Update: As several people have noted in the comments, Cheney famously said in Sept. 2003 on MTP, "And Joe Wilson—I don’t who sent Joe Wilson. He never submitted a report that I ever saw when he came back." If Cheney gave Libby the go-ahead to discuss the classified CIA report (below) as well as the NIE, this would appear to a somewhat less-than-honest answer.
Now that Christy has given a fabulous overview of the latest Fitzgerald filing I want to dig a little deeper into some of the details.
One of the things that jumped out at me when I read it was this, on p. 23:
Defendant discussed with Miller the contents of a then classified CIA report which defendant characterized to Miller as having been written by Wilson. Defendant advised Miller that Wilson had reported that he had learned that in 1999 an Iraqi delegation visited Niger and sought to expand commercial relations, which was understood to be a reference to a desire to obtain uranium.
We’ve known all along that Fitz had the goods on Libby for things he hasn’t charged him with. Libby lied about his conversation with Ari Fleischer and it appears Fitz may be working on a case regarding a plot to smear Wilson — in his new filing he certainly says there was a concerted effort to do so. And while everyone is focused on the leaking of the was-it-or-wasn’t-it-declassified NIE, it also appears Libby discussed material with Miller that most certainly wasn’t declassified. Fitzgerald points his finger directly at this fact.
Did Cheney authorize Libby to do this too, for no other reason than political gain?
This CIA report is most probably the one referred to and cited in the SSCI, and also in Wilson’s book The Politics of Truth. It was written not by Wilson but by a reporting officer who was not present at any of Wilson’s debriefings following his return from the Niger trip.
As Emptywheel points out, it appears that the reporting of this event may have been doctored in an attempt to smear Wilson and connect his wife to sending him to Niger. According to the SSCI report (p. 39):
The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador’s wife "offered up his name"
But according to Wilson’s book (p. lvi):
When that CIA officer read the quote in the report, he went to see Valerie to tell her that he had never said anything of the kind. He was so distraught that he offered to write a memo to clarify that it had been him, not Valerie, who had initially suggested that the CIA talk to me. Valerie made it clear to him that she could not advise him one way or another. Valerie told me he wrote such a memo and shared the contents with her, but that the supervisor would not allow him to send it to the committee.
Who authorized these leaks? And how far did the Administration go in abusing their power for partisan ends in discrediting Joe Wilson? Scott McClellan’s attempts to lay this at the feet of Democrats and partisan politics won’t cut it, and his lame mantra about not commenting on an ongoing investigation have grown tiresome.
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