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CIA Leak Probe 'Widening to Include Use of Intelligence'

By Caroline Daniel and Edward Alden
The Financial Times UK
Monday 17 October 2005

Evidence is building that the probe conducted by Patrick Fitzgerald, special prosecutor, has extended beyond the leaking of a covert CIA agent's name to include questioning about the administration's handling of pre-Iraq war intelligence.

According to the Democratic National Committee, a majority of the nine members of the White House Iraq Group have been questioned by Mr Fitzgerald. The team, which included senior national security officials, was created in August 2002 to "educate the public" about the risk posed by weapons of mass destruction on Iraq.

Mr Fitzgerald, who has been applauded for conducting a leak-free inquiry, has said little publicly about his 22-month probe, other than that it is about the "potential retaliation against a whistleblower", Joseph Wilson. After Mr Wilson, a former ambassador, went public with doubts about the evidence that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons, the name of his wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA official, was leaked to reporters.

The prosecutor has given no indication whether he will charge anyone in the case. At the weekend Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter jailed for 85 days after refusing to testify, provided new details about the scope of Mr Fitzgerald's investigation. She was asked "repeatedly" how Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney, "handled classified information".

Ms Miller said Mr Libby had made "a sharp critique of Mr Wilson", and referred several times to the fact his wife worked at the CIA. Ms Miller also expressed surprise at a letter sent by Mr Libby when she was in jail that, she said, could imply he was trying to influence her testimony. "I replied that this portion of the letter had surprised me because it might be perceived as an effort by Mr Libby to suggest that I too would say we had not discussed Ms Plame. Yet my notes suggested that we had discussed her job," she wrote.

According to Time magazine, both Mr Libby and Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's chief political adviser, who has appeared four times before the grand jury, would resign or take unpaid leave if indicted for their role in the case.

Mr Rove has been adopting a lower profile, backing out of two public speeches over the last week. However, Scott McClellan, White House spokesman, said yesterday: "Karl is here at the White House doing his duties, as he always does."

The US failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq resulted in two inquiries into the prewar intelligence, one led by the Senate intelligence committee and the other by a White House-appointed panel.

But both panels confined themselves to investigating the intelligence community, concluding that the White House was largely the innocent victim of faulty intelligence. Neither delved into the political use of the available intelligence by the administration.


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Sounds a lot like the Downing Street memo.

Bush has been no more honest with Congress than he has been with the American people, whom he as an "elected" official is sworn to represent.

And Congress never declared by vote the illegal occupation of Iraq as war, but rather authorized an extended military engagement. This based on the trust in the President and signed by the President as Iraq Resolution H.J. Res.114 on Oct.16, 2002, when the President stated "With this resolution, Congress has now authorized the use of force. I have not ordered the use of force. I hope the use of force will not become necessary. Yet, confronting the threat posed by Iraq is necessary, by whatever means that requires. Either the Iraqi regime will give up its weapons of mass destruction, or, for the sake of peace, the United States will lead a global coalition to disarm that regime. If any doubt our nation's resolve, our determination, they would be unwise to test it."

The President, who does not have the right to declare war, has sent our troops into harms way under false pretenses(WMDs), and his White House(office) has outed a highly trained and extremely dedicated CIA op/analyst(Valerie Plame Wilson) a secret CIA Directorate of Operations, claiming it was political self defense. Any slips of the tongue were made unconsciously,say some, not realizing that she was still active even though it was less than a week since they all, and some others who did not have security clearance, read a memo, on AF1 traveling to Niger of all places, in which the tag S/NF(Secret/No Foreigners) clearly depicted the seriousness of the agents cover.

All this in the face of criticism regarding a bogus intelligence reference in the Presidents "State of the Union address" in 2003 made by a certain retired US diplomat(Ambassador Joseph Wilson), hired by the CIA at the request of the VP, also in the same White House(office) to verify the status of the intell, which was confirmed by this source as bogus as it was already classified, months prior to the "address".

The significance of the aggressive accusations and exaggeration of intelligence leading up to the US lead military invasion becomes particularly clear with the release of Top Secret Memos from British Intelligence, now known as "The Downing Street Memos", which list times and dates of meetings between a certain Richard Dearlove(British Secret Intelligence Service) and Condoleezza Rice(then Secretary of Defense,US) discussing the prelude to regime change in Iraq and the British concern over International Law and the illegality of such a pretense(regime change) and suggesting another tact, specifically the threat of proliferation via Weapons of Mass Destruction in such regime.

Given the fact the US weapons inspectors found no indication that any such weapons programs outside the legal limits of the sanctioned country(Iraq) had been located and the spin through the media, particularly one insider, Miller, working for the most prestigious newspaper in the US(NYTimes), one does not have to think too hard to arrive at the question of who may have craftily taken advantage of such a zealous reporters naiveté through the clandestine seduction by "inside information" exciting the intrigue through false empowerment and creating an indirect and collaborating source to further the White House(office) agenda?

Why was this reporter with no military background given such high honors to traipse around the targeted prewar area, with a military entourage as an escort, sometimes even threatening the squad leaders with phone calls over there heads to whom, and who is responsible for her clearance?

To ask why such a reporter would go to jail in contempt to protect her source(s) for a story she never wrote is as farcical as the concept of journalistic freedoms in the face of Federal Investigations. That after eighty some odd days(85) she gets the nod that it is now believed they have all those bases covered and that the special prosecuting attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald, is probably barking up the wrong tree, so go ahead and hang your source out to dry, is another masterful stroke of limited genius spun once again by the (office) which knows too well that blatantly hiding something in plain view will misdirect the attention of the public from the real issues.

Will it misdirect Patrick Fitzgerald? Will he follow the path they send him down and let him come back with a few fish on a string and say What a good boy am I? Or will he take to the higher ground of Constitutional Law which empowers the President, and steer clear of Martial Law which, separate from the public domain, might deem this a threat(no joke) to national security? And will this separation prevail if the White House council to the residing President, Harriet Miers, gets the appointment as Supreme Court justice?

For this question we may ask why Rice endorses the current White House council and a former deputy chief of staff on international legal issues, specifically the Presidents wartime powers?

Would this highly rated power attorney make a mockery out of any Congressional investigation, designed by our Constitutional forefathers, to keep a rouge administration in check? Will such an investigation likely take place? Apparently someone is awfully nervous and taking the appropriate steps to further stonewall justice and the American People, who have a God given right to know.

Who gave Miller the military escort and who do they answer to?
Who is Miller really "protecting"?
Is Rice in complicity with Dearlove?
Is there any real separation in this White House(office)?
How can anyone still think this is just about Valerie?
Is the residing office above National Security?
Is gross misuse of power a treasonable offence?
Is gross misuse of power grounds for impeachment?
Can a Supreme court ruling block a Congressional hearing?
Is this not extremely serious?
Have not scores of thousands of innocent people died?
Does violence breed trust in humanity?
Is the object of this coup d'e-tat simply to create a self fulfilling prophecy?
Is this format setting the stage for a much larger agenda?
Will history repeat itself?
Will Fitzgerald act in time?
Will Justice be Served?

If any of these questions ring any bells for you then please pass this on.

An article by James Gordon Meek, Thomas M. DeFrank and Kenneth R. Bazinet in today's New York Daily News reports that:

Cheney's name has come up amid indications Fitzgerald may be edging closer to a blockbuster conspiracy charge - with help from a secret snitch.

"They have got a senior cooperating witness - someone who is giving them all of that," a source who has been questioned in the leak probe told the Daily News yesterday.

The same report notes that Cheney and Libby spend hours together in the course of a day, which causes sources who know both men very well to assert that any attempts to discredit Wilson would almost certainly have been known to the vice president.

One hopes that "blockbuster conspiracy charge" will go to the root issue of promoting an illegal war based on lies and deception. But I suspect it will stop somewhere short of that.

Could this be true? The really significant crime could be flagged? I'm incredulous, but hopeful.

Ben in DC

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