As some of you are aware, I am working diligently to construct a complete and accurate timeline of events surrounding the Iraq-Niger uranium controversy — where Bush officials used forged documents to claim that Iraq had attempted to buy weapons-grade uranium from Niger, presumably to construct nuclear devices — and the subsequent outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, whose husband, Joseph Wilson, had played a key role in proving that claim false. It appears incontrovertible that the White House outed Plame Wilson to the press in an attempt to smear her husband’s credibility and to intimidate others from publicly criticizing the administration.
335 entries have been published so far, and more are in the “pipeline,” to be published within the next few days, but that steady flow will slow down for a while. There are numerous reasons for the upcoming slowdown, including my heavy (non-HC) work schedule, but it is largely because I am incorporating a tremendous amount of information that isn’t in the original entries. Much of it comes from Murray Waas’s invaluable series of articles printed in the National Journal, and quite a few other sources besides, including Scott McClellan’s book What Happened. I also want to get a copy of Marcy Wheeler’s book Anatomy of Deceit, but that may have to wait for a while. When I get it, I will use it to supplement and extend the existing entries. If you know of other reliable sources of information, link them in the comments, please.
Some may wonder why I’m spending the time and effort on this. It’s a done deal, many believe, and plenty of new events and issues need to be explored. There’s no doubt that other issues also require examination, certainly, but to my mind, the entwined issues of the Iraq-Niger claim and Plame Wilson outing are anything but a “done deal.” We still have well over 100,000 troops in Iraq, sent there in part because of the false uranium claim. Over 5,000 of our soldiers died over there, in part because of that falsehood. We will never know how many foreign CIA assets were killed or rendered useless because of Plame Wilson’s outing, much less what she could have done to help unearth critical intelligence about the terror threat, and thusly how much more risk the US was exposed to because of the revelation of her covert identity and the destruction of her career. Those who feel that it is a waste of time to look back on these issues should consider visiting Arlington National Cemetery, or your local military cemetery, or even your local American Legion or VFW, to remind themselves of the incredible cost we’ve paid because of these actions. Or you can just turn on the news, where you can see people like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, two of the White House officials responsible for outing Plame Wilson, still trying to shape the nation’s response to international terrorism. We need to have this information available to give critical context to their attempts to defame the current administration’s efforts to combat terrorism, and perhaps to discern something of their deeper motives in their actions and comments.
If you’d like to be part of constructing the Niger-Plame Wilson project, or any of our other projects, we’d love to have you on board.