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Hullabaloo


Saturday, February 19, 2005

 
Pass The Parsing

Could the next reporter who gets JimJeff in his crosshairs please pin him down on this Plame memo issue? This is ridiculous. He has never really answered the question properly.

Here's the passage from the February 11th interview with E&P

Although he hinted that he had not seen a classified CIA document after all, he added, "I am not going to speak to that. It goes to something of a nature I do not want to discuss."


He said nothing about the Wall Street Journal.


Here's from his interview with Wolf Blitzer on February 14


GANNON: And the FBI did come to interview me. They were interested in where -- how I knew or received a copy of a confidential CIA memo that said that Valerie Plame suggested that Joe Wilson be sent on this mission, something that everybody -- they have all vigorously denied but is, in effect, true.

BLITZER: So they didn't make you go testify before the grand jury?

GANNON: No.

BLITZER: Do you have to reveal how you got that memo?

GANNON: No.

BLITZER: They didn't ask you?

GANNON: Well, the FBI kept asking. I said, well, look, I'm a journalist, I can't --

BLITZER: You didn't tell them?

GANNON: Yes. Can't divulge that. And they accepted that, and I've never been asked again.


Again he didn't mention the WSJ article.

Here's an excerpt from Anderson Cooper's interview on Friday


GANNON: I didn't do that at all. I didn't do that at all. If you read the question, and I provided -- my article was actually a transcript of my conversation with Ambassador Wilson -- I made reference to a memo. And this...

COOPER: How did you know about that memo?

GANNON: Well, this memo was referred to in a "Wall Street Journal" article a week earlier.

COOPER: So that wasn't based on any information that you had been given by the White House?

GANNON: I was given no special information by the White House or by anybody else, for that matter.


Suddenly he's pointing out that the memo was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal but he doesn't say explicitly that he read it there.

Here's what the NY Times reported today:

"What I said was no more than what was reported in The Wall Street Journal a week before," he said.


In none of those statements does he simply say, "I got the information from the WSJ story." Look how he dances around it. No "special" information. "What I said was no more that what was reported." He has been coached to answer this way.

There is enough evidence now to indicate that he is not being straightforward on this question. Did he get the information from the WSJ article or not and if not, where else did he hear about it?

The question was who was spreading this bogus state department memo. From the Washington Post at the time:

"Sources said the CIA is angry about the circulation of a still-classified document to conservative news outlets suggesting Plame had a role in arranging her husband's trip to Africa for the CIA. The document, written by a State Department official who works for its Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), describes a meeting at the CIA where the Niger trip by Wilson was discussed, said a senior administration official who has seen it.

"CIA officials have challenged the accuracy of the INR document, the official said, because the agency officer identified as talking about Plame's alleged role in arranging Wilson's trip could not have attended the meeting."


Now maybe Gannon did just read about this in the Wall Street Journal. But if he did he sure has acted strangely about it, even as recently as yesterday when talking to the NY Times. It's possible that he played games with the FBI when they came knocking and pretended that he had a confidential source when he didn't. That, of course, would be against the law. A law that when broken can cost you a lot of money and possible jail time. You cannot lie to the FBI. That is why Martha Stewart is in jail and it's why Henry Cisneros spent almost a decade in the dock of a special prosecutor ---- he didn't tell them the exact amount of money he paid his ex-lover.

I don't know if that's what happened, but something did. I do know that Gannon could end all the speculation by simply saying "I never saw the memo, I read about it in the paper and pretended that I did." The question is why doesn't he?



Update: Justin Raimindo has been on this angle for some time.



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