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Friday, April 07, 2006

 

Spier: The significance of Libby fingering Bush on leaks

by Bill Spier

Most of us who pursue this trail of deception by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld would find a dizzying cast of CIA, Defense and State Department offices with acronyms like WINPAC, DIA etc. But as you follow this big story of the leaked National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) -- which is what this story is really about, keep in mind these two main points:

1. The classified NIE had a KEY judgments section with regard to Hussein reconstituting WMD, and sections where different agencies and intelligence offices voiced their doubts about the Niger documents. Bush's State of the Union claim in 2003 that Hussein tried to procure yellowcake uranium from Niger was already discredited before he gave the address. The Niger dissenting opinions were not in the KEY judgments section.

2. The declassified portion of the NIE omitted the contrary opinions about the Niger Documents and what remained was the stuff that the White House wanted Americans to believe about Iraq and WMD. Libby fed this BS to syph Judith Miller. If the dissenting Niger opinions in the NIE had reached the press, it would have cast real doubt on all the claims Bush made to attack Iraq. It really would have cast Cheney as a liar.

So, here we have Libby testifying under oath that Bush -- through Cheney -- authorized the release of classified and cherrypicked NIE schuck and jive about aluminum tubes and other dual-use industrial products. Libby might have been trying to cover his backsides with this testimony. In reality though, it shows that Bush and Cheney wanted to keep the deception going (at huge human cost) and went about the job of discrediting Joe Wilson -- and outing a CIA agent. That's really illegal.

The "Niger Documents" were Cheney's way to provoke fear among gullible Americans. He buttressed his public remarks with the Niger deception. The Niger Documents were brought to us by Rumsfeld after being massaged by his gang of Likudniks in the Defense Department.

I wonder where Prosecutor Fitzgerald is going to take this investigation.


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