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The Fly on the Wall, Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame

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He flits about, ostensibly looking for food tidbits, perhaps some fine poop. As he sits still on a doughnut, he hears all transpiring in the room. Then he fills in The Wise I.
The Senator from New York, the senator from California and the senator from Delaware each sat in a chair in a clubby room far away from the chattering crowd of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee enjoying barbecue on the lawn. The reporter from the New York Times sat back a bit from his more honorific company but Joe Wilson noted he was there nonetheless.

Joe was excited when Val informed him that the Senator from New York phoned and invited him to a private meeting during the upcoming policy committee jamboree.

“I think they’re listening to your complaint about Niger, Joe. Finally!” Val finished with that breathless exclamation and handed her husband the phone.

Joe listened to the senator from New York as he, indeed, did want to speak to him about his trip to Niger. Now Joe sat in the room with three of the most important senators in the Democratic party and the reporter from the New York Times. Normally a chatterbox, Joe decided to remain quiet in the company of such august persons.

“Joe, as you know we’ve got a big election coming up next year,” the senator from New York said quietly. Joe nodded affirmative. It seemed a simple and true statement. Joe knew there was more. Joe hoped it involved him.

“Joe,” the senator from California said, surprising Joe who waited for more from the senator from New York. “It’s now May of 2003. By next year at this time, if we’re lucky, we may have a potent weapon to use against Bush.”

“It’s been a while since we attacked Iraq and it looks,” the Senator from Delaware said with a wink and a slight pause. Joe turned his head again to face this new speaker. “It looks like,” the senator from Delaware continued after the dramatic pause, “no one’s going to find any weapons of mass destruction.”

Silence descended and Joe sat, bewildered. He’d already turned in his report to The Agency. He knew the Nigerians weren’t selling yellowcake uranium to Saddam. The President of Niger told Wilson so in person. Besides, Abu down the hall, who Wilson could trust implicitly to give him all the dirt, told him Niger wasn’t selling yellowcake to Saddam because Niger couldn’t meet Saddam’s timeline. It made sense to Joe at the time. Wilson had been ambassador to three African countries. He was no fool. He knew that the President of Niger wasn’t selling yellowcake to Saddam for some reason beyond good sense. If the Nigerian President wasn’t selling it was because he couldn’t or wouldn’t meet the terms of the buyer.

Nonetheless, Joe felt confident that his report to The Agency was right on. While Joe didn’t do much snooping around in that godawful humid hellhole called Niger, he did ask Abu down the hall. Abu wouldn’t lie to Joe. The fact was that Niger wasn’t selling yellowcake and if Bush said or implied that they were then Bush was lying.

“Now not finding weapons of mass destruction doesn’t mean a damn thing, Joe,” the senator from New York picked up the thread. “We all know Saddam was a bad actor and we all know he was into all kinds of shenanigans. YOU know,” the Senator from New York said, pausing and pointing an almost accusatory finger at Joe, “that Saddam was sniffing around for yellowcake from Niger and whether or not the deal got struck, well still means Saddam was looking for uranium. For what, Joe? To put nuclear generators in his palaces?”

All present in the room laughed. Joe let out a small chuckle. For some reason Joe felt guilty and he didn’t know why.

“When the time came for us to cast our vote for taking down Saddam, all of us voted as we had to. But Joe, a political campaign is a whole nother animal.”

“Which is why we want your help,” the Senator from Delaware said, his words accompanied by a conspiratorial smile that made Joe comfortable.

“This is why we have Sam here, Joe” the Senator from California chimed in, nodding to Sam, the NY Times reporter. “He’s going to help us out.”

“We already planned to attack Bush as being a bigger cause of 9/11 then people thought him to be. It’s a tricky gambit because he was only President for eight months. But we have to get the heat off of our guy just because Clinton doodled in the White House for eight years. BUT…,” the Senator from New York said then paused. Everyone in the room remained silent. The Senator from New York noticed a fly on the arm of his leather chair and shooed it off, annoyed. The fly flew over and landed unbeknownst on the shoulder of the reporter from the New York Times. Joe stifled his grin.

“BUT we’ve been checking our focus groups and been floating talking points. The ‘no weapons of mass destruction’ appears to be resonating.”

“They’re just words, as we all know Joe. And Joe, we’re just as unhappy as everyone else at The Agency about Rumsfeld forming that little committee of 18 to do the job The Agency’s been doing just fine. Sure, we found a few moles. All spy agencies have moles. Did you know your pal Abu was a mole? And he was such a damn good translator.”

Joe tried not to appear shocked about Abu. Abu had lived in America most of his life. Joe would never have believed Abu was a counter-spy.

“So Rumsfeld shoves it to all of you by forming his extra-spy agency ‘The Office of Special Plans’,” the Senator from Delaware almost spit out. “We didn’t like it as much as you poor schlubs who’ve been working diligently at The Agency of State all your lives. You go all the way to Niger, investigate the yellowcake thing, write and present a nice report, and no one pays a bit of attention. But you were right, Joe. There are no weapons of mass destruction. It’s our greatest talking point.”

“What do you want me to do?” Joe asked, glad that his determined voice control had come back. He understood the plan. Joe wanted to know what was in it for him.

“We’ve got a carefully planned timeline, Joe” the senator from California said, unfolding a sheaf of papers retrieved from the side table.

“The President used the example of Saddam’s attempt to purchase yellowcake uranium in his State of the Union Speech this past January, Joe, as you of course know. And thanks for calling up Terry on this, Joe, because it’s a big help.”

Joe beamed at the praise by the Senator from New York.

“We’ve arranged for you to go on a big media blitz over the next couple of months, Joe. We’ve got our best guys at Wapo, New Republic, a liberal Blogger. Sam here,” the Senator pointed to the still silent New York Times reporter, “is going to start things off by reporting a story with you as the anonymous source. After stirring the pot, on July 1 we’ve got our best writer ready to pen a nice Op-Ed by you which Sam here will see gets lots of play. ”

Joe enjoyed the thought of the upcoming media spotlight and knew Val would love it. But something still bothered him. While the glare of the lights was nice, it didn’t pay the bills.

“Now don’t be thinking we don’t have a plan for you, Joe” the Senator from Delaware said, almost reading Joe’s mind.

“We’ve got a real nice book campaign in mind. By April of next year you’ll have a book out and it will be on to a best seller.”

“I hardly think a book of mine about yellowcake and Niger will be a best-seller,” Joe said, now in full control and no mind this heady company, this was looking more and more like nothing for him.

“Now Joe,” the Senator from New York said, shooting Joe a kindly, almost fatherly look. “We’ve got a fine plan for books hitting, bingo, six months before next year’s election. We’ve got the biggest publishing houses in the business on our side. ”

“No, a book on yellowcake uranium won’t be a hot item,” the Senator from California said, fiction being a California specialty. “But if we add a nice scandal, Joe, it’ll sell nice.”

“What scandal?” Joe asked, now wary.

“Joe,” the Senator from New York said softly, “we know Valerie got you that trip assignment. The Agency was desperately fighting against that group of Rumsfeld. God knows Tenet didn’t know what was going on.”

Joe remained silent. Val had gotten him the job and it was a nice vacation and a plum assignment. And Joe really did trust Abu, damn him.

“What we’ll do,” the Senator from California began the fabrication, “we’ll blitz you over the next couple of days with our guys in the media. Then your Op-Ed in the New York Times. We’ll get you as much air time as possible. Sometime in the middle of July we’ll let it slip that Valerie got you the job and that she works at The Agency.”

Joe jumped from his chair in anger.

“Joe,” the Senator from New York said, holding up his palm as if it were the instrument of peace, “hear us out.”

“Everybody that knows where K street is knows that your wife works at The Agency. She’s not highly classified but she’s got enough security clearance to make releasing her identity a crime. See the beauty of the timing, Joe? You get the media blitz, Joe we’ve got Russert biting on this. Then boom, someone tattletales and reveals Valerie’s Agency connection. That’s when you go boo-hooing all over the place, Joe. That’s when you claim victim status. That’s when you mention that you’re writing a book about your mistreatment.”

The room fell quiet again as all within pondered the sequence of events as depicted by the Senator from New York.

“Joe, we’ve got a really good ghost writer lined up. Give the book a snappy name, something with ‘truth’ in the title. See, we want our guys seen as being on the side of truth while at the same time inferring lies on the administration.”

“When would the book be released? And how many do you think will sell?”

“We’ll get the teachers’ unions on it,” the Senator from Delaware said. “I think easily we’ve got a half a mil, maybe a mil. Heck, coming out during a campaign year, could be three or four million. Even if you get a buck a piece, Joe, and you’ll get more, isn’t that at least a million, probably more?”

Joe mentally did the math. Indeed it was, he figured.

“It’s win-win, Joe,” the Senator from Delaware said. “We win. You win.”

“Who’s going to release the bit about Valerie?” Joe asked.

The Senator from Delaware waved his hands as body gesture that this was no problem. “We’ve got a bunch of reporters all lined up. They’ll put the buzz out and soon enough somebody will print it. ”

“Now Joe,” the Senator from New York said, then paused, his head lowered in thought. “Sam here is going to run the drill for you and give you some pointers on the media blitz. But may I suggest a few, ah, talking points?”

Joe nodded, his head spinning with the couple of mil he’d be putting in the bank soon.

“Somebody, probably some cohort of Saddam, released a bill of sale supposedly between Saddam and Niger for purchase of yellowcake uranium. It was a big forgery. Problem is, the forgery wasn’t found until October 2002 and you visited Niger in February, before the forgery came out.”

Joe knew all about the forgery that was soon considered to be efforts to cloud any actions between Iraq and Niger. Whoever released them knew the forgery would be discovered. Thus any truth about Saddam and Niger will be clouded with doubt. Joe was kind of glad when the forgery was discovered as it tended to prove what Abu had told him.

“It might be better, Joe,” the Senator from New York said, stretching his stiff neck, ” if you try to confuse things by mentioning how you told The Agency it was a forgery. Don’t come out and say you noticed the forgery. Keep it vague but make it sound like the discovery of the forgery and your report to The Agency were concurrent.”

Joe nodded. He was an expert at doublespeak. He could handle it.

“And Joe,” the Senator from California said, “deny any hints that your wife was behind your trip to Niger. When the time comes for the leak then you can handle it however you want. Oh, and be sure and hint that you think the administration leaked your wife’s name. Demand an investigation, Joe. Sam will tell you how. Do it right Joe and you’ll sell more books.”

Sam rose and waited. Joe assumed Sam was waiting for him so he stood up. Sam left the room and Joe followed behind. Right before going into the hall, Joe stopped and turned.

“Suppose, assuming everything goes according to plan,” Joe said to the three Senators, “and I demand an investigation. Suppose they really want to find out who leaked Valerie’s name? What then?”

All three Senators looked at Joe as if he grew two heads.

“Joe,” the Senator from California said as if talking to a dolt. “That’s not going to happen.”

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About pat fish

  • Maezeppa

    Iraq, like most of the middle east, can mine its own uranium, obviating the need to purchase it from the foreign, IAEA-regulated mines in Niger.

    Interestingly, it just may be that the current grand jury Valerie Plame inquiry may very well also unearth the author of the forgeries. Look for an information conduit leading from Bolton to Rove.

  • W. von Ludewig

    As a former intelligence officer, the blowing of someone’s Non Official Cover
    (NOC) is not a lighthearted matter. In
    Ms Plame’s case, it could have meant her
    being picked up by some African or Middle Eastern political police, and being held without diplomatic immunity..
    That means that they could have done whatever they wanted—repeat, whatever
    they wanted—to this woman..
    My understanding is that ROVE was the source, and president bush knew of the
    proposed criminal disclosure of her CIA
    identity in advance—and did nothing
    to stop the disclosure..
    That would be a violation of that part of his oath of office that requires him
    to, “…take care that the laws are faithfully executed…” and may be a
    separate crime committed by “bush the lesser”, himself, called, “misprison of
    a felony..”
    Somehow, I fail to see the humor in the
    On the other hand, a joint autobiography
    with the title. “Karl and Dubya Meet BIG
    Big Bubba and The Ripper in Leavenworth”
    would be hilarious!!

  • Dave Nalle

    Well, WvL, you seem to have the inside scoop here, let’s see your evidence – and your sources – that Rove did it and that Bush knew. Inquiring minds are eager to know.

    Or are you just another opinionated, irrational, bush-hating troll?


  • Bob

    I’m not sure about comparing Rove to Bin Laden. Benedict Arnold does come to mind however. I beleive he should be hanged.

  • Silas Kain

    I think that Rove being treasonous is a bit over the top. It seems his modus operandi involves using unorthodox means to get his candidates elected. That’s something virtually every political operative is guilty of at one time or another. The fact that the incident involves a person who had a direct involvement in the security of the country is another matter. Hanging? No. Jail? Why? What would that prove? If he leaked the information, then he should be given the opportunity to resign and leave Washington forthwith. Then the media can concentrate on reporting things that are more important to the fabric of American life.

  • Silas Kain

    Yahoo News has an interesting article on the Rove scandal comparing him to Bin Laden. What’s really more disturbing, however, is a new allegation that Ari Fleischer’s abrupt departure as press secretary may have a direct link to Mr. Rove.

  • gonzo marx


    i’m afraid i must disagree on one point here..

    you say “Jail? no.”

    i say jail, if convicted, hell yes…to the fullest extent of the Law for commiting a felony that threatens an Agent’s life as well as National security

    it’s a matter of Personal Responsibility, for me at least…

    if he is convicted of doing it..then he should suffer the full penalty of the law..NO exeptions to the Rule of Law…NO special concessions for politicians and their henchmen

    either our Laws govern EVERY citizen, or we are not the Nation we are supposed to be

    as for what purpose does it serve? whoever violated a federal Law, and second…sends a clear message to others in our G
    overnment that they are Responsible, and Accountable for their Actions, under the Rule of Law

    nuff said?


  • Silas Kain

    I dig what you’re saying, gonzo. Personally I find Mr. Rove to be the reincarnation of Rasputin. That being said, jail in this case would be a vacation. All we have are allegations. In the event that there is evidence and he is convicted, he would end up with probation and/or serving time in a Federal detention facility. What good is putting him in a Federal country club? In the long run it would cost the taxpayers more money than this man is worth.

    If he is charged with anything he should resign. If he is convicted, the President should issue a conditional pardon. Mr. Rove’s fall from political grace and power that he has achieved is a punishment that is far worse than a vacation in penal country club.

  • gonzo marx

    again,k i must disagree…having a Felony rap on his sheet…no voting, no guns

    i could care less about the expense…after 46 million spent on a blowjob hunting for Impeachment..this trial would cost peanuts

    and thanx for noticing i did say “if convicted”

    i really don';t carte who it is, but i DO want whoever is Responsible for leaking the info, as well as Novak for printing it, to be held accountable to the fullest extant of the Law

    nuff said?


  • Silas Kain

    I understand gonzo.

  • W. von Ludewig

    Oh well.. Rove hasn’t been indicted—yet..
    But I guess it won’t make any difference.. I believe that it’s possible that Cheney, Libby & Co. deliberately distorted the intelligence on Iraq in order to start the war on a pretext, rather than on the truth.. If it’s an honest mistake in judgment,I have no problem.. But if they KNEW the intelligence was wrong on WMD and all the other reasons given that turned out to be
    wrong, then I have a BIG problem.. This plan to
    invade Iraq was published in white paper LONG before Bush took office—and the plan even says
    that a catastrophic event ( 9/11) can be used as a pretext to start the war.. So there is a valid
    reason to question their motives—because the
    very same people laid it out in their own words
    before it happened..
    It’s a plan for exactly what happened,in their own handwriting..

    In the United States, the People are the sovereign—the People have ALL the power and
    authority—the Federal government has NO power to do anything, except what the People have specifically delegated.. George W.Bush is NOT the
    King—he is only a servant—the People are the King in this Republic..

    And where have the Sovereign People consented to
    have their citizens sent to war based on a pack of lies ??