Ahhh, the Plame Blame Game. It's the hot political story right now, but much of the backstory has been mysteriously missing from media articles.
Been having some fun with the lefties over at Eschaton with this post. Judging from the response, I think it made several of them have a stroke.
Amazingly, many in the "reality-based community" responded with claims Wilson wasn't lying and I was delusional for claiming he did. So I culled some stuff from the Senate Intelligence Committee report itself (h/t Powerline).
Well, this is certainly enlightening.
Based on the e-mail message, Mr. Rove's disclosures are not criminal, said Bruce S. Sanford, a Washington lawyer who helped write the law and submitted a brief on behalf of several news organizations concerning it to the appeals court hearing the case of Mr. Cooper and Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times. Ms. Miller has gone to jail rather than disclose her source.
"It is clear that Karl Rove's conversation with Matt Cooper does not fall into that category" of criminal conduct, Mr. Sanford said. "That's not 'knowing.' It doesn't even come close."There has been some dispute, moreover, about just how secret a secret agent Ms. Wilson was."She had a desk job in Langley," said Ms. Toensing, who also signed the supporting brief in the appeals court, referring to the C.I.A.'s headquarters. "When you want someone in deep cover, they don't go back and forth to Langley."
Let's just review again: Joe Wilson publicly trashes the Bush admin and lies(repeatedly, on TV and in his book) claiming his report on Niger said was not seeking uranium in Africa, and about the fact his CIA desk jockey wife recommended him for the trip. He's the toast of the Dem Party and the liberal media for several months. Karl Rove warns a journalist Wilson is lying. Later, the Senate Intel Cmte confirms Wilson lied, saying in their report on WMD intel that Wilson's wife recommended him and that Wilson's report suggested Iraq was, indeed, seeking to buy uranium in Niger. Bob Novak, not realizing Plame's identity is even supposed to be secret, blabs it in a column. Prosecutors investigate the leak, and find Karl Rove did not name Plame. Numerous journalists admit Plame's identity was pretty well-known in Washington anyway.
So, we're left with one Joe Wilson who lied about national security matters to trash the Bush admin, a Bush admin that didn't lie about Iraq seeking uranium in Niger, and a Karl Rove that didn't break the law.
Reponses ranged from "troll!" to "Nazi!" to "you suck!", but there was no factual rebuttal from the "reality-based" crowd. So, inspired by their ironic self-appellation, I decided that from this day forward, I would declare myself to be a proud member of the fact-based community.
[The CIA reports officer] said he judge that the most important fact in the Joe Wilson report was that the Nigerien officials admitted that theIraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999, and that the Nigerian PrimeMinister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium, because this provided some confirmation of foreign government service reporting.
(Page 46 of the report, page 56 of the PDF)
Hence, Joe Wilson is a liar of the first order: his research tended (in the CIA's opinion) to confirm the report, yet Wilson claimed to the Post and other news sources that his report had shot down those same reports.
Throughout the time the Niger reports were being disseminated, the[blanked out] CIA Iraq nuclear analyst said he had discussed theissue with his INR colleague [INR is the State Department's Bureauof Intelligence and Research] and was aware that INR disagreed withthe CIA's position. He said they discussed Niger's uranium production rates and whether Niger could have been diverting any yellowcake. He said that he and his INR counterpart essentially "agreed to disagree" about whether Niger could supply Uranium to Iraq. The CIA analyst said he assessed at the time that the intelligence showed both that Iraq may have been trying to procure uranium in Africa and that it was possible Niger could supply it.He said his assessment was bolstered by several other intelligence reports on Iraqi interest in uranium from other countries in Africa.
(Page 47 of the report, page 57 of the PDF file.)
The cryptic comment above is expanded upon in a footnote that same page:
([blanked out]) Several intelligence reports [blanked out] alleged Iraq wanted to purchase uranium from countries in Africa [blankedout] said Iraq had offered the Democratic Republic of the Congo[blanked out]. Two CIA intelligence reports from separate sourcesin March and April 1999 said a delegation of Iraqis, [blanked out]had arrived in Somalia in March to evaluate and discuss [blankedout] uranium from a Somali [blanked out].