Thursday, March 01, 2007

why was plame outed?

Dr Elsewhere:

"Many more issues swirl around this case, too many to enumerate here (though I hope to touch on the role of the press soon). But the one that has bothered me from the get-go, and that seems to be the question no one will ask outright is this: Why did Cheney take this particular avenue for discrediting Wilson? Why didn’t they just go after Wilson’s record or his actual trip and de-briefing weaknesses? We know they can spin the daylights out of that stuff, after all. Why did they actually risk exposing themselves to felony charges by exposing Plame’s status? Especially on the flimsy claim that she was the one who sent Wilson on the trip in the first place.

That assertion, as their explanation, has always stuck in my craw. It carried absolutely no heft in their attempt to discredit Wilson. Who out there really got any traction trying to sell that aspect of the story? Oh yeah, well, Wilson is thoroughly discredited on this trip because he only went because his wifey set him up to do it. The claim was utterly useless in that respect, a point which seems to remain under the radar in all our musings. Was the payoff for the administration really that Wilson would back off? Or that other individuals would be intimidated, as Wilson suggested? Were these results - risky for possibly not occurring - really worth the possible occurrences of outing a CIA agent?

Why on earth would Cheney risk so much by outing Plame to add to their efforts to discredit Wilson? As Joe referenced earlier in another matter, it just don't add up.

There seems to me to be a simple answer to that question. Plame was in charge of the CIA Joint Task Force on Iraq, the group charged with fielding all that intelligence that was supposed to say Saddam had WMDs. However, this was just not happening. Given what we know now about WMDs in Iraq, it's a pretty safe bet to suggest that the CIA had nothing Cheney wanted. And given what we’ve come to know about Plame and Wilson, it does not seem much of a stretch to assume she was unwilling to, er, stretch the truth.
Now, consider Cheney's situation during those weeks after the SOTU when Wilson was making 'anonymous' noises about the infamous 16 words. One has to wonder how long it took him to discover that Wilson was married to the woman who was heading the CIA unit that was decidedly not giving him the intelligence he wanted. Clearly he already knew this when Wilson penned his op-ed for the NYTimes, because he referenced the connection in his notes. We also knew that Cheney already knew this by mind-June, because that's when he shared it with Libby, and it was in a document circulated prior to June 10th. How long prior, who knows...

... but imagine, just for a moment, that you're Cheney (egads, another ghastly thought!), and you're wrestling with this Wilson problem, and then you discover that he's married to this woman whose work has interfered with your plans every inch of the way down this path to excuses for invasion. Don't you just know he was wetting himself trying to figure a way to destroy both these albatrosses with one blow?

This scenario is enough for me to consider that Wilson's speculations about the administration's intention to punish him and intimidate other whistleblowers were cover for his wife's real role, not just with the CIA, but in her own outing; Cheney wanted her OUT, even if it meant outED. All along these questions have nagged at the whole scandal; just why did Cheney risk so much to out this woman? What was worth that?

Et voila, this DU thread suggests other angles that have, er, leaked into my thinking on all this. For example, that the outing was not about Wilson at all, or even about Plame's role on the CIA task force, but about Brewster-Jennings. That her organization was hot on the trail of Cheney's connections with highly illegal arms sales, including the infamous A. Q. Khan, and of course there's the altogether too plausible conjecture that our suspicions of four years ago - that there were plans in place to plant the very weapons the neocons accused Hussein of harboring - appear to have been in place for routing via Turkey (which Sibel Edmonds likely uncovered in her exposure). Those plans - and probably more (think Sy Hersh's comparisons to Iran-Contra this week) - were thwarted by the same CIA front group that was dogging Cheney's tail for his profiteering while at Halliburton, Brewster-Jennings.
Regardless of whether these accusations about plans for funneling WMDs into Iraq through Turkey are true, there will always remain the nagging disconnect on the reason Cheney’s office gave for raising Plame’s name, and then - again via Novakula - the name of her front company. Was anyone really convinced that, because Plame may have set up the trip, Wilson was therefore less credible, or less of a manly man? Did we all just dump Wilson’s assertions because of course you see his wife planned the trip, like a junket you see, and therefore nothing he says about any of this can be believed."
great post.


calipendence said...

Exactly my concerns and what I've felt all along. It almost seems too obvious that this is the best explanation for what happened, and the fact that not many pursue this line of thought makes one question why that isn't looked at more in and of itself. Why are people afraid to pursue this line of thought?

I did ask Scott Ritter a few weeks ago this question on KLSD, but he indicated he felt the risks of planting WMD's would have been too great, as he'd have been able to spot a fake if he found it, and that would get them into that much more trouble if they were caught. That kind of makes sense, but there's a lot of ways they could do damage in Iraq. Perhaps not WMD's itself, but planting fake memo's, audio tapes, video tapes, etc. that they thought might not be spotted. Heck it seems they've already tried this with the Niger memos in Italy.

I'm just worried now that they have a bit more control over the border with Iran than they did with Turkey, and now don't have Brewster Jennings to watch out for if they are planning a similar plot of subterfuge in Iran!

BTW, you might want to tell blogspot they might have a problem with firefox browsers being shown the word verification image. I had to switch to IE to post this.

lukery said...

thnx cp.
"and now don't have Brewster Jennings to watch out for if they are planning a similar plot of subterfuge in Iran!"
i wonder if the activity would be picked up by other nations' intelligence agencies.

the firefox problem seems to be fixed. thnx.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

I'm no soothsayer or fortune teller, and I don't go in for all those weird religions and such. There is much speculation about that point, and I put forth the guess months ago that Valerie (and Sibel too, perhaps) may have been dredging up old Bush family secrets about illegal arms and nuclear technology deals which included certain Middle East countries' sharing with others, all hostile to the United States. Cheney would fancy himself the ultimate patriot by risking his fat neck running one of his typical loudmouth shams to keep it quiet. Deciphering Cheney's thinking isn't easy when he demonstrates that he possesses most every mental illness known to medicine.

steven andresen said...

The evidence would cause a great deal of pain for Cheney and Bush, if it was found. However, perhaps the goal is not just to plant one, but to explode one. The evidence is then not around to cause anyone harm.

I've read about there being fears that the Iranians had clandestine ways of making bombs, but maybe the plan now is to suggest there is an "Al Queda" operation that can deliver stolen ones.

This would make it difficult for anyone to find any evidence that leads back to the real controllers.

noise said...

Is it possible someone at the CIA setup Plame? I've always had a problem with Wilson being selected. Carl Ford Jr. (INR) suggests sending Wilson was strange in that no matter how accomplished he was, he wasn't an intelligence professional. I realize we are told that when asked Plame suggested her this isn't a full proof theory. Nevertheless, it is simply too difficult to believe that the spouse of a CIA noc involved in nuclear proliferation issues was the CIA's selection to investigate the Niger uranium allegation. Cheney's professed lack of awareness ("Did CIA really follow up on that?") is another odd aspect. It's too over the top for Cheney to be out of the loop on something like this. I would venture to say Plame would have been outed one way or another. Revenge against Wilson was a very clever way of disguising the primary motive as it helped address secondary motives as well.

lukery said...

steve a - don't forget that SIbel says that AlQaeda already has nukes...

noise: "I would venture to say Plame would have been outed one way or another."
sweet point.