Why They're the Boston Globe-Democrat, Part XXXVII
"As the White House was preparing its case for war, the CIA asked Wilson, a retired ambassador who had served in Africa, in 2002 to check out reports that Niger had sent materials for a nuclear weapon to Iraq. Upon returning, Wilson told the CIA he found no evidence of such a transfer. [emphasis added]. "
So "reports" the Boston Globe-Democrat today, showing a humiliating lack of anything even resembling facts. Where to begin?
Nobody sent Joe Wilson to Niger to "check out reports that Niger sent materials for a nuclear weapon to Iraq." NOBODY. It didn't happen. The Boston-Globe Democrat is wrong. Joe Wilson was sent, at the suggestion of his wife (who then lied about it) to check this out:
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Remember that? From the 2003 State of the Union address? This is the statement that Wilson claimed afterwards his "investigation" had refuted.
Note the lack of "sending" of materials, nuclear or otherwise. It was Iraq's attempts to get yellowcake that were the subject of Wilson's alleged "investigation."
So it's true that Wilson never reported any transfer of uranium. (he wasn't looking for one). But that was never the issue. The issue was whether or not Wilson found any evidence that Iraq was "seeking" uranium in Niger. Wilson told the NYTimes the answer was "no."
But as the Senate Intelligence Committee reported in 2004, Wilson lied to the NYTimes. Wilson's own report (which he didn't even bother to write down, giving only an oral briefing to the CIA upon his return) was that a prominent Iraqi involved in the import/export business was in Niger looking for imports. Given that the only things exported from Niger are uranium and cholera, it's very likely the Iraqis were trying to violate sanctions and get their hands on the uranium.
All of this information is very public record. It took me about 35 seconds to pull up the Washington Post stories, the SOTU quote from President Bush and quotes from the Senate Intelligence Committee report. Wilson's self-aggrandizing mythology has been refuted a dozen times.
So why did the Boston Globe-Democrat get this story so wrong? Why are they "reporting" things that are demonstrably untrue?
Because if the "Scooter Lied, People Died" aspect of this story goes away, the only reason to care about it does, too.
Who (other than Rosie O'Donnell) is going to get outraged over a story about a guy who DIDN'T tell the press about Valerie Plame (that was Richard Armitage), who DIDN'T know Plame was a covert agent (she had her own CIA parking space), who DIDN'T lie about Iraq's ongoing attempts to develop nukes (Joe Wilson did that), and then DIDN'T get away with "it"--whatever "it" is. After all, Libby is still serving two years supervised probation and paying $250,000.
If the folks at MoveOn.org think that sentence is too light for perjury and obstruction of justice, they should remember what it is they wanted America to "move on" from in the first place.
What--liberals who think perjury and obstruction of justice are serious crimes? Now THAT would be a big story at the Boston Globe-Democrat.