Tinker, tailor, soldier, diplomat

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Now that Patrick Fitzgerald has empaneled another grand jury   to continue his investigation into the Valerie Plame affair here is a question he should consider: how did Joe Wilson establish his bona fides with reporters he talked to in May 2003? 

Most people who were told 'I just got back from a secret mission for the CIA' would call for the men in the white coats rather than reach for their notebook.  Perhaps reporters are more trusting than the rest of us.  Even if Wilson were known as an ex—diplomat, that would not qualify him as a secret agent of the CIA. This would be particularly true if Wilson's interlocutor were familiar with what seems a tendency toward tall tales on Wilson's part.

So just how did Wilson establish his credentials with his interlocutors, such as Nicholas Kristof?  One assumes that a reporter would have wanted something he could confirm independently.  We know that there was no paperwork from Wilson's mission, astounding enough in and of itself.  However, all parties agree that he did not write a report, so that could not have been the collateral. 

Wouldn't the dialogue have been something like 'Joe, this is a great story, but I need something I can confirm?'  Was there someone at the CIA who confirmed to the New York Times that Wilson did perform a confidential mission for the CIA?  If so, who was that person? Is it possible that Wilson established his bona fides through his wife, who was an employee of the CIA, indeed, an employee in WMDs, the exact topic under consideration in the Wilson mission.

How exactly did Wilson's story go public in May 2003?

Somewhere George Smiley is smiling to himself.

Now that Patrick Fitzgerald has empaneled another grand jury   to continue his investigation into the Valerie Plame affair here is a question he should consider: how did Joe Wilson establish his bona fides with reporters he talked to in May 2003? 

Most people who were told 'I just got back from a secret mission for the CIA' would call for the men in the white coats rather than reach for their notebook.  Perhaps reporters are more trusting than the rest of us.  Even if Wilson were known as an ex—diplomat, that would not qualify him as a secret agent of the CIA. This would be particularly true if Wilson's interlocutor were familiar with what seems a tendency toward tall tales on Wilson's part.

So just how did Wilson establish his credentials with his interlocutors, such as Nicholas Kristof?  One assumes that a reporter would have wanted something he could confirm independently.  We know that there was no paperwork from Wilson's mission, astounding enough in and of itself.  However, all parties agree that he did not write a report, so that could not have been the collateral. 

Wouldn't the dialogue have been something like 'Joe, this is a great story, but I need something I can confirm?'  Was there someone at the CIA who confirmed to the New York Times that Wilson did perform a confidential mission for the CIA?  If so, who was that person? Is it possible that Wilson established his bona fides through his wife, who was an employee of the CIA, indeed, an employee in WMDs, the exact topic under consideration in the Wilson mission.

How exactly did Wilson's story go public in May 2003?

Somewhere George Smiley is smiling to himself.