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Was a crime committed in the Rove / Plame scandal

July 16th 2005

Was a crime commited by Rove and did the President know?

President Bush

Invading and occupying Iraq was the easy part for the administration. US troops swept through Iraq and arrested Saddam Hussein.  Allegations of Hussein’s possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) have been investigated, and proven to be without merit, leaving many Americans asking “how could we be so wrong”?

Now, to make things worse for the administration, there are allegations that a senior White House official leaked secret information about CIA operative Valerie Plame.  The White has stated from the beginning that they would cooperate with investigators.

As the investigation unfolds, it is becoming apparent that senior officials in the White House leaked the information.  According to the Washington Post, Karl Rove “told prosecutors he had discussed Plame in passing with at least two reporters, including the columnist who eventually revealed her name and role in a secret mission that would raise questions about Bush's case for war against Iraq.” 

 

In 2002 Valerie Plame and others in the CIA determined that her husband was a good choice for investigating the allegations that Saddam had tried to acquire yellow-cake Uranium from Niger.  Plame’s husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, had experience in Middle East and African diplomacy..

Wilson traveled to Niger, spoke to his contacts, and reported back that there was no evidence supporting a claim that Iraq tried to acquire yellowcake. It appears this information never made it up to the White House.   

In the President’s 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush told the nation “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."  In fact, this was not the case, or at least there was no evidence.

Wilson knew the facts and on July 6th wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times where he disclosed   "Some of the intelligence used by the Bush administration was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."  To back this up Wilson revealed he was the one dispatched to Niger in 2002. 

Three days later Colin Powel said the President should not have made the assertion in his speech.  He said “At the time it was put into the state of the union, my best understanding of this is that it had been seen by the intelligence community and vetted. But on subsequent examination, it didn't hold up, and we have acknowledged that.”

A week after Wilson’s column, Robert Novak referencing citations of "two senior administration officials,” wrote that Wilson had been sent to Niger at the suggestion of his wife, "an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction."  Wilson then charged the administration with leaking his wife’s identity trying to intimidate him.

What ever the reason, it appears Plame’s name was leaked to Novak.  Rove denied the claims in August of 2004 on CNN when he said “I'll repeat what I said to ABC News when this whole thing broke some number of months ago. I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name."

Whether the British Intelligence really knew that Saddam tried to acquire yellowcake does not matter so much now. The White House leak could be the biggest scandal since Watergate.    

It appears the identity was leaked by Karl Rove, if the Post is right.  So was it a crime?  According to the Post, “Bush and Cheney were asked to talk to investigators informally, while a parade of officials from Powell to Rove to McClellan appeared before the grand jury.”  But so far, the only people to go to jail are reporters for refusing to divulge sources.

US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is leading the investigation.  It is expected that Fitzgerald will issue an indictment, if an indictment is issued, by the end of the Grand Juries term this October.

Related Stories:
Valerie Plame Scandal - Fiasco


By Tom Madison
Freelance Writer

 

 

 

Keywords and misspellings:  valary plume Pat uraneum

 


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:45 PM