Thursday, July 07, 2005

Wilson- Plame timeline surrounding CIA leaks

From a diary at Booman Tribune, here is an excellent timeline of the events surrounding the Wilson-Plame situation.

1988 Joe Wilson takes position as the Deputy Ambassador to Iraq.

1990 Novak article on Wilson re: Iraq War I.

"The chief American diplomat, Joe Wilson, shepherds his flock of some 800 known Americans like a village priest. At 4:30 Sunday morning, he was helping 55 wives and children of U.S. diplomats from Kuwait load themselves and their few remaining possessions on transport for the long haul on the desert to Jordan. He shows the stuff of heroism.

1992 George H. W. Bush appointees Wilson as ambassador to two African countries.

26 April 1999 George H. W. Bush (President and former Director of the CIA).

"[W]e need more protection for the methods we use to gather intelligence and more protection for our sources, particularly our human sources, people that are risking their lives for their country. Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors."

January 2002 Niger-Iraq nuclear connection first surfaces

February 2002 Wilson is asked and accepts the mission to Niger to investigate; Wilson found no evidence.

March 2002 Wilson delivers his report to CIA regarding the suspected uranium deal.

September 2002 British white paper makes an Iraq-Niger uranium connection.

28 January 2003 16 words are spoken by the President.

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

5 February 2003 Powell goes to the UN.

7 March 2003 IAEA, el Baradei, provides proof that the Niger-Iraq claims were based on forgeries.

8 March 2003 State Department says "we fell for it" regarding the forged documents.

8 March 2003 Wilson indicates to the CNN that the U.S. government has more information than the state department acknowledged.

8 March 2003 Wilson is informed that the final decision to out his wife was made in the "Office of the Vice President - possibly attended by Dick Cheney, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Newt Gingrich, and other senior Republicans - to produce a workup on Wilson to discredit him."

2 May 2003 Mission Accomplished

8 June 2003 Rice deflects criticism surrounding the uranium claim

6 July 2003 Wilson writes his article; What I didn't find in Africa.

8 July 2003 First word of treason.

A friend informs Wilson that Novak believes that his wife had something to do with Wilson's appointment to investigate the Yellow Cake claim

"He asked Novak if he could walk a block or two with him, as they were headed in the same direction; Novak acquiesced. Striking up a conversation, my friend, without revealing that he knew me, asked Novak about the Uranium controversy. It was a minor problem, Novak replied, and opined that the administration should have dealt with it weeks before. My friend then asked Novak what he thought about me, and Novak answered: "Wilson's an asshole. The CIA sent him. His wife, Valerie [Plame], works for the CIA. She's a weapons of mass destruction specialist. She sent him.""

Wilson's friend went right to Wilson's office and documented the exchange.
9 July 2003 Novak returns call from Wilson (made the day before) but they missed each other.

10 July 2003 In conversation with Novak he claimed a CIA source informed him of Plame's position as an undercover CIA WMD specialist. Wilson exclaimed that he couldn't imagine why he would "blurt out to a complete stranger what he had thought he knew about my wife." To which Novak apologized and asked Wilson if he could confirm the claim. Of course Wilson wouldn't and reminded Novak that Plame had nothing to do with his stork re: Yellow Cake. It was about the 16 words in the State of the Union address.

Wilson noted a story written in 1990 by Novak and Evans and suggested that Novak "check his files" before writing about him. Wilson claimed he was "hardly antiwar, just anti-dumb war." Novak apologized.

11 July 2003 Condoleezza Rice skirted the question regarding the 16 words claiming that the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) would have informed someone.

a few days before 14 July 2003

Wilson writes that Walter Pincus (WaPo) alerted Wilson that "they are coming after you." Also see 28 September 2003.

* 14 July 2003 Novak writes this

"Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him. "I will not answer any question about my wife," Wilson told me.

this is completely different than what Novak claimed 4 days earlier; he said that his source was a CIA source not a "senior administration official". To this Novak said that he misspoke.

Wilson informed Plame and described her as "crestfallen" and wondering if her 20 years of work was all a loss. She immediately started to "minimize the fallout" of this treasonous act.

17 July 2003 David Corn in the Nation publishes "A White House smear". Personal call from Corn informs Wilson that this leak was a crime.

20 July 2003 Andrea Mitchell informs Wilson that a senior White House source told her to press the story of the Wilson family. Not the 16 words.

21 July 2003 [morning] Wilson does interview with NBC's Andrea Mitchell. In this interview the editors at the NBC evening news had omitted important qualifiers in the wording Wilson used to talk about his wife. This, in Wilson's words, "changed the tenor of the interview and gave CIA lawyers cause to briefly consider whether or not I myself might have been in violation of the same law of the senior administration officials...". Wilson requested a copy of the raw footage for future use but was denied. Wilson requested Mitchell save a copy; she agreed.

21 July 2003 [afternoon] Chris Matthews informs Wilson that Karl Rove considered his wife "fair game".

22 July 2003 Wilson appears on the Today show.

22 July 2003 Stephen Hadley, Rice subordinate, admits the 16 words should have been deleted from the Presidents speech. He offered to resign but was denied by the President.

24 July 2003 The CIA reported "possible violations of criminal law" to the Attorney General John Ashcroft. (via Conyers letter reply)

24 July 2003 Wilson appears on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Here he shows Stewart a letter from Dick Cheney asking Wilson to be "a cochairman of the Washington, D.C., campaign to reelect Bush-Cheney.
30 July 2003 Rice "grudgingly" admits the contents of the speech were her responsibility; never offered her resignation.

30 July 2003 The CIA reported to the DoJ (via Conyers letter reply)

4 August 2003 Paul Wolfowitz quotes Wilson's claim that he believes that there will be WMDs found in Iraq.

12 August 2003 The Wall Street Journal editorial page charged that Wilson was "moving the goal post" in Iraq by saying that the WMDs did not meet the "imminent threat test"; which the Journal claims is a phrase the President and his administration had never used in the first place.

20 August 2003 Wilson at a town meeting in Seattle with Congressman Jay Inslee; "wouldn't it be fun to see Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs? And I measure my words."

14 September 2003 Wilson publishes "Seeking Honesty in U.S. policy" in The San Jose Mercury.

28 September 2003 MSNBC has announced that Justice Department has begun its investigation.

28 September 2003 the Washington Post quotes a senior administration official saying "that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife." ... "They [the leakers] alleged that Wilson, who was not a CIA employee, was selected for the Niger mission partly because his wife had recommended him."

29 September 2003 John Conyers, Jr. sends letter to the CIA, the response is cited several times above. The point is the time lapse is large for such an important matter of security to the nation.

29 September 2003 DoJ requests the FBI investigate the leak.

30 September 2003 Ed Gillespie on CNN said Wilson had donated to the Gore and Kerry campaign. Which was true but Gillespie failed to mention contributions to Republicans.

1 October 2003 Novack writes this

The leak now under Justice Department investigation is described by former Ambassador Wilson and critics of President Bush's Iraq policy as a reprehensible effort to silence them. To protect my own integrity and credibility, I would like to stress three points. First, I did not receive a planned leak. Second, the CIA never warned me that the disclosure of Wilson's wife working at the agency would endanger her or anybody else. Third, it was not much of a secret.

1 October 2003 On the set of Face the Nation Senator Chuck Hagel expressed "bewilderment" at Republicans who were spinning a possible high crime into a partisan attack. During the broadcast he claimed that Plame was not a partisan issue. WTF?

7 October 2003 The President, when asked about the leak, said "I want to know the truth." But fail to hold his senior people accountable.

October [first week] investigators begin to collect documents.

15 October 2003 Wilson receives the truth teller of the year award.

October [late] Ken Star advisor during Whitewater, Samuel Dash's Newsday article argues that the PATRIOT Act should be invoked.

"If, as it now seems likely, top White House aids leaked the identity of an American undercover agent, they may have committed an act of domestic terrorism as defined by the dragnet language of the Patriot Act their boss wanted so much to help him catch terrorists."
He cited Section 802 which defines domestic terrorism as an act that endangers human life while violating criminal laws of the U. S. in order to "intimidate or coerce a civilian population."

24 December 2003 Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board finds that the White House made a "questionable claim" with respect to the Iraqi nuclear ambitions.

30 December 2003 Ashcroft labels this issue a "grave matter" indicates that it shouldn't be managed by partisan politics.

21 January 2004 The federal grand jury begins hearing testimony.

23 January 2004 David Key resigns as head of the CIA's Iraq Survey Group; admitting that Iraq had no WMDs.

30 January 2004 Conyers receives letter response.

3 June 2004 CIA Director George Tenet resigns.

3 June 2004 Bush and his administration consult lawyers.

27 June 2005 SCOTUS refuses to hear reporters, Miller and Cooper, appeal.

30 June 2005 Time magazine will hand over Cooper notes surrounding the leak case

6 July 2005 Wilson statement

The sentencing of Judith Miller to jail for refusing to disclose her sources is the direct result of the culture of unaccountability that infects the Bush White House from top to bottom. President Bush's refusal to enforce his own call for full cooperation with the Special Counsel has brought us to this point. Clearly, the conspiracy to cover up the web of lies that underpinned the invasion of Iraq is more important to the White House than coming clean on a serious breach of national security. Thus has Ms Miller joined my wife, Valerie, and her twenty years of service to this nation as collateral damage in the smear campaign launched when I had the temerity to challenge the President on his assertion that Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium yellowcake from Africa.

The real victims of this cover-up, which may have turned criminal, are the Congress, the Constitution and, most tragically, the Americans and Iraqis who have paid the ultimate price for Bush's folly.

So I wonder if there's a connection between George Tenet's resignation and The Bushites lawyering up?