Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Libby Learned of Plame From Cheney

In a must read scoop by the NYT, it appears that Scooter Libby learned of Valerie Plame from his boss, Dick Cheney, and not from reporters as he has testified to under oath. Notes taken by Libby shows that he learned of Plame's identity from Cheney who learned it from George Tenet. This is the second time that Libby's testimony has differed from the verifiable evidence.

Cheney Told Aide of C.I.A. Officer, Lawyers Report

Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby's testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.

It will be difficult for Libby to claim an "oops, I just plain ol' forgot" on this one since the notes were his and in his possession well after the conversation happened.

While this does put Cheney square in the middle of the investigation, it does not prove or disprove any wrong doing by Cheney himself. There was nothing illegal in the conversation that Libby and Cheney had regarding Plame, but it does put the Bush administration on the defensive even more with the revelation that they were once again, less than forth coming with this evidence. It could also add obstruction charges against Cheney if he did not come clean in his own grand jury testimony.

Interestingly, when Bush publicly stated that he would fire anyone involved in the leak, it was back when Ashcroft was running the investigation. At that point, no one in the administration had fully contemplated that this little matter wouldn't quietly go away. Once Fitzgerald took the reins and started actually investigating is when Bush changed his rhetoric to say that a White House official would only be fired if they were found guilty of a crime and it was during a month that ends in the letter X.

On that same note, it is reported that the White House has prepared a war room to orchestrate a PR blitz to undermine the credibility of Fitzgerald and his report.

Bushies take aim at probe

Behind the scenes, however, Team Bush was finalizing its campaign to discredit and undermine special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's conclusions, sources told the Daily News.

An emerging theme in the Bush war room is arguing that his top political aide, Karl Rove, simply got tripped up on his recollections of whom he talked to and what he told them when questioned about the outing of CIA spy Valerie Plame. He shouldn't be indicted simply because of contradictory grand jury testimony, a source said.

Bush allies have already begun casting perjury and obstruction charges as irrelevant in a probe created to find out who leaked classified information.

This, of course is going to be difficult for the president to argue when he publicly supported impeaching the president for perjury and obstruction of justice.

Asked in 1999 about Clinton's impeachment by the House, Bush responded, "I would have voted for it. I thought the man lied."

If indictments are handed down this week, it will be interesting to see how Republicans react. Will Republicans be able to cope with impeaching a president for lying about sex, and defending White House officials who lied about national security issues without loosing even more credibility with the American people? All indications point to their usual slash and burn method that got them into this mess in the first place.


Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Why does it matter where Libby learned of Plame?

It's not as if VP advisors den't discuss matters of national security!

Dingo said...

It matters do to the administrations claim that they had actually learned it fom reporters. They have been saying that since 2003. They could have easily come clean a long time ago, but they chose to cover it up.

Like I said, there was nothing illegal in the conversation Cheney and Libby had. The illegality comes in if they lied to the jury.

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

That's true- dumb as dirt, isn't it?