Joe Wilson has just sent TWN and other journalists interested in the Fitzgerald investigation of the White House outing of Valerie Plame Wilson’s covert CIA role a statement regarding Robert Novak’s effort to “justify the unjustifiable”:
Robert Novak, some other commentators and the Administration continue to try to completely distort the role that Valerie Wilson played with respect to Ambassador Wilson’s trip to Niger.
The facts are beyond dispute. The Office of the Vice President requested that the CIA investigate reports of alleged uranium purchases by Iraq from Niger. The CIA setup a meeting to respond to the Vice President’s inquiry. Another CIA official, not Valerie Wilson, suggested to Valerie Wilson’s supervisor that the Ambassador attend that meeting.
That other CIA official made the recommendation because that official was familiar with the Ambassador’s vast experience in Niger and knew of a previous trip to Africa concerning uranium matters that had been undertaken by the Ambassador on behalf of the CIA in 1999.
Valerie Wilson’s supervisor subsequently asked her to relay a request from him to the Ambassador that he would like the Ambassador to attend the meeting at the CIA. Valerie Wilson did not participate in the meeting.
As the CIA itself has officially confirmed, Valerie Wilson did not send Ambassador Wilson to Niger and she neither suggested him nor recommended him for the trip. Furthermore, the Ambassador agreed to travel to Niger pro bono with only his travel expenses being paid.
These are the facts — not just because Joe Wilson has stated them but as they are represented elsewhere in the public record — and shame on those who continue to insist on blurring the picture for political advantage.
— Steve Clemons
Update: Here is some interesting analysis and follow-up material from Firedoglake.