Jury selection has begun for the trial of Lewis
with lying to the Feds about lies Libby claims he didn’t tell to sycophantic
Since the lies Libby is alleged to have told – and the circumstances of their
telling – are unlikely to become an issue at trial, it is perhaps worthwhile
explicating them a bit.
In late 2001 the Italian Military Intelligence and Security Service had informed
the CIA that the Iraqi ambassador to the Vatican had reportedly attempted on
a visit to Niger to arrange the purchase of "yellowcake" – a mixture
of natural uranium oxides.
At that time no documentation was provided.
In February 2002, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and others
were sent, independently, to Niger. All reported back to the CIA and the
State Department that the Italian report – still undocumented – was without
So, months after we now know (from the Downing
Street Memos) that Bush-Cheney had been busy "fixing the intelligence"
to support the decision that had already been made to invade and occupy Iraq,
CIA Director Tenet asked that a reference to the alleged purchase of yellowcake
by Iraq be removed from a speech President Bush was to give on Oct. 7, 2002.
Guess what happened next.
The "documentation" for the alleged purchase of yellowcake by Iraq
from Niger was delivered to our Embassy in Rome on Oct. 9, 2002.
The next day, Congress approved the Joint
Congressional Resolution Authorizing the Use of US Armed Forces Against Iraq
– conditional on a Presidential Determination that "reliance on peaceful
means alone will not adequately protect the national security of the United
So, Bush, Cheney, and Condi Rice immediately began referring to the Niger documents
just obtained as proof that Saddam Hussein was reconstructing his nuclear weapons
program and that the next "intelligence" we got might be in the shape
of a "mushroom shaped cloud."
In November, 2002, Saddam Hussein acquiesced to UN
Security Council Resolution 1441, allowing UN inspectors – including members
of the International Atomic Energy Agency Action Team on Iraq – unfettered access
The IAEA had reported to the Security Council as early as 1998 that Saddam
abandoned his attempt to produce nuclear weapons way back in 1991 and under
UNSCR 1441 reported that he had made no attempt since to resurrect that program.
In particular, Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei reported
- There is no indication of resumed nuclear activities in
those buildings that were identified through the use of satellite
imagery as being reconstructed or newly erected since 1998, nor any
indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any inspected
- There is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import uranium since 1990.
- There is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import
aluminium tubes for use in centrifuge enrichment. Moreover, even had
Iraq pursued such a plan, it would have encountered practical
difficulties in manufacturing centrifuges out of the aluminium tubes in
- Although we are still reviewing issues related to magnets and
magnet production, there is no indication to date that Iraq imported
magnets for use in a centrifuge enrichment programme.
After Bush, Cheney, Rice and Colin Powell began citing the Niger documents
in October, 2002, as a casus belli, the IAEA asked to see them. Finally,
on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the IAEA was faxed a copy. Within
hours they were determined by the IAEA to be forgeries!
Hence, on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, thanks to the IAEA, if there
was any nation on earth certified to not have a nuclear weapons program,
it was Iraq.
Nevertheless, on March 19 – the day Parliament authorized Prime Minister Tony
Blair to use force against Iraq – Bush notified
Congress that no "further diplomatic or other peaceful means will adequately
protect the national security of the United States from the continuing threat
posed by Iraq."
Then, on May 6, 2003, while the Cheney
Cabal and all the neocrazies were celebrating Operation
Iraqi Cakewalk, the New York Times published a column by Nicholas
Kristof, which contained these
"I rejoice in the newfound freedoms in Iraq. But there are
indications that the U.S. government souped up intelligence, leaned on
spooks to change their conclusions, and concealed contrary information
to deceive people at home and around the world.
"Let's fervently hope that tomorrow we find an Iraqi superdome
filled with 500 tons of mustard gas and nerve gas, 25,000 liters of
anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 29,984 prohibited munitions
capable of delivering chemical agents, several dozen Scud missiles, gas
centrifuges to enrich uranium, 18 mobile biological warfare factories,
long-range unmanned aerial vehicles to dispense anthrax, and proof of
close ties with al-Qaeda."
Most of what Kristof itemizes above had been "reported" – beginning in September
2002 – to exist in Iraq by Judith Miller of the New York Times.
"Jail Bird" Miller has since admitted that her reports – all of which
turned out to be wrong – were
based upon "intelligence" provided to her by Ahmed Chalabi. But Miller claims
she got confirmation of that "intelligence" from various high-level Bush-Cheney
Various high-level Bush-Cheney administration officials?
Like members of the White House Iraq Group, founded in September
2002 to promote "support" for war against Iraq amongst the general
According to Walter
Pincus, the WHIG met weekly in the Situation Room.
"Among the regular participants were Karl Rove, the president's
senior political adviser; communications strategists Karen Hughes, Mary
Matalin and James R. Wilkinson; legislative liaison Nicholas E. Calio;
and policy advisers led by Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley,
along with I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff."
Cheney’s chief of staff?
Do you suppose that’s going to be Scooter’s defense? That he was – like other
war criminals – merely following orders? That he was merely "confirming"
to various media sycophants the "intelligence" that WHIG had "fixed"
the year before to promote a war that would otherwise not be sanctioned by either
Congress or the Security Council?
And that he was merely following orders when he continued to "confirm"
that "intelligence" months after the war of aggression – unsanctioned
by either Congress of the Security Council – had begun? "Intelligence"
that Libby (and all members of the Security Council and most Congresspersons,
if not all members of the sycophantic media) knew had been totally discredited
months before the war actually began?
Well, it might work. By the time Bush’s war of aggression began, many targeted
media recipients realized Libby had been lying to them, and on whose behalf.