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All eight leaked documents in one PDF.
THE DOWNING STREET PAPERS, Transcriptions
Text of the Iraq Options paper - March 8, 2002 Memo from Overseas and Defence Secretariat
IRAQ: OPTIONS PAPER SECRET UK EYES ONLY
Since 1991, our objective has been to re-integrate a law-abiding Iraq which does not possess WMD or threaten its neighbors, into the international community. Implicitly, this cannot occur with Saddam Hussein in power. As at least worst opinion, we have supported a policy of containment which has been partially successful. However:
. . . or an amazing 9-minute recreation thereof that uses the exact words of the "Downing Street Memo."
This remarkable audio production conveys far more clearly than the written word what went on behind closed doors that day three years ago. The cast and credits for this production, are as follows.
Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee John Scarlett -- Anonymous
Sir Richard Dearlove, the Chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) – John Rafter Lee
Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, Chief of Defence Staff – Demian Martell
Then Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon – Ed Asner
By Matthew Cooper
Monday 25 July 2005 Issue
Matthew Cooper reveals exactly what Karl Rove told him--and what the special counsel zeroed in on.
It was my first interview with the President, and I expected a simple "Hello" when I walked into the Oval Office last December. Instead, George W. Bush joked, "Cooper! I thought you'd be in jail by now." The leader of the free world, it seems, had been following my fight against a federal subpoena seeking my testimony in the case of the leaking of the name of a CIA officer. I thought it was funny and good-natured of the President, but the line reminded me that I was, very weirdly, in the Oval Office, out on bond from a prison sentence, awaiting appeal--in large part, for protecting the confidence of someone in the West Wing. "What can I say, Mr. President," I replied, smiling. "The wheels of justice grind slowly."
- By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
Sunday, July 17, 2005
(07-17) 12:58 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) --
The vice president's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, was a source along with the president's chief political adviser for a Time story that identified a CIA officer, the magazine reporter said Sunday, further countering White House claims that neither aide was involved in the leak.
In an effort to quell a chorus of calls to fire deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove, Republicans said that Rove originally learned about Valerie Plame's identity from the news media. That exonerates Rove, the Republican Party chairman said, and Democrats should apologize.
By Martin Bright and Peter Beaumont
Sunday July 17, 2005, The Observer
A controversial fly-on-the wall account of the Iraq war by one of Britain's most senior former diplomats has been blocked by Downing Street and the Foreign Office.
Publication of The Costs of War by Sir Jeremy Greenstock, UK ambassador to the UN during the build-up to the 2003 war and the Prime Minister's special envoy to Iraq in its aftermath, has been halted. In an extract seen by The Observer, Greenstock describes the American decision to go to war as 'politically illegitimate' and says that UN negotiations 'never rose over the level of awkward diversion for the US administration'. Although he admits that 'honourable decisions' were made to remove the threat of Saddam, the opportunities of the post-conflict period were 'dissipated in poor policy analysis and narrow-minded execution'.
By valabor, DailyKos
In all the focus on the minutia of the Plame leak, and with a possible Gonzalez Supreme Court nomination, I wanted to remind everyone of this Harkin moment in the Congressional Record (after the flip).
Could Alberto Gonzalez be a subject in the cover-up portion of the Plame investigation???
In short, after Attorney General John Ashcroft delayed mounting any investigation into the Plame leak, he then delayed informing the White House of the investigation (in order to trigger their duty to preserve documents). Once Ashcroft did notify the White House, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez asked if he could wait until the next day to send out the official notice to White House staff to preserve documents relevant to the investigation. Even though the request was extraordinary, and outside any normal prosecutorial procedures, Ashcroft obliged. Harkin laid it all out way back in October 2003:
By David Sirota
I am not one who likes to engage in a lot of speculation, but the Karl Rove/leak scandal has really gotten me thinking: why won't they just fire Rove? The answer is not that Rove is innocent, or even that they can't because he's too powerful - I'm starting to think the reason is because while Rove was definitely involved and definitely deserves to face legal consequnces, he wasn't the root. Somebody else was the root of this leak - and that somebody is likely a person the Bush administration can't just cut loose like they could even Rove, who is after all, a staffer. It must be somebody even higher up on the food chain.
Editor and Publisher
By E&P Staff
NEW YORK Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald may seek criminal contempt charges against New York Times reporter Judith Miller, which could significantly lengthen her time in jail, Howard Kurtz and Carol Leonnig report in today's Washington Post.
They also reveal that, according to two sources, Miller spoke with Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, during the period in July 2003 just before Robert Novak's fateful column appeared.
"Fitzgerald and Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan have both raised the possibility in open court that Miller could be charged with criminal contempt if she continues to defy Hogan's order to cooperate in the investigation of who may have unlawfully leaked the name of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame to the media," the Post observes.
By American Progress Action Fund
In August 2004, Karl Rove told CNN, "I didn't know her name and didn't leak her name." The New York Times reveals this morning that Rove was not truthful on both counts. According to the Times, "Mr. Rove has told investigators that he learned from the columnist [Robert Novak] the name of the C.I.A. officer" and confirmed that she was employed at the CIA. Rove told Novak upon hearing of Plame's identity and occupation, "I heard that, too." The growing scandal that President Bush has called "a very serious matter," a matter which has forced him and his vice president to be interviewed by a federal prosecutor, is now forcing the White House to deal with a major credibility problem over unanswered questions. The New York Times writes, "The disclosure of Mr. Rove's conversation with Mr. Novak raises a question the White House has never addressed: whether Mr. Rove ever discussed that conversation, or his exchange with [Time magazine reporter Matt] Cooper, with the president." The credibility of the entire Bush White House is at stake, and it's time for them to stop playing politics and address the issue candidly.
Report Shows Karl Rove May Have Lied to Federal Agents, a Federal Crime, During Oct 2003 Testimony Into CIA Agent Leak
July 14, 2005
By Jason Leopold
Looks like Karl Rove did break the law, the same federal law that got Martha Stewart sentenced to six months in prison.
It now appears that Rove, President Bush’s chief of staff, may have lied to the FBI in October 2003—a federal crime—when he was questioned by federal agents investigating who was responsible for leaking information about a covert CIA operative to the media.
During questioning by the FBI about his role in the Plame affair, Rove told federal agents that he only started sharing information about Plame with reporters and White House officials for the first time after conservative columnist Robert Novak identified her covert CIA status in his column on July 14, 2003, according to a report in the American Prospect about Rove’s testimony in March 2004, a copy of which can be found at http://www.prospect.org/print-friendly/webfeatures/2004/03/waas-m-03-08....
Source says Rove spoke to columnist
By David Johnston and Richard W. Stevenson
THE NEW YORK TIMES
WASHINGTON - Karl Rove, the White House senior adviser, spoke with columnist Robert Novak as Novak was preparing an article in July 2003 that identified an undercover CIA officer, someone who has been officially briefed on the matter said Thursday.
Rove has told investigators that he learned from Novak the name of the CIA officer, who was referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and the circumstances in which her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, traveled to Africa to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq, the person said.
The Ambassador Strikes Back, Answers to the Right Wing Spin Machine
*** A BRAD BLOG EXCLUSIVE ***
Ambassador Joseph Wilson fired back today at the Rightwing Spin Machine, which, having been issued marching orders late yesterday in a set of talking points from the RNC , is...
Ambassador Joseph Wilson fired back today at the Rightwing Spin Machine, which, having been issued marching orders late yesterday in a set of talking points from the RNC, is once again hoping to distract from the potentially treasonous crimes that George W. Bush's top political operative and Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove is being alleged to have committed.
More useful evidence, if more were needed, that Bush-Blair intentionally took their nations to war on false pretenses: LINK.
While the Media has picked up the Rove story and missed the central point that what he did was part of an attempt to deceive a nation about justifications for war, the GOP is continuing to attack Joseph Wilson for exposing its lies. (Will the Media cover these talking points? But then what would they use as the basis for their next articles?)
Exclusive: GOP talking points on Rove seek to discredit Wilson
RAW STORY has obtained an exclusive copy of Republican talking points on Bush adviser Karl Rove's leaking the name of a CIA agent to a reporter, circulated by the Republican National Committee to "D.C. Talkers" in Washington.
By Tim Grieve
Scott McClellan refused to answer all sorts of questions about Karl Rove at Monday's White House press briefing and again at this morning's press gaggle. At one point in Monday's contentious briefing, McClellan refused even to say who Karl Rove was. But it wasn't just Rove that McClellan wouldn't discuss Monday. Scott McClellan wouldn't say much about Scott McClellan, either -- including, for instance, whether Scott McClellan himself has consulted with an attorney about the Plame case.
McClellan's reluctance to talk is understandable. Back in the fall of 2003, McClellan made it as clear as he possibly could that Karl Rove wasn't involved in the outing of Valerie Plame; he called the allegation "ridiculous" and said that there was "simply no truth" to it. As we know now, there's a lot of truth to the allegation and not so much truth to McClellan's denials. But is McClellan's sudden refusal to talk about the Plame case driven by something more than Rove's legal problems and McClellan's own embarrassment? Maybe.
By Robert Parry
July 11, 2005
A key national security principle for dealing with top-secret information, such as the identity of undercover CIA officers, is strict compartmentalization, often called “the need to know
Here's a pointed comment from TalkingPointsMemo.com:
SO WE'VE GOT Karl Rove's latest story, as recounted by his lawyer, Robert Luskin.
Rove did spill the beans about Plame in an effort to discredit Joe Wilson. Only he didn't mention the name 'Valerie Plame'. He only spilled the beans about 'Joe Wilson's wife'.
I'm no lawyer. But I'd hate to go into court with my case resting on that distinction.
And remember, the president has certainly known all of this from the beginning.
-- Josh Marshall
The other claim we can imagine Rove making is that he didn't know Plame was undercover. And here's another useful comment from TalkingPointsMemo.com on October 9, 2003:
The Serious Implications Of President Bush's Hiring A Personal Outside Counsel For The Valerie Plame Investigation
By JOHN W. DEAN
Friday, Jun. 04, 2004
Recently, the White House acknowledged that President Bush is talking with, and considering hiring, a non-government attorney, James E. Sharp. Sharp is being consulted, and may be retained, regarding the current grand jury investigation of the leak revealing the identity of Valerie Plame as a CIA covert operative.
(Plame is the wife of Bush critic and former ambassador Joe Wilson; I discussed the leak itself in a prior column, and then discussed further developments in the investigation in a follow-up column.)
What Karl Rove told Time magazine's reporter
By Michael Isikoff
July 18 issue - It was 11:07 on a Friday morning, July 11, 2003, and Time magazine correspondent Matt Cooper was tapping out an e-mail to his bureau chief, Michael Duffy. "Subject: Rove/P&C," (for personal and confidential), Cooper began. "Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation..." Cooper proceeded to spell out some guidance on a story that was beginning to roil Washington. He finished, "please don't source this to rove or even WH [White House]" and suggested another reporter check with the CIA.
Time to get ready for the Karl Rove frog-march?
By David Corn
I don't usually log on Saturday evenings. But I've received information too good not to share immediately. It was only yesterday that I was bemoaning the probability that -- after a week of apparent Rove-related revelations--it might be a while before any more news emerged about the Plame/CIA leak. Yet tonight I received this as-solid-as-it-gets tip: on Sunday Newsweek is posting a story that nails Rove. The newsmagazine has obtained documentary evidence that Rove was indeed a key source for Time magazine's Matt Cooper and that Rove--prior to the publication of the Bob Novak column that first publicly disclosed Valerie Wilson/Plame as a CIA official -- told Cooper that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife apparently worked at the CIA and was involved in Joseph Wilson's now-controversial trip to Niger.
Sydney Morning Herald
A leaked document from Britain's Defence Ministry says the British and US governments are planning to reduce their troop levels in Iraq by more than half by mid-2006, the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.
The memo, reportedly written by the Defence Minister, John Reid, said Britain would reduce its troop numbers to 3,000 from 8,500 by the middle of next year.
"We have a commitment to hand over to Iraqi control in Al Muthanna and Maysan provinces [two of the four provinces under British control in southern Iraq] in October 2005 and in the other two, Dhi Qar and Basra, in April 2006," the memo was reported to have said.
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
In my judgment, a smear campaign operated out of the White House is unethical, to say the least. The First Amendment specifically says that nothing should be done to abridge a citizen's right to petition his government to redress a grievance. The attack on me, through the compromise of Valerie's identity, is an assault on not just my petition to redress a grievance, but it is also a deterrent to other citizens who might step forward. That is why I have always argued that Rove should be fired, even if no indictments are forthcoming.
* * *
If there's a list of people who have fearlessly stood up for democracy, decency and the truth against the corrupt buzzsaw of the Bush Administration, Ambassador Joe Wilson is certainly at the top of the list.
"An assault on Iraq will inflame world opinion and jeopardise security and peace everywhere. London, as one of the major world cities, has a great deal to lose from war and a lot to gain from peace, international cooperation and global stability.
Published on Friday, July 8, 2005 by Arianna Online
by Arianna Huffington
How is it that the second most powerful man in America is about to take a fall and the mainstream media are largely taking a pass? Could it be that the fear of Karl Rove and this White House is so great that not even the biggest of the media big boys are willing to take them on? Does the answer to that one go without saying?
Chatter about the Rove story has come to dominate the downtime at the Aspen Institute's five-day Ideas Festival. Whenever participants are not in sessions, they're gathering in small groups and dissecting, analyzing, and speculating about the outcome of this surprisingly slow-breaking scandal.
Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Interview with Sam Tannenhaus,
Vanity Fair, May 9, 2003
Wolfowitz: -- there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two. Sorry, hold on again.
The third one by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason to help the Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it. That second issue about links to terrorism is the one about which there's the most disagreement within the bureaucracy, even though I think everyone agrees that we killed 100 or so of an al Qaeda group in northern Iraq in this recent go-around, that we've arrested that al Qaeda guy in Baghdad who was connected to this guy Zarqawi whom Powell spoke about in his UN presentation.
By American Progress Action Fund
Stunningly, no member of the White House press corps has asked press secretary Scott McClellan about Karl Rove's role in outing former CIA operative Valerie Plame since Rove's lawyer admitted on Saturday that Rove was one of Time reporter Matt Cooper's sources. Below are ten vital facts that the media needs to communicate -- and that Americans deserve to know -- about PlameGate. (Click here to get the email addresses of your local media outlets, and let them know they're missing out on a serious story.)
THE PLAME LEAK IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE: Commenting on the remarks of the federal judges who have ruled on Cooper/Miller case, Lawrence O'Donnell today pointed out that "All the judges who have seen the prosecutor's secret evidence firmly believe he is pursuing a very serious crime, and they have done everything they can to help him get an indictment." And remember, it was George W. Bush's father who, speaking at CIA headquarters in 1999, said, "I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors." Likewise, when asked whether exposing Valerie Plame's identity would be "worse than Watergate," President Bush's close colleague Ed Gillespie said, "Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it," adding that "to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime." Those who try to play down the importance of PlameGate are deceiving themselves.
By Citizens for Legitimate Government
Joseph Wilson is the author of The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity (Avalon Publishing Group, 2004). Joseph Wilson is a political centrist, was a career United States diplomat from 1976 to 1998. During Democratic and Republican administrations he served in various diplomatic posts throughout Africa and eventually as ambassador to Gabon. He was the acting ambassador to Baghdad when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. In February 2002, he investigated reports of Iraq’s attempt to buy uranium from Niger. In October 2003, Wilson received the Ron Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling from the Fertel Foundation and the Nation Institute. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Robert Dreyfuss and Jason Vest
January/February 2004 Issue
It's a crisp fall day in western Virginia, a hundred miles from Washington, D.C., and a breeze is rustling the red and gold leaves of the Shenandoah hills. On the weather-beaten wood porch of a ramshackle 90-year-old farmhouse, at the end of a winding dirt-and-gravel road, Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski is perched on a plastic chair, wearing shorts, a purple sweatshirt, and muddy sneakers. Two scrawny dogs and a lone cat are on the prowl, and the air is filled with swarms of ladybugs.
A letter to the editor
July 5, 2005
Dear Editor: The Iraq War Resolution passed the House on Oct. 10, 2002, and the Senate the following day after repeated assurances, public and private, to Congress that war would be a "last resort" and that President Bush would follow the terms of the resolution, first seeking U.N. Security Council approval. Both were lies, according to the Downing Street minutes of three months before. It is a crime to defraud Congress.
The 23 "whereas" clauses that precede the resolution text mention, in order of frequency: weapons of mass destruction 10 times, the U.N. Security Council nine times, terrorists seven times, 9/11 four times, Persian Gulf three times, weapons inspectors once, al-Qaida once (saying they had a base in Iraq and failing to say it was in the Kurdish-controlled area), and regime change once (the real reason). So the justification was mainly about WMD and the U.N.
From American Progress Action Fund
Over the weekend, McLaughlin Group panelist Lawrence O'Donnell revealed (and Newsweek confirmed) that one of the PlameGate sources being protected by Time reporter Matt Cooper is none other than President Bush's senior adviser, the Mayberry Machiavelli himself, Karl Rove. Of course, we have known for some time that Rove played a leading role in the coordinated smear campaign against former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, the outed CIA operative. (Shortly after Plame's identity was revealed, MSNBC's Chris Matthews famously told Wilson: "I just got off the phone with Karl Rove, who said your wife was fair game.") Yet the new revelations, confirmed by Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin, are important. Not only do they provide first-hand confirmation of Rove's role in the Plame case (contradicting previous claims from the White House), but they represent what O'Donnell calls "the first hole in the Rove two-year wall of silence about the case." Below, a few questions for Mr. Rove.