Tuesday, July 12, 2005

WHIGgate. Is the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) the key piece of connective tissue for connecting the Rove/Plame story to the Downing Street Memo?

There's been some worry expressed among those trying to keep the Downing Street Memo in the public eye that the Karl Rove story will distract the mainstream media just as it was starting to show some interest. But read this recent interview from Citizens for Legitimate Government: Joseph Wilson on Bush Crowd: "A Real Threat to Our Republic." This interview with Valerie Plame's husband seems like an important piece of the puzzle because it connects, by name, the Downing Street Memo, with its insistence on "fixing the intelligence" to fit preordained war plans, with the outing of his wife because Wilson's intelligence and analysis didn't fit the "intelligence" they needed about Iraq's nuclear intentions and capabilities. But, even better, it extends the story into the White House Iraq Group (WHIGgate anyone?).
I wrote in my book that there was a conspiracy in the White House to find out everything they could about me and then use it against me. I think the logical place to look for the conspiracy is in the White House Iraq group (WHIG) which included Rove, Scooter Libby, Karen Hughes, Ari Fleischer and others. I don’t know who among them might have been the leaker or authorized the leak.

The full list of WHIG members is very heavy with people with ZERO intelligence background but lots of experience in political spinning and dirty tricks. This Washington Post article from August 10, 2003 seems like a good place to start digging.
'Educating the Public'
Systematic coordination began in August [2002, right after the DSM was written], when Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. formed the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, to set strategy for each stage of the confrontation with Baghdad. A senior official who participated in its work called it "an internal working group, like many formed for priority issues, to make sure each part of the White House was fulfilling its responsibilities."
In an interview with the New York Times published Sept. 6, Card did not mention the WHIG but hinted at its mission. "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," he said.
The group met weekly in the Situation Room. Among the regular participants were Karl Rove, the president's senior political adviser; communications strategists Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin and James R. Wilkinson; legislative liaison Nicholas E. Calio; and policy advisers led by Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, along with I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff.
The first days of September would bring some of the most important decisions of the prewar period: what to demand of the United Nations in the president's Sept. 12 address to the General Assembly, when to take the issue to Congress, and how to frame the conflict with Iraq in the midterm election campaign that began in earnest after Labor Day.
A "strategic communications" task force under the WHIG began to plan speeches and white papers. There were many themes in the coming weeks, but Iraq's nuclear menace was among the most prominent.
'A Mushroom Cloud'
The day after publication of Card's marketing remark, Bush and nearly all his top advisers began to talk about the dangers of an Iraqi nuclear bomb. . . .
The story of Rove (or other WHIGs) outing Plame is the story of the Downing Street Memo in action. Period. Come on Boys and Girls of the press, Scott McClellan is not going to answer any questions about Karl Rove, so ask him about WHIG! See if you can get him on the record!
Just a suggestion,
True Blue Liberal

Addendum, 13 July, 8:30am: Here's a quick link to a reference page on the White House Iraq Group, with further links to information about all its members.
Addendum, 26 July, 10:50am: The link to the Washington Post story isn't working up above and it doesn't show up with a search of their site, but Truthout has the text posted here.



Anonymous said...

Thanks TBL for this interesting information. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, but this makes it more likely that we will see more than one of these guys doing the perp walk.


Anonymous said...

I love how you bleeding heart types mourn the treatment of homicidal terrorists.

True Blue Liberal said...

Dear Anonymous, Where exactly were the "homicidal terrorists" in Iraq before we created them with our war?? Hiding with the yellowcake uranium?? I think your comment is more than a little off topic here, but ask yourself, would Iraqi civilians be seeing daily car bombs and other terrorist acts (killing 800 civilians A MONTH according to a report in today's Times) without the lies and crimes of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) that helped to sell this illegal invasion??

True Blue Liberal said...

I've been informed that my link to the key August 10, 2003 WaPo article about the White House Iraq Group was dead. I clicked it from here and from two other reference pages that had links to it and all are dead. Not only that, but if you search the Post site for "White House Iraq Group" or "WHIG" this morning, you get ZERO hits. WTF?

True Blue Liberal said...

Truthout has the text of the 8/10/03 Washington Post article here