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Raw Story: Fleitz Is Unnamed CIA Senior Officer in Libby Indictment

Raw Story reports that it has confirmed that Fred Fleitz, then the Chief of Staff for John Bolton and also a senior CIA WINPAC official, is the "Senior CIA Offical" who first disclosed Valerie Plame Wilson'identity after Bolton requested information about Wilson's trip. Raw Story reports that Libby requested information about Wilson's trip from John Bolton; Fleitz gave Bolton the name. Bolton then passed it on to David Wurmser who passed it on to John Hannah.

As has been reported previously, David Wurser and John Hannah have been cooperating with Fitzgerald in the probe.

Upon receiving this information, Libby asked Bolton for a report on Wilson's trip to Niger, which Wilson presented orally to the CIA upon his return. Fleitz was one of a handful of officials who was in a position to know Plame's maiden name, the sources said.

Libby's indictment alleges that on May 29, 2003,

"[Libby] asked an Under Secretary of State ('Under Secretary') for information concerning the unnamed ambassador's travel to Niger to investigate claims about Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium yellowcake. The Under Secretary thereafter directed the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research to prepare a report concerning the ambassador and his trip. The Under Secretary provided Libby with interim oral reports in late May and early June 2003, and advised Libby that Wilson was the former ambassador who took the trip."

Libby, Raw Story reports, contacted John Bolton, then Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs for information about the Ambassador's trip to Niger. After receiving it, he asked for a report, and that led to the June 9 State Department Memo. While Marc Grossman's name is on the classified memo identifying Valerie Wilson, Raw Story reports:

... sources say that the memo was written on Libby's behest as part of a work-up order orchestrated out of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), which operated out of the Cheney's office and was chaired by Special Advisor to President Bush, Karl Rove.

More from Raw Story:

According to MSNBC, Bolton testified before the grand jury investigating the Plame leak. Questions were raised about whether Bolton knowingly left that fact out of the questionnaire related to his UN confirmation hearing.

Wurmser likely cooperated because he faced criminal charges for his role in leaking Wilson's name on the orders of higher-ups, the lawyers said. Hannah, a key aide to Vice President Dick Cheney and one of the architects of the Iraq war, was cooperating with Fitzgerald after being told that he was identified by witnesses as a co-conspirator in the leak, they added.

It is not known for sure if John Bolton testified before the grand jury . The Washington Post reported Bolton was questioned by the State Department Inspector General's office in an investigation concerning intelligence lapses surrinding Iraq. The state department source for the article said Bolton was not questioned by Fitzgerald or the grand jury investigating the Plame leak.

But on Hardball, David Schuster says he did testify. Via Washington Note:

David Schuster of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews made a whopper revelation about grand jury testimony in the Valerie Plame-outing investigation: John Bolton has testified about the top secret document that Colin Powell had aboard Air Force One. TWN has confirmed with MSNBC that it it standing by its story.

The Hardball transcript says:

According to lawyers, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and undersecretaries, including John Bolton, gave testimony about this memo. And a lawyer for one State Department official says his client testified that, as President Bush was flying to Africa on Air Force One two years ago, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer could be seen reading the document on board.

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  • Re: Raw Story: Fleitz Is Unnamed CIA Senior Offic (none / 0) (#1)
    by Punchy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:41 PM EST
    Oh boy. Another post relying on Rawstory's version of "events". Man, I'd love to buy this, but that site is so wrong so often that it's not credible. Grain of salt....

    Really, Punchy? Raw Story is wrong? Back it up. I really hate people like you who just spew venom at hard working journalists for telling the truth. If I recall, Raw Story was the first to report that Fitzgerald was investigating Cheney's ties to this (later reported by the NYT) Raw story was also the first to name Hannah and Wurmser as cooperating (later confirmed by the NY Daily News and the Washington Post) Raw story said that Rove turned down a deal (later reported by the Wash Post) Look, get a clue on how the legal process works. Circumstances change at the 11th hour and that's not any fault of outlets like Raw Story. They reported the Libby indictment and that Rove would be indicted, but everyone knows now that Rove did something to prevent that. So I don't know where you get off saying that this site is wrong. They have been right, right, right, on numerous occasions. But it does not do anyone any good for you to just sit there and opine with no facts to back up your opinions. Funny, it seems to me that the NYT has been wrong on more occasions than this website regarding the war and yet I don't hear you or anyone else saying that what they write about the Plame affair is suspicious.

    Just as I suspected. Not a peep from Punchy. It seems that the real liar has revealed himself/herself. Again, back it up. At least make it a fair fight if you're going to throw stones. God, what is wrong with these people!

    The Under Secretary provided Libby with interim oral reports in late May and early June 2003
    Waitaminute...I thought Veep's office claimed they didn't get any report on Wilson's trip from CIA

    Re: Raw Story: Fleitz Is Unnamed CIA Senior Offic (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:41 PM EST
    Gosh that is news, not about Fleitz as he was clearly the one who was CIA link to WHIG, but that Bolton testified. Didn't he deny that during his conformation hearings? Of course it is not surprising to see that Bolton pops up as he is central to this whole mess (Iraq war included) and Miller's long time accomplice or should I say source. I hope Seymour Hirsh is right and Fitzgerald is going to be remembered as the greatest patriot in American history for clearing the current administration of all the vermin.

    Taken directly from the Libby indictment "On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask about the origin and circumstances of WilsonпїЅs trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip."

    Re: Raw Story: Fleitz Is Unnamed CIA Senior Offic (none / 0) (#7)
    by Punchy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:41 PM EST
    harris-- "not a peep"? uh..i have a job, ya see. I work. I don't ride my keyboard all day waiting to reply... as for wrong? they said Rove was being indicted. wrong. they THEN said (after they were wrong) he'd be indicted in the next 2 weeks. We'll see. i'd LOVE to be wrong, but i'm gunna wait it out. they have 7 working days.

    Oh please, Punchy. Is that the best you can do? Is that what you mean by RS being wrong all the time? EVERYONE reported that Rove was going to be indicted. Even Jeralyn thought so until the last minute "deal" or something. So I hardly think that warrants your "grain of salt" criticism. Give it a rest. It's you who is wrong. Now get back to work. I'm filthy rich so I don't have to work.

    HERE IT IS! THE BOLTON FLEITZ CONNECTION!! YOU HAVE TO READ THIS ALL Released E-Mail Exchanges Reveal More Bolton Battles By DOUGLAS JEHL [lengthy reprint deleted]

    Re: Raw Story: Fleitz Is Unnamed CIA Senior Offic (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:41 PM EST
    harris- could you please provide the link, as the article will most likely deleted due to bandwith related policies at TL.

    I thought Veep's office claimed they didn't get any report on Wilson's trip from CIA Cheney wouldn't lie. Why lie when you have millions in stock options, and a president who is willing to make it the policy of the U.S. government to make sure that the company whose options you have has no asbestos liabilities.

    Re: Raw Story: Fleitz Is Unnamed CIA Senior Offic (none / 0) (#12)
    by profmarcus on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:41 PM EST
    what i think is interesting is that way back (maybe a month ago in blogosphere time?), steve clemons speculated on precisely this particular revelation - bolton and fleitz... eerily prescient, that steve...

    Re: Raw Story: Fleitz Is Unnamed CIA Senior Offic (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:41 PM EST
    prof-also emptywheel has a ton of stuff on Fleitz if you are interested and haven't seen it. emptywheel

    Waitaminute...I thought Veep's office claimed they didn't get any report on Wilson's trip from CIA Cheney said he never got a report "that he saw". This was an oral report. And they thought Clinton parsed words.

    Jeralyn, While I believe Schuster was correct the first time (that is, that Bolton did testify), I think we ought to always caveat his statement with his later retraction of that statement--his source at State retracted that claim. After all, there may be some parsing going as, such that Bolton was interviewed but didn't testify.