Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Daily News: Secret Administration Official Cooperating With CIA Leak Probe

This news does change some of the CIA leak prognostications. From the New York Daily News:

Cheney may be target of probe


WASHINGTON - A special prosecutor's intensifying focus into who outed a CIA spy has raised questions whether Vice President Cheney himself is involved, knowledgeable sources confirmed yesterday.

At least one source and one reporter who have testified in the probe said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is pursuing Cheney's role in the Valerie Plame affair.

In addition, at least six current and former Cheney staffers - most members of the White House Iraq Group - have testified before the grand jury, including the vice president's top honcho, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, and two top Cheney national security lieutenants.

Cheney's name has come up amid indications Fitzgerald may be edging closer to a blockbuster conspiracy charge - with help from a secret snitch.

"They have got a senior cooperating witness - someone who is giving them all of that," a source who has been questioned in the leak probe told the Daily News yesterday.

Cheney was questioned last year byprosecutors and has hired a private attorney, former colleague Terrence O'Donnell, who declined to comment when contacted by The News.

Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride only offered the standard canned response that her boss is cooperating.

Libby and President Bush's political mastermind Karl Rove remain the focus of the probe into whether Plame's cover was blown in a scheme to embarrass her husband, ex-Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who debunked claims that Iraq tried to buy nuclear materials in Niger.

Libby is often described as "Cheney's Cheney," a loyal and discreet lieutenant who shares his boss's hard-line philosophy and bareknuckle attitude toward political enemies of the Bush administration.

Cheney and Libby spend hours together in the course of a day, which causes sources who know both men very well to assert that any attempts to discredit Wilson would almost certainly have been known to the vice president.

"Scooter wouldn't be freelancing on this without Cheney's knowledge," a source told the Daily News. "It was probably some off-the-cuff thing: 'This guy [Wilson] could be a problem.'"

A secret snitch might have some pretty concrete knowledge of conversations, meetings, and other devious White House behavior, especially the stuff taking place in Cheney's office.

That can't be good for Cheney if the vice preznit is as "hands-on" a guy about these kinds of things as we think he is.

Cheney has testified at least once before federal prosecutors that we know of. All of this news breaking lately about Fitzgerald targeting Cheney makes you wonder if the special prosecutor hasn't had the vice preznit testify under oath at some other time in the investigation that we don't know about.

Especially if a secret snitch has given the special prosecutor some damaging testimony about Cheney.

Regardless , the stories on the CIA leak case in the last three days are all starting to sound pretty ominous for the Bush administration.

A spokesman for Fitzgerald announced yesterday that whether indictments are handed up in the case or not, all announcements will be made in Washington D.C., not Chicago where Fitzgerald is U.S. attorney.

That news in and of itself was read as ominous by many on the blogs, the theory being that Fitzgerald is making the case announcements in D.C. because he is handing up indictments.

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!!!

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