Thursday, May 31, 2007

Valerie Plame Wilson: Misinformation Draped in a Lie Wrapped in Perjury

Scooter Libby will likely be sentenced next Tuesday for allegedly mis-representing three one-minute conversations from more than a year earlier.

The subject matter was Valerie Plame Wilson, whether she recommended her husband for a junket to Niger and her status with her employer at the time.

It turns out that Ms. Wilson has a bit of explaining to do, having made statements that include at least three different versions of her role in the selection of her husband to travel to Niger. At least two of those statements were under oath. According to Senator Kit Bond as reported in USA Today, she testified under oath to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in March,

I did not recommend him. I did not suggest him.
She added,
…an unidentified person in Vice President Cheney's office asked a CIA colleague about the African uranium report in February 2002. A third officer, overhearing Plame and the colleague discussing this, suggested, "Well, why don't we send Joe?" Plame told the committee.
The request for information from the office of the Vice President that she referenced was made on February 13th, as reflected in her own memos

Unfortunately for Ms. Wilson's credibility, a previously unreported memo has made its way out of the Senate Intelligence Committee files. Dated February 12, the day before Vice President Cheney's question, we find her writing to a colleague within the Agency
The report forwarded below has prompted me to send this on to you and request your comments and opinion. Briefly, it seems that Niger has signed a contract with Iraq to sell them uranium. The IC [Intelligence Community] is getting spun up about this for obvious reasons. The embassy in Niamey has taken the position that this report can't be true — they have such cozy relations with the GON [Government of Niger] that they would know if something like this transpired.

So where do I fit in? As you may recall, [redacted] of CP/[office 2] recently approached my husband to possibly use his contacts in Niger to investigate [a separate Niger matter]. After many fits and starts, [redacted] finally advised that the station wished to pursue this with liaison. My husband is willing to help, if it makes sense, but no problem if not. End of story.

Now, with this report, (this being the Iraqi effort to buy uranium from Niger – ed) it is clear that the IC is still wondering what is going on… my husband has good relations with both the PM and the former minister of mines, not to mention lots of French contacts, both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity. To be frank with you, I was somewhat embarrassed by the agency's sloppy work last go-round, and I am hesitant to suggest anything again. However, [my husband] may be in a position to assist. Therefore, request your thoughts on what, if anything, to pursue here. Thank you for your time on this. (Emphasis added.)

Libby is looking at three years in the slammer for either saying or not saying, "Yeah, I've heard that, too."

See also: No Crime, Do The Time

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