Well, just let me slap my forehead here in stupefication: the CIA and Joe Wilson may’ve been up to something unfresh? Say it ain’t so, Joe! Say it ain’t so!
Why didn’t the Agency require Wilson to sign a non disclosure agreement respecting his trip to Niger?
A good question, indeed, because this stunning lapse allowed him to make false charges about it, to which the Administration could offer only a limited, ineffective response without first declassifying information. I don’t know the answer to the question, but it certainly does suggest that those who believe this jaunt was a set up against the Administration have more than a little basis for that belief. Congress should make this question a prominent part of its inquiries into the matter.
Why did they send him at all?
The U.S. Ambassador to Niger said it was unnecessary and, as we know, Cheney didn’t ask for this mission, despite Wilson’s intimations to the contrary.
Who determined the specific questions to be asked in Niger?
The questions Wilson posed were essentially meaningless. He asked the same questions General Fulford had just asked. And those questions (drafted by the CIA) were hardly intended to elicit meaningful information. Moreover, Fulford had asked current officials and Wilson did not. The inquiries never were about whether the Nigerien officials had been approached by any countries to purchase uranium. The Ambassador to Niger noted “we raised the issue in more general terms rather than specifics.” Even with these limitations, as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence notes, Wilson learned there had been a visit by a trade delegation from Iraq.
At this point The Wilson/Plame/CIA question is just mind-boggling. Kristoff is revisiting his original column on it but the NY Times has hidden it behind their “Times Select” coverage and omitted it entirely from their Dead Tree edition. Tom Maquire fisks. So does Kaus.
What a masterpiece of obfuscation and ass-covering this whole thing has become. But the central message of all of this nonsense, the message that these folks wanted to get out, “BushbadBushlied” is certainly getting out.
We need a serious investigation. Is there a GOP senator with the spine to call for it?
Zell Miller is writing about it.