Patterico's Pontifications

1/27/2007

Rutten Gets the Facts Wrong on Lyin’ Joe Wilson — Again

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 2:48 pm

Tim Rutten:

Wilson had been sent by the CIA to the African country of Niger to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein had been trying to obtain yellow cake uranium mined there as part of his alleged nuclear weapon program. Wilson reported that nothing of the sort had occurred and went public with that fact when Bush and other members of the administration falsely alleged otherwise in making the case for war against Iraq.

Really?

That’s not what the Senate Intelligence Committee Report says:

[Wilson’s] intelligence report indicated that former Nigerien Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki was unaware of any contracts that had been signed between Niger and any rogue states for the sale of yellowcake while he was Prime Minister (1997-1999) or Foreign Minister (1996-1997). Mayaki said that if there had been any such contract during his tenure, he would have been aware of it. Mayaki said, however, that in June 1999,(REDACTED) businessman, approached him and insisted that Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss “expanding commercial relations” between Niger and Iraq. The intelligence report said that Mayaki interpreted “expanding commercial relations” to mean that the delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales. The intelligence report also said that “although the meeting took place, Mayaki let the matter drop due to the UN sanctions on Iraq.”

In other words, contrary to Rutten’s claim, Wilson’s report contained evidence that Saddam Hussein tried to obtain yellowcake uranium from Niger. As Captain Ed notes, Niger’s four exports are uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, and onions. The former Nigerien Prime Minister didn’t think Saddam’s delegation was after livestock, cowpeas, or onions.

So yes, Rutten has this absolutely wrong. But it’s not the first time.

55 Responses to “Rutten Gets the Facts Wrong on Lyin’ Joe Wilson — Again”

  1. Remember that Rutten is part of the proudly self styled “reality based community”. I should say the “alternate reality” based community. Facts, if they prove to be inconvenient are simply ignored or baldly misstated.

    Par for the course for this particular lying weasel as far as I can tell.

    Mike Myers (4d9a65)

  2. By their lies shall ye know them.

    Rutten is known.

    Bill M (afe2c3)

  3. The Administration cited Iraq’s attempts to purchase uranium from “Africa” as a casus belli in the SOTU. The White House later conceded that they had included that language in the SOTU in error.

    We invaded Iraq and it was clear that there was no nuclear weapons program, no stockpile of yellowcake uranium ore, no effort towards uranium enrichment.

    The case presented by the Administration was false. These facts are not likely to change.

    I don’t understand this wingnut obsession with trying to discredit Joe Wilson. Joe Wilson’s role in this tragic tale was a small one, but straightforward.

    If you folks spent one one-hundredth as much time debunking the Administration’s case and supporting evidence for invading Iraq to prevent Saddam from using his WMD, you might actually be on to something!

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  4. Lyin’ Joe is a lying liar. This fact is not likely to change. When newspapers portray him as an honest truth-seeker, some of us feel like maybe this inaccuracy should be corrected.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  5. And since he’s such a lying liar, the only solution is to elevate his wife to celebrity status in a way that could very well lead to her death one day.

    Instead of just discrediting him, since his info was so fucked up.

    Because she had everything to do with his insolence.

    Leviticus (c18e26)

  6. One of the most fustratating things about trying to have a dialog is that the opposition, with the help of a herd mentality MSM, believe that continually repeating lies will change the truth. One truth, Bush never claimed Iraq had Nuclear weapons. He did say, according to British Intelligence, Saddam attempted to buy yellow cake from Niger. And that was no lie! Granted, Joe Wilson’s role was a small one, but blown way out of proportion by a worshipful Left, because they wanted so much to believe HIS lies! So , because the MSM will not correct the record, and leftists continue to hold up his statements as infallable, respectable blogs such as this must continue to make an issue of it.

    James Piper (f7ff9f)

  7. And since he’s such a lying liar, the only solution is to elevate his wife to celebrity status in a way that could very well lead to her death one day.

    Oh, can the drama, Leviticus.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  8. Yeah, whenever she sees a spotlight, she runs the other way.

    Jim Treacher (15574e)

  9. I know that guys like Rutten are following a political agenda. But if I was the reporter, I would too PROFESSIONALLY embarassed to write something so blatantly false. I mean, their jobs are to report the truth, but they don’t even give that a consideration. They think their number one responsibility is to damage the president.

    Mike S (8fe747)

  10. Even the Washington Post admitted that Joe Wilson is a lying liar –

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A39834-2004Jul9.html?referrer=emailarticle

    Why is this so difficult for the L.A. Times?

    Justin Levine (40473d)

  11. Even the Washington Post admitted that Joe Wilson is a lying liar –

    Hell, even Joe Wilson in his own book admits that he didn’t disprove the allegations.

    Because of the limited nature of his mission, he couldn’t. He just went to Niger and met with a handful of ex-Nigerian officials and asked some questions.

    Hardly James Bond in action.

    SteveMG (dde7b0)

  12. Why is it so hard for the likes of Leviticus here?

    Lurking Observer (6f2626)

  13. LO,

    I agree it’s frustrating to rehash Wilson/Plame but I want to speak up for Leviticus. I don’t know where he spends all his internet time but I know he spends some of that time here. If he were completely closed-minded, he wouldn’t be here at all.

    We can only hope a few LA Times’ reporters might do the same.

    DRJ (e69ca7)

  14. And we’re just a bunch of guys, and a few girls, just sitting around shooting the bull on a lazy Saturday evening. Hardly the first Continental Congress. And I am sure that I have made a lot more stupid arguments than Leviticus here. But my heart is in the right place (figuratively speaking, literally it’s a little more to the left than most people’s according to my doctor ;).

    nk (47858f)

  15. Liberal Avenger,

    Wilson was sent to Niger to find out whether attempts had been made to acquire uranium from Niger and about a reported sale of uranium to Iraq and Wilson’s report said that it would be very difficult for the sale to have gone through. It was latter found out that documents about the sale were forged. Wilson also reported that there was what the then (1999) Prime Minister interpreted as an attempt to acquire uranium. CIA analysts believed that this was in fact such an attempt. This part of Wilson’s report was used as a second source for the 16 words in the SOTU address.

    We learned publicly in 2006 that Iraq’s nuclear program had been put into hibernation and that within a year of being awakened could have produced weapons if they had the uranium.

    It has also been documented that within the Intelligence Community there were failures of tradecraft including but not limited to the acceptance of a belief in the continuance of Saddam’s efforts with regard to WMDs and the failure to pass uncertainties along with reports to decision makers.

    Bill H (9301d6)

  16. I posted this at another website, but I’m doing so here also because I noticed that Treacher comments here:

    “I googled “Micah Wright” of phony Ranger fame just to see if the “war hero” had ginned up any more controversy in the last year or so. Jim Treacher’s website, no surprise, appears on the first page a couple of times but with the following caveat from, apparantly, Google itself: “This site may harm your computer” The underlying link talks about malware etc.
    I googled “Jim Treacher” and sure enough, same warning. Now, I’m no fan of Jim Treacher. Believe me. But how is it that I google for and visit all sorts of online game sites and funny video sites, the normal gathering or hunting area for malware bastards and have NEVER seen this warning before, but it shows up at his website link at google?
    Has anybody else ever seen this warning? Is there a logical pattern, rather than “political”? (And no, I’m not going near his website to get his email address. That’s why I posted here.)”

    Just in case he’s a victim of some political google manipulation, which I despise, I want to make sure he knows.

    Sorry for being off topic.

    mikem (7a85b2)

  17. Being off topic has never stopped anyone from commenting here, mikem. Jim Treacher’s site did almost harm my computer when Patterico linked a hilarious parody by Jim of the Pope’s “apology” to Muslims — I almost spewed a mouthful of coffee on my keyboard from laughing so hard.

    nk (50d578)

  18. Yeah, religion bashing is a scream.
    Hey, did you hear the latest?
    What’s the difference between a priest child molester and a rabbi child molester?…

    You can’t squeeze a thin dime in compensation from the Jews.

    mikem (7a85b2)

  19. “Why is it so hard for the likes of Leviticus here?”

    -Lurking Observer

    Whatever do you mean? I love it here.

    My point was that, whether Plame likes the spotlight or not, it was inappropriate of the Administration to leak her name as a way of getting back at her husband (the whole bit about “it could one day lead to her death” was admittedly melodramatic, but my point still stands).

    Would you agree that what they did was wrong?

    Leviticus (d68932)

  20. “They”?

    How many people is Richard Armitage?

    What he did was wrong.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  21. Now, I’m no fan of Jim Treacher. Believe me.

    Me neither. Glad Google finally wised up!

    Jim Treacher (15574e)

  22. I am a Jim Treacher fan – so what did you do to make Google mad? Whatever it was, keep it up.

    DRJ (e69ca7)

  23. What he did was wrong.

    Well, apparently (based on leaked GJ testimony and statements by reporters) both Libby and Rove confirmed Plame worked for the CIA when asked by Cooper and Novak respectively about Wilson’s wife’s job at the Agency (e.g, “I heard that too”).

    They didn’t leak her name/status, but their confirmation, if you will, was wrong.

    Not criminal but probably reckless.

    I say “probably” because my best guess is that both Libby and Rove weren’t exactly aware of what Plame’s job was at the agency. They knew she worked there and that she had suggested her husband be sent on the mission. But my sense about this is that they foolishly confirmed here job without realizing the consequences of doing so.

    Incompetence not malevolence.

    Which, if you think about, aptly summarizes the entire Bush Administration these past 6 years.

    SteveMG (b5767c)

  24. ” “They”?

    How many people is Richard Armitage?

    What he did was wrong.”

    -Patterico

    Okay.

    Do you think that Armitage let Plame’s name slip on purpose?

    If the answer to that question is “yes” (and I would assume that it is, considering that you deem the action a wrongdoing), I would ask you another: Do you think Armitage would have advanced to the position of Deputy Secretary of State if he was taken to divulging, of his own accord, information regarding CIA operatives (or any other aspect of US national security)?

    Do you think that that kind of independence is part of his job?

    Leviticus (028564)

  25. Leviticus,

    Armitage is reputed to be a gossip who likes to dish. Under Powell and Armitage, the State Department was “often at odds” with the Bush Administration. With that in mind, read this CBS article (a media source that is not known for pro-Bush stories) and let me know if you still need an answer to your question.

    DRJ (e69ca7)

  26. I am a Jim Treacher fan – so what did you do to make Google mad?

    No idea! I just put up a post about it, but of course you can’t read it because it might blow up your computer.

    Jim Treacher (15574e)

  27. DRJ,

    So what you’re telling me is that Armitage inadvertently let Plame’s name slip…twice?

    That’s what the MSNBC article says.

    Besides, my point is that I can’t see anyone rising to the position of Deputy Secretary of State if they have the tendency to accidentally publicize classified information.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  28. Well, I can’t see anyone rising to be National Security Advisor who doesn’t understand the proper handling of classified information.

    I also can’t see anyone rising to the head of the CIA who doesn’t understand the proper handling of a classified laptop.

    But, hey, things happen Leviticus, ya know?

    Now, if I were in Leviticus mode, I’d have to assume that since such people don’t do things by accident, that in fact they were treating classified information so cavalierly because of higher-level instructions. After all, the presumption underlying Leviticus’ comments is that Plame’s name was:

    1. Leaked
    2. Leaked deliberately
    3. Leaked deliberately by the WH

    One wonders whether he treats the actions of Sandy Berger (whose document destruction is now seen as much more serious by the 9-11 Commission members) and John Deutsch (sp?) as being equally indicative of higher level machinations?

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  29. “But, hey, things happen Leviticus, ya know?”

    -Lurking Observer

    So Armitage accidentally gave Plame’s name to two of the nation’s most prominent reporters on two separate occasions, at a time when, coincidentally, her husband failed to toe the party line.

    Man, I sure an dumb to think that there could be ANY political motive behind this. He’s just a fuck-up. End of story.

    And yes, of course I think Berger destroyed those documents at the behest of his superiors (although he could’ve had a personal stake in their destruction, something I doubt Armitage has in Plame’s).

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  30. What exactly was revealed? That Plame worked at the CIA, or that Plame was a covert agent who worked for the CIA?

    If someone were to ask, “How did Joe Wilson, who doesn’t even like Bush, get sent on that trip?” and Armitage said, “Well, you know his wife works at Langley,” is this deliberate leakage? A political vendetta aimed at getting her killed?
    I mean, you are aware that there are thousands of CIA employees who are not covert agents, right? Which, at the time of the incident, would include Ms. Plame, who was no longer covert?

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  31. Levi,

    Armitage is known as a gossip who likes to impress people. In Washington DC, reporters are people that government types like to impress. Can you imagine how much of a gossip you have to be to be known as a gossip in Washington DC? He must be a regular soap opera. I think he dropped her name at least twice and probably more than that. Andrea Mitchell of NBC said it was well-known in Washington DC.

    In addition, Armitage did not identify Valerie Plame as “Valerie Plame.” He identified her as “Joe Wilson’s wife” or possibly “Valerie Wilson,” although I’ve never seen the exact phrasing. He says he knew so little about her that he didn’t even know what name she used at work, let alone that she had been a covert operative.

    I like a good conspiracy theory as much as anyone but, if you want a conspiracy, you’d be better served by assuming this was a plan by Powell and Armitage to make the Bush Administration look bad. Powell, Taft, and Armitage of the State Department intentionally decided to keep silent on Armitage’s leak, and successfully did so for 2+ years. Why did the State Department refuse to tell the White House that Armitage was the source of the leak for 2+ years? With “friends” like that at State, the Bush Administration doesn’t need enemies.

    DRJ (e69ca7)

  32. BTW, I liked how Joe Wilson lying is transmogrified by Leviticus into “not toeing the line.”

    I look forward to reading Leviticus’ biography of Benedict Arnold—“A Minor Difference of Opinion.”

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  33. Lurking Observer:

    “Armitage acknowledged that he had passed along to Novak information contained in a classified State Department memo: that Wilson’s wife worked on weapons-of-mass-destruction issues at the CIA.”

    -DRJ’s MSNBC article

    One of the advantages of transferring written information is that one can be deliberate in what one says; a slip of the tongue and a slip of dozens of consecutive keystrokes are two very different things.

    Either way, do you think Armitage would have advanced to the position of Deputy Secretary of State if he had a tendency to to hand classified memorandums to prominent journalists without at least investigating the substance of said memorandums?

    DRJ:

    What makes better gossip, run-of-the-mill, kosher information or controversies/secrets?

    “Armitage had met with Novak in his State Department office on July 8, 2003—just days before Novak published his first piece identifying Plame.”

    -MSNBC article

    So, mere days after communicating with Novak on the subject of “Joe Wilson’s wife”, Armitage doesn’t so much as bat an eyelash when Novak publishes a piece discussing that very subject?

    But 2+ YEARS later he suddenly remembers his mistake and fesses up, proclaiming his guilt and emphasing the simplicity of the error?

    What I mean to say is that, if Armitage acted alone, why did he wait so long to fess up? How dumb would he have to be to fail to realize the significance of Novak’s article days after their discussion?

    Leviticus (43095b)

  34. “BTW, I liked how Joe Wilson lying is transmogrified by Leviticus into “not toeing the line.”

    I look forward to reading Leviticus’ biography of Benedict Arnold—”A Minor Difference of Opinion.” ”

    -Lurking Observer

    Yeah, Joe Wilson really sold us up the river by claiming that Iraq had no viable nuclear program. He really betrayed his country with a remark like that.

    I mean, can you imagine where we’d be if we’d actually *listened* to that crackpot? We’d probably be fighting for scraps of bread in the fallout shelter RIGHT NOW.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  35. Leviticus:

    You might want to look up exactly what Joe Wilson was talking about. Notice that he didn’t visit Iraq, and if he was going to start passing judgements on the state of the Iraqi nuclear program, then he’d be an even bigger liar than he was.

    As you wrote:

    One of the advantages of transferring written information is that one can be deliberate in what one says; a slip of the tongue and a slip of dozens of consecutive keystrokes are two very different things.

    So, one is left to wonder as to just how it is you could type something like “Joe Wilson really sold us up the river by claiming that Iraq had no viable nuclear program”.

    No mention of Niger. No mention of how his testimony before the SSCI was completely at odds with his NYT op-ed. Deliberate ignorance? Accidental lying? Hmmm.

    As for the MSNBC article, nice omission. Here’s the full quote:

    Armitage acknowledged that he had passed along to Novak information contained in a classified State Department memo: that Wilson’s wife worked on weapons-of-mass-destruction issues at the CIA. (The memo made no reference to her undercover status.)

    (Emphasis added.)

    So, we are either to believe, as Leviticus implies, that Richard Armitage handed over a copy of a classified memo, or we to believe that Richard Armitage referred to information in a classified memo.

    And the key point here, which Leviticus in a “slip” forgets to mention, is that the status of Valerie Plame was not mentioned.

    But then, per Leviticus, we should also recognize mendacity. After all, a slip of dozens of consecutive keystrokes is not the same thing as a slip of the tongue.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  36. I’d be interested in Leviticus’ explanation for why, if Armitage leaked Plame’s name knowingly and willfully, why is it Scooter Libby on trial for having two versions of how he informed somebody that Plame’s name had already been leaked?

    McGehee (5664e1)

  37. Leviticus,

    Reread the articles. By his own admission, Armitage immediately knew he was Novak’s source and told Powell and Taft, the State Dept. chief counsel, within days. Taft notified the Justice Department and that’s why Patrick Fitzgerald (the special prosecutor) always knew the original source of the leak. For 2-1/2 years, no one else knew for sure who was the leak – including the AG and the White House – unless they guessed or heard it via the Washington DC rumor-mill.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  38. “You might want to look up exactly what Joe Wilson was talking about. Notice that he didn’t visit Iraq…”

    -Lurking Observer

    No shit…

    Let me spell this out: Wilson says that Saddam Hussein never sought/received yellowcake uranium from Niger. Since nobody gives a shit about Niger in any other context than its relation to Iraq, we can probably assume that, by proxy, Wilson is passing judgement on the viability of an Iraqi nuclear program.

    “Deliberate ignorance? Accidental lying?” Lack of inference on the part of Lurking Observer? Hmmmm.

    As for the omission, why do I need to tell you something that you already know? You were the one that prompted me to look for that quote in the first place, so why do I need to point it out to you (unless you’re just pulling stuff out of your ass, which I doubt)?

    “Armitage acknowledged that he had passed along to Novak information contained in a classified State Department memo: that Wilson’s wife worked on weapons-of-mass-destruction issues at the CIA.”

    -MSNBC article

    My bad. He didn’t give Novak the memo itself, just the information on it. I bet Novak was disappointed not to have some actual State Department stationary, though.

    And, finally…

    “…the key point here, which Leviticus in a “slip” forgets to mention, is that the status of Valerie Plame was not mentioned.”

    -Lurking Observer

    Novak’s article mentions Plame as an “Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction”. Now, once again use your powers of inference: Wilson is an ambassador. Ambassadors have unprecedented access to a great deal of information.

    What possible use could the CIA have for the wife of such an individual?

    …I’m sorry I wasn’t clear the first time. Thanks for continuing this discussion.

    This whole post may sound a little pissy, but take it in stride.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  39. DRJ,

    Oops. Scratch that part of my argument. I read the date in the byline (Sept. 4, 2006) and assumed that the article was referring to current events (as in “Armitage just remembered, today in 2006, that he was the one who gave Novak the name and position of Joe Wilson’s wife in 2003″). Mistake on my part.

    Still, I think that a lot of factors point to the deliberate nature of this situation.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  40. So, Leviticus:

    If Iraq did not receive yellowcake from Niger, then it could not have a nuclear weapons program? If Joe Wilson was making that assertion, he was an idiot. If you are making that assertion, well, infer what you will.

    But is it true that, as you wrote, “Wilson says that Saddam Hussein never sought/received yellowcake uranium from Niger.”

    Uhm, no. In fact, not only do the Brits stand by their charge, but so does Wilson.

    The Intelligence Committee report also reveals that Wilson brought back something else as well — evidence that Iraq may well have wanted to buy uranium.

    Wilson reported that he had met with Niger’s former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki, who said that in June 1999 he was asked to meet with a delegation from Iraq to discuss “expanding commercial relations” between the two countries.

    Given that Niger exports yellowcake and goats, I’ll leave it to you to infer what Iraq might have been interested in. Meanwhile, “the Intelligence Committee report said that “for most analysts, Wilson’s trip to Niger ‘lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal.'”

    As for the Plame business, you suggest that Armitage knew that Plame was covert, and blew her cover. But the MSNBC article you cite notes that her status is not mentioned. Now, I suppose it’s possible that Richard Armitage knows who’s covert and who’s not throughout the CIA

    But I’d suggest it’s much more likely that all he knew about Plame was what he’d read, and that didn’t touch on whether she was covert or not.

    And I’ve no clue what you’re implying about Plame being an ambassador’s wife. Are you suggesting that ambassador’s wives are routinely covert agents? Or are you suggesting that Joe Wilson’s dispatch had nothing to do with Plame?

    Because it would seem that the SSCI concluded otherwise. “The report turns a harsh spotlight on what Wilson has said about his role in gathering prewar intelligence, most pointedly by asserting that his wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame, recommended him.” Indeed, he went not once, but twice, and in both cases, they were at her suggestion.

    Funny thing, that.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  41. “If Iraq did not receive yellowcake from Niger, then it could not have a nuclear weapons program?”

    -Lurking Observer

    As far as Wilson was concerned, Iraq never RECEIVED yellowcake uranium from Niger, and even though they technically sought it, there was no danger of their actually getting it.

    “According to Mayaki, he does meet the delegation [from Iraq] but avoids discussion of trade issues because of UN sanctions on the country. They reportedly never discuss what the businessman had meant when he said Iraq was interested in “expanding commercial relations.””

    [US Congress, 7/7/2004]

    I’ll infer that this meeting wasn’t too productive for the Iraqi delegation…what do you infer?

    “…the MSNBC article you cite notes that her status is not mentioned”

    -Lurking Observer

    What’s the first impression you get when Novak refers to Plame as an “Agency operative”? I can’t speak for everyone here, but when I hear that I’m not thinking that Plame does data entry for a living…

    “…I’d suggest it’s much more likely that all [Armitage] knew about Plame was what he’d read”

    -Lurking Observer

    “What he’d read” where? People Magazine?

    “…I’ve no clue what you’re implying about Plame being an ambassador’s wife. Are you suggesting that ambassador’s wives are routinely covert agents?”

    -Lurking Observer

    I’m suggesting that being the wife of an ambassador is the ideal cover (I hate the word, but it gets the meaning across) for a CIA “operative”.

    I wasn’t implying that Wilson’s dispatch had nothing to do with Plame.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  42. Leviticus,

    You are so far off the issue its become comical. “As far as Wilson was concerned, Iraq never RECEIVED yellowcake uranium from Niger, and even though they technically sought it, there was no danger of their actually getting it.”

    Come on, follow that train of thought. Look, the whole flipping point of Wilson’s arguement was that Iraq posed no threat to the United States. In Wilson’s eyes Iraq wanted nothing more than peace and was perfectly happy with the sanctions that it had.

    The point that you are way over-looking is that the Bush admin was out there saying that Iraq was activley trying to get its sanctions removed, there were programs such as oil for food, ect…

    And for Wilson to come out and say, Oh, don’t worry, Iraq didn’t try to get uranium…

    In other words, Iraq tried to purchase uranium from Niger, thus proving the point that Iraq wanted to further its WMD program.

    Oh, and didn’t Iraq actually purchase uranium from Niger in the 80s???
    So… “As far as Wilson was concerned, Iraq never RECEIVED yellowcake uranium from Niger, and even though they technically sought it, there was no danger of their actually getting it.”

    Except that they got it before.

    G (722480)

  43. “I’m suggesting that being the wife of an ambassador is the ideal cover (I hate the word, but it gets the meaning across) for a CIA “operative”.”

    Too much Hollywood there, not to mention a total lack of Plame being an undercover operative while they were married.

    G (722480)

  44. Leviticus:

    Okay, let’s review. Joe Wilson was not being asked about Iraq’s nuclear weapons capability.

    That wasn’t what he went to Niger about.

    It was about whether Iraq had been seeking (not obtaining, but seeking) yellowcake from there. Which he found they were. And so reported.

    Then wrote differently about publicly. (Some call that lying.)

    As for Novak’s use of the term “operative,” even he has said that his use of the term was his own, and not based upon what came from Armitage.

    And in DC, among those who work the field (as Armitage and company do), the term operative does not automatically equate with “agent.”

    As for Armitage and Plame, are you suggesting that Armitage has a nice little dossier of covert agents available to him? Maybe “This Month’s Top Covert Officers”? Why would you think that? In case you don’t remember, Armitage was at the State Department, not at CIA.

    The wife of an ambassador is a good cover?! Gee, how come more agencies don’t do that, then?

    Take a look at who is usually chief-of-station. It seems odd that they’re usually second agricultural attaches and the like. Wonder why that is, rather than the wife of the ambassador?

    Could it be b/c you’d want someone who would be less noticed by the home country’s surveillance teams? Maybe someone who wouldn’t be busy overseeing the actual activities of diplomats, so they’d have time to run networks and do case files? Perhaps even someone who could easily slip away unnoticed? Nahh. B/c, after all, she’d be, like, the ambassador’s wife, man!

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  45. “In other words, Iraq tried to purchase uranium from Niger, thus proving the point that Iraq wanted to further its WMD program.”

    -G

    …And Ibrahim Mayaki stiff-armed them, thus proving the point that there was no way they were going to further said program through Niger.

    “Oh, and didn’t Iraq actually purchase uranium from Niger in the 80s???

    So… “As far as Wilson was concerned, Iraq never RECEIVED yellowcake uranium from Niger, and even though they technically sought it, there was no danger of their actually getting it.”

    Except that they got it before.”

    -G

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe that Iraq was under UN sanction in the 80’s. As I recall, they were fighting a war with Iran, with the US as a de facto ally.

    The situation was *slightly* different.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  46. “…in DC, among those who work the field (as Armitage and company do), the term operative does not automatically equate with “agent.””

    -Lurking Observer

    So Armitage “works the field” but isn’t savvy enought to avoid handing classified information to a prominent journalist? Makes sense to me!

    Which is beside the point, since Armitage didn’t use the term “operative”, anyway; Novak did. Novak the Layman.

    So, from a layman’s point of view, what comes to mind when you hear the word “operative”?

    What do you think of the article I linked, by the way? Did you check that out?

    Leviticus (43095b)

  47. “Correct me if I’m wrong…”

    Well, see I was. You were out there saying Niger never sold uranium to Iraq…. Yes, the situation was vastly different, though not all that different to elude that the U.S. would allow a country at war to build nuclear weapons…

    Furthermore, Mayaki stiff-armed them? That pretty much means only one thing… The Nigerian Prime Minister said “no.” Not like its going to stop Iraq from trying again, when there is a new prime minister, bribing another government official, or you know: look for uraium elsewhere….

    So for you to say say “thus proving the point that there was no way they were going to further said program through Niger.” makes you look completly brainwashed.

    G (722480)

  48. Novak a layman?

    Anyway, anybody ever see mention of a CIA operative as simply an employee?

    G (722480)

  49. Leviticus:

    Don’t you get tired moving those goal posts?

    Armitage is a gossip. Stuff that moves around in DC includes overtly classified stuff, stuff that’s sensitive, stuff that’s classified but also publicly known. (There’s a reason why people call the magazine “Aviation Leak.”)

    Armitage mentions information contained in a classified brief. Is every word in a classified brief classified? Oh no, I’ve used the word “the”! I’m sure that that’s been in a classified brief at some point!

    The fact that Plame’s status was not mentioned in the said document means that Armitage might have known or might not have known about her status, but nothing in that document would have indicated she was covert.

    And Novak, writing the article, uses the term “operative.” Which, even using your assumption that “operative”=agent, is in fact inaccurate, since she was not covert at the time.

    But then, ambassador’s wife=agent=Jane Bond, so what the heck.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  50. In CIA lingo, those who actually employed at the CIA, such as Plame, would be an officer, those who work for the (case) officer, the non-CIA people, are agents.

    Now the OSS did use the word operative for those the CIA calls officer.

    Bill H (8fc3bf)

  51. Armitage is a gossip, and Novak is a conservative journalist, and the Bush Administration is having trouble with Wilson, and it’s all a coincidence.

    Cased closed.

    Believe whatever you want.

    Leviticus (28c92c)

  52. “Believe whatever you want.”

    You obviously do.

    G (722480)

  53. The government of Niger is not even in charge of the yellowcake operation, which is run independently by a highly regulated international consortium. Any sales go through them.

    Novak used the term “operative” in the past referring to agents not analysts. He knows the meaning of the term.

    There was an organized effort to out Valerie Plame who was at that time still considered to be under cover.

    AF (400cbc)

  54. Rep. Pete Hoekstra: “I am angered by the fact that Congress was not properly notified of almost 4,600 NSL requests. I fear that Justice’s failure to keep appropriate oversight authorities informed is part of a larger, ongoing pattern of notification failures by executive branch agencies. I was forced to send a letter last year on behalf of the Intelligence Committee because of such failures, and I am dismayed that the problem persists. Because of these repeated failures, I have asked Chairman Reyes to convene a Committee hearing on the ‘Accountability of the Administration to Congress under the Law,’ with Attorney General Gonzalez among the witnesses. I am hopeful we can convene a hearing soon given the urgent nature of this matter.”

    AF (400cbc)


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