Friday, September 30, 2005

What's the Story, Ed Bradley?

I saw this post by Daily Kos diarist jbalazs, exhorting members of the DK community to contact CBS's 60 Minutes news magazine program to ask them to finally run the story (reported by Ed Bradley) on the Niger/Yellowcake Uranium/Joseph Wilson affair that was pulled last autumn, after CBS got skittish in the aftermath of Rathergate. With Judith Miller getting out of jail and subsequently testifying in front of the Fitzgerald grand jury investigating the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame to various news sources (by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby), the story is just as important now as it was last autumn. Here's the contact info:

PHONE: (212) 975-3247

You can read more about the background of this shelved story at Newsweek and this Salon article (which is hosted outside of Salon). Here are some tidbits from the latter article, as noted by jbalazs:

Here is the clip from the article that shows how it ties to the current Grand Jury investigation and why airing the story is so important, not only for the public, but for CBS regaining its credibility:
After the war started, in March, Wilson, shocked that the discredited Niger story had appeared in Bush's State of the Union address, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times about the lack of evidence he found in Niger. In retaliation and in an attempt to intimidate him and any other future critic, the segment relates, "two senior administration sources gave conservative columnist Robert Novak the name of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent, which he published in his column, published in the Washington Post. The act of revealing the identity of an undercover CIA operative is a federal felony against national security. The episode led to appointment of a special prosecutor. That probe continues. Lately, the prosecutor has hauled a number of journalists who may or may not have information in for questioning."

Bradley interviews Wilson, who says that he found nothing in Niger to indicate that any purchase agreement had been signed or executed. Bradley then speaks with the former director of the Department of State's intelligence bureau (intelligence and research), Greg Thielmann, who explains why he concluded that Iraq was not attempting to reconstitute its nuclear program. In March 2002, Bradley reported, the White House received Thielmann's report, entitled "Niger: Sale of Uranium Is Unlikely."


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