Sunday, March 07, 2004
I didn't mean to be so long between posts, but . . .
Now that the list of those subpoenaed to comment on the leaking of Valerie Plame's name has been released, let's return to the topic of Jeff Gannon, White House reporter for Talon News and active member of the extremist right-wing web site freerepublic.com.
Gannon is on the subpoena list.
Why? Probably because he (according to a report in The Washington Post) mentioned to Joe Wilson in an interview in October 2003 the existence of a secret internal document regarding Ms. Plame's position in the CIA as it might or might not have related to Wilson's assignment to Niger.
From Talon News:
The Washington Post cites an unnamed source who says, "The CIA is angry about the circulation of a still-classified document to conservative news outlets." They point to a memo referenced in a Talon News interview of Wilson that suggests his wife was instrumental in his selection for the fact-finding trip to Africa.
Talon News was the only service identified by the Washington Post as having knowledge of the memo's existence. The newspaper goes on to say that CIA officials have challenged the accuracy of the document purportedly written by a State Department official who works for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
Jeff Gannon, the White House correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief for Talon News declined to reveal whether he had seen the memo or had its contents described to him.
While he would not disclose his source, Gannon said, "I will tell you that the information did not come from inside the administration."
The Washington Post's story of December 25 (page A01, Mike Allen and Dana Milbank) is no longer available for free on the Internet and so I have not provided a link.
Gannon's "exclusive" interview with Joe Wilson is available here: interview and contains many attempts at baiting Wilson.
Here is the particular exchange in question, where Gannon references the secret memo:
TN: 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?
Wilson: I don't know anything about a meeting, I can only tell you about the meeting I was at where I was asked if I would prepare to go, and there was nobody at that meeting that I know. Now that fact that my wife knows that I know a lot about the uranium business and that I know a lot about Niger and that she happens to be involved in weapons of mass destruction, it should come as no surprise to anyone that we know of each others activities.
With all this in mind, questions surface.
1. Again, why and under what circumstances was Jeff Gannon admitted to the prestigious circle of White House correspondents?
2. Who provided Gannon with information about a secret memo regarding the Plame matter?
3. Who advised Joe Wilson to accept an interview with an extremist working for a sham of a "news service"?
Here's hoping one of the "kool kids" with proximity, a research budget and Nexis will ask some questions regarding Talon and its inexplicable seat in the WH briefing room and also ask about the sources who are providing information about secret internal documents of the White House to a seeming stooge in the briefing room.
Now that Gannon's on the subpoena list and he's lawyered up, his actions are newsworthy.