The story of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame is a prime example of how Bush went about concocting and distorting intelligence. The Bush administration claimed, on the basis of flimsy evidence, that Saddam was trying to buy uranium yellowcake, the raw material for nuclear weapons, from the African country of Niger. The CIA sent Joe Wilson, longtime ambassador, a man familiar with Niger, to investigate this charge. Wilson found that the story was based on badly forged documents, and was untrue. He came back and reported this to the CIA, which duly passed the correction up the chain of command.
Nevertheless, Bush mentioned the Niger yellowcake in his State of the Union message of January 2003, as part of the propaganda effort to convince the American people and Congress that Saddam had WMD's and was too dangerous to leave alone. Joe Wilson was outraged, and wrote an op-ed column in the New York Times calling Bush a liar.
Within a couple of weeks, Novak wrote his column "outing" Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame. In other words, there is a direct line between the Downing Street minutes and Plamegate. They are not separate issues.
What hypocrisy! Declaring himself the war president dedicated to fighting terrorists, Bush et al handed the terrorists a huge prize- taking out one of the key networks hampering their efforts to acquire WMD's!
The loss to US security was incalculable. Developing a "human asset" takes years of painstaking and risky work. We don't know how many of the 90 or so agents under Plame's control were tortured and killed. This is still top-secret information. We do know that giving aid and comfort to the declared enemies of the US is treason, a capital offense, and certainly grounds for impeachment.
You can collect signatures for impeachment by printing out the letter to Rep. John Conyers at http://deependnews.com/memorandum.htm The fax number for his office is at the top.
Would your Congressperson support impeachment? Ask him/her. If the answer is "No" or "No comment", find a candidate to run against the incumbent in your district, on an impeachment platform.
We are the people, it is up to us.
Carol S. Wolman. MD
is a psychiatrist and lifelong peace activist.
She hosts http://groups.yahoo.com/group/peacemakersbiblestudy/