Thursday, October 27

Cheney, Libby Blocked Papers To Senate Intelligence Panel

From National Journal
Cheney, Libby Blocked Papers To Senate Intelligence Panel
By Murray Waas, special to National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005

Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, overruling advice from some White House political staffers and lawyers, decided to withhold crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 when the panel was investigating the use of pre-war intelligence that erroneously concluded Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, according to Bush administration and congressional sources.


Among the White House materials withheld from the committee were Libby-authored passages in drafts of a speech that then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell delivered to the United Nations in February 2003 to argue the Bush administration's case for war with Iraq, according to congressional and administration sources. The withheld documents also included intelligence data that Cheney's office -- and Libby in particular -- pushed to be included in Powell's speech, the sources said.

The new information that Cheney and Libby blocked information to the Senate Intelligence Committee further underscores the central role played by the vice president's office in trying to blunt criticism that the Bush administration exaggerated intelligence data to make the case to go to war.

The disclosures also come as Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wraps up the nearly two-year-old CIA leak investigation that has focused heavily on Libby's role in discussing covert intelligence operative Valerie Plame with reporters. Fitzgerald could announce as soon as tomorrow whether a federal grand jury is handing up indictments in the case.

Central to Fitzgerald's investigation is whether administration officials disclosed Plame's identity and CIA status in an effort to discredit her husband, former ambassador and vocal Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson, who wrote newspaper op-ed columns and made other public charges beginning in 2003 that the administration misused intelligence on Iraq that he gathered on a CIA-sponsored trip to Africa.
The interesting this to me about this is that after this occured, the (tampered with) results of the Senate Intelligence Report were repeatedly used to call Joe Wilson a "Liar", as well as being used to deny the allegations made by the Downing Street Minutes. With Lawrence Wilkerson accusing Cheney and Rumsfeld of running a "Cabal" with undermined the legitimate efforts of the State Department mis-directed the Department of Defense, this could be a huge bombshell to drop on the eve of the Fitzgerald Indictments against Rove, Libby and possibly even Cheney.

Vyan

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