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“And while you’re indicting Alberto Gonzales for lying to Congress…”

"…why not add another charge too?"

That seems to be the immediate message of Henry Waxman’s 11-page memo exposing Administration lies about the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium in Niger. As he describes, when Congress approached her with questions about the Administration’s use of the uranium in Niger claim, Condi Rice had Alberto Gonzales answer on her behalf.

On January 6,2004, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales sent a letter on behalf of Condoleezza Rice, who was then the National Security Advisor, to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, writing that "Dr. Rice has asked me to respond" to questions raised by the Committee about the uranium claim.

But the testimony the Oversight Committee has collected seriously challenges the veracity of Gonzales’ memo.

The information the Oversight Committee has received casts serious doubt on the veracity of the representations that Mr. Gonzales made on behalf of Dr. Rice.

Basically, George Tenet, former Deputy Director of Intelligence Jami Miscik, and former NSC speechwriter John Gibson testified that Condi and other NSC staffers had received multiple warnings not to use the Niger uranium claim, in addition to the insistent warnings before the Cincinnati speech that we already knew about.

As I suggested, DOJ may well already be considering charges against Alberto Gonzales for lying to Congress about the US Attorney firings (and, for that matter, about the illegal wiretap program). Waxman lays out one more instance where Bush’s Fredo appears to have lied about Administration activities.

Not that it’ll do much good: there’s a five year statute of limitation on lying to Congress, and the memo in question was written four years and eleven months ago. (The Administration didn’t turn over the memo in question until November 12 of this year.)

I’ll have more to say about the substantive details in Waxman’s memo after I do some Christmas shopping. But for now, if you needed any more proof that the SSCI report on prewar intelligence on Iraq was a whitewash based on Administration lies, now you’ve got it. 

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