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Karl's Repeat Performance

Karl's Repeat Performance

October 7, 2005

Three years ago today, President Bush gave a speech in Cincinnati "in which he made the case for war." At the behest of CIA Director George Tenet, then-Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley removed any reference to Iraq’s alleged attempt to purchase uranium from Africa from the president’s speech. Tenet made the request in a phone call to Hadley, and in a follow-up memo in which it was noted that the CIA had informed the British government that it differed with them on the Niger uranium intelligence.

The same British intelligence the CIA told the White House was flawed famously reappeared in a 16 word sentence three months later during the president's State of the Union address. On July 6, 2003, former Ambassador Joe Wilson wrote a column indicating that the Bush administration knew the claim was bogus in advance of the speech. The following day, the administration was forced to publicly acknowledge the president was wrong.

What does this have to do with a special prosecutor’s investigation of senior White House staff’s potential involvement in uncovering the identity of a CIA agent?

Karl Rove, the Deputy White House Chief of Staff is making his 4th appearance before a grand jury, to answer the questions about his role in leaking the agent’s name as part of a tried and true Bush-method of attacking those who you don’t agree with. Rove’s attorney had previously claimed Rove didn’t have anything left to say to the grand jury. That statement doesn’t appear to be operative any longer.

At issue here is a White House conspiracy to cover-up their lie about the intelligence in making their case for going to the war in Iraq. T here is a lot of Washington intrigue focused on who said what to whom and when they said it. Ultimately, the question that matters is why did the White House lead such an aggressive effort to discredit Wilson’s report? Answer: They did it because Wilson revealed the truth: the administration deliberately manipulated intelligence to make the case for a war that has made our country less safe and cost nearly 2,000 American lives.

As White House counsel during the course of this investigation, it seems fair to ask: What was Harriet Miers’ role? Harriet Miers was a White House official at the time of the White House’s smear campaign against Wilson and has been the White House counsel during much of Fitzgerald’s investigation. She owes Congress a complete explanation of what knowledge she had of – and any role she may have played in – the White House’s effort to cover up its manipulation of intelligence. And she would be well advised to do so sooner rather than later.

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