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White House Leak To Destroy Joseph C. Wilson

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Guest Office of Sen. Charles Schumer

Today, Sen. Chuck Schumer sent a letter to President Bush asking him to detail his conversations with his top political adviser, Karl Rove, about the White House's leak of the identity of covert CIA operative, Valerie Plame.


Dear Mr. President,


I read today with profound concern news reports that you had conversations with your Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove in 2003 about his role in the leak of Valarie Plame's name. Earlier of cours, the White House issued emphatic and blanket denails of any involvement in the disclosure or confirmation of Ms. Plame's status as a CIA agent to members of the media.


In light of these reports, I urge you to make public the details of Mr. Rove's involvement, your understanding of that involvement, and an explanation as to why Mr. Rove was neither dismissed nor his security clearance revoked when you learned of his participaton in the Plame affair.


According to the news account, after the Department of Justice informed the White House that it had launched a criminal investigation, you were "furious" at Mr. Rove for talking to the press about the Plame and scolded him about it. Particularly troubling is the allegation that you were not angry at the leak itself, but rather the "clumsy" handling of the leak. In other words, it seems like you may have been angry that White House officials were caught, not that they had compromised national security. If true, this is of course very problematic. As a result, the American people deserve to hear the facts immediately as to those conversations.


In light of these reports, and the fact you long ago promised to fire anyone involved in the leak, I urge you to immediately and publicly clear the record. If it is true that you had conversations with Mr. Rove about his involvement in talking to the press about the identity of Valerie Plame, a covert agent with the CIA, the American people deserve to know the answers to several questions. Among tem are those:


  • How often did you have conversations with Karl Rove about the Plame leak and on what dates?
  • Did these conversations take place after you learned that the Department of Justice had initiated a formal criminal investigation into this matter?
  • What was the substance of these conversations?
  • Did you instruct Mr. Rove to cooperate fully with the investigation?
  • When you and Vice President Cheney were interviewed by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, did you and Mr. Cheney inform him of Karl Rove's involvement and your knowledge of it?
  • You promised in 2004, after your alleged anger at Mr. Rove over his involvement, to fire anyone involved in the leak. If these press reports are true, given your 2004 promise, why did Karl Rove continue to work at the White House after you learned of his involvement?
  • If these reports are true, when you learned of the involvement of Karl Rove in speaking about classified information, i.e. the identity of a covert agent, what discussions took place about suspending Mr. Rove's security clearence?  Why was it not suspended?


I - along with the American people - look forward to hearing you set the record straight on this important issue.


Schumer, who led the call for an independent investigator/prosecutor to look into this severe national security breach, was deeply disturbed by reports in today's news that President Bush was "furious" about Rove talking to the press about the leak, even after saying that any White House officials caught would be fired.

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Guest LAW

October 10, 2005 Press Briefing by Scott McClellan


Q Scott, did the President talk to Karl Rove two years ago about the leak?


MR. McCLELLAN: Steve, I appreciate the question. That's a question relating to an ongoing investigation, and I'm just not going to have further comment while that investigation is underway.


Q Because The New York Daily News says the President rebuked Rove two years ago.


MR. McCLELLAN: There are a lot of news reports out there and I've seen a lot of conflicting news reports, and we're just not going to comment any further on an ongoing investigation.


Q It behooves you to.


MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there's a special prosecutor doing his work, Helen, and we want him to come to a successful conclusion. And that's what we're doing, is cooperating --


Q This is a question that directly affects the President, and --


MR. McCLELLAN: -- cooperating with the ongoing investigation.


Q -- you should say it's true, or not true.


MR. McCLELLAN: As you have known for sometime now, we've been saying that while this is an ongoing investigation what we're going to do from the White House is cooperate fully with that investigation and let the special prosecutor do his work. We're not going to speculate or prejudge the outcome.


Q We're not asking you to speculate. We're asking you, is this report true or not.


MR. McCLELLAN: And I've already answered that.


Go ahead, Kelly.


Q Scott, a couple of things. You indicated that you hope that this investigation would come to a successful conclusion and that the American people would be told about the facts. If the special prosecutor decides not to issue a report, would the White House hope that in some way, shape, or form, the facts would be made public?


MR. McCLELLAN: Well, it's up to the special prosecutor to determine how he's going to proceed. What -- again, what we are doing from here is cooperating fully with that investigation at the direction of the President. And in terms of how he is going to proceed, I'm not going to try to speculate about that, or prejudge it. We all would like to know what the facts are. We don't know what all the facts are. And I think all of us would like to know what they are and get to the bottom of this investigation.


Q Can you tell us if any White House staff members, or people who work for the Vice President, or anyone who works for this administration has received a target or a subject letter from the prosecutor?


MR. McCLELLAN: Again, a couple of things. That's questions relating to an ongoing investigation. Those are questions you need to direct to the investigator. We're just not going to comment further.


Go ahead, Connie.


Q Scott, two questions. This is a serious one. Since you raised Bono, is there --


MR. McCLELLAN: Those were serious, too.


Q But this is serious about Bono. Is there a possibility he might be given a position in the administration?

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Guest Jason Leopold

Late Monday, several sources familiar with Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s probe said John Hannah, a key aide to Vice President Dick Cheney and one of the architects of the Iraq war, was cooperating with Fitzgerald after being told that he was identified by witnesses as a co-conspirator in the leak. Sources said Hannah was not given immunity, but was likely offered a “deal” in exchange for information that could result in indictments of key White House officials.

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Guest bling bling

Now this is getting funny....


There are rumors flying around that Dick Cheney might step aside as Vice President and be replaced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.


It is amazing how the city starts buzzing when we still don't know what Fitzgerald is planning.

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Guest Spoof

Robert Novak and James Goocart the male prostitute/white house reporter are feeling left out these days, neither one has been mentioned for days; even though Novak’s laying low until the smoke clears

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Guest MrBlueSky



(I don't know about the rest of you all, but I've got everything crossed now... fingers, toes, eyes.... whatever it takes!!!!)


Perhaps we are seeing the hell that began Dec 2000 starting to completely rectify itself????


I tell you all what.... I've been waiting a LONG 5 years for this to come!!!!


Bye Bye Bastard... erm.... I mean, Mr. (ex) President.

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I think President Bush should have fired Karl Rove Long time ago for telling about Valerie P lame about being a CIA agent and destroy Joseph Wilson for investigating Iraq for having nuclear weapons of mass destruction. I also think Mr. Bush knew about all of the stuff that was going on at the time of all the events that occurred. I think the American People have the right to know what’s going on in the world.

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Guest Nelson G

Joe, the issue is more complicated than that. Wait and see. People are innocent until proven guilty in our country. I have seen you past messages and you are really becoming a better writer. Do you do this by yourself? Nice to meet you.


For all those liberal whackjobs out there you might want to read what the New York times wrote




Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has likely decided not to indict top White House aides Karl Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby based on allegations they "outed" CIA employee Valerie Plame, lawyers close to Fitzgerald's Leakgate investigation have told the New York Times.


Instead, the paper said, conflicting accounts given by Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby have been the focus of Mr. Fitzgerald's probe "almost from the start" - raising questions about whether the respected prosecutor continued his investigation after determining that no underlying crime had been committed.



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Guest Beatrice in VA

Now that conservative Rep. Tom DeLay has been indicted for not committing a crime, will conservative Karl Rove be next?

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Guest LAW

I think digby has the best definition of Judith Miller



Judy’s great talent as a reporter is in gaining access. Full stop. She doesn’t always know what she has when she’s got it, and she isn’t always good at analyzing what she’s heard when she hears it. Indeed, that may be one reason so many very high level sources—kings, princes, dictators, presidents, politicians—have enjoyed confiding, through her, so many supposed scoops and secrets published in The New York Times.



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Guest The Cuban Bullet

Here is article about Patrrick Fitzgerald's character.


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."


more here



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Guest True Brit

I think the August 12, 2005 Memorandum of Deputy Attorney General is quite interesting.




TO: David Margolis

Associate Deputy Attorney General


FROM: James B. Comey

Deputy Attorney General


SUBJECT: Delegation of Authority


In the attached correspondence to Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, dated December 30, 2003, and Feburary 6, 2004, I delegated to Mr. Fitzgerald all of the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department’s investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a Central Intelligence Agency employee’s identity. By virtue of the authority vested in me as Deputy Attorney General under the law, including 28 C.F.R. § 0.15(a), I delegate to you all of my authority as Acting Attorney General with respect to that investigation and Mr. Fitzgerald’s service as Special Counsel, as delineated in that correspondence. This delegation to you in no way retracts or modifies the scope of the prior delegations of authority to Mr. Fitzgerald.


August 12, 2005


James B. Comey


cc: Robert D. McCallum, Jr.

Patrick J. Fitzgerald


David Margolis was chosen to supervize Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

Margolis built a reputation in prosecuting organized crime cases. After serving forty years Margolis eventually rising to Chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, from which position he supervised the seventeen Organized Crime Strike Forces which put a huge dent in organized crime.

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Guest Freetospeak

Memo from New York Times executive editor Bill Keller


It is rather lengthy, but it is a very good read.


Pay attention to anything in bold type.


As you can imagine, I’ve done a lot of thinking -- and a lot of listening -- on the subject of what I should have done differently in handling our reporter’s entanglement in the White House leak investigation. Jill and John and I have talked a great deal among ourselves and with many of you, and while this is a discussion that will continue, we thought it would be worth taking a first cut at the lessons we have learned.


Aside from a number of occasions when I wish I had chosen my words more carefully, we’ve come up with a few points at which we wish we had made different decisions. These are instances, when viewed with the clarity of hindsight, where the mistakes carry lessons beyond the peculiar circumstances of this case.


I wish we had dealt with the controversy over our coverage of WMD as soon as I became executive editor. At the time, we thought we had compelling reasons for kicking the issue down the road. The paper had just been through a major trauma, the Jayson Blair episode, and needed to regain its equilibrium. It felt somehow unsavory to begin a tenure by attacking our predecessors. I was trying to get my arms around a huge new job, appoint my team, get the paper fully back to normal, and I feared the WMD issue could become a crippling distraction.


So it was a year before we got around to really dealing with the controversy. At that point, we published a long editors’ note acknowledging the prewar journalistic lapses, and -- to my mind, at least as important - - we intensified aggressive reporting aimed at exposing the way bad or manipulated intelligence had fed the drive to war. (I’m thinking of our excellent investigation of those infamous aluminum tubes, the report on how the Iraqi National Congress recruited exiles to promote Saddam’s WMD threat, our close look at the military’s war-planning intelligence, and the dissection, one year later, of Colin Powell’s U.N. case for the war, among other examples. The fact is sometimes overlooked that a lot of the best reporting on how this intel fiasco came about appeared in the NYT.)


By waiting a year to own up to our mistakes, we allowed the anger inside and outside the paper to fester. Worse, we fear, we fostered an impression that The Times put a higher premium on protecting its reporters than on coming clean with its readers. If we had lanced the WMD boil earlier, we might have damped any suspicion that THIS time, the paper was putting the defense of a reporter above the duty to its readers.


I wish that when I learned Judy Miller had been subpoenaed as a witness in the leak investigation, I had sat her down for a thorough debriefing, and followed up with some reporting of my own. It is a natural and proper instinct to defend reporters when the government seeks to interfere in our work. And under other circumstances it might have been fine to entrust the details -- the substance of the confidential interviews, the notes -- to lawyers who would be handling the case. But in this case I missed what should have been significant alarm bells. Until Fitzgerald came after her, I didn’t know that Judy had been one of the reporters on the receiving end of the anti-Wilson whisper campaign. I should have wondered why I was learning this from the special counsel, a year after the fact. (In November of 2003 Phil Taubman tried to ascertain whether any of our correspondents had been offered similar leaks. As we reported last Sunday, Judy seems to have misled Phil Taubman about the extent of her involvement.) This alone should have been enough to make me probe deeper.


In the end, I’m pretty sure I would have concluded that we had to fight this case in court. For one thing, we were facing an insidious new menace in these blanket waivers, ostensibly voluntary, that Administration officials had been compelled to sign. But if I had known the details of Judy’s entanglement with Libby, I’d have been more careful in how the paper articulated its defense, and perhaps more willing than I had been to support efforts aimed at exploring compromises.


Dick Stevenson has expressed the larger lesson here in an e-mail that strikes me as just right: “I think there is, or should be, a contract between the paper and its reporters. The contract holds that the paper will go to the mat to back them up institutionally -- but only to the degree that the reporter has lived up to his or her end of the bargain, specifically to have conducted him or herself in a way consistent with our legal, ethical and journalistic standards, to have been open and candid with the paper about sources, mistakes, conflicts and the like, and generally to deserve having the reputations of all of us put behind him or her. In that way, everybody knows going into a battle exactly what the situation is, what we’re fighting for, the degree to which the facts might counsel compromise or not, and the degree to which our collective credibility should be put on the line.”


I’ve heard similar sentiments from a number of reporters in the aftermath of this case.


There is another important issue surfaced by this case: how we deal with the inherent conflict of writing about ourselves. This paper (and, indeed, this business) has had way too much experience of that over the past few years. Almost everyone we’ve heard from on the staff appreciates that once we had agreed as an institution to defend Judy’s source, it would have been wrong to expose her source in the paper. Even if our reporters had learned that information through their own enterprise, our publication of it would have been seen by many readers as authoritative -- as outing Judy’s source in a backhanded way. Yet it is excruciating to withhold information of value to our readers, especially when rival publications are unconstrained. I don’t yet see a clear-cut answer to this dilemma, but we’ve received some thoughtful suggestions from the staff, and it’s one of the problems that we’ll be wrestling with in the coming weeks.


Best, Bill




This only get better.


In an article in Saturday's Times, Miller shot back, calling Keller's charges "seriously inaccurate."


"I certainly never meant to mislead Phil, nor did I mislead him," Miller was quoted as saying in an article by Katharine Q. Seelye.


Seelye wrote that Miller shared with her "a copy of a memorandum she had sent to Mr. Keller in response," but a complete copy has yet to surface.


If anyone can find memo, please post it.


I found your boards from a friend. I will definitely spread the word...

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You might be interested in reading Miller's Response to Byron Calame, the public editor for The New York Times.




I’m dismayed by your essay today. You accuse me of taking journalistic “shortcuts” without presenting evidence of what you mean and rely on unsubstantiated innuendo about my reporting.


While you posted Bill Keller’s sanitized, post-lawyered version of the ugly, inaccurate memo to the staff he circulated Friday, which accused me of “misleading” an editor and being “entangled” with I. Lewis Libby, you declined to post the answers I sent you to six questions that we touched on during our interview Thursday. Had you done so, readers could have made their own assessment of my conduct in what you headlined as “the Miller mess.”


You chose to believe Jill Abramson when she asserted that I had never asked her to pursue the tip I had gotten about Joe Wilson’s trip to Niger and his wife’s employment at the C.I.A. Now I ask you: Why would I – the supposedly pushiest, most competitive reporter on the planet -- not have pushed to pursue a tantalizing tip like this? Soon after my breakfast meeting with Libby in July, I did so. I remember asking the editor to let

me explore whether what my source had said was true, or whether it was a potential smear of a whistleblower. I don’t recall naming the source of the tip. But I specifically remember saying that because Joe Wilson’s op-ed column had appeared in our paper, we had a particular obligation to pursue this. I never identified the editor to the grand jury or publicly, since it involved internal New York Times decision-making. But since you did, yes, the editor was Jill Abramson.


Obviously, Jill and I have different memories of what happened during that turbulent period at the paper. I did not take that personally, though she never chose to discuss with me our different recollections about my urging her to pursue the story. Without explanation, however, you said you believed her and raised questions about my “trust and credibility.” That is your right. But I gave my recollection to the grand jury under oath.


My second journalistic sin in your eyes was agreeing to Libby’s request to be considered a “former Hill staffer” in his discussion about Wilson. As you acknowledged, I agreed to that attribution only to hear the information. As I also stressed, Scooter Libby has never been identified in any of my stories as anything other than a “senior Administration



The third “troubling” ethical issue you raised – my access to secret information during my embed in Iraq – had been fully clarified by the time you published. No one doubts that I had access to very sensitive information or that I did work out informal arrangements to limit discussion of sensitive intelligence sources and methods to the most senior Times editors. Though there was occasionally enormous tension over whether

and when I could publish sensitive information, the arrangement ultimately satisfied the senior officers in the brigade hunting for unconventional weapons, the Times editors at the time, and me. It also led to the publication of my exclusive story that debunked some of my own earlier exclusives on the Pentagon’s claim that it had found mobile germ production units in Iraq.


I fail to see why I am responsible for my editors’ alleged failure to do some “digging” into my confidential sources and the notebooks. From the start, the legal team that the Times provided me knew who my source was and had access to my notes. I never refused to answer questions or provide any information they requested. No one indicated they had doubts about the stand I took to go to jail.


Your essay clearly implies that the Times and I did something wrong in waging a battle that we did not choose. I strongly disagree. What did I do wrong? Your essay does not say. You may disapprove of my earlier reporting on Weapons of Mass Destruction. But what did the delayed publication of the editor’s note on that reporting have to do with the

decision I made over a year later, which the paper fully supported, to protect our confidential sources? I remain proud of my decision to go to jail rather than reveal the identity of a source to whom I had pledged confidentiality, even if he happened to work for the Bush White House.


The Times asked me to assume a low profile in this controversy. I told everyone that I had no intention of airing internal editorial policy disputes and disagreements at the paper, as a matter of principle and loyalty to those who stood by me during this ordeal. Others have chosen a different path, ironically becoming “confidential sources” themselves.


You never bothered to mention in your essay my decision to spend 85 days in jail to honor the pledge I made. I’m saddened that you, like so many others, have blurred the core issue of that stand and I am stunned that you refused to post my answers to issues we had discussed on your web site at the critical moment that Times readers were forming their opinions.


Judith Miller

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Guest TrueBrit

Did you listen to Sen. Kay Bailey on NBC's 'Meet the Press?' The Senator brushed aside an indictment for perjury -- rather than for the underlying crime of outing a covert operative -- as a "technicality." She also suggested Fitzgerald may merely be trying to show that "two years' of investigation was not a waste of time and dollars.

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Guest Reid Cherlin

The text of Congressman Nadler’s letter to Deputy Attorney General McCallum follows:


October 20, 2005


Acting Deputy Attorney General Robert D. McCallum, Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building

Room 4111

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530


Dear Deputy Attorney General McCallum:


I urge you to use the powers granted to you, under the regulations promulgated by the Department of Justice in June of 1999, to expand the framework of the investigation currently being conducted by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.


It is now clear that the key reason cited by the Bush Administration – the imminent acquisition by Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction – to persuade Congress and the American people of the necessity of invading Iraq was not true. There is new and mounting and evidence, stemming in part from the current investigation, that members of the Bush Administration may have deliberately, and, therefore, illegally, misled Congress. Since Special Counsel Fitzgerald is already investigating the CIA leak, it seems appropriate that he be empowered to expand his investigation to examine whether the leak itself was part of a broader conspiracy knowingly to mislead Congress into authorizing a war.



As a member of the Judiciary Committee who opposed the extension of the independent counsel law, I do not take this matter lightly. I believe these types of investigations should be reserved for only the most serious of alleged crimes, but I have to believe that lying to Congress in order to obtain its support for a war meets that test.


Some of the evidence that members of the Bush Administration may have deliberately, and, therefore, illegally, misled Congress is as follows:


1) We now know that during the summer of 2002, at a time when the White House maintains that no decision had been made about going to war, the Bush Administration created the “White House Iraq Group” whose sole purpose appears to have been to market and sell a decision to go to war to Congress. It appears that this group specifically sought to deceive Congress about the intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction. (New York Daily News, Oct. 19, 2005.)



2) We now know from the so-called “Downing Street Memo,” that it appeared to senior members of the British Government who had conferred with senior Administration officials, that “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” (Emphasis added.)



3) We now know that President Bush included in his State of the Union Address in January of 2003 an already discredited reference to Iraq seeking uranium from Niger.



4) We now know from Special Counsel Fitzgerald’s investigation itself that there was an orchestrated campaign to smear and discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who attempted to tell the truth about some of the faulty “evidence” used by the White House to make its case for war. Although Mr. Fitzgerald’s investigation has yet to determine whether a crime was committed by any Administration official(s) in leaking the identity of Wilson's wife as a covert CIA operative, it is abundantly clear that the White House Iraq Group was engaged in an effort to discredit revelations of the falsity of the Administration’s justifications for the war, and to intimidate and punish those who would reveal the truth. According to sources quoted by the New York Daily News, this group of White House officials was “so determined . . . to win its argument that it morphed into a virtual hit squad that took aim at critics who questioned its claims.” (New York Daily News, October 19, 2005.)



5) We now know that top Administration officials, including Vice President Cheney’s


Chief of Staff, I. Lewis Libby, misrepresented to the media the scope and nature of what the U.S. intelligence community knew and didn’t know about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs before the war. (Newsweek.com, Oct. 19, 2005.) Manufacturing of media complicity, if achieved through a deliberate plan to provide false information, would have played a key role in misleading Congress. And indeed, we need to know more about the relationship between Administration officials and certain media outlets in view of details emerging from this investigation regarding the special access to Administration officials and, perhaps, to potentially classified information afforded to Judith Miller of The New York Times, which led to clearly erroneous stories supporting the Administration’s false claims regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.


With this growing body of evidence that the White House may have deliberately misled Congress into authorizing war, a broader independent investigation is clearly necessary.


Special Counsel Fitzgerald has done a great service to the nation thus far by investigating the CIA leak, but real questions remain. Was the CIA leak incident an effort to enforce discipline as part of a much broader criminal conspiracy by members of the Bush Administration to deceive Congress about a matter of war and peace? Who was involved? Were any of their actions criminal?


These questions go to the core of the functioning of democratic self-government in the United States. Honest, if mistaken, reliance on faulty intelligence to convince Congress to authorize a war is bad enough. But, if, as mounting evidence is tending to show, Administration officials deliberately deceived Congress and the American people, this would constitute a criminal conspiracy against the entire country.


It is self-evident that the Administration cannot investigate itself in this matter. I therefore urge you to expand the Special Counsel’s investigation to include these matters crucial to our national security and national integrity.


I look forward to your response.



Jerrold Nadler

Member of Congress

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Guest LAW

Ok just a recap of the events to understand why this case is so important.


March 19


Invasion of Iraq begins.


May 2003

May 2

Mission Accomplished


Wilson talks off record about Niger, Plame identity leaked


May 6

Nicholas Kristof in "Missing in Action: Truth" for the New York Times mentions Joseph Wilson's trip to Niger to investigate claims Iraq sought purchase of 'yellowcake' uranium (no names mentioned) and that the fabled 16 words in George W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address (SOTU) came from forged documents.


May 20

Ari Fleischer announces his resignation as White House Press Secretary, to take effect in July.


WH scrambles to address criticism, Niger mission INR report created


June 2003


June 1-7


During the first week of June, Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus makes an inquiry about Joseph Wilson's trip, with the CIA public affairs office. That office contacts the Conterproliferation Division (CPD) at the CIA, (Valerie Plame's unit), but no report is produced. These events are later reported in Time magazines Sunday, Jul. 31, 2005 article, "When They Knew"


June 8

Then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice appears on Meet the Press and attempts to refute Kristof's claims in his early May article.


June 10

A classified State Department memorandum is drafted for Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman (from Carl Ford's office) containing information about CIA officer Valerie Plame. She is named in the memo in a paragraph marked "(SNF)" for secret, non-foreign (i.e., not to be shared with foreign agencies, even allies). Plame — who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson, in the memo — is mentioned in the second paragraph of the three-page document, which was written by an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR).


June 12

Walter Pincus of the Washington Post writes "CIA Did Not Share Doubt on Iraq Data", about Joseph Wilson's trip without naming the retired Ambassador. Pincus also reports that according to an administration official neither Dick Cheney or his staff learned of its role in spurring the mission until it was disclosed by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof on May 6.


After the June 12 article by Pincus, "there was general discussion with the National Security Council and the White House and State Department and others" regarding Wilson and his trip, says a former intelligence officer. Source: Time Magazine, "When They Knew"


June 13

Kristof responds and sticks by his claim. Joseph Wilson is again not named in the article.


June 25th


Judith Miller has a conversation with Scooter Libby pertinent to the Plame case; this conversation and the existence of notes pertaining to it are reported through a leak to the press on October 8th, 2005. New York Times article (may be subsciption only.)


July 2003


early July


Joseph Wilson begins writing NYT op ed that becomes "What I didn't find in Africa." (per Vanity Fair article by Vicky Ward)


July 5

A male senior administration official tells Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus that Joseph Wilson's mission to Africa originated within the CIA's clandestine service after Vice President Dick Cheney aides raised questions during a briefing, saying to Pincus "It was not orchestrated by the vice president," He adds that it was reported in a routine way, but does not mention Wilson's name and does he say anything about the forged Niger documents. This events significance is due to it occurring the day before Wilson's Op-Ed piece appears in the Times which ostensibly is the reason the administration leaks his wife's identity.


July 6

The New York Times publishes an Op-Ed article by Joseph Wilson titled "What I Didn't Find in Africa", criticizing Bush's remarks on Iraq yellowcake purchase in Niger as relying on forged documents. He states the CIA provided this intelligence to the White House prior to the SOTU in Jan '03.

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Will this take down the Presidency? Newt Gingrich does not think so. Read his thoughts from a transcript excerpt from The World Today at 12:10pm on ABC Local Radio.


NEWT GINGRICH: No-one who's ever been through this kind of a pressure cooker would say to you that it doesn't drain energy, it doesn't drain time and effort. You know, it is… and I think, let me say that I think that both Karl Rove and Scooter Libby have already indicated that should anything happen they're going to do exactly what's right for the country. They've taken the right position, in my judgement. But of course…


REPORTER: And that is?


NEWT GINGRICH: … they would, if anything happened, they would step down, that they would not, in any way weaken the Government by having this go on. But I think any time you have something on this scale it has to be a drain of energy and a drain of resources.


I think… my prediction is that by the State of the Union the President will be back in the form that he governed for five years, and my hope is that by the State of the Union. you'll see a very reform and change-oriented Republican Party offering some very, very bold proposals.

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Guest Freetospeak

Looks like Fitzgerald is wrapping everything up for the kill. ABC NEWS reported


Fitzgerald has been in Washington since Monday and over the last two days dispatched FBI agents to conduct some 11th-hour interviews, according to lawyers close to the investigation, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.


One set of interviews occurred in the neighborhood of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson, whose wife Valerie Plame was outed as an undercover CIA officer. Agents asked neighbors whether they had any inkling that Plame works for the CIA.


"They wanted to know how well we knew her, which is very well," said neighbor David Tillotson. "Did we know anything about her position before the story broke? Absolutely not."


Fitzgerald may want to establish Plame had carefully protected her CIA identity as part of the process of determining whether the disclosure of her name amounted to a crime.


After meeting with the grand jury yesterday, Mr. Fitzgerald met with U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan in his chambers for 45 minutes. The meeting could be significant because prosecutors need to hand up indictments to a judge before they are sealed or publicly released. Judge Hogan has been the principal judicial overseer of the case.


Rueters reported the possibility of sealed indictments to put pressure on targets to change their testimony.


Any charges brought by the grand jury could be sealed, preventing an immediate public announcement by the court or the prosecutor.


Discussing the possibility of sealed indictments, one attorney said Fitzgerald could be acting to put pressure on people involved in the two-year probe.


"The usual reason is to keep something secret from a witness or a defendant," the attorney said. "It could mean he still wants to get people to come back in" and provide testimony or plead guilty.

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Guest FreetoSpeak

Here is what former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson said during a Seattle reception Wednesday evening.


This a sad day for our country.


The fact that this may become a crisis of governance should please no one.


It is called holding your government to account for what it says and does in the name of the American people. We need to put this government on notice that it truly is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.


When a government takes the country to war on lies and misinformation, that government ceases to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And that government becomes a government that preys on the people.

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Guest The Cuban Bullet

Here is an article I found about how the President is stalling and Republican like myself are getting pissed about.


"We've got a lot of work to do, and so we don't have a lot of time to sit back and think about" possible indictments, Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said Wednesday, reflecting the strategy. "We're focusing on what the American people care most about, and that is winning the war on terrorism, succeeding in Iraq, addressing high energy prices … and helping the people in the Gulf Coast region recover and rebuild."


Republicans outside the White House are pleading with Bush to act quickly and decisively if aides are indicted. "What is of most concern is that the president handle it properly — that he ask [officials who are indicted] to step down; that he not vacillate, not equivocate; that he be decisive," said Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), a leading Republican moderate.


"Changing the subject will not work," said David Gergen, a former aide to Presidents Reagan and Clinton. "Giving more speeches about Iraq or the state of the economy doesn't have the weight that action does…. It's dangerous for the country to have a disabled president for three years, and we're getting close to seeing that happen. I worry that they [bush and his aides] are in denial."


And GOP pollster David Winston warned that discontent among Republicans in Congress was rising. "This is not the environment that Republicans want to run in next year," Winston said.


more here



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Grossman and Ford, the final pieces to the puzzle


As a former State Department official involved in the process recalled it, a memo was drafted June 10, 2003, for Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, who was acting secretary at the time since both Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage were out of the country. Grossman asked to be brought up to date on why the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) opposed President Bush's allegation that Hussein had been seeking uranium from Niger in his January State of the Union speech.


The description of Wilson's wife and her role in the Feb. 19, 2002, meeting at the CIA was considered "a footnote" in a background paragraph in the memo, according to an official who was aware of the process.


Attached to the INR memo were the notes taken by the senior INR analyst who attended the 2002 meeting at the CIA.


On July 6, 2003, shortly after Wilson went public on NBC's "Meet the Press" and in The Post and the New York Times discussing his trip to Niger, the INR director at the time, Carl W. Ford Jr., was asked to explain Wilson's statements for Powell, according to sources familiar with the events. He went back and reprinted the June 10 memo but changed the addressee from Grossman to Powell. It was then that senior administration officials began their campaign to discredit Wilson to counter his criticisms of them.


On July 7 the memo was delivered to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell as he headed to Africa for a trip with President Bush aboard Air Force One.


On July 7 Plame was unmasked in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak. It is still publicly unknown who was Novak's first source, whom Novak described as "not a partisan gunslinger".


At the CIA, the official designated to talk to me denied that Wilson's wife had inspired his selection but said she was delegated to request his help. He asked me not to use her name, saying she probably never again will be given a foreign assignment but that exposure of her name might cause "difficulties" if she travels abroad. He never suggested to me that Wilson's wife or anybody else would be endangered. If he had, I would not have used her name. I used it in the sixth paragraph of my column because it looked like the missing explanation of an otherwise incredible choice by the CIA for its mission. Robert D. Novak


Ford last year appeared before the federal grand jury investigating the leak and described the details surrounding the INR memo, the sources said. He now on vacation in Arkansas.


Grossman has refused to answer questions about the letter, and it is not clear whether he talked about it at the White House meeting he was said to have attended, according to the former State official.

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Guest Barry O'Connell

One man who also had access to the information on Valerie Plame Wilson stands out as a person of interest, Harold Rhode. Rhode had extensively examined the evidence for Iraqi WMDs as part of the OSP under Doug feith at Pentagon. Rhode is personally very close to Michael Ledeen who is a prime suspect in planting the fraudulent reports that Iraq had attempted to buy yellow cake uranium in Niger. Additionally Rhode is a close associate of Judith Miller who is suspected of supplying the Plame story. They have a long history of working together. Rhode worked for Feith who worked for Wolfowitz. Paul Wolfowitz is also the man who brought Lewis Scooter Libby into Government work. Libby is of course the one who is at the center of the Valerie Plame Wilson leaks. My bet is that Harold Rhode is the source of the Plame leak.

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Guest Freetospeak


Check out what I found out.




Harold Rhode is a long time pentagon employee who is almost certainly a Mossad Spy/Agent of Influence. Rhode is a protegee of Michael Ledeen. Through Ledeen's machinations Rhode and Larry Franklin represented the Office of Special Plans in a series of meetings with former SAVAK/Mossad double agent Manucher Ghorbanifar an Iranian who is widely considered close to and or working for MOSSAD. To make the meetings even more bizarre is that any Pentagon Official would do anything that involved Ledeen and Ghorbanifar since their last joint project was the Iran Contra scandal that divided our nation.


Who is Barry O'Connell. How does he know all of this? He should be working with Tom Clancy.

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