Bush Told Cheney to Discredit Diplomat Critical of Iraq Policy


New Member
Aug 6, 2004
Bush Told Cheney to Discredit Diplomat Critical of Iraq Policy
By Suzanne Goldenberg
The Guardian UK
Thursday 06 July 2006
Vice-president told to put out classified information. No instruction to out CIA agent, says president.
President George Bush directed his vice-president, **** Cheney, to take personal charge of a campaign to discredit a former ambassador who had accused the administration of twisting prewar intelligence on Iraq, it emerged yesterday.

The revelation by the National Journal, a respected weekly political magazine, that Mr Bush took a personal interest in countering damaging allegations by the former ambassador, Joe Wilson, reveals a White House that was extraordinarily sensitive to any criticism of its prewar planning. It also returns the focus of the criminal investigation into the outing of a CIA agent to the White House only weeks after the senior aide Karl Rove was told he would not face prosecution.

The Journal said Mr Bush made the admission in a July 24 2004 interview in the Oval Office with the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, who is leading the investigation into the outing of the CIA agent, Valerie Plame. Ms Plame is married to Mr Wilson, who says her cover was broken in retaliation after he accused the administration of knowingly using false information on Saddam Hussein's weapons programme.

According to the National Journal, Mr Bush told prosecutors he directed Mr Cheney to disclose classified information both to defend his administration and to discredit Mr Wilson.

Elsewhere, the magazine quotes other government officials as saying that Mr Bush was very anxious to use classified information to counter Mr Wilson's charges, telling the vice-president: "Let's get this out."

However, the president told investigators that he never directed anyone to disclose Ms Plame's identity. He also said that he was unaware Mr Cheney had directed his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, to covertly leak the information, rather than formally declassify it.

Mr Libby faces prosecution for lying to investigators about his role in the outing of Ms Plame.

There was no immediate comment from the White House. The office of the special prosecutor also declined to comment yesterday.

The revelation that Mr Bush instructed Mr Cheney to personally oversee the campaign to discredit Mr Wilson arrives at an inconvenient time for a White House vehement in criticising leaks.

Last month it condemned as "disgraceful" a report in the New York Times that agents from the CIA and treasury departments had been secretly monitoring international wire transfers without court oversight.



I find it curious that Fitzgerald's office "declined to comment". Maybe they're trying to think of a way for Chimpenfuhrer to get out of this one, just like they let Rove off the hook.