May 02, 2006

Plame Game Update

Today it was reported that Valerie Plame Wilson was not only an undercover CIA operative specializing in weapons of mass destruction, but an undercover CIA operative specializing in WMD in Iran. Thus, the blowing of her cover by White House officials, including Karl Rove and Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, in order to discredit her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, when Wilson reported that the Bush Administration's claims about Saddam Hussein seeking uranium from Niger were false, which resulted in Plame's resignation from the CIA, has hurt U.S. intelligence efforts regarding Iran's nuclear program. We all know that this is hardly a good time for that to happen.

At best, this is a case of gross negligence by Bush Administration officials, who were obsessed with winning a political argument and selling a war in Iraq by cherry-picking intelligence, ignoring reports that ran counter to their arguments, and attacking officials who disagreed with their message without regard to the consequences. The irony is that these officials sacrificed intelligence necessary to confront a real danger in Iran in order to sell a fake war against Iraq. At worst, one needs to ask whether the Administration officials checked, and thus knew, that Valerie Wilson was a WMD specialist in Iran, and that disclosing her identity would cause her to have to leve her post, resulting in a setback regarding our WMD knowledge about Iran. Remember that, when it came to Iraq, the lack of better knowledge of WMD made it easier for Bush to invade.


At 2:46 PM, Blogger Matt said...

It gets even better (worse). Most people assume that the Niger yellow cake uranium story that Joe Wilson debunked was a simple case of bad intelligence that, once corrected, was cherypicked by Cheney and others to ignore the evidence indicating that it was incorrect. However, this article by Craig Unger in the current issue of Vanity Fair ( claims that the Niger yellow cake story was planted by the U.S. Government, with the cooperation of the British Government, in the first place.
If this claim is true, it's no wonder that Cheney, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and possibly George Bush went to such extraordinary and illegal lengths to discredit Joe Wilson when he returned from Niger with the truth.


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