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It's clear the leakers knew what they were doing

The Hill
By Josh Marshall

Strip away all the stress and fury on both sides of the aisle this week and you’ll find one key question at the heart of both the legal and political storm surrounding the president’s top political adviser.

That is, did Karl Rove and other top administration officials, for whatever reason, knowingly reveal the identity of a covert CIA agent or were they unaware of her covert status? As prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald would no doubt tell us if he were at liberty to speak, divining, let alone proving, knowledge and intent in such a case is a very tricky business. But there’s a good bit of circumstantial evidence pointing to the conclusion that Rove and others knew exactly what they were doing.

Allow me to explain.

The best evidence for the “they knew


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"O’Neill’s Claims Against Bush Supported By 1998 ‘War’ Letters to Clinton Signed By Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz


By: Jason Leopold - 01/19/04

Anyone who doubts former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill’s recent claims that President Bush mislead the public and secretly planned the Iraq war eight months before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 needs to read the two letters sent to then President Bill Clinton in 1998 and Speaker of the House Trent Lott by current members of the Bush administration urging Clinton to launch a preemptive strike against Iraq.

Back then, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz and other pro-war hawks lobbied Clinton and Gingrich to remove former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from power using military force and indict him as a "war criminal." Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, both of whom were working in the private sector at the time, were affiliated with the right-wing think tank Project for a New American Century, which was founded by Weekly Standard editor William Kristol in 1997 to promote America’s foreign and defense policies.

Other familiar names on PNAC’s roster of supporters include Richard Armitage, currently Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Perle, one of the architects of the Iraq war and former chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, and Robert Kagan, a former Deputy for Policy in the State Department’s Bureau for Inter-American Affairs during the Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Kagan is also co-chair of PNAC.

PNAC has been instrumental in helping the Bush administration shape its defense policies. Since Bush has been in office, PNAC has succeeded in getting Rumsfeld to scrap the multibillion-dollar Army Crusader Artillery Program and also advising the Defense Secretary to request a $48 billion one-year increase for national defense, both of which were written about extensively in reports posted on PNAC’s web site before Rumsfeld was approached by the group.

However, one of PNAC’s first goals when it was founded in 1997 was to urge Congress and the Clinton administration to support regime change in Iraq because Saddam Hussein was allegedly manufacturing chemical and biological weapons, claims that today have turned out to be untrue.

"Only ground forces can remove Saddam and his regime from power and open the way for a new post-Saddam Iraq…" PNAC founder Kristol wrote in a 1997 report. Kristol’s Weekly Standard magazine is owned by News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the Fox News Channel, considered by many media critics to be the mouthpiece of the Bush administration.

A year after Kristol’s report, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Armitage and other PNAC members sent a letter to Clinton, repeating much of what Kristol said in his report a year earlier.

"We urge you to turn your Administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power," says the letter sent to Clinton. "This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council."

However, in an ironic twist, Clinton rebuffed the advice saying his administration was focusing on the worldwide threat posed by the terrorist group al-Qaeeda and it’s leader Osama Bin Laden, who was responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack and who Iraq war critics say the Bush administration should have been focusing on after 9/11 instead of Saddam Hussein.

The 1998 letters to Clinton and Gingrich seems to back up the revelations made by O’Neil in the book "The Price of Loyalty" that the Iraq war was, in fact, planned in the days after Bush was sworn into office-possibly even earlier-if you consider that between 1998 and late 1999, when Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, the chief architects of the Iraq war, they spent nearly two years lobbying Congress to use military force to overthrow Saddam Hussein from power.

When Clinton refused, Rumsfield, Wolfowitz and others from PNAC wrote another letter on May 29, 1998, to Gingrich and Senate Republican Majority Leader Trent Lott, saying that the United States should "establish and maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the region and be prepared to use that force to protect our vital interests in the Gulf-and, if necessary, to help remove Saddam from power."

"We should take whatever steps are necessary to challenge Saddam Hussein's claim to be Iraq's legitimate ruler, including indicting him as a war criminal," says the letter to Gingrich and Lott. "U.S. policy should have as its explicit goal removing Saddam Hussein's regime from power and establishing a peaceful and democratic Iraq in its place. We recognize that this goal will not be achieved easily. But the alternative is to leave the initiative to Saddam, who will continue to strengthen his position at home and in the region. Only the U.S. can lead the way in demonstrating that his rule is not legitimate and that time is not on the side of his regime."

All of the Iraq "war" letters are posted on PNAC’s web site,

The letters offered no hard evidence that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction but it did say that with Saddam Hussein in power "a significant portion of the world's supply of oil will all be put at hazard . . ."

Jason Leopold, a contributing writer for Liberal Slant, spent two years covering California’s electricity crisis as bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. He has written more than 2,000 news stories on the issue and was the first journalist to report that energy companies were engaged in manipulative practices in California’s newly deregulated electricity market. Most recently, Mr. Leopold has reported on Enron. He was the first journalist to interview former Enron President Jeffrey Skilling following Enron’s bankruptcy filing in December 2001. Mr. Leopold has broken numerous stories on the financial machinations Enron engaged in and his investigative pieces on the company have been published in The Nation, Salon, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, CBS Marketwatch, Time magazine, The New York Times, Forbes and numerous other national publications. Mr. Leopold is also a regular contributor to CNBC and National Public Radio and has also been the keynote speaker at more than two-dozen energy industry conferences around the country. Mr. Leopold left Dow Jones in April to write a book on California’s electricity crisis"

After all the falsehoods, all the many scandals, all the "misinformation" the Bush Administration has engaged in, it is so hard to believe that BUSH/Rove/Cheney,Libby/Card and all of them, did not know who outed Plame, didn't discuss it in detail, and planned it as an act of revenge just like they did to O'Neill, Clarke, Clleland, Kerry and even McCain! In fact, anyone one who gets in their way gets attacked. You would have to be gullible, stupid, or living in a cave not to see through their rhetoric!

Rove is in the cross hairs now, but Cheney isn't breathing very easily at the moment.

After all the falsehoods, all the many scandals, all the "misinformation" the Bush Administration has engaged in, it is so hard to believe that BUSH/Rove/Cheney,Libby/Card and all of them, did not know who outed Plame, didn't discuss it in detail, and planned it as an act of revenge just like they did to O'Neill, Clarke, Clleland, Kerry and even McCain! In fact, anyone one who gets in their way gets attacked. You would have to be gullible, stupid, or living in a cave not to see through their rhetoric!

CNN currently is polling the question:

Should U.S. President George W. Bush fire his deputy chief of staff Karl Rove over the CIA leak?

With 11,529 votes, it is 91% YES and 9% NO.

Interesting . . .

. . . but not as interesting as shark attacks, Tom Cruise, or Aruba,
right? ;-)

but I'd rather watch Karl Rove now. If Bush doesn't fire him, he'll look stupid. If Bush fires him, he'll still look stupid .
(heh heh, checkmate)

What is with Scarborough and Aruba?!

Come on, this has been going on for decades, DECADES, Grandfather, Father and All the Sons. Crooks and Cheats. They know what their doing, what they have done. BUT THERE NOT TELLING.

THEY ARE NOT AMERICANS. They only want to suck this Country DRY and go back to the Fatherland, or better yet REBUILD IG Farben here. They know what there plan has been all along. and with the Military so lockstep these days in the officers and scared troops, closing 300 bases, Hospitals, VA SERVICES, GAS and FOOD and PILLS and TAXES and LOCAL SERVICES. COME ON.

Let me ask this, DID ROVE AND BUSH AND ALL THERE FRIENDS JUST SUDDENLY COME UP WITH THE CIA LADY'S NAME JUST LIKE THAT. OUT OF THIN AIR, OR. Have they been going through the files LOOKING, TWISTING, CRAP, THEY KNOW and have always known. Just like the pictures of Bush's Military Duty, and Mission Accomplished, MR. DRESSUP. AND ANYONE EVER in the service has people who remember them. ONLY the RICH know how to SCREW THE MASSES.AND THE WAR RICH KNOW ALL, And the WAR BUSINESS IS GREAT NOW AS IN THE PAST.

It was funny today with the Republicians telling everyone to TONE IT DOWN AND WAIT FOR THEIR FLUNKIES TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH. And SUCKING THE AIR OUT OF THE COUNTRIES BUSINESS. HOW MUCH CAN THEY STEAL, HOW MUCH. WILL THEY ONLY BE HAPPY WHEN WERE ALL DEAD. WHAT BUSINESS ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT, What about Oath of loyalty requirements, to even hear what that He was talking about behind closed doors and Guards, ADS on TV, over, and over, about HOW GOOD, HOW MORAL, HOW HONEST they ARE. and HOW EVIL EVERYONE ELSE IS IF THEY DON'T BELIEVE HIM. WITCH HUNTERS MENTALITY.

What about all the lost votes in 2000 AND, 2002, AND 2004, and they got away with it. YES THE BEST JUDGES MONEY CAN BUY.


THEY CAN SMILE AND BOB THEIR HEADS, AND WAVE THERE HANDS AROUND but we are still learning how truely evil people can still be, for, LOVE, FOR, POWER AND MONEY.


It’s so sad that so many corruptible people have been so willing to do Rove’s bidding. Where did it lead us? It is so disheartening that members of our White House would go to such lengths to lie to the American people and would go to such lengths to convince the American people to go to war. This White House was willing, and are still willing, to destroy a man's reputation, take his wife down, and put into danger all the people covert or not who came into contact with Valerie Plame.
It is so disheartening that our White House eagerly sent so many of our military into war without proper equipment. And went to such lengths to enter Iraq without real reason and destroy it, gut it, kill over one hundred thousand of the country’s citizens, not allow the country a voice in its' own politics or rebuilding, drain the reconstruction dollars, imprison citizens, abuse them, refuse to leave. My president did that.
I can’t get over it. I just can’t get past cruelty of it. This White House has lowered us to such depths.

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