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Andrea Mitchell IDs Colin Powell's role in Plamegate

Posted by Lucille
Added to homepage Tue Oct 11th 2005, 08:47 PM ET

Plame obsessives will remember a Washington Post article in which a "Senior administration source" is quoted as having seen several administration officials, including Ari Fleischer, peruse a classified memo that identified Valerie Plame. This occurred on July 7, aboard AF1, as Bush and his entourage were en route to Africa. The memo was prepared for Colin Powell, who was aboard the flight. Many have assumed that it was Powell himself who not only observed these administration officials read the memo, but also saw them call reporters while still on board. Many have guessed that Powell testified to this before Fitzgerald and also leaked this information to the WP. According to the WP, the "senior official" said of the leak: "Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge."

Director Of Censored Intelligence

John Prados
October 12, 2005

John Prados is a senior fellow of the National Security Archive in Washington, DC, and author of Hoodwinked: The Documents that Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War (The New Press).

Two recent developments at the CIA make it clear that America’s premier intelligence-gathering agency is a mess. The first, CIA director Porter Goss' refusal to implement the disciplinary recommendations contained in the agency's inspector general 9/11 performance review, will no doubt attract far more attention.

But the second development is equally significant. That is the release, with no public fanfare at all, of a version of the CIA's internal inquiry into prewar Iraq intelligence. Conducted by a panel under former CIA Deputy Director Richard Kerr, the Iraq inquiry was supposed to get to the bottom of the hype on the now-notorious claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. Both of these events says a great deal about political power, self-censorship and the Bush administration's determined effort to evade accountability for either the 9/11 attacks or its premeditated war against Iraq.

Piecing together the story of the weapons that weren't

By Charles J. Hanley, The Associated Press

Beneath the giant dome of a Baghdad palace, facing his team of scientists and engineers, George Tenet sounded more like a football coach than a spymaster, a coach who didn't know the game was over.

Weapons of mass destruction were not found by these U.N. weapons inspectors, right, in Baghdad Feb. 5, 2003, nor since.
By David Guttenfelder, AP

"Are we 85% done?" the CIA boss demanded. The arms hunters knew what he wanted to hear. "No!" they shouted back. "Let me hear it again!" They shouted again.

The weapons are out there, Tenet insisted. Go find them.

Mambo Italiano and Plame Gate

By Larry C Johnson

With friends like the Italians who needs enemies? If Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are indicted they can shift some of the blame to the Italians. If it were not for Italy, Joe Wilson probably never would have been sent to Africa to investigate the claim that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger and the ensuing chain of events to smear Wilson would not have happened. A careful review of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Report on the Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq (July 2004) shows very clearly that there was only one source claiming that Iraq was buying the uranium. Shades of Curveball! Except in this case the source was not an Iraqi linked to Ahmed Chalabi, but a foreign liaison service. Knowledgeable friends say it was the Italian Intelligence Service (SISME).

Tell Us Who Fabricated the Iraq Evidence

Published on Sunday, October 9, 2005 by The Independent
By Norman Dombey

President Bush's principal adviser Karl Rove is to be questioned again over the improper naming of a CIA official. Mohamed ElBaradei, accused by the American right of being insufficiently aggressive, wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his stalwart work at the helm of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Pentagon official Larry Franklin pleads guilty to passing on classified information to Israel. Just a normal week in politics. But there is a thread linking these events and it is Iraq.

Politicians tell us they acted in good faith on the road to war, and maybe they did, but that leaves a prickly question: who was so keen to prove that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat that they forged documents purporting to show that he was trying to buy 500 tons of uranium from Niger to develop nuclear weapons? The forgery was revealed to the Security Council by ElBaradei. That was not an intelligence error. It was a straightforward lie, an invention intended to mislead public opinion and help start a war.

The Case of the Missing Notebook

The latest twist in the Plame Affair only deepens the mystery: What's in the suddenly uncovered notebook that documents the previously unknown Judith Miller/Scooter Libby chat of June 25, 2003? Who told the prosecutor about it? And why, exactly, does he want to talk to Miller again?

By Greg Mitchell, Editor and Publisher

(October 09, 2005) -- If its recent track record is any guide, The New York Times, later today or tomorrow, will get around to confirming Michael Isikoff’s Newsweek revelation late Saturday that the missing notes Judith Miller suddenly found and turned over to the federal prosecutor on Friday in the Plame case were located in a notebook in the newspaper’s Washington, D.C. bureau. The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has now scheduled another meeting with Miller on Tuesday.

Judy "Discovers" Her Notes (Fell Behind Cabinet With Libby's Waiver of Confidentiality?)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York Times reporter Judith Miller discovered notes from an earlier conversation she had with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff and turned them over the prosecutor investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative's identity, legal sources said on Friday.

Miller's notes about a June 2003 conversation with Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, could be important to prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's case by establishing exactly when Libby and other administration officials first started talking to reporters about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson.

3rd Year Anniversary of Bush Lies in Cincinnati

By Steve Cobble

Tomorrow (10/7/05) marks the 3-year anniversary of George W. Bush's mendacious speech to the VFW in Cincinnati. This was the speech that ratcheted up the hype to such a level that half the Senate Democrats and 2/5 of the House Democrats blithely handed over their Constitutional obligation to declare war to a President who had been itching to invade Iraq since he was Governor of Texas.

3 years. 2,000 dead Americans. Uncounted dead Iraqis. $300 B dollars not spent on schools, levees, Medicaid--or security here at home--or even chasing Osama bin Laden.
Yet the Republicans in Congress, who totally control Washington, have yet to seriously investigate any of it, from the missing WMDs to the Downing Street Minutes to the Valerie Plame outing to 9-11. Shame, shame.

21 Administration Officials Involved In Plame Leak

The cast of administration characters with known connections to the outing of an undercover CIA agent:

"Suppose...": Arguments for an Impeachment Resolution

By Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers
September 27, 2005

Suppose it could be proven that the integrity of the vote-counting in the 2004 election had been seriously compromised, and that Bush-Cheney probably lost. What would you do about it?

Suppose it could be proven that the Bush Administration told huge lies to get the U.S. military into Iraq, thus leading to the deaths of thousands of American soldiers, the maiming of tens of thousands of others, the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians? What would you do about it?

Publications of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

42. MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Syria: Was It Really “A Chemical Weapons Attack”?
April 11, 2017

41. MEMORANDUM FOR: President Barack Obama
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: A Key Issue That Still Needs to be Resolved
January 17, 2017

40. MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
October 2, 2016

39. MEMORANDUM FOR: Secretary of State Kerry & Foreign Minister Lavrov
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: A Call for Proof on Syria-Sarin Attack
December 22, 2015

Mystery Unfolds Over Hunt for WMD in Iraq

By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent
Fri Sep 2, 2:38 PM ET

Beneath the giant dome of a Baghdad palace, facing his team of scientists and engineers, George Tenet sounded more like a football coach than a spymaster, a coach who didn't know the game was over.

"Are we 85 percent done?" the CIA boss demanded. The arms hunters knew what he wanted to hear. "No!" they shouted back. "Let me hear it again!" They shouted again.

The weapons are out there, Tenet insisted. Go find them.

Veteran inspector Rod Barton couldn't believe his ears. "It was nonsense," the Australian biologist said of that February evening last year, when the then-chief of U.S. intelligence secretly flew to Baghdad and dropped in on the lakeside Perfume Palace, chandelier-hung home of the Iraq Survey Group.

Mystery unfolds over hunt for WMD in Iraq

Mystery unfolds over hunt for WMD in Iraq
9/2/2005, 1:38 p.m. CT
The Associated Press

(AP) — Beneath the giant dome of a Baghdad palace, facing his team of scientists and engineers, George Tenet sounded more like a football coach than a spymaster, a coach who didn't know the game was over.

"Are we 85 percent done?" the CIA boss demanded. The arms hunters knew what he wanted to hear. "No!" they shouted back. "Let me hear it again!" They shouted again.

The weapons are out there, Tenet insisted. Go find them.

Veteran inspector Rod Barton couldn't believe his ears. "It was nonsense," the Australian biologist said of that February evening last year, when the then-chief of U.S. intelligence secretly flew to Baghdad and dropped in on the lakeside Perfume Palace, chandelier-hung home of the Iraq Survey Group.

Journalists Held Without Charges at Abu Ghraib

By Alastair Macdonald
1 hour, 49 minutes ago

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A cameraman for Reuters in Iraq has been ordered by a secret tribunal to be held without charge in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison until his case is reviewed within six months, a U.S. military spokesman said on Wednesday.

But another Reuters cameraman was released after being held for three days by U.S. troops following an incident in which his soundman was shot dead, apparently by American soldiers.

Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani was arrested by U.S. forces on August 8 after a search of his home in the city of Ramadi. The U.S. military has refused Reuters' requests to disclose why he is being held. He has not been charged.

Report Assesses Iraq War's Costs

As debate over the Iraq War rages across the nation and peace activists plan a Sept. 24 rally in Washington likely to be the largest anti-war demonstration since early 2003, the Institute for Policy Studies has released a report that comprehensively assesses the conflict's costs to the U.S., Iraq and the world, and analyzes why bringing the troops home is the only viable option.

"The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting Costs of the War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops," is available at:

The third in a series of reports by the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus, this report underscores the cost of "staying the course" and outlines an exit strategy.

Nuremberg Lesson for Iraq War: It’s Murder

Published on Tuesday, August 30, 2005, distributed by Knight-Ridder Newspapers
By Michael Mandel

This month marks the 60th anniversary of the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal, the basic legal document for the trial of the major Nazi war criminals that commenced in November 1945.
One of the great innovations of that charter was the charge of "Crimes Against Peace," defined as the "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances."

In a famous passage from their judgment of the following year, the four judges of the tribunal (American, British, French and Russian) declared the crime of aggressive war to be "the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

Decorated veteran, and lifelong Republican, says new Abu Ghraib photos must be released

Larisa Alexandrovna

In an exclusive interview with RAW STORY, retired U. S. Army Colonel Michael Pheneger explained why he submitted testimony in support of the ACLU's lawsuit seeking new Abu Ghraib detainee abuse documents, saying "the only way to assign accountability is to conduct a thorough investigation of every aspect of these deplorable episodes."

The Pentagon has successfully kept new photographs out of the public eye, arguing that their release would be detrimental to the safety of troops abroad.

Colonel Pheneger is a highly decorated thirty year veteran who has served in various high level military posts throughout his career, including: Commander, U. S. Army Intelligence School, Director of Intelligence, U. S. Special Operations Command; Deputy Director of Intelligence, and has worked with the USSOCOM and USCENTCOM teams providing high level intelligence support. Colonel Pheneger is also a lifelong Republican, who finds the government’s case just another "bending of rules" long since prohibited by the military. He voted for George W. Bush in 2000, and works with the ACLU.

Watch TV show to decide who was 'Dead Wrong'

August 26, 2005
Ken Bode
Watch TV show to decide who was 'Dead Wrong'

Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel said this week that the longer we stay in Iraq, the more it looks like Vietnam. In so many ways he is right and as a decorated veteran of that earlier war he has the experience and the authority to offer that judgment.

But Vietnam comparisons are wrong in one respect. Listening to the Johnson White House tapes of the early months of 1963-1964, one cannot help but sense the anguish, turmoil and indecision as the president grapples with pressures to escalate the war and send more troops to the inescapable battlefields of Southeast Asia. Sleepless to the point that Lady Bird worried for his health, LBJ would go to the White House situation room at midnight to await the nightly casualty reports.

A CIA Cover Blown, a White House Exposed

August 25, 2005

A CIA Cover Blown, a White House Exposed
By Tom Hamburger and Sonni Efron, Times Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — Toward the end of a steamy summer week in 2003, reporters were peppering the White House with phone calls and e-mails, looking for someone to defend the administration's claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

About to emerge as a key critic was Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former diplomat who asserted that the administration had manipulated intelligence to justify the Iraq invasion.

At the White House, there wasn't much interest in responding to critics like Wilson that Fourth of July weekend. The communications staff faced more pressing concerns — the president's imminent trip to Africa, growing questions about the war and declining ratings in public opinion polls.

TREASONGATE: US COURT OF APPEALS: "Special Counsel's Showing Decides The Case"

Friday, August 26, 2005
TREASONGATE: US COURT OF APPEALS: "Special Counsel's Showing Decides The Case"

While Joe Wilson, who still hasn't mentioned the hovering ominous specter of 18 USC 794, is in damage control mode cowardly hiding behind the bravery of Cindy Sheehan, and Judith Miller continues to whine about being put in jail for protecting criminals and crimes, I thought it would make good reading to summarize the incendiary 83 page opinion issued by The US Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit),IN RE: GRAND JURY SUBPOENA, JUDITH MILLER so you can have some judicial perspective from the three judge appellate tribunal as to the seriousness of the crimes Fitzgerald is pursuing.

This Court of Appeals decision will be interesting to readers of this blog since it not only damns the crimes of the Bush administration, but it also backs up the issue of Fitzgerald's plenary authority as acting Attorney General for the Tgate prosecution, and cites United States v. Williams to witness authority for the argument that the federal grand jury acts as an independent branch of the US Government.

From Tomdispatch: Karen Greenberg on What the JAG Memos Tell Us About Torture

From Tomdispatch today

Karen J. Green, co-editor of The Torture Papers, a widely acclaimed book on Bush administration torture policies, explores recently released documents written by military lawyers in 2003 arguing against the torture policies then being hammered out by White House lawyers as not just morally wrong but strategically short-sighted. This offers us a new view into government deliberations at that time and quite a different argument against the use of torture -- one that proved prescient indeed. "The Achilles Heel of Torture, What the JAG Memos Tell us" pushes the issue of administration torture policies in new directions. Please check it out.

Exclusive: Downing Street reporter dissects pre-war Iraq intelligence

By Michael Smith

Details 'chill factor' imposed around Iraq intelligence; Putting Downing Street docs in perspective


Trent Lott Spills Beans on Meet the Press

Trent Lott on Meet the Press today.

MR. GREGORY: Let me turn to something that you wrote in your book
about Iraq and put it on the screen: "In the summer of 2002...the
president began lobbying for an open-ended resolution empowering him
to wage war on Iraq.... Bush had made clear his intentions to wage war
on Iraq in several of our private meetings."

What are you speaking about precisely, Senator?

SEN. LOTT: Well, beginning in August that year and into the fall--in
fact, beginning not too long after 9/11--as we had leadership meetings
at breakfast with the president, he would go around the world and talk

Iraq weapons fear letter was 'buried'

Sydney Morning Herald
By Marian Wilkinson, National Security Editor

A letter written by a former senior Foreign Affairs officer setting out grave concerns over the hunt for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction after the war was withheld from a Senate inquiry, blocking efforts to investigate US pressures on Australian personnel in Iraq, according to a new report.

The five-page letter, written by a senior Australian weapons analyst, Dr John Gee, explained his resignation from the US-led Iraq Survey Group, the body charged with finding Iraq's WMD.

The letter was given to the offices of the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, and the Prime Minister, John Howard, in early 2004, just as the Australian and US governments were dealing with reports that no WMDs had been found in Iraq.

An Oldie But Goodie

This article is two years old but still cries out...

Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense?
By John W. Dean
FindLaw Columnist
Special to

(FindLaw) --President George W. Bush has got a very serious problem. Before asking Congress for a joint resolution authorizing the use of U.S. military forces in Iraq, he made a number of unequivocal statements about the reason the United States needed to pursue the most radical actions any nation can undertake -- acts of war against another nation.

Now it is clear that many of his statements appear to be false. In the past, Bush's White House has been very good at sweeping ugly issues like this under the carpet, and out of sight. But it is not clear that they will be able to make the question of what happened to Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) go away -- unless, perhaps, they start another war.

Former aide: Powell WMD speech 'lowest point in my life'


Programming Note: " 'Dead Wrong' -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown" airs Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on CNN.

(CNN) -- A former top aide to Colin Powell says his involvement in the former secretary of state's presentation to the United Nations on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was "the lowest point" in his life.

"I wish I had not been involved in it," says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a longtime Powell adviser who served as his chief of staff from 2002 through 2005. "I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life."

Wilkerson is one of several insiders interviewed for the CNN Presents documentary "Dead Wrong -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown." The program, which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, pieces together the events leading up to the mistaken WMD intelligence that was presented to the public. A presidential commission that investigated the pre-war WMD intelligence found much of it to be "dead wrong."

Planning for post-Saddam regime change began as early as October 2001

National Security Archive Update, August 17, 2005

State Department experts warned CENTCOM before Iraq war about lack of plans for post-war Iraq security

Planning for post-Saddam regime change began as early as October 2001

Washington, D.C., August 17, 2005: Newly declassified State Department documents show that government experts warned the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in early 2003 about "serious planning gaps for post-conflict public security and humanitarian assistance," well before Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

In a February 7, 2003, memo to Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky, three senior Department officials noted CENTCOM's "focus on its primary military objectives and its reluctance to take on 'policing' roles," but warned that "a failure to address short-term public security and humanitarian assistance concerns could result in serious human rights abuses which would undermine an otherwise successful military campaign, and our reputation internationally." The memo adds "We have raised these issues with top CENTCOM officials."

Letter From an Iraq Vet

"What I witnessed was the total opposite of what President Bush told the American people"

by Sgt. John Bruhns

Editor's note: Following is a letter by Army Sgt. John Bruhns, excerpts of which were read on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) on July 19, 2005.

I am a concerned veteran of the Iraq war. I am not an expert on the vast and wide range of issues throughout the political spectrum, but I can offer some firsthand experience of the war in Iraq through the eyes of a soldier. My view of the situation in Iraq will differ from what the American people are being told by the Bush administration. The purpose of this message is to voice my concern that we were misled into war and continue to be misled about the situation in Iraq every day. My opinions on this matter come from what I witnessed in Iraq personally.

No 10 refuses to reveal Iraq war e-mails

London Sunday Times
Read the Downing Street Memo

DOWNING STREET is refusing to release e-mails from a senior official relating to the attorney-general’s legal advice in the run-up to the Iraq war, raising suspicions that No 10 intervened at a crucial time.
It has admitted that an aide reporting to Tony Blair sent confidential e-mails relating to the advice just days before Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, issued a summary version of his legal advice which stated unequivocally that the war was legal.

His original advice, issued 10 days earlier on March 7, 2003 warned that a decision to go to war could be challenged in the international courts.

Plame in the Courtroom


My latest Tomdispatch is about as close as I come to news and the information in it is surprising: In "Plame in the Courtroom: Is the Intelligence Identities Protection Act really impossible to prove?"

former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega considers the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act under which Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was essentially called into existence in the Valerie Plame outing case. Amid floods of articles on the case, the law itself is seldom discussed and yet a media/punditry consensus has formed that it is so specifically, even quirkily, written as to be almost impossible to use in a prosecution (hopeless, in fact, against a figure like Karl Rove or Vice President Cheney's right-hand man I.

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