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Plame Game - The Start of the Game

AJ Strata, links to this World Net Daily article by Jack Cahill

Jack's article covers just about everything I have written on so far here on this blog and then some. I'm glad that the real story of the Plame Game is getting more exposure. AJ covered some points on the article so check them out at the link above. In this post and others to come I will parse more of Jack's article. For now I just want to add a few things:

You who read this blog know I was the first to assert that Wilson’s 2002 trip was a “pick play” to cover up his dealings on the trip he made in 1999, where he met "Bagdad Bob". Aside from the comedy of that meeting that comes to mind, I believed then, and believe now that Wilson was one of the middle men for France's illicit uranium trades to countries such as Iraq, Iran, China and other "rogue nations".

However, Jack seems to disagree with that to an extent, opting to give Wilson the "benefit of the doubt":

“As a private citizen, Wilson reports that he made three trips to Niger, a landlocked hellhole in the Sahara, culminating the fateful trip of February 2002. The only reason he cites for his first trip in 1998 was to "participate in a cultural festival," at best a half-truth It was in 1999, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee report, that Plame first recommended her husband be sent on a fact-finding trip to Niger. Wilson "was selected for the 1999 trip," reads the report, "after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future and might be willing to use his contacts in the region."

In his book, however, Wilson claims that he went at the request of a former prime minister to give a "crash course" to a new president who had just taken power after the murder of his predecessor. He makes no mention of Plame or the CIA. The story changes in the preface to the paperback version with Wilson now claiming he went to Niger in 1999 "at the request of the CIA to look into other uranium-related matters." He does not offer specifics on the mission or on Plame's involvement.

Although little is clear about this 1999 trip to Niger, the rationale for sending Wilson seems no more sinister than a fortuitous bit of nepotism. Wilson's clients had interests in that part of the world, and Wilson's traveling on behalf of the CIA had to enhance his business credentials and, ideally, the Wilson’s' income.

"What possible benefit accrued to either [Plame] or me from my pro bono time away from her and our twins?" asks Wilson rhetorically of his 2002 trip to Niger.

Good question. Either Wilson went in both 1999 and 2002 to enhance his business prospects, or he went as a selfless act of public service. The dispassionate observer would suggest, "enhance his business." To be fair, it is highly unlikely that Wilson went to Niger in 2002 with the intent of undermining the Bush administration. That seems to have been a later improvisation."

While I disagree with Cahil that Wilson’s trip was merely a way to enhance the kid’s college fund, I do agree with his point that Wilson’s “resistance” to the Bush Iraq policy seems to come after his 2002 trip. In fact, it comes about a year later.

As I pointed out here it seemed to come out just after the Moyers Interview - where he said nothing that would be remotely related to the Niger trip or yellow cake - and the DNC PAC Conference he and Valerie attended and where they had breakfast with the Kristofs.

From the Vanity Fair Article: "In early May, Wilson and Plame attended a conference sponsored by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, at which Wilson spoke about Iraq; one of the other panelists was the New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof. 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. At this point what he wanted, Wilson says, was for the government to correct the record. "I felt that on issues as important to our whole society as sending our sons and daughters to kill and die for our national security we as a society and our government have a responsibility to our people to ensure that the debate is carried out in a way that reflects the solemnity of the decision being taken," he says."

Seymour Hersh gave us a little more in his article "The Stove Pipe"

"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 because 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)."

It make you wonder what else Joe and Valerie discussed at the conference and with who? Again, how was she introduced and how many people there knew who she was.

Which begs the question: "Who else was at the conference and would have had contact with Joe and Valerie?"

As they say, "Inquiring minds..."

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