Posted by Curt on 7 February, 2007 at 9:20 am. 1 comment.

Now isn’t this interesting:

The accepted version of events is that Vice President Dick Cheney got things started when he asked for information about possible Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium in Africa. After that request, CIA employee Valerie Plame Wilson suggested sending her husband to look into the question, and after that, the CIA flew Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate. But the new documents suggest that Mrs. Wilson suggested her husband for the trip before the vice president made his request. In other words, Joseph Wilson’s visit to Niger, which everyone believes was undertaken at the behest of the vice president, was actually in the works before Dick Cheney asked his now-famous question. And if that is true, our current understanding of the chronology of events is wrong.

The story is contained in two exhibits, known in court as DX 66.2 and DX 66.3, entered into evidence by Libby’s defense team.

[…]The document doesn’t seem particularly newsworthy until it is viewed alongside a memo first revealed by the Senate Intelligence Committee in its report on the African uranium matter, released in July 2004. That report cited an e-mail written by Valerie Plame Wilson to her boss, the deputy chief of the CIA’s Counterproliferation Division, in which she suggested her husband for the fact-finding mission to Niger. A CIA official told the committee that Mrs. Wilson “offered up [Joseph Wilson’s] name” for the job, and the Senate report quoted the e-mail written by Mrs. Wilson saying, “my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.”

According to the Senate report, Valerie Plame Wilson sent her e-mail on February 12, 2002 — the day before the vice president was briefed on the African uranium matter. The discrepancy between the two dates seems glaring, but was not included in the Senate report. That is because, according to a source familiar with the committee’s investigation, the CIA did not include the document in the materials it turned over to the committee. Senate investigators apparently never knew the exact date of the vice president’s request, so they never knew it came after Plame’s e-mail.

What does the new information mean? On February 12, 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency released — inside the government, not publicly — a report covering the Africa uranium issue; its title said that Niger had “signed an agreement to sell 500 tons of uranium a year to Baghdad.” CIA officials told Senate investigators the report spurred requests for information from both the State Department and the Department of Defense. Knowledgeable sources speculate — and they stress, they are speculating — that those inquiries from State and Defense were made on the 12th, the day the Defense Intelligence Agency report was sent around, and that Valerie Plame Wilson, in suggesting her husband be sent to investigate, was reacting to those requests, and not to the vice president’s question, which came the next day. In this new version of events, Dick Cheney was the last guy to request more information, not the first; the notion that his request started the whole affair seems wrong.

If your like me when you start reading the minutia of the Plame affair your eyes glaze over, but this document may become quite important.  If nothing else it continues to show the dishonesty of the Plames.  Wilson has stated he was asked to go on the 19th when in fact the other document introduced into evidence may prove he was asked to go on the 14th.

Even more interesting is this take from a insider of the Intelligence community:

Let me add a bit of inside baseball to your Libby story: There is an intense and mutual rivalry between CIA and DIA. One time at a top secret meeting in Reagan I, I made the mistake of taking a chair between the CIA and DIA experts on a certain subject and they threw venom at each other across my nose for an hour and a half. Most unpleasant experience.

As I read your story, CIA [Val and pals] were reacting to a very important DIA story. In my experience, their gut reaction would have been to knock it down from the get-go. Hence the initial bureaucratic purpose of sending the husband out would have been to skewer DIA, not advance the issue. Obviously, they wouldn’t have said this or put it in print but everyone in the system would know what the real game was.

So what started out by the moonbats to be a witchhunt against the rightwing Bush administration secretly attacking those who oppose them now may very well turn out to be agency rivalry.  This would explain much about the CIA’s decision to send Wilson, whose lack of qualifications was mind boggling, and not making him sign a non-disclosure form.

But alas, is any of this on trial?  Nope.  Just plain ole’ Libby on trial for perjury.  Those millions were well spend Fitz!

UPDATE

Don’t miss AJStrata’s post on the subject with many questions that need answering:

OK, so why did Wilson and Plame feel the urgency to get Joe to Niger prior to the pending war in Iraq (still a year away and not certain)? Why did Wilson and Plame LIE that the reason Joe was sent was to get answers to VP questions which had not yet been asked? Why is it Joe Wilson came back reporting the same thing he reported in 1999 (the interest of the Iraq trade delegation with the leaders of the coup d’etat – not 2 years out of power)? Why did the Wilsons tell everyone the trip debunked the Niger forgeries which did not surface until 8 months later (in the safe in Plame’s division at CPD). Why put out all these erroneous statements? Clearly any questions regarding Wilson’s 1999-2000 report regarding the Iraq trade delegation did not require a return trip. So we have two confirming bits of evidence Plame and Wilson had some completely different and unexposed reason for Joe to rush to Niger (on his own nickel, BTW). It should be interesting to see if this comes up under oath. But it should be investigated. Why did Plame and Wilson lie about this trip in so many ridiculous ways?

My biggest question? Why was Wilson debriefed at the Wilson home with only two CIA DO agents and Plame present? Why no report from Wilson? Why no contract with a Non Disclosure clause in it? Why no expense reports? If the trip was off the books and the meeting on the results was off base (outside the CIA) it sounds more and more like a roque operation to me. So who were the confirming sources for Wilson’s claims to Kristof and Pincus and others who claimed to be at the debriefing? With only Joe and Val and two others present the candidates of sources noted by both journalists is only 3 people deep. Hopefully this will be the next bombshell in the trial to come out.

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