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   What Were Cheney & Scooter Libby Up To?

  Armitage confirms Plame leak
WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has confirmed he revealed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak.

Armitage said the revelation of Plame's identity, which triggered an investigation into the leak, was inadvertent, CNN reported Friday.

"I feel terrible," Armitage told CBS News. "Every day, I think, I let down the president. I let down the secretary of state. I let down my department, my family, and I also let down Mr. and Mrs. Wilson."

Novak had revealed in a July 14, 2003, column that Plame, wife of former diplomat and Iraq war intelligence critic Joe Wilson, was a CIA operative. Novak cited two senior administration officials, one of which was later revealed to be Karl Rove, U.S. President George Bush's chief political strategist.

Novak, who said he would not reveal the name of his first source until he came forward on his own, said Rove had confirmed the information.

Armitage said Plame's role in the CIA was mentioned in casual conversation.
  Karl Rove told Robert Novak that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent, but he was not given her name, Novak said in his column, 7/12/06. Robert Novak also says he found Wilson's wife's name in Wilson's Who's Who entry.  
  President Bush approved the leaking of senstive information on Iraq, according to  court filings by I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby (ex-aid of Cheney),  who is under indictment for perjury. There was no indication in the filing that either Bush or Cheney authorized Libby to disclose Valerie Plame's CIA identity.

Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald described a "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House" -- using classified information -- to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" a critic of President Bush's war in Iraq. The critic was Joseph Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame, who publicly refuted the admistration claim that Iraq sought to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger.

But the disclosure in documents filed (4/05/06) means that the president and the vice president put Libby in play as a secret provider of information to reporters about prewar intelligence on Iraq.
Bush approved (pdf)
  "Have they done this sort of thing before? Send an Amb. to answer a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?" Vice President Dick Cheney wrote the questions above his copy of Joseph Wilson's July 6, 2003 column, "What I Didn't Find in Africa."

"Those annotations support the proposition that publication of the Wilson Op-Ed acutely focused the attention of the vice president and the defendant — his chief of staff (Libby) — on Mr. Wilson, on the assertions made in his article, and on responding to those assertions," said the legal papers.  5/13/06 NYT
Plame doesn't matter; nuclear deception does
The focus on Plame is a distraction, sometimes a deliberate one. What matters, is that the neocons (Cheney, Libby, Rumsfeld, etc.) misled the country into believing Iraq was about to put nukes on missiles. That was frightening. The President’s commission has told us that Iraq’s nuclear program was dismantled in 1992.
When Libby said Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure" uranium, he knew that statement was from a 2002 document that relied on crude Italian forgeries which had been debunked. This was deceptive because Miller could not know there were no new sources and that the leak was really disinformation.
This was a final, futile attempt to keep the American public from learning they had taken the country to war on a neocon hunch. They still hoped to get lucky and find at least a few WMD in Iraq. They never did. This would have forever buried the fact that there was no solid evidence for their adventure. If deceiving the country into war and covering it up is not treason, it should be.
Plame Scandal is a Window on Iraq-War Deception
The Need for Uranium
First, the neocons sold Bush on the war, then the Administration had to sell the war to America. That wasn't easy, but the most powerful selling point was "Saddam almost has nukes." (We now know he got rid of them in 1991.)

Using Forged Evidence
In his State of the Union speech (January 2003), Bush cited discredited evidence that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Niger. This was a year after the CIA, not convinced by the forged evidence, sent ex-Ambassador Joseph Wilson, to Niger to check. He had found no evidence of any attempted uranium purchase and reported this to the CIA and State Dept.  His report was ignored.

Wilson Demands Rice Set the Record Straight
Several "smoking gun/mushroom cloud" speeches later, Wilson, feeling ignored, threatened to correct the record if Rice did not.

Rice Doesn't, Wilson Does
In his his New York Times Op/Ed (7/6/2003) titled "What I Didn't Find in Africa."

The Administration Retaliates Against His Wife
Someone in the administration, perhaps to get even, perhaps to set an example, decided to teach Wilson a lesson: they leaked to the press the information that Wilson's wife Valerie Plame Wilson, was an under cover CIA agent, working on WMDs. Robert Novak, alone, used the illegally given information.

Bush senior "Most Insidious Traitors"
As Bush senior said, people who do this are the most insidious traitors. Bush Jr. said he would fire them if he found them (Sept. 2003), but then (July, 2005) backed off.

It's worse than what Bush senior contemplated
The motive of the insidious traitor was not just to damage the CIA or its agent. The motive was to punish someone for telling the American people the truth, and ultimately to prevent Americans from learning the truth about why they were being asked to send their sons and daughters to war.
The French told the CIA NO Uranium sold to Saddam
The CIA asked the French several times, the first time in 2001, about Saddam trying to buy uranium; the answer each time was "No." The French conclusions were reached after extensive on-the-ground investigations in Niger and other former French colonies, where the uranium mines are controlled by French companies, said Alain Chouet, the French former official.

The repeated warnings from France's Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure did not prevent the Bush administration from making the case aggressively that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons materials.

"In France, we've always been very careful about both problems of uranium production in Niger and Iraqi attempts to get uranium from Africa," Chouet said. "After the first Gulf War, we were very cautious with that problem, as the French government didn't care to be accused of maintaining relations with Saddam in that field."

The French-U.S. communications were detailed to The Times last week by Chouet, who directed a 700-person intelligence unit specializing in weapons proliferation and terrorism.

Chouet said the cautions from his agency grew more emphatic over time as the Bush administration bolstered the case for invading Iraq by arguing that Hussein had sought to build a nuclear arsenal using uranium from Niger.

Chouet recalled that his agency was contacted by the CIA in the summer of 2001 — shortly before the attacks of Sept. 11 — as intelligence services in Europe and North America became more concerned about chatter from known terrorist sympathizers. CIA officials asked their French counterparts to check that uranium in Niger and elsewhere was secure. The former CIA official confirmed Chouet's account of this exchange.
The neocons had invented the evidence that led to the war in Iraq.
The Plame scandal was just one part of a larger operation. The neocons had spent years replacing standard intellegence with their own sources (Chalabi) and their own interpretations (from the office of "special plans") and since, as we know now, all of these turned out to be "dead wrong," it was important to keep in check those who knew (e.g Scott Ritter) or had serious doubts.

http://zfacts.com/p/132.html | 01/18/12 07:16 GMT
Modified: Sun, 01 Oct 2006 18:59:38 GMT
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