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'Discovered' emails may prove Cheney lied on Plame leak

This is huge. It’s too bad Darth wasn’t under oath when he lied about the plan to discredit Joe Wilson by leaking the identity of his wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative, but it’s bad enough to drag this story back into the spotlight.

Somehow the White House has recently “discovered” heretofore missing emails and turned them over to prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that, sources say, could prove the Dark Lord is a lying bastard on this. The emails were originally requested in 2003. (Truthout via Raw Story):

The emails are said to be explosive, and may prove that Cheney played an active role in the effort to discredit Plame Wilson’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a vocal critic of the Bush administration’s prewar Iraq intelligence, sources close to the investigation said.

Sources close to the probe said the White House “discovered” the emails two weeks ago and turned them over to Fitzgerald last week. The sources added that the emails could prove that Cheney lied to FBI investigators when he was interviewed about the leak in early 2004. Cheney said that he was unaware of any effort to discredit Wilson or unmask his wife’s undercover status to reporters.

Cheney was not under oath when he was interviewed. He told investigators how the White House came to rely on Niger documents that purportedly showed that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from the African country. Cheney said he had received an intelligence briefing on the allegations in late December 2003, or early January 2004, and had asked the CIA for more information about the issue.

Cheney said he was unaware that Ambassador Wilson was chosen to travel to Niger to look into the uranium claims, and that he never saw a report Wilson had given a CIA analyst upon his return which stated that the Niger claims were untrue. He said the CIA never told him about Wilson’s trip.

However, the emails say otherwise, and will show that the vice president spearheaded an effort in March 2003 to attack Wilson’s credibility and used the CIA to dig up information on the former ambassador that could be used against him, sources said.

Torture Boy/Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had already withheld tons of emails, citing executive privilege and national security as concerns of the White House.

The question is, how hot does this blaze have to get for Cheney to step down? Since he’s the one running the show at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, there probably isn’t even being seriously discussed. However, if Cheney ends up with the target on his back because of this evidence, there’s not much he can do to step out of the way of the birdshot — someone is going to have to take the blast for the plan.

Scooter Libby‘s already in the hot seat; he’s scheduled to go to trial in January of 2007, and yesterday this nice bit of news came across the AP that indicates he’s going to be sweating, since the judge in the case is making efforts to keep information under wraps that the Chimp could later withhold, claiming executive privilege.

You may recall that Scooter already told a grand jury he was “authorized by his superiors” to disclose classified information from an intelligence report to reporters.

Former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, charged with perjury in the CIA leak case, cannot be told the identity of another government official who is said to have divulged a CIA operative’s identity to reporters, a federal judge ruled Friday.

At the same time, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said Libby could have copies of notes he took during an 11-month period in 2003 and 2004 while serving as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. The judge also set the stage for a showdown in late April over the defense’s plans to subpoena reporters and news organizations for notes and other documents in the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity.

During a hearing Friday afternoon, Walton said Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald can keep secret the other government official’s identity because that person has not been charged and has a right to privacy.

The judge put off deciding whether Libby can have access to highly classified presidential daily briefs, summaries of intelligence on threats against the United States that Libby and Cheney received six days a week from a CIA official.

Walton said he is concerned that Libby’s request could “sabotage” the case because President Bush probably will invoke executive privilege and refuse to turn over the classified reports.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding