April 18, 2006
Now that we've spent millions of tax dollars on the CIA leak investigation, here’s a new bit of information that adds a whole new twist to the saga.
According to a recent article by ace investigative reporter, Jason Leopold, Dick Cheney met with Bush in early June 2003, and told him that CIA agent Valerie Plame was the wife of Iraq war critic Joe Wilson and that she was responsible for sending Joe on a fact-finding mission to check out reports about Iraq's attempt to purchase uranium from Africa.
And the chat wasn't limited to Bush and Cheney. “Other White House officials who also attended the meeting with Cheney and President Bush,” Jason reports, “included former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, her former deputy Stephen Hadley, and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove.”
Furthermore, Jason says, during the second half of June 2003, Rove, Card, and other officials from Cheney's office kept Bush apprised on the progress of the campaign to discredit Wilson, in emails and internal White House memos, no less, some of which were only recently turned over to the special prosecutor's office, Jason says.
No wonder Libby is so ticked off. Cheney and Bush got the ball rolling and the whole gang was involved in the planning and execution of the plot, yet Scooters the one on the outside looking in and facing a possible 30-year prison term.
So, the big question is, how many members of the Wilson-Plame-assassination-squad have been interviewed by the FBI, how many have testified under oath before the grand jury, and most importantly for Bush and Cheney, how many have been able to stick to the same story.
Jason says that 36 administration officials have been interviewed which means 36 people would have to stay on message and repeat the same talking points. This would take a miracle.
Also, according to Jason’s sources, during Bush's interview with the special prosecutor, he did not fess up to the fact that he was aware of the campaign to discredit Wilson and said he did not know who had leaked Valerie’s name to the media.
On June 24, 2004, Bush was interviewed for about 70 minutes. The only other member of the Bush team in the room during the meeting was Jim Sharp, the private lawyer that Bush hired, according to White House press secretary, Scott McClellan.
"The leaking of classified information is a very serious matter," McClellan told reporters at the time. "No one wants to get to the bottom of this matter more than the president of the United States," he said.
I like that line, "no one wants to get to the bottom of this matter" more than Bush.
Yea sure. In a book released around the same time as Bush's interview, Joe Wilson, pointed the finger at Scooter Libby as the leaker, and the White House not only adamantly denied the claim, it accused Wilson of trying to bolster John Kerry's campaign.
If its any consolation to Fitzgerald, the President's memory was no better on September 30, 2003, a year before his interview, when talking to reporters at the University of Chicago. Bush never once mentioned the little group-think sessions in the White House to them either.
Instead, he just kept repeating the same talking points until he sounded like a drunk three sheets to the wind. But then who knows, maybe he was.
In reading Bush's statements, its important to understand that the sole issue raised by reporters was the question of who leaked Valerie's identify to the media, nothing about classified documents or anything else. So every comment refers to that issue only.
When a reporter asked, “Do you think that the Justice Department can conduct an impartial investigation, considering the political ramifications of the CIA leak, and why wouldn't a special counsel be better?”
Bush completely skirted the question, and swung into his well-rehearsed talking points.
"Let me just say something about leaks in Washington," he said. "There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington," he told reporters.
"There's leaks at the executive branch," he said, "there's leaks in the legislative branch."
"There's just too many leaks," Bush stated. "And if there is a leak out of my administration," he said, "I want to know who it is."
But apparently here lies the catch-all legal loop-hole phrase. "And if the person has violated law,” Bush said, “the person will be taken care of.”
"I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative," he assured reporters.
In light of Jason‘s findings above, this particular comment has me concerned that maybe Dick Cheney, Andy Card, Condi Rice, Stephen Hadley, and Karl Rove are all deaf.
"I want to know the truth," the President proclaimed.
I found this statement extremely comical, coming from a pathological liar who cheated his way into the White House to begin with and then rigged the next election to get a second term.
That said, Bush put on an Oscar-winning performance for the reporters in Chicago when he was practically begging for anyone with information about the CIA leak to come forward.
"If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration," he said, "it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business."
When a reporter started to ask whether he had talked to Karl Rove and whether he had confidence in Karl....
The President cut him off and went right back to the talking points. "Listen," he stuttered, "I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information."
"If somebody did leak classified information," he continued, "I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."
"And this investigation is a good thing," he lied through his teeth and said.
"And again I repeat," he said, like a broken record, "you know, Washington is a town where there's all kinds of allegations."
"You've heard much of the allegations," the President said. "And if people have got solid information," Bush pleaded again, "please come forward with it."
"And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources," he stuttered on, "or people outside the information -- outside the administration."
The guy almost sounds sincere when he says he wants to wrap the situation up quickly.
"And we can clarify this thing very quickly," Bush said, "if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out."
"And I would hope they would," he added. "And then we'll get to the bottom of this and move on."
He obviously was up all night rehearsing because he went right back to the mantra a third time about how, "leaks of classified information are a bad thing."
How there's "too much leaking in Washington," and on and on like a drunken slob.
"I've spoken out consistently against them," he said, "and I want to know who the leakers are."
I think Jason Leopold should go talk to Bush. The poor guy's been begging for somebody to come forward with this information for 3 years.