Aides To Be Indicted, Probe to Continue

Aides To Be Indicted, Probe to Continue

By Richard Sale, long-time Intelligence Correspondent

Two top White House aides are expected to be indicted today on various charges related to the probe of CIA operative Valerie Plame whose classified identity was publicly breached in retaliation after her husband, Joe Wilson, challenged the administration’s claim that Saddam Hussein had sought to buy enriched unranium from Niger, acording to federal law enforcement and senior U.S. intelligence officials.

If no action is taken today, it will take place on Friday, these sources said.

I.Scooter Libby, the chief of staff of Vice President Richard Cheney, and chief presidential advisor, Karl Rove are expected to be named in indcitments this morning by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

Others are to be named as well, these source said. According to U.S. officials close to the case an bill of indiictment has been in existence before October 17 which named five people. Various names have surfaced such a National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, yet only one source would confirm that Hadley was on the list. Hadley could not be reached for comment.

But letters from Fitzgerald, notifying various White House officiials that they are targets of the invstigation, went out late last week, a former senior U.S. intelligence official said.

Although most press accounts emphasized that Fitzgerald was likely to concentrate on attempts by Libby Rove and others to cover-up wrongdoing by means of perjury before the grand jury, lying to federal officials, conspiring to obstruct justice, etc. But federal law enforcement officials told this reporter that Fitzgerald was likely to charge the people indicted with violating Joe Wilson’s civil rights, smearing his name in an attempt to destroy his ability to earn a living in Washington as a consultant.

The civil rights charge is said to include "the conspiracy was committed using U.S. government offices, buildings, personnel and funds," one federal law enforcement official said.

Other charges could include possible violations of U.S. espionage laws, including the mishandling of U.S. classified information, these sources said.

That Vice President Cheney is at the center of the controversy comes is no surprise. Last Friday, Fitzgerald investigators were talking to Cheney’s attorneys, and detailied questionaires, designed to pin down in meticulous sequence what Cheney knew, when he knew it, and what he told his aides,, were delivered to the White House on Monday, these sources said.

The probe is far from being at an end. According to this reporter’s sources, Fitzgerald approached the judge in charge of the case and asked that a new grand jury be empaneled. The old grand jury, which has been sitting for two years, will expire on October 28.

Thanks to a letter of February, 2004 which Fitzgerald asked for and obtained expaneed authority, the Special Prosecutor is now in possession of an Italian parliament nvestigationi into the forged Niger documents alleging Iraq’s interest in purchasing Niger uranium, sources said.

They said that Fitzgerald is looking into such individuals as former CIA agent, Duane Claridge, military consultant to the Iraqi National Congress, Gen. Wayne Downing, another military consultant for INC, and Francis Brooke, head of INC’s Washingfton office in an effort to determine if they played any role in the forgeriese or their dissiemination. Also iIncluded in this group is long-time neoconservative Michael Ledeen, these federal sources said.

On the Hill, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), democratic whip, are asking for public hearings to lay bare the forgeries and how their false allegations ended up in President George Bush’s State of the Union speech.

(Part Two  — More on the Forgeries and Wilson’s mission.)

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15 Responses to Aides To Be Indicted, Probe to Continue

  1. J i O says:

    As far as I can determine you’re the first to claim “that Fitzgerald was likely to charge the people indicted with violating Joe Wilson’s civil rights…”
    It begs the question, what was the damage done to the CIA? Are you aware of any damage assessment the agency has made?

  2. Karen says:

    I’ve been very hopeful that Fitzgerald will be thorough and meticulous in his charges.
    And although the *anticipation* is “killer” (but No more so for the White House operatives waiting for the shoe to drop) that he is doing everything to protect his case and the evidence to get to CONVICTIONs.
    So, for those of us hoping to remove this vicious bAdministrative CANCER on the body politic via the LAW, this will be a good moment.

  3. CaseyL says:

    There have been rumors of one, possibly two, agents killed as a result of disclosing Plame’s, and Brewster-Jennings’, status as NOC and cover company.
    If those rumors are true, and if they can be proved, that changes everything about this case. A capital espionage charge becomes a possibility.

  4. CaseyL says:

    There are rumors that one, possibly two, agents were killed after Plame and Brewster-Jennings were outed.
    If true, and if provable, that changes everything. Espionage charges are possible. Death-penalty espionage charges.

  5. Jerry says:

    Where are the rumors of agents being killed documented? Can you please point to a url with that information.
    Thank you.

  6. Leila Hudson says:

    Can I get your response to my notion – played out on my blog – that discrediting Wilson was a cover for outing Brewster Jennings and that Judith Miller and Cheney’s WHIG were engaged in a rival “counterproliferation” project. I base this on Miller’s Aspen Middle East strategy paper entitled “counterproliferation after iraq”.

  7. conservative says:

    Personally I find it disturbing that many seem to think that an individual has a right to determine what secret information should be secret and what shouldn’t and release it freely if they personally determine that it will “not damage” the CIA or some other government interest.
    This is a slippery slope.
    I note that such individuals also tend to hold that it is ok to lie to investigaters are grand juries if they believe the investigation is misplaced, for example if it examines “business as normal.”
    I believe that when we decriminalize lying to police, prosecuters and grand juries engaged in investigations that we undermine our capacity to seek justice.
    Thus Clinton was rightfully impeached for lying about Monica even though it was not central to the investigation.
    The right is staking out a position far more subversive to our nation than the left. Ellsberg and others claimed the right to violate secrecy laws based on the claim that this served the national good. One can dispute the validity of these specific acts of civil disobedience, but they were based on principle.
    The right is aserting that their side can reveal secrets for partisan gain and that those partisans should be the ones to determine whether or not such acts are wrong.
    This is a decline into narcissism and the “me me me ! it’s all about me!” ethic. It also is an argument for a complete relativity of values. The rule of law is deemed irrelevant, what matters is whether or not you are one of the “good” people fighting the “evil” people.
    It is far more subversive to our traditonal values than the nonsense postulated on the left because it renders as totally irrelevant even the concept of citizenship or integrity.
    Then to add insult to injury it claims to represent our traditions and to defend them.
    In daily context it is equivalent to telling a cop:
    “It was ok for me to go 110 because I decided it was safe, what damage was done?”
    “It’s alright for me to lie to you because I didn’t want to get in trouble.”
    This is *not* the way to overturn unjust laws or regulations.
    But of course that isn’t the point. The goal of the right is to make their personal desires and opinions the ultimate rule.
    On this as on a number of other issues, traditional, old fashioned conservatives find themselves in conflict with the ruling ethos of the Republican party.

  8. Jeff in CA says:

    No definitive info, but lots of relevant info. Check out and set comments as “Flat” and scroll down to the 30th comment.

  9. dk says:

    glad to hear your very reasonable point of view. hope you were saying this BEFORE the election as well.

  10. steve d says:

    One minor correction: you state that Fitzgerald has the Italian parliament’s investigation “[T]hanks to a letter of February, 2004 which Fitzgerald asked for and obtained expaneed authority.”
    If you are referring to his February 6 letter to then-acting Attorney General James B. Comey, what Fitzgerald actually did was request and receive clarification that Comey had already authorized him to investigate and prosecute not only the disclosure of Plame’s identity but also any crimes committed during the investigation (perjury, obstruction of justice, etc.).
    The idea that Fitzgerald sought permission to stray from some narrow original mandate is false, but is being used by many in the media to cast him as overzealous and partisan.
    Comey’s letter can be found on Fitzgerald’s website

  11. Jalaluddin Abdullah says:

    If Valerie Plame was working on the forgery case or anything related, maybe a charge along the lines of interfering with a government officer in the execution of his duties might be in the sealed indictment?

  12. Gary L. says:

    “Fitzgerald was likely to charge the people indicted with violating Joe Wilson’s civil rights.” WRONG!
    “Others are to be named as well, these source said. According to U.S. officials close to the case an bill of indiictment has been in existence before October 17 which named five people.” WRONG!
    You need to get new ‘sources’ Richard.

  13. RJJ says:

    Gary, are you are claiming you have been able to distinguish signal from noise in this environment? If not, sod off.
    Open your ears; for which of you will stop
    The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks?
    I, from the orient to the drooping west,
    Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
    The acts commenced on this ball of earth:
    Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
    The which in every language I pronounce,
    Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.

    Rumour is a pipe
    Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures
    And of so easy and so plain a stop
    That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
    The still-discordant wavering multitude,
    Can play upon it. But what need I thus
    My well-known body to anatomize
    Among my household?

    And not a man of them brings other news
    Than they have learn’d of me: from Rumour’s tongues
    They bring smooth comforts false, worse than
    true wrongs.

  14. Claud Briton says:

    Thanks, Gary L., I’ve noticed a few of Richard Sales’ sources have been WRONG, and you say. We gotta hold their feet to the fire!

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