The LA Times which reveals this is at pains to promote the official version as to why he was there-
What was a top national security aide to Vice President Dick Cheney doing in Georgia shortly before Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s troops engaged in what became a disastrous fight with South Ossetian rebels — and then Russian troops?
But, the vice president’s office says, he was there as part of a team setting up the vice president’s just-announced visit to Georgia. (It is common for the White House to send security, policy, communications and press aides to each site the president and vice president will visit ahead of the trip, to begin making arrangements and planning the agenda.)
But does Wood typically go in advance of Cheney visits? (Which are claimed to have been long planned but there is absolutely no way of verifying that. Unless you want to take Cheney’s Office word for it). Because he often goes in place of the busy Dick, last year-
Mr. Joseph R. Wood, Vice President Dick Cheney’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs pays an official visit to Georgia. Four-member delegation of the United States of America led by Joseph R. Wood accompanied by the U.S. Ambassador visited the Ministry of Defence of Georgia today. Delegation members were received by the Minister of Defence of Georgia David Kezerashvili and Chief of Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces Col. Zaza Gogava.
At the meeting the sides discussed Georgia’s contributions to Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. support of Georgia’s NATO membership and Georgia’s ongoing democratic reforms.
And earlier this year-
Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs Joseph R. Wood will visit Lithuania January 17 – 18. Mr. Wood is traveling to Vilnius to attend the Snow Summit and meet with Lithuanian government leaders to discuss bilateral issues.
So he’s been an emissary from Cheney, not simply an advance man for visits as the VPO claims to the LA Times. We do know the US knew of Saakashvili’s plans in advance as revealed by the US Ambassador to Moscow. Hmmm.
PS. Wood’s official biography- Read the rest of this entry »