Sunday, April 09, 2006

Ship of State Leaks at the Top

July 6, 2003 - Joseph Wilson wrote an Op Ed piece in which he stated "some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Wilson had been hired by the CIA to travel to Niger to evaluate whether Iraq sought nuclear material there.

July 8, 2003 - Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, talked that morning to reporter Judith Miller at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C. The first of many furtive talks with reporters about the Wilson trip.

Subsequent to these Libby meetings with reporters, articles appeared trying to discredit Wilson, painting his trip to Niger as a "junket" arranged by his CIA wife Valerie Plame.....thus "outing" Plame, a covert CIA agent.

September 2003 - President Bush said of the leak regarding Plame: "I don't know of anybody in my Administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."

December 2003 - Federal prosecutor Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald starts his investigation of the Plame leak case.

October 28, 2005 - The investigation by a federal grand jury results in a five-count indictment of Libby...obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements to federal investigators about his leaks to reporters of classified information regarding the employment of Plame.

April 5, 2006 - Fitzgerald files a legal document relating to the ongoing leak investigation. On pages 19 and 20 of that filing it states that Libby testified that his "participation in a critical conversation with Judith Miller on July 8 occurred only after the Vice President advised defendant [Libby] that the President specifically had authorized the defendant [Libby] to disclose certain information in the NIE [classified National Intelligence Estimate]. "

So........President Bush, through Vice President Cheney, authorized Libby to leak classified information in an effort to discredit Wilson, an Iraq war whistle-blower, and exposing Wilson's wife as a CIA operative.

The White House defense, Bush has the power to declassify intelligence material as he deems appropriate.

Hail Caesar!

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