Some interesting whistling past


Some interesting whistling past the graveyard on Wilsongate by Cliff May in NRO.

May says of Wilson’s investigation in Niger …

Equally, important and also overlooked: Mr. Wilson had no apparent background or skill as an investigator. As Mr. Wilson himself acknowledged, his so-called investigation was nothing more than “eight days drinking sweet mint tea and meeting with dozens of people” at the U.S. embassy in Niger. Based on those conversations, he concluded that “it was highly doubtful that any [sale of uranium from Niger to Iraq] had ever taken place.”

Compare this to the fairly extensive description of his visit to Niger (I think the most extensive published) that Wilson gave when TPM interviewed him two weeks back (that discussion comes about half-way through the interview.).

So May’s point is that the attempts to discredit Wilson — what got the White House into this mess — didn’t go far enough.

May also argues that the whole disclosure isn’t such a big deal since it was somehow widely known that Valerie Plame was CIA. To this I would only say, Cliff, pursuing this line of inquiry/argument could lead to some really awkward surprises. Just heads up.

Another point. May hits again on the theme that Wilson is some sort of Bush-Bashing fanatic who can’t be trusted. To this I would only ask, if Wilson is such a left-wing freak, why does the president’s father think so highly of him?

One more point. One of May’s points is that part of the problem was that the CIA sent out someone to Niger who wasn’t sufficiently loyal to the president. This gets said a lot privately among hawks who are close to the White House.

The argument — which I’ve had repeatedly told to me — is that the real mistake in this whole mess was sending someone out to Niger who wasn’t politically and ideologically loyal to the president. Wasn’t one of our guys, etc. That attitude, of course, tells you a lot about how these fellows got into this mess in the first place.