I am going to let the left continue with their tizzy over the Plame affair, but before I make any more statements about this issue, I want a few questions answered. They are as follows:
1.) Who was the administration official that Novak was interviewing in July when he found out this material?
2.) There are reports of two officials shopping this info to six reporters, one of whom was Andrea Mitchell. Were they shopping this information BEFORE or AFTER the Novak column that ‘outed’ Plame?
3.) What was the exact role of Plame with the CIA?
4.) When Novak called the CIA, and they did not try ‘hard enough’ to get him to not print her name, were they not trying hard enough because she really is a nobody at the CIA, or because they were afraid thast if they tried hard enough it would blow the ‘super-deep’ cover the left would like us all to believe she had (you would think this woman was Jane Bond with all the leftwing hyperventilating- I will make my judgement when we know more than vague assertions in hastily written newscolumns).
5.) Is there anyone who thinks that if the CIA had told Novak that she was a real deep cover agent, he would have printed her name anyway?
6.) Why is Joseph Wilson repeating lies about Karl Rove with no evidence, and why is the press not calling him on it?
7.) Why was Joseph Wilson sent in the first place? Why is his clear political agenda not being questioned?
8.) Why does the left seem to think that Bush needs to get involved in this- my guess is so that anything he says can be scrutinized and distorted so later on they can treat it as a lie or as evidence of a cover-up.
9.) If these two officials were shopping the name to the six reporters AFTER the Novak column, under the impression Plame was not a deep cover operative (thanks, CIA), did they break any laws.
10.) When all the evidence is out, and it turns out that the President had little to do with this (assuming there was wrongdoing) and fires the individuals involved and has Justice proceed with criminal prosecution, will Kevin Drum, Dan Drezner, and all the others who have jumped on this like white on rice devote 1/10th the column inches they have spent to date clearing Bush’s name?
Like I stated a few days ago- if someone within the White House, and I don’t care how senior, intentionally leaked information that would endanger the lives of undercover agents, it was not only illegal, unthinkable, and evil, it was treasonous in my eyes. Put em in a cell next to Aldrich Ames for all I care. What does bother me is the glee with which some seem to think this is going to ‘bring down the President.’ If Bush is involved, I say fuck him. But right now, what I see and what I have read is a lot of garbage, speculation, and hyperventilating (and that is just from the press- let alone the left wing bloggers). When some of the questions I have asked above are answered, then I will weigh in on this issue again.
” Why was Joseph Wilson sent in the first place?”
Extensive experience in the Niger region, national security-related positions during the Clinton administration, distinguished service under the first President Bush, experience in Iraq as well.
You might not like his views, but you can’t seriously contend that he wasn’t qualified.
Bush is being dragged into this because this is his administration, which apparently does not operate in this way.
The fact is he is strangely incurious as to open betrayal occurring under his own roof. Why did he not “get to the bottom of this” back in July?
Why didn’t he ask any of his staff–come forward, confess, tell me what you did and why?
Why didn’t he go to the CIA and ask–who is this Plame woman? Is she really a NOC?
Because, you know, if she’s not under non-official cover, there’s no story here. Nothing was divulged, no national security secrets breached.
Wouldn’t you want to know that as you wage a war on terror and track WMDs? Which, by the way, is the kind of work Plame did?
Why would you be so incurious about these things… unless… unless…
The Mighty Reason Man
Would it be fair to summarize your post as “I don’t know many important details about the Plame affair, but I’m sure that the liberals are wrong and will owe George Bush an apology”?
Why yes, yes it would.
Much Ado about Nothing… again…
Press bias revealed… again…
Wilson hate-Bush-mongering fabricator revealed… again…
Mr. Yellowcake Wilson grandstands and says he won’t be satisfied until Karl Rove leaves the White house in chains, then is forced to backtrack because he has no evidence of wrongdoing… both of which are ignored by the media.
Novak tells us it’s Wilson himself that let everybody know his CIA-clerk of a wife, a woman with no exposure to danger beyond spilling her coffee, is CIA… so what.
Yet the press speculates, screams and posts every (D) hatemonger with an agenda’s ignorant hate-Bush-mongering spew…
Not that Wilson has an agenda… he’s just been hate-Bush-mongering for a couple of years…
Not that Wilson has a track record for false hate-Bush-mongering statements… that the press will report that is…
Not that the (D)’s quoted have an agenda… they’ve just been hate-Bush-mongering for years…
All wrapped up in a nice little package demonstrating what? That an ex-ambassador’s wife is a CIA-clerk?
She’s not an ‘at risk operative’ even if somebody besides Wilson said anything.
Congrats, MRM, for the most condescending post of the day. Every question I have asked is one that has at least five possible variations that has been pushed in the press in the last few days, and all I want are some answers. I think my position is pretty clear- this needs to be investigated, but I am not going to write off the whole administration on the hysterical pronunciations of Kevin Drum, Dan Drezner, and Josh Marshall.
What part of this was hard for you to understand:
” If Bush is involved, I say fuck him. But right now, what I see and what I have read is a lot of garbage, speculation, and hyperventilating (and that is just from the press- let alone the left wing bloggers). When some of the questions I have asked above are answered, then I will weigh in on this issue again.”
Quit being a partisan asshat.
Jon H.- That is not what I meant. What I meant was, why is the CIA sending ambassadors to do things of this nature- do we have no other asstes on the ground?
Your question (7) is a key one that is being ignored. We’ve gotten confused information as to who selected Wilson. I’m suspicious that his selection and the subsequent controversy are symptoms of someone in CIA ( maybe the Wilsons themselves ) playing political games themselves. If so, Plame may not be a victim here.
Your question (9) is also key to whether or not there is a prosecutable crime here.
Thumper is asking silly questions at this point. In Iran-Contra, we learned that if the White House attempts to investigate, it gets called a coverup.
The Mighty Reason Man
“Every question I have asked is one that has at least five possible variations that has been pushed in the press in the last few days, and all I want are some answers.”
Allowing for a wee bit of hyperbolic exageration about the number of variations, this is true, and perfectly valid.
“I think my position is pretty clear”
Indeed it is – it is “let’s wait and see,” which is a perfectly valid position to have.
I was merely pointing out (and lightly mocking you for) the fact that included in your “wait and see” is a rather heavy backhand to Drum, Drezner, etc. Hence, your position shades towards “Let’s wait and see why the Bush critics are wrong.”
In other words, you take Bush critics to task for jumping the gun and judging Bush and his advisors to be guilty before all the facts are in, yet you emphatically do not take to task those who are jumping the gun and judging Bush and his advisors to be innocent before all the facts are in.
I’m sure you can understand, then, why I have my doubts about your admirable impartiality and dedication to the facts and only the facts.
“Quit being a partisan asshat.”
I could, with equal validity, tell you to “stop disagreeing with me, asshole,” but you would dismiss that as mindless name calling.
And you would be correct.
I agree that all of these need to be answered except for #10. I think it assumes a bit much to taken seriously. Perhaps if it began with IF instead of WHEN, I could do that.
But even if it did start with WHEN, I’m not sure Bush needs an apology. Assuming the worst through the not-so-bad, it still all happened under his nose and he doesn’t seem too interested in clearing the reputation of his administration.
Of course if this is all benign, then things are different.
TMRM- Sorry for the earlier name calling, I just get tired of being jumped for things I haven’t said (see Thumper and your last salvos).
If anyone is proclaiming Bush et. al. are innocent, without knowing what is going on, they are just as stupid as everyone claiming he is guilty.
If someone ruined the cover of a CIA deep operative, I want to know. And now. But I don;t want this to devolve intow what it already appears to be bceoming- another ‘gotcha’ enterprise by the democrats and a simultaneously nauseating soliloquy by the press about how important they are in the big scheme of things. I give it a week before the press is holding roundtables on Sunday asking themselves if they ‘approached the Plame case the right way.’
John Cole writes: “What I meant was, why is the CIA sending ambassadors to do things of this nature- do we have no other asstes on the ground”
Well, firstly, he’s an ex-ambassador. He hasn’t been in the diplomatic service since 1998. He’s basically a highly qualified guy who apparently does consulting in his area of expertise.
Second, a 4-star general was also sent to investigate it, in a separate trip. That also isn’t what I’d consider a typical candidate; what did he know about Africa? Probably less than Wilson.
Thirdly, it’s not like the CIA doesn’t work with ambassadors. I’d expect the CIA has done a lot of work with Wilson in his own right, never mind his wife. When Wilson was Ambassador to Iraq just before the first Gulf War, he was almost certainly working with the CIA on quite a few projects.
They could have sent a CIA staffer to Niger, but why bother when a former Ambassador would probably do just as well if not better. Sending a CIA officer to do the investigation would be like announcing the person was a CIA officer.
The Mighty Reason Man
Not to promote my own site, but I really would like input on this possibility since no one seems to bring it up:
QUOTE:I have no personal knowledge of the situation, but there is another possibility
Say, John, can you spare the Mighty Reason man to take a shot at the errors of DANEgerus? For example, far from being a Bush-hater, Wilson appears to have contributed to his 2000 campaign [reported by TAPPED]. (More recently, he gave to Kerry.) Also, his wife appears to have been much more than a CIA clerk (a little misogynist bias here, DANE?). It’s her longtime foreign contacts who are presumably endangered more than she is. This defense won’t fly.
I agree with you that many of the questions you posted are still open. I don’t have any better answer for 1-5 than you do.
6. Because Rove is one of Novak’s favorite sources (often for attribution). Because Esquire reported that Rove was fired from GHWB’s 1992 campaign for leaking to Novak. Because Rove is generally thought of as the hatchet-man, and in this case the motive seems to be much more spiteful (or a warning to others) than anything else. (Here’s a quote from Rove, as reportted in the link above: “We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!”
7. For the reasons in the first comment in this thread. I’m not aware of any “political” agenda prior to the White House’s refusal to abandon the pretty Yellowcake story in the face of the intel community’s (correct) assessment that it was garbage. Who, exactly, has a political agenda and who is calling ’em like they see ’em?
8. For the last several weeks, there is extant a column by a conservative columnist which, if true, is prima facie evidence that a WH employee feloniously violated the law protecting covert agents’ names. Now, that isn’t incontrovertable proof; maybe Novak got the name “Plame” from someone else and lied. But it certainly suggested that one of the President’s closest advisers had committed an act that GWHB described as treason. It is, I would say, somewhat curious that the WH took no action to verify that the column was true or false on its own, and to punish any malfeasance. But then, heads seldom roll at Bush’s WH for malfeasance, not for underestimating the time and expense of the Iraq War, not for failing to piece together pre 9/11 intel on Al Qaeda, not for crediting vast quantities of amateur intel on WMD that proved to be junk. I can think, offhand, of only two persons who have been sacked by the WH for cause: the doofus in charge of the INS when it approved visa extension for dead hijackers, and Larry Lindsey for his 100% correct assessment of the costs of the Iraq War (4x the official story).
10. As you, yourself, say, we should wait and see if the premise is true. Side bets?
10.) When all the evidence is out, and it turns out that the President had little to do with this (assuming there was wrongdoing) and fires the individuals involved and has Justice proceed with criminal prosecution,
I really honestly do wish, deep in my heart of hearts, that I lived in your world.
It’s been established that Mitchell was contacted about the story after the Novak column came out…
Andrew writes: “For the reasons in the first comment in this thread. I’m not aware of any “political” agenda prior to the White House’s refusal to abandon the pretty Yellowcake story in the face of the intel community’s (correct) assessment that it was garbage. Who, exactly, has a political agenda and who is calling ’em like they see ’em?”
Uh, it would be you Andew who has a political agenda and it would not be you who is “calling ’em like they see ’em”.
The yellowcake “story” has not been established as “garbage”. That’s your misrepresentation.
That brings up an interesting point; when a couple of White House staffers start their Federal trials (leading inevitably to either Presidential pardons or prison sentences), will the Right finally give up on the absurd British position that they have “secret evidence” that the yellowcake story is true?
Huh? British intelligence does not live or die on whether or not anyone goes to a trial over this.
Let’s see, Robin. Our intel services don’t believe the Yellowcake story. Ambassador Wilson reported positively that it’s false. The Niger diplomat who concocted the forgeries on which it is based is identified. We are now in control of Iraq and have captured many of their documents and scientists, and we have no evidence from those sources of any Iraqi nuclear developments, including trying to obtain uranium from Niger. Colin Powell fought for its exclusion, especially from his own speech, because he didn’t believe it.
At what point does the claim become garbage? Only when it violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics? There is absolutely not one shred of positive evidence for it, other than the unfortunate refusal of the British agencies to face up to the refutation of their forged sources.
I could probably adduce more reasons to believe in an International Judeo-Bolshevik Conspiracy (or even the Flat Earth) than you can for the Yellowcake fable.
The Brit sources were not “forged,” in fact as Bob Somerby has established, they were more likely about the Congo than Niger.
Let me know when Tony Blair still says that what Bush said was not correct.
Until then, it’s another (of many) clump of mud thrown up against the proverbial brick wall.
“In other words, you take Bush critics to task for jumping the gun and judging Bush and his advisors to be guilty before all the facts are in, yet you emphatically do not take to task those who are jumping the gun and judging Bush and his advisors to be innocent before all the facts are in.”
MRM this is what we call in the United States “innocent until proven guilty.” It’s actually the main tenet of our judicial syastem. Works pretty well too. You guys should give it a try over there in the paralell universe.
Innocent untill proven guilty applies only to the court of legal opinion, not the court of fact.
Someone outed a covert CIA operative. The president is stonewalling. RULE OF LAW!
and all our searching in Iraq shows no sign of Congolese uranium either…
Harry, “innocent until proven guilty” is a statement about the standards of proof in a criminal trial. It doesn’t apply everywhere, everytime. (If it did, why would we be allowed to require bail?)
At what point did you think President Clinton was guilty?
“You guys should give it a try over there in the paralell universe.”
Or you could come over to this one – and, if you do, could you make sure that you give Kimmitt a lift? He doesn’t sound very happy in his own universe (apparently, over there the Bush Administration is proto-fascist, the poor fellow), and I think that we’ve got enough space to absorb a load or two of interdimensional refugees.
most of these questions have already been answered
this is just more of the right wing circle Jerk
Instead of doing a “drive-by” with smart-aleck comments, perhaps you can enlighten us, “betty.”
I’ll make sure that you are sitting next to me in said circle, Betty. Bring a towel!
If If If If If…
If Wilson wasn’t a documented fabricator, If Wilson’s wife was a covert operative, If Wilson wasn’t a documented pathological Bush-hater… If If If If If If
But it’s anti-(R) so the press says ‘run with it!’
The circle of Jerks you refer to are running for the (D) ticket.
So, when Wilson donated a thousand dollars to George W. Bush in 2000, was that part of the pathological Bush-hatred, or are you just trying to smear Wilson in an attempt to distract from you and your favored Administration’s mind-boggling unconcern with this nation’s security?
Kimmitt- I really don’t care who he donated money to- his viewpoints, to me, are a non-issue relating to the charges. However, when he is running around making statements such as this:
“Neo-conservatives and religious conservatives have hijacked this administration, and I consider myself on a personal mission to destroy both.”
It certainly makes him appear less than credible.
Who in the administration is a rehabilitated liberal?
Not noted for accuracy, this Wilson.
As you say, his credibility is utterly irrelevant at this point, as the CIA has obviously taken independent action and therefore has its own institutional opinions.
” ‘Neo-conservatives and religious conservatives have hijacked this administration, and I consider myself on a personal mission to destroy both.’
It certainly makes him appear less than credible”
Did he say that before or after Novak’s column about his wife?
As Kimmitt noted, his credibility is not the issue here. As long as Wilson’s testimony is not used, that is. His political leanings are also beside the point.
On Wilson’s contributions: if you actually check the source, you’l;l find that Wilson contributed about $1000 to Bush, and in excess of $4000 to Gore and Hilary.
This is actually a common pattern: it’s characteristic of a lobbyist. They need to money as an in, but they give the most money to the side they’re more in with.
Is there any evidence that Wilson worked as a lobbyist in the legal or generally accepted use of the word? Or is just that you can make some colorable argument that he acts like a lobbyist, not a respected occupation, so he must be one.
Every claim GWB made for the Iraq War failed to materialize. Does this make him a used car salesman?
Damn is the hyperbole going out of control here. You mean the mass graves failed to materialize? Saddam defying the UN again and again failed to materialize? Links please…
HH, we’ve never used mass graves of internal opponents (Congo, Liberia) and defiance of UN resos (Israel, anyone?) as an excuse for war.
Let me recast it (again) in the language of war _supporter_ Thomas Friedman. The Administration sold the war as a war of necessity that would be short and inexpensive ($50B total was Wolfowitz’s estimate, with drawdown to 40,000 troops by this fall). ALL of the “evidence” that made the war one of necessity turns out to be mistaken in retrospect, and most of it should have been known to be false, and in my view WAS known to be false, at the time of proffer. This is a war of choice, as Friedman puts it, that will be long and expensive. (Who knew the Administration was secretly pro-choice!)
I agree; Wilson’s record is much like that of a left-leaning, pragmatic lobbyist.
And therefore nothing like what DANEgerous describes.