July 19, 2004


The Wilson-Plame Affair (Cont'd) (Michael Getler, July 18, 2004, Washington Post)

Wilson, in his letter, refers to "the Republican-written" report. It is a bipartisan report. Wilson says "the decision to send me to Niger was not made, and could not be made, by Valerie." Neither the report, nor the story, says she made "the decision." The story says Wilson was "specifically recommended for the mission by his wife." The report says "interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife . . . suggested his name for the trip." A reports officer in her division told the committee she "offered up his name." There are other references as well to Plame's role.

Wilson takes issue with Schmidt's reporting that his report on the trip to Niger "bolstered the case" about purported uranium sales to Iraq. But the study concludes that Wilson's March 2002 report, which noted that the former prime minister of Niger said that in 1999 he was approached by a businessman insisting he meet with an Iraqi delegation (which he did not do), "lent more credibility to the original CIA reports on the uranium deal."

Marshall takes issue with The Post's reporting that "contrary to Wilson's assertions . . . the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the African intelligence that made its way into the 16 fateful words in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address." Actually, the CIA fought hard, and successfully, to keep the material about Africa, aspects of which were a matter of dispute, out of a major speech Bush gave in October 2002. But the Senate study points out that in January 2003, the CIA, which still believed Iraq was probably seeking uranium from Africa, did not tell the White House to take out those 16 words from the State of the Union address and that then-CIA Director George Tenet had not even read the speech beforehand.

No wonder he seldom rears his head anymore given how easy it is to go upside of.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 19, 2004 6:23 PM

If Wilson gets taken down by Jim Lehrer tonight as bad as he's been battered around by the Washington Post, I thinks it's time to stage a strategic retreat -- perhaps back to Gabon -- for the remainder of the election cycle.

Posted by: John at July 19, 2004 6:37 PM

According to the blogfather, Joe was a no-show.

Posted by: Sandy P at July 19, 2004 10:21 PM

I checked that out just now -- apparently he opted for an appearance on CNN in place of the "News Hour" (apparently even after Wolf's questioning on Sunday he considers it a safer harbor than those hard-boiled inquisitors over at PBS), but wouldn't answer any questions from Paula Zahn and just read from a prepared statement.

Gabon's looking better by the minute...

Posted by: John at July 19, 2004 11:19 PM

Don't let it go! Keep the reporting going until even we get sick of it. "It feels so good ... lak ah knew it would."

Posted by: genecis at July 20, 2004 9:54 AM