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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Plame Gossip - the discovered emails

Last night I mentioned the 250 emails that just sudddenly turned up,
And the AP has reported that the White House has suddenly located and turned over those 250 emails from the Vice President's office that were missing and were not properly archived from the critical time period. Funny how those emails just suddenly turned up after two years when Fitzgerald made their "missing" status public just three weeks ago.

But Jason Leopold has a little late night something that might give some of you some hope that this investigation is stll warm. (Remember, Fitzgerald is described as methodical and methodical means slow, and slow doesn't mean stopped.)
The emails are said to be explosive, and may prove that Cheney played an active role in the effort to discredit Plame Wilson’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a vocal critic of the Bush administration’s prewar Iraq intelligence, sources close to the investigation said.

Sources close to the probe said the White House “discovered” the emails two weeks ago and turned them over to Fitzgerald last week. The sources added that the emails could prove that Cheney lied to FBI investigators when he was interviewed about the leak in early 2004. Cheney said that he was unaware of any effort to discredit Wilson or unmask his wife’s undercover status to reporters.

It is important to note that Cheney was not under oath when he was interviewed and said that he knew nothing of Wilson, knew mothing of the trip or the report.
However, the emails say otherwise, and will show that the vice president spearheaded an effort in March 2003 to attack Wilson’s credibility and used the CIA to dig up information on the former ambassador that could be used against him, sources said.

So, if Jason's characterization is correct, Fitzgerald now has in his possession hard evidence that Cheney was "spearheading" an effort to go after Wilson. If that included outing his wife, I thinkFitzgerald has found the top element of the conspiracy.

Also, there's that mention again of the use of the CIA to dig up dirt on a political opponent. Now, this is a matter of characterization as well. If Cheney said, "find out everything you can about Wilson so we can assess his judgement on this matter," that's ugly, but okay.

But if Cheney used the CIA to dig up dirt on a political opponent solely to discredit him, we're seeing something clearly Nixonian here, and the use of the CIA for this purpose is seriously illegal.

Also, as an answer to an earlier question, we also learn in this article that Alberto Gonzales, the AG and chief law enforcement officer in the country has also withheld emails from Fitzgerald under executive privilege claims.

Did you ever notice how executive privilege always seems to come up around illegal actions by the white house? I guess it's the president's "privilege" to listen to his subordinates propose illegal activities and then protect them.


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