8/26/2005

Daily Kos: LA Times: Seven Days in July

LA Times: Seven Days in July
by Stirling Newberry [Subscribe]
Thu Aug 25th, 2005 at 07:39:21 CDT

The LA Times delivers the doorstop article A CIA Cover Blown, written by Tom Hamburger and Sooni Efron, it lays out the time line for the top down media reader, and pulls in details that give a glimpse as to how the Bush executive operates - going from smug assuredness to panicked cover up in a matter of days.

Their timeline looks like this, my additions in []

(And yes it is on the rec list already, but you have got to visit Bateman's Animation of Bush testifying against himself. Clearly related. And by request here is my link to the bopnews post Seven Days in July)

* Stirling Newberry's diary :: ::
*

2001

[March: Pentagon meetings with members of the INA and INC. State Department reaches out to dissident Iraq community in London. Purpose "regime change"]
[December 20 Times runs Miller Story: "Iraqi Tells of Renovations at Sites For Chemical and Nuclear Arms." Source is from inside the INC]

2002

February: Vice President Dick Cheney asks whether Iraq sought uranium from Niger.
Feb. 12: The CIA sends Joseph Wilson to Niger.
[March 8, 2002 UK Defense Ministry Memo - "Intelligence is poor" on Saddam developing WMD.]
March 9: Wilson says he finds little evidence for such claims, but notes a prior visit to Niger by Iraqi officials.
[March 14 Manning Memo - to Blair advising him on how advanced US Planning was]
[23 July Downing Street Minute Meeting - "the case was thin" for Saddam being a threat.]
Aug. 26: Cheney says: "We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons."
[September 8 2002: Times run Miller story "U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest For A-Bomb Parts"]
[September 13 Times runs Miller story "White House Lists Iraq Steps To Build Banned Weapons"]
[September 18 Times runs Miller story "Verification Is Difficult at Best, Say the Experts, and Maybe Impossible" which states that Iraq is within 2 to 3 years of having centrifuges. This also, turns out to be fake.]
Oct. 5-6: CIA Director George Tenet persuades the White House to remove the uranium claim from a Bush speech.
[October Journalist Elizabetta Burba offers forged documents to US Embassy in Rome

2003

Jan. 28: President Bush's State of the Union cites a British report that Iraq sought uranium.
[February 22: Wilson reports that the reports on yellowcake were "unequivocally wrong".]
March 7: A U.N. nuclear agency finds uranium documents are "not authentic." [Takes only hours to do so, the documents were "crude forgeries"]
March 20: The U.S. invades Iraq.
[June 10: "Source X" State Department memo that identifies Plame as (S) for Secret.]
July 6: Wilson goes public on his Niger trip and findings.

[The Seven Days in July]
[July 7 - State Department Memo that connects Plame and Wilson delivered to Powell. "June INR"]
July 7-8: Administration sources tell columnist Robert Novak about Wilson's CIA wife.
July 7: The White House admits to a mistake in citing the uranium claim.
[July 7/8 Ari Fleischer reads June INR Memo]
July 11: Karl Rove tells Time's Matthew Cooper that Wilson's wife arranged the Niger trip.
July 14: A Novak column unmasks Valerie Plame.

July 30: The CIA asks the Justice Department to investigate the leak of the agent's identity.
[September Taylor Report to Parliament establishes that the forged documents were part of UK judgment in the Bulter Report]
Sept. 16: The White House says suggesting Rove leaked her identity is "ridiculous."
Sept. 29: A White House spokesman says the leaker will be fired.
Sept. 30: Wilson endorses John Kerry for president.
Dec. 30: Patrick Fitzgerald is named special prosecutor.

2004

Jan. 23: Weapons inspector David Kay says there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
[July 14 - Butler Report made public, asserts that the simple fact of an Iraqi visit makes the accusations against them credible.]
[August 1 Sunday Times reveals that an Italian tipster received forged documents from SISMI - the Italian Foreign Intelligence Service. Tipster later recants on this story.]
July 10: A Senate panel faults prewar intelligence and calls Wilson's report inconclusive.
Nov. 2: Bush is reelected.(sic)

2005

Feb. 15: A court orders journalists Judith Miller and Cooper to cooperate with a grand jury.
[April 7 Vincent Cannistraro asserts that Michael Ledeen is the original source of the forgeries.]
July 6: Miller refuses to testify and is jailed; Cooper agrees to testify after getting express permission from his source, Rove.
July 18: Bush says the leaker will be fired if a crime was committed.
[July 15 Matt Cooper Admits that Rove was "Source X"]
[July 21 Wasington Post publishes information on the June 2003 INR Memo]
[August 7 Reports circulate that Fitzgerald's supervisor is to be replaced with a Bush crony].
[August 8 NBC reports that Powell testified before the Fitzgerald grand jury.]
Additional Sources Slate.com, Wikipedia.org, Talking Points Memo, Salon.com, Washington Post, Times of London, Guardian UK, CNN, Time, Newsweek, Janes

The threads of this story form one larger scandal, one which came to a head with Wilson, but which weave together four important strands.

1. The early planning of the Iraq War
2. The campaign of disinformation to create a case for war.
3. The protection of 1 and 2
4. The cover up of 3.

The Seven days were part of a coordinated attempt to protect disinformation already in place. Originally Wilson was not regarded as a threat, it was only when it was realized that he had sources inside CIA that went beyond his trip that he became a threat. This is because the standard response by the British and American executives at this time was "we have other sources". Now it turns out that those other sources were also fixed.

It is also clear that there are only two original reports on Niger here: Wilson's and the forged memos. It is clear that Wilson's report of a meeting is what the British used to prop up the forged documents. Wilson had to be sunk, because he was, in fact, the case itself. If Wilson reported "all I found was that they had some meetings, and there is no documentation of any agreement." then there is no case, because the other leg consisted of forged documents.

It is in this context that Miller becomes important. It is she who is publishing the most lurid tales of Iraq's WMD program, and is the only person who seems to have Iraq side sources. As we now know, those sources all came from INC chief Ahmed Chalabi, and they were all deceptions. Lies. Bullshit. Fraud. Take your pick.

The connection is that the INC's source of backing is the US government, it is clear from Downing Street that the INC and INA have no base of support inside Iraq, and this is independently confirmable: the SCIRI and Dawa were the parties with connections on the ground in Iraq, the INC and INC consisted of US assets, some of whom had participated in the 1995 coup attempt. The Bush executive was building this pipe line within weeks of entering office.

Thus everything flows into one sewer. There is no independent confirmation of anything, there never was any independent confirmation of anything. There are, at root, only the following sources:

1. Reports from Chalabi and his INC sources, not only on WMD, but on Iraq's oil reserves.
2. Forgeries created in the US to soldify into connections information based on (1).

Wilson became a threat because he was uncomfortably close to that nexus. If, as reported, the Niger documents were forged at CIA and then laundered through other nations - the stories as to how vary - the Wilson's going public would have indicated a crime, namely the forging of the documents for the purpose of recycling them. His trip sets boundaries on when this could be done, who could have ordered it and how.

Even before the White House regarded Wilson as a threat, CIA and State were compiling information on him. However, it was with the publication on July 6th that this information was sent up stairs. Clearly, Powell shook the tree for information, and out dropped the June INI memo, which became Source X for Fleischer, Rove and Scooter Libby.

This means that a positive decision was taken, month old memos don't just show up in the hands of the Secretary of State to be passed around. If it had been forwarded, Powell would have buried it in his to do list. Instead, within hours of having it he is passing it around.

This makes explicit one inescapable conclusion: the planning of how to deal with Wilson involved cabinet officers, and was done in the confined space of Air Force One. We aren't merely inside the Oval Office, we are inside the washroom...

Daily Kos: LA Times: Seven Days in July

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