Democrats & Liberals Archives

Scooter

The Scooter trial is getting interesting. I haven’t mentioned it previously because it looked pretty straight forward: Scooter lied to a Grand Jury under oath and deliberately obstructed a federal investigation. The evidence is clear. What’s become interesting is why Scooter lied.

He didn't have to lie. After all, President Bush authorized Vice President Cheney and Scooter Libby to release parts of the top secret 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to the press and we now know that Richard Armitage was the first to (inadvertently?) leak CIA spy Valerie Plame's name, so Libby didn't technically break any laws. Why did he lie?

On one level, the answer is simple: Libby didn't know that Armitage had already let the cat out of the bag. Libby really thought he was the leaker, so he lied to cover his own rear. But that doesn't shed any light on why Libby was leaking what almost everybody thought was top secret intelligence.

Libby's trial is starting to provide the answer. According to testimony and documents, it turns out that Ambassador Joe Wilson was right (again): The administration really was trying to discredit him. So much so that Cheney and Libby talked often about methods to discredit Wilson,

Vice President Cheney and other senior White House officials regarded a former ambassador's accusations that President Bush misled the nation in going to war in Iraq as an unparalleled political assault and, early in the summer of 2003, held daily discussions about how to debunk them, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby told a federal grand jury.

Now, at the time, President Bush and other administration officials were swearing up and down that they had no idea who was leaking portions of the NIE and the name of a CIA spy. How embarrassing then to have it come out that President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Scooter Libby knew exactly who was doing the leaking -- and why. Libby's lies to the Grand Jury were part of a cover-up that failed.

Today's interesting tid-bit is that Libby's defense team decided they probably won't call Vice President Cheney as a witness -- presumably because if he told the truth he'd embarrass the administration further and if he lied under oath he'd go to jail. A lose-lose if there ever was one. Libby's defense team is even considering keeping Libby himself off the stand even though it will undermine his primary defense.

Forcing [Libby] to take the stand would violate his right ... against self-incrimination, attorneys wrote.

Nice. So now that it's established that the Bush administration went after Wilson and his wife, I wonder how that'll affect the civil suit the Wilsons filed against Cheney and Scooter?

Posted by American Pundit at February 7, 2007 3:04 AM
Comments
Comment #206898

Today’s interesting tid-bit is that Libby’s defense team decided they probably won’t call Vice President Cheney as a witness — presumably because if he told the truth he’d embarrass the administration further and if he lied under oath he’d go to jail. A lose-lose if there ever was one. Libby’s defense team is even considering keeping Libby himself off the stand even though it will undermine his primary defense.

I’m not sure I get this line of reasoning. Are you saying that Libby’s defense lawyers are throwing his defense away to protect Cheney and Bush?

Posted by: gergle at February 7, 2007 6:50 AM
Comment #206902

>>I’m not sure I get this line of reasoning. Are you saying that Libby’s defense lawyers are throwing his defense away to protect Cheney and Bush?

Posted by: gergle at February 7, 2007 06:50 AM

gergle,

If Cheney verified under oath it would implicate Scooter in the conspiracy…AP might not have made that so plain, but it’s true none the less.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 7, 2007 8:11 AM
Comment #206909

Everyone should look at the entire memo at the bottom of the linked page. Revelatory.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/013107Z.shtml

Posted by: Max at February 7, 2007 9:21 AM
Comment #206920

There is nothing wrong with the Administration trying to discredit Joe Wilson. The information he was purveying was misleading. It was fitting and proper to question his bona fides and ask the logical questions about how and why he got the job in the first place. If Plame was actually covert under the statute (something that still is not definitively decided), revealing this would have been technically illegal and wrong. We have to define the question.

I would say that of course the Administration was trying to discredit Wilson. That is sure something I would have done given Wilson’s behavior. That is no crime. I would have done it a bit more openly and even bragged about it. That is not the imporant issue The question is only whether or not someone revealed classified information. We still have no decide whether or not the information was classified, but we DO know who revealed it. But if people are interested more in politics than truth, there is no purpose in arguing it.

Posted by: Jack at February 7, 2007 10:00 AM
Comment #206924

*sigh*

Debunking incorrect criticism and outing a CIA agent are two different things.

I think your first statements were correct, the simple answer is that Libby tried to get back at the CIA and leaked the information, not knowing he wasn’t the first, and then tried to cover his tracks to the special prosecutor.

I’m not sure why the constant attempt by some to make this something that it isn’t, until some evidence that it is comes to light. This isn’t it, it isn’t there yet.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 7, 2007 10:14 AM
Comment #206949

Jack-
Debunking inaccurate information?
The inaccurate information was in the letter, which Wilson confirmed was a forgery. The information was part of a case for Iraq being a nuclear threat, with an active nuclear program. It was made as a statement of fact in the SOTU address of 2003, despite repeated attempts of the CIA to remove it, citing its unsupportability. The Administration itself admitted that the statement should not have been in there.

Wilson was right, Bush and Cheney were wrong.

As for whether the information was classified, it was, and that is the legal judgment in the indictment of Scooter Libby.

GW-
Charged with what? A thorough investigation by this prosecutor, not known for being a partisan of any kind, has established that they didn’t tell anybody who wasn’t cleared for the information of her real employment. As for Libby, Cheney, and Rove, they willfully distributed state secrets to the public, giving the CIA no chance to consult on the implications of that. The result, so far, has been the destruction of a CIA front company for investigating WMD proliferation in precisely the region we’ve got greatest anxiety about, and the sacrifice of untold numbers of assets who were associated with it.

As I recall it, the Medal of Honor is for bravery and performance beyond the call of duty.

Causing the collapse of an important intelligence front operation for political gain does not qualify by most standards I’m familiar with. If Bush had kept his word, Rove would have been kicked on on the street, and Cheney would have had to resign.

Oh, and while I’m at it, the Medal of Honor is a military award, and each person you’ve listed is a civilian. Tell me how that works.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 7, 2007 12:29 PM
Comment #206952

Jack,

Maybe you would have bragged about it, but they didn’t. They lied about it, and that speaks volumes.

Posted by: Max at February 7, 2007 12:38 PM
Comment #206957

gw,

At war with liberal America?

You know dispite all the party conflict we still have the worlds most non-partisan laws. Our laws are a fine and balance mixture of each.

We are still a Democratic-Republic.

This ‘war’ so to speak only exist in the minds of patisans and media.

In reality our laws and system are as far from partisan as one can get.

All should avoid being to anti-other. This is still the land of the free and therefor all votes should be counted.

I am a Libertarian, I believe in privatization, yet you don’t hear me crying out about the evil Dems and their failed social welfare or the jihad Repubs and their religious war against civil rights.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at February 7, 2007 12:54 PM
Comment #206971

gw-
America just elected the liberals to congress as a majority. Do you hand people you consider your enemies the reins of power? Indeed, no you do not. The common American is part of Liberal America, according to your definitions.

Wilson did not betray the trust of his country. Nothing he revealed was classified. It merely put into needed perspective one of the major justifications for the war. The American people should not be lied to.

If Fitzgerald intended to charge Wilson, he would have already. Instead, in the indictment of Scooter Libby, he cleared them.

Libby and his cohorts are not convicted yet, by any means, but they are the ones in the dock, not the ones you hate and despise.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 7, 2007 2:33 PM
Comment #206981

AP,

Thanks for bringing much needed attention to this issue. While we can only watch from the sidelines as the story of how underhanded and decietful this administration has been unfolds, it’s of huge significance. At this point no one can deny that Iraq has become the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, overshadowing domestic issues almost certainly reshaping our future as a nation.

Those who wish to “poo-poo” this whole thing as “nonsense” or a “witch hunt” do a great disservice to the 3,357 coalition troops who have died in this ill concieved war. We wouldn’t be there if Bush & Co. hadn’t “cherry-picked” info, IMO to the level of outright deception, and abused the power vested in them by the American people.

I might also remind everyone we have a new “cop” on the hill. Henry Waxman! You can read his request for info from the White House in April 2006 here:
http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/59/18918

I’m willing to bet that if Executive indiscretions are unearthed in the process of the Libby trial mean, nasty libs like me and Adrienne may see our wish of impeachment proceedings come to fruition. One can argue all they want about the legalese of Bush’s power to declassify info as he pleases, the fact remains that he took an oath of office. He violated that oath and should be impeached.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 7, 2007 3:18 PM
Comment #206988

gw,

For the record I am a C-SPAN junkie, which is one of only two news groups that is not openly partisan.

The other is ESPN.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at February 7, 2007 3:50 PM
Comment #207010

gw-
The convenient part of that argument is that you can make it without having to prove your claims correct now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 7, 2007 5:03 PM
Comment #207136

gw, Why would Joe Wilson a true American Patriot and fine public servant be judged by history as anything other than a decent man caught up in the corruption and lies of the worst administration in our history?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 8, 2007 12:06 AM
Comment #207152
The information he was purveying was misleading.

Jack, I assume you mean President Bush. Because Wilson was correct that Saddam hadn’t tried to purchase uranium from Niger — and the President knew it.

Certainly, Cheney knew it. Cheney is the one who asked the CIA to check it out.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 8, 2007 1:59 AM
Comment #207165

Wilson included information in his article that he did not have when he made his intial reports. By the time he wrote his article, some things were clear and he pretended to have the knowledge before. In fact, Wilson’s actual report would lead you to believe Saddam had tried to buy yellow cake. He went back and fixed his data to make it seem like it was known in advance.

Cheney was trying to figure it out, as he should have. The CIA in the normal course of its work would have a field officer do the checking. Sending a special contractor - i.e. Wilson - was odd enough that you would logically ask why he was sent. That his wife had nominated him answers that question. It also calls into question the bona fides of both Wilson and Plame.

Try not to think partisan in this case. Imagine it was Clinton or Kerry. Make the policy anything you want. This is the scenario:

Clinton/Kerry are seeking information about a sensitive issue. They ask the CIA to investigate. Instead of asking their field officer, the CIA appoints a Republican activist to do the investigation. He subsequently writes an Op-ed criticizing the administation.

Would you not want to know

- why they did this with a contractor
- why they chose this particular guy to go
- why he did not do the usual confidentiality
- who send him

Are any of these questions unreasonable?

Posted by: Jack at February 8, 2007 10:07 AM
Comment #207170

Jack

Posted by: Jack at February 7, 2007 10:00 AM
“There is nothing wrong with the Administration trying to discredit Joe Wilson.”

True enough.


Posted by: Jack at February 7, 2007 10:00 AM
“If Plame was actually covert under the statute (something that still is not definitively decided), revealing this would have been technically illegal and wrong.”

This is a red herring. The Libby trial is not about who outed Plame or if she was covert or not. It is about lying to the Grand Jury. However, with regard to the issue of if Plame was covert or not, I think the CIA is in the best position to answer that question and since it was they who asked the Justice Department to investigate the leak…well draw your own conclusions.

Posted by: Jack at February 7, 2007 10:00 AM
“I would say that of course the Administration was trying to discredit Wilson. That is sure something I would have done given Wilson’s behavior. That is no crime. I would have done it a bit more openly and even bragged about it”

I agree with you. The Administration should not have tried to cover up their involvement, but as you acknowlege, they did try to cover it up. Since you seem to agree there was a cover up do you also think that was a motive for Libby to lie to the Grand Jury?

Posted by: Jack at February 7, 2007 10:00 AM
“The question is only whether or not someone revealed classified information. We still have no decide whether or not the information was classified, but we DO know who revealed it.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong. The question is only did Scooter Libby lie under oath to the Grand Jury. He is on trial for perjury not revealing classified information. As I stated earlier, I agree with your theory that there was an effort by the Administration to hide their involvement in the leak and Scooter got caught up in the cover up. After all, Scooter could have told the Grand Jury that she wasn’t covert and that her status wasn’t classified if that’s what he thought. But he didn’t. And again I’ll let everyone draw their own conclusions about his motives.

Posted by: Jack at February 7, 2007 10:00 AM
“But if people are interested more in politics than truth, there is no purpose in arguing it.”

Again I agree with you. If people want to talk about Wilson and his motives or Plame and whether she was covert or not or who actually leaked the information or if it was classified or not or bla, bla, bla…let them. This case is about whether Scooter Libby lied under oath to the Grand Jury. Everything else is beside the point.

Posted by: RMD at February 8, 2007 10:54 AM
Comment #207178

Jack-
The President’s position was that containment wasn’t working, that Saddam had rearmed, and had a Nuclear program revived. When he said that Saddam was seeking yellowcake in Africa, this was the case he was making.

Wilson’s report could be construed to support the notion that Saddam wanted yellowcake, but only just barely. The whole thing was based on a wink-wink nudge-nudge exchange.

Wilson’s report is one of a number of reports that the CIA took in indicating that the letter was a fraud.

The letter’s importance is not that it indicates Saddam wants Yellowcake. The letter indicates that he was getting it.

That would indicate a failure of the containment of Saddam in regards to WMDs, and an ongoing or about to be revived nuclear program. You don’t get gas if you don’t have a car to drive.

Wilson’s report and others, though, indicate that Saddam was not going to get what he was looking for. That is an argument against the notion that containment was failing. An argument against the failure of containment is an argument against the necessity of a war of disarmament.

We found no nuclear program to disarm Saddam of.

How was Wilson wrong? How was it wrong to tell the American people that there was no real possibility that Saddam would have ever handed the world’s worst weapon to al-Qaeda?

How is it right to send American soldiers to fight in a foreign land to deal with a nonexistent threat? America did not hand Bush the power to go to war because they wanted a free Iraq. They handed him that power because he said we were going to get nuked if we waited for real proof of Saddam’s success in breaching containment.

If Americans knew at the start that a nuclear weapon was not in Iraq’s capability, would we have let Bush shift focus from Afghanistan, where an enemy who endangered our national security remained?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 8, 2007 11:37 AM
Comment #207184

RMD

If you agree with my premises, and you also seem to agree with my conclusion, you will also agree that this is just a perjury trial. Perjury is a bad thing. If Libby did it, he should be punished. But why are we talking about what the president, Cheney etc said/knew.

We have established who leaked (and evidently do not care). The only question is whether or not Libby lied in an investigation that turned up no underlying crime. Of course, we also have the question re why Fitzgerald wasted so much money and time investigating after he knew there was no underlying crime (or at least after he knew Armitage was the leak).

Stephen

When he made the report, Wilson had not yet seen those letters. He added that detail later. The a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that Wilson’s report actually supported the belief that Saddam was seeking uranium from Niger. Wilson was rewriting history.

So Wilson was pretty sure in May 2003 that Saddam didn’t have WMD. What prescience.

Anyway, this is a policy dispute. You got nothing from the Fitzgerald investigation besides a guy lying about something that probably didn’t matter. Move on.

Posted by: Jack at February 8, 2007 12:20 PM
Comment #207185

You know…this could be recorded, slowly and distinctly, or even drawn out in bright, pretty crayon colors…..those resisting the truth will continue to find a way to spin it away from the truth!
In the meantime, who’s ready for an impeachment ?!?!?!?

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 8, 2007 12:24 PM
Comment #207214

Jack
If your conclusion was “this is just a perjury trial” I missed it. In fact, I didn’t see the word “perjury” in your original post at all. But I do agree that perjury is exactly what this is about.

I believe that the reason “we’re talking about what the president, Cheney etc said/knew” is because their involvement is significantly different than their public pronuoncements have indicated. While it may be “political” to talk about all that it is certainly no more political than the actions of the president and vice president in this matter or even your own comments about Fitzgerald. He is not the political hack that you would like us to believe.

In spite of your statements to the contrary, we have not determined who leaked, we have only determined who told Novak. There is, I believe, a difference legally, morally and ethically. If the bank is robbed, but the police don’t catch the theives it does not mean that “there was no underlying crime.” That point aside, even if no crime was committed it does not allow a witness to mislead, dissemble or lie to the Grand Jury.

If Libby is convicted what reasons could you offer as to why a Grand Jury witness would lie if there was no “underlying crime” to hide?

Posted by: RMD at February 8, 2007 4:33 PM
Comment #207219

RMD

Novak published it. After that everybody knew. You could not leak it after that and there is no evidence anybody did before. As I wrote above, we still are not sure if it is even covered by the statute. As far as I recall, almost nobody is ever charged.

Posted by: Jack at February 8, 2007 6:20 PM
Comment #207225

Jack-
He had not seen the letters, but he was briefed on the details(it would have been odd for him not to be, given his assignment.)

He was told, and nobody disputes this, that one mine was flooded, and that the other mind was controlled by a conglomerate of which the French were a part, that all the ore was presold, that the name on the letter was of an official long gone.

Little of this was news to the CIA, which took the mention in the SOTU address out time and again, only to have Bush and Cheney’s staff put it back in.

However, it was news to the American public. The American public had been told that there was a nuclear program ongoing. Regardless of what Wilson could or could not know, by Jan 2003, the CIA knew enough to take the claim out. Yet, having been advised again and again by the CIA of the factual problems with the statement, the White House and Vice Presidential staff put it back in.

I don’t know what you heard, but we heard much about Pat Roberts getting in the way of investigating things. He promised to complete part two of the investigation you’re referring to, yet never even started it. Additionally, he as chairman wrote a rather scathing critique of Wilson, which somehow he didn’t have the evidence or the guts to include with the findings of the main investigation- the investigation he never allowed to be finished, because part two was to look into whether the White House had manipulated intelligence.

Meanwhile you have to deal with the problem that what happened with Wilson was that his story was actually the story of the IAEA. Now you can say he might have been lying, but still, his “lies” seem to be much closer to the truth than some people’s truths. Case in point, there’s the fact that Wilson actually approved of going after Saddam!

This was the guy who faced down Saddam Hussein and refused to let him arrest hundreds of people as his human shields. He actually believed like many that Saddam still had biological and chemical weapons. He just didn’t buy the letter. What got him to come forward was the repeated insistence on that letter and its subsidiary documents as evidence of WMDs. He knew the letter to be false. Yet they still pushed it.

In fact he was qualified for the job he did for the CIA in Niger, since he had worked for a number of years as a diplomat
there, knew the language, and had both the security clearance and the contacts to be sent on such a case. If your intent really was to find something out, using a person who was in with the folks in that region, and you didn’t have to keep everything top secret, well then Wilson was both a convenient and appropriate choice.

And as for Nepotism? Why not go to some five star hotel in Dubai, or a vacation spot on the Red Sea? Why bother with Niger, with what is by all accounts a dusty third world hellhole? Why do that if it wasn’t business?

Does it matter? Yes it does matter, according to Fitzgerald, who compared what Libby did to tossing sand in the umpire’s eyes at a ball game. If a federal official can lie to investigators on criminal matters with impunity, then Presidents and others in the administration or in congress can do the same, and cover up worse crimes.

Clinton, the president, wasn’t allowed to do that with impunity, and neither should Libby, a mere staffer. If the leader of the free world can be punished for lying, so can a Vice Presidential staffer.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 8, 2007 7:27 PM
Comment #207228

Jack-
Rove and Libby both leaked it to reporters Matt Cooper and Judith Miller, before it was common knowledge, while it was classified information. That’s in the grand jury testimony. There are all kinds of arcane reasons why a prosecutor might not pursue a case against a person who they have judged to commit a crime. There are also reasons, including technicalities of the law, why a person who does what could be commonly considered leaking or another crime might not have clearly broken a law.

Regardless, the conservative argument is rationalizing a very careless attitude towards our nation’s intelligence assets, in the defense of what can legitimately be termed a hollow case for war. It’s time to admit that this is no witch hunt. It’s time to admit that what happened to the Wilsons was not just, that what the Bush adminstration did to them was wrong.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 8, 2007 7:36 PM
Comment #207262
In fact, Wilson’s actual report would lead you to believe Saddam had tried to buy yellow cake.

Pure spin, Jack. Stephen addressed this more articulately than I can.

In any case, the CIA told Bush months before the State of the Union that the yellowcake story was nonsense. They obviously didn’t think Wilson’s report indicated the opposite.

That his wife had nominated him … calls into question the bona fides of both Wilson and Plame.

No it doesn’t. It just means she thought Wilson was qualified to check it out — and he was.

The one argument I have never heard is that there was someone more qualified that could have been sent. In fact, we know Wilson’s credibility was never an issue for Cheney until after he wrote the op-ed.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 8, 2007 11:52 PM
Comment #207280

Jack-
Something else: Cheney and the others, according to Andrew Sullivan, were intent on going after Wilson even before he was publically known, when the sum total of his talking was done to a couple reporters anonymously.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 9, 2007 8:45 AM
Comment #207304

Stephen

If Wilson knew all this stuff in January or February and he was so sure he was right, why did he wait until May to go public?

re the crime - If it is not a crime it is not a crime. If they are not even charged, we have to assume that either there is not enough evidence or the statute has not been violated. That is just the way it is. Everything else is mere inuendo.

Re Wilson - I do not dispute they wanted to go after him. I would have done the same, only I hope with more vigour.

AP

Why send anybody at all? We have CIA presence in Africa. We have people who have current contacts. In the proper way of doing things, Wilson might be among those interviewed in Washington, but there was no reason to send him on that junket. It really does not make sense to send a special envoy to gather that sort of information. Even in the best case scenario, he is like the guy who borrows your watch to tell you what time it is.

Posted by: Jack at February 9, 2007 11:43 AM
Comment #207401

Jack-
Let’s be clear on this: First, he was sent in February of 2002 to look in on the letter. Second, the Bush Administration pushed the bad information on the public, which Wilson then, as an anonymous source, revealed to be bad. Cheney and others in the Bush White House then acted to dig up information, looking to discredit him, and when he went public in May, they outed his wife.

Why was he more discreet for the first few months? I don’t know, maybe he thought that becoming a high profile critic, at that point, was a bad idea. Can you blame him, when his wife works for the CIA?

In the legal sense, what was done may or may not be a crime. The law can be arcane that way. The practice of law can also exclude the pursuit of certain individual known or suspected to have committed a crime, owing to the difficulty of prosecuting them. We could get into the vagaries of crimes committed outside the current awareness of the authorities, but that is not relevant as of yet. We do know that Rove and Libby both deliberately gave out this information, a classified secret, to reporters Matt Cooper and Judith Miller, respectfully. So, although no crime has been charged, and legally a crime might not have been committed, these two have done something which a reasonable person might see as being a breach of national security in a time of war. Innuendo would be a hell of lot vague than these accusations. Let’s call it what it is: facts that are awful unflattering to the reputations of those concerned.

Why the hell would you vigorously pursue a course of action which resulted in the loss of intelligence assets? Does the election prospects of a president outweigh legitimate concerns for our national security? Does winning debate in the public sphere justify giving our enemies new advantages? The one act is bad enough. The overall collateral damage is intolerable.

As for the CIA presence in Africa?
It’s a matter of exposure. First of all, many of the people will be case officers, people from the operative branch whose job is to run agents.

Some agents are run from Official Cover by people working for the Ambassador, but as that can put people under suspicion, many folks running agents abroad are NOC, like Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible movies. Well, at least in one respect: A NOC (Non-Official Cover) agent, if capture or detained, is simply cut loose. They are disavowed. No spy exchange, no rescue.

A NOC agent draws their usefulness from the fact that they do not have obvious connections to the United States government. A NOC agent who walks into an embassy, or who approaches or contacts a source and tells them that they’re doing something on behalf of the government has just blown their cover.

Wilson, as a former ambassador, would not compromise his mission by telling folks that he was asking things on behalf of his government. He’s a known quantity with pre-existing connections. NOC agents might have sent out feelers, but what Wilson could do is step in and authenticate certain sources, in this case, the letter. Wilson knew the people around there, and could get this information from them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 9, 2007 6:15 PM
Comment #207446

Stephen

I know how embassies run. This kind of information is not the kind you have to dig up by sending a special guy like Wilson. Wilson could not exactly be inconspicious.

I can think of reasons why they might want to send someone and I can think of reasons they might want to sent Wilson, but I think it is a good question to ask. It is unusual and probably a bit on the stinky side.

I think the obvious reason Wilson did not bring it up in February is that he didn’t know it yet.

Posted by: Jack at February 9, 2007 11:24 PM
Comment #207461

Jack-
He was briefed at length concerning the letter. He did not see it himself, so any claims concerning it’s appearance are rightly considered dubious. The facts of the letter, since we was briefed, are a different matter.

The information he was given is well documented. He was told that the official on the letter was long gone from the office. He was told that production was tightly controlled, and presold, so there was no yellowcake just lying around to be handed to Saddam. If such facts are not credible, actual examination of the letter is not necessary for Wilson to report back that it was likely bunk.

He had known this information for over a year before the SOTU address.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2007 10:54 AM
Comment #207463

Jack-
And as for being inconspicuous, the whole point is that he could draw attention to himself without harm. A NOC agent has to be inconspicuous to do their job, to gain access where it would otherwise not be allowed. Wilson, under no such obligation to hide the fact that he worked for Uncle Sam, had no need to blend in.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2007 10:56 AM
Post a comment