Talk:Plame Leak timeline

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Need to add clean up with newer timeline from this diary on dKos.

Also need to link the Plame Leak up front and add to a list of issues. See Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Katrina issue list for an example.

Contents

Entry Details/Background Footnotes

July 12, 2003

  • Lewis (Scooter) Libby tells Cooper that Cheney had not been responsible for Wilson's mission. The 7/12/2003 date is implied from the Time Magazine article in the Jul. 25, 2005 issue,. "In August 2004, I gave limited testimony about my conversations with Scooter Libby. Libby had also given me a specific waiver, and I gave a deposition in the office of my attorney. I have never discussed that conversation until now. In that testimony, I recounted an on-the-record conversation with Libby that moved to background. On the record, he denied that Cheney knew about or played any role in the Wilson trip to Niger. On background, I asked Libby if he had heard anything about Wilson's wife sending her husband to Niger. Libby replied, "Yeah, I've heard that too," or words to that effect. Like Rove, Libby never used Valerie Plame's name or indicated that her status was covert, and he never told me that he had heard about Plame from other reporters, as some press accounts have indicated."

need to link the Plame Leak up front and add to a list of issues. See Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Katrina issue list for an example.

October 2003

  • White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove did not disclose that he had ever discussed CIA officer Valerie Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper during Rove’s first interview with the FBI. This interview takes place in Oct. 2003, but need actual date. [1]


June 10, 2003

What about this section from the WaPo piece?

The memo was drafted June 10, 2003, for Undersecretary of State [for Political Affairs] Marc Grossman, who asked to be brought up to date on INR's [not Wilsons?] opposition* to the White House view that Hussein was trying to buy uranium in Africa.

In other words, that passage seems to state that Grossman ordered INR (State dep research division) to prepare a report on why INR itself was opposed to WH's bogus Niger yellowcake "16 words" story?? Something is strange with that explanation

Another thing: Is it consistent and within the normal scope of Grossman's Political Affairs (PA) Division's mission/concern areas for PA to have a 'need to know' on the Wilson/Plame bogus Niger yellowcake intel matter, and to be requesting an INR research report on Wilson/Plame etc?

It is unclear from the listed "job description" for the PA division Undersecretary: that this matter would be within Grossman's normal bailiwick:

The Under Secretary for Political Affairs, [presently, as of March 2005] R. Nicholas Burns, is the Department's day-to-day manager of overall regional and bilateral policy issues, and is responsible for integrating political, economic, global, and security issues into the United States' bilateral relationships.

If this matter was outside of the range of PA's concern areas, did someone else (Cheney? Bolton? Rove?) do a little armtwisting on Grossman to get him to request the INR research report, so they would not be on record as been the one(s) to who offically requested the report on Wilson?

Further, has Grossman been called to testify before Fitzgerald's grand jury?

Current or Past Tense Voice of entries

Lestatdelc 12:36, 14 Jul 2005 (PDT) The voice in entries has been, and should be present tense for each event unless it is an event which discusses revelations about something that happened on another date. So for example, when we know exact when Cooper gives his testimony to the GJ, the entry for him testifying should be on the date he testified, and in the present tense in that On this date/time.. X Y Z occurs.

Additioanlly, ff we can derive from a statement that such a conversation or event occurred, from a later revelation, we should try to move that event to when ti actually occurred, and reference with either an inline-text link, or a footnote link to the source. This way when people read the timeline, it will read as.. On June 1, so and so does this, this happens, etc.

Gannon/Guckert

Lestatdelc 02:10, 14 Jul 2005 (PDT) Removing Gannon entries as they add nothing to timeline, since everything Gannon knows about the INR memo and he uses in his Wilson interview was in the Wall Street Journal article by David Cloud which was published four days prior to earliest time that the Wiilson interview took place according to the interview Wilson gave SusanG.

From Guckert/Gannon's the interview with Wilson:
An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?

Here is the relevant passage from the Cloud /WSJ/ article:

The memo, prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel, details a meeting in early 2002 where CIA officer Valerie Plame and other intelligence officials gathered to brainstorm about how to verify reports that Iraq had sought uranium yellowcake from Niger. Ms. Plame, a member of the agency's clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested at the meeting that her husband, Africa expert and former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson, could be sent to Niger to investigate the reports, according to current and former government officials familiar with the meeting at the CIA's Virginia headquarters. Soon after, midlevel CIA officials decided to send him, say intelligence officials.

Guckert/Gannon is a diversion on this issue.

I will be moving them all here, below, in case people want to cull stuff form it for other timelines and articles.

Removed Gannon/Guckert Entries

February 28, 2003

March 29, 2003

April 3, 2003

June 23, 2003

  • Jeff Gannon registers as a user with FreeRepublic.com (originally registered on January 19, 2003 as "The Conservative Guy", but only posted twice)

July 15, 2003

  • Gannon posts for the first time on FreeRepublic.com as "Jeff Gannon" [2]

July 24, 2003

  • jeffgannon.com debuts online

October 2, 2003

This is why they needed Gannon too. Novak and NRO are well known "conservative" mouthpieces and therefore their claims to have known all about Plame can be questioned. But if a new, fresh off the boat journalist at an unknown news organization knew about her too... well, then it was common knowledge and therefore no crime was committed by leaking her identity. But it takes a bit of time to get him up to speed on the plan... and boy do they need to do damage control, and soon.

October 6, 2003

  • Gannon (Talon News) writes an article about Wilson. [3]
It was after his article appeared that columnist Robert Novak revealed his wife's name, calling her a "CIA operative." Novak discussed the possibility that Wilson was selected for the assignment in Africa because of the position and influence of his wife at the CIA.
It is still unknown as to the reason Wilson was sent on the February 2002 mission to Niger, but allowed that it could have been at his wife's suggestion. Some have suggested that his clear partisanship cast doubt on the findings in his report.
Gannon makes clear that he doesn't know anything other than what is in official reports as of Oct. 6th... yet 22 days later his interview with Wilson is published where he states definitively the existence of the CIA memo and the reason Wilson was sent to Niger. But he is in the loop enough to know he needs to push the partisan politics aspect in his article.

November 3, 2003

  • Part III of the Wilson/ Gannon interview is posted. And now the agenda is to discredit the CIA and push the story that Plame's name was already known so there was no crime in disclosing it. [4]
TN: Nicholas Kristoff wrote in the New York Times recently that the CIA believes that Aldrich Ames may have betrayed your wife to the Russians prior to his arrest in 1994. That would make her not an undercover operative for the CIA in effect.
Wilson: I don't know where Kristoff got that. I think that there is a fair amount of material in the public record to suggest that there is a lot of concern that Mr. Ames betrayed a number of American operatives during his spying.
TN: Including your wife?
Wilson: I don't know about that. I can't tell you anything about that.
TN: But if that is in fact true, then the leak is not necessarily a leak.
Wilson: Let me put it to you this way, I don't believe that the CIA would refer this to the Justice Department frivolously, if they thought it was a frivolous matter or if it was not a leak that might be a violation of the Intelligence Agents Identification Act.
TN: There are some who are skeptical that the CIA is fully on board with our actions in Iraq.
Wilson: Well, the CIA is not a policy organization, the CIA is paid to provide the best intelligence information it can.
TN: So you don't believe the CIA has an agenda that's different from that of the White House?
Wilson: Well in the particular piece of this that I own, the trip to Niger, the CIA produced my report, but there were two other reports produced that said that "Gee this story of uranium going to Iraq is just bogus." Subsequent to that we now know this particular "16 words" were the subject of a number of telephone conversations and a couple of memoranda that somehow were lost in the system or forgotten about. But the two uncontested facts in this matter are the following: The 16 words in the State of the Union did not rise to inclusion in the State of the Union, that's the White House's statement. Had my report or the other two reports been accepted instead of this information that was based as we know on forgeries and even at the time didn't pass the smell test for an Italian weekly tabloid, then the President would not have found himself in this predicament. That is not a CIA betrayal of the political system, that is if anything a political betrayal of the intelligence assessment process.
And the second uncontested fact is that a national security asset's name was leaked to the American public in what may have been a crime but certainly is considered to be of sufficient concern to the CIA that they referred the matter to the Justice Department. Now in neither of those it seems to me do you have nefarious CIA involvement unless you are prepared to make the argument that the CIA would have "outed" one of its own, which seems to me to be highly, highly unlikely.
Gannon is definitely being the good soldier here. Call into question the patriotism and partisan politics of the CIA and help to build the case that Rummy needs a new spy agency (which he formed at some point in 2003) and keep pushing the case that there was no crime in the leak because Plame's name was common knowledge.

December 26, 2003

  • The leak to Talon News is mentioned in the Washington Post in an article by By Mike Allen and Dana Milbank... [5]
Sources said the CIA is angry about the circulation of a still-classified document to conservative news outlets suggesting Plame had a role in arranging her husband's trip to Africa for the CIA. The document, written by a State Department official who works for its Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), describes a meeting at the CIA where the Niger trip by Wilson was discussed, said a senior administration official who has seen it.
CIA officials have challenged the accuracy of the INR document, the official said, because the agency officer identified as talking about Plame's alleged role in arranging Wilson's trip could not have attended the meeting.
"It has been circulated around," one official said. CIA and State Department officials have refused to discuss the document.
On Oct. 28, Talon News, a news company tied to a group called GOP USA, posted on the Internet an interview with Wilson in which the Talon News questioner asks: "An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?"
Interestingly, these reporters weren't leaked the memo either... just relied on a "senior administration official" who had seen it to provide all the background. And once again, the CIA would not discuss the document.

December 30, 2003

  • Attorney General Ashcroft recuses himself from the leak investigation. James Comey, Deputy Attorney General, appoints Patrick Fitzgerald, a U.S. Attorney, as "special" counsel.
  • USAToday reports that GOPUSA.com head Bobby Eberle had landed an interview with Karl Rove at some point in the last year. [6]
GOPUSA.com, a Web site run by Bobby Eberle, a Houston engineer with no previous journalism experience, scored an interview with President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove.

March 9, 2004

  • Gannon gets into a heated exchange with another poster of FreeRepublic.com regarding the Grand Jury subpoena... and Gannon sticks to his talking points - Plame wasn't covert. [7]
To: Peach
You are kind. What is interesting about this is that I have become ensnared in this matter because I asked questions of my government.
This may a chilling effect on freedom of the press.


All this commotion, but the central question has yet to be answered: At the time that Robert Novak's column was published, was Valerie Plame a "covert operative"?
The CIA has refused to comment on this very important point.
If she was not, then no crime has been committed and all communications between the administration and reporters is just gossip. ---Jeff Gannon
....
To: Jeff Gannon
That is simply not true, Jeff.
You are ensnared because you made reference to a government document, which appears to have been a forgery. You need to tell the Grand Jury who made you privy to that document. ---JohnGalt
To: Jeff Gannon
What was the document you referred to in the interview with Wilson? ---JohnGalt
To: JohnGalt
I disagree with your characterization of the document itself, but that aside, I maintain that I am under no obligation whatsoever to reveal my sources. That is a fundamental element of maintaining a free press. ---Jeff Gannon

Gannon exposes himself with this sloppy exchange. How can he disagree with the characterization of a classified document that he hadn't seen? Looks like he were leaked it after all... or he *really* trusted his source...

October 28, 2003

  • Gannon publishes his interview with Wilson. [8]
Talon News: An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?
Gannon also continues to push the partisan politics meme.
TN: You have mentioned that you are not partisan. Doesn't that appear to be the case considering the candidates you've supported?
Wilson: Including Bush. When Ed Gillespie was running around doing his little schpiel, he knew that I contributed to the Bush campaign but decided he would selectively use information on candidates I have supported to bolster a case that simply cannot be made. I contributed to the Bush campaign, the Gore campaign, and I contributed to the campaign of Ed Royce on several occasions. He is a conservative Republican from Orange County, California, and I have contributed to a number of other candidates. I contributed to the Kerry campaign after I made my trip out to Niger -- well after that. Almost a year and a half after that. But I will tell you this: I reserve the right to participate in the political process of my country just like any other citizen.
I was named ambassador to Gabon by George Herbert Walker Bush. One of the highlights of my professional career was serving a charges d'affair in Baghdad in the run up to the gulf war. When I came back to Washington and was introduced to the war cabinet, President Bush introduced me as a true American hero, and I take great pride in that.
TN: Your activities of late have some suggesting that there's certainly a partisan motivation.
....
TN: The so-called neo-cons, who do you think that they are?
And if you recall, from his October 6, 2003 article he says this:
Some have suggested that his clear partisanship cast doubt on the findings in his report.
As detailed by Cloud above, the CIA (presumably, because he just says "intelligence" officials) would not confirm that Plame suggested this or even that she was identified by name. Neither would Novak's CIA source. So how is Gannon able to make this claim definitively... he may not have seen the memo, but someone definitely told him about it. It is possible that he just decided to use the info from Novak and Cloud to paint Wilson into a corner, but there is no way he would have known that this was indeed accurate and then his "gotcha" moment (i.e. Wilson lied to me) would have been for naught since no one went on the record (other than Novak's "two senior administration officials") to verify the claim. This is also the first time Gannon drops all qualifiers - i.e according to reports, some say, etc.
Except, once Gannon thought the storm had passed, he reveals that he was leaked the memo, or at least told of its contents... (sometime last year in an article on his website "Joe Wilson Lied and Owes George W. Bush and America (and Me) an Apology". There is no date stamp on the article)
A memo written by an INR (Intelligence and Research) analyst who made notes of the meeting at which Wilson was asked to go to Niger sensed that something fishy was going on. That report made it to the outside world courtesy of some patriotic whistleblower that realized that a bag job was underway.
....
The classified document that slipped out sometime after the meeting put her name before the public, albeit a small group of inside-the-beltway types, but effectively ended the notion that she was still covert.
....
I raised all of these questions with Wilson in October 2003 in an interview for Talon News. Since I was aware of the INR report, I confronted him about it.
What is difficult to understand is the reason that the CIA would want to discredit this report. The first clue came when the agents from the FBI came to my home in March 2003 to question me in connection to the leak probe. I was flattered to think that I was important enough to be included among the luminaries like Andrea Mitchell, Tim Russert and Chris Matthews who were also named in a Justice Department subpoena of records from the White House. But most of the questions were about the INR report. They wanted to know where I got it and what I knew about it. Of course, as a journalist there wasn't much I could say without revealing my sources. I'm sure they were not satisfied, but it made me wonder why they were so interested in a document the CIA said was false.
So how is it that a journalist who only set up shop in March 2003 and received WH press credentials on April 3, 2003 and posts regularly on the FreeRepublic.com bulletin boards, was "in the loop" enough to have knowledge of a classified CIA memo by October 2003, that supposedly only "inside-the-beltway types" knew about and no one at the CIA would confirm? There is only one conclusion. He was planted by, and used to help, the administration.

Some snippage of excess detail

--Garrett 23:33, 28 Nov 2005 (PST) Occasional entries have a good deal of analysis and point-making about the significance of events intermixed with the bullet points of what happened. This doesn't work so well anymore, now that there are so many events. I'm going to prune and snip some of the detail out. It interferes with the narrative. Examples:

  • A multiline quote from a Scott McClellan briefing, exposing the lies, could just be "Press Secretary Scott McClellan denies involvement of Karl Rove," with a link to the transcript.
  • Media quotes about Karl Rove's general ruthlessness, or defenses of Joe Wilson's non-partisaness, neither a real timeline item, could just be snipped.

dkosopedia is a point-of-view wiki. Detail snippage will leave a drier just-the-facts tone. But the thing can't be one big analyzing blog about the whole affair. A timeline should be a timeline.

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