Friday, July 22, 2005

Oh this doesn't look good

Today's NYTimes drops a nice little bombshell that adds support to conspiracy theorists. It seems as though the BushCo plumbing problems Turdblossom and Scooter were working together to deal with the issue of the President's [unfounded] allegations of cake sales in Niger. [emphasis added]

People who have been briefed on the case said the White House officials, Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby, were helping prepare what became the administration's primary response to criticism that a flawed phrase about the nuclear materials in Africa had been in Mr. Bush's State of the Union address six months earlier.

They had exchanged e-mail correspondence and drafts of a proposed statement by George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, to explain how the disputed wording had gotten into the address. Mr. Rove, the president's political strategist, and Mr. Libby, the chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, coordinated their efforts with Stephen J. Hadley, then the deputy national security adviser, who was in turn consulting with Mr. Tenet.


It is not clear what information Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby might have collected about Ms. Wilson as they worked on the Tenet statement. Mr. Rove has said he learned her name from Mr. Novak. Mr. Libby has declined to discuss the matter.

The effort was striking because to an unusual degree, the circle of officials involved included those from the White House's political and national security operations, which are often separately run. Both arms were drawn into the effort to defend the administration during the period.

People close to the administration say this working relationship demonstrate that Rove and Libby were not involved in an orchestrated scheme to discredit former Ambassador Joe Wilson or disclose the undercover status of his wife Valerie (really, according to the article they that make that case); however, the fact that they've both been named as sources of information regarding Valerie Plame in context with continuing to support of what the administration knew was a lie (the State Department had disproven the allegation in 2002, prior to Wilson's mission to Niger that ended up corroborating the State Department report on the matter) supports a charge of collusion between the two. Add this to the fact that both leakers lied to the Grand Jury (that'd be perjury), violated their Nondisclosure Agreements (which come with oaths and all) and the fact that the State Department memo was marked Top Secret with the paragraph referencing Valerie Wilson (the former Valerie Plame) marked as being something that was not even to be shared with foreign intelligence services, things are not looking good for the administration.

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