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Cheney told top aide of CIA officer: report

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2005-10-25T035837Z_01_KRA510556_RTRUKOC_0_US-BUSH-LEAK-CHENEY.xml Cheney told top aide of
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 24, 2005
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      http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2005-10-25T035837Z_01_KRA510556_RTRUKOC_0_US-BUSH-LEAK-CHENEY.xml

      Cheney told top aide of CIA officer: report
      Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:58 PM ET165

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney's
      chief of staff first learned about the CIA officer at
      the center of a leak investigation in a conversation
      with Cheney weeks before her identity became public in
      July 2003, The New York Times reported on Monday.

      Notes of the conversation between chief of staff Lewis
      Libby and Cheney on June 12, 2003, put a spotlight on
      the vice president's possible role in the leak. The
      account also appears to run counter to Libby's
      testimony to a federal grand jury that he first
      learned about the CIA officer, Valerie Plame, from
      reporters.

      Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor
      investigating the leak of Plame's identity, is said by
      lawyers involved in the case to be considering
      bringing charges against Libby for making false
      statements and possibly obstruction of justice.

      Another possible target for indictment is Karl Rove,
      President George W. Bush's top political adviser.
      Fitzgerald's announcement is expected later this week.

      Plame's identity was leaked to the media after her
      diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush
      administration of twisting prewar intelligence on
      Iraq. Wilson based the criticism in part on a
      CIA-sponsored mission he made to Africa in 2002 to
      check out an intelligence report that Iraq sought
      uranium from Niger.

      Cheney's office had sought more information about the
      uranium deal, prompting the CIA to dispatch Wilson.

      Eager to distance the vice president from Wilson's
      mission and findings, Cheney's office began looking
      into Wilson's background in May or June of 2003, after
      details of his mission began to appear in the press
      but well before he came out publicly in July 2003 with
      his criticisms, people close to the investigation
      said.

      Libby's notes indicate that Cheney got his information
      about Plame from George Tenet, who was then the CIA
      director, according to the Times, which attributed its
      report to lawyers involved in the case.

      According to the Times, the notes do not show that
      Cheney knew the name of Wilson's wife. But they do
      show that Cheney did know and told Libby that she was
      employed by the CIA and that she may have helped
      arrange her husband's trip.

      Libby's lawyer, Joseph Tate, did not return phone
      calls seeking comment.

      Randall Samborn, Fitzgerald's spokesman, declined to
      comment.

      Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride would only say,
      "We're cooperating fully, as the president and the
      vice president directed us."

      A former intelligence official close to Tenet said the
      former CIA director has not been in touch with
      Fitzgerald's staff for over 15 months and was not
      asked to testify before the grand jury.

      "Mr. Tenet does not wish to make any comments
      regarding an ongoing investigation," the former
      intelligence official said.
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