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Who Was On Air Force One?

A week ago, I tried to connect some dots about who was on Air Force One from July 7 - 12, 2003 (Bush's trip to Africa) by checking some African news reports. Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Ari Fleisher, Deputy Foreign Secretary for Africa Walter Kansteiner, and Andrew Card were for sure on the trip. Karl Rove and Lewis Libby for sure weren't.

Scout Prime has picked up the ball and is running with it. She's now trying to find out if Powell's chief of staff White House Communications Director, Dan Bartlett was on the plane. Needlenose is also on the case. [Update: Bartlett was on the plane, Scout has pictures of him there]

I think Dan Bartlett was on the trip.

  • Dallas Morning News (7/12/03) (available on lexis.com):

On the fourth day of his five-day tour of sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Bush sought more forcefully to espouse some of the compassionate conservative philosophy that he showcases back home... Bush was warmly received at a clinic run by The AIDS Support Organization, both in the small courtyard where he spoke and inside one of the small, brick buildings, where he met privately with about two dozen people suffering from the AIDS virus. "It was very emotional," said White House communications director Dan Bartlett.

President Bush met privately Friday with two dozen AIDS patients during a stop in Uganda. An aide said he found it a moving experience....Of his meeting with AIDS patients... "It was very emotional," said White House communications director Dan Bartlett. "He was misty-eyed."

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  • Re: Who Was On Air Force One? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Swopa on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    Those sound like personal observances to me, but does anyone have any better information? Well, the Scout Prime post you linked to has a picture of Colin Powell in Botswana with Bartlett apparently in the background, and the Needlenose post you linked to includes a Newsweek quote that "on a long Bush trip to Africa, Fleischer and Bartlett prompted clusters of reporters to look into the bureaucratic origins of the Wilson trip." How much more information do you need? ;-)

    Re: Who Was On Air Force One? (none / 0) (#2)
    by CMike on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    Above you typed "Powell's chief of staff, Dan Barlett." You meant to type "Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson."

    Re: Who Was On Air Force One? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    I think that the State Dept. memo on AF1 is a red herring. There is no question that the WH wants this memo to e the focal point. Therefore we should not fall for it. How do we know that the WH wants us to focus on it? It was leaked to the WSJ over a year ago, then to Talin/Ganon. These are friends of the WH they publish what the WH wants them to. Now the same memo was leaked again to NYT then to WAPO, WSJ, Bloomberg, an WAPO again. All within days from each other WHY?? Someone really wants us to focus on a document that is in AF1 when the two leak sources are tucked away in the US. How convenient.

    Re: Who Was On Air Force One? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    Pepsigold, Here are two posts where I explore that question. Short version is that 1) there are actually several other documents involved, including the CIA report on Wilson's trip, so it is likely that the circulation of the memo ON AF1 isn't the actual source of the leak (I suspect the real source is a NSC or OSP memo that we don't know about). And now that Bolton is involved, we may know why. Because that would suggest he'd have a copy of the memo on June 10 (and he and Fred Fleitz would likely have some input into it, which could explain the misrepresentations CIA felt were in it). One more suggestion pollyusa at DKos made is that, if Bolton had one copy of the memo, then there may have been two versions on AF1, one without the analyst notes (and circulated by Bolton before July 6) and one with the notes (and circulated by Armitage on July 6).

    Re: Who Was On Air Force One? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    State Dept. Memo Big Red Herring. To continue on my previous post. Rove said to Cooper that a document is going to be declassified. Again, he could not have been referring to the memo in the news. This memo was written as a demonstration that State got it right. They only mention Wilson as corroborating evidence. I cannot see the WH wanting such a memo in public circulation. Therefore we must conclude that there is another document out there that is more favorable to the WH focused on Wilson his wife and how the VP did not send him. But we already knew that the source could not have been the State memo since it uses Wilson and not Plame. This sure would make for a good David Baldaci book. [link deleted not in html format]

    Re: Who Was On Air Force One? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    I would settle for Miller and Novak in jail for life.

    Re: Who Was On Air Force One? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    But if the memo that Gannon and the WSJ were given is the State Department memo (and it seems that at least the WSJ was given that specific memo), then how much is the WSJ complicit in this whole affair? After all, it took them two years to write about the Top Secret nature of the document and of Valerie Wilson's status. It took them two years to reveal that the State Department largely concurred with Wilson's report, and indeed tried to prevent the CIA from wasting resources on the Niger issue. One of two things happened here; either someone sympathetic to Wilson gave the WSJ the State Dept. memo and the WSJ dutifully wrote the Administration-blessed "good parts edition", or someone on the Administration's side gave out the memo and said "ignore the bit about no yellowcake, we have Proof" and the WSJ took it without question. Either way, the WSJ has some integrity questions to answer.

    Re: Who Was On Air Force One? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    im kinda inclined to share pepsi's skepticism. all the reports about the memo are 'person x (ari, powell) was seen reading the memo' - what exactly does it mean to be seen reading a memo? do they have color-coded exteriors or something?