home

The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investigation

On the heels of Murray Waas' great article last week revealing that Stephen Hadley had uncovered a classified document, the contents of were shared with Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and perhaps others in the inner circle, and of which Bush was aware, that cast doubt on the allegation that Saddam had aluminum tubes which were intended to be used to build weapons of mass destruction, American Prospect's Greg Sargent takes the story a few steps further. When it's all played out, it turns out to be a very big deal -- one which points to a gigantic coverup geared to preventing the truth from coming out, because had it come out, it may well have cost Bush the election.

It's only hard to figure out at first. Sargent breaks it down like child's play. He begins by recapping Murray's article and asking, why would Scooter Libby and Rove and perhaps Stephen Hadley lie to the grand jury? The answer: to prevent it from being known that Bush was aware in October, 2002 that experts doubted the aluminum tube story and yet he kept the claim in his State of the Union address.

Fitzgerald ratcheted up the investigation around February, 2004. This is when Rove and Libby first went to the grand jury and either failed to disclose or lied about how they learned of Valerie Plame Wilson. It's also when Rove failed to disclose the now notorious e-mail with Hadley.

I'll let Greg take it from here, but you really must read his whole article, and then re-read Murray:

Thanks to Waas, for the first time, we may now know for a fact that Rove and other Bush advisers viewed the truth about the run-up to war as something that could destroy his re-election prospects. It is entirely plausible that Bush advisers calculated that if it came out that they'd outed Plame, Congress would have been forced by the resulting firestorm to run a far more aggressive investigation of Bush's pre-war deceptions - and possibly uncover the smoking gun Waas reports on, among other things. Remember, Libby and Rove testified in early 2004, during the heat of a presidential campaign which Rove himself had apparently concluded was at risk if existing hard evidence of Bush's deceptions surfaced.

So it seems plausible that Libby and Rove sought to minimize the chance of the aggressive congressional oversight that might have resulted if it became known that they'd outed Plame. In short, misleading the grand jury about Plame may simply have been a key piece of a broader effort to get past the election before the truth about the run-up to the war surfaced to sink his campaign.

Sargent explains it again:

White House officials, including Bush himself, withheld critical information it had about doubts over supposed evidence of Saddam's nuke ambitions in order to better make the case for war. Then they subsequently discovered that hard evidence existed of that duplicity. Then, anxious that this evidence might surface before the 2004 reelection, they engaged in a relentless campaign to cover up what really happened during the Iraq run-up and to prevent an aggressive congressional investigation until after the election. They relied on Pat Roberts to run a pseudo-investigation; they withheld the daily briefs; they leaned on Hill allies not to talk to the press. And they obscured their role in the outing of Plame to prevent an outcry that would have certainly forced Congress and the press to probe far more aggressively than they did. And they succeeded: If Congress and the press had been more aggressive -- and this may be the real significance of Waas's story -- it's perfectly possible that John Kerry would now be president.

This is giant news, and Congress and the MSM need to get on it. We can't expect Fitzgerald to do everything himself.

< DeLay Exits: Why Now? | Predicting Scooter Libby's Next Move >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 05:31:05 PM EST
    Guess the 'plan' worked. It is the deluxe plan of course, that comes complete with many extra options...the most operative one is presidential pordons. The unitary executive option is still getting tweaked. Can't find rewind/erase button though. Wonder if there is a warranty?

    Obsession over non-crimes - check. Silly fears over a draft that will never happen - check. Any interest from a crime oriented blog in Cynthia McKinney's slugging of a police officer? Of course not.

    What non-crimes are being obsessed over? Has McKinney been charged? That's what I thought.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#4)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 06:27:42 PM EST
    j.r - Yet another wingnut who shows up to change the subject and piss 'n moan about the site - check.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#5)
    by orionATL on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 06:31:08 PM EST
    thanks i've read hints of the "saving the election for bush" explanation before but this post (and its cites) says it directly and clearly and provides a motive both for covering up and for lying that was previously a missing piece of the puzzle for me. from november, 2000 these guys have been about securing and keeping power that is their agenda - their whole agenda. i have been wondering what awaits us in the coming months that will be designed to help the right wing retain its hold on congress? would it be as "simple" as an attack on iran's (currently trivial ) nuclear capabilities? or would it be that and more. i am waiting with a certain amount of dread.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 06:43:46 PM EST
    I would hope. In fact I would think that Bush had conflicting views on the tubes and all the other information. Remember dear hearts, using the available intelligence information is a judgment call made by the President. If he chose to make one that he thought would provide us with better security, so what? That's what we pay him for. Claiming criminal actions with 20-20 hindsight has become a speciality of the Left wing blogs, just as it was with the Right wing blogs over Clinton.

    I rather suspect that had a Republican congressman slugged a capital hill police officer, the left blogs would be all over it. Cynthia McKinney does it, and we have radio silence.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#8)
    by Patriot Daily on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 07:06:08 PM EST
    So, did Libby somehow convince Judy Miller to stretch out when she would actually testify before the grand jury by contesting Fitzgerald's subpoena? If you remember, Fitzgerald stated at the time of Libby's indictment that had there not been this delay, then the indictment would have been handed down a year ago, or shortly before the 2004 elections. At that time, it was speculated that Libby lied to prevent this story from hitting the public hard before the election. Just wonder if he brought Miller on board.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#9)
    by aw on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 07:40:52 PM EST
    Claiming criminal actions with 20-20 hindsight
    It's elementary, my dear PPJ. Most crimes take place before the investigation and prosecution.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 08:23:27 PM EST
    Patriot Daily-
    So, did Libby somehow convince Judy Miller to stretch out....
    In at least one of their meetings they met at a fancy hotel for breakfast. I thought Miller was with WHIG from the start.

    Remember dear hearts, using the available intelligence information is a judgment call made by the President. If he chose to make one that he thought would provide us with better security, so what? That's what we pay him for.
    So what? If you're a CEO, and you think acquiring a company will help operations, and you're dead wrong and your stock tanks... you get fired, because you're paid to make the right decisions. (In theory.) Not to do what you think is right. Anyone can do what they think is right. Name one leader who spends all day doing things he knows to be wrong. (Besides tobacco company executives.)

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#12)
    by Andreas on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 11:20:57 PM EST
    @James Robertson: organising an illegal war is a war crime. Several people were executed in Nuremberg for such a crime. Also, the War Crimes Act is pretty clear:
    (a) Offense.-- Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death. (b) Circumstances.-- The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the person committing such war crime or the victim of such war crime is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act).


    What perfect examples of the standard rw tactics: James "OT" Robinson:
    I rather suspect that had a Republican congressman slugged a capital hill police officer, the left blogs would be all over it. Cynthia McKinney does it, and we have radio silence.
    jim aka "patronize and minimize" PPJ:
    Remember dear hearts, using the available intelligence information is a judgment call made by the President. If he chose to make one that he thought would provide us with better security, so what? That's what we pay him for.
    jim aka "the jaundiced pol" PPJ:
    Claiming criminal actions with 20-20 hindsight has become a speciality of the Left wing blogs, just as it was with the Right wing blogs over Clinton.
    These irrelevant comments are such a waste of time. They will not stop the rest of us from staying on topic, ignoring patronizing remarks, realizing the magnitude of the issue, and rejecting as ironic in the extreme any attempt by rw spin doctors to use their feigned outrage at Clinton's private affairs as a defence in the face of our legitimate outrage at Bush's conduct of the affairs of state. So if you have nothing to say about the subject, why not just shut up and listen, because your posts only serve to prove that you have nothing of any value to contribute.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#14)
    by rigel on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 12:24:47 AM EST
    the wingnuts are scared. you can tell because PPJ implied that Clinton lying about his hummer wasnt that big a deal.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#15)
    by john horse on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 03:45:26 AM EST
    Lets treat Bush, Rove, Cheney, and Libby like any other criminal suspect. Motive. Check. Opportunity. Check. If he glove fits...

    Posted by James Robertson April 4, 2006 08:03 PM
    I rather suspect that had a Republican congressman slugged a capital hill police officer, the left blogs would be all over it. Cynthia McKinney does it, and we have radio silence
    Ah, so, none of the usual suspects over in nitwit nation have uttered word one on the subject, eh, sport? Not rush? not hannity? not boortz? Care to make a wager? Care to make it under oath? That's what I thought. Yes, by all means, let's mark this anniversary of the murder of MLK by focusing on delay and taking our marching orders from neil boortz and rush limbaugh. After all, kate o'beirne told us how to properly grieve at his widow's passing and these people clearly have our best interests at heart.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#17)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 06:31:37 AM EST
    Number of people killed by Representative Mckinney's actions- 0 Number of Americans killed because of George W. Bush's hyping of a (non imminent) threat by Saddam: about 2500 and counting. Rightwingers who see some moral equivalency in the two- priceless!

    Posted by JimakaPPJ April 4, 2006 07:43 PM I would hope. In fact I would think that Bush had conflicting views on the tubes and all the other information. Remember dear hearts, using the available intelligence information is a judgment call made by the President. If he chose to make one that he thought would provide us with better security, so what? That's what we pay him for. Ah, Jim's goin' the uneasy lies the head that wears the crown route. Nice try. No sale. If ya can't take the heat, don't steal the election. Dear Hearts? What are ya, hostin' an Andy Williams Special, Jim? You broadcastin' live from Branson, MO.?

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 06:54:53 AM EST
    Cymro - Do you really believe that Presidents always work from a position of absolute clarity as to what the situation is? If so, then you are naive. If not the attack is exposed for what it is. Another attack by the Left. BTW - I have learned that Bush didn't use cream in his coffee on the morning of 9/11/01. This proves deyond a doubt what has been long suspected..... You may fill in the theory that suits you. Always concluding, of course, with, "....the evil Bush." rigel - If you had actually read this blog for any period of time, or had a memory capable of holding content more than 60 seconds, you would know that I have posted time and again that I didn't give a flip if Clinton got a BJ in the Oval Office. Now. You have been called out. Prove me wrong.

    Jim aka "OT" PPJ:
    Cymro - Do you really believe that Presidents always work from a position of absolute clarity as to what the situation is? If so, then you are naive.
    Another attempt at diversion. This thread is about White House officials' motives for covering up what Bush knew about WMD before the Iraq war. What either you or I believe about the actions of presidents in general is irrelevant. To keep repeating that "Bush was ignorant and in the dark," is no more useful to real debate than to chant "Two legs bad, four legs good!"

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#21)
    by Sailor on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 07:51:36 AM EST
    bush didn't say 'we think', or 'our best guess is', he said 'we know!' and every member of bushco said 'we know!' That's called lying. deliberate lying. And when caught they committed treason instead of copping to it. btw, condi and her figurative 'we've made thousands of mistakes in iraq' is literal, not figurative. So far just the American count is 2,343, but that could have gone up in the time it took to post this.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#22)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 08:03:04 AM EST
    ppj - He better move from a position of "absolute clarity", or, as close to it as a person can get, when tens of thousands of lives hang in the balance. If thats to tall an order, than he has no business being where he is. Dont fret though, in a couple more years you can always tell people you "never defended Bush."

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 08:05:52 AM EST
    Jondee:
    ppj - Dont fret though, in a couple more years you can always tell people you "never defended Bush."
    Heh heh heh! Good one, Jondee. Heh!

    Do you really believe that Presidents always work from a position of absolute clarity as to what the situation is? If so, then you are naive. If not the attack is exposed for what it is. Another attack by the Left.
    Shorter Jim: Heads I win, tails you lose.

    And, yes, Jim, Bush doesn't even read the goddamn paper. Doesn't read the paper! Stevie Wonder is closer to a position of absolute clarity. You really oughtta pick your battles.

    I do wish that The Left would take up residence someplace else than under PPJ's bed, we'd all be better off............

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 05:29:28 PM EST
    Cymro - After a leader takes a position he should never come with, "we think." That won't get the job done. You're a big boy, and you know that to be true. You just want to bash Bush. So do it, and enjoy. And I certainly haven't commented that he was either ignorant, or in the dark. Why do you imply that? Are you attempting to make it look like I did? I repeat. I would guess that he had all sorts of information and he made the call he thought best. You don't like it? Tough. Jondee and Edger - I again extend you an inviation to prove I defended Delay. You can't, but you can still be snarky as any middleschooler.. Scar - Just like Stevie Wonder, Bush has someone summarize and/or clip. You do know what a clipping service is, don't you? Dark Avenger - You are welcome to them.

    Gee, no kiddin', Jim. Just like school. Just like College. Just like TANG. Just like everything he's ever done. He has someone read 'em for him, too. Someone to write his papers. Someone to do all the hard stuff. What else is new?

    Then I'll be swinging by tomorrow with the Ghostbusters and a couple of exorcists to 'clean' out things from under there, PPJ. You remember Bell, Book and Candle, PPJ? It'll be a lot like that. No charge, just tell your friends who have Leftists, Nazis, Troskyites, etc. under their beds about us. It's like aluminum sliding, know what I mean, Jim?

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#30)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 09:28:47 PM EST
    ppj - "You just want to bash Bush" is not an argument - of any kind. If thats the best youve got, you should go into the bumpersticker business full time and leave serious people in peace. Of course, you can use that post as a reference later when you claim you never defended Bush. And all those posts on all those Delay threads? Must've been just your little (Judas) kiss goodbye to Tom.

    Kennedy read three papers a day, and that's without an Xbox break, afternoon nap, and an 8 o'clock bedtime.

    Er, that "and" should be a "but", huh.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#33)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 10:08:09 PM EST
    Who needs newspapers when youve got Revelations (on tape)?

    PPJ, some people know when to quit, but like the Ever-Ready Bunny, you just keep going and going and going. If only you would actually address the issue being discussed in the thread, which, in case you have forgotten, is about White House officials' motives for covering up what Bush knew about WMD before the Iraq war.

    I repeat. I would guess that he had all sorts of information and he made the call he thought best. You don't like it? Tough.
    Good grief, Jim. His "call" cost the lives of over 2,300 of our people and around 10,000 legs and/or arms of our soldiers. Don't you think he should be held accountable for his call?

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#36)
    by Sailor on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 10:13:23 AM EST
    After a leader takes a position he should never come with, "we think."
    It's called 'lying', and real leaders don't do it.

    Re: The Real Cover-Up in the Valerie Plame Investi (none / 0) (#37)
    by aahpat on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 10:34:33 AM EST
    If information published on Raw Story is to be believed it is also plausible that there was another motivation for outing Plame. Bush/Cheney could have been planning then for an invasion of Iran. Plame was running an operation in Iran that would have either supported or debunked the Iran war cries of the neo-cons today. http://leftindependent.blogspot.com/2006/04/bush-approved-leak-of-iraq-arms.html