Monday, October 24, 2005

A Plamegate Must Read

Everyone should read this piece ( from written by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. I had the opportunity to meet him on several occasions this past summer and can say he is easily one of the most intelligent people I've ever met - which shouldn't be too hard to realize after reading the able synopsis of the entire scandal that he provides.

Here's a few important paragraphs that can't be missed:

When introduced to former ambassador Wilson at the June 14 conference, I wasted no time asking him—rather naively, it turned out—if he knew who the former U.S. ambassador who went to Niger was. He smiled and said, “You’re looking at him.” I asked when he intended to go public; in a couple of weeks, was the answer.

Wilson then turned dead serious and, with considerable emphasis, told me the White House had already launched a full-court press in an effort to dredge up dirt on him. He added, “When I do speak out, they are going to go after me big time. I don’t know the precise nature the retaliation will take, but I can tell you now it will be swift and vindictive. They cannot afford to have people thinking they can escape unscathed if they spill the beans on the dishonesty undergirding this war.” (Sad to say, the White House approach has worked. There are perhaps a hundred of my former C.I.A. colleagues who know about the lies; none—not one—has been able to summon the courage to go public.)

Wilson’s tone was matter of fact; the nerves were of steel. Hardly surprising, thought I. If you can face down Saddam Hussein, you can surely face down the likes of Dick Cheney. Wilson’s New York Times op-ed of July 6, 2003, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa,” pulled no punches. Worse still from the administration’s point of view, Wilson then dropped the other shoe during an interview with the Washington Post also on July 6.

Consummate diplomats like Wilson typically do not speak of “lies.” So outraged was Wilson, though, that this bogus story had been used to “justify” an unprovoked war, that he made a point to note that the already proven dishonesty begs the question regarding “what else they are lying about.”

~Ray McGovern

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