When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

July 19, 2005

"Yellow-cake Joe" Mystery Solved (Sort Of)


There are still lots of mysteries associated with this so-called issue, including why there's an investigation without a crime in the first place, but the thing that has always stumped me was why the Bush Administration just didn't undermine "Yellow-cake Joe's" authenticity by pointing out that his report said just about the opposite of what he was claiming in his NYT Op-ed, and on CNN. Well, it turns out the Administration couldn't have taken that direct route to clarity by referring to what was in his report, because he didn't write one.

How he got away with conducting a well-endowed national security assignment, without a written "deliverable" requirement is another matter that deserves explanation, because I doubt that I'd be able to pull than one off and I don't know anyone else who could, either. If you're paid for researching a topic, you write a report documenting that research... period. But the implication of the following paragraph from Mark Levin is that the CIA apparently held Wilson to about the same standard they'd have held Agent Cody Banks:

When Wilson returned from Niger, he never got around to filing a written report. After all, why produce a written report that would be circulated to real professionals and policymakers, who would subject it to serious scrutiny. However, Wilson was debriefed by the CIA and his debriefers did take notes. According to the Senate Intelligence Committee, the debriefers’ didn’t share Wilson’s information with, among others, the White House because they concluded Wilson didn't come up with much.

So that resolves the dilemma. The White House had no idea what Wilson had found, because the CIA didn't consider it significant enough to warrant distribution. Basically they handled it with the same degree of importance they'd have reserved for a Boy Scout Merit Badge. But that didn't prevent Wilson (with the complicity of his wife, as Levin points out) from touting what he claimed he'd found (a claim not substantiated by the belated committee report) as the equivalent of the Ark of the Covenant.

Calling Wilson a "liar" isn't the half of it. He's a boy pretending to be a man. Which explains why he fits in so well with what these mostly leftist authors from Unite Against Terror have appropriately tagged the "pseudo-Left." (Hat tip: Belmont Club) Turns out the great political divide, at least as related to the "War on Terror," isn't between Right and Left after all. It's between mature and immature.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia and The Jawa Report)

Launched by Demosophist at July 19, 2005 09:06 PM | Missile Tracks
» A Goy and his Blog Retaliates with: ASS-U-ME

Retaliatiory Launches

You might be interested in the following about what Wilson privately told to his CIA debriefers and what he told the public when the story first broke.

Largely forgotten now, Wilson initially misled the public on a key question when the story first broke in the summer 2003. I think it gives an interesting insight as to Wilson’s motivation and his credibility:

Did the former Niger prime minister meet with any Iraqi officials in June 1999?

In brief:

1. Wilson says “yes” during his private CIA debrief in March, 2002.

2. Wilson fails to mention the meeting in his NYT op/ed and his first “Meet the Press” in July, 2003.

3. Wilson lies and says “no” during a “Frontline” PBS Interview in August, 2003.

4. Wilson lies and says “no” twice during his second “Meet the Press” interview in October, 2003.

5. Wilson says “yes” during his third “Meet the Press” interview in May, 2004.

6. Wilson says “yes” to SSCI committee staff --report released in July, 2004.

Details and sources below:



1. March 5, 2002 Wilson debriefed by CIA just after returning from Niger (SSCI report, p.43-44): "Mayaki said, however, that in June 1999, XXXX 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.”

2. July 6, 2003: “What I Didn’t Find In Africa” Wilson’s NY Times Op/ed: Wilson fails to mention the Iraqi/Niger meeting, in the NYT op/ed or in his first “Meet the Press” interview that same day.

3a. July 11, 2003: DCI Tenet Statement: "He [Wilson] reported back to us that one of the former Nigerien officials he met stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office. The same former official also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Iraq and Niger. The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales."

3b. August 23, 2003: Frontline Interview:

Frontline: Did you see any evidence that they, the Iraqis, had sought to purchase uranium from Niger?

Wilson: No. The only thing that was explained to me in one conversation was of course there was this Nigerien delegation who came through in 1999 that had preliminary discussions related to the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Uranium was not discussed. There was another request for a meeting on the margins of an Islamic conference meeting that was turned down. …

4. October 5, 2003 Wilson appears again on “Meet the Press” (MSNBC, transcript):
Russert: "...the White House will say Ambassador, ... that your meeting with officials in Niger, including the suggestion that in June ’99 Iraqi officials met with officials from Niger, confirmed exactly that point: that by expanding commercial relations, they could have been talking about uranium, which would confirm the president’s suggestion that they were seeking uranium from Niger.”

Wilson: “Well, there’s a couple of problems with that. First of all, the meeting never took place. An intermediary came to this official, and said, “I want you to meet with these guys. They’re interested in talking about expanding commercial relations.” The person who talked to me said, “Red flags went up immediately, I thought of U.N. Security Council sanctions, I thought of all sorts of other reasons why we didn’t want to have any meeting. I declined the meeting,” and this was out of the country, on the margins of an OIC meeting. So it was a meeting that did not take place."

5. January, 2004 Wilson Speaks Again to His Source [Mayaki] (“The Politics of Truth” p.28) and for the first time changes his public story: Source [Mayaki] tells Wilson that “Baghdad Bob” was probably the Iraqi he [Mayaki] met at the OAU meeting in 1999,.

6. May 2, 2004 Wilson Appears on “Meet the Press”(MSNBC, transcript) and contradicts his previous MTP statement:

"MR. RUSSERT: George Tenet in a statement said that a Niger official did say to you there may have been discussions about a potential business dealings and maybe that could have been a suggestion of uranium.

AMB. WILSON: That's right. And, of course, as I put in the book, there was a meeting on the margins of an OAU summit between a senior Niger official and an Iraqi official who turns out to be the former minister of information, Baghdad Bob."

7. July 7, 2004 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report released: “In an interview with Committee staff, the former ambassador [Wilson] was able to provide more information about the meeting between former Prime Minister Mayaki and the Iraqi delegation. The former ambassador said that Mayaki did meet with the Iraqi delegation but never discussed what was meant by “expanding commercial relations.” The former ambassador said that because Mayaki was wary of discussing any trade issues with a country under United Nations (UN) sanctions, he made a successful effort to steer the conversation away from a discussion of trade with the Iraqi delegation.." (SSCI report, page 44).

Posted by: Reg at July 24, 2005 09:46 PM

It seems pretty clear to me that Wilson has been trying to figure out how to save face in the wake of his arrogant - and ultimately erroneous - assumptions (that culminated in his public accusations on 7/6/03). His inconsistencies, noted above, are perfectly indicative of this.

All this seems lost to the MSM, who were crowing Wilson's "whistleblowing" very loudly until his credibility was destroyed by the SSCI report. Weird, no?

Posted by: goy at July 26, 2005 05:29 PM

Thanks for the data!!

Posted by: jtb-in-texas at July 30, 2005 12:53 AM

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