Monday, July 19, 2004

Wilson and Niger

I've never seen such a convoluted mix of smear tactics in memory as this semantical twisting of the trip to Niger by Amb. Joseph Wilson IV. In a defense of his position and statments yesterday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer Wilson systematically debunked every charge that he lied about the trip. He tells the Washington Post as much on a letter about the Susan Schmidt story conservatives use along with the context-free conclusion of the Senate Intelligence Committee report.

First of all the CIA came to his wife Valerie Plame first. Why? Becaause Wilson had connections in dealing with the ministers in Niger in the past. She told them he could be of value because her bosses asked her. Only political smearing can conclude otherwise.

Next, there was no evidence from that trip that Iraq had tried to purchase tons of uranium from Niger. The documents were forged, or fakes. Only the British MI6 contention that Iraq was mentioned as a potential buyer, by a seller in an undisclosed report casts any doubt. But the doubt remains on that so-called report. That's not evidence of Iraq seeking the seller out as I see it. Wilson is vindicated with his own testimony. The senate intelligence committee didn't agree on these two points. Senators Roberts and Hatch continue to insist on affirming a negative and that isn't a unanimus conclusion as stated by the Wilson critics.

William Safire digs deep to find his evidence and give credence to this false statement: "Two months later, with no objection from C.I.A., [empasis mine], the famous 16 words went into Bush's 2003 State of the Union."

Moreover, the CIA conlcluded that there was no solid evidence that Iraq tried to procure uranium from Niger and emplored the White House to remove the infamous 16 words from the SOU address. They didn't.


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