Saturday, July 16, 2005

Happy Anniversary, Joseph Wilson

I went back through my links archives over at my website, which is woefully overdue for updating, and re-read some of the links on the CIA leak.

A year ago, Joseph Wilson had a letter to the editor of the Washington Post published which sought to debunk claims that paper and other conservatives were making about his trip to Niger and his attack on the credibility of Bush's claims of justification for war.

He's still making the same rebuttals to the same arguments.

I thought it might be worth looking at that the main points of that letter again.

  • Wilson went to Niger on behalf of the U.S. government to look into allegations that Iraq had sought to purchase several hundred tons of yellowcake uranium from that West African country.
  • July 14, Robert Novak, claiming two senior sources, exposed his wife as an "agency operative [who] suggested sending him to Niger."
  • Novak went ahead with his column despite the fact that the CIA had urged him not to disclose her identity.
  • The decision to send him to Niger was not made, and could not be made, by his wife, Valarie Plame.
  • Other inaccuracies and distortions include the suggestion that his findings "bolstered" the case that Niger was engaged in illegal sales of uranium to Iraq. In fact, the Senate report is clear that the intelligence community attempted to keep the claim out of presidential documents because of the weakness of the evidence.
  • Wilson traveled to Niger and found it unlikely that Iraq had attempted to purchase several hundred tons of yellowcake uranium.
  • In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush referred to Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium "from Africa."
  • Between March 2003 and July 2003, the administration refused to acknowledge that it had known for more than a year that the claim on uranium sales from Niger had been discredited, until the day after Wilson's article in the New York Times.
  • The next day the White House issued a statement that "the sixteen words did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of the Union address."

Suggested Reading:


Blogger R said...

Good work Archie. The average American is making this allot more complicated in their pea brains than it really is. The media does not help. Thanks for "breaking it down" for "taking it to the bridge" for..okay enough of the rap analogy. What the hell is this other site you've been hiding?!! I've got some reading to do!

9:15 PM  
Blogger Archie Levine said...

Thanks, Rhonda!

Sometimes I wonder if you're the only person reading this blog--other people should post comments too!

My "other site" is a link farm of news articles I keep over at:

I started it mostly as an archive for myself to use as a quick reference for articles I wanted to quote to other people, but thought it would be a good idea to leave it online as a searchable database for people to stumble on through google without actually asking me a question.

During the election I was updating every day, which meant about two hours every morning of link making. My little contribution to the effort not to re-elect the president.

After the election I camed down with pnuemonia, and other real life intrusions on my online life and the linking dropped way off.

Still, there is a lot of good stuff over there and I'll get back to linking again when time allows. This summer I've been pursuing a degree in screenwriting, traveling, producing a two week run of a show at a national theatre festival, prepping for teaching in the fall and next month will be teaching a week long intensive course. Time has been in shorter supply than outrage, I'm afraid.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Archie Levine said...


The single important thing to proofread and I fuck it up.

12:55 AM  
Blogger R said...

No, I'm not the only one Archie. Ava, Debbie, Frank, Oscar and Ann all read it too. We share the same body so they really don't have a choice. Frank thinks you suck. But don't worry, he'll be gone once I start taking my medication again.

3:42 PM  
Blogger R said...

Archie!!! Where the hell are you?!!

5:23 PM  

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