Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cheney has a date

Better get his best orange jumpsuit outta the dry cleaners. The Washington Post is reporting that special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald:
"has assembled evidence that suggests Cheney's long-standing tensions with the CIA contributed to the unmasking of operative Valerie Plame."
[...] "Lawyers in the case said Fitzgerald has focused extensively on whether behind-the-scenes efforts by the vice president's aides and other senior Bush aides were part of a criminal campaign to punish Wilson in part by unmasking his wife."
[...]"Fitzgerald has been exposed to the intense, behind-the-scenes fight between Cheney's office and the CIA over prewar intelligence and the vice president's central role in compiling and then defending the intelligence used to justify the war."
[...] "Before the war, [Cheney] traveled to CIA headquarters for briefings, an unusual move that some critics interpreted as an effort to pressure intelligence officials into supporting his view of the evidence."

But, as Will Bunch at the Philadelphia Daily News Blog reminds us, the Dark Prince doesn't just open up to anyone:
"reporters having direct access to Cheney -- and thus an opportunity for the vice president himself to personally discuss Wilson or Plame -- was remarkably rare."

[click "Read on, MacDuff!" to continue reading] One possibility, aside from the most obvious (Cheney-aide, Libby to Judy Miller & Matt Cooper), is that Cheney may have had an opportunity to leak (a "leakortunity") to NBC's Andrea Mitchell. Whaaaa? Will Bunch's post reminds us that Andrea Mitchell is married to Fed. Chairman Alan Greenspan. The Feddy Couple attended a select party for Gerald Ford's 90th birthday in July 2003--the approx time of the leak. As a former chief-of-staff to Ford, Cheney was also present. [Sidebar: Oy...some party, eh? *shudder*].

And hot-off of the wires, Reuters has just reported:
"A former intelligence official said Plame did not work at Winpac [CIA's 'Weapons Intelligence, Non-Proliferation, and Arms Control,' as Libby told Judith Miller] but for the CIA's clandestine service. The former official, who is familiar with Plame's CIA activities, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the matter's sensitivity. It is unclear how the discrepancy might affect the investigation. The former intelligence official said the WINPAC error could bolster Libby's defense, if he were charged with intentionally compromising the identity of a covert operative, since most Winpac employees are not undercover."

I don't know what this last bit means. Obviously someone's leaking like a sieve. Much butt-covering to do, with Fitzgerald expected to deliver indictments as early as tomorrow. And what about Rove? Have a little fun and watch this clip :)

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