Monday, August 08, 2005

Let us give credit where it is due

Cheney's Nuclear Drumbeat
Commentary: How the vice-president fits into the Plame case.
By Jim Lobe
August 1, 2005

In a recent piece, The Media's Roving Eye, trying to establish a timeline that would offer context for the Plame case, I wrote the following:

"Vice President Cheney started the administration's atomic drumbeat to war in Iraq with a series of speeches on Saddam's supposed nuclear capabilities and desires beginning in August of 2002. (The crucial role of Cheney, whose eye was first caught by a Defense Intelligence Agency report on the Niger uranium documents back in February 2002, in the events that would become the Plame case, has been poorly covered...)"

As I soon found out, I did not stand apart from most others in poor coverage of Cheney's role. Jim Lobe, whose pieces for Inter Press Service I've quoted from, linked to, and recommended endlessly over the last years, sent a few lines my way to tell me that I, too, was off in my Cheney timeline, that the Vice President had started in on the subject of Saddam Hussein's supposed nuclear program significantly earlier than I realized, and that this mattered greatly in understanding the nature of the events to follow. I asked him for a bit of clarification and the next thing I knew I had a piece in hand -- Lobe's first appearance at Tomdispatch -- an exercise, as he put it, in the sorts of connections that begin to appear when you pull a single string in the tangled ball of yarn that is the history of the Plame case. It's a reminder, as he points out below, of how a powerful web of neocon insiders and outsiders (and their allies) set the U.S. on the path to war in Iraq.
What follows then, from the man who has, in my opinion, done better reportorial work on the neoconservatives and the Bush administration than any other reporter around, is a disquisition on timing -- on Vice President Cheney's behaviour immediately before and after former ambassador Joseph Wilson's report on Saddam's supposed search for Niger yellowcake.

Dating Cheney's Nuclear Drumbeat:
Framing the Plame Case
By Jim Lobe

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