Monday, October 24, 2005


Raw Story has been one of a handful of places with the best early news about the CIA leak probe, better known as Traitorgate. On Monday, Raw Story cited sources as laying the blame directly on David Wurmser, formerly a key Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney. According to Raw Story:
Wurmser met with Cheney and his chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby in June 2003 and told him that Plame set up the Wilson trip. He asserted that it was a boondoggle because she was a CIA agent, the sources said.

Libby then shared the information with Karl Rove, President Bush's deputy chief of staff, the sources said. Wurmser also passed on the same information about Wilson and his CIA to Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, they added.

Within a week, Wurmser, on orders from "executives in the office of the vice president," was told to leak her name to a specific group of reporters in an effort to muzzle her husband, Wilson, who had become a thorn in the side of the administration, those close to the inquiry say. It is unclear who Wurmser had spoken with in the media, the sources said, but they confirmed he did speak with reporters at national media outlets about Plame.
Meanwhile, the ultimate site for Traitorgate news -- Jane Hamsher's Fire Dog Lake blog -- notes a most curious development in the case. Citing a UPI report, Hamsher says the special prosecutor's probe appears to be much bigger than anyone expected:
NATO sources have confirmed to United Press International that Fitzgerald's team of investigators has sought and obtained documentation on the forgeries from the Italian government.

Fitzgerald's team has been given the full, and as yet unpublished report of the Italian parliamentary inquiry into the affair, which started when an Italian journalist obtained documents that appeared to show officials of the government of Niger helping to supply the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein with Yellowcake uranium. This claim, which made its way into President Bush's State of the Union address in January, 2003, was based on falsified documents from Niger and was later withdrawn by the White House.

This opens the door to what has always been the most serious implication of the CIA leak case, that the Bush administration could face a brutally damaging and public inquiry into the case for war against Iraq being false or artificially exaggerated. This was the same charge that imperiled the government of Bush's closest ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, after a BBC Radio program claimed Blair's aides has "sexed up" the evidence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
One more thing before we go. Republicans -- especially the rabid kind -- like to talk about the evil nature of Democrats. All Democrats. Tom DeLay wants a judge off his money laundering case because the judge is a Democrat and has contributed to Democratic candidates for public office. Karl Rove has specialized in excluding Democrats from any substantive public policy discussions. Funny, then, that DeLay's lawyer and Rove's lawyer are both Democrats.

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