Monday, October 22, 2007


The Truth about Joe Wilson's trip to Niger (Plenty to choose from - Take your pick)

The Washington Post is giving Ms. Plame’s new book generally favorable treatment and in doing so uses this strange teaser:

Outed Spy Tells Inside Story
After memoir, one remaining question is whether Plame was behind husband's famed trip to Niger.
Alan Cooperman”

That’s the one remaining question? Sherman, to the way-back machine:

“Ms. Wilson told the committee that, despite what has been written and said repeatedly, she did not recommend her husband for the trip to Africa. In fact, she said, she had unhappy visions “of myself at bedtime with a couple of two-year-olds” to handle alone if her husband went overseas. (The Wilsons have young twins.)

“I did not recommend him, I did not suggest him, there was no nepotism involved,” she said. “I did not have the authority.”

Ms. Wilson said she did sound out her husband about the trip after she was asked to do so, but that her husband was picked for the trip because of his background in Africa.” Valerie Plame Wilson, Subject of C.I.A. Leak, Testifies - (3/16/2007) New York Times

But a few months later, in her book:

“She says that when the vice president's office asked the CIA about the uranium allegation, a "midlevel reports officer" suggested in a hallway conversation that the agency could send Joe Wilson to investigate. The suggestion made sense because Wilson had served as an ambassador in Africa, was the top Africa expert on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration and made a previous trip to Niger at the CIA's request in 1999. She and the midlevel officer brought the idea to their boss, who liked it and asked her to send an e-mail up the chain of command. "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," she wrote.

Now, to me, that latter account reads like a little more than just sounding out her husband because they asked her to. More bluntly, it reads like she is lying in at least one of the accounts.

It also reads like her husband is a liar (which, I think, many of us had concluded awhile ago.) Again, we go to the archives:

“Wilson's assertions -- both about what he found in Niger and what the Bush administration did with the information -- were undermined yesterday in a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report…

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.”

“Wilson has asserted that his wife was not involved in the decision to send him to Niger.
"Valerie had nothing to do with the matter," Wilson wrote in a memoir published this year. "She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip."
Plame's Input Is Cited on Niger Mission (

But obviously she did - under either of her scenarios - even if she denies initiating the suggestion.

“Thus, by her own account, Valerie Wilson neither came up with the idea nor approved it. But she did participate in the process and flogged her husband's credentials. When Joe Wilson learned about her e-mail years later, she says, he was "too upset to listen" to her explanations.” Valerie Plame, Telling the (Edited) Inside Story

C'mon Valerie, I'll listen.

And one of those version she testified about to Congress, under oath, meaning that there's a pretty good chance that she perjured herself. But frog marches aren't for selfless adminsistration critics.

I kept waiting for perky Katie to ask glamorous Val (last night) why her story varied on significant points from the bipartisan Senate Select Subcommittee on Intelligence report.

Oh right, Simon and Schuster is owned by Viacom. It wouldn't be good business to undercut the credibility of one's own authors.
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