I was contacted by Fleitz re the par below, noting that it was inaccurate especially given the recent revelations that Armitage was the source for Novak. I informed him I'd have a look at it and get back to him as soon as possible.
I'm no expert on the topic, but from reviewing what is online a) there is no hard evidence that Fleitz was the source b) many sources indicate that he was in the network and of interest but don't go as far as making the allegation as Raw Story does (and I would prefer that we stuck as far as possible to what was known rather than alleged esp to anonymous sources or documents that can't be checked or haven't been verified by others); and c) it does seem like the Raw Story line has been superseded by the latest Armitage revelations.
If others have a different view, please post a note. Otherwise, if there is no compelling evidence to the contrary I'm for deleting it. --Bob Burton 05:47, 7 Sep 2006 (EDT)
- ==Links to Plame Leak==
- Fleitz has also been accused of supplying his former boss John Bolton with the name of US intelligence agent Valerie Plame in an effort to discredit the evidence of Plame's husband Joseph Wilson, that evidence of Niger supplying yellowcake to Iraq had been forged. 
Adding balance to the Fleitz article
This was an extremely biased and unfair piece so I have added material to balance it. A piece that is only sourced to TomPaine.come and Prados is hardly fair. I did not remove this material but added other information. I will add references later.
I have done a major overhaul of the article to build a reasonably comprehensive list of references, add a little more details to Fleitz's work history and remove some of the extraneous and inaccurate material that had been added in the name of "balance". Specific comments follow.
- stating in its lead editorial on August 24, 2006:"Anyone who still thinks a nuclear-armed Iran won't pose a serious, and perhaps mortal, threat ought to consult this week's bipartisan staff report from the House Intelligence Committee. Drawing on open-source information and mindful of classified background, the report lays out the history of Iranian nuclear deception and its attempts to promote trouble throughout the Middle East. It notes that "Iran probably has an offensive biological weapons program." And it discusses in detail Iran's support for Hezbollah and other terror groups, as well as its continuing support for insurgents who are killing Americans in Iraq. "
- this really is not about Fleitz and is more appropriate, if anywhere, for the specific page on the actual report. I have left the mention and link to it on the page but don't see the benefit of the full extract.
- The Washington Times and Fox News also ran positive stories on the report. CNN and NBC News gave the report factual coverage noting its conclusions.
- maybe they did, but this was unreferenced.
- Left wing bloggers were very critical of Fleitz and the Iran report, some of whom claimed without proof that he was the sole author.
- maybe they did but I think is authorship of the report is covered in the section citing what the Washington Post wrote which seems pretty clear on this point to me.
- "More and more it appears that the pattern of manipulation and misuse of intelligence that served the Bush administration in the drive to start a war with Iraq is being repeated today for its neighbor Iran," Prados wrote. .
- again, better on the page about the report I think, I left the preceding par.
- The IAEA did not, however, link the report to Fleitz or name him, although the Washington Post tried to make this linkage.
- see above
- Congressman Hoekstra answered the IAEA allegations by noting that the IAEA's principal objection to the report concerned its reference to the fact that the IAEA reassigned an Iran inspector for concluding Iran had a nuclear weapons program at the request of Iran. The IAEA confirmed that it did this in its letter to Hoekstra. Even though the Washington Post has a copy of the letter, its story incorrectly stated that this individual "had not been moved."
- maybe he did, but this was unreferenced.
- .... and that a draft of the report had been leaked to the Post by U.S. intelligence analysts"
- I deleted the "by U.S. intelligence analysts" - this is not obvious from the WP story as it could have been from the Congressional committee, offices etc;
- that intelligence officials anonymously asserted to the Post
- no they didn't; the Washington Post had a copy of the draft report that they were citing.
That's all for the moment I think. --Bob Burton 03:22, 25 Sep 2006 (EDT)
Your edits are acceptable I suppose but you seem to load up on left wing blog sites. Moreover, it seems unfair to call the WSJ "hawkish" when you don't add similar editoral comments to the other sources you cite.
I added new information concerning the IAEA letter.
I have added the original key IAEA concerns for context. These are specific and substantive issues while Hoekstra's letter, as reported by NewsMax, is general and rhetorical. Maybe there is more detail in the original letter but it is not available online that I can see). In the absence of a detailed response, Hoekstra's claims can't be taken seriously. After all, the gap between 3.6% and 90% deals a pretty substantial blow to the disingenous claim that the primary issue was over the deisgnation of Charlier as an inspector. --Bob Burton 08:03, 3 Oct 2006 (EDT)
Bob, these are pretty extreme comments given that you admit that you don't know the whole story. You haven't seen Hoekstra's letter so you can't assess whether the Charlier issue is disingenuous. I'm attaching a more detailed article on this issue.
The removal of an IAEA inspector is a big deal. The IAEA's criticism of this was much tougher--almost fanatical. Why did it over react?
Hoekstra argued that the IAEA took issue with a photo caption, admitting that while it could have been read out of context, the meaning of the report is clear in that it says numerous times that Iran has not yet enriched uranium to weapons grade. This hardly justifies calling the report disingenuous.
I assume Sourcewatch wants to see that the news be reported accurately. The fact that the IAEA leaked its letter to the press but the House did not leak the Hoekstra letter is interesting. Who is trying to influence the media? Are you inadverently helping this effort? You seem to be swallowing the IAEA's line hook, line, and sinker without considering that there may be another side to the story. Why would the IAEA leak such a letter?
As a general point, it seems that this discussion has drifted substantially from an article about a private individual to a discussion about Iran. The involvement of this individual in the House Intel report is unclear. If you think it is necessary to discuss this report in such detail, you should make it a separate entry under "Iran" or "House Intelligence Committee."
I also deleted the paragraph on the North Korea report. This report came out and was not attributed to Fleitz. It also doesn't say that the North Koreans already are enriching uranium. --Zeke
I'll have a look at the other additions a little later but a couple of preliminary points.
- "The fact that the IAEA leaked its letter to the press but the House did not leak the Hoekstra letter is interesting."
- How do you know that it was the IAEA that leaked the letter? Sure it could have been, but it could have been others too. In the absence or hard evidence, it is not a "fact".
- "I also deleted the paragraph on the North Korea report. This report came out and was not attributed to Fleitz. It also doesn't say that the North Koreans already are enriching uranium."
- I have re-instated it. The Washington Post reference was to a draft report - therefore the content of the final report doesn't mean it cam simply be deleted. Is the final report available online? --Bob Burton 16:03, 5 Oct 2006 (EDT)
I've made some changes to correct some inaccuracies in the article:
- Based on a WP report, the article describes Fleitz as "one of three authors" of the report, but the WP article actually describes him as the "principle" author - if you're going to rely on the report for the 3 authors bit, you have to accept the principal author bit too.
- There is no evidence that the IAEA leaked its own report to the media, so I have returned this section to its previous state
- I've cut out the whole section dealing with the details of the IAEA letter to Heokstra, & Hoekstra's letter to the IAEA (below), as it clearly doesn't belong in an article on Fleitz. Perhaps someone would like to start a new article on this topic (perhaps first taking out the large slabs of highly partisan text copied verbatim from right-wing "news" (or perhaps calling it "news" is too much of a compliment) site FrontPageMagazine)
Cheers, Mc 01:57, 7 Oct 2006 (EDT)
Previously from the article:
- The IAEA letter noted that:
- The report included a photo caption of the Natanz site which stated that "Iran is currently enriching uranium to weapons grade using a 164-machine centriguge cascade". The IAEA stated that enrichment at the Natanz site was to 3.6%. The term "weapons grade" is "commonly used to refer to uranium enriched to the order of 90% or more in the isotope of uranium-235." 
- The report referred to Iran having "covertly produced" polonium-210. The IAEA stated this was "misleading" as Iran was under no obligation to report the production of polonium-210 under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. 
- the report claimed that Director General of the IAEA decided to "remove" a senior weapons inspector Mr Charlier "for allegedly raising concerns about Iranian deception regarding its nuclear program and conculding that the purpose of Iran's nuclear programme is to construct weapons." The IAEA described this asbeing "incorrect" and a "misleading assertion." 
- the report also claimed that Charlier might have been removed for "not having adhered to an unstated IAEA policy barring IAEA officials from telling the whole truth about the Iranian nuclear program." The IAEA described this as "an outrageous and dishonest suggestion." The Washington Post story stated that Charlier "had not been removed." This was incorrect as the IAEA letter notes that he was reassigned at the request of Iran. The letter stated that Iran had requested the withdrawal of the designation of Charlier as an inspector but stated that Iran had the right under NPT and IAEA treaties to take this action. 
According to reports on NewsMax.com and FrontPageMagazine websites, Michigan Republican Representative Peter Hoekstra sent a letter in reponse to the IAEA letter, noting that it "focuses keenly on several minor issues, it, and thereby the IAEA, does not take issue with the report’s major fundamental conclusions about Iran's nuclear program" that Tehran is apparently pursuing nuclear weapons and that its program has been conducted in such a way that it appears unlikely intended for peaceful energy production." Hoekstra conceded that the photo caption concerning the production of weapons-grade uranium could be read out of contect but noted that the report stated in three separate places that Iran was working toward this goal but had not yet succeeded in enriching uranium to this level.  
Hoekstra noted that the main reason that the IAEA took issue with the report concerned a paragraph noting that the IAEA had removed an Iran inspector at the request of Iran for concluding that Iran's nuclear program was designed to produce nuclear weapons. FrontPage Magazine provided an indepth account of the issues raised by Hoekstra. It first quoted the paragraph in the Iran report that apparently offended the IAEA:
- “If Mr. Charlier was removed for not adhering to an unstated IAEA policy barring IAEA officials from telling the whole truth about the Iranian nuclear program, the United States and the international community have a serious problem on their hands.”
- FrontPageMagazine wrote about the IAEA letter, "In his reply to these scurrilous accusations, which constitute an intrusion into U.S. domestic political affairs, Rep. Hoekstra noted that that the United States had “complained formally” about the decision to reassign Mr. Charlier as chief Iran weapons inspector."
The article quoted Hoekstra on this issue from his letter:
- “I believe it is fair to characterize that this IAEA action was undertaken quietly, and that there was an effort not to inform IAEA members,” Rep. Hoekstra wrote. “Further, I understand that you have omitted mentioning the Charlier reassignment in your reports to the IAEA Board of Governors. The Cserveny letter is apparently the first time the IAEA has publicly admitted that it reassigned Charlier at the request of Iran.”
- FrontPageMagazine summarized the Charlier story as follows: "Such blatant misrepresentation of facts comes from the IAEA, an agency the United States government depends for on-site inspections of Iran’s declared nuclear facilities." [http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=24778
Hoekstra also condemned the IAEA for the way it leaked its letter to the news media without giving him a chance to respond to it. Hoekstra noted that this suggested the IAEA was pursuing a political agenda. Hoekstra's letter still has not been released to the public. [http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=24778
Fleitz article needs balance--undo Mc's changes
It is unfair to delete the NewsMax and FrontPageMagazine information on Congressman Hoekstra's response to the IAEA letter but leaving the Washington Post story on the IAEA letter. I thought Bob Burton was working this when "Mc" changed the whole article. I seem to recall that a lot of the unbalanced material in this piece originated from "Mc" in the first place. The deleted material should be restored.