/*PenDragn: Novak Calls Armitage a Liar. Former Deputy SOS's Role More Political Than Previously Exposed?*/

9.14.2006

Novak Calls Armitage a Liar. Former Deputy SOS's Role More Political Than Previously Exposed?

In an unusual column that appears today, Novak says his initial source, former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage, was more sure of Plame's ties to the CIA than the source has indicated. Novak adds that Armitage linked her directly to her husband's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger and suggested the disclosure would be a good item for Novak's column.
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In his initial July 14, 2003, column, Novak wrote that Wilson "never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction." Novak also wrote that "two senior administration officials told me his wife suggested sending Wilson to Niger to investigate."

Let me just stop there and notice that not only did Novak out Plame, but he gave the nations of the world her exact function at the CIA. Why didn't he just hang a sign on her?

But if Armitage pushed Novak to use it, he looks more like a political tool than ever. I don't know if the former DSOS was a willing tool. Many in Washington and the news media find themselves to be cornered or tricked into doing things that are against their own interests and even just wrong and as Armitage said he didn't know that Ms. Plame was covert. Washington Post article on Novak's revelations

Then again it is known that Armitage did want a promotion and resigned when he didn't get it. So sucking up to the boss has never been known to hurt, right?

Lets go over the facts that have been revealed.

Wilson goes to Africa, Niger in fact and finds that Saddam had never sought Uranium from the country.

He makes a report on that. The report is ignored by the White House and assertions are made that Saddam did, in fact, seek Uranium from the African country even in the 2003 State of the Union speech.

Wilson is understandably and admirably irked by the distortion of facts he had checked for them and begins in the Spring of 2003 to mention around Washington that he had found just the opposite and reported that to the Bush administration.

It was at that point that Cheney asked Libby to have someone check out the facts behind the Wilson trip to Niger.

Libby apparently passed the job to Marc Grossman.
So, Cheney's chief of staff Lewis Libby requested a report on Wilson from Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, a neoconservative ally. In violation of the strict rules against jeopardizing the covert identity of CIA officers, Grossman’s report, dated June 10, 2003, tossed in a reference to “Valerie Plame” as Wilson’s wife.

The above quote is from a Consortium News report. I have seen the same info, probably from the great New York Times report of Sept 2, 2006 ("New Questions About Inquiry in C.I.A. Leak" was the original title, but it is changed in the archives though you can find it by using the title in NYT's search. It is the only article on the subject published there on September 2, 2006.)

More from Consortium News of facts I have also read in mainstream news:
CIA Director George Tenet also divulged to Cheney that Wilson'’s wife worked for the CIA and had a hand in arranging Wilson'’s trip to Niger, information that Cheney then passed on to Libby in a conversation on June 12, 2003, according to Libby'’s notes as described by lawyers in the case. [NYT, Oct. 25, 2005]


So somehow a memo ends up on the desk of Armitage, a known "Washington gossip" if that's not just a convenient label exposing Valerie Wilson and then saying that she maneuvered her husband into the trip to Niger (which the Bush administration has been portraying as a 'junket'. Hmmm, which world class resort did Wilson stay at in Niger? Can the Cheney administration find out that fact? I didn't think so. In fact, Wilson did a great job at getting to the bottom of it all. I don't care if Wilson's mother was head of the CIA at the time. It wouldn't matter because Ambassador Wilson sought the truth and found it.)

Armitage told Woodward who often passes on inside stuff for the White House, though his name is mostly on books that make Bush and his co-administrators look near mythic rather than news reports.

Libby tried to get Judy Miller who often played the same role while doing articles at the New York Times to write a piece about it. As I recall, in Miller's case, the editors balked though she was willing.

Armitage's July 8, 2003 session with Robert Novak was set up by a former Reagan aide (according to the 9/2/2006 NYTs article) which the Washington Post describes as a 'friend'. Yeah, and the Washington press core described Linda Tripp as Monica Lewinsky's 'friend'. Novak confirmed the fact via Karl Rove.

Now Novak paints a picture that shows Armitage being more pushy that just offhand about Novak getting the Wilson point out.

(About this time the reporters traveling in Africa with Bush were pressed to find out who was the one that recommended Wilson for the fact finding mission to Niger accore to the NYT 9/2/06 report.)

Matt Cooper over at Time Magazine asked Karl Rove about Wilson's oped on July 11, 2003 and was given the warning (and if you know Rove this was with a capital "W") not to 'get too far out in front on this" because (paraphrased quote)here let me expose his wife but not say her name so I won't get arrested(/paraphrased quote).

Again the Bush administration was acting as if the identity of those who sent Joe Wilson on the fact finding trip he fullfilled so well was important! And in fact, Plame gave some advice to her superiors. Superiors. You know, the people who really make the decisions.

And in fact, though the Bush administration tries to play the nepotism card, but it was really about ruining the career of Valerie Plame Wilson, the wife of someone who exposed one of their lies.

In actuality, there were lots of people in Washington out to get the Wilsons and at least 2 with very clear motives to hurt the Wilsons did expose Plame.

And now Armitage's role is exposed as looking more politically inclined than ever whether he was a tool or purposefully helped the Bush people thinking that it might help him be selected as Secretary of State (at a time when Colin Powell was none to happy with the Bush administration).

One big happy family in DC isn't it?

BTW I have found a Usenet copy of the report I read about Sept 7 or 8, 2006 at the New York Times.

Here is the abstract of the only report the Times offers on the subject for September 2, 2006. You can see a changed title. I don't intend to pay to check out what else they've changed. There was new information, but also a noticeable effort to insert analysis that would cover up the political nature of the exposure of Plame by the Bush administration between the 7th and 9th when the article would have been put in pay per view archives.