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Thursday, July 14, 2005

There's a lot we don't know yet about the CIA flap

This is a good article about everything that we don't know about the Plame situation. I haven't commented on this previously, because there is a lot that we don't know, and without knowing that speculation is useless. I do think that Democrats are making fools of themselves by going after Rove at this point. There is certainly not enough evidence out there yet to claim he did anything at all wrong, and even less to claim that he commited a crime. Wilson isn't really someone they want to spend too much energy defending either. I certainly will admit that Rove and the White House were interested in discrediting Wilson's point of view. Ironically of course, it wasn't their words about Plame that ended up doing that, but the Senate Intelligence Committee. It is possible that there will be new information that will show that Rove or someone else did commit a crime. If so, they should be punished. If it can be shown that someone technically avoided breaking laws, but knowingly destroyed Plame's cover they should lose their jobs. We don't know that yet, and until we do, we shouldn't rush to judgment on this.


Blogger Patrick said...

Can you elaborate where the SIC disputed Wilson's words? I plead ignorance here, as I was under the impression that his findings were ultimately the same: that Iraq never tried to purchase yellowcake. If that is incorrect, please let me know. Honest (I hope that doesn't come off snarky, I do wish to know).

I also agree we don't know a lot of things, and it does seem that everyone (including me) is jumping up and down. My only beef right now is the misleading and dishonorable tactics used by the RNC to discredit Wilson and portray him as a liar. See the comments in my blog post about this.

I can only hope that I can identify and accept similar actions used by the DNC. This one caught my attention because it is so blatently misleading and so easy to verify (since the transcript is public).

7/14/2005 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

The big thing that the SIC showed that Wilson had outright lied in was about Plame getting him the job. He said she had nothing to do with it, when in fact she initially recommended him for the position and then lobbied to get him it.

Beyond that Wilson has mischaracterized what his investigation found out. The big hot topic on this issue were a series of documents that later turned out to be forgeries that proported an Iraq/Niger uranium link: Here is a Washington Post Article about what the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded: The report also said Wilson provided misleading information to The Washington Post last June. He said then that he concluded the Niger intelligence was based on documents that had clearly been forged because "the dates were wrong and the names were wrong."

"Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the 'dates were wrong and the names were wrong' when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports," the Senate panel said. Wilson told the panel he may have been confused and may have "misspoken" to reporters. The documents -- purported sales agreements between Niger and Iraq -- were not in U.S. hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip to Niger.

At this point, there has been no good evidence made public that Iraq was actively seeking yellowcake from Niger or any other African country (although it had in the past done so.) British Intelligence stands by this assessment however, although U.S. intelligence has backed away from the claim.

It is quite simple though to realize that Wilson could not have 'proven' that such a deal was not being sought, although his investigation might have confirmed it. Basically, Wilson went to Niger and asked people he knew if Iraq had tried to buy yellowcake. While it is unlikely they would say 'Yes' if it was not true, it is certainly plausible that they would say 'No' even if it was true for various reasons. Wilson did not of course, perform wiretaps, gather massive evidence or aggressively interogate people. He merely asked people that he had contacts with. While this is useful, it cannot be conclusive.

7/15/2005 05:48:00 AM  

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