Nov 27 2005

I Am So Contrary

Published by at 11:37 pm under All General Discussions,Plame Game

I hate it when I find myself not agreeing with Tom Maguire on things Plame – it typically means I have wanderd off the reality ranch.

But Tom’s current speculation is Armitage is the source for Woodward’s Plame knowledge because he provided information in Woodward’s 2004 book “Plan of Attack”. Well, setting aside Armitage’s denial, I would say it would be out of character for Armitage to be discussing such information off the cuff. For one, Armitage was not outside the administration mainstream that much. but the Bush administration was anything if masters at message control and discipline.

Armitage doesn’t strike me as the type to speak losely or negatively against his friend’s (Powell) boss. Woodward’s book is full of information coming from folks who did not support the administration. The information he presents in his book is petty, marginal and clearly meant to present a negative image of Bush and his team.

Page 9: The first sign of the Bush administration’s desire to attack Iraq comes days before Bush’s 2001 inauguration. Dick Cheney asks outgoing Defense Secretary Bill Cohen to brief the president “about Iraq and different options.” During the briefing, Cheney falls asleep.

Page 23: “She is not married and has no immediate family; it seemed she was on call for the president 24 hours a day in her West Wing office. … Tending to the president and his priorities was her primary goal.”

Page 127: When Karl Rove worries about the perception in the media that he’s meddling in foreign affairs, Bush says: “Don’t worry about it. Condi’s territorial. She’s a woman.”

Page 39: Armitage learns of a forthcoming New York Times story that will paint Powell as exceedingly dovish. He convinces the reporter that the State Department is hip to the Saddam threat. Or, as he later says privately, “Oh, State, they’re in the game. They want to get these fuckers.”

Page 149: Armitage advises Powell to schedule one-on-one bonding sessions with Bush. Powell reports back, “I think we’re really making some headway in the relationship. I know we really connected.”

Page 176: Armitage helped Powell revise the portions of his autobiography that concerned his frosty relationship with Dick Cheney. Powell calls the finished passages “relatively truthful but not harmful.”

Does any of this sound like someone on the inside highligjhting the most important events, thoughts, discussions and decisions during the run up to Iraq? No, it sounds like snarky, high school gossip.

Tom is scratching his head over the Viveca Novak news, as am I. In myopinion the wheels are falling off Fitzgerald’s investigation.

Armitage was on Bush’s team – make no mistake about it.

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “I Am So Contrary”

  1. mary mapes says:


    You are not contrary! You’ve got it more than anyone else! You’ve been better at reading more of this (the more in-depth) than any other blogger I have read (read your comments on Uranium and Gabon, there is a reason 1999 keeps popping up)

    Take credit, you deserve it!

    You once speculated that possibly Rand Beers was the source. Well, what department did HE, Scowcroft and Clarke work for?

    AND what department did Wilson call when he, as he says heard the SOTUS FIRST? STATE, he called people in STATE…and so people (like Rand Beers and Scowcroft and Clarke were talking about it and it be getting around)

    Thanks Maid Marion…interesting in that I always viewed that CIA source as more of a friendly (kind of an attempt to blow the lid off) but your explanation really does make a better interpretation. Or else someone would have blown the lid off I guess.

    Also, with the recent Newsweek speculation that Woodward’s source is Armitage (you’ll notice the Hadley as source is being reported via a dem hack with some problems of his own. I think this is just a Wilson camp “keep hope alive” attempt) is the bridge to the Beers/Scowcroft/Clarke (aka Wilson Friendlies at State)

    If you’ll recall Wilson printed and repeated a gazillion times that when he heard the SOTUS he called people at STATE (and now recently let be known Dem Senators too!) to ensure the 16 words were not in reference to Niger.

    Now, in my mind there could be 2 scenarios.
    1) He called (Scowcroft, Beers, Clarke –one or all…doesn’t have to they are all tight), said what he said. Anyone of three are aware of Valerie and her being at CIA because they are all friendly (she has crush on Scowcroft-ugh), AND she introduced Joe at the CIA meeting of which State members present. That is how Valerie’s actual name enters. So these guys obviously predisposed anti-war, are injecting the Wilson Niger story into discussions at State in which Armitage (who is also anti-war but not so anti-Bush so to speak) is told BEFORE even the infamous INR memo.
    2) Wilson just claims he told these guys at State in the up and up manner, but really it was on the side IN PRIVATE PLANNING. But the primary part of 1 remains…that Wilson friendlies are hand-wringing a bit on the Niger story and this is making it’s way through State, only Armitage doesn’t see it their way, he is not hand-wringing, he sees it as a boondoggle.

    I do not doubt that Wilson pointed Pincus and Kristof to Beers to validate his story or visa versa…

    And it is also plausible that Armitage is Novaks source as well… and Armitage will likely point his knowledge to these others at State and the road will lead to the Wilson’s doorstep.

    AJ— you have done the best job in catching things most have been unable to catch. Many people are leaving you ‘drop off” posts for a reason. Your “GABAON” catch is better than all the reporters at the WAPO combined. DON”T forget it!!!!!!!!!! You are ON to it!!!!

  2. mary mapes says:

    State, only Armitage doesn’t see it “”their”” way, he is not hand-wringing, he sees it as a boondoggle.

    And it is also plausible that Armitage is Novaks source as well… and Armitage will likely point his knowledge to these others at State and the road will lead to the Wilson’s doorstep.

    AJ — there are people commenting here for a reason! See Gabon.

  3. AJStrata says:

    Mapes, good catch on the call to state. Do you recall when Wilson said he made the call? If it was after the SOTU, and before the war, it was to Beers.

    BTW, I think Scrowcroft is out since he did not work at state at the time (he is Bush 1 era). Clarke was never at state and I think he was out by then as well.

  4. mary mapes says:

    Scowcroft WAS a part of the National Security Advisory Board

    (my bad) but…

    Scowcroft was the Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. His term expired at the end of 2004 and he was replaced by Stephen Friedman in Oct. 2005. I read somewhere but can’t find the link that Scowcroft commented privately, “I’ve been fired.”


    MY BAD…once at State but ended up where?


    “Despite the excellent progress, however, serious problems remain. The CIA and the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board have both recently exempted entire categories of documents from declassification review. They include all of the PFIAB records and the CIA’s President’s Daily Briefs. The Committee is gravely concerned that these blanket denials will set a dangerous precedent and compromise the historical record.”

  5. mary mapes says:

    I’ll get you the info on the “call” soon…still have Thanks Givers here

  6. mary mapes says:

    I’ll get you the info on the “call” soon…still have Thanks Givers here didn’t make sense…Thanksgiving “givers” still at the homestead is what I meant…

    did I HIGHLIGHT this

    Scowcroft was the Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. His term expired at the end of 2004

    Richard Clarke
    Clarke resigned his White House post—and turned in his FBI-issued semiautomatic handgun—in February 2003,

    Rand Beers

    Ex-Bush Aide: Terror War A Bust
    June 16, 2003
    “and Beers quit his job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism eight weeks ago. “


    Remember from Fitz’s indictment wording:

    “6. On or about June 11 or 12, 2003, the Under Secretary of State orally advised LIBBY in the White House that, in sum and substance, Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA and that State Department personnel were saying that Wilson’s wife was involved in the planning of his trip.”

    OH Gee…Rand Beers and Dick Clarke just UP and left State in Feb and March of 03″….with very little fanfare (IE No-one at STATE was talking about it) AND just happened to walk straight INTO Kerry’s campaign!

    Prevailing wisdom…

    “Did the CIA challenge the British claim?

    Yes, according to a CIA statement which said: “We expressed reservations” but “our colleagues (the British) said they were confident in their reports and left it in their document.”

    However, the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said that “The CIA believed in the veracity of the claims” because there were other sources of this information as well. The CIA has said that there had been reports that Iraq had tried to get uranium from two other African countries.

    The evidence appeared not convince the CIA, though, because it removed a reference to the Niger claim from a presidential speech in October.”


    BUT “Joe” said this to SSIC

    “In January, 2003, the President in his State of the Union address, uttered the now infamous sixteen words: ‘The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.’ At the time, I was mildly curious about the assertion but, given that three other countries produce uranium ‘ South Africa, Namibia, and Gabon’ I did not immediately conclude that the President had been speaking about Niger. I did take the initiative to call the State Department Bureau of African Affairs to remind them of my trip and to suggest that if the President had been speaking about Niger, either he had information about which I was not aware or else the record needed to be corrected. I was told that perhaps he had been speaking about another country. Unbeknownst to me, the State Department, in December, 2002, had published a paper in which it claimed that Saddam had failed to come clean on his efforts to purchase uranium from Africa in the declaration submitted to the United Nations as required by UN Security resolution 1441. However, the Niger claim was quickly removed from subsequent iterations of the US bill of particulars against Iraq, because it was not credible.”


    However he said this unfortunate statement On CNN (Oct. 3!, 2005)

    WILSON: The testimony that has been made public indicates that Mr. Libby and Mr. Rove leaked Valerie’s name to the members of the press. There’s nothing in any of the testimony to suggest that Joe Wilson did — unlike what Mr. [Joseph] diGenova [a former U.S. attorney who was a special prosecutor during the Clinton administration] said on this program last week.

    BLITZER: Why didn’t you tell Nicholas Kristof about your trip to Africa?

    WILSON: I had attempted to talk directly to the State Department and to a number of Democratic senators and to get the record corrected. I felt that after it was clear that what the president was referring to in the State of the Union address was Niger, and that the trip that I went on was based upon a transcription of these documents that later were shown to be forgeries.

    —Boy that changed slightly from the book! I guess he felt he should downplay the STATE and ADD in those Dem Senators before it was reported…before it had “LEGS”

  7. mary mapes says:

    This is an example of why you are good at what you do (don’t forget the links Mary!)

    Here is the link to the CNN transcript excerpt above

    AJ— read your comments here
    -Niger Forgeries – Al Gore?_

    And —ditch Axiom’s oil demand— doesn’t matter. INTERFERENCE!!!

    Africa’s inter-state trade arrangement went on line 1999. This is about third world (African) countries being able to make money…in a time when their oil and wood resources were plummeting…

    This is more about the Africa end as it is about Iraq.

    Iraq (among many) were purchasers/buyers/seekers…only AFRICA was suppling. And if Iraq was engaged (in a war), then well what else do the business men (i.e. french and ex. envoys) have left to do business in Africa? Africa’s ONLY “of INTEREST” (at the time) item is Uranium. Find me a story depicting Niger’s “gold deposit coming on line” and I’ll show pretty much Ghana. (and then I rebut with a story about the false hope that was)

    These guys(ops) have been good. We all put on our “iraq” colored glasses on this. They sent us to Niger. WHY? Because they knew “Niger” forgeries would be easily “De-Bunked” Niger hadn’t mined EXTRA, other countried had!

    They knew Niger’s books were in order. Niger only documented what Niger mined, they didn’t document what Gabon (and others sent them) when they sealed the boxes and sent them out.

    Inter-Continent trade, 1999. Suddenly trade routes/roads were un-patrolled – the guards “disappeared”…Sudan even let Libyan planes in!

    Heck, Gabon the oil rich country whose oil dried up didn’t want to be in the uranium biz DIRECTLY. That’s what they paid the big buck business men to handle…

  8. I’ve been on the Armitage bandwagon myself–has he directly denied? Then the NYTimes needs to revise its pop-up graphic. And how about the notion of Scrowcroft?

  9. AJStrata says:


    I don’t know whether he did or not. I was going by what Tom Maguire wrote on the post I linked to.

  10. mary mapes says:


    Look at all the people Wilson was tal;ing to and telling his tale. Well Al Gore was one. AND Sandy Berger TOO!

    AMB. WILSON: Well, first of all, Andrea, when the president made the comment, he was referring to a British White Paper Report that came out in September of the previous year, September 2002; again, referring to uranium sales from an African country to Iraq. Now, there are four African countries that produce uranium or have uranium stockpiles: South Africa, Namibia, Gabon and Niger. So throughout this, whenever the British and then the president were mentioning Africa, I assumed that they were talking about one of the other countries and not Niger since we had, I believed, at the time effectively debunked the Niger arms uranium sale.

    MS. MITCHELL: But, in fact, many officials, including the president, the vice president, Donald Rumsfeld, were referring to the Niger issue as though it were fact, as though it were true and they were told by the CIA, this information was passed on in the national intelligence estimate, I’ve been told, with a caveat from the State Department that it was highly dubious based on your trip but that that caveat was buried in a footnote, in the appendix. So was the White House misled? Were they not properly briefed on the fact that you had the previous February been there and that it wasn’t true?

    AMB. WILSON: No. No. In actual fact, in my judgment, I have not seen the estimate either, but there were reports based upon my trip that were submitted to the appropriate officials. The question was asked of the CIA by the office of the vice president. The office of the vice president, I am absolutely convinced, received a very specific response to the question it asked and that response was based upon my trip out there.

    MS. MITCHELL: Now, you write that you “have every confidence that the answer I provided was circulated to the appropriate officials within our government.” Yet there are people still in the White House who were saying months and months later that it was not circulated. Last month Tim Russert had national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on this program, and asked her point blank about how that line got into the State of the Union address. Let’s take a look at what she said to Tim:

    AMB. WILSON: Andrea, when I was in the National Security Council, I was senior director for African affairs, and subsequent to that, when I wrote this article, I checked with members of the then-vice president’s staff, senior members, as well as other senior members of the NSC staff, to refresh my own memory. And standard operating procedure has always been if you are senior enough to ask the question, you will get a very specific response. And if you are in the vice president’s office, or you’re a senior director at the National Security Council, you are senior enough to ask the question, you will get a specific response, unless the operating procedures have changed, which would be a shame.

  11. I can’t tell if he has or he hasn’t. New tea leaves are needed. For purely spiteful reasons, though, I like Scowcroft.

  12. Snapple says:

    Well, all of this is totally over my head, but the ever-cocky ” Joe Wilson hinted at the prospect of impeachment Monday morning while discussing the “betrayal of national security” entailed by the outing of his CIA employee-wife, saying that he hoped the case wouldn’t result in “a constitutional crisis.””

    “Adopting a tone of mock regret, the aggrieved ex-diplomat declared: “Now I would hope, of course, that this tawdry political act of illegality and betrayal of national security does not become a constitutional crisis.””

    “”[Bush officials] decided that they were going to use the enormous power of the White House communications office to try to destroy us. I have had no choice but to defend myself.” ”


  13. mary mapes says:


    he sure has alot of balls doesn’t he?

  14. Snapple says:

    Yes, he is extremely annoying. And I hope he slips on a very big bananna peel.

  15. Snapple says:

    ORDI–that was sort of an encouraging article.

    I hope they will all be exonerated.