Robert Novak: Trying to explain the inexplicable
The Bush family’s experience with the CIA has been both good and bad. When George W. Bush was 30-years-old, his father, George Herbert Walker Bush, was appointed CIA Director. Twenty-three years later, Congress named CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, the George Bush Center for Intelligence. Of course, having been the 41st U.S. President didn’t hurt.
Interestingly, it was the Clinton-appointed CIA Director, George Tenet, who presided over the dedication ceremony. That’s the same George Tenet who, in 2003, assured President George W. Bush (43) that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD and President Bush (43) “could take that to the bank.” Eventually, President Bush (43) fired Tenet because the WMD check bounced.
In his remarks, former President Bush (41) thanked, among others, then Representatives Rob Portman and Porter Goss for sponsoring the legislation to create the George Bush Center for Intelligence. That’s the same Porter Goss whom his son, President Bush (43), named to replace George Tenet as CIA Director and then, later, fired Goss for reasons still unclear. Rob Portman now serves President Bush (43) as Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Of course, back in 1999, former President Bush (41) could not have known that persons inside the intelligence community would, in 2005-2006, be leaking the details of secret programs to monitor the overseas electronic communications of terrorists and leaking details about Treasury Department efforts to monitor the financial transactions of terrorists.
Prophetically, President Bush (41) said: “Even though Im a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the names of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.”
Then, with regard to unelected, intelligence-community bureaucrats, President Bush (41) advised: “And when it comes to the mission of the CIA and the Intelligence Community, Give the President and the policymakers the best possible intelligence product and stay out of the policymaking…”
Ironically, his son would become the victim of unelected, intelligence-community bureaucrats trying to make policy or, failing that, sabotaging the policies of President Bush (43) by leaking classified information to the Sinistra Media.
President Bush (43), being Texan, knows something about Male Bovine Excreta (MBE). Post-9/11, he discovered he was receiving more MBE than useful intelligence, and he signaled a shake-up. Add to that his belief that elected officials make national policy and some of those un-elected bureaucrats started writing checks to Al Gore and John Kerry, and leaking to the Sinistra Media.
That brings us to what Accuracy in Media (AIM) sees as a plot by a liberal cabal within the CIA to undermine American policy with regard to Iraq. It began when Valerie Plame, working at a non-covert desk job at the CIA suggested sending her husband, former Clinton ambassadorial appointee and Al Gore adviser, Joseph Wilson, to Niger to check out the reports by British and other intelligence agencies that Saddam had sent agents to Niger to purchase yellow-cake uranium. That’s the inexplicable.
Her husband was hired, went to Niger, and, by his own account, conducted his investigation by inviting some Nigerians to his hotel suite for tea. He visited no ports, checked no shipping records and then did an Op-Ed piece for The New York Times saying, in effect, that the Brits were wrong and that President Bush was lying. Later, Wilson claimed the White House retaliated by “outing” his wife’s covert status. But Valerie Plame’s non-covert, desk job did not qualify her for identity protection under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
Columnist Robert Novak says he was merely trying to explain the inexplicable: Why Wilson, an Al Gore adviser in 2000 and the husband of Valerie Plame (who used a CIA proprietary company to “front” campaign contributions to Al Gore), was sent to Niger? Novak found indications of CIA hostility toward President Bush (43). And Accuracy in Media thinks that led to a plot to discredit the President.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2006. William Hamilton.