Not enough votes/revisions to go forward with yet, so here is #11 again:
11.) In a column on 1 October 2003, Novak described his sources. The first source “offhandedly” mentioned the link between Wilson and
his wife. The second source, contacted by Novak, stated, “Oh, you know about it.”
According toa NY Times report on 15 July 2005, Rove was Novak’s second source. The report describes a phone conversation between Rove and Novak, initated by Novak, that took place on 8 July 2003. According to the NY Times report, that is when Novak informed Rove of Plame’s maiden name.
A third source described by Novak on 1 October 2003 was a CIA press official. This source denied that Plame motivated Wilson’s selection but agreed that Plame assisted with the selection. The source discouraged the use of Plame’s name. However, according to Novak, the source did not indicate that
the use of Plame’s name would be dangerous.
Yes, No, and revisions, please.
1.) Valerie Plame worked for the CIA, was stationed in Washington at the time of her outing, and previously had been a covert agent.
2.) Joseph Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame and former ambassador to Iraq, was sent by the CIA to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein was interested in/trying to buy uranium (ignore precisely what he was doing in Niger for now- we can get to that later).
3.) Valerie Plame recommended her husband to CIA authorities for the job, as he had extensive contacts in Africa from his numerous years of previous service.
4.) Joseph Wilson, either on his own volition, or at the behest of the NY Times, wrote an editorial critical of the Bush administration and many claims made by the Bush administration and was quoted widely in major media outlets prior to the ‘outing’ of his wife.*
5.) After 9/11, the administration advanced the argument that it was no longer acceptable to allow Saddam Hussein to remain in power, as he had used chem/bio weapons in the past, it was believed (or at least asserted) that he had stockpiles of weapons, he seemed intent on obtaining WMD, etc. Thus, a main argument used to sell the necessity of the war in Iraq was that he should no longer be allowed to possess WMD. This was not the only argument for removing Hussein from power, but it was perceived by many as the focal argument for galvanizing support within the general American public and with the international community.
6.) On 28 January 2003, President Bush, stated the following during the annual State of the Union address:
The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.
That paragraph was one of 18 paragraphs in the part of speech in which Bush asserted that Saddam Huseein wasa threat and the veracity of the bolded words later became known as the “Sixteen Words” in an ensuing media firestorm later on in the year when no WMD were found in Iraq.
7.) Shortly after the State of the Union Address, Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, addressed the UN Security Council, presenting the administration’s case regarding Saddam Hussein.
The Security Council did not provide the authorization the United States had sought, yet Coalition forces proceeded to initiate Operation Iraqi Freedom on 20 March 2003. In the aftermath of the invasion, no WMD stockpiles were found.
This, and other developments we will discuss in other points, led to renewed focus on the intelligence used to advocate for the invasion.
8.) Joseph Wilson’s Op-ed piece appeared in the NY Times on 6 July 2003, and this led to an effort by Republican partisans, including some in the administration, to discredit Wilson personally, as well as efforts by the administration and others to refute Wilson’s charges.
*** Under Review and Scutiny ***
9.) After the Wilson op-ed appeared, there was a renewed focus on the pre-war WMD intelligence, and within the media at large, a heavy focus on the ‘sixteen words’ that appeared in the President’s State of the Union address.
A little over a week after Wilson’s NY Times op-ed, Robert Novak’s 14 July 2003 column appeared, containing the following paragraph:
Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson’s wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him. “I will not answer any question about my wife,” Wilson told me.
Wilson himself responded by publicly and appeared frequently on news shows and in other forums. He repeatedly attempted to rebut those seeking to discredit him, causing a perception that he was escalating the war of words. Contentiously, He also stated during this period that his wife had nothing to do with his selection to go to Niger.
10.) The initial Novak story was not published until 14 July 2003, it hit the AP Wire on the 11th. Also on the 11th (11:07 am), Matt Cooper of Time sent the following email to his supervisor:
Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a “big warning” not to “get too far out on Wilson.” Rove told Cooper that Wilson’s trip had not been authorized by “DCIA”–CIA Director George Tenet–or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, “it was, KR said, Wilson’s [sic] wife, who apparently works at the agency on WMD (weapons of mass destruction) issues who authorized the trip.”
Also during this time period, the following (as later described in the Washington Post on 28 September 2003), reportedly occurred:
“Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak’s column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson’s wife. `Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,’ the senior official said of the alleged leak. A source said reporters quoted a leaker as describing Wilson’s wife as `fair game.’