Unraveling Wilson's Plame Yarn

By

On  August 3, 2003 Joseph A. Wilson IV  refused to confirm his wife's CIA employment on the grounds it would be "a breach of national security":

CNN.com: Transcripts

CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER

Interview With Tom Ridge; Lott, Bayh Debate 9/11 Report; Interview With Joe Lieberman

Aired August 3, 2003 — 12:00 ET

[SNIP]

BLITZER: I want you to elaborate on what you said, I believe, in Time magazine, that this was a smear job against you, this entire post—mortem that's been coming up since then, including your wife, who works at the CIA exposing her, for example. What did you mean by that?

WILSON: Well, first of all, with respect to my wife, I don't answer any questions. And anything that I say with respect to that, the allegations about her are all hypothetical. I would not confirm or deny her place of employment. To do so would be, if she were, a breach of national security; and if she were not, at a minimum, what they have done is they have forced her to answer a lot of uncomfortable questions from neighbors and friends and whatnot.
_____________________

On October 5 of that same year, he added schmaltz to the flames indicating his wife was a CIA employee whose "outing" would adversely affect her career.

MSNBC: Meet the Press with Tim Russert

Transcript for October 5

Guests: Joseph Wilson, Former Acting Ambassador to Iraq & CIA Envoy to Niger; Robert Novak, Syndicated Columnist; David Broder, Washington Post; Ron Brownstein, Los Angeles Times; Dana Priest, Washington Post Moderator: Tim Russert — NBC News

[SNIP]

Russert: Is your wife's career as a CIA agent finished?

Wilson: My wife's career will certainly change as a consequence of this. But my wife is a star in her business. She is a loyal public servant. She has done her best to defend the national security of this country for close to 20 years. I have every expectation that her culture will embrace her and that she will continue to be a productive national security officer. But clearly, her responsibilities will have to change as a consequence of this.

Russert: But she will stay at the CIA?

Wilson: As of this time.

_________

Around the anniversary of the Novak article he added details about her CIA position ignoring the previous year's pledge that he would never discuss it:

On July 19, 2004, he indicated his wife had been working "undercover" until the Novak article .
 
CNN.com

PAULA ZAHN NOW

Interview With Carmen bin Laden; Interview With Barbara Walters

Aired July 19, 2004 — 20:00 ET

[SNIP]

ZAHN: No, that's actually not the question I'm asking. Are you able to tell us what she was involved in at the time that her cover was blown?

WILSON: No, of course not. Of course not. At that time, she was an undercover employee, at the time that her cover was blown by Bob Novak.

_______________

All of these claims fall, however, as it is apparent that on May 2, 2003 ( before Novak's article) his wife accompanied him to an interview with Kristof who wrote the very first piece on the Mission to Niger. WND reports: 

"In violation of CIA regulations that bar contact with reporters without permission, Joseph Wilson's agency—employed wife Valerie Plame apparently accompanied him to a breakfast meeting with New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof in which they discussed the ambassador's controversial mission to Niger one month before Plame allegedly was "outed" by Robert Novak.

In a WND column, investigative reporter Jack Cashill points to a "stunning admission" by Wilson in a January 2004 Vanity Fair magazine story that apparently has been overlooked.

"Joseph Wilson, the diplomat who had travelled to Africa to investigate the allegation more than a year earlier, revived the Niger story. He was angered by what he saw as the White House's dishonesty about Niger, and in early May he casually mentioned his mission to Niger, and his findings, during a brief talk about Iraq at a political conference in suburban Washington sponsored by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee (Wilson is a Democrat). Another speaker at the conference was the Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who got Wilson's permission to mention the Niger trip in a column." 

The Vanity Fair article continues:

"Over breakfast the next morning with Kristof and his wife, Wilson told about his trip to Niger and said Kristof could write about it, but not name him."

Cashill says if "his wife" refers not to Kristof's spouse but to Plame, "which it almost assuredly does," Wilson "has implicated Plame in a serious transgression." 

In fact,   there is an even earlier report of that May  meeting. Hersh,S "The Stovepipe",  though he makes no mention of Plame attending the meeting with Kristof.

***************************

What does it say of the press corps that it has known for at least one year (two if you count Hersh's report and determine that he knew more details of the meeting than he reported) that Plame was known to Kristof even as it allowed Wilson to repeatedly claim that her name and employment was a deep secret

What does it say of the Special Prosecution that it continued to chase the chimerical leaker instead of googling and learning what Woodward has just told him, what Vallely and Peretz and Sidey  among others  said as well:

Valerie Plame and her employment by the CIA was no secret.
 
Clarice Feldman   11 24 05

On  August 3, 2003 Joseph A. Wilson IV  refused to confirm his wife's CIA employment on the grounds it would be "a breach of national security":

CNN.com: Transcripts

CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER

Interview With Tom Ridge; Lott, Bayh Debate 9/11 Report; Interview With Joe Lieberman

Aired August 3, 2003 — 12:00 ET

[SNIP]

BLITZER: I want you to elaborate on what you said, I believe, in Time magazine, that this was a smear job against you, this entire post—mortem that's been coming up since then, including your wife, who works at the CIA exposing her, for example. What did you mean by that?

WILSON: Well, first of all, with respect to my wife, I don't answer any questions. And anything that I say with respect to that, the allegations about her are all hypothetical. I would not confirm or deny her place of employment. To do so would be, if she were, a breach of national security; and if she were not, at a minimum, what they have done is they have forced her to answer a lot of uncomfortable questions from neighbors and friends and whatnot.
_____________________

On October 5 of that same year, he added schmaltz to the flames indicating his wife was a CIA employee whose "outing" would adversely affect her career.

MSNBC: Meet the Press with Tim Russert

Transcript for October 5

Guests: Joseph Wilson, Former Acting Ambassador to Iraq & CIA Envoy to Niger; Robert Novak, Syndicated Columnist; David Broder, Washington Post; Ron Brownstein, Los Angeles Times; Dana Priest, Washington Post Moderator: Tim Russert — NBC News

[SNIP]

Russert: Is your wife's career as a CIA agent finished?

Wilson: My wife's career will certainly change as a consequence of this. But my wife is a star in her business. She is a loyal public servant. She has done her best to defend the national security of this country for close to 20 years. I have every expectation that her culture will embrace her and that she will continue to be a productive national security officer. But clearly, her responsibilities will have to change as a consequence of this.

Russert: But she will stay at the CIA?

Wilson: As of this time.

_________

Around the anniversary of the Novak article he added details about her CIA position ignoring the previous year's pledge that he would never discuss it:

On July 19, 2004, he indicated his wife had been working "undercover" until the Novak article .
 
CNN.com

PAULA ZAHN NOW

Interview With Carmen bin Laden; Interview With Barbara Walters

Aired July 19, 2004 — 20:00 ET

[SNIP]

ZAHN: No, that's actually not the question I'm asking. Are you able to tell us what she was involved in at the time that her cover was blown?

WILSON: No, of course not. Of course not. At that time, she was an undercover employee, at the time that her cover was blown by Bob Novak.

_______________

All of these claims fall, however, as it is apparent that on May 2, 2003 ( before Novak's article) his wife accompanied him to an interview with Kristof who wrote the very first piece on the Mission to Niger. WND reports: 

"In violation of CIA regulations that bar contact with reporters without permission, Joseph Wilson's agency—employed wife Valerie Plame apparently accompanied him to a breakfast meeting with New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof in which they discussed the ambassador's controversial mission to Niger one month before Plame allegedly was "outed" by Robert Novak.

In a WND column, investigative reporter Jack Cashill points to a "stunning admission" by Wilson in a January 2004 Vanity Fair magazine story that apparently has been overlooked.

"Joseph Wilson, the diplomat who had travelled to Africa to investigate the allegation more than a year earlier, revived the Niger story. He was angered by what he saw as the White House's dishonesty about Niger, and in early May he casually mentioned his mission to Niger, and his findings, during a brief talk about Iraq at a political conference in suburban Washington sponsored by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee (Wilson is a Democrat). Another speaker at the conference was the Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who got Wilson's permission to mention the Niger trip in a column." 

The Vanity Fair article continues:

"Over breakfast the next morning with Kristof and his wife, Wilson told about his trip to Niger and said Kristof could write about it, but not name him."

Cashill says if "his wife" refers not to Kristof's spouse but to Plame, "which it almost assuredly does," Wilson "has implicated Plame in a serious transgression." 

In fact,   there is an even earlier report of that May  meeting. Hersh,S "The Stovepipe",  though he makes no mention of Plame attending the meeting with Kristof.

***************************

What does it say of the press corps that it has known for at least one year (two if you count Hersh's report and determine that he knew more details of the meeting than he reported) that Plame was known to Kristof even as it allowed Wilson to repeatedly claim that her name and employment was a deep secret

What does it say of the Special Prosecution that it continued to chase the chimerical leaker instead of googling and learning what Woodward has just told him, what Vallely and Peretz and Sidey  among others  said as well:

Valerie Plame and her employment by the CIA was no secret.
 
Clarice Feldman   11 24 05