Plame Game - Breakfast at Kristof's

As I've said, "Dots and Connections" are important to establishing motive and intent in a crime. In this article by Jack Cahill, he explores the connection of Nicholas Kristof - who was the first to write anything of Joe Wilson's most excellent adventure.

Joe and Valerie's Vanity Fair coming out article details a meeting with Wilson, his wife, Nicolas and his wife over breakfast.

"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."

All very "Kosy" wouldn't you say? No wonder Nick doesn't want to get into specifics.

Cahill picks it up:

"Here is how Kristof would report his conversation with Wilson in that same column three days after their breakfast meeting:

"I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the CIA and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.

As is now well established, this reporting is false on several different levels. Wilson never told the CIA that the information was "unequivocally wrong" and the documents in question were not forged. Eight months after Wilson's trip, French intelligence, using an Italian journalist as a cut-out, apparently slipped a set of forged documents into the mix to discredit the case for war in Iraq. Wilson never saw these forged documents, nor even the original, legitimate documents that prompted his trip.

Although Kristof could have broken Wilson's story with five minutes of online fact checking, he has faced none of the internal criticism that drove Miller from the Times. Wilson was an open book. A bitter Al Gore partisan, he had been a public critic of the Bush administration's war plans for a year before approaching Kristof. He was not shy about expressing his opinions, and these opinions were quickly changing over time."

The simple question is why would Kristof,who in 1990 with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, earned a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for their reporting on the pro-democracy student movement and the related Tiananmen Square protests, be so sloppy UNLESS there was a NEED to get this story out? Why would Krisof piss away his credibility (or whats left of it), to promote this obvious hack?

The fly in the ointment of course was Wilson's big mouth when he burped that he knew the documents were faked because "the names were wrong and the dates were wrong".

When cornered by the Senate Intelligence Commission he lamely replied he must have "mispoke".

Again, Cahill give us a little more insight of what happened afterward as Wilson tried to cover his tracks:

"After being chastised by Pat Roberts and his Senate colleagues in the summer of 2004, Wilson turned to the most authoritative of his backers, the New York Times, and its always reliable, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Nicholas Kristof. Wilson secured an e-mail from Kristof to help firm up his account.

Kristof claims to have been "driving through red states" when he received Wilson's e-mail in Salt Lake City. This presumably accounts for the faulty punctuation that Wilson insists on capturing in Kristof's response:

..don't worry, i remember you saying that you had not seen the documents. my recollection is that we had some information about the documents at that time – e.g. the names of the people in them – but i do clearly remember you saying that you had not been shown them.

If this particular detail was so critical that Kristof could remember it "clearly" more than a year later, why did he not qualify Wilson's comments in his original op-ed piece? In fact, he did just the opposite. In writing that the Niger yellowcake information was "unequivocally wrong" and that "the documents had been forged," Kristof leaves the distinct impression that Wilson must have seen them. His use of the word "recollection" here should be something of a red flag. In providing an alibi for Wilson, he allows a legal escape clause for himself."

Believe me as the story of the Plame Game gets told there are going to be a lot of reasons for key players to secure some "escape clauses".

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