Saturday, February 19, 2005

Gannon and WHIG: The Noose Gets Tighter

"Systematic coordination began in August, when Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. formed the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, to set strategy for each stage of the confrontation with Baghdad.

In an interview with the New York Times published Sept. 6, Card did not mention the WHIG but hinted at its mission. "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," he said.

A "strategic communications" task force under the WHIG began to plan speeches and white papers. There were many themes in the coming weeks, but Iraq's nuclear menace was among the most prominent."

Gannon and WHIG: The Noose Gets Tighter

I believed Joseph Wilson All Along

I'm glad I did. As I look back, I see that Jeff Gannon played a central role in the right wing's vigilante activism to destroy Wilson's credibility.

IDDYBUD: July 12, 2004

IDDYBUD: Sunday, July 11, 2004:
The new Senate intelligence committee report has served to undermine Joseph C. Wilson IV's prior assertions that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence to build their case for war....

...As far as common sense is concerned, this report does not prove or disprove Joseph Wilson's criticism of the Bush administration's abuse of bad intelligence.

Just as I believed there was no imminent threat to America all along based on the information I'd personally collected before the Iraq war, I continue to believe Joseph C. Wilson IV. He has my benefit of doubt.. and I hope he'll have yours, dear readers.

Consider the liars and the powers he's up against.
From Smirking Chimp March 2004:
"The political hit squad assigned to go after Wilson – meeting, perhaps, in the Situation Room – decided to hit back at him through his wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA undercover agent working on nuclear nonproliferation issues. They told Novak, and apparently a good number of other journalists, that he wasn't really qualified, Wilson's wife had gotten him the (non-paying) job to go to Niger through her CIA connections, a bit of information dropped casually amid familiar complaints of partisan bias and ulterior motives. Plame's career in the CIA was effectively ended."
I want to know who, if anyone, Jeff Gannon was in cahoots with, and if his involvement was direct, conspiratorial, and intentional.
It's all too strange. You look back to summer, 2004. You see a high-powered White House cabal in the information-war business, and nearly every article that is first to deliver a message attacking Joe Wilsons credibility, as we look back on that period, has Gannon's name at the top of it. (Some of the articles are listed below).
Gannon, apparently, was the only one who's been identified by the Washington Post as having knowledge of a leaked internal memo's existence. The document, written by a State Department official who worked for its Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), described an alleged meeting at the CIA where the Niger trip by Wilson was discussed. The memo was alleged to have contained information which suggested that Joseph Wilson claimed his wife was instrumental in his selection for the fact-finding trip to Africa. CIA officials have challenged the accuracy of the INR document, a White House 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.
Why Gannon?
Why Talon News?
Did the Senate Intelligence Committee, knowingly or unknowingly, contribute to the media propaganda?

I would hate to even suspect that any of the fine Senators on the Intelligence Committee (listed at bottom) would have cooperated in any activity, intentional or unintentional, which involved slipping internal information to Jeff Gannon/JD Guckert for the purpose of partisan gain.
How did Gannon get this information from the INR report?
Why did no other reporter have access to it?

A multi-leveled propaganda operation

IDDYBUD: July 9, 2004: Who was the "White House Iraq Group (WHIG)" - and did they use Jeff Gannon for their PR?
Waas writes that some of Libby's notes describe efforts to discredit Wilson by the mysterious cabal known as the White House Iraq Group. Little is known about that group beyond what Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus wrote in The Washington Post last August. But it included Rove, Libby, adviser Karen Hughes and other top White House players."

--Dan Froomkin/Washington Post
Justin Raimondo deserves much credit for his early investigation and questions about Gannon's role:
"My regular readers might recall a column I wrote on Plame-gate a couple of months ago, wherein I mentioned that the Talon News Agency, an arm of something called "GOP U.S.A," did an interview with Ambassador Wilson, during which the interviewer challenged Wilson with an internal U.S. government document purporting to be the minutes of a meeting at which Plame played a key role in getting her husband the Niger assignment. There was just one problem with these documents: as in the Niger uranium forgeries, which listed ministers who hadn't served in years and got key facts wrong, these minutes of a purported meeting of CIA agents placed personnel in locations they couldn't possibly have been. Another forgery! Counterfeiting official documents is also a crime, particularly when it is done with the cooperation or complicity of government officials involved in a conspiracy.

I advise Mr. Gannon to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, if he knows what's good for him.

This case is about much more than the outing of a CIA agent: It's about a cabal of ruthless liars who stopped at nothing – not even treason – to achieve their goals, and kept lying (and committing forgery) even after they were caught. It's about a bogus war fought on account of faked "evidence." It's about the hijacking of American foreign policy on behalf of interests that are neither American nor morally defensible."

Republicans On Intelligence Committee

Pat Roberts, (KS)
Orrin Hatch (UT)
Mike Dewine (OH)
Chris Bond (MO)
Trent Lott (MS)
Olympia Snowe (ME)
Chuck Hagel (NE)
Saxby Chambliss (GA)
John Warner (VA)


"In uncovering the culprits, this investigation is bound to unearth the network of Washington warmongers who retaliated with such swift treachery when Joe Wilson hit them, unexpectedly, in a weak spot." - Justin Raimondo

Gannon-Related articles

Talon article July 27, 2004

Talon article July 13, 2004
Excerpt from Gannon's own article:
"..the Senate Intelligence Committee discovered a memo from Plame dated February 12, 2002 to the Deputy Chief of the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) that "offered up his name." It was also revealed that Wilson traveled to Niger for the CIA in 1999 on a mission whose details are redacted from the report.

In October 2003, Talon News reported on an internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel that detailed a meeting where Plame suggested Wilson be sent to Niger. Wilson claimed to have never been in a meeting with his wife, but a State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analyst's notes indicated that a meeting was "apparently convened" by Plame who had proposed her husband go on the mission. Plame told the committee that she only attended the meeting to introduce her husband and left after about three minutes.

A CIA source told the Washington Post in December 2003 that the INR memo was still classified and disputed its contents. As a result of asking Wilson about the memo during an October 2003 interview, FBI agents questioned Talon News under the guise of the leak probe to discover the source of the memo that refuted the assertions of the agency and Wilson about the circumstances by which he was chosen for the trip.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report may have a significant impact on the leak probe. Loss of confidence in the agency and its attempts to discredit evidence that suggests alternate motivations by sub-groups within it may serve to undermine the case. The INR memorandum may have revealed Plame's identity prior to Novak's column and therefore any statements by the administration might only qualify as simple gossip.

Even if that is not the case, the federal statute requires that the exposure of Plame would have had to be deliberate and malicious, a threshold that may not be reached by the investigation, particularly in light of new information revealed by the Committee report

Talon article, October 29, 2003

Talon article, July 22, 2004 (Gannon on Sandy Berger)
"Instead of reviewing documents for the 9/11 Commission investigation, Republicans suggested that Berger used the information from the National Archives to help the Kerry campaign.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said, "Reportedly these documents related to homeland security and then suddenly we see that the Kerry campaign came
forward with what may have been illegal documents. This is sensitive
stuff and was a significant breach of security."

Articles Where Gannon is quoted or mentioned:

Washington Post article December 26, 2003


"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.

"It has been circulated around," one official said. CIA and State Department officials have refused to discuss the document.

On Oct. 28, Talon News, a news company tied to a group called GOP USA, posted on the Internet an interview with Wilson in which the Talon News questioner [Gannon] asks: "An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?"

Other past Gannon-related media Comments and Referrals:

From a live Q and A chat-session with Washington Post's Mike Allen, May 13, 2004:
Washington, D.C.: There's some new guy asking questions at the daily briefings who sounds like a plant from the Bush administration. I think his name is Jeff. Any idea who he is and how he gets in to the briefings? This guy makes Fox News actually seem fair and balanced.

Mike Allen: I believe you're referring to Jeff Gannon of Talon News, whose dispatches are available at

Additional Note:

The Democrats have been trying to get the public to understand the severity of this problem all along. It was not a partisan act on their part.

Bloggers need to speak out now.

A high level of investigation is needed.

It may need to be initiated by Republicans.

We are watching. We are waiting. The whole world is watching.

You can run, but you just can't hide these days.

This was part of a memo from a Democrat on the staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence which was stolen ascertained by Republicans:

"...even without a specifically authorized independent investigation, we continue to act independently when we encounter foot-dragging on the part of the majority...the FBI Niger investigation was done solely at the request of the vice chairman (Jay Rockefeller); we have independently submitted written questions to DoD; and we are preparing further independent requests for information".

Advice for Well-Known Freepers: Go Underground

Advice for Well-Known Freepers: Go Underground

The Freepers are warning their "prominent" participants to "go underground".
They've posted a new set of suggested guidelines.
They need to get sneakier and more intelligently devious.
They know others are watching what they've been getting away with in the "light of day" for far, far too long.