[FoRK] Pay no attention to the left hand...

Contempt for Meatheads jbone at place.org
Fri Jun 11 14:26:41 PDT 2004


	
Sadly, this is probably closer to truth and warrants more consideration  
than its ranterish presentation might otherwise indicate...

	http://www.fromthewilderness.com/cgi-bin/MasterPFP.cgi?doc=http:// 
www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/060804_coup_detat.html

--

COUP D'ETAT:
The Real Reason Tenet and Pavitt Resigned from the
CIA on June 3rd and 4th

Bush, Cheney Indictments in Plame Case Looming

by
Michael C. Ruppert

additional reporting by
Wayne Madsen from Washington

© Copyright 2004, From The Wilderness Publications,  
www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted,  
distributed or posted on an Internet web site for non-profit purposes  
only.

JUNE 8, 2004 1600 PDT (FTW) - Why did DCI George Tenet suddenly resign  
on June 3rd, only to be followed a day later by James Pavitt, the CIA's  
Deputy Director of Operations (DDO)?

The real reasons, contrary to the saturation spin being put out by  
major news outlets, have nothing to do with Tenet's role as taking the  
fall for alleged 9/11 and Iraqi intelligence "failures" before the  
upcoming presidential election.

Both resignations, perhaps soon to be followed by resignations from  
Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage, are about the imminent  
and extremely messy demise of George W. Bush and his Neocon  
administration in a coup d'etat being executed by the Central  
Intelligence Agency. The coup, in the planning for at least two years,  
has apparently become an urgent priority as a number of deepening  
crises threaten a global meltdown.

Based upon recent developments, it appears that long-standing plans and  
preparations leading to indictments and impeachment of Bush, Cheney and  
even some senior cabinet members have been accelerated, possibly with  
the intent of removing or replacing the entire Bush regime prior to the  
Republican National Convention this August.

FTW has been documenting this Watergate-like coup for more than fifteen  
months and almost everything we will discuss about recent events was  
predicted by us in the following pages: Please see our stories "The  
Perfect Storm - Part I" (March 2003); "Blood in the Water" (July 2003);  
"Beyond Bush - Part I" (July 2003); "Waxman Ties Evidentiary Noose  
Around Rice and Cheney" (July 2003); and "Beyond Bush - Part II"  
(October 2003).

There were two things we didn't get right. One was the timing. We  
predicted the developments taking place now as likely to happen after  
the November election, not before. Secondly, we did not foresee the  
sudden resignations of Tenet and Pavitt. Understanding the resignations  
is the key to understanding a deteriorating world scene and that  
America is on the precipice of a presidential and constitutional crisis  
that will ultimately dwarf the removal of Richard Nixon in 1974.

So why did Tenet and Pavitt resign? We'll explain why and we will  
provide many clues along the way as we make our case.

HIGH CRIMES AND REALLY STUPID MOVES

Shortly after the "surprise" Tenet-Pavitt resignations, current and  
former senior members of the U.S. intelligence community and the  
Justice Department told journalist Wayne Madsen, a former Naval  
intelligence officer, that they were directly connected to the criminal  
investigation of a 2003 White House leak that openly exposed Valerie  
Plame as an undercover CIA officer. What received less attention was  
that the leak also destroyed a long-term CIA proprietary intelligence  
gathering operation which, as we will see, was of immense importance to  
US strategic interests at a critical moment.

The leak was a vindictive retaliation for statements, reports and  
actions taken by Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson,  
which had deeply embarrassed the Bush administration and exposed it to  
possible charges for impeachable offenses, including lying to the  
American people about an alleged (and totally unfounded) nuclear threat  
posed by Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Conservative columnist Robert Novak,  
the beneficiary of the leak, immediately published it on July 14, 2003  
and Valerie Plame's career (at least the covert part) instantly ended.  
The actual damage caused by that leak has never been fully appreciated.

Wilson deeply embarrassed almost every senior member of the Bush junta  
by proving to the world that they were consciously lying about one of  
their most important justifications for invading Iraq: namely, their  
claim to have had certain knowledge, based on "good and reliable"  
intelligence, that Hussein was on the brink of deploying a nuclear  
weapon, possibly inside the United States. It was eventually disclosed  
that the "intelligence" possessed by the administration was a set of  
poorly forged documents on letterhead from the government of Niger,  
which described attempts by Iraq to purchase yellowcake uranium for a  
nuclear weapons program.

It has since been established by Scott Ritter and others that Iraq's  
nuclear weapons program had been dead in the water and non-functioning  
since the first Iraq war.

Wilson was secretly dispatched in February 2002, on instructions from  
Dick Cheney to the CIA, to go to Niger and look for anything that might  
support the material in the documents. They had already been dismissed  
as forgeries by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the CIA, and  
apparently everyone else who had seen them. The CIA cautioned the  
administration, more than once, against using them. Shortly thereafter,  
Wilson returned and gave his report stating clearly that the  
allegations were pure bunk and unsupportable.

In spite of this, unaware of the booby traps laid all around them, the  
entire power core of the Bush administration jumped on the Niger  
documents as on a battle horse and charged off into in a massive public  
relations blitz. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell, Wolfowitz and  
others - to varying degrees - insisted, testified, and swore that they  
knew, and had reliable, credible and verified intelligence that Saddam  
was about to deploy an actual nuclear device built from the Niger  
yellowcake.

It was full court media press and they successfully scared the pants  
off of most Americans who believed that Saddam was going to nuke them  
any second.

George Bush made the charge and actually cited the documents in his  
2003 State-of-the-Union address, even after he had been cautioned by  
George Tenet not to rely on them. In a major speech at the United  
Nations, Colin Powell charged that Iraq was on the verge of deploying a  
nuke and had been trying to acquire uranium. Dick Cheney charged in  
several speeches that Saddam was capable of nuclear terror. And shortly  
before the invasion, when asked in a television interview whether there  
was sufficient proof and advance warning of the Iraqi nuclear threat, a  
smug and confident Condoleezza Rice quipped, "If we wait for a smoking  
gun, that smoking gun may be a mushroom cloud over an American city."  
Rice was lying through her teeth.

By July of 2003, as the Iraqi invasion was proving to be a protracted  
and ill-conceived debacle, executed in spite of massive resistance from  
within military, political, diplomatic and economic cadres, there was  
growing disgust within many government circles about the way the Bush  
administration was running things. The mention of Wilson's report came  
in July though his name was not disclosed. It suggested corroborative  
evidence of criminal, rather than stupid, behavior by the  
administration. The San Francisco Chronicle reported:

A senior CIA official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the  
intelligence agency informed the White House on March 9, 2002 - 10  
months before Bush's nationally televised speech - that an agency  
source who had traveled to Niger could not confirm European  
intelligence reports that Iraq was attempting to buy uranium from the  
West African country.

Note the reference to an Agency source.

It was inevitable that Wilson would move from no comment, to statements  
given on condition of anonymity, and finally into the public spotlight.  
That he did, in a July 6th New York Times Editorial titled "What I  
Didn't Find in Africa." Soon he was giving interviews everywhere.

On July 14th Novak published the column outing Wilson's wife, Valerie  
Plame. As a result, any criminal investigation of the Plame leak will  
also go into the Niger documents and any crimes committed which are  
materially related to Plame's exposure.

Instead of retreating, Wilson advanced. In Septmeber he went public,  
writing editorials and granting interviews which thoroughly exposed the  
Bush administration's criminal use of the documents, Cheney's lies  
about the mission, and all the other lies used to deceive the American  
people into war.

At the moment he went on the record, Wilson became another legally  
admissible, corroborative evidentiary source; a witness available for  
subpoena and deposition, ready to give testimony to the high crimes and  
misdemeanors he has witnessed.

First Clue: James Pavitt was Valerie Plame's boss. So was George Tenet.

HOW THE TRAP WAS SET

Conflicting news reports suggest that perhaps several sets of the  
documents were delivered simultaneously to several recipients. I could  
find only one news story (out of almost 60 I have reviewed) which  
indicated just when the Niger papers were first put into play. One of  
the most fundamental questions in journalism, "when?" was omitted from  
every major press organization's coverage except for a single story  
from the Associated Press on July 13th.

… [T]he forged Niger government documents, showing attempts by Iraq to  
purchase yellowcake, were delivered by unknown sources to a journalist  
working for Italy's Corriere della Sera which then gave them to the  
Italian intelligence service. She then reportedly gave them to Italian  
intelligence agents who gave them to the US embassy. Seymour Hersh of  
the New Yorker also offered this version indicating that the documents  
had surfaced in Italy in the fall of 2001.

The fall of 2001. That means that the documents were created no more  
than three and a half months after September 11th.

The earliest press report mentioning the documents was a March 7, 2003  
story in The Financial Times. On that day, Mohammed El Baradei, head of  
the International Atomic Energy Agency reported to the UN Security  
Council that the documents were forgeries. The story contained a  
revealing paragraph.

"The allegation about the uranium purchase first surfaced in a UK  
government dossier published on September 24 last year about Iraq's  
alleged weapons programmes, though it did not name Niger. Niger was  
first named when the US State Department elaborated on the allegations  
on December 19 [2002]…

Canada's Globe and Mail reported on March 8, 2003:

…[T]he forgeries were sold to an Italian intelligence agent by a con  
man some time ago and passed on to French authorities, but the scam was  
uncovered by the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] only  
recently, according to United Nations sources familiar with the  
investigation. The documents were turned over to the IAEA several weeks  
ago.

"In fact, the IAEA says, there is no credible evidence that Iraq tried  
to import uranium ore from the Central African country in violation of  
UN resolutions.

"Based on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded, with the  
concurrence of outside experts, that these documents, which formed the  
basis for the reports of these uranium transactions between Iraq and  
Niger, are, in fact, not authentic," Mr. El Baradei told the UN  
Security Council Friday….

The Chicago Tribune reported on March 13, 2003, "Forged documents that  
the United States used to build its case against Iraq were likely  
written by someone in Niger's embassy in Rome who hoped to make quick  
money, a source close to the United Nations investigation said.

The Washington Post gave yet a different story, also on March 8, 2003:

…Knowledgeable sources familiar with the forgery investigation  
described the faked evidence as a series of letters between Iraqi  
agents and officials in the central African nation of Niger. The  
documents had been given to the U.N. inspectors by Britain and reviewed  
extensively by U.S. intelligence. The forgers had made relatively crude  
errors that eventually gave them away - including names and titles that  
did not match up with the individuals who held office at the time the  
letters were purportedly written, the officials said…"

…The CIA, which had also obtained the documents, had questions about  
"whether they were accurate," said one intelligence official, and it  
decided not to include them in its file on Iraq's program to procure  
weapons of mass destruction.

In a follow-up story on March 13th the Post reported:

It's something we're just beginning to look at," a senior law  
enforcement official said yesterday. Officials are trying to determine  
whether the documents were forged to try to influence U.S. policy, or  
whether they may have been created as part of a disinformation campaign  
directed by a foreign intelligence service...


…The phony documents - a series of letters between Iraqi and Niger  
officials showing Iraq's interest in equipment that could be used to  
make nuclear weapons - came to British and U.S. intelligence officials  
from a third country. The identity of the third country could not be  
learned yesterday.

What if it wasn't a foreign intelligence service? I had been suspicious  
that a Watergate-like coup was forming immediately after reading the  
first few stories about the documents. I was convinced when the AP  
reported on March 14, 2003 (just days before the Iraqi invasion) that  
the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee had called  
for an FBI investigation of the documents' origins. The Boston Globe  
reported two days later that the Senator was specifically seeking to  
determine whether administration officials had forged the documents  
themselves to marshal support for the invasion.

The request was not nearly as significant to me as who it had come from  
- Jay Rockefeller of the Standard Oil Rockefellers. An oil dynasty was  
calling for an investigation of a bunch of oil men. Somebody was  
screwing up big time.

Seymour Hersh dropped a major bombshell that went virtually unnoticed,  
54 paragraphs deep into an October 27, 2003 story for the New Yorker  
titled "The Stovepipe."

Who produced the fake Niger papers? There is nothing approaching a  
consensus on this question within the intelligence community. There has  
been published speculation about the intelligence services of several  
different countries. One theory, favored by some journalists in Rome,  
is that [the Italian intelligence service] Sismi produced the false  
documents and passed them to Panorama for publication.

"Another explanation was provided by a former senior C.I.A. officer. He  
had begun talking to me about the Niger papers in March, when I first  
wrote about the forgery, and said, 'Somebody deliberately let something  
false get in there.' He became more forthcoming in subsequent months,  
eventually saying that a small group of disgruntled retired C.I.A.  
clandestine operators had banded together in the late summer of last  
year and drafted the fraudulent documents themselves. [emphasis added]

Hersh's revelation provided corroboration for something I and others,  
like the renowned political historian Peter Dale Scott, had been  
suspecting for a long time. The CIA was fighting back. This was a well  
orchestrated, long-term covert operation - exactly what the CIA does  
all over the world.

POINT OF NO RETURN

Willing disclosure of the identity of a covert operative is a serious  
felony under Federal law, punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. The  
Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 makes it a crime for  
anyone with access to classified information to intentionally disclose  
information identifying a covert operative. The penalties get worse for  
doing it to a deep cover Direcorate of Operations (DO) case officer (as  
opposed to an undercover DEA Agent).

After John Ashcroft was forced to recuse himself from the case, Patrick  
Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, was transferred to Washington  
and appointed special prosecutor in the Plame case.

Robert Novak, rightly standing by the journalistic code of ethics, has  
steadfastly refused to identify his White House source. We would do the  
same thing in his shoes. The investigation is nearing a climax with  
pending issuance of criminal indictments. Press reports citing sources  
close to the investigation have directly and indirectly pointed fingers  
at Dick Cheney and his Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, as  
suspects.

Second clue: The criminal investigation of the Plame leak was  
investigated after a September 2003 formal request from the CIA,  
approved by George Tenet.

Not only was Plame's cover blown, so was that of her cover company,  
Brewster, Jennings & Associates. With the public exposure of Plame,  
intelligence agencies all over the world started searching data bases  
for any references to her (TIME Magazine). Damage control was  
immediate, as the CIA asserted that her mission had been connected to  
weapons of mass destruction.

However, it was not long before stories from the Washington Post and  
the Wall Street Journal tied Brewster, Jennings & Associates to energy,  
oil and the Saudi-owned Arabian American Oil Company, or ARAMCO.  
Brewster Jennings had been a founder of Mobil Oil company, one of  
Aramco's principal founders.

According to additional sources interviewed by Wayne Madsen, Brewster  
Jennings was, in fact, a well-established CIA proprietary company,  
linked for many years to ARAMCO. The demise of Brewster Jennings was  
also guaranteed the moment Plame was outed.

It takes years for Non-Official Covers or NOCs, as they are known, to  
become really effective. Over time, they become gradually more trusted;  
they work their way into deeper information access from more sensitive  
sources. NOCs are generally regarded in the community as among the best  
and most valuable of all CIA operations officers and the agency goes to  
great lengths to protect them in what are frequently very risky  
missions.

By definition, Valerie Plame was an NOC. Yet unlike all other NOCs who  
fear exposure and torture or death from hostile governments and  
individual targets who have been judged threats to the United States,  
she got done in by her own President, whom we also judge to be a  
domestic enemy of the United States.

Moreover, as we will see below, Valerie Plame may have been one of the  
most important NOCs the CIA had in the current climate. Let's look at  
just how valuable she was.

ARAMCO

According to an April 29, 2002 report in Britain's Guardian, ARAMCO  
constitutes 12% of the world's total oil production; a figure which has  
certainly increased as other countries have progressed deeper into  
irreversible decline.

ARAMCO is the largest oil group in the world, a state-owned Saudi  
company in partnership with four major US oil companies. Another one of  
Aramco’s partners is Chevron-Texaco which gave up one of its board  
members, Condoleezza Rice, when she became the National Security  
Advisor to George Bush. All of ARAMCO’s key decisions are made by the  
Saudi royal family while US oil expertise, personnel and technology  
keeps the cash coming in and the oil going out. ARAMCO operates,  
manages, and maintains virtually all Saudi oil fields – 25% of all the  
oil on the planet.

It gets better.

According to a New York Times report on March 8th of this year, ARAMCO  
is planning to make a 25% investment in a new and badly needed refinery  
to produce gasoline. The remaining 75% ownership of the refinery will  
go to the only nation that is quickly becoming America's major world  
competitor for ever-diminishing supplies of oil: China.

Almost the entire Bush administration has an interest in ARAMCO.

The Boston Globe reported that in 2001 ARAMCO had signed a $140 million  
multi-year contract with Halliburton, then chaired by Dick Cheney, to  
develop a new oil field. Halliburton does a lot of business in Saudi  
Arabia. Current estimates of Halliburton contracts or joint ventures in  
the country run into the tens of billions of dollars.

So do the fortunes of some shady figures from the Bush family's past.

As recently as 1991 ARAMCO had Khalid bin Mahfouz sitting on its  
Supreme Council or board of directors. Mahfouz, Saudi Arabia's former  
treasurer and the nation's largest banker, has been reported in several  
places to be Osama bin Laden's brother in law. However, he has denied  
this and brought intense legal pressure to bear demanding retractions  
of these allegations. He has major partnership investments with the  
multi-billion dollar Binladin Group of companies and he is a former  
director of BCCI, the infamous criminal drug-money laundering bank  
which performed a number of very useful services for the CIA before its  
1991 collapse under criminal investigation by a whole lot of countries.

As Saudi Arabia's largest banker he handles the accounts of the royal  
family and - no doubt - ARAMCO, while at the same time he is a named  
defendant in a $1 trillion lawsuit filed by 9/11 victim families  
against the Saudi government and prominent Saudi officials who, the  
suit alleges, were complicit in the 9/11 attacks.

Both BCCI and Mahfouz have historical connections to the Bush family  
dating back to the 1980s. Another bank (one of many) connected to  
Mahfouz - the InterMaritime Bank - bailed out a cash-starved Harken  
Energy in 1987 with $25 million. After the rejuvenated Harken got a  
no-bid oil lease in 1991, CEO George W. Bush promptly sold his shares  
in a pump-and-dump scheme and made a whole lot of money.

Knowing all of this, there's really no good reason why the CIA should  
be too upset, is there? It was only a long-term proprietary and  
deep-cover NOC - well established and consistently producing "take"  
from ARAMCO (and who knows what else in Saudi Arabia). It was destroyed  
with a motive of personal vengeance (there may have been other motives)  
by someone inside the White House.

 From the CIA's point of view, at a time when Saudi Arabia is one of the  
three or four countries of highest interest to the US, the Plame  
operation was irreplaceable.

Third clue: Tenet's resignation, which occurred at night, was the first  
"evening resignation" of a Cabinet-level official since October 1973  
when Attorney General Elliott Richardson and his deputy, William  
Ruckelshaus, resigned in protest of Richard Nixon's firing of Watergate  
special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Many regard this as the watershed  
moment when the Nixon administration was doomed.

SAUDI ARABIA

Given that energy is becoming the most important issue on the planet  
today, if you were the CIA, you might be a little pissed off at the  
Plame leak. But there may be justification to do more than be angry.  
Anger happens all the time in Washington. This is something else.

One of the most important intelligence prizes today - especially after  
recent stories in major outlets like the New York Times reporting that  
Saudi oil production has peaked and gone into irreversible decline -  
would be to know of a certainty whether those reports are correct. The  
Saudis are denying it vehemently but they are being strongly refuted by  
an increasing amount of hard data. The truth remains unproven. But the  
mere possibility has set the world's financial markets on edge. Saudi  
Oil Minister Ali Naimi came to Washington on April 27th to put out the  
fires. It was imperative that he calm everybody's nerves as the markets  
were screaming, "Say it ain't so!"

Naimi said emphatically that there was nothing to worry about  
concerning either Saudi reserves or ARAMCO's ability to increase  
production. There was plenty of oil and no need for concern.

FTW covered and reported on that event. Writer and energy expert Julian  
Darley noted that there were some very important ears in the room,  
listening very closely. He also noted that Naimi's "scientific" data  
and promises of large future discoveries did not sit well many who are  
well versed in oil production and delivery.

[See FTW's June 2nd story, "Saudi's Missing Barrels" and our May 2003  
story, "Paris Peak Oil Conference Reveals Deepening Crisis." In that  
story FTW editor Mike Ruppert was the first to report on credible new  
information that Saudi Arabia had possibly peaked.]

If anybody has the real data on Saudi fields it is either ARAMCO or the  
highest levels of the Saudi royal family.

The answer to the Saudi peak question will determine whether Saudi  
Arabia really can increase production quickly, as promised. If they  
can't, then the US economy is going to suffer bitterly, and it is  
certain that the Saudi monarchy will collapse into chaos. Then the  
nearby US military will occupy the oilfields and the U.S. will  
ultimately Balkanize the country by carving off the oil fields - which  
occupy only a small area near the East coast. That U.S. enclave would  
then provide sanctuary to the leading members of the royal family who  
will have agreed to keep their trillions invested in Wall Street so the  
US economy doesn't collapse.

So far the Saudis haven't had to prove that they could increase  
production due to convenient terror attacks at oil fields, and more  
"debates" within OPEC.

Fourth clue: Bush and Cheney have both hired or consulted private  
criminal defense attorneys in anticipation of possible indictments of  
them and/or their top assistants in the Plame investigation. On June 3,  
just hours before Tenet suddenly resigned, President Bush consulted  
with and may have retained a criminal defense attorney to represent him  
in the Plame case.

According to various press reports Bush has either retained or  
consulted with powerhouse attorney Jim Sharp, who represented  
Iran-contra figure retired Air Force Major General Richard Secord;  
Enron's Ken Lay; and Watergate co-conspirator Jeb Stuart Magruder. All  
three were facing criminal rather than civil charges. Either way, a  
clear signal has been sent that Bush expects to be either called to  
testify (which was a precursor in Watergate to a criminal indictment of  
Richard Nixon) or be named as a defendant. Either way, the President's  
men are falling faster than their counterparts fell in Watergate, and  
the initial targets are much higher up the food chain.

Cheney's attorney is Terrence O'Donnell, a partner of the Williams and  
Connolly law firm. O'Donnell worked for then White House chief of staff  
Cheney in the Ford administration and as General Counsel for the  
Pentagon when Cheney was Defense Secretary under the first President  
Bush. He has been representing the Vice President in criminal and civil  
cases involving Cheney's chairmanship of Halliburton. These include a  
Justice Department investigation of Halliburton for alleged payment of  
bribes to Nigerian political leaders and a stockholders' fraud law suit  
against Halliburton. O'Donnell also represented former CIA director  
John Deutch when he was accused of violating national security by  
taking his CIA computer home and surfing the Internet while it  
contained hundreds of highly-classified intelligence documents.

SPRINGING THE TRAP

Now, seemingly all of a sudden, Bush and Cheney are in the crosshairs.  
Cheney has been questioned by Fitzgerald within the last week.

The CIA Director's job by definition, whether others like it or not, is  
to be able to go to his President and advise him of the real scientific  
data on foreign resources (especially oil); to warn him of pending  
instability in a country closely linked to the US economy; and to tell  
him what to plan for and what to promise politically in his foreign  
policy. In light of her position in the CIA's relationship with Saudi  
Aramco, the outing of Valerie Plame made much of this impossible. In  
short, the Bush leak threatened National Security.

Former White House Counsel and Watergate figure John Dean, writing for  
the prestigious legal website findlaw.com on June 4th made some very  
ominous observations that appear to have gone unnoticed by most.

This action by Bush is a rather stunning and extraordinary development.  
The President of the United States is potentially hiring a private  
criminal defense lawyer. Unsurprisingly, the White House is doing all  
it can to bury the story, providing precious little detail or context  
for the President's action…

…But from what I have learned from those who have been quizzed by the  
Fitzgerald investigators it seems unlikely that they are interviewing  
the President merely as a matter of completeness, or in order to be  
able to defend their actions in front of the public. Asking a President  
to testify - or even be interviewed - remains a serious, sensitive and  
rare occasion. It is not done lightly. Doing so raises separation of  
powers concerns that continue to worry many…

…If so - and if the person revealed the leaker's identity to the  
President, or if the President decided he preferred not to know the  
leaker's identity. - Then this fact could conflict with Bush's  
remarkably broad public statements on the issue. He has said that he  
did not know of "anybody in [his] administration who leaked classified  
information." He has also said that he wanted "to know the truth" about  
this leak.

If Bush is called before the grand jury, it is likely because  
Fitzgerald believes that he knows much more about this leak than he has  
stated publicly.

Perhaps Bush may have knowledge not only of the leaker, but also of  
efforts to make this issue go away - if indeed there have been any. It  
is remarkably easy to obstruct justice, and this matter has been under  
various phases of an investigation by the Justice Department since it  
was referred by the CIA last summer…

…On this subject, I spoke with an experienced former federal prosecutor  
who works in Washington, specializing in white collar criminal defense  
(but who does not know Sharp). That attorney told me that he is baffled  
by Bush's move - unless Bush has knowledge of the leak. "It would not  
seem that the President needs to consult personal counsel, thereby  
preserving the attorney-client privilege, if he has no knowledge about  
the leak," he told me.

What advice might Bush get from a private defense counsel? The lawyer I  
consulted opined that, "If he does have knowledge about the leak and  
does not plan to disclose it, the only good legal advice would be to  
take the Fifth, rather than lie. The political fallout is a separate  
issue."

I raised the issue of whether the President might be able to invoke  
executive privilege as to this information. But the attorney I  
consulted - who is well versed in this area of law - opined that  
"Neither 'outing' Plame, nor covering for the perpetrators would seem  
to fall within the scope of any executive privilege that I am aware  
of."

That may not stop Bush from trying to invoke executive privilege,  
however - or at least from talking to his attorney about the option. As  
I have discussed in one of my prior columns, Vice President Dick Cheney  
has tried to avoid invoking it in implausible circumstances - in the  
case that is now before the U.S .Supreme Court. Rather he claims he is  
beyond the need for the privilege, and simply cannot be sued. [Emphasis  
added]

Suffice it to say that whatever the meaning of Bush's decision to talk  
with private counsel about the Valerie Plame leak, the matter has taken  
a more ominous turn with Bush's action. It has only become more  
portentous because now Dick Cheney has also hired a lawyer for himself,  
suggesting both men may have known more than they let on. Clearly, the  
investigation is heading toward a culmination of some sort. And it  
should be interesting.

Last and final clue: Under Executive Privilege, a principle intended to  
protect the constitutional separation of powers, officials in the  
Executive Branch cannot give testimony in a legal case against a  
sitting President. The Bush administration has invoked or threatened to  
invoke the privilege several times. Dick did it over the secret records  
of his energy task force and George Bush tried to use it to prevent  
Condoleezza Rice from testifying before the "Independent" Commission  
investigating September 11th.

Former officials of the Executive Branch are, however, free to testify  
if they are no longer holding a government office when subpoenaed or  
when the charges are brought.

[To learn more about Executive Privilege visit www.findlaw.com]

The Bush administration has proved itself to be an insular group of  
inept, dishonest and dangerous CEO's of the corporation known as  
America. They have become very bad for business and the Board of  
Directors is now taking action. Make no mistake, the CIA works for "The  
Board" - Wall Street and big money. The long-term (very corrupt and  
unethical) agenda of the Board, in the face of multiple worsening  
global crises, was intended to proceed far beyond the initially  
destructive war in Iraq, toward an effective reconstruction and a  
strategic response to Peak Oil. But the neocons have stalled at the  
ugly stage: killing hundreds of thousands of people; destroying Iraq's  
industrial and cultural infrastructure as their own bombs and other  
people's RPGs blow everything up; getting caught running torture camps;  
and making the whole world intensely dislike America.

These jerks are doing real damage to their masters' interests.

But (not surprisingly) Tenet and the CIA were and remain much better at  
covert operations and planning ahead than the Bush administration ever  
was. Tenet and Pavitt actually prepared and left a clear, irrefutable  
and incriminating paper trail which not only proves that they had  
shunned and refused to endorse the documents, the CIA also did not  
support the nuke charges and warned Bush not to use them.

Where are those documents now? They're part of the Justice Department  
Plame investigation - and they're also in the hands of the Congressman  
who will most likely introduce and manage the articles of impeachment,  
if that becomes necessary: Henry Waxman (D), of California. If you  
would like to see how tightly the legal trap has been prepared, and how  
carefully the evidence has been laid out, I suggest taking a look  
around Waxman's web site at: http://www.house.gov/waxman/.


THE SWARM

There are a multitude of signs that the Bush administration is being  
"swarmed" in what is becoming a feeding frenzy as opposition is  
surfacing from many places inside the government, including the  
military. The signs are not hard to find.

The June 3rd issue of Capitol Hill Blue, the newspaper published for  
members of Congress, bore the headline "Bush Knew About Leak of CIA  
Operative's Name". That article virtually guaranteed that the Plame  
investigation had enough to pursue Bush criminally. The story's lead  
sentence described a criminal, prosecutable offense: "Witnesses told a  
federal grand jury President George W. Bush knew about, and took no  
action to stop, the release of a covert CIA operative's name to a  
journalist in an attempt to discredit her husband, a critic of  
administration policy in Iraq."

A day later, on June 4th Capitol Hill Blue took another hard shot at  
the administration. Titled "Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House  
Aides", the story's first four paragraphs say everything.

President George W. Bush's increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood  
swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately  
express growing concern over their leader's state of mind.

In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President  
goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against  
the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as "enemies of the  
state."

Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge,  
increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a  
public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.

"It reminds me of the Nixon days," says a longtime GOP political  
consultant with contacts in the White House. "Everybody is an enemy;  
everybody is out to get him. That's the mood over there."

The attacks have not stopped. On June 8th, the same paper followed with  
another story headlined, "Lawyers Told Bush He Could Order Suspects  
Tortured".

Journalist Wayne Madsen, a Washington veteran with excellent access to  
many sources has indicated for this story that the Neocons have few  
remaining friends anywhere. All of this is consistent with a CIA-led  
coup.

Ahmed Chalabi

Madsen reported that the Plame probe comes amid another high-level  
probe of Pentagon officials for leaking classified National Security  
Agency cryptologic information to Iran via Iraqi National Congress head  
Ahmed Chalabi. FBI agents have polygraphed and interviewed a number of  
civilian political appointees in the Pentagon in relation to the  
intelligence leak, said to have severely disrupted the National  
Security Agency's ability to listen in on encrypted Iranian diplomatic  
and intelligence communications.

Chalabi's leak has once again forced Iran to change equipment,  
resulting in impaired U.S. intelligence gathering of Iran's sensitive  
communications. The probe into the Chalabi leak is centering on  
Pentagon officials who have been close to Chalabi, including Office of  
Net Assessment official Harold Rhode, Director of Policy and Plans  
officials Douglas Feith and William Luti, Undersecretary for  
Intelligence Stephen Cambone, and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul  
Wolfowitz. In addition, some former Pentagon advisers are also targeted  
in the probe.

Many press reports throughout 2003 indicated that Chalabi, distrusted  
and virtually discarded by the CIA, had been resurrected and inserted  
into the Iraqi political mix on the orders of Donald Rumsfeld, Paul  
Wolfowitz and the other Neocons listed above.

Abu Ghraib and Torture

A former CIA official told Madsen that between the Plame leak and the  
Abu Ghraib torture affair, the Bush administration is facing something  
that will be "worse than Watergate."

PLANNING FOR SUCCESSION

If both Bush and Cheney are removed or resign, what happens? Madsen  
reported that lobbyists and political consultants in Washington are  
dusting off their copies of the Constitution and checking the line of  
presidential succession.

One lobbyist said he will soon pay a call on Alaska Republican Senator  
Ted Stevens, who, as President pro tem of the Senate, is second in line  
to House Speaker Dennis Hastert to become President in the event Bush  
and Cheney both go.

It is one of the greatest ironies of the Plame affair that the Bush  
administration, spawned and nurtured by oil, might have committed  
suicide by vindictively, cruelly and unthinkingly exacting personal  
retribution on an intelligence officer who had committed no offense,  
and who was, quite possibly, providing the administration with critical  
oil-related intelligence which the President needed to manage our shaky  
economy and affairs of state for a while longer to squeak through to  
re-election. In our opinion, nothing better epitomizes the true nature  
of the Neocons.

That being said, they have to go. FTW wishes that it was as certain  
that what will come after them will be better.



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