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April 06, 2006 08:00 AM UTC

Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney...Meet Mr. Bus

  • by: Colorado Pols

From the Associated Press:

Vice President Dick Cheney?s former top aide told prosecutors President Bush authorized the leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq, according to court papers filed by prosecutors in the CIA leak case.

The filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald also describes Cheney?s involvement in I. Lewis Libby?s communications with the press.

There was no indication in the filing that either Bush or Cheney authorized Libby to disclose Valerie Plame?s CIA identity. But it points to Cheney as one of the originators of the idea that Plame could be used to discredit her husband, Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson.

Before his indictment, I. Lewis Libby testified to the grand jury investigating the CIA leak that Cheney told him to pass on information and that it was Bush who authorized the disclosure, the court papers say. According to the documents, the authorization led to the July 8, 2003, conversation between Libby and New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

There was no indication in the filing that either Bush or Cheney authorized Libby to disclose Valerie Plame?s CIA identity. But the disclosure in documents filed Wednesday means that the president and the vice president put Libby in play as a secret provider of information to reporters about prewar intelligence on Iraq.


20 thoughts on “Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney…Meet Mr. Bus

  1. Yeah, we have the upmost respect for those who serve the United States, unless they oppose us in a primary (McCain), are Democrats (Cleland, Kerry), or are married to someone who dares to criticize us (Plame).  Patriots, my ass.

  2. Bush Liar, Liar, Liar …

    Updated: 8:09 p.m. ET April 6, 2006

    Chris Matthews
    Host of ‘Hardball’

    • Profile
    Following the CIA leak disclosure, Chris Matthews sat down with Senator John Kerry in his Capitol office to discuss the big developments in the CIA leak case and vision for Iraq policy.

    CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, “HARDBALL”:  Let me ask you about this big development today.  Scooter Libby, the former chief of staff to the vice-president, he testified to federal authorities that he was authorized by his boss, the vice-president, in July of 2003, and told by his boss, the vice-president, that the president authorized him specifically to leak national intelligence information that made the case for the war in Iraq.  What do you make of that?

    SEN. JOHN KERRY, DEMOCRAT, MASSACHUSETTS:  Well, if it’s true, it proves that the buck doesn’t stop anywhere in this administration.  It also proves that the president has a funny sense of having an investigation, when he says we’re going to get to the bottom of it and I’ll fire the person who authorized it, if he indeed authorized it.  Kind of tricky.

    MATTHEWS:  So the president, September 30th of that year, two months after this happened, according to Scooter Libby, the president said that no one has leaked any information about national security in this administration and if they did I’ll catch him.

    KERRY:  That’s correct.  And he said if he’d catch him, evidently he’s been looking for himself for the last two years.  This is serious.  If the president of the United States is authorizing the leaks of classified material in order to destroy people who oppose his point of view or go after them, then something is really unbelievably wrong with both their standards as well as the lack of accountability in this administration.

    And their word is now even less meaningless than it was a few hours ago, if that’s true.

    MATTHEWS:  What Scooter Libby said in the filing, and NBC has it, that he was told by the vice-president under the authority of the president to particularly leak materials within the National Intelligence Estimates of the fall of 2002, that said there had been aluminum tubes discovered, which argued that there was in fact a development going on of nuclear weapons in Iraq, and that he was told to release that information, without releasing the covering documents which included the information which had the intelligence community members questioning that case.

    KERRY:  That’s correct.

    MATTHEWS:  Was the president at that time being straight with the American people about WMD in Iraq?

    KERRY:  No.

    MATTHEWS:  The American people have thought for a while now that the president was wrong, that there was no WMD there; it was a mistake he made.  Does it now look like it wasn’t a mistake he made, it was a failure to tell the whole truth as he got it?

    KERRY:  If the president indeed authorized the leak of information that was selective, that only made the case, and he specifically left out that information that was to the contrary, then the president engaged in the very activity that they have denied all along, which is misleading Americans about the case for the war.

    MATTHEWS:  How serious is that?

    KERRY:  It’s about as serious as it gets.

    MATTHEWS:  Do you think if the American voter had this information at hand in 2004, they would have made a different decision?  I’m dead serious here, Senator, because the issue of this campaign was whether the president was leading us in the right direction with regard to protecting our security.  If it turns out that he wasn’t, in the words you used or others will use, that he was selective in cherry-picking information which made his case, even though he had full access to all the information and selectively chose what to leak, was he talking straight to the American people about the cause for war?

    KERRY:  No, he wasn’t talking straight.  As we know, he wasn’t talking straight in the State of the Union message, in which he had some, I think, 14 or 16 words that talked about nuclear materials that they knew did not exist.

    So this is now another instance and it is compounded by the examples of the vice president and the president and others, linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11, when there was no evidence at all that he had anything to do with 9/11.  We even had that discussion in the presidential debate.

    The bottom line is I think that Americans now see that Iraq is broken, our policy is broken, that the president has not changed course.  And I think on that and a host other issues, from immigration to health care to their loss of jobs overseas, I think Americans are deeply concerned about the direction of the country.

    MATTHEWS:  Scooter Libby says that he was operating under the authority of the president when he leaked information in July of 2003, which was incomplete information and he knew it was incomplete and the president knew it was incomplete.  Does that constitute false testimony to the American people?

    KERRY:  It certainly constitutes misleading the American people.  When you say testimony, you get into all kinds of legalities.  The bottom line is, I’ve said it any number of times in the course of the presidential campaign and since, that they misled America about how we went to war and this is one more example, concrete example, very clear, of exactly how they misled America.

    MATTHEWS:  Let’s talk about the timing of this and we all remember this.  It was July 6th that Joseph Wilson, the former ambassador who had been sent down there by the CIA to the government of Niger to check out the story which appeared mysteriously in an Italian newspaper, that there had been a deal by Saddam Hussein to purchase nuclear materials, uranium yellow cake, from the government of Niger.

    Within two days, the vice president of the United States said the president of the United States wanted Scooter Libby to leak to Judy Miller, someone he had been working with on stories, had written stories that were supportive of the war, in effect, if not in intent, to tell her, this is a specific determination by the president.

    You tell Scooter to go tell Judy that there was a real case for these aluminum tubes being material for use in developing a nuclear weapon.  You tell her this.  This is the conversation we’re getting recounted under oath from Scooter Libby.  Pretty high drama here, isn’t it?

    I mean, it tells you that the president himself was in charge of this operation. He wasn’t some, faded backroom guy getting orders from the vice president.  He was in fact, calling the shots particularly, and making the case for the war after the fact.

    KERRY:  It says all of that and more.  It also says that when the president stood up in front of the American people and said, “This is against the law, and we’re going to investigate and find out who do it and when I find out who did it, I’ll fire them,” he knew he was the one who did it.  He was not telling the truth to the American people that day.

    MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about this new poll.  We just saw a “Time” magazine poll this week that has been consistent since the election you lost to the president.  Every time that “Time” magazine has polled since the 2004 election, the president’s disapproval number has, in every case, gone downward in the subsequent polling.  What does that tell you reading the future, since trends tend to continue, about this fall and the results of these election this fall?

    KERRY:  Well, Chris, I’m very wary of polls, I always have been.  And I’m going to be consistent.  You know, if I was up, I’ll tell you I’m wary.  If I was down, I’ll tell you I’m wary.  Because they’re snapshots and they capture certain things.

    It indicates that today there is a great deal of dissatisfaction, but we have a lot of time to go between now and November.  I think the important thing is that we tell the truth to the American people.  That’s what I’m trying to do on Iraq.

    I think the policy in Iraq is broken, I think the president is stubbornly proceeding down a course where our soldiers are continuing to be maimed and killed, and it’s wrong, and I think there is a better course.

    I think Americans understand, that whether it’s their health care, their jobs, their schools, their communities, their commute, the traffic, the cost of energy or energy independence, I believe Americans understand we can be doing better than we’re doing today.

    MATTHEWS: Senator, you have a plan now, pretty hard, about how we can deal with getting out of Iraq.

    KERRY:  Right.  Well, it’s time to get tough. The policy is broken and, when you go down to the Vietnam War memorial, and you take a look at it, you see that almost half the names that are on that wall were added after our leaders knew that the policy wasn’t working.

    That’s immoral, and I believe it’s immoral today for us to pursue a policy where our kids are dying, losing their limbs, going to Bethesda, Walter Reed, a lifetime of being impaired, because Iraqi politicians won’t compromise, and haven’t since the election was held.

    Our administration, in my judgment, is just diddling and fiddling around.  A quick visit by the secretary of state is not sustained and deep diplomacy.  You need to have a conference, bringing together all of the parties in the region, and we must leverage a change here, and we’ve got to put it to them hard.

    Either you get a government by May 15th or we’re withdrawing our troops.  When you get a government, we’re withdrawing our troops at the end of the year, because that’s the only way for Iraq to stand up for it’s self.  Our soldiers have done their job.

    MATTHEWS:  Do you believe that the Iraqis will respond to that kind of ultimatum?

    KERRY:  They have to if the president of the United States gives it to them.  They’re not going to respond to me giving it to them.  But if the president told them we’re fed up with this, we gave you an election, you’ve had your referendums, we’ve spent our treasure, we put our lives on the line and you’re not even deciding.

    Well, your future, your livelihood, your safety, your security is on the line and we’re serious.  You put a government together or we’re not going to stay here and protect you.  We’ll protect our interests, we’ll put our troops over the horizon, we will fight al Qaeda, we will protect our interests in the region, but we’re not going to sit here in the middle of a civil war.

    This has changed from what it was a year ago. A year ago, they said they were fighting foreign jihadists.  This is now the third war: first against Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction, second against foreign jihadists, now we’re in a civil war.

    Our troops can’t resolve this civil war and if they’re not going to have a government that comes together to try to do it, we have to get our troops out of the way.  It’s that simple.

    MATTHEWS:  If they heal, and if they put together a unity government, what then?

    KERRY:  Then you agree with them as to the rate of transition by which our troops will still withdraw, but at a rate where we’re training them to stand up on their own, but they understand there’s a date.  They only understand deadlines.  They have to have a deadline for the transfer for the provisional government, they have to have a deadline for the election and the referendum.  I say it is time for a deadline because the entire nature of this war has changed and our policy has been so ineffective, it demands it.

    MATTHEWS:  The president’s policy has been in another direction.  The president has said other presidents beyond me, my successors will have to deal with the number of troops we still have in that country.  Is he sending them the opposite signal, we’re going to be here, we’re going to have permanent bases here, you don’t have to worry?

    KERRY:  I believe that’s the wrong signal and yes they have never been willing to say we will not have permanent bases.  I think it is critical for the United States to announce that.  We can protect our interests in the region.  We will be stronger against Iran if we’re out of Iraq.  We will be stronger with respect to what Putin is doing in Russia today if we regain our moral authority in the region.

    We must change this policy and the time is now and it’s immoral to allow our kids to be killed while these guys are frittering around, playing their political games.  We wouldn’t tolerate it here, we wouldn’t tolerate it anywhere else.  It shouldn’t be done.

    MATTHEWS:  Does Hillary Clinton have the prohibitive lock on the Democratic nomination for 2008?

    KERRY:  That’s all for the future.  When that starts, the people in the party will make that decision.  You know, I’m an expert about front runners and I never accept whatever conventional wisdom is and I don’t accept it today.

    She’s very strong, she’s certainly the front runner, I like her, she’s a great person.  But I’m not even sure she’s running and I’m not sure she’s sure she’s running.  Let’s wait and see where we all wind up after 2006, which is really what we ought to be focused on now.  We need to win some seats in the House and Senate, I think that’s everybody’s primary focus and I intend to keep mine there.

    MATTHEWS:  Thank you.

  3. Wow, now that was revealing.  Especially where Kerry went into clam-up mode when asked about Mrs. Clinton. 

    And the bit about “I’m not even sure she’s running”.  LOL  Yeah, she’s got a small army for a campaign staff, and over $20 million socked away.  Yeah, she’s probably not running.  LOL

  4. BMR – Shill and apologist extraordinaire has proven to be the very worst hater of american values on this blog. He is a cancer on the blogotic! He or she has absolutely nothing to offer but negativity, scorn for others, blind loyalty to the Republican party (which, is in shambles and the wheels rapidly coming off the car), and should be ignored.

    BMR has no conscience, no soul, and no hope.

  5. The sense of venggence is what really disturbes me about this. And the sense of hypocrisy.  This is such an extreme betrayal of trust in the Presidency.  I do not know how many times I watched Bush “talk straight” to the Press about how if someone in his administration leaked the Plame information they would be fired and they would “take the appropriate action.”

    Will the President walk his talk here?  Will he resign?  I doubt it.  He would much rather take his party down with him.  Althought I think at this point that is unavoidable even if he does resign.

  6. Bush resign?  You must be joking.  He couldn’t even admit yesterday to a fellow American in the audience, that he carried himself above everyone else with his spying.  Bush is way to arrogant to consider what anyone else “thinks” or “says” … wasn’t it “Bush” who said on 760 (over and over) that he is the dictator?

  7. It is time to impeach, indict, convict, and hang the son of bitch.  He is one of  “enemies within” referred to in the Constitution.  The Bush Crime Family continues to fuck America at every opportunity.  From Prescott and the Nazis to Bush and the Contras to Silverado Neil to War Preznit Bush these fuckers have been screwing with America for over 70 years.  When are we going to learn?

  8. You gotta wonder, sometimes, if maybe Repukes never really plan on having the Presidency for 2 terms. It would seem as if they realize they only have 4 years to pillage, then the better ideas save the day, and we get to clean up their mess. By comparison, how far in the tank was Reagan at this point in his second term? I’m not liking the inadequacy of this administration, but I LOVE the idea that people are starting to wake up, and the house of cards is slowly imploding. Go ahead! Blame the media! You dick!

  9. MythicalLittleGuy,

    Clean up the mess is right.  It’s going to take the grownups a very long time to repair our international alliances, to crawl out from under this unimaginable deficit, and to get anyone to trust a President again.

  10. It’s what we do best , Terb. Let history be the judge, and sunlight the disinfectant! BTW, first time posting here, and sure to become habit forming! Y’all have a kickass weekend; I gotta get back to work.

  11. Hey Druid – it’s ‘vengeance’.

    We all know that this whole thing is a conspiracy of the leftist media.

    Valerie Plame was, in fact, a non-essential secretary. But the media refuses to report that, instead claiming that she had served in some kind of ‘undercover’ role. Yeah, right.

    And Joe Wilson? Does anyone really believe that he was an ambassador? In fact, I doubt that the guy that appears on TV is really him. Some lefty stooge stand-in, while the real Wilson is locked away in a safe-house somewhere. I bet he’s in Ted Kennedy’s basement.

    And there certainly was no leak. It all started with the media creating the story in the first place. Scooter Libby is another lefty stooge getting paid for his role by Hillary Clinton. Can’t you all see this? It’s the media, it’s the media!!!!!

  12. I’m down with the BMR boycott.  If he can’t change the subject, he sarcastically tells everyone how they’re not deep thinkers.  He’s got far too much time on his hands, and all by himself drags nearly every thread down into the mud.

    Enough.  I don’t hear him any more.

  13. Yeah, thatta boy, Terbie.  I’M changing the subject?  LOL

    Scroll up and see who changes the subject from the Libby investigation to making the thread about “who pays BMR’s bills”.


    Meanwhile, back at topic ranch, trollPig asks:

    “And Joe Wilson? Does anyone really believe that he was an ambassador?” 


    Actually, I’m still waiting to learn who it was that sent ol’ “Yellowcake Joe” on his little fact-finding mission.

  14. One would guess the DDO was the one who made the final decision.  Prepare to be disappointed if you never learn the whole story, BMR – it’s the CIA.  I don’t think you really want to know how pedestrian the decision-making was anyway; certainly the Bush-Cheney gang could have published the full process if they thought it would help them; just a guess, but since we don’t have the whole story, it’s not worth it to the anti-Joe crowd to have it told.

    Libby’s testimony might not be “throwing them under the bus”, but it does at least look like lining them up for the throw.  Fitzgerald says two things with this filing:

    1) Libby: don’t bother trying to divert this trial from the perjury and obstruction charges – you don’t want to go there anyway, and
    2) Cheney et al: there’s a lot of Bad Things in the documentation I’ve collected; I’m available for confessions on Wednesdays between 9am and 5pm in the Grand Jury Chambers…

  15. On 8 occasions Bush denied any knowledge of White House leaks — that’s 8 lies

    No longer can any Republican claim that Mr. Bush did not mislead the American people into war.  According to the papers submitted to the grand jury by Patrick Fitzgerald, Scooter Libby testified that it was President Bush himself who authorized the leaking of selective bits of intelligence that helped the Administration’s case for war.

    This is interesting, especially since George W. Bush and his Press Secretary Scott McClellan denied that the President knew about the leaks on eight separate occasions — that’s eight lies total, for all of you who are scoring at home.  Here they are:

    That incidents identified by Democrats follow:

    President Bush, 9/30/03:

    “I don’t know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I’d like to know it, and we’ll take the appropriate action.”

    President Bush, 9/30/03:

    “If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of. . . . I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative. I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, 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.”

    President Bush, 10/28/03:

    “I’d like to know if somebody in my White House did leak sensitive information.”

    President Bush, 6/10/04:

    Reporter: “Do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?”

    President Bush: “Yes. And that’s up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts.”

    President Bush, 10/28/03:

    “I want to know the truth. … I have no idea whether we’ll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers.”

    President Bush, 7/18/05 issue of USA Today:

    “If someone committed crime, they will no longer work in my administration.”

    White House Press Secretary, 9/29/03:

    “The President has set high standards, the highest of standards for people in his administration. He’s made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.”

    White House Press Secretary, 10/7/03:

    “Let me answer what the President has said. I speak for the President and I’ll talk to you about what he wants . . .If someone leaked classified information, the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that’s not the way this White House operates, that’s not the way this President expects people in his administration to conduct their business.”

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