According to a recent article by ace investigative reporter, Jason Leopold, Dick Cheney met with Bush in early June 2003, and told him that CIA agent Valerie Plame was the wife of Iraq war critic Joe Wilson and that she was responsible for sending Joe on a fact-finding mission to check out reports about Iraq's attempt to purchase uranium from Africa.
And the chat wasn't limited to Bush and Cheney. Other White House officials who also attended the meeting with Cheney and President Bush, Jason reports, included former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, her former deputy Stephen Hadley, and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove.
Furthermore, Jason says, during the second half of June 2003, Rove, Card, and other officials from Cheney's office kept Bush apprised on the progress of the campaign to discredit Wilson, in emails and internal White House memos, no less, some of which were only recently turned over to the special prosecutor's office, Jason says.
So, the big question is, how many members of the Wilson-Plame-assassination-squad have been interviewed by the FBI, how many have testified under oath before the grand jury, and most importantly for Bush and Cheney, how many have been able to stick to the same story.
Jason says that 36 administration officials have been interviewed which means 36 people would have to stay on message and repeat the same talking points. This would take a miracle.
On June 24, 2004, Bush was interviewed for about 70 minutes. The only other member of the Bush team in the room during the meeting was Jim Sharp, the private lawyer that Bush hired, according to White House press secretary, Scott McClellan.
"The leaking of classified information is a very serious matter," McClellan told reporters at the time. "No one wants to get to the bottom of this matter more than the president of the United States," he said.
I like that line, "no one wants to get to the bottom of this matter" more than Bush.
Yea sure. In a book released around the same time as Bush's interview, Joe Wilson, pointed the finger at Scooter Libby as the leaker, and the White House not only adamantly denied the claim, it accused Wilson of trying to bolster John Kerry's campaign.
If its any consolation to Fitzgerald, the President's memory was no better on September 30, 2003, a year before his interview, when talking to reporters at the University of Chicago. Bush never once mentioned the little group-think sessions in the White House to them either.
Instead, he just kept repeating the same talking points until he sounded like a drunk three sheets to the wind. But then who knows, maybe he was.
In reading Bush's statements, its important to understand that the sole issue raised by reporters was the question of who leaked Valerie's identify to the media, nothing about classified documents or anything else. So every comment refers to that issue only.
When a reporter asked, Do you think that the Justice Department can conduct an impartial investigation, considering the political ramifications of the CIA leak, and why wouldn't a special counsel be better?
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