Skip to comments.Cheney Questioned in CIA Leak Probe
Posted on 06/05/2004 11:50:37 AM PDT by cyncooper
WASHINGTON Investigators questioned Vice President Dick Cheney (search) recently in the probe of who in the Bush administration leaked the name of a covert CIA operative last year, a source familiar with the investigation said Saturday.
The interview of the vice president follows an acknowledgment by President Bush that he has consulted with a private attorney regarding the probe, indicating that Bush, also, expects to be questioned.
A federal grand jury in recent months has questioned numerous White House and administration officials to learn who revealed the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame (search), wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson (search), to the news media.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Cheney was not under oath when he was questioned, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation involves a criminal matter. The source did not know what Cheney said or what he was asked or whether he had an attorney present. But the central issue of the investigation is who disclosed Plame's name.
I've stated before that I hope and think the central focus of the investigation is NOT who disclosed Plame's "name" (I think they mean her employer, not *name*), but I could be wrong.
Time will tell.
I'm disappointed with Fox presenting the AP story without reviewing its facts. More from the article:
Wilson had earlier been sent to Niger by the CIA to check out the allegation and concluded it was unfounded. Bush stated subsequently in his State of the Union address that Iraq had sought to buy uranium in Africa.
Point of order:
A sub-group of the CIA, not "the CIA", as in Tenet, sent Wilson on their own volition.
Wilson never filed a written report but gave an oral rendition of his "findings".
Per George Tenet, the findings were useless and unreliable
Further, the trip and the non-findings were NOT briefed to President Bush OR VP Cheney.
As I've stated before, kind of hard for them to be basing speeches on a trip they knew nothing about (and which findings were not as Wilson and sympathetic media portray), and, further, leaking who sent him on mission they were not briefed on.
I can't think of who all is following the Plame Game, but I do recall you being interested.
Look! VP Cheney has talked to the prosecutor.
Remember too .. it was Wilson who claimed he had given Cheney a first hand report after he returned from Niger. Cheney said - it didn't happen.
Yes. It appears Wilson is the credibility impaired party here (as it has from the start).
I wish I knew what the grand jury is asking and what direction they're going in, because the facts on the record do not support Wilson's complaint and I find it unbelievable that the investigation is trundling along according to conventional wisdom in search of who leaked Plame's "name" (a phrasing that drives me nuts. Everybody knew her "name". It's her role at the CIA that is at issue and if it was undercover, a secret and unlawfully disclosed when apparently the Wilsons were not the tighest lipped duo to come down the pike.)
As such, her name, and her status in the organization were most probably, common knowledge, not only in Washington D.C., but in every concerned Foreign government on the planet earth.
Check this out.
I thought I'd heard that it was Joe Wilson himself who revealed his wife's name and occupation as a CIA operative in a book or article he wrote.
Do you know anything about Alan Foley? I think he was her boss and he left the agency last September, right around the time Wilson successfully kicked up enough noise to get this investigation revved up.
Bush never said any such thing.
Over and over I see this mistake repeated. And Wilson only "disproved" that a transaction occured, not that Iraq didn't seek the uranium. He was also the one who reported that a Nigerien official told him an Iraqi official made enquiries back in 1999, later identified as Baghdad Bob. bob was in Iraq's foreign service at that time.
I don't know if "everybody" knew about her, and that's not how Novak tells it.
BTW, just what are those "documents" in Andrea Mitchell's possession Wilson talked about? Just another loose end...
I THINK what these articles mean is her post at CIA was leaked, but that's not what they say and the inaccuracy bothers me.
Once that issue is settled, we can then discuss what her post was, if it was indeed a secret or undercover, and even if it was, I don't for one second think the Bush WH or VP had one thing to do with telling Novak anything about it. The evidence we know of points to the information being given to Novak by way of explaining why the heck Wilson went to Niger.
Well--sorry for the ramble, but one thing leads to the next, and I just don't see if that really is the issue the GJ is investigating what is taking so long.
I'm not saying everybody knew about her--just distinguishing between Wilson's wife's name being easily available and the question of where she worked.
It isn't clear to me the latter was widely known--though it doesn't appear to have been a closely guarded secret contrary to some spin. But her *name*, Valerie Plame, was publicly accessible information.
I'm glad you saw this. What say you about the Veep speaking with them? And I wonder about Mitchell, too...
Another discussion of the famous Plame case.
Well .. as soon as I heard that the Wilsons held fundraisers for the Clintons .. that told me everything I needed to know.
From this article:
But the central issue of the investigation is who disclosed Plame's name.
That's why I asked you what you meant by "her identity". Her *name* wasn't a secret yet that's how the issue is constantly framed in these articles.
We need to know just exactly who sent Wilson to Niger. I hope Wilson's called before this g.j. Wifey, too.
I'm learning j-school code words... a "source" not id'd as an official is probably another reporter.
In the words of George Tenet:
"...There was fragmentary intelligence gathered in late 2001 and early 2002 on the allegations of Saddam's efforts to obtain additional raw uranium from Africa, beyond the 550 metric tons already in Iraq. In an effort to inquire about certain reports involving Niger, CIA's counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn. He reported back to us that one of the former Nigerien (sic) officials he met stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office. The same former official also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Iraq and Niger. The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales.
Well, that would "fit", wouldn't it.
We are becoming parsers extraordinaire.
That is one reason I love plain-speakin' Dubya.
In an effort to inquire about certain reports involving Niger, CIA's counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn.
I like George Tenet. I think he knows who sent Wilson.
I hope Wilson's called before this g.j. Wifey, too.
Mr. and Mrs. Klutz are probably paying Novak a percentage of their take on this non-story.
Because this report, in our view, did not resolve whether Iraq was or was not seeking uranium from abroad, it was given a normal and wide distribution, but we did not brief it to the President, Vice-President or other senior Administration officials. We also had to consider that the former Nigerien officials knew that what they were saying would reach the U.S. government and that this might have influenced what they said.
In the fall of 2002, my Deputy and I briefed hundreds of members of Congress on Iraq. We did not brief the uranium acquisition story.
In other words, Wilson's "report" was useless and President Bush, VP Cheney, and other WH officials weren't even told about it. Congress wasn't told either.
White House staff members decide to include a reference to Iraqi attempts to procure uranium from Africa in the State of the Union speech. During a discussion about the intelligence on this matter, NSC staff member Robert Joseph insists that information about the uranium procurement attempt be included in the speech, according to later accounts from several U.S. senators investigating the claim.
But Alan Foley, head of the Director of Central Intelligences Center for Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control, expresses concern about the intelligence.
Foley eventually agrees to a change that appears in the final draft of the speech. According to Bartletts later briefing, Tenet does not review the speech, and Rice and Hadley do not recall the October memorandums or a phone call from Tenet while putting together the State of the Union remarks.
The Niger story was kindled by a one-two punch:
(1) is well-remembered.
(2) is disappearing into the mists of memory. Nevertheless, this is a very interesting part of the story.
Terrance Wilkinson's story in CHB was a perfect piece of disinformation. Not only did it very successfully fan the fires, but by now it's been nearly forgotten.
What could explain a 20-year journalistic fraud with this as its culmination?
I've been pointing that out, too. Especially in wake of the recent CBH Bush bashing articles. That the Wilkinson saga was coordinated with the Wilson NY Times op-ed.
Oh, how I wish that was the direction of this grand jury investigation.
Rumour is that he was a Star Trek fan and he entered James Kirk as his real name.
'Capitol Hill Blue' said that Wilkinson started the hoax way back in '82.
The British Name Generator was not on the World Wide Web in 1982! LOL, maybe the con didn't really go back two decades??
interesting ... what are your sources??
"...The bottom line is that someone has been running a con on me for 20 some years and I fell for it like a little old lady in a pigeon drop scheme. I've spent the last two hours going through the database of Capitol Hill Blue stories and removing any that were based on information from Wilkinson (or whoever he is). I've also removed his name, quotes and claims from Tuesday's story about the White House and the uranium claims. ..."
That's some con. And why remove the stories? Now there's some material for an espionage book.
BTW, the absurdest part of the story is that he would have met Bush peraonally. So disproveable and unlikely...yet this was a valuable disinfo source...someone thought the spin on this "Niger" story was worthy enough to blow this asset!
But the sowing of the ground by Wilson took place before the NyTimes editorial. Remember, Wilson said in his NYTimes article: "Those news stories about that unnamed former envoy who went to Niger? That's me."
Question: who planted those stories? None other than Wilson himself. The Independent admits now it was Wilson who anonymously leaked to him in their earlier articles. It probably was Wilson too who leaked to Seymour Hersh - Hersh's New Yorker piece was one of the first disinformation pieces.
You can get the skeleton of the media campaign via the articles I posted on that long thread of mine.
Somebody determined that the Niger disinformation was worth burning the successful 20 year journalistic fraud.
"The Niger story was kindled by a one-two punch:
1. Wilson's N.Y. Times op-ed.
2. A Capitol Hill Blue article, now withdrawn (the claim in the article was discredited when CHB revealed that it was the victim of an elaborate hoax). "
I'd add those stories that occurred before the NYTimes editorial, as on that long thread of mine. Those stories were less shy about implying that Bush's State of the Union meant "Niger" and the documents meant the phoney Niger memorandum. When specifically asked, Wilson, for one, makes some pains to say "if" Bush meant Niger.
Also adding fuel to the fire- Rice's lame comments about the memorandum and Tenet's statement about the "sixteen words" - which, read carefully, does not support Wilson's implied point but is a statement about not haveing independent verification of the British intelligence - kind of like saying the Czech intel is "not proven" because some CIA guy wasn't at the Prague meeting too.
Perhaps Tenet was pushed by Bush staffers to save him, not having first carefully analyzed what Wilson actually said, but reacting to the general media interpretation of it.
Now, if someone would ask andrea Mitchell about the documents she has...
As I posted on another Valerie Plame thread today, our super-duper CIA spy gal was apparently 'outed' in 1994, and probably was in no danger in her management job. I think this whole thing is about Joe Wilson's reeeally enjoying the limelight and milking the situation. Just my opinion; counts for nothing to anyone but me.
In October, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof reported: "The C.I.A. suspected that [master spy] Aldrich Ames had given Mrs. Wilson's name [along with those of other spies] to the Russians before his espionage arrest in 1994."
At the time, Kristof noted, Wilson's wife was brought home for safety reasons and "was already in transition away from undercover work to management."
Seems I recall reading (somewhere) that the nuclear facility bombed by the Israelis was powered by uranium made from Nigerian Yellow Cake..
( i.e., Saddam had previously purchased yellow cake from Niger, why wouldn't he try to tap that source again? )
Secondly, do you have anything on the recent Libyan turnover of their WMD programs.??
Specifically, concerning the Iraqi-Libyan-Egyptian venture into Nuclear Weapons technology? Or the recent possible tie-in to N. Korea and their rail "accident" that may have killed several (Syrian?) (Iraqi?) scientists-technicians..? ( almost forgot about the Syrians )
Libya turned over to the U.S. all information concerning a nuclear weapons lab constructed under a mountain in Libya.. run by Iraqi scientists, and at least partially funded by Egypt..
Libya also turned over all the equipment, at least one head scientist, and "yellow cake" uranium.. (from an un-named source)
The story just becomes more and more confusing, doesn't it?..
And no one's even talking about the Iranians yet..
The U.N. is unsure about how far along they are in developing nuclear technology (for peaceful purposes).
Also before Wilson penned his "It was I, the great and wonderful Joseph Wilson, who went to Niger!" NY Times piece, there were stories in the BBC sourced to an anonymous "CIA official" that gave the story from Wilson's POV and spoke of a "former diplomat" having "proven" the Niger/uranium claim "wrong", and also this "official" falsely claimed the VP had been briefed on this "fact" (which was not a proven fact).
Thanks for adding that info over here!
Please see my link at #23 and excerpts there and #25.
Thanks for that name generator story.
Well, Doug Thompson claimed "Wilkinson" was a source for 20 years, but he said he'd never named him before. So, there ya go.
just Tenet's statement?
Um, what else do you want? You've got Tenet and you've got Wilson. Credibility goes to Tenet.
The WH also said they were not briefed. See that Tenet said Congress was not briefed--and you'll note not even the dems dared to lie and contradict that since it is the truth--they were not briefed about it.
It is simple: The WH and Congress were not briefed about Wilson's trip. A trip that most certainly did NOT result in definitive findings as Wilson tries to imply.
You can believe who ever you like, it just seems like a he said/he said with no credible source. What the WH admits it knew as opposed to what it was advised differ greatly.
As I and others have shown, it is not a matter of he said/she said, with no way of judging who is the more credible party. That is ludicrous.
Facts are facts, no matter how you wish to continue believing a lie.
why don't they just subpoena Novka and put an end to this?
The sources you site as reliable aren't those the same ones who said, prior to 9/11, that they were never warned that terrorists had plans to use planes as missiles and that the terrorists had never inferred where they would strike?
And you say that it is I would believe in lies.
And you say that it is I would believe in lies.
I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt you like to believe lies. You postively wallow in them.
Yes, I know the twisted web you are spinning from. Let Reagan's passing be a lesson to those of your ilk: The truth will always triumph over deception.
Be gone. You have no power here.
I mourn the loss of Reagan, just as other American's do. He was our President. His passing has nothing to do with what is happening today, except that he passed on today. I am only expressing an opinion, one that differs from yours, thus you consider it evil, thus you are the one who is troubled.
'Terrance Wilkinson' is a frequent output of the Very British Name Generator, but the name appeared nowhere else on the World Wide Web prior to the Capitol Hill Blue retraction.
Maybe it wasn't 'James Kirk' he entered. It is plausible that his own name might be one of the many that yield 'Terrance Wilkinson'.
Whatever name he used, it was the British Name Generator that provided him with the alias.
Well, Doug Thompson claimed "Wilkinson" was a source for 20 years, but he said he'd never named him before. So, there ya go.
And what were the other Capitol Hill Blue articles that Thompson professed to have either pulled or modified because they used this Wilkinson as a source? Should not Thompson have identified them?
Thompson may have calculated that he would look less gullible as the victim of a 20-year disinformation campaign. Maybe even less complicit.
The bizarre Wilkinson hoax story may also have added to the staying power of the disinfo. After all, who can believe such an outlandish story? It certainly garnered attention. And somebody might reason: "If you're not going to believe Thompson on that, maybe you shouldn't believe that it was a hoax at all, since that belief is also founded only on Thompson's statement." "Where there's so much smoke, there's fire." Yada, yada.