[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...
The Real Reason Tenet and Pavitt Resigned from the
CIA on June 3rd and 4th
Bush, Cheney Indictments in Plame Case Looming
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
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"
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
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
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
"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 …
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
"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
"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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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/.
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
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
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
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
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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