CONTRADICTED BY SENATE 9-11 REPORT
By Jon Christian Ryter
July 17, 2004
Columnist Robert Novak, who started the Wilson-Plame flack by reporting in his syndicated column that Wilson's wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame-Wilson, had recommended to then-CIA Director George Tenet that he should send her husband to investigate reports coming out of Niger that Saddam Hussein was attempting to buy yellow cake uranium. Plame-Wilson told Tenet that Wilson "...has good relations with the both the PM (prime minister) and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention a lot of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." Plame-Wilson's comments were included in an inter-agency memo in 2002.
Novak did not pick up on the story until Wilson wrote an op ed piece for the New York Times denigrating President George E. Bush for his decision to launch an attack against Iraq that was based, in part, on a British MI-5 report that claimed Saddam was trying to buy enriched uranium—a claim Wilson said was false. Not only was it false, Wilson insisted, but the Bush people knew it was false because he had been sent to Niger by CIA Director George Tenet to check out the story. Wilson said he confirmed, through U.S. Ambassador Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, that the story was false. Owens-Kirkpatrick admitted to Wilson that she was told by a Nigerian official that Saddam was attempting to buy yellowcake (enriched) uranium. And, without any evidence to suggest the official was wrong, Owens-Kirkpatrick chose to believe that the report was false and sent her own report to Washington noting the existence of the "rumor," but claiming that her office had thoroughly investigated the rumor and found it to be groundless. It was not until the British notified Washington that Saddam was attempting to buy enriched uranium from the Nigerians that Bush-43 decided to send a CIA operative to Niger to find out.
Tenet erred in a major way by agreeing to send a very partisan Clinton liberal bureaucrat on a mission that actually required a nonpartisan intelligence operative. The Democrats, who had been hammering Bush-43 about a handful of words in his 2003 State-of-the Union address, saw the opportunity to put a large chink in his armor. The liberal media lionized Wilson much the same way it lionized Richard Clarke in the opening days of the 9-11 Commission hearings. Wilson, who investigated nothing in Niger beyond speaking with Owens-Kirkpatrick, was accepted by the ultra-liberal, not-so-credible New York Times as being truthfully honest and Bush, who acted preemptively to protect the American people based on the best available intelligence, was branded by the liberal media as a liar with something to hide. In reality, from hindsight it appears that the only person with something to hide was Wilson who was stumping his new book and needed the controversy to spark sales. The same was true with Clarke, the Clinton-hack who gave us Y2-K. Clarke was likewise proven to be as incorrect in his assessments of terrorist threats. Clarke, like Wilson, was also touting a book. Clarke painted himself as the seer who accurately predicted 9-11 a year before it happened when he made some vague, Nostradamus-like rantings that could have applied to 100 different nondescript things—the least of which would have been 9-11.
The Democrats on the US Senate Select Intelligence Committee have been reluctantly forced to conclude [a] that the Bush Administration did not have enough pre-9-11 intelligence to predict that Muslim terrorists would seize jet airliners full of passengers and crash them into landmark buildings in the United States, and [b] that the intelligence received by the Bush people clearly and irrefutably suggested that Saddam was actively attempting to secure enriched uranium in order to produce nuclear weapons. That same intelligence suggested that Iraq already possessed a stockpile of both chemical and biological weapons. Bush, like any president with guts, acted preemptively to protect the people and the infrastructure of the United States.
Furthermore, after listening to Wilson's testimony to the 9-11 Commission (based largely on the material in his book) the 9-11 Commission and the Senate Select Intelligence Committee were both forced to concede that the CIA report on Wilson's mission to Niger differed substantially from his testimony to the 9-11 Commission. Wilson's report to the CIA, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report by Bob Novak, "...did not refute the possibility that Iraq had approached Niger to purchase [yellowcake uranium]." With respect to Wilson's statement to the Washington Post about 'forged documents" involved in the alleged attempt by Iraq to buy uranium—a bombshell that is apparently in his book—Wilson admitted to the 9-11 Committee that he may have exaggerated. The 9-11 Committee found conclusively that Iraq was attempting to procure enriched (yellowcake) uranium in Africa.
Because the conclusions of the 9-11 Commission and the findings of the supposedly nonpartisan US Senate Select Intelligence Committee debunked both Clarke and Wilson, the Democrats on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee led by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV wanted a watered-down report that neither condemned nor exonerated the White House while not criticizing either Wilson or Clarke whom they characterized as victims of the Bush Administration in order, one imagines, to maintain their nonpartisan appearance.
Not content with a Democratic whitewash that sought to mitigate the erroneous testimony of Clarke and Wilson by simply labeling their falsehoods as personal views (which by extension makes Bush appear guilty), Senate Select Intelligence Committee chairman Pat Roberts issued his own scathing statement noting that rather than confining his comments about what actually happened when he went, as a agent of the US government, to Niger on a fact-finding mission, Roberts observed that "...the former ambassador seems to have included information he learned from press accounts and from his beliefs about how the intelligence community would have or should have handled the information he provided...Time and again Joe Wilson told anyone who would listen that the president had lied to the American people, that the vice president had lied, and that he had 'debunked' the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa...[N]ot only did he NOT 'debunk' the claim, he actually gave some intelligence analysts even more reason to believe [the MI-5 story was] true." In concluding, Roberts noted that much of what Wilson had to say contained absolutely no basis of fact. But, when you are a Democrat throwing stones, one rock is just as good as any other rock—until you look at them and discover that some of them are petrified cow poop.
© 2004 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights Reserved
Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.
Today, Jon is an advertising executive with the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website. E-Mail: BAFFauthor@aol.com
Tenet erred in a major way by agreeing to send a very partisan Clinton liberal bureaucrat on a mission that actually required a nonpartisan intelligence operative.