Tuesday, October 18, 2005

WaPo: Cheney a Focus of Plame Inquiry

This story came as something of a surprise to me. Like any news-minded person, I’ve been hearing the rumblings of a possible Cheney connection to the Plame outing, so that part wasn’t the true surprise; it was more the fact of a rift between the CIA and Cheney’s office:

As the investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name hurtles to an apparent conclusion, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has zeroed in on the role of Vice President Cheney's office, according to lawyers familiar with the case and government officials. The prosecutor has assembled evidence that suggests Cheney's long-standing tensions with the CIA contributed to the unmasking of operative Valerie Plame.

In grand jury sessions, including with New York Times reporter Judith Miller, Fitzgerald has pressed witnesses on what Cheney may have known about the effort to push back against ex-diplomat and Iraq war critic Joseph C. Wilson IV, including the leak of his wife's position at the CIA, Miller and others said. But Fitzgerald has focused more on the role of Cheney's top aides, including Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, lawyers involved in the case said.

As a bit of a side note, I pride myself on my knowledge of Intelligence agencies, including their basic operating framework, aegis, and positions within the Intelligence Community. I’m a bit of a junkie for the stuff; I’ve always had a fascination with the arcane and untouchable, and have eaten up every story about the American Intelligence Community that I can get my hands on. I don’t post what I know, how I know it, or its connection to the world at large because I respect the institution, for all its flaws and admitted evils over the years. The CIA and its brethren, the NSA, NRO, DIA, and other agencies, developed into respectable organizations during the Clinton years; there are still MOs in use from that time that are admirable.

That said, the agencies represent the Administrations. That’s why I wasn’t surprised to learn of Rendition or the agencies’ roles in Abu Ghraib and other torture scandals; this is an Administration hellbent on damaging other people, and of course the Community will be forced into that role, like it or not.

That’s why this story strikes me as such a surprise. If the CIA is really just an arm of the White House, then what is the disconnect between it and Cheney? I also didn’t really understand the relevance of a relationship between the Vice President’s office and the CIA. Then I thought about it, and the entire thing makes sense in the context of Cheney’s connection with the PNAC agenda and the CIA’s stubbornness on the yellow cake story, which would have put them at odds with that agenda.

The old CIA was a remnant of the Clinton Administration; it believed in verifiability, accountability, and reliability. That’s why Tenet had to go, and that’s why Plame had to be outed. Porter Goss is a symptom of the same sickness that created this whole scandal, that led an Administration to betray the very people that it is elected to protect and serve. I make no bones about not liking Goss, and when I think about these two events in tandem, the entire picture makes a great deal of sense. I wonder if that’s what’s going on in Fitzgerald’s mind.

Also, if Cheney goes down, do we get a new Vice President? What happens at that point? I’m interested in seeing how this develops…

Posted by crimnos @ 8:43 AM

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Yeah, if he is indicted, I wonder if he will resign or hold on with his greedy hands. You also have to think that if the President is losing top aide and confidant Rove, then what will happen when he loses Cheney? Bush isn't exactly a bright bulb...the White House would indefinately take a BIG HIT.

But we aren't talking about blow jobs, so I can't see this as that important

Posted by Blogger Jessica @ 9:18 AM #

I know, I'm kind of terrified by the idea of mad king George governing on his own. The one thing we could count on was his advisors acting in their own interests...who the hell knows what George stands for on his own?

The other thing is, what if we get a Democratic congress in 06 that is able to get the wheels of impeachment rolling? If we have a different Vice President at that point, what happens then? This is a tricky time for our country, and I don't think many people realize it.

Also, laffo at the blow jobs comment. At least you know what's really important!

Posted by Blogger crimnos @ 9:34 AM #

Ah, the cracks have finally appeared in the dam.

If the President and VP get indicted then the Speaker of the House (Denny Hastert) would take over. After that it is the President of the Senate but that is Frist who might get himself indicted!! So, THEN it would turn to the cabinet members starting with the Secretary of State Condi Rice and down from there.

I have the feeling that the indictments are going to be many and deep. This is quite the circus.

Posted by Blogger james @ 11:23 AM #

Or, if they hold out until 2006, we could have a Democratic speaker. :) I'm not holding my breath, though...

Posted by Blogger crimnos @ 11:42 AM #

I don't know whether to be giddy or scared...what a confusing time!

Posted by Blogger Jessica @ 2:01 PM #


If it ends up with the dems in charge of either the house and senate, suddenly the dems will have subpoena backed investigations, and all that crap that hasn't been looked into will suddenly be in play.

Which means that Bush will have to cut significant deals just to keep the investigations away.


Posted by Blogger mikevotes @ 9:52 PM #
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