Skip to comments.FBI releases notes from interview with Cheney about Plame leak (Fri night MSM dump)
Posted on 10/30/2009 3:58:26 PM PDT by STARWISE
Former vice president Richard B. Cheney told a special prosecutor in 2004 that he could not remember playing any role in leaking the identity of Valerie Plame as a clandestine CIA officer, according to FBI records released under court order Friday.
In his May 8, 2004, interview with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, Cheney said he could not recall when he learned that Plame, the wife of Iraq war critic Joseph C. Wilson IV, worked for the CIA; could not recall telling his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, about Plame's employment; and could not recall telling Libby to disclose the news to reporters.
Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying under oath about his conversations with reporters. Cheney's role remained a central mystery.
FBI notes of Cheney's May 8, 2004, interview, which have not been made public before, do little to clear up the unanswered questions that, according to Fitzgerald, left "a cloud over the vice president" in one of the most embarrassing episodes of the presidency of George W. Bush.
After years of legal maneuvering to keep the documents secret, they were made public late Friday under a lawsuit brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. That organization provided the FBI notes to The Washington Post. Portions of the three documents, totaling 67 pages, were redacted on grounds of national security, privacy or privileged presidential communications.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
The biggest joke of a scandal ever.
So, Fitzmas comes around Halloween this year?
Three sack of shit.
But all those who have opined on this affair ought to take note of the not-so-surprising disclosure that the primary source of the newspaper column in which Ms. Plame’s cover as an agent was purportedly blown in 2003 was former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage.
Mr. Armitage was one of the Bush administration officials who supported the invasion of Iraq only reluctantly.
Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame’s CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming — falsely, as it turned out — that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials.
He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife.
He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush’s closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It’s unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.
Props to Republican Wildcat for the following post from July 15, 2006:
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell today delivered the following statement on the Senate floor:
Mr. President, I rise today to discuss a matter of considerable relevance to the debate about the war in Iraq and the recent Senate Report on the Intelligence Community. This report has illuminated a subject of considerable controversy and partisan criticism of the President.
I also rise to speak about the importance of maintaining a basic standard of fairness in American politics.
Im talking about the controversy that erupted over the infamous 16 words in the State of the Union Address that Senator Kerry, numerous Senate Democrats, and the media cited in accusations that the President misled the country into war.
On January 28, 2003, President Bush told the American people that, The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
When doubt surfaced about some but not all of the evidence supporting this claim, Joe Wilson who had traveled to Niger to investigate an aspect of the intelligence penned an op-ed in the New York Times accusing the Administration of manipulating intelligence.
Not pausing for a full investigation, a partisan parade of Democratic Senators and Presidential candidates took to the streets to criticize the President and accuse him of misleading the nation into war.
Sensing a scandal, the media pounced.
NBC aired 40 reports on Wilsons claims. CBS aired 30 reports, while ABC aired 18. Newspapers didnt hold back either. The New York Times printed 70 articles reinforcing these allegations, while the Washington Post printed 98.
Pundits and politicians gorged themselves on the story.
Joe Wilson rose to great fame on the back of this inflammatory charge: He wrote a book for which he received a five-figure advance, he was lionized by the Liberal Left, and he became an advisor to Senator Kerrys presidential campaign, a campaign to which he is also a financial contributor.
Of course, we now know Wilsons allegation was false. And we know the chief proponent of this charge, Joe Wilson, has been proven to be a liar.
After more than a year of misrepresentation and obfuscation, two bipartisan reports from two different countries have thoroughly repudiated Wilsons assertions and determined that President Bushs 16-word statement about Iraqs efforts to procure uranium from Niger was well founded.
In fact, the real 16-word statement we should focus on is the one from Lord Butlers comprehensive report about British intelligence: We conclude that the statement in President Bushs State of the Union address is well founded.
Let me repeat: We conclude that the statement in President Bushs State of the Union address is well founded. Those are 16 words to remember, Mr. President.
It is now worth the Senates time to consider Mr. Wilsons claims.
Claim #1 is Wilsons assertion his Niger trip report should have debunked the State of the Union claim.
On this bold allegation, the Senates bipartisan report included this important conclusion: The report on the former ambassadors trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original CIA reports on the uranium deal
Let me repeat: For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original CIA reports on the uranium deal
Claim #2 is similarly egregious.
According to the Washington Post, Wilson provided misleading information to the Washington Post last June. He said then that he concluded the Niger intelligence was based on a document that had clearly been forged But the documents were not in U.S. hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip to Niger. (Susan Schmidt, Washington Post, A9, 7/10/04)
Predictably, this bombshell appeared on page A9. Page A9, Mr. President! After this story had previously enjoyed extensive coverage on Page A1.
There were indeed document forgeries, but these documents were not the only evidence that convinced foreign intelligence services about Iraqs efforts to purchase uranium.
Damningly, the former Prime Minister of Niger himself believed the Iraqis wanted to purchase uranium and according to the Financial Times: European intelligence officers have now revealed that three years before the fake documents became public, human and electronic intelligence sources from a number of countries picked up repeated discussion of an illicit trade in uranium from Niger. One of the customers discussed by the traders was Iraq.
And the Wall Street Journal has reported that: French and British intelligence (services) separately told the U.S. about possible Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in Niger. (WSJ, 7/19/04)
Mr. President, when the French corroborate a story that Iraq is seeking WMD, youre probably in the right ballpark.
Indeed, the Senates bipartisan report concluded that at the time: it was reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa based on CIA reporting and other available intelligence.
Claim #3 is Wilsons repeated denial that his wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA analyst, never recommended him for the Niger trip.
In his ironically titled book, The Politics of Truth, Wilson claimed: Valerie had nothing to do with the matter She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip.
The facts are, Mr. President, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Report includes testimony that Plame offered up his name and quotes a memo that Plame wrote that asserts my husband has good relations with Niger officials.
The New York Times recently reported that: Instead of assigning a trained intelligence officer to the Niger case, though, the C.I.A. sent a former American Ambassador, Joseph Wilson, to talk to former Niger officials. His wife, Valerie Plame, was an officer in the counterproliferation division, and she had suggested that he be sent to Niger, according to the Senate report. (NYT, 7/14/04)
That story, Mr. President, can be read on Page A14.
Claim #4 is Wilsons allegation that the CIA warned the White House about the Niger claim and that the White House manipulated intelligence to bolster its argument for war. Wilson charged: The problem is not the intelligence but the manipulation of intelligence. That will all come out despite (Sen.) Roberts effort to shift the blame. This was and is a White House issue, not a CIA issue. This reckless charge by Wilson was, we know, repeated by many of the Presidents critics.
Of course, its not true.
The Senate Intelligence Report determined the White House did not manipulate intelligence, but rather that the CIA had provided faulty information to policymakers. And the Washington Post recently reported that Contrary to Wilsons assertions the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence. (Susan Schmidt, Washington Post, A9, 7/10/04)
Again: Front page news on Page A9.
According to the New York Times and the Senate Intelligence Report, Joe Wilson admitted to Committee staff that some of his assertions in his book may have, quote, involved a little literary flair.
Mr. President, Literary flair is a fancy way of saying what ordinary people shooting the breeze on their front porches all across America call by its real name: a lie.
So, Mr. President, the truth is Joe Wilson did not expose the Administration; in fact, he has been exposed as a liar.
He misrepresented the findings of his trip to Niger, he fabricated stories about recognizing forgeries he never saw, he falsely accused the White House of manipulating intelligence, and he misrepresented his wifes role in promoting him for the mission.
Joe Wilsons false claims have been exposed, but the networks arent rushing to correct the story. Will NBC correct the 40 times it ran Wilsons claims, will CBS correct the 30 times it ran Wilsons claims, will ABC correct the 18 times it ran Wilsons claims?
To be sure, a few networks and newspapers have noted the Senate Intelligence Reports conclusions, but where is the balance? Where are the lead stories? Where are the banner headlines? In short, where is the fairness?
Sadly, thats the state of political coverage in this election year. Screaming charges about the President made on A1, repudiation of the charges on A9, if they are made at all. Is that fair?
And what of the political campaigns? Its a small wonder the Democrat candidates for President and their supporters aggressively picked up the Wilson claim. After all, the media was driving the train, so why not hitch a ride?
However, now that Wilsons false claims have been exposed, shouldnt a basic sense of fairness prevail? Shouldnt the partisans admit they were wrong, too?
For example, some of my colleagues in the Senate should ask themselves if its now appropriate to distance themselves from Joe Wilsons distortions. Speaking on this floor on March 23, the Minority Leader praised Wilson and accused the Administration of retaliating against him: “When Ambassador Joe Wilson told the truth about the administrations misleading claims about Iraq, Niger, and uranium, the people around the President didnt respond with facts. Instead they publicly disclosed that Ambassador Wilsons wife was a deep-cover CIA agent.”
Just last month, Senator Daschle noted: “Sunlight, it’s been said, is the best disinfectant. But for too long, the administration has been able to keep Congress and the American people in the dark other serious matters, such as the manipulation of intelligence about Iraq, have received only fitful attention.”
I hope my friend from South Dakota will acknowledge the inaccuracy of his statement, and allow the sunlight to shine on Ambassador Wilsons fictions.
Senator Kerry welcomed Wilson onto his campaign team of advisors, and his campaign hosts Wilsons website, which carries a disclaimer that it is Paid for by John Kerry for President, Inc.
The Kerry/Wilson website includes a collection of articles by and about Joe Wilson that propound his baseless allegations against the Bush Administration, which I dont have time to go into today. Suffice it to say that showcasing Wilsons discredited views should at least be met with some acknowledgement that he was wrong all along.
Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from the recent episode involving Sandy Berger.
Berger, an advisor to President Clinton and Senator Kerry stepped down from the Kerry campaign. Hes under investigation for removing and possibly destroying classified documents being reviewed by the 9/11 Commission.
Were I to engage in a little literary flair, I might say it seems Sandy walked out of the National Archives with some PDBs in his BVDs, and some classified docs in his socks.
At any rate, I think its appropriate and politically wise for him to leave the Kerry campaign.
Its clear Senator Kerry approved of Mr. Bergers departure. He should certainly ask the discredited Mr. Wilson to leave the team as well.
So Mr. President, I close with a simple observation. I believe vigorous political disagreements are the heart of a strong democracy. When our debates are rooted in fact, impassioned political disagreement makes our country stronger.
I also believe Americans value fundamental fairness, and deserve a news media that reflects this value. How is it fair to report an accusation with blaring Page One headlines and around-the-clock television coverage and not give a slam dunk repudiation of the charge the same kind of attention?
Mr. President, well watch over the next few days to see if fundamental fairness will be met, and if those who championed Mr. Wilsons charges will set the record straight.
IE: I didn't say it.
I can't say he said that!
So Scooter gets out when?
Fake scandal and fraudulent investigation.
Five people who actively or passively perpetrated this con job:
Five people who have dishonored themselves by their role in this.
Chrissy has a tingle going up both legs that will last into next week.
And, now, for continuing to pimp a fake scandal, the list of the dishonorable include Gellman and the Washington Post.
Seems to me that the smart way of answering any question under oath is “I don’t remember”... Even if you tell the truth, if they don’t believe you they can charge you with perjury.
They say the documents “do little to clear up the unanswered questions..”
That allows them to continue the myth that Cheney’s
veracity and word should be doubted .. and that’s
because the WashPost is a totally leftist publication.
Armitage, the leaker, walks a free man with an
unblemished record, thanks to the purposeful
and vengeful silence of his hero and boss, Colin
Powell and the buffoonery of Fitzgerald.
Scooter Libby lost his law license, his long
time livelihood, and he and his family are forever
smeared by this boondoggle and purely reckless
political scandal instigated and perpetrated by
Valerie Plame and her bum husband, Joe Wilson ..
and leaked by Armitage to Robert Novak.
Is that supposed to make us forget Obama fudged the numbers on how many jobs were ‘created or saved’? It doesn’t.
I still contend that journalists, especially Matt Cooper and Judith Miller, knew who Plame was because they traveled in the same social circles and she (Plame) was probably a source.
BTW, Cheney is a cousin of mine like 2nd cousin 7 times removed.