More questions for Woodward and for the Post

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Generally, an experienced public figure knows of ways to submerge information or material that one prefers not have maximum exposure. Workable tactics include burying inconvenient points in the middle; combining or synthesizing parts of logically discrete elements; and diverging from chronological order.
The published text of Bob Woodward’s statement about the CIA leak case uses all three. These tactics are particularly piquant in connection with questions that the statement itself suggests were asked by the prosecutor but not answered by Woodward.
Buried in the middle, in graf 10 of the 19 grafs in the statement (page break on the Post’s web site), is the following:
“He [Fitzgerald] asked if I had possibly planned to ask questions about what I had learned about Wilson\’s wife with any other government official.”
• This question is not answered, in the published statement. Why not?
“I testified that on June 20, 2003, I interviewed a second administration official for my book \”Plan of Attack\” and that one of the lists of questions I believe I brought to the interview included on a single line the phrase \”Joe Wilson\’s wife.\” I testified that I have no recollection of asking about her, and that the tape-recorded interview contains no indication that the subject arose.”
• You refer to “one of the lists of questions.” Did any other list of questions you brought with you refer to her?
• This answer mentions only tape recording and your recollection; what about your notes? – do they contain anything about her?
• Is or was there anything else on your lists about Joe Wilson, his wife, his trip, the CIA front company, or the whole false Niger story?
• If not, why not? – wouldn’t false or distorted intelligence that got the USA into war be a big story?
• Did you ask about the Niger-yellowcake story? Again, if not, why not?
“I also testified that I had a conversation with a third person on June 23, 2003. The person was I. Lewis \”Scooter\” Libby, and we talked on the phone. I told him I was sending to him an 18-page list of questions I wanted to ask Vice President Cheney. On page 5 of that list there was a question about \”yellowcake\” and the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq\’s weapons programs. I testified that I believed I had both the 18-page question list and the question list from the June 20 interview with the phrase \”Joe Wilson\’s wife\” on my desk during this discussion. I testified that I have no recollection that Wilson or his wife was discussed, and I have no notes of the conversation.”
• Did you take notes of the conversation?
• If not, why not? – Because this conversation was largely to make an appointment to see Libby on the 27th? [see below]
The sequence is not chronological at this point. Woodward then says:
“Though neither Wilson nor Wilson\’s wife\’s name had surfaced publicly at this point, Pincus had published a story the day before, Sunday, June 22, about the Iraq intelligence before the war. I testified that I had read the story, which referred to the CIA mission by \”a former senior American diplomat to visit Niger.\” Although his name was not used in the story, I knew that referred to Wilson.”
• So did you get in touch with Libby, or did Libby get in touch with you, in response to the Walter Pincus article?
• Was the purpose of that call, whether from Libby to Woodward or from Woodward to Libby, mainly to set up the personal interview with Libby that followed on the 27th?
• Was there going to be some sort of WH damage control, with Bob Woodward as the conduit?
The paragraph organization combines separate statements at this point.
“I testified that on June 27, 2003, I met with Libby at 5:10 p.m. in his office adjacent to the White House. I took the 18-page list of questions with the Page-5 reference to \”yellowcake\” to this interview and I believe I also had the other question list from June 20, which had the \”Joe Wilson\’s wife\” reference.
• Did Cheney see the 18-page list of questions you said you had for him?
• Did you ever interview Cheney about any of these 18 pages of questions?
• Did you ever ask Vice President Cheney anything about the Niger-uranium story?
• Was Libby filling in for Cheney in response to the 18-page list of questions, including the yellowcake one?
“I have four pages of typed notes from this interview, and I testified that there is no reference in them to Wilson or his wife.”
• What about your original handwritten notes from this interview? Or did you use a laptop in the interview? Did you take any hand notes?
• Did you tape-record this interview?
• Have you shown the prosecutor any of your notes?
“A portion of the typed notes shows that Libby discussed the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq\’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, mentioned \”yellowcake\” and said there was an \”effort by the Iraqis to get it from Africa. It goes back to February \’02.\” This was the time of Wilson\’s trip to Niger.”
• Do you mean Libby said that the Iraqi “effort” to get yellowcake from Africa goes back to February ’02?
• Was Libby implying that the Iraqis tried to purchase yellowcake in response to Wilson’s trip?
“When asked by Fitzgerald if it was possible I told Libby I knew Wilson\’s wife worked for the CIA and was involved in his assignment, I testified that it was possible I asked a question about Wilson or his wife, but that I had no recollection of doing so.”
• Your answer says that “it was possible” you ASKED a question about Wilson or his wife, etc. But what about the prosecutor’s question (according to your statement): did you TELL Libby about Wilson’s wife?
“My notes do not include all the questions I asked, but I testified that if Libby had said anything on the subject, I would have recorded it in my notes.”
• What about if you had told Libby about Wilson’s wife? Would you have included that in your notes?
It would help to inform the public on the CIA leak case if the Post, or the National Press Club, could have Woodward appear and willingly answer questions stemming from his statement, preferably with a live audience and video cameras.