Thursday, June 01, 2006

*M.Whitney (10/05)Deconstructing Judy Miller's Confession + Cheney too?


*M.Whitney (10/05)Deconstructing Judy Miller's Confession + Cheney too?



Whitney's is the clearest article I've seen outlining Miller's and Cheney's criminal liabilities. Note also the following:

Clearly, both Miller and NY Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger were intimately involved in manufacturing the fraudulent evidence that dragged the nation to war.

I'm wondering what day to day role Sulzberger may have played. Clearly there was no managing or executive editorial control over Miller, but is there any information on what hands on role if any S may have played in greasing her way to those front page WMD stories?


If 10% of Whitney's optimism is on target, we're one (or a series of) indictment (s) away from bringing down the most criminal government this country has ever seen (a remarkable replica of Sinclair Lewis's _It Can't Happen Here_). I'm not a betting person, but here's one event I'd like to bet on. What are the odds?

See below for The (NY) Daily News speculating that the long knives may gather up Cheney himself.
Note: 6.1.06 -- I'm leaving the above in just to show how even the most jaded can relax into ridiculous optimism. I guess that's why we go on: we're always hoping. I guess without it, we can't live.
--RB


http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney10172005.html
October 17, 2005

Last Gasp Before the Indictments?
Miller's Confession

By MIKE WHITNEY

If you plan to read Judy Miller's long and circuitous apology in the New York Times Sunday edition, bring your hip-waders. The obfuscating manure is knee-deep and bound to stymie even the most curious reader.

Miller's a slippery customer, but a picture is slowly developing of someone who was deeply involved in White House maneuverings to discredit Joseph Wilson.

It's clear now that Dick Cheney's right-hand man, Scooter Libby provided Miller with the name of ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame. Plame's name appears at least twice in the notebook Miller used when she interviewed Libby although she pretends that she cannot remember whether or not he furnished the name.

It's also clear that Libby tried to coerce Miller into silence by dispatching his lawyer, Joseph Tate, to tell Miller that she "was free to testify" but that Libby "had not told Ms. Miller the name or undercover status of Mr. Wilson's wife." In other words, Libby lied to the Grand Jury and was signaling to Miller to shut up. If Miller told the truth she knew that Libby would go to jail and the administration would be exposed as plotting to disgrace Joseph Wilson.

Fortunately, Miller got tired of her role as 1st amendment martyr and decided to testify. That prompted Libby to send her a frantic letter which stated that "the public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me." Libby was informing Miller as clearly as possible that she was the key figure in the investigation and advising her not to spill the beans.

Miller had a problem though, she had no way of knowing what the other reporters had said to the Grand Jury and she also had to weigh the possibilities of being indicted on perjury or obstruction charges. So she did what most people would do in her situation; she tip-toed through the questioning "denying and forgetting" as much as possible.

It's beginning to look like Miller is the pivotal figure in investigation and her role could be the undoing of the Bush regime. In one telling comment, Millers notes that (2 days before Robert Novak's article appeared in the Washington Post exposing CIA agent Valerie Plame) "I MIGHT HAVE CALLED OTHERS ABOUT MR WILSON'S WIFE".

Really? Two days before Novak's earth-shaking article Miller was giving out Plame's name?!?

This suggests that Miller may have been the ONLY reporter who got Plame's name from Libby and then spread it around to everyone else. No wonder Libby's so worried. That puts Miller at the very center of the Bush administration's biggest nightmare. Miller already admitted that Libby had told her that Plame "worked at Winpac. Winpac stood for Weapons Intelligence, Non-Proliferation, and Arms Control, the name of a unit within the CIA that, among other things, analyses the spread of unconventional weapons." (NY Times)

That's an odd thing to confide in a reporter if it's not intended to start a "leak". Remember, Miller never even wrote a story about anything she gathered from these private interviews with Libby.

So, what was her role? Were they just friends having a casual conversation or was she a mule for the information that the White House wanted to disseminate about Wilson?

Libby also asked Miller to have the Times refer to him as a "former Hill staffer" rather than "a senior administration official" in stories written about Wilson. He obviously didn't want it to seem like the administration was carrying out a personal vendetta against Wilson.

No problem. The administration makes a request and the New York Times carries it out forthwith. One hand washes the other.

The question remains, though, why the cover-up? Why would Libby care what the papers call him if, as he claims, he wasn't doing anything wrong?

The larger question is, however, where did Libby get Valerie Plame's name? The only person who would have had access to classified CIA information like that would have been his boss, Dick Cheney.

Ah-ha!

Cheney presided over a secret group of administration hawks known as the White House Iraq Group (WHIG). Their mission was to promote the danger of Saddam's WMD and discredit those who tried to mitigate the danger. The biggest part of their strategy was to exaggerate the threat of Saddam's imaginary nuclear weapons program. The administration knew through their own polling data that the American people would support a preemptive war if it appeared as though Saddam had nuclear weapons. So, it was incumbent on them to make the case.

Wilson's op-ed piece in the New York Times, challenged the administration's conclusions about Niger yellow-cake uranium, and undermined the claims about Saddam's nuclear capacity. So, Wilson had to be destroyed.

Miller, who had served as the conduit for most of the administration's phony stories about biological weapons sites, mobile-weapons labs, and aluminum tubes for nukes; was the logical choice to start the smear campaign against Wilson. Her role was to spread the "classified information" to her sources in the media who would, in turn, discredit Wilson.

Libby has done his best to protect Cheney from being implicated, saying that the VP didn't know anything about Wilson, but the claim is absurd. As Jason Leopold notes in Raw Story, "Cheney was present at several of the WHIG's meetings. They say Cheney personally discussed with individuals in attendance at least two interviews in May and June of 2003 Wilson gave to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus, in which he claimed the administration "twisted" prewar intelligence and what the response from the administration should be." ("Vice President's Role in outing of CIA agent under Examination", Jason Leopold)

Leopold's article also points out the cozy relationship between the Miller and the members of WHIG prior to the Iraq war. After Miller had written her damning article about aluminum tubes in Iraq that could be used as centrifuges in nuclear weapons (a story that was later discredited); Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush and Rice swung into high-gear, flooding the Sunday talk-shows and citing the story as proof that Saddam's nukes would ultimately engulf America in a "mushroom cloud".

The media's disinformation-campaign must have been coordinated with Miller and key members of the Bush administration. The plan worked flawlessly. Clearly, both Miller and NY Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger were intimately involved in manufacturing the fraudulent evidence that dragged the nation to war. Neither has ever expressed any regret over the role they played.

Libby's Caveat

Ironically, Libby's cryptic comments to Miller may turn out to be the best summary of the ongoing investigation. He said, "Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."

Yes, and if Libby goes down, so will Cheney, Rove, Card, Rice, and perhaps even Bush, because "their roots connect them".

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com


From Laura Rozen's blog:
http://warandpiece.com/
Holy Moly,
From the Daily News

A special prosecutor's intensifying focus into who outed a CIA spy has raised questions whether Vice President Cheney himself is involved, knowledgeable sources confirmed yesterday.

At least one source and one reporter who have testified in the probe said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is pursuing Cheney's role in the Valerie Plame affair.

In addition, at least six current and former Cheney staffers - most members of the White House Iraq Group - have testified before the grand jury, including the vice president's top honcho, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, and two top Cheney national security lieutenants.

Cheney's name has come up amid indications Fitzgerald may be edging closer to a blockbuster conspiracy charge - with help from a secret snitch.

"They have got a senior cooperating witness - someone who is giving them all of that," a source who has been questioned in the leak probe told the Daily News yesterday.

Cheney was questioned last year byprosecutors and has hired a private attorney, former colleague Terrence O'Donnell, who declined to comment when contacted by The News.

Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride only offered the standard canned response that her boss is cooperating.

Libby and President Bush's political mastermind Karl Rove remain the focus of the probe into whether Plame's cover was blown in a scheme to embarrass her husband, ex-Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who debunked claims that Iraq tried to buy nuclear materials in Niger.

Libby is often described as "Cheney's Cheney," a loyal and discreet lieutenant who shares his boss's hard-line philosophy and bareknuckle attitude toward political enemies of the Bush administration.

Cheney and Libby spend hours together in the course of a day, which causes sources who know both men very well to assert that any attempts to discredit Wilson would almost certainly have been known to the vice president.

"Scooter wouldn't be freelancing on this without Cheney's knowledge," a source told the Daily News. "It was probably some off-the-cuff thing: 'This guy [Wilson] could be a problem.'"

The News reported in July that Libby was "totally obsessed with Wilson." ...

Who could the senior cooperating witness be?
[In her update, not shown here, Rozen guesses that it might be Fleischer or Grossman.]

Friends:

Whitney's is the clearest article I've seen outlining Miller's and Cheney's criminal liabilities. Note also the following:

Clearly, both Miller and NY Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger were intimately involved in manufacturing the fraudulent evidence that dragged the nation to war.

At the risk of totally exposing my ignorance and complete naiveté, I'm wondering what day to day role Sulzberger may have played. Clearly there was no managing or executive editorial control over Miller, but is there any information on what hands on role if any S may have played in greasing her way to those front page WMD stories?


If 10% of Whitney's optimism is on target, we're one (or a series of) indictment (s) away from bringing down the most criminal government this country has ever seen (a remarkable replica of Sinclair Lewis's _It Can't Happen Here_). I'm not a betting person, but here's one event I'd like to bet on. What are the odds?

See below for The (NY) Daily News speculating that the long knives may gather up Cheney himself.

--RB

http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney10172005.html
October 17, 2005

Last Gasp Before the Indictments?
Miller's Confession
By MIKE WHITNEY

If you plan to read Judy Miller's long and circuitous apology in the New York Times Sunday edition, bring your hip-waders. The obfuscating manure is knee-deep and bound to stymie even the most curious reader.

Miller's a slippery customer, but a picture is slowly developing of someone who was deeply involved in White House maneuverings to discredit Joseph Wilson.

It's clear now that Dick Cheney's right-hand man, Scooter Libby provided Miller with the name of ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame. Plame's name appears at least twice in the notebook Miller used when she interviewed Libby although she pretends that she cannot remember whether or not he furnished the name.

It's also clear that Libby tried to coerce Miller into silence by dispatching his lawyer, Joseph Tate, to tell Miller that she "was free to testify" but that Libby "had not told Ms. Miller the name or undercover status of Mr. Wilson's wife." In other words, Libby lied to the Grand Jury and was signaling to Miller to shut up. If Miller told the truth she knew that Libby would go to jail and the administration would be exposed as plotting to disgrace Joseph Wilson.

Fortunately, Miller got tired of her role as 1st amendment martyr and decided to testify. That prompted Libby to send her a frantic letter which stated that "the public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me." Libby was informing Miller as clearly as possible that she was the key figure in the investigation and advising her not to spill the beans.

Miller had a problem though, she had no way of knowing what the other reporters had said to the Grand Jury and she also had to weigh the possibilities of being indicted on perjury or obstruction charges. So she did what most people would do in her situation; she tip-toed through the questioning "denying and forgetting" as much as possible.

It's beginning to look like Miller is the pivotal figure in investigation and her role could be the undoing of the Bush regime. In one telling comment, Millers notes that (2 days before Robert Novak's article appeared in the Washington Post exposing CIA agent Valerie Plame) "I MIGHT HAVE CALLED OTHERS ABOUT MR WILSON'S WIFE".

Really? Two days before Novak's earth-shaking article Miller was giving out Plame's name?!?

This suggests that Miller may have been the ONLY reporter who got Plame's name from Libby and then spread it around to everyone else. No wonder Libby's so worried. That puts Miller at the very center of the Bush administration's biggest nightmare. Miller already admitted that Libby had told her that Plame "worked at Winpac. Winpac stood for Weapons Intelligence, Non-Proliferation, and Arms Control, the name of a unit within the CIA that, among other things, analyses the spread of unconventional weapons." (NY Times)

That's an odd thing to confide in a reporter if it's not intended to start a "leak". Remember, Miller never even wrote a story about anything she gathered from these private interviews with Libby.

So, what was her role? Were they just friends having a casual conversation or was she a mule for the information that the White House wanted to disseminate about Wilson?

Libby also asked Miller to have the Times refer to him as a "former Hill staffer" rather than "a senior administration official" in stories written about Wilson. He obviously didn't want it to seem like the administration was carrying out a personal vendetta against Wilson.

No problem. The administration makes a request and the New York Times carries it out forthwith. One hand washes the other.

The question remains, though, why the cover-up? Why would Libby care what the papers call him if, as he claims, he wasn't doing anything wrong?

The larger question is, however, where did Libby get Valerie Plame's name? The only person who would have had access to classified CIA information like that would have been his boss, Dick Cheney.

Ah-ha!

Cheney presided over a secret group of administration hawks known as the White House Iraq Group (WHIG). Their mission was to promote the danger of Saddam's WMD and discredit those who tried to mitigate the danger. The biggest part of their strategy was to exaggerate the threat of Saddam's imaginary nuclear weapons program. The administration knew through their own polling data that the American people would support a preemptive war if it appeared as though Saddam had nuclear weapons. So, it was incumbent on them to make the case.

Wilson's op-ed piece in the New York Times, challenged the administration's conclusions about Niger yellow-cake uranium, and undermined the claims about Saddam's nuclear capacity. So, Wilson had to be destroyed.

Miller, who had served as the conduit for most of the administration's phony stories about biological weapons sites, mobile-weapons labs, and aluminum tubes for nukes; was the logical choice to start the smear campaign against Wilson. Her role was to spread the "classified information" to her sources in the media who would, in turn, discredit Wilson.

Libby has done his best to protect Cheney from being implicated, saying that the VP didn't know anything about Wilson, but the claim is absurd. As Jason Leopold notes in Raw Story, "Cheney was present at several of the WHIG's meetings. They say Cheney personally discussed with individuals in attendance at least two interviews in May and June of 2003 Wilson gave to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus, in which he claimed the administration "twisted" prewar intelligence and what the response from the administration should be." ("Vice President's Role in outing of CIA agent under Examination", Jason Leopold)

Leopold's article also points out the cozy relationship between the Miller and the members of WHIG prior to the Iraq war. After Miller had written her damning article about aluminum tubes in Iraq that could be used as centrifuges in nuclear weapons (a story that was later discredited); Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush and Rice swung into high-gear, flooding the Sunday talk-shows and citing the story as proof that Saddam's nukes would ultimately engulf America in a "mushroom cloud".

The media's disinformation-campaign must have been coordinated with Miller and key members of the Bush administration. The plan worked flawlessly. Clearly, both Miller and NY Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger were intimately involved in manufacturing the fraudulent evidence that dragged the nation to war. Neither has ever expressed any regret over the role they played.

Libby's Caveat

Ironically, Libby's cryptic comments to Miller may turn out to be the best summary of the ongoing investigation. He said, "Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."

Yes, and if Libby goes down, so will Cheney, Rove, Card, Rice, and perhaps even Bush, because "their roots connect them".

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com


From Laura Rozen's blog:
http://warandpiece.com/
Holy Moly,
From the Daily News

A special prosecutor's intensifying focus into who outed a CIA spy has raised questions whether Vice President Cheney himself is involved, knowledgeable sources confirmed yesterday.

At least one source and one reporter who have testified in the probe said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is pursuing Cheney's role in the Valerie Plame affair.

In addition, at least six current and former Cheney staffers - most members of the White House Iraq Group - have testified before the grand jury, including the vice president's top honcho, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, and two top Cheney national security lieutenants.

Cheney's name has come up amid indications Fitzgerald may be edging closer to a blockbuster conspiracy charge - with help from a secret snitch.

"They have got a senior cooperating witness - someone who is giving them all of that," a source who has been questioned in the leak probe told the Daily News yesterday.

Cheney was questioned last year byprosecutors and has hired a private attorney, former colleague Terrence O'Donnell, who declined to comment when contacted by The News.

Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride only offered the standard canned response that her boss is cooperating.

Libby and President Bush's political mastermind Karl Rove remain the focus of the probe into whether Plame's cover was blown in a scheme to embarrass her husband, ex-Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who debunked claims that Iraq tried to buy nuclear materials in Niger.

Libby is often described as "Cheney's Cheney," a loyal and discreet lieutenant who shares his boss's hard-line philosophy and bareknuckle attitude toward political enemies of the Bush administration.

Cheney and Libby spend hours together in the course of a day, which causes sources who know both men very well to assert that any attempts to discredit Wilson would almost certainly have been known to the vice president.

"Scooter wouldn't be freelancing on this without Cheney's knowledge," a source told the Daily News. "It was probably some off-the-cuff thing: 'This guy [Wilson] could be a problem.'"

The News reported in July that Libby was "totally obsessed with Wilson." ...

Who could the senior cooperating witness be?
[In her update, not shown here, Rozen guesses that it might be Fleischer or Grossman.]

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