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RNC RESPONDS ON ROVE: PARTISAN POLITICAL ATTACK

RAW STORY

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman has issued a statement, acquired by RAW STORY, saying questions about Rove's role in leaking the name of a CIA agent are part of a 'partisan attack.'

The following is a release, along with RNC research they believe supports their position.

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"It's disappointing that once again, so many Democrat leaders are taking their political cues from the far-left, Moveon wing of the party. The bottom line is Karl Rove was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise and the Democrats are engaging in blatant partisan political attacks." -RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman

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Cooper's Own Email Claims Rove Warned Of Potential Inaccuracies In Wilson Information:

"[Time Reporter Matt] Cooper Wrote That Rove Offered Him A 'Big Warning' Not To 'Get Too Far Out On Wilson.' Rove Told Cooper That Wilson's Trip Had Not Been Authorized By 'DCIA' - CIA Director George Tenet - Or Vice President Dick Cheney." (Michael Isikoff, "Matt Cooper's Source," Newsweek, 7/18/05)

Wilson Falsely Claimed That It Was Vice President Cheney Who Sent Him To Niger, But The Vice President Has Said He Never Met Him And Didn't Know Who Sent Him:

Wilson Says He Traveled To Niger At CIA Request To Help Provide Response To Vice President's Office. "In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. ... The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office." (Joseph C. Wilson, The New York Times, 7/6/03)

Joe Wilson: "What They Did, What The Office Of The Vice President Did, And, In Fact, I Believe Now From Mr. Libby's Statement, It Was Probably The Vice President Himself ..." (CNN's "Late Edition," 8/3/03)

Vice President Cheney: "I Don't Know Joe Wilson. I've Never Met Joe Wilson. ... And Joe Wilson - I Don't [Know] Who Sent Joe Wilson. He Never Submitted A Report That I Ever Saw When He Came Back." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 9/14/03) CIA Director George Tenet: "In An Effort To Inquire About Certain Reports Involving Niger, CIA's Counter-Proliferation Experts, On Their Own Initiative, Asked An Individual With Ties To The Region To Make A Visit To See What He Could Learn." (Central Intelligence Agency, 7/11/03)

Tenet: "Because This Report, In Our View, Did Not Resolve Whether Iraq Was Or Was Not Seeking Uranium From Abroad, It Was Given A Normal And Wide Distribution, But We Did Not Brief It To The President, Vice-President Or Other Senior Administration Officials." (Central Intelligence Agency, "Statement By George J. Tenet," 7/11/03)

Wilson Denied His Wife Suggested He Travel To Niger, But Documentation Showed She Proposed His Name:

Wilson Claims His Wife Did Not Suggest He Travel To Niger To Investigate Reports Of Uranium Deal; Instead, Wilson Claims It Came Out Of Meeting With CIA To Discuss Report. CNN'S WOLF BLITZER: "Among other things, you had always said, always maintained, still maintain your wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA officer, had nothing to do with the decision to send to you Niger to inspect reports that uranium might be sold from Niger to Iraq. ... Did Valerie Plame, your wife, come up with the idea to send you to Niger?" JOE WILSON: "No. My wife served as a conduit, as I put in my book. When her supervisors asked her to contact me for the purposes of coming into the CIA to discuss all the issues surrounding this allegation of Niger selling uranium to Iraq." (CNN's "Lade Edition," 7/18/04)

But Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Received Not Only Testimony But Actual Documentation Indicating Wilson's Wife Proposed Him For Trip. "Some [CIA Counterproliferation Division, or CPD,] officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador, however, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip. The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador's wife 'offered up his name' and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12, 2002, from the former ambassador's wife says, 'my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.'" ("Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq," U.S. Senate, 7/7/04)

Wilson's Report On Niger Had "Thin" Evidence And Did Not Change Conclusions Of Analysts And Other Reports:

Officials Said Evidence Was "Thin" And His "Homework Was Shoddy." "In the days after Wilson's essay appeared, government officials began to steer reporters away from Wilson's conclusions, raising questions about his veracity and the agency's reasons for sending him in the first place. They told reporters that Wilson's evidence was thin, said his homework was shoddy and suggested that he had been sent to Niger by the CIA only because his wife had nominated him for the job." (Michael Duffy, "Leaking With A Vengeance," Time, 10/13/03) Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Unanimous Report: "Conclusion 13. The Report On The Former Ambassador's Trip To Niger, Disseminated In March 2002, Did Not Change Any Analysts' Assessments Of The Iraq-Niger Uranium Deal." ("Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Assessments On Iraq, 7/7/04)

"For Most Analysts, The Information In The Report Lent More Credibility To The Original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Report On The Uranium Deal, But State Department Bureau Of Intelligence And Research (IN) Analysts Believed That The Report Supported Their Assessments That Niger Was Unlikely To Be Willing Or Able To Sell Uranium." (Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, "Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Assessments On Iraq, 7/7/04)

CIA Said Wilson's Findings Did Not Resolve The Issue. "Because [Wilson's] report, in our view, did not resolve whether Iraq was or was not seeking uranium from abroad, it was given a normal and wide distribution, but we did not brief it to the president, vice president or other senior administration officials. We also had to consider that the former Nigerien officials knew that what they were saying would reach the U.S. government and that this might have influenced what they said." (Central Intelligence Agency, "Statement By George J. Tenet, Director Of Central Intelligence," Press Release 7/11/03) The Butler Report Claimed That The President's State Of the Union Statement On Uranium From Africa, "Was Well-Founded." "We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government's dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush's State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that: 'The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.' was well-founded." (The Rt. Hon. The Lord Butler Of Brockwell, "Review Of Intelligence, On Weapons Of Mass Destruction," 7/14/04) Sens. Roberts, Bond And Hatch All Dismissed Wilson's Claims:

Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Kit Bond (R-MO) And Orrin Hatch (R-UT) All Stated, "On At Least Two Occasions [Wilson] Admitted That He Had No Direct Knowledge To Support Some Of His Claims And That He Was Drawing On Either Unrelated Past Experiences Or No Information At All." (Select Committee On Intelligence, "Additional Views Of Chairman Pat Roberts, Joined By Senator Christopher S. Bond And Senator Orrin G. Hatch; Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq," U.S. Senate, 7/7/04)

"The Former Ambassador, Either By Design Or Through Ignorance, Gave The American People And, For That Matter, The World A Version Of Events That Was Inaccurate, Unsubstantiated, And Misleading." ("Additional Views Of Chairman Pat Roberts, Joined By Senator Christopher S. Bond And Senator Orrin G. Hatch; Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq," U.S. Senate, 7/7/04)

"[J]oe Wilson Told Anyone Who Would Listen That The President Had Lied To The American People, That The Vice President Had Lied And That He Had 'Debunked' The Claim That Iraq Was Seeking Uranium From Africa ... Not Only Did He NOT 'Debunk' The Claim, He Actually Gave Some Intelligence Analysts Even More Reason To Believe That It May Be True." ("Additional Views Of Chairman Pat Roberts, Joined By Senator Christopher S. Bond And Senator Orrin G. Hatch; Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq," U.S. Senate, 7/7/04)

Wilson Tied To The 2004 Kerry Campaign For President:

Wilson Endorsed Kerry In October 2003. "Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who accused the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence to exaggerate the threat from Iraq, endorsed Democrat John Kerry for president ... In a conference call with New Hampshire reporters, Wilson said he and Kerry have shared the experience of challenging their government - Wilson when he questioned the 'rush to war' with Iraq, Kerry when he challenged America's role in Vietnam." (David Tirrell-Wysocki, "Former Ambassador Wilson Endorses Kerry In Presidential Race," The Associated Press, 10/23/03) "Wilson ... Said He Has Long Been A Kerry Supporter And Has Contributed $2,000 To The Campaign This Year. He Said He Has Been Advising Kerry On Foreign Policy For About Five Months And Will Campaign For Kerry, Including A Trip To New Hampshire ..." (David Tirrell-Wysocki, "Former Ambassador Wilson Endorses Kerry In Presidential Race," The Associated Press, 10/23/03) "In Mid-May, [Wilson] Began Talking To Kerry's Advisers About Helping The Campaign; He Made His First Donation May 23. Kerry Himself Had Not Met Wilson Until Tuesday Night At A Campaign Fund-Raiser In Potomac, Md., A Kerry Aide Said ..." (Patrick Healy and Wayne Washington, "In Probe Of CIA Leak, Two Sides See Politics," The Boston Globe, 10/2/03) "[Kerry Advisor Rand] Beers Said Wilson Communicates With Campaign Advisers At Least Once A Week." (Patrick Healy and Wayne Washington, "In Probe Of CIA Leak, Two Sides See Politics," The Boston Globe, 10/2/03)

Originally published on Tuesday July 12, 2005.

 


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