Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal


Cheney's scribbled note adds twist to Plame probe

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The prosecutor in the CIA leak case said more than six months ago that he was not alleging any criminal acts by Vice President Dick Cheney regarding the leak of agency operative Valerie Plame's identity.

But now the prosecutor is leaving the door open to the possibility that the vice president's now-indicted former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was acting at his boss' behest when Libby allegedly leaked information about Plame to reporters.

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is using handwritten notes by Cheney to assert in a new court filing that the vice president and Libby, working together, were focusing much attention on Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a Bush administration critic.

Cheney's notes on the margins of Wilson's opinion column in The New York Times on July 6, 2003, reflect "the contemporaneous reaction of the vice president," Fitzgerald said in the court filing late Friday.

In the column, Wilson recounted how he had been sent by the CIA in 2002 to Niger to assess intelligence that Iraq had an agreement to acquire uranium yellow cake from the African country. His conclusion: It was highly doubtful that such a deal existed.

Scribbled in the days leading up to the leaks of Plame's identity, Cheney's notes refer to the CIA and to Wilson's trip, asking, "Have they done this sort of thing before? Send an Amb. to assess a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?"

Subsequently, Plame's supposed role in her husband's trip to Africa allegedly was leaked to the media by both Libby and by presidential adviser Karl Rove.

Dems write their own margin notes for Cheney

Published: Monday May 15, 2006

Democrats are using the story of Dick Cheney's handwritten Plame Affair "margin notes" as a means of humorously striking out at the Vice President, RAW STORY has learned.

Notes made by Cheney in the margins of an op-ed by Ambassador Joseph Wilson just days before wife Valerie Plame Wilson's status as an undercover CIA agent was revealed to the press indicated that Cheney asked at the time, "Did his wife send him on a junket?" This hypothesis would later be echoed as a claim by Wilson's critics, and given by some as the reason Plame's name was entered into the debate.

The office of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has now released its own pieces of conjecture, imagining what, in their eyes, Cheney's notes may be in the margins of speeches he plans to deliver today in Ohio and Minnesota. While "the remarks themselves may be devoid of interest," the release states, "Cheney's margin notes could be full of interesting revelations about the questions currently on his mind."

The Democrats' satirical take on Cheney's notes follows:

What handwritten questions could Cheney have penciled into the margins of his prepared remarks today?

How can we cut Congress out of oversight of national security?

Cheney and his current chief of staff were the key advocates for expanded NSA surveillance with almost no Congressional oversight and in possible circumvention of the law. "In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney and his top legal adviser argued that the National Security Agency should intercept purely domestic telephone calls and e-mail messages without warrants in the hunt for terrorists, according to two senior intelligence officials. But N.S.A. lawyers, trained in the agency's strict rules against domestic spying and reluctant to approve any eavesdropping without warrants, insisted that it should be limited to communications into and out of the country, said the officials, who were granted anonymity to discuss the debate inside the Bush administration late in 2001." [New York Times, 5/14/06]

Do we ordinarily send staff to disclose classified information to the media? Is Libby going to give me up at his trial?

Cheney authorized Libby to disclose classified information to the press. "President Bush authorized White House official I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby to disclose highly sensitive intelligence information to the news media in an attempt to discredit a CIA adviser whose views undermined the rationale for the invasion of Iraq, according to a federal prosecutor's account of Libby's testimony to a grand jury. The court filing by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald for the first time places Bush and Vice President Cheney at the heart of what Libby testified was an exceptional and deliberate leak of material designed to buttress the administration's claim that Iraq was trying to obtain nuclear weapons." [Washington Post, 4/7/06]

Do the energy companies need any more pro bono help from my energy task force?

After Ken Lay gave Cheney a memo arguing against temporary price caps, Cheney said price caps wouldn't solve energy problems.

"[Senator Barbara] Boxer cited a 30-minute meeting that [Enron CEO Ken] Lay, who since has left Enron, had with Vice President Dick Cheney on April 17 to discuss the California crisis. The senator said a memo from that meeting offers possible evidence that Enron officials, who were huge financial contributors to the Bush presidential campaign, influenced the administration's energy policies. The eight-point memo that Lay reportedly gave Cheney during their meeting was published earlier this week by the San Francisco Chronicle. In it, Lay suggested that the administration 'reject any attempt to re-regulate wholesale power markets by adopting price caps or returning to archaic methods of determining the cost base of wholesale power.' He added that even temporary price caps would be detrimental to power markets. The day after his meeting with Lay, Cheney said price caps wouldn't solve California's problems." [San Francisco Chronicle, 2/1/02]

Is the Senate Intelligence Committee really going to demand my cooperation?

Cheney and his now indicted former chief of staff withheld documents on pre- Iraq War intelligence from the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, overruling advice from some White House political staffers and lawyers, decided to withhold crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 when the panel was investigating the use of pre-war intelligence that erroneously concluded Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, according to Bush administration and congressional sources. Among the White House materials withheld from the committee were Libby-authored passages in drafts of a speech that then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell delivered to the United Nations in February 2003 to argue the Bush administration's case for war with Iraq, according to congressional and administration sources. The withheld documents also included intelligence data that Cheney's office -- and Libby in particular -- pushed to be included in Powell's speech, the sources said." [National Journal, 10/27/05]

How'd he find out about the cabal? It was supposed to be secret and insular!

Colin Powell's former chief of staff describes a Cheney-Rumsfeld "cabal" making secret decisions.

"In President Bush's first term, some of the most important decisions about U.S. national security — including vital decisions about postwar Iraq — were made by a secretive, little-known cabal. It was made up of a very small group of people led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. . . . Its insular and secret workings were efficient and swift — not unlike the decision-making one would associate more with a dictatorship than a democracy. This furtive process was camouflaged neatly by the dysfunction and inefficiency of the formal decision-making process, where decisions, if they were reached at all, had to wend their way through the bureaucracy, with its dissenters, obstructionists and 'guardians of the turf.' But the secret process was ultimately a failure. It produced a series of disastrous decisions and virtually ensured that the agencies charged with implementing them would not or could not execute them well." [Lawrence Wilkerson, L.A. Times, 10/25/05]

What can I do next to further expand presidential power?

Cheney believes the power of the presidency has waned.

"From shielding energy policy deliberations to setting up military tribunals without court involvement, Bush, with Cheney's encouragement, has taken what scholars call a more expansive view of his role than any commander in chief in decades. . . . Speaking with reporters traveling with him aboard Air Force Two to Oman, Cheney said the period after the Watergate scandal and Vietnam War proved to be 'the nadir of the modern presidency in terms of authority and legitimacy' and harmed the chief executive's ability to lead in a complicated, dangerous era." [Washington Post, 12/21/05]

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