Policy Board members Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman and James Woolsey – for more than a decade.

    Retired senior CIA, DIA and State Department intelligence officers, including the CIA’s former counter-terrorism chief Vince Cannistraro and the DIA’s former chief of Middle East intelligence W Patrick Lang, have also spoken bluntly to reporters about what they call the administration’s corruption of the intelligence process to justify war.

    20 October 2003

    Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker, “The Stovepipe: How conflicts between the Bush Administration and the intelligence community marred reporting on Iraq’s weapons.” http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact

    Who produced the fake Niger papers? There is nothing approaching a consensus on this question within the intelligence community. There has been published speculation about the intelligence services of several different countries. One theory, favored by some journalists in Rome, is that sismi produced the false documents and passed them to Panorama for publication.

    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 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.

    “They thought that, with this crowd, it was the only way to go—to nail these guys who were not practicing good tradecraft and vetting intelligence,” my source said. “They thought it’d be bought at lower levels—a big bluff.” The thinking, he said, was that the documents would be endorsed by Iraq hawks at the top of the Bush Administration, who would be unable to resist flaunting them at a press conference or an interagency government meeting. They would then look foolish when intelligence officials pointed out that they were obvious fakes. But the tactic backfired, he said, when the papers won widespread acceptance within the Administration. “It got out of control.”

    24 October 2003

    Democratic Policy Committee Hearing “National Security Implications of Disclosing the Identity of an Intelligence Operative” http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/dpc-hearing.cfm?A=5

    Members: Daschle, Rockefeller, Levin, Harkin, Graham, Lautenberg
    Witness: Vince Cannistraro, Larry Johnson, James Marcinkowski

    “If left unpunished, this cowardly act will not only hinder our efforts to recruit qualified individuals into the clandestine service, but it will have a far-reaching, deleterious effect on our ability to recruit foreign intelligence assets overseas.” (Larry Johnson)

    27 October 2003

    Media Center article about CBS coverage of the 24 Oct DPC hearing: “Rather Uses Staged Democratic Event to Justify Leakgate Story”

    “Without ever explicitly identifying it as a Senate Democratic Policy Committee event, Stewart moved on to the story about the Senate Intelligence Committee preparing a report critical of the CIA on pre-war intelligence about Iraq.”

    31 October 2003

    UVA Newsmakers “A Conversation between a Military Strategist and a U.S. Ambassador on Post-War Developments in Iraq” October 31, 2003

    Guests: Amb Joseph C. Wilson IV with Ret. Col. W. Patrick Lang

    22 July 2005

    Democratic Policy Committee Hearing; House Government Reform Committee Minority

    Members: Dorgan, Schumer, Waxman, Conyers, Slaughter, Inslee, Holt
    Witnesses: Larry Johnson, Colonel W. Patrick Lang, ret., James Marcinkowski, David MacMichael, Mel Goodman

  13. Snapple says:

    Wow. I am going to have to read all this a few times.

    So you think these former CIA guys forged those documents?
    These are the VIPS.

    I guess if there is a trial all of this will come out.

    Maybe the Special Prosecutor will continue and bring this out.

    Can you dumb it down for me a little?

    These retired guys are really arrogant to assume they know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about how 9-11 went down.

    The White House may have information these retired guys don’t have. Maybe the White House can’t tell everything right now because they don’t want to tip their hand.

    It is going to be interesting to see what happens next.

  14. LuckyBogey says:

    MM – Yep, Lang and Johnson are one-sided. Why are they scared about the SSCI Report? I bet that part is still classified! Which is it? International Super Agent Val or just a desk jockey? When did 007 Val know the documents were fake and when did she tell Joe? What else does Val and her office friends know?

    DPC Hearing – Page 21-22
    The last lie I want to put to bed — and unfortunately the Senate Intelligence Committee report on this helped feed the flame — and that is that Valerie sent her husband on the mission to Niger…. That office director from the Counterproliferation Center talks to the division director for the Counterproliferation Division who in turn later sends an e-mail, the deputy of that office, to Valerie saying, “Could your husband do this? Is he available?”…. She wrote the memo back. Unfortunately, what the Senate Intelligence Committee only reports is the memo that she sent back. Nobody had the decency and honesty to ask the natural question: Who asked her to write the memo? Because she didn’t just generate it on her own….. Beyond that, the way the Senate Intelligence Committee is so disingenuously and, in my opinion, dishonestly written, to leave you the impression, “Well, nobody really knows what happened and Valerie clearly was there to do this,” except she’s not a manager…. She started off initially with official cover, but moved to nonofficial cover. Now, regardless of whether you’re under official or nonofficial cover; you are under cover, that’s a protected identity. When I left the Central Intelligence Agency on September 30th of 1989, the day I walked out the door my cover was lifted…. But in Valerie’s case, she went to the non-official cover which simply means you don’t have the protection of the U.S. government. You may operate under a U.S. passport, you may operate under some other passport. But if you’re caught engaged with espionage overseas, you could be executed. You have no protection under the Geneva Convention…..

  15. MaidMarion says:


    I don’t quite follow what point you are trying to make, sorry.

    The Johnson quote you pulled from the DPC hearing is factually correct. So-called “covert” agency personnel (the correct term is “clandestine”) conduct their clandestine work under one of two covers: “official” or “non-official”. When you conduct your work overseas, this distinction becomes important.

    The safest cover is “official”, because that means you carry an official (diplomatic) passport on your person. If, while you’re overseas working, the foreign country’s police arrest you, all you need to do is flash your dip passport and you’re out of jail in a flash, no question asked.

    If you’re overseas working under “non-official” cover, that means you’re carrying a regular tourist passport. If you’re arrested by a foreign government while doing your CIA work…you’ve got a BIG problem.

    The point here is that Fitzgerald determined that Libby was NOT trying to “out” the covert (clandestine) status of Plame. He charged Libby with revealing classified information (i.e., revealing the fact that Plame worked for the CIA, which piece of information is apparently classified.)