Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Boy Fitzgerald !

Papers: Cheney Aide Says Bush OK'd Leak

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer 44 minutes ago

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney authorized Cheney's top aide to launch a counterattack of leaks against administration critics on Iraq by feeding intelligence information to reporters, according to court papers citing the aide's testimony in the CIA leak case. In a court filing, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald stopped short of accusing Cheney of authorizing his chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, to leak the CIA identity of Valerie Plame.

But the prosecutor, detailing the evidence he has gathered, raised the possibility that the vice president was trying to use Plame's CIA employment to discredit her husband, administration critic Joseph Wilson. Cheney, according to an indictment against Libby, knew that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA as early as June 12, 2003, more than a month before that fact turned up in a column by Robert Novak.

Fitzgerald quoted Libby as saying he was authorized to tell New York Times reporter Judith Miller that Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure" uranium. Fitzgerald said Libby told him it "was the only time he recalled in his government experience when he disclosed a document to a reporter that was effectively declassified by virtue of the president's authorization that it be disclosed."

The process was so secretive that other Cabinet-level officials did not know about it, according to the court papers, which point to Bush and Cheney as setting in motion a leak campaign to the press that ended in Plame's blown cover.

In 2003, when the public furor erupted over the disclosure of a CIA operative's status, Bush said he wanted to get to the bottom of the affair. "I want to know the truth," he said at the time.

Libby's testimony puts the president and the vice president in the awkward position of authorizing leaks. Both men have long said they abhor such practices, so much so that the administration has put in motion criminal investigations at their behest to hunt down leakers.

The most recent instance is the administration's probe into who disclosed to the Times the existence of the warrantless domestic surveillance program.

On Thursday, Democrats criticized the roles of Bush and Cheney. "President Bush must fully disclose his participation in the selective leaking of classified information," said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. "The American people must know the truth."
More here.

Some may remember that I had predicted that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald was playing the classic game of squeezing the little frys in order to get at the big fishes. Well, here it is! Libby's singing like the proverbial canary now, in order to save his own hide. And he's giving up a couple of big, smelly fishies in the process.


Blogger Colleen said...

i'm going to make some popcorn

7:56 AM  
Blogger willowtree said...

I think he wanted you to have an very, very good weekend Frank.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Willowtree - He's just very deliberate, top-notch prosecutor, working slowly and methodically toward the uncovering of all of this chicanery. And, I would like to think that maybe just a bit of this was because he wanted to make my weekend!

Colleen - Ok, I'll bring the soft drinks, and them we'll all watch this docu-drama unfold!

9:06 PM  

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