July 15, 2004


Errant former ambassador (Robert Novak, July 15, 2004, Townhall)

Because a U.S. Justice Department special prosecutor is investigating whether any crime was committed when my column first identified Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA employee, on advice of counsel I have not written on the subject since last October. However, I feel constrained to describe how the Intelligence Committee report treats the Niger-Wilson affair because it has received scant coverage except in The Washington Post, Knight-Ridder newspapers, briefly and belatedly in The New York Times and few other media outlets.

The unanimously approved report said, "interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD (CIA counterproliferation division) employee, suggested his name for the trip." That's what I reported, and what Wilson flatly denied and still does.

Plame sent out an internal CIA memo saying that "my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." A State Department analyst told the committee about an inter-agency meeting in 2002 that was "apparently convened by [Wilson's] wife who had the idea to dispatch [him] to use his contacts to sort out the Iraq-Niger uranium issue."

The unanimous Intelligence Committee found that the CIA report, based on Wilson's mission, differed considerably from the former ambassador's description to the committee of his findings. That report "did not refute the possibility that Iraq had approached Niger to purchase uranium." As far as his statement to The Washington Post about "forged documents" involved in the alleged Iraqi attempt to buy uranium, Wilson told the committee he may have "misspoken." In fact, the intelligence community agreed that "Iraq was attempting to procure uranium from Africa."

"While there was no dispute with the underlying facts," Chairman Roberts wrote separately, "my Democrat colleagues refused to allow" two conclusions in the report. The first conclusion merely said that Wilson was sent to Niger at his wife's suggestion. The second conclusion is devastating:

"Rather than speaking publicly about his actual experiences during his inquiry of the Niger issue, the former ambassador seems to have included information he learned from press accounts and from his beliefs about how the Intelligence Community would have or should have handled the information he provided."

or hot, Wilson lied, kids died! (Ann Coulter, July 15, 2004, Townhall)
Another high-profile John Kerry supporter was outed as a nutcase this week: Joseph C. Wilson IV, the Walter Mitty of conspiracy theorists. Wilson is the ne'er-do-well WASP embraced by the Democrats last year for calling Bush a liar. Wilson claimed to be shocked, appalled, alarmed when President Bush said during his 2003 State of the Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Wilson was shocked because, in 2002, he had been sent on an unpaid make-work job to Niger to "investigate" whether Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium ore from Niger. Wilson's method of investigating consisted of asking African potentates questions like: Did you commit a horrible crime, which, if so, would ruin your country's relationship with the United States? I have no independent means of corroborating this, so be honest!

On the basis of the answers he got, Wilson concluded that Saddam had not sought uranium ore from Niger. Since "Africa" means "Niger" and "British intelligence" means "Joseph Wilson," Wilson realized in horror that Bush's statement referred to Wilson's very own report! Out of love for his country and an insatiable desire to have someone notice his worthless existence, Wilson wrote an op-ed in The New York Times calling Bush a liar.

The whole story was already nutty enough to be believed by every columnist at The New York Times. But then journalist Robert Novak revealed that Clown Wilson had been sent as an unpaid intern to Niger by his wife, a chair-warmer at the CIA who apparently wanted to get him out of the house. This in turn provoked our own Walter Mitty to accuse Karl Rove of outing his wife as an undercover "spy" in retaliation for his attacks on the Bush administration. [...]

In response to Wilson's crazy behavior, he was made an adviser to the Kerry campaign.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 15, 2004 8:18 AM

The real fun part here is varoius media outlets, including Novak's own CNN, have been hoping to get Bob to open up about l'affaire de Plame for the past year, while for the past five days, all but the Washington Post and the usual scattering of media outlets on the right have been trying as hard as they can to bury the conclusions about Wilson in the report as far back in the paper as possible, or cut it to a two-sentence mention in a two-minute story about Bush and the CIA'S WMD failures.

Bob's opened up now, at least on one part of the topic. But don't expect to see reporters from the broadcast networks or the other major dailies banging down his door to discuss his comments before a wider audience.

Posted by: John at July 15, 2004 1:38 PM

I'll bet the Dark Force (as John McLaughlin used to call him) has been amused by all the ranting, though I am sure he feels disdain for the rest of the media.

The yellowcake is probably hidden away in Joe's basement. He may have picked it up at one of the poolside parties.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 15, 2004 1:54 PM