November 7, 2005
Post to the Post
I wonder if Deborah Orin reads Big Lizards? Somehow I doubt it... though it's a nice thought to contemplate. In any event, I must rise to correct one small point in her otherwise excellent New York Post column on the Joseph Wilson scam, flagged by my favorite blog, Power Line. Actually, though it's a small point in her column, easily corrected, it's a monumental, colossal point in the history of the Iraq war and aftermath.
The column lays out, with perfect clarity, the case that far from wanting to keep the lid on Joe Wilson, the CIA actually encouraged his repeated lies about his trip and what he found (and "didn't find"), even though it knew this would jeopardize the career of his CIA employed wife, Valerie Plame Wilson. In the course of the column, Ms. Orin found occasion to wonder why they would be so complicit in Wilson's attacks on the president; she concluded, with admirable straigtforwardness rare in the MSM, that the CIA was in full CYA mode by the time Wilson went public in mid-2003:
But then, all this came at a time when the CIA division where Wilson's wife worked had an intense need to cover its rear: Remember — they were the ones who (along with every other intel agency in the world) had insisted that Saddam had WMDs — but no WMDs were being found.
The irony of this could choke a horse. The reason that "no WMDs were being found" is that the Iraq Survey Group, a creature of the CIA as well as the Pentagon and the IAEA, was headed at that time by David Kay; and Kay had made a conscious decison not to count as WMD any item that had a dual civilian use. Read how carefully Kay parsed his words when he resigned in January 2004 (via Wikipedia):
I believe that the effort that has been directed to this point has been sufficiently intense that it is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed, militarized chemical weapons there.
Note that this would elegantly rule out any chemical weapon that was not "deployed" -- that is, rockets made to accept chemical payloads but which were currently empty, even if they were found twenty-five feet away from 55-gallon drums of cyclosarin-based "pesticides" in a camouflaged ammunition bunker. This is akin to cops searching a convicted felon's home and refusing to arrest because all the guns they found were unloaded, thus not "deployed" and "militarized."
So if the CIA was in the doghouse, as clearly it was, its embarassment was entirely of its own making... both for predicting (one can only presume) that we would find warehouses of carefully labeled WMD, all loaded up and ready to fire -- and then after the war, for allowing David Kay to construct a definition of WMD so crabbed and narrow that virtually nothing would qualify except the cartoonish scenario above.
That in turn causes me to wonder whether there were some in the CIA so anti-Iraq War, so anti-President-Bush, that they were willing to sacrifice even the good name of the Company itself, so painstakingly rebuilt from the nadir of the Carter era, if only that would hurt President Bush's reelection chances. If so, all we would have shown (alas) is that the liberal rot was no less advanced within the CIA than within the State Department, academe, and the mainstream media.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 7, 2005, at the time of 1:07 PM
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Tracked on November 8, 2005 11:24 AM
» Off With the Gloves! from Big Lizards
The demigods over at Power Line are just going to be ecstatic about this. John Hinderaker worried that Bush's speech a few days ago, defending himself and his administration from the destructive and absurdist "Bush lied, people died" meme was... [Read More]
Tracked on November 14, 2005 4:26 PM
The following hissed in response by: Lew Clark
A little side question, which I have always had in the back of my mind. Since Wilson was "associated" with Saddam Hussein back in the early 90's when he was Charge D'Affairs in Baghdad, did any of the Oil For Food money Saddam was spreading around among his "associates" make it into Joe Wilson's pocket?
The following hissed in response by: Dana Pico
. . . even though (the CIA)it knew this would jeopardize the career of his CIA employed wife, Valerie Plame Wilson.
Even though the CIA never changed Mrs. Wilson's official classification, they allowed her to drive to work at Langley, every day, in full public view!
See Some secret!. (Not to publicize my own website, mind you, but . . .)
The above hissed in response by: Dana Pico at November 7, 2005 7:11 PM
The following hissed in response by: RBMN
FactCheck.org: The Wilson-Plame-Novak-Rove Blame Game
Modified: July 26, 2005
April 22, 1999 - Valerie Wilson lists "Brewster-Jennings & Assoc."-later revealed to be a CIA front company-as her employer when making a donation to the Gore campaign.
Spring 2003 - Valerie Wilson is in the process of moving from non-official to official, State Department cover, according to a later Vanity Fair article based on interviews with the Wilsons . ( Vanity Fair , January 2004).
May 2003 - Joseph Wilson begins advising the Kerry campaign on foreign policy issues. ( White House expects calls... ," USA Today, October 2003).
May 6, 2003 - A New York Times columnist writes the first account of Wilson' s trip, but not naming him: "I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger . In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong." (" Missing In Action: Truth, " New York Times, Op-ed, May 2003).
June 12, 2003 - A Washington Post article quotes an "envoy" (Wilson ) as saying that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong" on the Italian document determined to be forged by the IAEA. (" CIA Did Not Share Doubt..., " Washington Post, June 2003). Wilson later tells the Senate Intelligence Committee that he may have "misspoken" to reporters, thinking he had seen the documents himself, rather than reading about them secondhand. (Senate Intelligence Cmte., Iraq 44).
July 6, 2003 - Wilson publishes " What I didn't find in Africa" in The New York Times, identifying himself for the first time as the unnamed "envoy." [...]
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