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Saturday, October 04, 2003

Cheney's office and the weak intelligence evidence

I apologize for helping to spread the "false, unsubstantiated accusations" that Lewis Libby leaked Valerie Plame's name in July. Scott McClellan (as reported by ABC) says the man known as "Scooter" was not the source of the information -- and that Libby doesn't know the identity of the leaker. And he does not condone the leak.

I'll let you know if the White House denies that Libby (and Cheney) went to CIA to pressure agents into "sexing up" the intelligence (to use a phrase the British have used on this story).

Actually, they probably have denied this -- but that doesn't mean they didn't apply pressure. Heck, there's even evidence that the neocon cabal pressured the less-hawkish members of the Bush administration. Even Colin Powell.

Go back to news reports from late June and early July to recall the roots of the Plame affair. I think I missed this Jim Lobe story the first time that included these supposed quotes from Colin Powell:
[The London Guardian] quotes Powell, whose forceful case to the council was decisive in persuading US public opinion that Baghdad represented a serious threat, as being "apprehensive" about the evidence presented to him by the intelligence agencies. He reportedly expressed the hope that the actual facts, when they came out, would not "explode in their faces".

US News reported, for example, that during a rehearsal of Powell's presentation at Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters on February 1, the normally mild-mannered retired general at one point "tossed several pages in the air. 'I'm not reading this', he declared. 'This is bullshit'."

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