Roger L. Simon

Heart of Darkness II

Via GR, I have just read Bryan Preston’s speculations about what was going inside the mind of Joseph C. Wilson when he lied, or “misspoke,” as he called it, about his Yellowcake Adventures in Niger? Quite interesting and provocative. It certainly is the operative question, now that Wilson’s credibility is hovering in OJ land. What really went on here? Cui bono?

Sometimes I joke on here (or brag, depending on your POV) about my mystery writer background when I offer supposedly informed inside solutions to a crime. That is, no surprise I am sure to anyone, all BS. I am just guessing like everybody else and only once in a blue moon, as with my immediate hunch that the looting of the Iraqi National Museum was an inside job, does it pan out.

But I do have a hunch about this that I have had from practically the first moment I read about it. I think the Wilson/Plame escapade has little or nothing to do with whether Saddam tried to buy uranium of any sort in Niger or anywhere and everything to do with the power struggle between the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department. Wilson’s trip to Niger was a charade. The CIA, or the part of the CIA that sent him, knew full well in advance that he would find nothing or say that he found nothing, nothing of significance anyway. In fact, if you were actually serious about finding out information about yellowcake sales, it seems the least likely way to go about it. (“Hey, Antoine, you guys didn’t happen to sell any yellowcake to old Saddam, did you?”..sip, sip… “Oh, my gosh, Joe, I’m glad you asked that question because we certainly would do no such thing.” and there you have it.)

What we do know that is important about Wilson is that he opposed the war from the beginning and is an Arabist of the most traditional State Department sort. These people historically have been extremely skeptical of democracy in the Middle East. There is way to construe that as racist, but it may actually have more to do with good old fashioned greed. Or maybe they are used in a sinister way to perpetuate each other. Whatever it is, they stand for a status quo ante in every sense. Wilson may claim to be a “progressive,” but he is an “old boy” at its purest.

Preston is quite correct in stressing the importance of the mysterious Rock Creek Corporation, which Wilson claims to represent, in all this. They appear here among the companies doing business with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, although there is no hyperlink, as there is with most of the other companies, well known ones like the Bank of America, Texaco and Halliburton. Another citation on Google (there are only 37) refers to it as a “private equity firm in Washington D. C.” CIA front or cash cow or both? Beats me.

The Washington blood sport that may be behind all this is not reassuring to contemplate.