August 1, 2005
-- by Gary Boatwright
Hat tip to KPFK and Pacifica Radio for interviewing former NSC staffer Roger Morris. The jist of the Morris interview is that there is a high degree of probability that The Source Beyond Rove is none other than Condelizza Rice:
"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
Rice's demagogic scare tactic was also very much part of the tangled history of alleged Iraqi purchases of uranium from Niger, the fabrication leading to ex-Ambassador Joseph Wilson's now famous exposé of the fraud, the administration's immediate retaliatory "outing" of Wilson's wife Valerie Plame as a CIA operative, and now the revelation that the President's supreme political strategist Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby were involved in that potentially criminal leak-altogether the most serious political crisis Bush has faced. In fact, though her pivotal role has been missed entirely or deliberately ignored-in both the media feeding frenzy and the rising political clamor, Condoleezza Rice was also deeply embroiled in the Niger uranium-Plame scandal, arguably as much as or more so than either Rove or Libby.
Well isn't that interesting.
The evidence of Rice's complicity is increasingly damning as it gathers over a six-year twisting chronology of the Nigerien uranium-Wilson-Plame affair, particularly when set beside what we also know very well about the inside operations of the NSC and Rice's unique closeness to Bush, her tight grip on her staff, and the power and reach that went with it all. What follows isn't simple. These machinations in government never are, especially in foreign policy. But follow the bouncing ball of Rice's deceptions, folly, fraud and culpability. Slowly, relentlessly, despite the evidence, the hoax of the Iraq-Niger uranium emerges as a central thread in the fabricated justification for war, and thus in the President's, Rice's, and the regime's inseparable credibility. The discrediting of Wilson, in which the outing his CIA wife is irresistible, becomes as imperative for Rice as for Rove and Libby, Bush and Cheney. And when that moment comes, she has the unique authority, and is in a position, to do the deed. Motive, means, opportunity-in the classic terms of prosecution, Rice had them all.
What follows is an incredibly detailed time line of the whole sorry Iraq debacle. What Morris made very clear during his KPFK interview and in the article is that Condi is an intellectual, foreign policy and political lightweight that failed her duty as NSC Director to protect the office of the Presidency as well as the President from being manipulated for political purposes.
Morris highlighted this item in his KPFK interview. The memo that was handed to Powell as he boarded the airplane was the first known reference to Valerie by her maiden name. Previous documented references had referred to her as Valerie Wilson.
Later in the day, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage calls INR Assistant Secretary Carl W. Ford at home, and asks him to send a briefing memo to Powell about the Niger uranium issue. Ford simply pulls out the previous June 10 memo with its reference to Wilson's wife (her name now corrected from Wilson to Plame), addresses it to Powell, and forwards the memo to Rice to be passed on to Powell, who is due to leave the next day with the Presidential party on a trip to Africa.
Up to this point in time any and all WH administration officials who could have been the source of the leak would have referred to Joe Wilson's wife as Valerie Wilson. Unless we are to assume that Novak and Judy Miller had more accurate sources than the folks that prepared the memo handed to Powell, they would also have identified her as Valerie Wilson.
This is interesting. I don't recall reading about this littel tidbit and off the top of my head the only involved reporters I can name are are Novak, Miller and Cooper. Does anyone know the other three?
September 2003: An unidentified "White House official" tells the Washington Post that "at least six reporters" had been told about Plame before Novak's column appeared. The disclosures, the source says, were "purely and simply out of revenge."
Morris covers a whole lot of ground, but I'll close with his credentials:
(This article owes a primary debt to the ground-breaking research of Professor Gary Leupp of Tufts University in his "Faith-Based Intelligence," CounterPunch.org, July 26, 2003.)
Roger Morris was Senior Staff on the National Security Council under both Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, until resigning over the invasion of Cambodia. Morris is the author of Partners in Power: the Clintons and Their America and with Sally Denton The Money and the Power: the Making of Las Vegas. He is completing Shadows of the Eagle, a history of US policy and covert interventions in the Middle East and South Asia over the past half-century, forthcoming from Alfred Knopf.
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