the politics of truth

Joseph Wilson’s trip to Niger has always seemed funny to me. Why would the Bush Administration send a hostile witness to ‘investigate’ claims of Iraq attempting to buy uranium in Niger? Especially if they were supposedly engaged in doctoring the evidence at the time. Joseph Wilson’s quick dismissal after a few days of sipping mint juleps without leaving his hotel is all the more reason to question the whole circumstances of his selection.

We do know that there were 1.7 tons of yellowcake in what was left of Iraq's nuclear facilities, which was just recently shipped out of Iraq by the Bush Administration. Which I read somewhere might be enough to make a single nuclear bomb if processed further. (The site was inspected once a year by the IAEA.) Conveniently no one says precisely where that yellowcake is supposed to have come from, but the French were building Saddam's previous nuclear facility, which Israel helpfully put out of commission. An act that was greeted universally with scorn for its unilaterism. Incidentally, the French control the uranium mines in Niger.

THE US has secretly removed more than 1.7 tonnes of enriched uranium and other radioactive materials from Iraq that could potentially be used to manufacture a "dirty" radiological bomb or support a nuclear weapons program. []

Wilson is on a one man crusade, and now on the Kerry Payroll, to prove the Iraq War was based on lies and on top of that... in a dastardly manner, his wife's super secret CIA cover was blown in retaliation for calling Bush a liar. (Wilson took a line in a Bush speech, daring to say Saddam tried to obtain uranium from 'Africa', as a personal affront.)

Wilson has just come out with his memoirs "The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity."

...It was to check out allegations that Iraq had attempted to purchase significant quantities of uranium from the country. It was a very important question because, after all, Iraq would have only one use for uranium, and that would be nuclear weapons programs.

...I came back and said there was nothing to this. Mine was one of three reports in the files of the US Government that said there was nothing to this, which should have been reassuring to those who sent us out...

...So, there was a real, active deception there. This is not just an accident. This was not a slip of the tongue. These were people who wanted to put something in there that was actively deceptive to the US Congress and to the American people. []

How did this partisan operative get this mission? Pages 36-83 of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report deals with this Niger uranium issue. I suggest anyone who thinks Bush lied about this issue should read the report.

Wilson's wife engineered his trip to Niger, just as Novak reported. And there is evidence that his wife shared classified intelligence with him as well. Overall Wilson lied about several things regarding this whole debacle, and it almost makes me think that the entire crusade by Wilson was engineered as well, not just a spontaneous reaction to events.

Here's a list, in no particular order, of a few of my questions and conclusions about Wilson and this 'scandal'.

  • Wilson claimed his wife had nothing to do with his being selected to go to Niger. When in fact she suggested and arranged for him to go investigate the 'crazy report'. (pg. 39)
    "Valerie had nothing to do with the matter," Wilson wrote in a memoir published this year. "She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip."

    Wilson stood by his assertion in an interview yesterday, saying Plame was not the person who made the decision to send him. Of her memo, he said: "I don't see it as a recommendation to send me."

    The report said Plame told committee staffers that she relayed the CIA's request to her husband, saying, "there's this crazy report" about a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq. The committee found Wilson had made an earlier trip to Niger in 1999 for the CIA, also at his wife's suggestion. []

  • His 'investigation' added very little to the analyst's view of covert attempts of Iraq to obtain uranium. "...did not provide substantial new information." (pg. 46, 73) Wilson claims his trip settled the issue decisively.
  • An Iraqi delegation had actually met with the Nigerian Prime Minister mentioned in the intelligence to discuss uranium sales in 1999. (pg. 43)

    ...Nigerian officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999, and that the Nigerian Prime Minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium, ...this provided some confirmation of foreign government service reporting." (pg. 46)

  • Wilson had knowledge of CIA reports he should have had no knowledge of and gave that information to the Washington Post. (pg. 45)

    The DO reports officer told Committee Staff that he did not provide the former ambassador with any information about the source or details of the original reporting as it would have required sharing classified information and, noted that there were no 'documents' circulating in the IC at the time of the former ambassador's trip. (pg. 45)

  • Wilson pointedly claimed that he wanted to see Karl Rove arrested, then had to retract it, saying lamely that he misspoke.

    "At the end of the day, it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs." []

  • The CIA made no effort to have the 'sixteen words' removed from Bush's speech, nor raise concerns about it's wording when it reviewed the speech. A report that a NSC official asked to remove the words "Niger" and "500 tons" was incorrect. (pg. 80)
  • Is Valerie Plame a super secret agent ala the TV show "Alias," or is she in fact a WMD analyst?

    Mr. Wilson proudly showed off photographs of Ms. Plame, calling her a real-life Jennifer Garner, the actress who plays a spy on "Alias" on ABC-TV and whom the C.I.A. has enlisted as a spokeswoman to appeal to recruits. []

  • The CIA assured Wilson they would keep his identity secret, but didn't require him to keep anything secret. Did it ever cross his mind that since his wife kept getting him these 'investigation' gigs with the CIA that it might eventually get connected to her once he made it into his own personal crusade against Bush's lies for war?

    ...would keep his relationship with CIA confidential, but did not ask the former ambassador to do the same and did not ask him to sign a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement. (pg. 41)

  • Wilson is now claiming to be working as an advisor to John Kerry.

    AMY GOODMAN: You're an adviser now to John Kerry?

    AMBASSADOR WILSON: What I do, is I have a senior advisory title to the campaign. I sit as a senior adviser on the Foreign Policy Advisory Committee. We advise the foreign policy people hired by the campaign. We try to bring this policy stuff and distill it down for the campaign. []

Posted by Eric Simonson at July 16, 2004 5:41 PM