August 06, 2003

Whistleblower on Niger uranium claim accuses White House of launching 'dirty-tricks campaign'

(8/5/03) It is clear that significant elements of the US
military and intel community are resisting the foolish
and destructive adventurism of the _resident and his
neo-con wet dreamers, Paul Woefullwits, Richard
Puerile, etc...It is also painfully evident that the
"US mainstream news media" will only report what it is
forced to report and almost never connect the
dots...Here is more (from the British press of course)
on the saga of Joseph Wilson and his wife, victims of
White House "dirty tricks," with their names scrawled
on the John O'Neil wall of heroes...Remember, Wilson
was Poppy Bush's Ambassador to Iraq. Yes, here is a
Popular Front emerging in the U.S., a widespread
citizen's movement based not on left/right ideologies
but on common human decency and pillars of
long-standing US and international principles...

Whistleblower on Niger uranium claim accuses White House of launching 'dirty-tricks campaign'
By Kim Sengupta
04 August 2003

The former American diplomat who exposed false claims
that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Niger
has accused members of the Bush administration of a
dirty tricks campaign against him.

The revelation of Joseph Wilson's investigation in the
African state forced President George Bush to retract
claims about Iraq's attempts to buy uranium made in
his State of the Union speech two months before the
war began.

The Administration is alleged to have leaked the name
of Mr Wilson's wife, an undercover CIA operative in
the field of weapons of mass destruction, with the aim
of discrediting him. It is said that Mr Wilson was
selected to go on the trip to Niger last year only
after his wife, Valerie Plame, suggested him.

US intelligence officials and the Democrats are
furious about the move, arguing that it jeopardises Ms
Plame's work and undermines her husband. They have
called for an inquiry.

Her identity was revealed by Bob Novak, a syndicated
columnist, who said that he was given the information
by "two senior administration officials". They told
him that Ms Plame had suggested to her CIA colleagues
that her husband should be sent on the mission.

His report was followed by allegations on
neo-conservative websites that Mr Wilson was an
opponent of the Iraq war, and had an interest in
refuting the threat from Saddam Hussein's WMD.

Mr Wilson said yesterday that the naming of his wife
had parallels with the disclosure of the identity of
the British scientist David Kelly, the source of BBC
allegations that the British government "sexed up" an
dossier on Iraqi weapons.

"The Administration in Washington came in saying they
were going to restore honour and dignity to the
presidency," Mr Wilson said. "They have shown no sign
of it so far. "This is highly damaging to my wife's
career, and could be seen as a smear against me." But
it was also about discouraging "others who may have
information embarrassing to the administration from
coming forward," he said.

"It is absolutely untrue that my wife was responsible
for my trip to Niger. I met a number of senior members
of staff to discuss the visit."

Democrats have criticised the White House over
disclosing Ms Plame's identity, and Senator Charles
Schumer of New York has urged the FBI to investigate.

Former US intelligence officials have also attacked
the Administration for the leak, saying it put Ms
Plame at risk.

Frank Anderson, the former CIA station chief for the
Near East Division, said: "When it gets to the point
of an administration official acting to do career
damage, and possibly endanger someone's life, that's
mean, that's petty, it's irresponsible, and it ought
not to be sanctioned."

Mr Wilson, a former US ambassador to Gabon, revealed
his Niger mission, undertaken last year, in a recent
article in The New York Times. He reported to the
State Department and the CIA that tales of Iraqi
purchases of Niger uranium were without credence but
it was still used by Mr Bush in his speech, though
attributed to Britain.

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

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has acknowledged
that the CIA told Britain that there was no evidence
of Iraq attempting to acquire uranium from Niger. The
Government insists, however, that it has "separate
intelligence" about Iraq's attempts to acquire African
uranium. Ministers have refused to state what that is.
5 August 2003 09:30

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Posted by richard at August 6, 2003 05:42 PM