On another front in Bolton World, it was Fred Fleitz’s role in all of this as Bolton’s chief spear-carrier and warrior, that seems unusually important. Fleitz was an amazing conduit for Bolton to the CIA, given Fleitz’s relations there as a former senior intel guy, and also with Vice President Cheney’s office with which Bolton and Fleitz seemed to have constant contact.
Ding. Ding. Ding. Ok — well, this raises the phenomenally interesting question which we have touched on just briefly in the past.
Go back to the Henry Waxman letter which documented a fairly profound role of John Bolton and his office in promulgating the Niger Uranium story in State even when the CIA and INR had clearly rejected that intelligence.
When I first wrote about Bolton’s role in the Niger/Uranium fiasco, there was none of the fuss about Bolton’s nomination that has now been stirred up. Journalists should really go back and look at Bolton’s role on the Niger story.
And then the obvious next question: What was Fred Fleitz’s role, if any, in outing Valerie Plame’s CIA identity?
Fred Fleitz was in a position to know about Plame and disliked Joe Wilson’s findings. Fleitz was a top-notch “cherry-picker” of intelligence and combined in league with Bolton, the pair made a Dynamic Duo in pounding the intelligence establishment to give them the intel they wanted for ideologically pre-determined policy positions they wanted to articulate and pursue.
Was Bolton’s office responsible for initiating the leaks of Valerie Plame’s identity, which the White House began to promulgate with key members of the press?
Someone call Peter Fitzgerald now.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff — get back on the Niger story. The so-called “Inspector General’s Report” may not in fact tell the entire story here.
Now, on another front.
Ok, this is rumor, gossip, unsubstantiated stuff. I try to live by the same rules as top-tier journalists, that is — two sources confirming a key piece of story.
I don’t have that on this material. . .but rumor abounds now that one of the things Colin Powell has been imparting to those Senators with whom he has spoken about Bolton is that it was Bolton who was largely responsible for inserting into his United Nations speech most of the erroneous claims on WMDs that proved to be wrong. I myself am not sure I buy this because that speech — which was so important — would have been vetted by numerous sources at the time, and I’m not so sure that the Powell crowd would have given such latitude and control to Bolton on the WMD material — given that I would have thought that they would have deferred to INR and CIA packages of inteliigence.
But there it is. I am writing this because people on the inside might want to fill me in on this one way or another. firstname.lastname@example.org is a good place to start.
— Steve Clemons