Friday, July 15, 2005

Debunking GOP Bunk on Rove

The GOP is in full spin mode trying to misinform the general public about Joe Wilson and Karl Rove's role in outing a CIA operative.

First, to the claim that Joe Wilson claimed it was Dick Cheney who sent him. This claim is completely false. From CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER

BLITZER: Is that true?

WILSON: Well, look, it's absolutely true that neither the vice president nor Dr. Rice nor even George Tenet knew that I was traveling to Niger.

What they did, what the office of the vice president did, and, in fact, I believe now from Mr. Libby's statement, it was probably the vice president himself...

BLITZER: Scooter Libby is the chief of staff for the vice president.

WILSON: Scooter Libby.

They asked essentially that we follow up on this report -- that the agency follow up on the report. So it was a question that went to the CIA briefer from the Office of the Vice President. The CIA, at the operational level, made a determination that the best way to answer this serious question was to send somebody out there who knew something about both the uranium business and those Niger officials that were in office at the time these reported documents were executed.

This is the quote from Wilson's Op-Ed in the NYT July 6, 2003 What I Didn't Find in Africa

In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office.

No where in either statement does Wilson claim he was sent by Dick Cheney. And here is the memo from the 2004 CIA operational level memo that discusses the rationale behind sending Wilson to check out the issue. The memo confirms that not only Dick Cheney's office, but also Rice's office asked the CIA to make inquiries into the alleged 'yellowcake' purchases:

officials from the CIA's DO Counterpoliferation Division (CPD) told Committee staff that in response to questions from the Vice President's Office and the Department of State and Defense on the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal, CPD officials discussed ways to obtain additional information [next sentenced is blacked out].

The report also confirms that Joe Wilson had traveled to Niger on a prior trip on behalf of the CIA and that It was not Valerie Plame's decision to send Mr. Wilson.

Now, for the assertion that Karl Rove is not a criminal because Valerie Plame was not under cover, this was also debunked last night. David Gregory of NBC news confirmed that government officials say that Valerie Plame was indeed "operating under official cover" at the time of her outing.

And for the whole Clintonesque what is the definition of "is" thing the Republicans are trying to play with the "name" game. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act never says that you must identify the agent by name, only disclose information that would identify the agent.

It is just more GOP bunk.

No comments: