Abdul and Scooter and Dick

One more entry from Valerie Plame’s book seems noteworthy. It appears that Dick Cheney was interested in Dr Khan, as well as Saddam Hussein. Jeez, Dick Cheney; as if Dr Khan didn’t have enough problems. Read this excerpt from the very interesting afterword, written by Laura Rozen, the enormously capable reporter and blogger:

CIA documents made public during the 2007 trial of former vice president chief of staff I Lewis Scooter Libby revealed something striking. According to Jeff Lomonaco, co-editor of the collected proceedings of the Libby trial, The United States v. I Lewis Libby,

In the spring of 2003, the CIA is saying that there were two streams of reporting on Niger-Iraq, and one came from a sensitive source who had traveled to Niger in early 2002, ie Joseph Wilson. In June, the Office of the Vice President got this information and quickly identified the unnamed sensitive source as Wilson. But by July, Libby had also evidently learned of Wilson’s 1999 trip to Niger, jotting down a note Khan + Wilson on the very same page as his note indicating the vice president was telling him to talk to Judith Miller of the New York Times – the very meeting at which he would disclose that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA.

Indeed, Libby’s notes from around July 8, 2003 indicated that Cheney asked him about an alleged attempted purchase of uranium from Niger by AQ Khan. Court testimony indicated that around the time of the query and Libby’s Khan + Wilson note, Libby consulted with the Office of the Vice President’s then legal adviser David Addington about what kind of documentation would exist if the spouse of a CIA official performed a fact-finding mission for the Agency, and about whether the president had the right to automatically authorize the disclosure of classified information. The implication is that the vice president and his aides may have been mulling the legal risk of leaking classified information including both Plame’s identity and CIA documents concerning Wilson’s 1999 rip to Niger concerning AQ Khan – presumably in order to suggest that Wilson’s wife had a possible role in sending him on the earlier trip, and by extension, who she was, and where she worked. In other words, to bolster the Office of the Vice President’s claim that Wilson was not credible because, as they alleged, the reason that he got the mission was because his wife Plame was sending him on a CIA junket.

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