The big indictment. Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff was charged with obstructing an investigation into the White House cover-up of the lies that led our nation to war in Iraq
Cover-up of the lies. Two senior White House officials outted CIA operative Valerie Plame as punishment for her husband's revelations about the Administration's Iraq lies - a clear effort by the White House to cover up the lies that brought our nation to war.
White House hit squad. Karl Rove and Scooter Libby were part of the White House Iraq Group.
This secretive team operated out of Cheney's office and was formed to sell the case for war. According to the NY Daily News, WHIG “morphed into a virtual hit squad that took aim at critics who questioned its claims."
Despite Wilson discovery in 2002, Bush lied in 2003. In 2002, Joe Wilson was sent by the CIA to Niger to investigate if Iraq was trying to buy nuclear materials. He discovered those claims were a lie. He told the CIA, and they told the White House. Bush made the discredited claimn in his 2003 State of the Union Address as he made the case for war.
Nuclear threat was key to selling war. Why did Bush repeat the discredited nuclear claim? A CBS News polling report in late 2002 made clear, “there is no consensus on adopting a pre-emptive strike policy in general - except where a nuclear attack against the United States is contemplated...”
American people must know the truth about the indictment. The Bush White House will try to minimize the significance of today's indictment. The American people must know that today’s indictment is about the White House cover-up of the lies that led our nation to war in Iraq.
Bush must clean house. We will not be able to trust our government until every one of the White House officials who conspired to mislead the American public into war with Iraq are out of the Administration - President Bush has an obligation to clean house of all the liars. [And therefore should start with removing the "Number One" serial liar of his administration--himself.]
Today, the Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States was indicted by a federal grand jury.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, a Republican appointee, announced that Lewis "Scooter" Libby lied to a grand jury, lied to FBI agents and obstructed an investigation into the White House cover-up of the lies that led our nation to war in Iraq. Libby has now resigned. Top White House advisor Karl Rove remains under federal investigation.
This is one of the biggest scandals to rock the White House in America's 229-year history.
But The New York Times reported that the Bush spin machine will resort to "attacking any criminal charges as a disagreement over legal technicalities."1 The battle over public opinion begins today. We must remind the country that this scandal isn't about a "technicality"—it's about a White House scheme to cover-up the lies that led our nation into one of the most deadly foreign policy blunders in our nation's history.
Can you write a letter to the editor to remind folks that there's no graver crime than misleading a country into war, and then covering it up? Our tool makes it easy to write to your local paper:
Today's indictment says Libby illegally obstructed the investigation into the White House outing of an undercover CIA agent, Valerie Plame Wilson. The ongoing investigation of Karl Rove revolves around the same charge.
So why did the White House leak a CIA agent's name? To punish her husband, a former ambassador who had gone public with evidence that the Bush Administration lied about WMD and nuclear threats in the run-up to war in Iraq.
Here is a primer on what happened:
The 2003 Bush State of the Union: President Lies About Iraq Nuclear Capability
In his January 2003 State Of The Union, President Bush made his case for war in Iraq. He included this now-infamous 16-word deception about Iraq's nuclear capability: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."2
But the White House had known for nearly a year that this claim was false. In February 2002, the CIA sent former Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate the unsubstantiated claim that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Niger for use in nuclear weapons.3
Wilson had discovered that the claims were bogus and documents used to support the claims had been forgeries. He reported this to the CIA, and the CIA told the White House.3
Why Did The President Ignore Wilson's Findings And Lie? Answer: It's About Iraq
Why did President Bush use the discredited nuclear claims in his January 2003 State of the Union Address to make the case that Iraq was a nuclear threat? Answer: They wanted to invade Iraq.
A CBS News polling report in late 2002 made clear, "there is no consensus on adopting a pre-emptive strike policy in general—except where a nuclear attack against the United States is contemplated..."4
Only well after the war had begun would the Washington Post report on "a pattern in which President Bush, Vice President Cheney and their subordinates...made allegations depicting Iraq's nuclear weapons program as more active, more certain and more imminent in its threat than the data they had would support. On occasion administration advocates withheld evidence that did not conform to their views."5
Wilson Strikes Back—Exposes Bush's Lie In Lead-Up To War
Six months after the President's 2003 State of the Union Address, as Bush's WMD and nuclear claims began to unravel, Wilson went public and exposed the Bush Administration's false nuclear claims in a New York Times op-ed.6
The full July 6, 2003 op-ed, "What I Didn't Find In Africa," can be read here: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=1070
The White House saw Wilson as a major threat. According to the Los Angeles Times, "Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff was so angry about the public statements of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, a Bush administration critic married to an undercover CIA officer, that he monitored all of Wilson's television appearances and urged the White House to mount an aggressive public campaign against him, former aides say."7
White House Retaliates—Outs Valerie Plame Wilson As CIA AgenThe week after Wilson's op-ed in the New York Times, "two senior administration officials" were cited by conservative columnist Robert Novak in his column outing CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.8
The White House Iraq Group (WHIG), originally formed to sell the war to the public, "morphed into a virtual hit squad that took aim at critics who questioned its claims."9 WHIG was run out of Vice President Cheney's office, and included Cheney's Chief of Staff "Scooter" Libby, top Bush strategist Karl Rove, and other top Bush administration officials.
Not only did this leak end Valerie Plame Wilson's 20-year career as a CIA covert agent, but it also exposed a longstanding CIA front company, Brewster Jennings & Associates, where Plame worked and put at risk many of the undercover agents who had worked with Wilson in the past.10
Today's Indictment—White House Official Obstructed Investigation Into The Lie
Today's indictment says Libby illegally obstructed the investigation into the White House outing of an undercover CIA agent, Valerie Plame Wilson. He also was charged with perjury and making false statements to FBI agents. The ongoing investigation of Karl Rove revolves around the same issues, among possible others.
Former President George H. W. Bush was right in 1999 when he said, "I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors."11
Former Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie was right when he said, "I think if the allegation is true, to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative—it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime."12
The American people must know this important truth: Today's indictment is about a cover-up of the lies that led our nation to war in Iraq.
Please write a letter to the editor to remind people that this was crime against our entire nation, and could not be more serious. This letter tool makes it easy.
1 "Republicans Testing Ways to Blunt Leak Charges," New York Times, October 24, 2005
2 "Rice: 16 words dispute 'enormously overblown,'" CNN, July 14, 2003
3 "Cast of Characters Grows in CIA Leak Drama," Associated Press, October 24, 2005
4 "Poll: Don't Go It Alone On Iraq," CBS News, September 7, 2002
5 "Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence," The Washington Post, August 10, 2003
6 "What I Didn't Find In Africa," New York Times, July 7, 2003
7 "Bush Critic Became Target of Libby, Former Aides Say," Los Angeles Times, October 21, 2005
8 "Mission To Niger," syndicated column, July 14, 2003
9 "Prez Iraq team fought to squelch war critics," New York Daily News, October 19, 2005
10 "Leak of Agent's Name Causes Exposure of CIA Front Firm," October 4, 2003
11 Remarks By George Bush, 41st President of the United States, At the Dedication Ceremony for the George Bush Center for Intelligence, April 26, 1999
12 Hardball With Chris Matthews, September 30, 2003