If you go to the URL below, you can find the full articles and their original source. rkm -------------------------------------------------------- http://www.truthout.org/fitzgeraldcalling.shtml Dubya-Cheney Ties Frayed by Scandal By Thomas M. DeFrank The New York Daily News Tuesday 08 November 2005 'There has been some distance for some time.' Washington - The CIA leak scandal has peeled back the veil on the most closely held White House secret of all: the subtle but unmistakable erosion in the bond between President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Multiple sources close to Bush told the Daily News that while the vice president remains his boss' valued political partner and counselor, his clout has lessened - primarily as a result of issues arising from the Iraq war. "The relationship is not what it was," a presidential counselor said. "There has been some distance for some time." Read the full article --- Vice President Lied as White House Sought to Defuse Leak Inquiry By Jason Leopold ZNet.com Monday 07 November 2005 Did Vice President Dick Cheney help cover-up the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson in the months after conservative columnist Robert Novak first disclosed her identity? That's one of the questions Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is likely trying to figure out. It's unclear what Cheney said to investigators back in 2004 when he was questioned - not under oath - about the leak, particularly what he knew and when he knew it. The five-count criminal indictment handed up by a grand jury last month against Cheney's former Chief of Staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, sheds new light on a pattern of strategic deception by the Vice President and the White House to defuse an inquiry into who leaked the name of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson to the press. Months after Plame's identity was disclosed by conservative columnist Robert Novak, Cheney continued to hide the fact that he and his aides were intimately involved in disseminating classified information about her to journalists. Read the full article --- Rove's Security Clearance Widely Questioned By Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger The Los Angeles Times Sunday 06 November 2005 Federal workers under suspicion of smaller lapses have had access to classified data yanked. Washington - An intelligence analyst temporarily lost his top-secret security clearance because he faxed his resume using a commercial machine. An employee of the Defense Department had her clearance suspended for months because a jilted boyfriend called to say she might not be reliable. An Army officer who spoke publicly about intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks had his clearance revoked over questions about $67 in personal charges to a military cellphone. But in the White House, where Karl Rove is under federal investigation for his role in the exposure of a covert CIA officer, the longtime advisor to President Bush continues to enjoy full access to government secrets. Read the full article --- Democratic Congressmen Ask Cheney to Talk The Associated Press Friday 04 November 2005 Washington - Three Democratic congressmen Thursday asked Vice President Dick Cheney to testify on Capitol Hill about the disclosure of a covert CIA officer's identity, saying "there are many wide-ranging questions about your involvement." The congressmen asked why Cheney's office was gathering information about Valerie Plame, the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson in 2003; whether the vice president directed his top aide, the now-indicted I. Lewis Libby, to speak to the news media about Plame; and whether Cheney was aware Libby was doing so. The indictment against Libby says he was told by Cheney on June 12, 2003, that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA's counterproliferation division. That was a month before Plame's identity was disclosed by conservative columnist Robert Novak. Read the full article --- Prosecutor Narrows Focus on Rove Role in CIA Leak By David Johnston and Richard W. Stevenson The New York Times Friday 04 November 2005 Washington - The prosecutor in the CIA leak case has narrowed his investigation of Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, to whether he tried to conceal from the grand jury a conversation with a Time magazine reporter in the week before an intelligence officer's identity was made public more than two years ago, lawyers in the case said Thursday. The special counsel, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has centered on what are believed to be his final inquiries in the matter as to whether Mr. Rove was fully forthcoming about the belated discovery of an internal e-mail message that confirmed his conversation with the Time reporter, Matthew Cooper, to whom Mr. Rove had mentioned the CIA officer. Mr. Fitzgerald no longer seems to be actively examining some of the more incendiary questions involving Mr. Rove. At one point, he explored whether Mr. Rove misrepresented his role in the leak case to President Bush - an issue that led to discussions between Mr. Fitzgerald and James E. Sharp, a lawyer for Mr. Bush, an associate of Mr. Rove said. Read the full article --- Libby Pleads Not Guilty in CIA Leak Case By Pete Yost The Associated Press Thursday 03 November 2005 Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff pleaded not guilty Thursday in the CIA leak scandal, marking the start of what could be a long road to a trial in which Cheney and other top Bush administration officials could be summoned to testify. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby entered the plea in front of US District Judge Reggie Walton, a former prosecutor who has spent two decades as a judge in the nation's capital. "With respect, your honor, I plead not guilty," Libby told the judge. Read the full article --- In the Company of Friends By Richard Wolffe and Holly Bailey Newsweek Wednesday 02 November 2005 Bush may be besieged by charges of cronyism, but they don't seem to have affected his picks for a panel assessing intelligence matters. Plus, Alito, the talkie. Controversy continues to rage over spying failures and the mishandling of intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Last week it was the indictments in the CIA leak case. This week, it was the extraordinary secret session of the Senate, when Democrats pushed for a new round of inquiries into the misuse of intelligence on Saddam's regime. So it's all the more remarkable to see how the White House has just filled a committee overseeing intelligence issues. President Bush last week appointed nine campaign contributors, including three longtime fund-raisers, to his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a 16-member panel of individuals from the private sector who advise the president on the quality and effectiveness of US intelligence efforts. After watching the fate of Michael Brown as head of FEMA and Harriet Miers as Supreme Court nominee, you might think the president would be wary about the appearance of cronyism - especially with a critical national-security issue such as intelligence. Instead, Bush reappointed William DeWitt, an Ohio businessman who has raised more than $300,000 for the president's campaigns, for a third two-year term on the panel. Originally appointed in 2001, just a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, DeWitt, who was also a top fund-raiser for Bush's 2004 Inaugural committee, was a partner with Bush in the Texas Rangers baseball team. Read the full article --- White House Ducks Prewar Intel Questions The Associated Press Wednesday 02 November 2005 Washington - The White House sought to deflect politically charged questions Wednesday about President Bush's use of prewar intelligence in Iraq, saying Democrats, too, had concluded Saddam Hussein was a threat. "If Democrats want to talk about the threat that Saddam Hussein posed and the intelligence, they might want to start with looking at the previous administration and their own statements that they've made," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. He said the Clinton administration and fellow Democrats "used the intelligence to come to the same conclusion that Saddam Hussein and his regime were a threat." Read the full article --- Rove's Future Role Is Debated By Jim VandeHei and Carol D. Leonnig The Washington Post Thursday 03 November 2005 White House may seek fresh start in wake of leak. Top White House aides are privately discussing the future of Karl Rove, with some expressing doubt that President Bush can move beyond the damaging CIA leak case as long as his closest political strategist remains in the administration. If Rove stays, which colleagues say remains his intention, he may at a minimum have to issue a formal apology for misleading colleagues and the public about his role in conversations that led to the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame, according to senior Republican sources familiar with White House deliberations. Read the full article --- Inside the Bunker By Sidney Blumenthal The Guardian UK Thursday 03 November 2005 His administration has become its own republic of fear, and Bush is a prisoner to the right. One year after his re-election President Bush governs from a bunker. "We go forward with complete confidence," he proclaimed in his second inaugural address. He urged "our youngest citizens" to see the future "in the determined faces of our soldiers", to choose between "evil" and "courage". But as he listened that day, Vice-President Dick Cheney knew the election had been secured by a cover-up. "I would have wished nothing better," declared Patrick Fitzgerald in his press conference of October 28 announcing the indictment of I Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice-president's chief of staff, "that, when the subpoenas were issued in August 2004, witnesses testified then, and we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005. No one would have went to jail." Read the full article --- Is Rove a Security Risk? By Jonathan Alter Newsweek Wednesday 02 November 2005 Because he disclosed Plame's CIA identity to reporters, the Bush aide could lose his clearance. The conventional wisdom in Washington this week is that Karl Rove is out of the woods. But while an indictment against him in the Valerie Plame leak case is now unlikely, he may be in danger of losing his security clearance. According to last week's indictment of Scooter Libby, a person identified as "Official A" held conversations with reporters about Plame's identity as an undercover CIA operative, information that was classified. News accounts subsequently confirmed that that official was Rove. Under Executive Order 12958, signed by President Clinton in 1995, such a disclosure is grounds for, at a minimum, losing access to classified information. Read the full article --- Some Conservatives Question Rove's Future Reuters Tuesday 01 November 2005 Washington - Breaking with the White House and fellow conservatives, Republican Sen. Trent Lott and the head of the Cato Institute questioned on Tuesday whether top White House adviser Karl Rove, who remains in legal jeopardy in a CIA-leak probe, should keep his policy-making job. Rove was not indicted on Friday along with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby. But lawyers involved in the case said Rove, President George W. Bush's top political adviser and deputy chief of staff, remains under investigation and may still be charged by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. The identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame was leaked to the media in July 2003 after her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of twisting intelligence to justify the war in Iraq. Despite initial White House denials, Fitzgerald's investigation shows that both Rove and Libby spoke to reporters about Wilson's wife. Read the full article --- GOP Angered by Closed Senate Session By Charles Babington and Dafna Linzer The Washington Post Wednesday 02 November 2005 Meeting reopened after two hours. Democrats forced the Senate into a rare closed-door session yesterday, infuriating Republicans but extracting from them a promise to speed up an inquiry into the Bush administration's handling of intelligence about Iraq's weapons in the run-up to the war. With no warning in the mid-afternoon, the Senate's top Democrat invoked the little-used Rule 21, which forced aides to turn off the chamber's cameras and close its massive doors after evicting all visitors, reporters and most staffers. Plans to bring in electronic-bug-sniffing dogs were dropped when it became clear that senators would trade barbs but discuss no classified information. Republicans condemned the Democrats' maneuver, which marked the first time in more than 25 years that one party had insisted on a closed session without consulting the other party. But within two hours, Republicans appointed a bipartisan panel to report on the progress of a Senate intelligence committee report on prewar intelligence, which Democrats say has been delayed for nearly a year. Read the full article --- Nothing Shakin' on Shakedown Street? By William Rivers Pitt t r u t h o u t | Perspective Tuesday 01 November 2005 Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart. You just gotta poke around. -- The Grateful Dead Confession time: I missed the whole Libby-indictment thing almost completely. I wasn't writing a book or researching a story, nor was I interviewing people in the know about this or that. Nope. I was in Vegas, splitting my time between a poker table in Mandalay Bay and the Vegoose Music Festival out on the edge of the desert. The trip had been planned months before, and I spent all those days leading up to last Friday hoping Fitz would drop the hammer so I could bug out in good conscience. Didn't happen. I was on the plane Thursday night, shaking my head at the timing. You just had to wait until the last day, didn't you? Well, it wasn't a total loss. I spent a couple dozen hours out there under the mountains listening to bands like Moe, Phil Lesh & Friends, the North Mississippi All-Stars, Umphrey's McGee (the set of the weekend, by the way), and managed in between to take down a few fat pots off the felt when I was back on the strip. It was a good weekend, all told, but I just absolutely missed the whole Fitzgerald train. Yes, I caught the press conference on Friday. After that, however, I was in the ozone, away from televisions and computers and newspapers. I got back home on Monday night, and have spent every waking minute since playing catch-up. Here's what I have so far. Read the full article --- The World Can't Wait By Russ Baker TomPaine.com Tuesday 01 November 2005 Patrick Fitzgerald's indictment of Scooter Libby for lying about how he learned of the Valerie Plame affair is an interesting and important development. But the narrowness of that focus, absent further developments, shows again the limitations of "the system" in confronting the sheer magnitude of an entire government subverted, and with it a proud people, from all that we once revered. For those disturbed by the deceit and the intrigues, the reckless warmongering, the wholesale looting of the common trust to benefit the privileged, the clampdown on rights and liberties, the unconscionable enthusiasm for torture, the embracing of a Know-Nothing attitude toward science, the hastening of environmental collapse, the buying of the legislative process and the neutering of the judicial one, waiting for indictments is no longer sufficient. One difficulty with opposing the current malefactors of power is that they are so venal, so mean-spirited, so incompetent on so many fronts that it's hard to focus the public's attention on the true magnitude of the threat, which dwarfs any single instance of wrong-doing, as egregious as this or that outrage may be. Essential to any successful anti-Bush campaign is the constant reminder that the president and his cronies are dangerous across the board, from the selection of a science textbook in a small town in Kansas to the mobilization of the "shock and awe" war machine for political purposes. Read the full article --- Bigger than Watergate By Ted Rall Yahoo News Tuesday 01 November 2005 Bush-Cheney traitors deserve prison, impeachment. Urbana, Illinois - To weigh the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame against historical standards, consider that no leader of the Soviet Union-including that master of ruthlessness, Josef Stalin-ever arranged for the name of a KGB operative to appear in a newspaper. Adolf Hitler had countless millions murdered, yet getting at a political enemy by endangering agents of the Sicherheitsdienst, the Nazi intelligence service, didn't cross his mind. In this respect, not even the worst tyrants have stooped to the level of George W. Bush. Don't let the Republicans distract you. Treasongate isn't just about deposed vice presidential chief of staff Scooter Libby, who has been charged with five felony counts and faces 30 years in prison, or even deputy presidential chief of staff Karl Rove, who may soon be charged as well. The Libby charges clearly point to the real culprit: Dick Cheney, who told Libby about Plame's covert status in the first place. Cheney abused his security clearance to find out. "Libby understood that the vice president had learned this information from the CIA," reads page five of the indictment. Read the full article --- What Judy Forgot: Your Right to Know By Robert Scheer The Los Angeles Times Tuesday 01 November 2005 The most intriguing revelation of Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald's news conference last week was his assertion that he would have presented his indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby a year ago if not for the intransigence of reporters who refused to testify before the grand jury. He said that without that delay, "we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005." Had that been the case, John Kerry probably would be president of the United States today. Surely a sufficient number of swing voters in the very tight race would have been outraged to learn weeks before the 2004 election that, according to this indictment, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff - a key member of the White House team that made the fraudulent case for invading Iraq - "did knowingly and corruptly endeavor to influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice." Read the full article --- Forging the Case for War By Philip Giraldi The American Conservative 21 November 2005 Issue Who was behind the Niger uranium documents? From the beginning, there has been little doubt in the intelligence community that the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame was part of a bigger story. That she was exposed in an attempt to discredit her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, is clear, but the drive to demonize Wilson cannot reasonably be attributed only to revenge. Rather, her identification likely grew out of an attempt to cover up the forging of documents alleging that Iraq attempted to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger. What took place and why will not be known with any certainty until the details of the Fitzgerald investigation are revealed. (As we go to press, Fitzgerald has made no public statement.) But recent revelations in the Italian press, most notably in the pages of La Repubblica, along with information already on the public record, suggest a plausible scenario for the evolution of Plamegate. Read the full article --- Democrats Force Senate into Closed Session over Iraq Data The Associated Press Tuesday 01 November 2005 Washington - Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into an unusual closed session Tuesday, demanding answers about intelligence that led to the Iraq war. In a speech on the Senate floor, Democratic leader Harry Reid said the American people and US troops deserved to know the details of how the United States became engaged in the war, particularly in light of the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. Reid demanded the Senate go into closed session. With a second by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the public was ordered out of the chamber, the lights were dimmed, senators filed to their seats on the floor and the doors were closed. No vote is required in such circumstances. Read the full article --- Time Reporter Says He Learned Agent's Identity from Rove ABC News Monday 31 October 2005 Matthew Cooper says I. Lewis Libby confirmed information. One of the reporters at the center of the investigation into the leak of the identity of an undercover CIA officer, says he first learned the agent's name from President Bush's top political advisor, Karl Rove. Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper also said today in an interview with "Good Morning America," that the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, confirmed to him that Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a covert CIA operative. A grand jury charged Libby on Friday with five felonies alleging obstruction of justice, perjury to a grand jury and making false statements to FBI agents. If convicted, he could face a maximum of 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines. Libby was not charged with the crime that the grand jury was created to investigate - specifically, who leaked the name of Plame to reporters in 2003. Rove has not been charged. Read the full article --- What Did Cheney Know, and When Did He Know It? By Nicholas D. Kristof The New York Times Tuesday 01 November 2005 Come on, Mr. Vice President, tell us what happened. A federal indictment charges that criminality swirled around your office, and it demeans this administration and the entire country when you hide in your bunker and refuse to say whether you knew of any such activities. Five lawyers I've consulted all agree that there is no compelling legal reason why you should not discuss the situation. It's urgent that you clear the air by answering these questions in a televised news conference: Read the full article --- In Indictment's Wake, a Focus on Cheney's Powerful Role By Elisabeth Bumiller and Eric Schmitt The New York Times Sunday 30 October 2005 Vice President Dick Cheney makes only three brief appearances in the 22-page federal indictment that charges his chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby Jr., with lying to investigators and misleading a grand jury in the CIA leak case. But in its clear, cold language, it lifts a veil on how aggressively Mr. Cheney's office drove the rationale against Saddam Hussein and then fought to discredit the Iraq war's critics. The document now raises a central question: how much collateral damage has Mr. Cheney sustained? Many Republicans say that Mr. Cheney, already politically weakened because of his role in preparing the case for war, could be further damaged if he is forced to testify about the infighting over intelligence that turned out to be false. At the least, they say, his office will be temporarily off balance with the resignation of Mr. Libby, who controlled both foreign and domestic affairs in a vice presidential office that has served as a major policy arm for the West Wing. Read the full article --- Addington's Role in Cheney's Office Draws Fresh Attention By Murray Waas and Paul Singer The National Journal Sunday 30 October 2005 David Addington, counsel to Vice President Cheney, is currently considered the leading candidate to succeed Scooter Libby as Cheney's chief of staff. But Addington's own role in the Plame matter is emerging just as the vice president considers whether to name him to the job. On the morning of July 8, 2003, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, then-chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, had a two-hour meeting with New York Times reporter Judith Miller at which Libby gave information to Miller in an attempt to discredit former ambassador and Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson. When Libby returned to the White House, he immediately sought out David Addington, the vice president's counsel, according to court records and interviews. During their breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel, Libby had promised Miller he would try to find out more about Wilson, and Wilson's wife, CIA officer Valerie Plame. As the former general counsel to the CIA and counsel to the House Intelligence Committee, Addington was the right man for Libby to see. Read the full article --- Mysterious 'Official A' Is Karl Rove By Pete Yost The Associated Press Friday 28 October 2005 Washington - In a sign of the trouble lingering for the Bush administration, the indictment handed up Friday in the CIA leak probe refers to someone at the White House known as "Official A." The unidentified official could become a courtroom witness against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who left his job as vice presidential aide shortly after his indictment on charges of obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury. Several other unnamed officials mentioned in the indictment were identified Friday afternoon by Justice Department officials. Read the full article --- Smoke Gets in Our Eyes By Bob Herbert The New York Times Monday 31 October 2005 There's a reason so many top officials of the Bush administration treat the truth as if it were kryptonite. More than anything else, the simple truth has the potential to destroy the Bush gang. Scooter Libby was one of the most powerful figures in the administration, Dick Cheney's most highly trusted aide and a champion of the wholesale flim-flammery that led us into the crucible of Iraq. I haven't heard anyone express surprise that he would lie in the service of the administration. Read the full article --- After the Libby Indictment, the Press Is Acquitting Itself By Norman Solomon t r u t h o u t | Perspective Monday 31 October 2005 A lot of media outlets are now scrutinizing some of the lies told by the Bush administration before the invasion of Iraq. Yet the same news organizations are bypassing their own key roles in the marketing of those lies. A case in point is the New York Times. On Saturday, hours after the indictment of Lewis Libby, the lead editorial of the Times ended by declaring that "the big point Americans need to keep in mind is this: There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." On Sunday, the Times columnist Frank Rich referred to "Colin Powell's notorious presentation of WMD 'evidence' to the UN on the eve of war." And so it goes in the opinion section of the New York Times. There's now eagerness to blast the Bush administration for some aspects of false prewar propaganda - while the newspaper continues to dodge its own crucial role in promoting that propaganda. Read the full article --- Democrats Demand Rove's Firing By Dana Milbank and Carol D. Leonnig The Washington Post Monday 31 October 2005 Further details sought on Cheney's involvement in Plame leak. Democrats demanded yesterday that President Bush fire Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and that the White House fully account for Vice President Cheney's role in the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame, as Republicans acted to limit the political damage from Friday's indictment of Cheney's chief of staff. Using the forum of the Sunday television talk shows, Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (NV) and other Democrats sought to portray the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on Friday as part of a broader pattern of unethical - if not illegal - conduct by the administration. Republicans, while not defending Libby, asserted that the lack of other indictments indicated there was no conspiracy in the White House to punish an administration critic by identifying his wife as a CIA operative. Reid, speaking on ABC's "This Week," called for apologies from Bush and Cheney, and sought Rove's resignation because of Bush's vow to dismiss anybody involved in the leak. Later, on CNN's "Late Edition," Reid repeated his call for Rove's dismissal four times. Read the full article --- Wilson Says Leak Destroyed Wife's CIA Career Reuters Sunday 30 October 2005 Washington - Valerie Plame's nearly two-decade career at the CIA and the secret life she crafted to conceal it were blown when her identity was revealed by a newspaper columnist, her husband, Joe Wilson said in a CBS "60 Minutes" interview on Sunday. Wilson, a former career diplomat, said Plame, 42, was in shock when she saw her name and that of her fictitious employer published in a syndicated column by Robert Novak. "She felt like she'd been hit in the stomach. It took her breath away," Wilson said. Read the full article Bush, Cheney Urged to Apologize for Aides By Douglass K. Daniel The Associated Press Sunday 30 October 2005 Washington - Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said Sunday that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should apologize for the actions of their aides in the CIA leak case. Reid, D-NV, also said Bush should pledge not to pardon any aides convicted as a result of the investigation into the disclosure of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity. "There has not been an apology to the American people for this obvious problem in the White House," Reid said. He said Bush and Cheney "should come clean with the American public." Reid added, "This has gotten way out of hand, and the American people deserve better than this." Read the full article --- Prosecutor Should Dig Deeper By Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith The Baltimore Sun Sunday 30 October 2005 Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald's investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's name has reaffirmed the basic American principle that even the highest government officials are subject to the rule of law. His charges represent the start of a revitalization of the institutions designed to maintain government under law. But that revitalization still has a long way to go. As a prosecutor, Mr. Fitzgerald rightly brought charges where the law was clearest and the evidence most compelling. But the alleged crimes he is investigating are in essence the apparent cover-up operation for another possible set of crimes against national and international law. Why would I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby commit perjury and lie to FBI agents, as he is accused of doing? The letters from Acting Attorney General James B. Comey appointing Mr. Fitzgerald delegated to him "all the authority of the attorney general" to investigate and prosecute "violations of any federal criminal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure." Read the full article --- Who Talked? It Wasn't the Special Prosecutor By Richard B. Schmitt The Los Angeles Times Sunday 30 October 2005 Washington - With US troops unable to find expected weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a group of officials met aboard Air Force Two in mid-2003 to discuss how to respond to the growing prominence of one particular critic of President Bush's war policy. Vice President Dick Cheney was on the flight. So was his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. It was a scene that suggested intrigue. And if it had occurred as part of a past Washington scandal, the investigator who revealed it probably would have included a wealth of details, naming everyone present and laying out what they said. But when Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald announced Friday that he was wrapping up his two-year investigation of the CIA leak case, he offered the barest sketch of the meeting on Air Force Two - and left many central questions in the case unanswered. Did Cheney help map out strategy with Libby during the flight? Did officials talk about Valerie Plame, the wife of the Bush critic, and that she worked for the CIA - a detail that was soon leaked to the media? Read the full article --- Libby Takes the Fall By Joe Conason Salon.com Saturday 29 October 2005 But Bush still needs to come clean on the White House's role in abusing classified information for partisan purposes. While the full implications of the Scooter Libby indictment have yet to emerge - including the question of whether Karl Rove, aka "Official A," ultimately escapes prosecution - special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has convincingly exploded right-wing disinformation about the CIA leak affair. For many months now, Republican politicians and pundits have floated misleading spin to deflect attention from the fundamental truth: For partisan political reasons, leading figures in the White House and the Bush administration leaked an important national security secret. The purveyors of GOP spin have proclaimed that Valerie Plame Wilson's CIA identity was no secret at all; that the exposure of her identity merited no investigation whatsoever; that she was responsible for sending her husband Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV to Niger to investigate alleged uranium trading with Iraq; that the special counsel investigation somehow represented the "criminalization of politics"; and that the special counsel himself is overzealous and unprofessional. Read the full article --- The White House Criminal Conspiracy By Elizabeth de la Vega Tom Dispatch Legally, there are no significant differences between the investor fraud perpetrated by Enron CEO Ken Lay and the prewar intelligence fraud perpetrated by George W. Bush. Both involved persons in authority who used half-truths and recklessly false statements to manipulate people who trusted them. There is, however, a practical difference: The presidential fraud is wider in scope and far graver in its consequences than the Enron fraud. Yet thus far the public seems paralyzed. In response to the outcry raised by Enron and other scandals, Congress passed the Corporate Corruption Bill, which President Bush signed on July 30, 2002, amid great fanfare. Bush declared that he was signing the bill because of his strong belief that corporate officers must be straightforward and honest. If they were not, he said, they would be held accountable. Ironically, the day Bush signed the Corporate Corruption Bill, he and his aides were enmeshed in an orchestrated campaign to trick the country into taking the biggest risk imaginable - a war. Indeed, plans to attack Iraq were already in motion. In June, Bush announced his "new" pre-emptive strike strategy. On July 23, 2002, the head of British intelligence advised Prime Minister Tony Blair, in the then-secret Downing Street Memo, that "military action was now seen as inevitable" and that "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Bush had also authorized the transfer of $700 million from Afghanistan war funds to prepare for an invasion of Iraq. Yet all the while, with the sincerity of Marc Antony protesting that "Brutus is an honorable man," Bush insisted he wanted peace. Read the full article --- One Step Closer to the Big Enchilada By Frank Rich The New York Times Sunday 30 October 2005 To believe that the Bush-Cheney scandals will be behind us anytime soon you'd have to believe that the Nixon-Agnew scandals peaked when G. Gordon Liddy and his bumbling band were nailed for the Watergate break-in. But Watergate played out for nearly two years after the gang that burglarized Democratic headquarters was indicted by a federal grand jury; it even dragged on for more than a year after Nixon took "responsibility" for the scandal, sacrificed his two top aides and weathered the indictments of two first-term cabinet members. In those ensuing months, America would come to see that the original petty crime was merely the leading edge of thematically related but wildly disparate abuses of power that Nixon's attorney general, John Mitchell, would name "the White House horrors." In our current imperial presidency, as in its antecedent, what may look like a narrow case involving a second banana with a child's name contains the DNA of the White House, and that DNA offers a road map to the duplicitous culture of the whole. The coming prosecution of Lewis (Scooter) Libby in the Wilson affair is hardly the end of the story. That "Cheney's Cheney," as Mr. Libby is known, would allegedly go to such lengths to obscure his role in punishing a man who challenged the administration's W.M.D. propaganda is just one very big window into the genesis of the smoke screen (or, more accurately, mushroom cloud) that the White House used to sell the war in Iraq. Read the full article --- Our 27 Months of Hell By Joseph C. Wilson IV The Los Angeles Times Saturday 29 October 2005 After the two-year smear campaign orchestrated by senior officials in the Bush White House against my wife and me, it is tempting to feel vindicated by Friday's indictment of the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Between us, Valerie and I have served the United States for nearly 43 years. I was President George H. W. Bush's acting ambassador to Iraq in the run-up to the Persian Gulf War, and I served as ambassador to two African nations for him and President Clinton. Valerie worked undercover for the CIA in several overseas assignments and in areas related to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. But on July 14, 2003, our lives were irrevocably changed. That was the day columnist Robert Novak identified Valerie as an operative, divulging a secret that had been known only to me, her parents and her brother. Read the full article --- At Least 7 in Cabinet Knew of Plame's ID The Associated Press Friday 28 October 2005 Washington - At least seven Bush administration officials outside the CIA knew Valerie Plame was a CIA employee before the disclosure of her name in a column by Robert Novak in July 2003, according to the indictment Friday of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. In no case other than Libby's does the indictment claim that one of the government employees provided the name to reporters. And the indictment does not identify anyone other than Libby. But some are easy to determine. Of course, the "vice president of the United States" is Dick Cheney, for whom Libby worked as chief of staff. Cheney told Libby that Plame worked at the CIA, information that Libby understood came from the agency, the indictment said. Read the full article --- Libby Lawyer Hints at Defense Strategy The Associated Press Saturday 29 October 2005 Former Cheney aide indicted on five charges. Washington - The lawyer for Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide has begun to outline a possible criminal defense that is a tradition in Washington scandals: A busy official immersed in important duties cannot reasonably be expected to remember details of long-ago conversations. Friday's indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby involves allegations that as Cheney's chief of staff he lied to FBI agents and a federal grand jury. Libby, who resigned immediately, was operating amid "the hectic rush of issues and events at a busy time for our government," according to a statement released by his attorney, Joseph Tate. "We are quite distressed the special counsel [Patrick Fitzgerald] has not sought to pursue alleged inconsistencies in Mr. Libby's recollection and those of others and to charge such inconsistencies as false statements," Tate continued. Read the full article --- Go to Original Indictment Doesn't Clear Up Mystery at Heart of CIA Leak Probe By Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel Knight Ridder Newspapers Friday 28 October 2005 Washington - At the heart of Friday's indictment of a top White House aide remain two unsolved mysteries. Who forged the documents that claimed Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium for nuclear weapons in the African country of Niger? How did a version of the tale get into President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, even though US intelligence agencies never confirmed it and some intelligence analysts doubted it? Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who found no substance to the alleged deal during a CIA-sponsored trip to Niger, accused Bush in July 2003 of twisting the intelligence. Shortly thereafter, the identity of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a covert CIA officer, was leaked to journalists, igniting special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald's probe. The FBI has been investigating the clumsy forgeries, which first surfaced in Rome in October 2002, for two years, but has made little progress, four US government officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation continues. Those officials blame a lack of cooperation from Italy. A spokesman for the Italian Embassy in Washington denied that. But a weeks-long review by Knight Ridder has established that: Italy's military intelligence agency, SISMI, and people close to it, repeatedly tried to shop the bogus Niger uranium story to governments in France, Britain and the United States. That created the illusion that multiple sources were confirming the story. The CIA had begun receiving intelligence reports based on the same forgeries in October 2001, but they could not be confirmed. Copies of the fake documents suddenly surfaced at a critical point in the White House's fall 2002 campaign to take the country to war in Iraq. The CIA eventually determined that the earlier reports were "based on the forged documents" and were "thus ... unreliable," a presidential commission on unconventional weapons proliferation said in March. State Department intelligence analysts and some in the CIA discounted the uranium story. But White House officials, working through a back channel to one CIA unit, seized on the tale, and it was included in Bush's case for war. The following is a chronology of events that led up to the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. It's based on interviews and on reports by the Senate Intelligence Committee and the presidentially appointed panel on weapons intelligence. Oct. 15, 2001 - The CIA received the first of three top-secret reports from a foreign intelligence service - which intelligence officials said was Italy's SISMI - that Niger planned to ship tons of uranium ore, or yellowcake, to Iraq. SISMI was behind similar reports in Britain and France. Paris never put any stock in the reports, according to two European officials. London has stood behind its statement that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa. February 2002 - Cheney and other officials asked the CIA to find out more. Some CIA and Pentagon analysts were impressed with the reporting. But the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) was skeptical. Its analysts noted that France controls Niger's uranium mines and argued that Iraq wouldn't risk being caught breaking UN sanctions. The CIA station in Rome was skeptical of the reports from the start. Feb. 21 - Wilson traveled to Niger at the CIA's request to investigate the purported uranium deal. He said he found nothing to substantiate the allegation. Neither did two other US officials who investigated. March 8 - The CIA circulated a report on Wilson's trip - without identifying him - to the White House and other agencies. Sept. 9 - With the White House's public campaign against Iraq in full swing, Nicolo Pollari, head of SISMI, met with then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley at the White House. Hadley later took the blame for including the false Niger allegation in Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech. National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones said Thursday that the meeting was a 15-minute courtesy call and that no one could recollect talk about yellowcake. Oct. 1 - US intelligence agencies sent the White House and Congress their key prewar assessment of Iraq's illicit weapon programs, which said Iraq was "vigorously" trying to buy uranium ore and had sought deals with Niger, Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The State Department's INR dissented in the report. Oct. 5 - Then-CIA Director George Tenet advised Hadley to drop a reference to Niger from the draft of a nationally televised speech that Bush was to give on Oct. 7 because the "president should not be a fact witness on this issue" as "the reporting was weak." The sentence was removed. The CIA then wrote the White House that "the evidence (of a uranium ore deal) is weak. One of the two mines cited by the source of the uranium oxide is flooded. The other mine cited by the source is under the control of the French." Oct. 9 - An Italian journalist for the Rome magazine Panorama, owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a supporter of the Iraq war, gave the US Embassy a copy of the purported agreement by Niger to sell yellowcake to Iraq. The journalist, Elisabetta Burba, reportedly received the documents from Italian businessman Rocco Martino, who has connections to SISMI. The Italian government has denied any connection to the forged documents. The embassy forwarded a copy to the State Department. It raised the suspicion of an INR nuclear analyst, who noted in an e-mail that the documents bear a "funky Emb. Of Niger stamp (to make it look official, I guess.)" Jan. 13, 2003 - The INR nuclear analyst told other analysts that he believed the Niger documents were forgeries. Jan. 16 - The CIA finally received copies of the forged French-language documents. It sent them back to the State Department to be translated. Jan. 17 - A CIA analytical unit known as WINPAC (Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control) said in a secret assessment that there was "fragmentary reporting" on Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium from "various countries in Africa." Sometime in late January, Robert Joseph, a senior White House staffer, and Alan Foley, the head of WINPAC, agreed that Bush could refer to the uranium claim in his State of the Union speech, but he should cite a public British report. Jan. 28 - Bush delivered the State of the Union. Feb. 5 - Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the UN Security Council on the threat from Iraq but didn't repeat the yellowcake allegation. March 3 - The International Atomic Energy Agency told the United States that the documents were forgeries after an expert used the Google search engine to identify false information. July 6 - In an op-ed piece in the New York Times, Wilson wrote that his failure to confirm the alleged uranium deal led him to conclude that the Bush administration "twisted" some of the intelligence it used to justify the war. July 14 - Syndicated columnist Robert Novak identified Plame in a column. Go to Original Leaker! The Man They Call Bush's Brain BY James Gordon Meek and Richard Sisk New York Daily News Saturday 29 October 2005 Rove not out of trouble as new grand jury may convene. Washington - White House political director Karl Rove was identified yesterday as the shadowy official who blew the cover of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Rove, dubbed "Bush's Brain" for his political genius, was not indicted for his role in the leak and subsequent coverup. Instead, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald indicted Vice President Cheney's chief of staff Lewis (Scooter) Libby on five counts of lying to federal officials and a grand jury. The closest Fitzgerald came to identifying the leaker is a press release that says "senior White House official ('Official A')" gave Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak, who promptly printed it. At a news conference, Fitzgerald declined to name "Official A," but several sources close to the case told the Daily News it was Rove. Both Rove and Libby had previously denied having any tie to the leak. The 50-year-old Rove escaped charges for now. Fitzgerald, however, warned that "it's not over." The prosecutor said Rove was still under investigation, and he could file charges with a new grand jury if more evidence emerges. Rove's allies gauged that his legal liability was low after dodging the first indictment. "They're very pleased with where they are with the prosecutor now," one said. Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin said, "We are confident that when the special counsel finishes his work, he will conclude that Mr. Rove has done nothing wrong." The two-year saga began when former Ambassador Joseph Wilson publicly questioned the White House's justification for the Iraq war by challenging the claim that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had been shopping for uranium in Niger for a nuclear weapons program. Wilson was dispatched by the CIA in 2002 to investigate the tip and reported back that the Niger connection was bogus. In a New York Times Op-Ed, Wilson disputed Cheney's claim that Saddam had been pursuing nuclear weapons, infuriating the White House. Libby and others in the White House obsessed with finding out what they could about Wilson, quickly learned that he was married to CIA agent Plame and leaked her name to reporters, Fitzgerald said. When pressed on why Official A wasn't identified, Fitzgerald said that criminal "intent" was difficult to prove under the laws on espionage and the disclosure of covert agents' names. "It would have been tough to know intent," said Fitzgerald, who made a tortured baseball analogy to knowing whether a pitcher's beanball was thrown deliberately. Libby's indictment and the revelation of Rove's involvement capped what GOP operatives have called a "week from hell" for President Bush as he tried to salvage an administration in political and policy free fall. Bush and Cheney quickly accepted Libby's resignation with regret, but Rove remained as deputy White House chief of staff to oversee the administration's attempts to move beyond the scandal. The 2,000th US death in Iraq was announced Tuesday, followed quickly by Bush's embarrassing withdrawal of the Supreme Court nomination of Texas pal Harriet Miers. Although "saddened" by Libby's fall, Bush said: "I got a job to do, and so do the people who work in the White House. We got a job to protect the American people and pretty soon I'll be naming somebody to the Supreme Court." Rove projected a what-me-worry confidence, as he has throughout the investigation. "I'm going to have a great day and a fantastic weekend, and I hope you do, too," a smiling Rove told reporters yesterday. Here are the highlights of yesterday's events in Washington: Lewis (Scooter) Libby resigned as Vice President Cheney's chief of staff after being indicted on charges of making false statements, perjury and obstructing a grand jury investigation in the alleged coverup of the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political guru, was not indicted, but sources said he was the shadowy "Official A" mentioned in the indictment who leaked Plame's name to the media after her husband criticized the administration's justification for going to war with Iraq. President Bush praised Libby as someone who "worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people." Cheney called Libby "one of the most capable and talented individuals" he knows. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said there may be more to come in the investigation. "It's not over," he said. What They Said The Bush administration on the Valerie Plame leak: If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration. - White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, Sept. 29, 2003 If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. - President Bush, Sept. 30, 2003 If somebody committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration. - President Bush, July 18, 2005 All the Vice President's Men By Juan Cole Salon.com Friday 28 October 2005 The ideologues in Cheney's inner circle drummed up a war. Now their zealotry is blowing up in their faces. As Washington waits on pins and needles to see if special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald hands down indictments, the focus falls on Dick Cheney's inner circle. This group, along with that surrounding Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made up what Colin Powell's top aide, Lawrence Wilkerson, called "a cabal" that "on critical issues ... made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made." Cheney is the first vice president to have had, in effect, his own personal National Security Council. This formidable and unprecedented rump foreign policy team, composed of radical hawks, played a key role in every aspect of the war on Iraq: planning for it, gathering "evidence" to justify it and punishing those who spoke out against it. It is not surprising that members of that team, and Cheney himself, have now also emerged as targets in Fitzgerald's investigation of the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson to the press, along with Bush advisor Karl Rove. Although the investigation has focused on Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a number of other Cheney staffers have been interviewed. Who are these shadowy policymakers who played such a major role in shaping the Bush administration's foreign policy? Most of the members of Cheney's inner circle were neoconservative ideologues, who combined hawkish American triumphalism with an obsession with Israel. This does not mean that the war was fought for Israel, although it is undeniable that Israeli concerns played an important role. The actual motivation behind the war was complex, and Cheney's team was not the only one in the game. The Bush administration is a coalition of disparate forces - country club Republicans, realists, representatives of oil and other corporate interests, evangelicals, hardball political strategists, right-wing Catholics, and neoconservative Jews allied with Israel's right-wing Likud party. Each group had its own rationale for going to war with Iraq. Read the full article --- Who's on First? By Maureen Dowd The New York Times Saturday 29 October 2005 It was bracing to see the son of a New York doorman open the door on the mendacious Washington lair of the Lord of the Underground. But this Irish priest of the law, Patrick Fitzgerald, neither Democrat nor Republican, was very strict, very precise. He wasn't totally gratifying in clearing up the murkiness of the case, yet strangely comforting in his quaint black-and-white notions of truth and honor (except when his wacky baseball metaphor seemed to veer toward a "Who's on first?" tangle). "This indictment's not about the propriety of the war," he told reporters yesterday in his big Eliot Ness moment at the Justice Department. The indictment was simply about whether the son of an investment banker perjured himself before a grand jury and the FBI Read the full article --- The Case Against Scooter Libby The New York Times Editorial Saturday 29 October 2005 The five-count indictment handed up yesterday against Lewis Libby, the vice president's chief of staff, may seem anticlimactic to those who were hoping to finally learn who gave the columnist Robert Novak the name of Valerie Wilson, a covert CIA officer whose cover was blown by his column on July 14, 2003. Although the grand jury investigating the case was attempting to determine whether Mr. Novak's source violated the federal law against revealing the name of a covert operative, the special counsel was mum on that as well. Patrick Fitzgerald, a federal prosecutor, left open the possibility that we may never know all the answers. But the essence of the indictment is that Mr. Libby lied when he told FBI investigators and the grand jury that he had learned about Mrs. Wilson from Tim Russert of NBC News around July 10, 2003, and had passed the information on to Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and then to Judith Miller of The Times, and that until then he had not had any idea who she was or where she worked. Supporters of Mr. Libby, known as Scooter, have attempted to describe the Wilson case as, at worse, a matter of casual gossip by Washington insiders about the wife of a man in the news. But the indictment does not describe a situation in which people accidentally outed someone they did not know was a covert officer. It describes a distinct and disturbing pattern of behavior among very high-ranking officials, including Mr. Libby and Vice President Dick Cheney, who knew that they were dealing with a covert officer and used their access to classified information in a public relations campaign over the rapidly disintegrating justifications for war with Iraq. Read the full article --- Deconstructing the Indictment By Stirling Newberry t r u t h o u t | Perspective Friday 28 October 2005 For the last two years, Federal Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has investigated a potential crime, namely the revealing to the general public that Valerie Wilson nee Plame worked for the CIA in counter-proliferation, and was an undercover agent. To charge someone with a crime at the Federal level requires an indictment - a summary of allegations and facts which show that there is probable reason to believe that a crime was committed, and that a particular individual should be charged with that crime and prosecuted. It is part of the safeguards of our judicial system that prosecutors are not able to charge by themselves, but have three forms of oversight. First, they work for the public, directly or indirectly. Second, the process is overseen by a judge, and approval is needed along the way for warrants and subpoenas power. Most importantly, they must convince a body of citizens, the grand jury, that there is probable cause a crime has been committed, and that a particular individual or group of individuals should face criminal charges. At 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time today Fitzgerald all but declared his investigatory phase over, and that his office was entering into a new phase, where Lewis Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, has been charged with a crime, and must be tried. It is tempting to speculate on what this means, what the fallout will be, and where the direction goes from here. But first, it is important to capture the staggering statements made in the indictment, and what they reveal. While partisans will attempt to spin this in one direction or another, the fact is that a five-count indictment on felony charges rests on a theory of what took place that goes far beyond what Scooter Libby did or said. That the indictment is so carefully prepared, and carefully does not draw implications, nor does it include extraneous information, makes what it does include all the more interesting, and potentially damning. But let us look with "the four corners of the indictment" first. The timeline set forth by the indictment is this. In the 2003 State of the Union address, George Bush uttered the by now famous "Sixteen Words," claiming that Saddam had attempted to get uranium illegally from Niger. In May of 2003, that story began to unravel, as press accounts came to the fore which questioned the Niger Yellowcake story. Read the full article --- Smoking Guns and Red Herrings By Elizabeth de la Vega TomDispatch.com Friday 28 October 2005 What should we expect now that Fitzgerald has announced the indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby? The Grand Jury supervised by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has returned an indictment charging Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide and reputed "alter-ego" I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby with perjury, obstruction of justice, and false statements to the grand jury. But this indictment does not end the story; rather, a close reading suggests that these charges are most likely merely a chapter in a long and tragic story. Here, from a former federal prosecutor, are thoughts about four things we should expect, four things we shouldn't, and one question we should all be asking. We should not expect a final resolution any time soon. Complex cases usually take years to proceed through the courts. In addition, the indictment released today describes a chronology of close to two years and a complicated set of facts. Obviously, Fitzgerald is taking a "big picture" approach to this case. This mirrors his approach to previous cases. In December 2003, for example, Fitzgerald announced the indictment of former Illinois Governor George Ryan on corruption charges in Operation Safe Road, which began in 1998. In that year, the investigation of a fatal accident revealed that truckers were purchasing commercial licenses from state officials. Indictments were announced in stages, culminating in the indictment of Ryan, who was the 66th defendant in the case. In the Libby case, the allegations suggest he was merely one of many officials - including an unnamed Under Secretary of State and "Official A," a Senior White House Official - who were involved in revealing classified information about Joseph Wilson's wife Valerie Plame. No other individuals are named as defendants, and they should not be considered so at this point, but the complexity of the indictment suggests that the investigation may follow a pattern similar to that used by Fitzgerald in the Illinois corruption case. Read the full article --- Go to Original Statement of Ambassador Joseph Wilson with Respect to the Indictment PRNewswire Friday 28 October 2005 Washington - The following release is being issued today by Christopher Wolf - The five count indictment issued by the Grand Jury today is an important step in the criminal justice process that began more than two years ago. I commend Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald for his professionalism, for his diligence, and for his courage. There will be many opportunities in the future to comment on the events that led to today's indictment. And, it appears that there will be further developments before the grand jury. Whatever the final outcome of the investigation and the prosecution, I continue to believe that revealing my wife Valerie's secret CIA identity was very wrong and harmful to our nation, and I feel that my family was attacked for my speaking the truth about the events that led our country to war. I look forward to exercising my rights as a citizen to speak about these matters in the future. Today, however, is not the time to analyze or to debate. And it is certainly not a day to celebrate. Today is a sad day for America. When an indictment is delivered at the front door of the White House, the Office of the President is defiled. No citizen can take pleasure from that. As this case proceeds, Valerie and I are confident that justice will be done. In the meantime, I have a request. While I may engage in public discourse, my wife and my family are private people. They did not choose to be brought into the public square, and they do not wish to be under the glare of camera. They are entitled to their privacy. This case is not about me or my family, no matter how others might try to make it so. This case is about serious criminal charges that go to the heart of our democracy. We, like all citizens, await the judgment of the jury in a court of law. Thank you. CIA Probe 'Not Over' after Cheney's Top Aide Indicted CNN Friday 28 October 2005 Washington - The CIA leak investigation is "not over," special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said Friday after announcing charges against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. Fitzgerald said he will be keeping the grand "jury open to consider other matters." But, he said, "substantial work" is done. Libby resigned Friday after a federal grand jury indicted him on charges related to the leak probe, including one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements. Read the full article --- A Good Start By Larry Johnson What do you call a thousand lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean? A good start! That old joke is apropo in light of today's indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice. The indictment makes clear, with no shadow of a doubt, that Valerie Wilson was an undercover officer until exposed by Robert Novak's column. According to the indictment, Prior to July 14, 2003, Valerie Wilson's affiliation with the CIA was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community. As the prosecutor said at today's press conference, this ain't over. Read the full article Statement on the Indictment and Resignation of Lewis 'Scooter' Libby By Cindy Sheehan Friday 28 October 2005 "While the indictment and resignation of Lewis 'Scooter' Libby is a welcome development, the responsibility for lying to the American people and targeting critics and dissidents needs to go all the way up the chain of command. Scooter Libby was clearly one of the administration's attack dogs unleashed on opponents of this fraudulent war, but he serves higher masters. This administration continues to wage a war based on lies, a war that has taken the lives of 2,000 Americans, including my son, and the lives of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. This indictment reinforces the growing calls in this country and around the world to end the occupation, bring our troops home and hold those responsible accountable for their crimes. Let this serve as a springboard to put the war on trial and bring our troops home now." Dennis Kucinich | The Buck Does Not Stop with Libby t r u t h o u t | Statement Friday 28 October 2005 Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), who led the effort in the House against going to war in Iraq, issued the following statement on the indictments handed down today by Special Council Patrick Fitzgerald: These indictments are not about a single aide, it is about an Administration that went to any length to "sell" the war in Iraq and mislead the public. From day one, this Administration has misled the public and the Congress, manipulated intelligence, and sought to quell dissent by all means necessary when it has comes to the war in Iraq. Now, a senior aide to the President and the Vice President is charged with lying to a federal grand jury and federal investigators. The President must come clean with the American public. Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, it was not involved in the attacks on our country on 9/11, and before the war it was not aligned with Al-Qaeda. Many questions remain, and Congress must demand accountability. The American public still does not know who forged the Niger documents and who leaked the name of an undercover CIA operative. Libby was a senior aide to both the President and Vice President. He also was a principal in the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), a group comprised of the President and Vice President's top aides that was instrumental in selling the Administration's case for war. The buck does not stop with an aide. Those responsible for this colossal foreign policy misdeed must be held accountable to the American public, to the Congress and to courts of law. On October 20th, Kucinich introduced a Resolution of Inquiry to demand the White House turn over all white papers, minutes, notes, emails or other communications kept by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) to the Congress. A Resolution of Inquiry is a rare House procedure used to obtain documents from the Executive Branch. Under House rules, Kucinich's resolution is referred to committee, and action must be taken in committee within 14 legislative days. Cheney Adviser Indicted in CIA Leak Probe By William Branigin, Carol D. Leonnig and Christopher Lee The Washington Post Friday 28 October 2005 I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby resigns after announcement. A federal grand jury today indicted Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, after a two-year investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's identity but spared - at least for now - President Bush's top political strategist, Karl Rove. Libby was indicted on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements. The five-count indictment charged that he gave misleading information to the grand jury, allegedly lying about information he discussed with three news reporters. It alleged that he committed perjury before the grand jury in March 2004 and that he also lied to FBI agents investigating the case. Shortly after the indictment was announced, Libby resigned his White House positions. Read the full article --- Source: Prosecutor to Seek Libby Indictment CNN Friday 28 October 2005 Rove will not be indicted Friday, sources say. Washington - Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the CIA leak probe, plans to seek an indictment against Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, a lawyer involved in the case told CNN Friday. The attorney said that Fitzgerald believes Libby misled investigators. Indictments in the case would cap off a nearly two-year investigation into the public unmasking of an undercover CIA operative. Fitzgerald has scheduled a 2 p.m. ET news conference. Read the full article --- Leak Case Announcement Seen Friday By Adam Entous Reuters Thursday 27 October 2005 Washington - With the fate of at least two top White House advisers in the balance, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald conferred on Thursday with his legal team a day before he was expected to announce his decision on charges over the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. Expected indictments in the case could trigger an immediate shake-up at the White House, already on the defensive over plummeting poll figures, soaring gas prices, opposition to the Iraq war and the withdrawal of President George W. Bush's nominee for the US Supreme Court, Harriet Miers. Fitzgerald has zeroed in on Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove, Bush's top political adviser. Other current and former administration officials may also face charges. Read the full article --- Grand Jury Hears Summary of Case on CIA Leak Probe By Carol D. Leonnig and Jim VandeHei The Washington Post Thursday 27 October 2005 Decision on charges may come Friday. The prosecutor in the CIA leak investigation presented a summary of his case to a federal grand jury yesterday and is expected to announce a final decision on charges in the two-year-long probe tomorrow, according to people familiar with the case. Even as Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald wrapped up his case, the legal team of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove has been engaged in a furious effort to convince the prosecutor that Rove did not commit perjury during the course of the investigation, according to people close to the aide. The sources, who indicated that the effort intensified in recent weeks, said Rove still did not know last night whether he would be indicted. Read the full article --- Grand Jury in CIA Leak Case Adjourns By Pete Yost and John Solomon The Associated Press Wednesday 26 October 2005 The federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer's identity met for three hours Wednesday with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and his deputies, adjourning for the day without announcing any action. Fitzgerald is known to be putting the finishing touches on a two-year criminal probe that has ensnared President Bush's top political adviser Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis Libby. Away from the federal courthouse, FBI agents conducted a handful of last-minute interviews to check facts key to the case. Read the full article --- Aides to Be Indicted, Probe to Continue By Richard Sale t r u t h o u t | Perspective Wednesday 26 October 2005 Richard Sale, a long-time Intelligence correspondent, was the first to tip me last year to the developing Larry Franklin spy scandal, which proved to be right. I've found Richard to always be on target in my experience. -- Larry C. Johnson Two top White House aides are expected to be indicted today on various charges related to the probe of CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose classified identity was publicly breached in retaliation after her husband, Joe Wilson, challenged the administration's claim that Saddam Hussein had sought to buy enriched uranium from Niger, according to federal law enforcement and senior US intelligence officials. If no action is taken today, it will take place on Friday, according to these sources. I. Scooter Libby, the chief of staff of Vice President Richard Cheney, and chief presidential advisor Karl Rove are expected to be named in indictments this morning by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Read the full article --- Dick at the Heart of Darkness By Maureen Dowd The New York Times Wednesday 26 October 2005 After W. was elected, he sometimes gave visitors a tour of the love alcove off the Oval Office where Bill trysted with Monica - the notorious spot where his predecessor had dishonored the White House. At least it was only a little pantry - and a little panting. If W. wants to show people now where the White House has been dishonored in far more astounding and deadly ways, he'll have to haul them around every nook and cranny of his vice president's office, then go across the river for a walk of shame through the Rummy empire at the Pentagon. Read the full article --- Bush Aides Brace for Charges By Jim VandeHei and Carol Leonnig The Washington Post Wednesday 26 October 2005 Grand Jury may hear counts in leak case today. The prosecutor in the CIA leak case was preparing to outline possible charges before the federal grand jury as early as today, even as the FBI conducted last-minute interviews in the high-profile investigation, according to people familiar with the case. With Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald in Washington yesterday, lawyers in the case and some White House officials braced for at least one indictment when the grand jury meets today. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, is said by several people in the case to be a main focus, but not the only one. In a possible sign that Fitzgerald may seek to charge one or more officials with illegally disclosing Valerie Plame's CIA affiliation, FBI agents as recently as Monday night interviewed at least two people in her D.C. neighborhood. The agents were attempting to determine whether the neighbors knew that Plame worked for the CIA before she was unmasked with the help of senior Bush administration officials. Two neighbors said they told the FBI they had been surprised to learn she was a CIA operative. Read the full article --- CIA Leak Charges Set to Be Handed Out By Caroline Daniel The Financial Times Wednesday 26 October 2005 Indictments in the CIA leak investigation case are expected to be handed down by a grand jury on Wednesday, bringing to a head a criminal inquiry that threatens to disrupt seriously President George W. Bush's second term. On Tuesday night, news reports, supported by a source close to the lawyers involved in the case, said that target letters to those facing indictment were being issued, with sealed indictments to be filed on Wednesday and released by the end of the week. Read the full article --- CIA Leak Linked to Dispute over Iraq Policy By Glenn Kessler The Washington Post Tuesday 25 October 2005 As grand jury term nears end, officials' critique of administration gains attention. The alleged leaking of a CIA operative's name had its roots in a clash over Iraq policy between White House insiders and their rivals in the permanent bureaucracy of Washington, especially in the State Department and the CIA. As the investigation into the leak reaches its expected climax this week with the expiration of the grand jury's term, the internal disputes have been further amplified by a recent string of speeches and interviews criticizing the administration's handling of Iraq, including by former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, the former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and State Department diplomats, and other officials involved in the early efforts to stabilize Iraq. Scowcroft, a close friend of former president George H.W. Bush, revealed in interviews with the New Yorker a deep disdain for the administration's foreign policy, according to an article published this week. He said he had once considered Vice President Cheney "a good friend," but "Dick Cheney I don't know anymore." When Scowcroft was asked whether he could name the issues on which he agreed with President Bush, he replied "Afghanistan." He then paused for 12 seconds before adding only, "I think we're doing well on Europe." Read the full article --- La Repubblica's Scoop, Confirmed By Laura Rozen The American Prospect Tuesday 25 October 2005 Italy's intelligence chief met with Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley just a month before the Niger forgeries first surfaced. With Patrick Fitzgerald widely expected to announce indictments in the CIA leak investigation, questions are again being raised about the intelligence scandal that led to the appointment of the special counsel: namely, how the Bush White House obtained false Italian intelligence reports claiming that Iraq had tried to buy uranium "yellowcake" from Niger. The key documents supposedly proving the Iraqi attempt later turned out to be crude forgeries, created on official stationery stolen from the African nation's Rome embassy. Among the most tantalizing aspects of the debate over the Iraq War is the origin of those fake documents - and the role of the Italian intelligence services in disseminating them. In an explosive series of articles appearing this week in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, investigative reporters Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe d'Avanzo report that Nicolo Pollari, chief of Italy's military intelligence service, known as Sismi, brought the Niger yellowcake story directly to the White House after his insistent overtures had been rejected by the Central Intelligence Agency in 2001 and 2002. Sismi had reported to the CIA on October 15, 2001, that Iraq had sought yellowcake in Niger, a report it also plied on British intelligence, creating an echo that the Niger forgeries themselves purported to amplify before they were exposed as a hoax. Read the full article --- Prosecutor in CIA Leak Case Seen as Incorruptible Reuters Monday 24 October 2005 Chicago - The US prosecutor at the center of a CIA leak probe focused on the White House has relentlessly pursued politicians, mobsters and suspected terrorists. Plucked from New York in 2001 to run the Chicago office of the Justice Department, Patrick Fitzgerald, the Brooklyn-born son of Irish immigrants, has a reputation as an incorruptible prosecutor in the mold of Chicago crime-fighter Eliot Ness, who took on Al Capone's criminal empire. Fitzgerald has won convictions of the 1993 bombers of New York's World Trade Center and members of the Gambino crime family, and he secured an indictment of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, whom Fitzgerald has said he would like to try some day. Read the full article --- As Clock Ticks in CIA-Leak Probe, Bush in Shadow of Storm Agence France-Presse Tuesday 25 October 2005 President George W. Bush crafted an illusion of normality in the eye of the CIA-leak storm which has battered the White House and could topple several of his most trusted powerbrokers within days. Bush confidently faced news cameras after meeting his cabinet, even as anxiety coursed through his administration, with special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald believed now deciding whether to unleash indictments over White House officials' exposure of an under-cover CIA spy. Electoral wizard Karl Rove - dubbed 'Bush's brain'- and Vice President Dick Cheney's discrete chief of staff I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby are both thought to be in the probe's sights. Read the full article --- Plame Games By Michael Scherer Salon.com Monday 24 October 2005 The GOP spin: Smear Wilson (again), belittle the charges. The Dems' spin: Bush and his enforcers lied us into war. Washington - Long ago, Washington's political attack dogs resigned themselves to the fact that they have nothing on special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. The man is so squeaky clean that just about the only dirt besmirching his public record concerns long work hours that made him ineligible to adopt a cat. Later this week, the most powerful men and women in the country will sit helplessly on the sidelines as Fitzgerald decides whether to indict White House officials in the case of Valerie Plame, a clandestine CIA agent whose identity was leaked to the press by the Bush administration. But as soon as Fitzgerald announces his decision, in a press conference, a walk from the grand jury room to the magistrate's office in US District Court, or a posting on his Web site, the political dtente will end. The knives will come out. It will be an all-out rhetorical war. Read the full article --- Bush at Bay: Fitzgerald Looks at Niger Forgeries By Martin Walker UPI Monday 24 October 2005 Washington - The CIA leak inquiry that threatens senior White House aides has now widened to include the forgery of documents on African uranium that started the investigation, according to NAT0 intelligence sources. This suggests the inquiry by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald into the leaking of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame has now widened to embrace part of the broader question about the way the Iraq war was justified by the Bush administration. Read the full article --- The Bunker Mentality By William Rivers Pitt t r u t h o u t | Perspective Monday 24 October 2005 I wrote to Ambassador Joseph Wilson last week to ask how he and his wife were bearing up, and to remind them that they had a lot of friends. "The outpouring of support has been of great comfort to us these past two years," he wrote back. "The stakes are enormous. This is all about whether our government can take us to war on lies without any fear of being held to account, and whether our democracy can survive the coalition of fascist forces that have seized control of the levers of power." Heavy stuff. Yet if the desperation we are seeing on the part of defenders of this administration offers any clue, the fascists are running out of explanations. Take Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's performance on this past Sunday's version of Meet the Press. "I certainly hope," she said when asked about the Fitzgerald investigation into the deliberate outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, "that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation were not a waste of time and dollars." Read the full article --- Resignations May Follow Charges; Senators Discuss Leak Case By Walter Pincus The Washington Post Monday 24 October 2005 Sen. George Allen (R-VA) said yesterday that he expects White House officials will step down if they are indicted this week but stressed that speculation should cease until special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald announces the results of his investigation into the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Asked yesterday about two figures who are considered central to Fitzgerald's inquiry - Karl Rove, White House deputy chief of staff and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff - Allen said, "I think they will step down if they're indicted." But, he added during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," "Let's see what happens rather than get into all this speculation and so forth." Read the full article --- Karl and Scooter's Excellent Adventure By Frank Rich The New York Times Sunday 23 October 2005 There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no collaboration between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda on 9/11. There was scant Pentagon planning for securing the peace should bad stuff happen after America invaded. Why, exactly, did we go to war in Iraq? "It still isn't possible to be sure - and this remains the most remarkable thing about the Iraq war," writes the New Yorker journalist George Packer, a disenchanted liberal supporter of the invasion, in his essential new book, "The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq." Even a former Bush administration State Department official who was present at the war's creation, Richard Haass, tells Mr. Packer that he expects to go to his grave "not knowing the answer." Read the full article --- Go to Original Leak Case Renews Questions on War's Rationale By Richard W. Stevenson and Douglas Jehl The New York Times Sunday 23 October 2005 Washington - The legal and political stakes are of the highest order, but the investigation into the disclosure of a covert CIA officer's identity is also just one skirmish in the continuing battle over the Bush administration's justification for the war in Iraq. That fight has preoccupied the White House for more than three years, repeatedly threatening President Bush's credibility and political standing, and has now once again put the spotlight on Vice President Dick Cheney, who assumed a critical role in assembling and analyzing the evidence about Iraq's weapons programs. The dispute over the rationale for the war has led to upheaval in the intelligence agencies, left Democrats divided about how aggressively to break with the White House over Iraq and exposed deep rifts within the administration and among Republicans. The combatants' intensity was underscored this week in a speech by Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to Colin L. Powell while he was secretary of state. Mr. Wilkerson complained of a "cabal" between Mr. Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that bypassed normal decision-making channels when it came to Iraq and other national security issues. He described "real dysfunctionality" in the administration's foreign policy team and said that Mr. Powell's aides had thrown out "whole reams of paper" from the intelligence dossier developed by Mr. Cheney's staff for use in Mr. Powell's presentation of the case against Iraq to the United Nations in early 2003. Mr. Cheney's focus on the threat from Iraq has put some of his aides, especially I. Lewis Libby Jr., his chief of staff, in the middle of an investigation by a special prosecutor into the leak of the CIA operative's name. According to lawyers in the case, Mr. Libby remains under scrutiny this week in the investigation stemming from his effort to rebut criticism by Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former diplomat, that the administration had twisted intelligence about Iraq's nuclear program. Mr. Libby has become emblematic of the broader Iraq debate, cast by supporters as a loyal aide working diligently to set the record straight, and by critics as someone working to smear or undermine the credibility of a politically potent opponent. "The way in which the leak investigation is being pursued is becoming a symbol of who was right and who was wrong about the war," said Ivo H. Daalder, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who worked at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. "The possibility of Libby being indicted, and the whole Cheney angle, is all about proving in some sense that they were wrong and therefore that those who opposed the war and never thought the intelligence was right have been proven correct." The passions surrounding the investigation and the question of why the administration got it wrong about Iraq's weapons programs, other analysts agree, reflect the troubled course of the war and the divisions over whether it was necessary or a diversion from the effort to combat Islamic extremism. The administration has acknowledged the failures of pre-war intelligence, though its supporters have pointed out that many Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, and the intelligence services of other countries were also convinced that Saddam Hussein had caches of banned weapons. But the White House's insistence that there were many other compelling reasons for deposing Saddam Hussein have only inflamed critics of the war. "There's a daisy chain that stems from the fact that no weapons of mass destruction have been found," said Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. "Iraq was at core a war of choice, and extraordinarily expensive by every measure - human life, impact on our military, dollars, diplomatically," said Mr. Haass, a former senior State Department official under President Bush. "If this war was widely judged to have been necessary along the lines of Afghanistan after 9/11, I don't believe you would have this controversy. If the war had gone extremely well, you wouldn't have this controversy." While the leak case has ensnared other officials, most prominently Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, the special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, appears to have devoted much effort to understanding the role of Mr. Cheney's office and actions taken by Mr. Libby, who has twice testified before the grand jury. Mr. Fitzgerald has been examining whether administration officials disclosed to the media that Mr. Wilson's wife was a CIA employee. The investigation led to the jailing for nearly three months of a reporter for The New York Times, Judith Miller, for refusing to discuss her conversations with a confidential source who turned out to be Mr. Libby. From the time Mr. Wilson began circulating his criticism in May and June 2003 of the administration's assertions that before the war Iraq had been seeking nuclear material in Africa, Mr. Libby showed an intense interest in Mr. Wilson's public statements and argued to colleagues that he should be rebutted at every turn, a former administration official said, confirming an account Friday in the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Libby also sought to insulate Mr. Cheney from Mr. Wilson's critique, telling journalists that the former diplomat's trip to Africa to assess Iraq's intentions was orchestrated by the CIA Mr. Libby's involvement in assembling the case that Iraq's weapons constituted an urgent threat began well before the invasion. Along with Paul D. Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, then senior Pentagon officials, Mr. Libby was immersed in painting a dark picture of Iraq's weapons capabilities and alleged it had ties to Al Qaeda. In late 2002 and early 2003, according to former government officials and several published accounts, Mr. Libby was the main author of a lengthy document making the administration's case for war to the United Nations Security Council. But in meetings at the Central Intelligence Agency in early February, Secretary Powell and George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, rejected virtually all of Mr. Libby's draft as exaggerated and not supported by intelligence. John E. McLaughlin, the former deputy CIA director, referred to this period in a statement issued in April 2005. "Much of our time in the run-up to the speech was spent taking out material, including much that had been added by the policy community after the draft left the agency, that we and the secretary's staff judged to have been unreliable," Mr. McLaughlin said. In his 2004 book "Plan of Attack," Bob Woodward of The Washington Post wrote that Mr. Powell had rejected Mr. Libby's draft as "worse than ridiculous," which Mr. Wilkerson alluded to in his speech this week. That episode added to tensions between Mr. Cheney's office and senior officials at the CIA, which had also dismissed as unwarranted claims by Mr. Cheney and others about close links between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Before the war, the CIA also issued intelligence assessments warning of potential obstacles to the stability of postwar Iraq, although the agency's capabilities have also been harshly criticized since the war and it is now in the midst of upheaval set off by the creation of a new intelligence structure and the appointment of a new director, Porter J. Goss. The wrangling over the United Nations speech exposed long-simmering suspicions by some administration officials about the reliability of the CIA's intelligence on Iraq. A former intelligence official who previously worked with Mr. Libby said that his antipathy to the CIA dated back at least 15 years, to the first Bush administration, when he was working under Mr. Wolfowitz at the Defense Department. "He always saw CIA as the enemy, more a problem than a help, and someone who was out to get him," the former intelligence official said. Mr. Libby was also part of the network of Iraq hawks within the administration. He is a protege of Mr. Wolfowitz, perhaps the leading neoconservative in the administration until he left to head the World Bank. Mr. Libby's deputy, John Hannah, had close ties to John R. Bolton, then the undersecretary of state for arms control; David Wurmser, a Bolton aide who later joined Mr. Cheney's office; and Robert Joseph, then the senior director for nonproliferation on the National Security Council. Mr. Bolton is now ambassador to the United Nations, and Mr. Joseph has taken over as undersecretary of state, where he has retained as his executive assistant Frederick Fleitz, a CIA officer who had served as Mr. Bolton's chief of staff. Some of those officials, including Mr. Hannah and Mr. Joseph, have been questioned in the leak case. Go to Original Prelude to a Leak By John Barry, Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball Newsweek 31 October 2005 Issue Gang fight: How Cheney and his tight-knit team launched the Iraq war, chased their critics - and set the stage for a special prosecutor's dramatic probe. It is the nature of bureaucracies that reports are ordered up and then ignored. In February 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney received a CIA briefing that touched on Saddam Hussein's attempts to build nuclear bombs. Cheney, who was looking for evidence to support an Iraq invasion, was especially interested in one detail: a report that claimed Saddam attempted to purchase uranium from Niger. At the end of the briefing, Cheney or an aide told the CIA man that the vice president wanted to know more about the subject. It was a common enough request. "Principals" often ask briefers for this sort of thing. But when the vice president of the United States makes a request, underlings jump. Midlevel officials in the CIA's clandestine service quickly arranged to send Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate the uranium claims. A seasoned diplomat, Wilson had good connections in the region. He would later say his week in Africa convinced him that the story was bogus, and said so to his CIA debriefers. The agency handed the information up the chain, but there is no record that it ever reached Cheney. Like hundreds of other reports that slosh through the bureaucracy each day, Wilson's findings likely made their way to the middle of a pile. The vice president has said he never knew about Wilson's trip, and never saw any report. If he had, Cheney might not have been inclined to believe a word of it anyway. At the time of Wilson's debunking, the vice president was the Bush administration's leading advocate of war with Iraq. Cheney had long distrusted the apparatchiks who sat in offices at the CIA, FBI and Pentagon. He regarded them as dim, timid timeservers who would always choose inaction over action. Instead, the vice president relied on the counsel of a small number of advisers. The group included Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and two Wolfowitz proteges: I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, and Douglas Feith, Rumsfeld's under secretary for policy. Together, the group largely despised the on-the-one-hand/on-the-other analyses handed up by the intelligence bureaucracy. Instead, they went in search of intel that helped to advance their case for war. Central to that case was the belief that Saddam was determined to get nukes - a claim helped by the Niger story, which the White House doggedly pushed. A prideful man who enjoys the spotlight, Joseph Wilson grew increasingly agitated that the White House had not come clean about how the African-uranium claim made it into George W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union address. In June, Condoleezza Rice went on TV and denied she knew that documents underlying the uranium story were, in fact, crude forgeries: "Maybe somebody in the bowels of the agency knew something about this," she said, "but nobody in my circles." For Wilson, that was it. "That was a slap in the face," he told NEWSWEEK. "She was saying 'F--- you, Washington, we don't care.' Or rather 'F--- you, America'." On July 6, Wilson went public about his Niger trip in his landmark New York Times op-ed piece. From there, as we now know, things got a bit out of hand. Within the White House inner circle, Wilson's op-ed was seen as an act of aggression against Bush and Cheney. Someone, perhaps to punish the loose-lipped diplomat, let it be known to columnist Robert Novak and other reporters that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was an undercover CIA operative, a revelation that is a possible violation of laws protecting classified information. This week the two-year-long investigation of that leak could finally end. It is widely expected that Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor appointed in the case, may issue indictments of one or more top administration officials, possibly including Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. Of course, Fitzgerald could always pack up without issuing a single indictment, or even an explanation why. Tight-lipped, Fitzgerald has not said a word about his intentions. That has left Washington breathlessly reading into the flimsiest clues. Last week bloggers seized on the discovery that Fitzgerald had set up a Web site, which was taken as a sure sign that indictments were around the corner. Lawyers who have had dealings with Fitzgerald's office, who spoke anonymously because the investigation is ongoing, say the prosecutor appears to be exploring the option of bringing broad conspiracy charges against Libby, Rove and perhaps others, though it's still unclear whether Fitzgerald can prove an underlying crime. Some lawyers close to the case are convinced Fitzgerald has a mysterious "Mr. X" - a yet unknown principal target or cooperating witness. Some press reports identified John Hannah, Cheney's deputy national-security adviser, as a potentially key figure in the investigation. Hannah played a central policymaking role on Iraq and was known to be particularly close to Ahmad Chalabi, whose Iraqi National Congress supplied some of the faulty intelligence about WMD embraced by the vice president in the run-up to the invasion. Lawyers for Rove and Libby have said their clients did nothing wrong and broke no laws. Last week Hannah's lawyer Thomas Green told NEWSWEEK his client "knew nothing" about the leak and is not a target of Fitzgerald's probe. "This is craziness," he said. Whatever news Fitzgerald makes this week, however, the case has shed light on how Cheney and his clique of advisers cleared the way to war, and how they obsessed over critics who got in the way. The Cheney group isn't a new fraternity. Separately and together, they've been fighting the same battle with the intelligence bureaucracy for decades. Libby first worked for Cheney during the gulf war, when W's father was president and Cheney was Defense secretary. Libby was brought into the Pentagon by Wolfowitz, his former Yale professor, who was an under secretary of Defense. The arguments of the time seem familiar today. Cheney backed the elder Bush's vow to oust Saddam from Kuwait by force, over the objections of Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who favored negotiations, and over dire predictions of disaster from the CIA. Cheney emerged with a low opinion of his senior military and of the intelligence community, believing both to be risk averse and too comfortable with conventional wisdom. When Bush was elected in 2000, Cheney - who had been impressed with Libby's political savvy and mastery of detail - tapped him as his No. 2. Libby was perhaps the group's most relentless digger. An intense former litigator, he acted as a conduit for Cheney's obsessions. Soon after 9/11, Libby began routinely calling intelligence officials, high and low, to pump them for any scraps of information on Iraq. He would read obscure, unvetted intelligence reports and grill analysts about them, but always in a courtly manner. The intel officials were often more than a little surprised. It was unusual for the vice president's office to step so far outside of channels and make personal appeals to mere analysts. "He was deep into the raw intel," says one government official who didn't want to be named for fear of retribution. (Cheney's office declined to comment on specific questions for this story, beyond saying that the vice president and his staff are cooperating with Fitzgerald's probe.) Behind their backs, their detractors dubbed Cheney and his minions "the commissars." The vice president and Libby made three or four trips to CIA headquarters, where they questioned analysts about their findings. Agency officials say they welcomed the visits, and insist that no one felt pressured, though some analysts complained that they suspected Cheney was subtly sending them the message to get in line or keep their mouths shut. Cheney and the commissars seemed especially determined to prove a now discredited claim: that Muhammad Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker, had secretly met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer in April 2001. If true, it would have backed administration assertions of a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda, one of Bush and Cheney's arguments justifying an invasion. The story fell apart on serious examination by the FBI and CIA - Atta was apparently in the United States at the time of the alleged visit. But Cheney continued to repeat the story in speeches and interviews, even after the 9/11 Commission found no evidence to support it. Behind the scenes, no one pushed the terror link harder than Libby. He urged Colin Powell's staff to include the Prague meeting in the secretary of State's speech to the United Nations. But Powell wanted no part of it. After one long session debating the evidence before the speech, Libby turned to a Powell aide. "Don't worry about any of this," he said, according to someone who was in the room. "We'll get back in what you take out." They didn't. Powell refused to use the line, but Libby's audacity stunned everyone at the table. "The notion that they've become a gang has some merit," says a longtime colleague of Libby's who requested anonymity to preserve the friendship. "A small group who only talk to each other ... You pay a price for that." Libby seemed to bring the same kind of intensity when it came to Wilson. The timing of the diplomat's fiery op-ed couldn't have been worse for the administration. It was July 2003, two months after Saddam's statue fell, and still no WMD had been found. The administration's primary sales pitch was being called into doubt. Libby and other administration officials were quick to denounce Wilson's claims, and to allege that it was his wife who had chosen him for the African trip. (Wilson and Plame say she merely recommended him to her supervisor when asked.) According to the Los Angeles Times, Libby began keeping close track of Wilson's interviews and television appearances, and pushed for an aggressive PR campaign against him. He also began chatting up reporters on his own. An outgoing schmoozer who's been known to trade shots of tequila with reporters until the wee hours, at the very least he reached out to members of the press. The New York Times's Judith Miller, one of the reporters caught up in the investigation, wrote last week that she had three conversations with Libby before Plame's name became public. And Rove, who talked to Time magazine's Matthew Cooper about the case, reportedly told the grand jury that he may have also spoken to Libby about Plame. It's now up to Fitzgerald to decide if those conversations were more than just talk. Woman of Mass Destruction By Maureen Dowd The New York Times Saturday 22 October 2005 I've always liked Judy Miller. I have often wondered what Waugh or Thackeray would have made of the Fourth Estate's Becky Sharp. The traits she has that drive many reporters at The Times crazy - her tropism toward powerful men, her frantic intensity and her peculiar mixture of hard work and hauteur - never bothered me. I enjoy operatic types. Once when I was covering the first Bush White House, I was in The Times' seat in the crowded White House press room, listening to an administration official's background briefing. Judy had moved on from her tempestuous tenure as a Washington editor to be a reporter based in New York, but she showed up at this national security affairs briefing. Read the full article --- Times: Miller May Have Misled Editors By John Solomon The Associated Press Saturday 22 October 2005 Judith Miller's boss says the New York Times reporter appears to have misled the newspaper about her role in the CIA leak controversy. In an e-mail memo Friday to the newspaper's staff, Executive Editor Bill Keller said that until Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald subpoenaed Miller in the criminal probe, "I didn't know that Judy had been one of the reporters on the receiving end" of leaks aimed at Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson. "Judy seems to have misled" Times Washington bureau Chief Bill Taubman about the extent of her involvement, Keller wrote. Read the full article --- Go to Original Leak Prosecutor Is Called Exacting and Apolitical By Scott Shane and David Johnston The New York Times Saturday 22 October 2005 Washington - In 13 years prosecuting mobsters and terrorists in New York, Patrick J. Fitzgerald earned a public reputation for meticulous preparation, a flawless memory and an easy eloquence. Only his colleagues knew that these orderly achievements emerged from the near-total anarchy of his office, where the relentless Mr. Fitzgerald often slept during big cases. "You'd open a drawer, looking for a pen or Post-it notes, and it would be full of dirty socks," recalled Karen Patton Seymour, a former assistant United States attorney who tried a major case with him. "He was a mess. Food here, clothes there, papers everywhere. But behind all that was a totally organized mind." That mind, which has taken on Al Qaeda and the Gambino crime family, is now focused on the most politically volatile case of Mr. Fitzgerald's career. As the special prosecutor who has directed the CIA leak investigation, he is expected to decide within days who, if anyone, will be charged with a crime. To seek indictments against the White House officials caught up in the inquiry would deliver a devastating blow to the Bush administration. To simply walk away after two years of investigation, which included the jailing of a reporter for 85 days for refusing to testify, would invite cries of cover-up and waste. Yet Mr. Fitzgerald's past courtroom allies and adversaries say that consideration of political consequences will play no role in his decision. "I don't think the prospect of a firestorm would deter him," said J. Gilmore Childers, who worked with Mr. Fitzgerald on high-profile terrorism prosecutions in New York during the 1990s. "His only calculus is to do the right thing as he sees it." Stanley L. Cohen, a New York lawyer who has defended those accused of terrorism in a half-dozen cases prosecuted by Mr. Fitzgerald, said he never detected the slightest political leanings, only a single-minded dedication to the law. "There's no doubt in my mind that if he's found something, he won't be swayed one way or the other by the politics of it," Mr. Cohen said. "For Pat, there's no such thing as a little crime you can ignore." Mr. Fitzgerald, 44, whose regular job is as the United States attorney in Chicago, is a hard man to pigeonhole. The son of Irish immigrants - his father, Patrick Sr., was a Manhattan doorman - he graduated from Amherst College and Harvard Law School. Though he is a workaholic who sends e-mail messages to subordinates at 2 a.m. and has never married, friends say the man they call Fitzie is a hilarious raconteur and great company for beer and baseball. Ruthless in his pursuit of criminals, he once went to considerable trouble to adopt a cat. "He's a prankster and a practical joker," said Ms. Seymour, who now practices law in New York, recalling when Mr. Fitzgerald drafted a fake judge's opinion denying a key motion and had it delivered to a colleague. "But he's also brilliant. When he's trying a complicated case, there's no detail he can't recall." Mr. Fitzgerald was appointed in December 2003 by James B. Comey, then the deputy attorney general and an old friend, to investigate the disclosure in a column by Robert Novak of the identity of an undercover operative for the Central Intelligence Agency, Valerie Wilson, also referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame. Her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former diplomat who had traveled to Niger on behalf of the CIA to check on reports that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium there, had publicly accused the White House of twisting the evidence to justify war against Iraq. Lawyers involved in the case say Mr. Fitzgerald appears to be examining whether high-level officials who spoke to reporters about the Wilsons sought to mislead prosecutors about their discussions. Those under scrutiny include Karl Rove, the top political adviser to President Bush, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. In grand jury sessions, Mr. Fitzgerald has struck witnesses as polite and exacting. Matthew Cooper, a Time magazine reporter who wrote about his two and half hours of testimony, said that the prosecutor's questions were asked "in microscopic, excruciating detail." Before he testified, Mr. Cooper recalled that Mr. Fitzgerald counseled him to say what he remembered and no more. "If I show you a picture of your kindergarten teacher and it really refreshes your memory say so," Mr. Cooper wrote, quoting Mr. Fitzgerald. "If it doesn't, don't say yes just because I show you a photo of you and her sitting together." Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter who wrote about her two grand jury appearances, said that Mr. Fitzgerald asked questions that reflected a deep knowledge of the leak case as he led her through her dealings with Mr. Libby. Mr. Fitzgerald has drawn criticism from press advocates for his aggressive pursuit of journalists he believes may have been told about the secret CIA employment of Ms. Wilson. Ms. Miller served nearly three months in jail this summer before agreeing to testify. In pursuing leads that have made him a threat to the White House, Mr. Fitzgerald is following a pattern set by previous special prosecutors. Some allies of the White House complain privately that he has taken on some of the worst traits of his predecessors. Republicans criticized Lawrence E. Walsh for his handling of the Iran-Contra scandal in the Reagan administration, while Democrats attacked Kenneth W. Starr's performance in the Whitewater probe and Monica Lewinsky sex scandal under President Clinton. The two prosecutors operated under the independent counsel law, which both parties let die in 1999. Katy J. Harriger, a political scientist at Wake Forest University who has studied special prosecutors, said that Mr. Fitzgerald had some advantages over his predecessors. He has essentially all the powers of the attorney general to chase evidence, question witnesses and seek charges. Unlike Mr. Walsh and Mr. Starr, both former judges, Mr. Fitzgerald is a career prosecutor. And as a Bush administration appointee, he is less vulnerable to attack from the White House. "It will be much harder than it was with Starr to say this is a partisan prosecution," Ms. Harriger said. Some attorneys who admire Mr. Fitzgerald detect a hint of zealotry or inflexibility in his approach and wonder whether what works with terrorism translates to an inside-the-Beltway case involving White House officials and their multilayered relationships with journalists. In Mr. Fitzgerald's world, a former colleague recalled, it was pretty clear who had black hats and who had white hats, there was not a lot of gray. But Mr. Cohen, whose defense work on behalf of Hamas and other groups has provoked controversy, says he has always found Mr. Fitzgerald willing to listen, and to distinguish between militant rhetoric and genuine terrorist plotting. "If I need a straight answer from a federal prosecutor, I call Pat," Mr. Cohen said. Mr. Fitzgerald's moral grounding began at Our Lady Help of Christians school in his native Brooklyn. He attended Regis High School, a Jesuit institution in Manhattan for gifted students, all of whom attend on scholarship. At Amherst, where he majored in math and economics, he was an unassuming kid with a New York accent who was a stellar student, one others frequently turned to for help, recalled Walter Nicholson, an economics professor. At Amherst, he worked part time as a custodian; in the summers during college and law school, his father helped him find work as a doorman. After three years in private practice, he joined the United States attorney's office for the southern district of New York and quickly distinguished himself. "I've tried a lot of cases, and he's probably the toughest adversary I've ever seen," said Roger L. Stavis, a New York defense lawyer who faced Mr. Fitzgerald during the 1995 terrorism trial of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. Mr. Stavis prided himself on knowing the web of Muslim extremists but was surprised when Mr. Fitzgerald asked a witness about Osama bin Laden, then an obscure figure. "I thought, 'I don't know who Osama bin Laden is, but he's in Pat Fitzgerald's crosshairs,' " Mr. Stavis said. In 2001, Mr. Fitzgerald led the team that convicted four men in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in East Africa. During his time in New York, Mr. Fitzgerald's hapless bachelor ways became legendary. For months he did not bother to have the gas connected to the stove in his Brooklyn apartment. Once, in a fit of domesticity, he baked two pans of lasagna, recalled Amy E. Millard, a New York colleague. Distracted by work, he left them uneaten in the oven for three months before he discovered them, Ms. Millard said. When he tried to adopt a cat, she remembered, he was turned down because of his work habits and only later acquired a pet when a friend in Florida had to give up her cat and had it flown to him to New York. Some of the cases Mr. Fitzgerald handled after moving to Chicago in 2001 have expanded his experience into the sensitive and murky arena of political corruption. He indicted a former governor of Illinois, George Ryan, in a scandal involving the Illinois secretary of state's office, as well as two aides to Mayor Richard Daley on mail-fraud charges. But those cases bear little resemblance to the CIA leak investigation, with its potential implications for national politics. Samuel W. Seymour, another former New York prosecutor and Karen's husband, said it is easy to politically "triangulate" most government lawyers, noting which were mentored by Democrats or promoted by Republicans. But not Mr. Fitzgerald. "Some people may feel he's independent to a fault, because his independence makes him unpredictable," Mr. Seymour said. "I think it makes him the perfect person for this job." Fitzgerald Is No Ken Starr By Joe Conason Salon.com Friday 21 October 2005 With the mounting anticipation that Bush administration officials will be indicted in the CIA leak investigation, we have arrived at the stage that was always inevitable: a wave of preemptive attacks on special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and his expected prosecutions. While the attackers have various motives, their arguments tend to share the same specious themes: that the special counsel has "run amok"; that he is pursuing the "criminalization of politics"; that no crimes were committed except possibly in covering up administration misbehavior, which supposedly are not crimes worth prosecuting; and that Fitzgerald is somehow comparable to Kenneth W. Starr, the Whitewater independent counsel whose gross abuse of his office led to its abolition. Read the full article --- Go to Original Who Is Scooter Libby? By John Dickerson Slate.com Friday 21 October 2005 The secretive Cheney aide at the heart of the CIA leak case. Who is I. Lewis Libby? The not-Karl-Rove character at the center of the CIA leak investigation is so mysterious he hides his first name. Rove we know: He's Bush's political id-a self-taught master of political hardball, a brash Texan who has plotted the president's advance for 25 years. The adviser universally known as "Scooter" represents the other side of the Bush administration: the secret undisclosed side. Like the vice president he works for, Libby prefers to work on policy in the shadows and leave the politics to others. Unlike Rove, or even fellow neocons Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, Libby rarely speaks on the record; he almost never gives public speeches. Unlike the Texas gang, he doesn't boast at being an anti-intellectual and is in fact proud of his intellectual credentials. "Lewis Libby is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia University School of Law," reads the blurb under his picture on the back flap of his book, a historical novel about Japan at the turn of the 19th century. If these two men are so different, why are Rove's and Libby's names now spending so much time in the same sentence? Both are under investigation by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald for telling reporters that Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked at the CIA after Wilson challenged the administration's claim that Saddam Hussein sought to buy enriched uranium from Niger. Though there is still much we do not know about their actions, one thing we can say is that the two were almost certainly leaking for different reasons. Rove's principal instinct would have been to knock back a threat to Bush's political standing. Libby's natural urge would have been to push back against the CIA with whom he and his boss had been waging an ongoing war over the intelligence that lead to the war itself, a war for which he was a key proponent, and in which he continues to deeply believe. According to one report, Libby became so obsessed with knocking back Wilson's claims, White House advisers had to step in. Arguing the point would only keep the charges alive and harm the president politically. "Everything you know about Cheney you know about Scooter," says one who worked with him closely. That means that Libby is discreet, big-thinking, detail-oriented, and addicted to action over show. Libby is not only chief of staff but the vice president's top foreign-policy adviser. In the rare photos of Bush's war counsel, Libby can be seen in the background. He particularly shares his boss' fixation on external nuclear and bioterrorism threats. When Cheney was tasked with preparing a homeland security plan before the 9/11 attacks, it was Libby who handled it. He was minutes away from a meeting on the final report when the planes hit the World Trade Center. Libby is a neocon's neocon. He studied political science at Yale under former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and began working with his former teacher under Cheney at the Defense Department during the George H.W. Bush administration, thinking about grand national security strategy in the post-Cold War era. When a document outlining their thinking leaked to the New York Times, the foreign policy establishment, including many of the more moderate voices in the first Bush administration, howled at its call for pre-emptive action against nations developing weapons of mass destruction. After 9/11, what was once considered loony became the Bush Doctrine. Libby is not political in the glad-handing way-he looks as lost as Cheney at Republican Lincoln Day dinners. But he plays internal politics with force and lack of emotion. If the State Department under Colin Powell hated Dick Cheney, it hated Scooter almost as much, viewing him accurately as a pre-eminent member of the cabal hellbent for war with Iraq. It was Libby who sat with Powell in the final session before Powell's UN speech, eyeing every detail to make sure that the Secretary of State didn't water down the case. When Libby talked privately to friends about his rivals at State during the Powell era, it often sounded like the head of one political party speaking about the other, ascribing the worst motives and rarely giving Powell's team the benefit of the doubt. Now no one is giving Libby the benefit of the doubt, at least in interpreting his mysterious jailhouse note to Judy Miller. That letter ended with a personal passage that seemed to cry out for accompaniment by moody background music: "You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover-Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work-and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers. With admiration, Scooter Libby." Was this a hint to Miller about staying on the same page-either with her journalistic colleagues who seem to have backed Libby's story to the grand jury, or with her fellow former believer in Saddam's WMD stockpiles? Patrick Fitzgerald certainly wanted to know if Libby was trying to coach the reluctant witness to bolster his own case. Libby helpfully pointed out earlier in the letter that "every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me, or knew about her before our call." Or, Scooter may have been playing with coded meanings that most of us are too dull to see. This suspicion arises naturally because of Libby's connection with Straussianism. Leo Strauss, the German-Jewish political philosopher, is seen by many as one of the intellectual fathers of neconservatism. Wolfowitz, Libby's teacher at Yale, was a graduate student at the University of Chicago during Strauss' ascendancy, and Libby won membership into that conservative club via Wolfowitz. Part of Strauss' teaching is that ancient philosophers wrote on two levels: for the mumbling masses, but also, and often in contradiction of the literal message, on an "esoteric" level that only initiates could make out. Some Straussians have adopted this code themselves. So, where Homer Simpson would interpret Libby's note as ham-handed fawning over Judy, a Straussian close reader might discern something more devious: a literary file in the cake for both of them. It's surprising, in any case, to find Libby is at the center of a press scandal. The daily communications operation is not something he cares much about. Rove, by contrast, spends a portion of every day running his own press operation. He sends BlackBerry messages, forwards polling data, and argues his case to influential journalists. Libby flies at a higher altitude, talking mostly to marquee columnists and preferring longer and more in-depth conversations to the rat-a-tat-tat required by reporters on deadline. Libby does enjoy the intellectual cat-and-mouse game of longer form interviews, those who have worked with him say. He challenges basic assumptions and presses on a reporter's sloppy definitions. In my experience interviewing him, if a line of reasoning was in any way harmful to the administration or the vice president, it was sometimes impossible to get past the gorilla dust. His shimmy and shake sometimes got so bad, I wondered if he would even admit to working for the vice president. "It's very lawyerly kind of amusement," says a former aide. When the Cheneys hosted a party in February 2002 for the paperback publication of Libby's book, the guest list was not filled with workaday journalists, but with the elite from New York and Washington: Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee, Leon Wieseltier and Maureen Dowd. In those early days after 9/11, it seemed like the relationship between the press and the media elite might turn out to be a fairly cozy one. The Bushies hated "old Washington," but as Libby and the vice president spoke from the landing at the bottom of the stairs, it seemed as if their half of the administration understood the quiet commerce between the ruling elite and the more permanent Washington establishment. Maureen Dowd, who was invited to that party, ended that fantasy. Libby is fussy and precise with reporters, which is why friends and colleagues find it so hard to believe that he would have been involved in leaking Plame's identity, obstructing justice, or committing perjury. Libby was an exacting source for anyone who talked to him. After using a Libby quote, it was not unusual for reporters to receive a call from the vice president's press shop. Mr. Libby wanted to know why only a portion of his comment was used. "He would prefer that if a reporter was going to quote him that it be an unedited transcript," says one who worked closely with him. Other reporters were scolded if a Libby quote hidden under the attribution of "senior administration official" was placed near sentences that he thought might identify him, even if no reasonable reader could come to such a conclusion. In other words, he's as careful as they come in Washington. Those who know him say that if you're going to be stuck in an undisclosed location with somebody, Scooter Libby isn't a bad choice. He can do tequila shots on the saddle-shaped seats of the Wyoming bar near the vice president's vacation house and deconstruct poetry afterward. He is also athletic. He skis, plays ultimate Frisbee, and rode a mountain bike so hard one time at an AEI retreat, he fell and broke his collar bone. Once, at one of the undisclosed locations, he helped the Cheney grandchildren play pretend-Halloween, answering the door to the tricksters and handing out candy as if they were in their own neighborhood. A man who likes to stay out of the limelight knows something about disguises. But I. Lewis Libby appears to be on the verge of losing the option of a low profile for good. If Fitzgerald announces his indictment, "Irvin" will soon become a household name. John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent. Chickens Come Home to Roost on Cheney By Ray McGovern t r u t h o u t | Perspective Thursday 20 October 2005 Indictments are expected to come down shortly as special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald completes the investigation originally precipitated by the outing of a CIA officer under deep cover. In 21-plus months of digging and interviewing, Fitzgerald and his able staff have been able to negotiate the intelligence/policy/politics labyrinth with considerable sophistication. In the process, they seem to have learned considerably more than they had bargained for. The investigation has long since morphed into size "extra-large," which is the only size commensurate with the wrongdoing uncovered - not least, the fabrication and peddling of intelligence to "justify" a war of aggression. The coming months are likely to see senior Bush administration officials frog marched out of the White House to be booked, unless the president moves swiftly to fire Fitzgerald - a distinct possibility. With so many forces at play, it is easy to lose perspective and context while plowing through the tons of information on this case. What follows is a retrospective and prospective, laced with some new facts and analysis aimed at helping us to focus on the forest once we have given due attention to the trees. Read the full article --- © : t r u t h o u t 2005 -- -------------------------------------------------------- http://cyberjournal.org "Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World" http://www.cyberjournal.org/cj/rkm/Apocalypse_and_NWO.html Posting archives: http://cyberjournal.org/cj/show_archives/?date=01Jan2006&batch=25&lists=newslog Subscribe to low-traffic list: •••@••.••• ___________________________________________ In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.