Granny Rant
Saturday, February 07, 2004
 
::: Golly Gee ~~ Mr. Cheney Has Another Bad Day Or Two :::

Plame-Out

Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney's office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer's identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said.

According to these sources, John Hannah and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, were the two Cheney employees. "We believe that Hannah was the major player in this," one federal law-enforcement officer said. Calls to the vice president's office were not returned, nor did Hannah and Libby return calls.

The strategy of the FBI is to make clear to Hannah "that he faces a real possibility of doing jail time" as a way to pressure him to name superiors, one federal law-enforcement official said.
[...]
On Oct. 7, Bush said that unauthorized disclosure of an undercover CIA officer's identity was "a criminal matter" and the Justice Department had begun its investigation into the source of the leak.


WHACK! Not A Welcome Home ... Lets play WHACK A TOAD

Now Instead Of Hunting Birds ~~ Cheney Is Likened To One ~~ An Albatross
[...]
WASHINGTON - If United States Vice President Dick Cheney was hoping that the cold, crisp air of Davos and his private audience with Pope John Paul II late last month would revive his spirits, as well as his standing in the polls, he must be deeply disappointed.

Since returning home, he has faced a seemingly unrelenting succession of disclosures and attacks that appear to get worse with each passing day. What the albatross was to the ancient mariner, Cheney is fast becoming to George W Bush's re-election chances.

Just consider what happened to Cheney Thursday: the early morning edition of the Wall Street Journal ran an article - first reported by Newsweek - on how Justice Department investigators had asked Halliburton Company for documents relating to US$180 million in allegedly illegal payments by a consortium of companies, including Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, in connection with the construction of a big natural-gas plant in Nigeria in the late 1990s, while Cheney was Halliburton's chief executive officer.
[...]
WHACK [...]
When the Los Angeles Times hit the news stands a couple of hours later, Cheney was right there on the front page with the headline: "Scalia was Cheney Hunt Trip Guest; Ethics Concern Grows."
[...]
WHACK [...]
Cheney may have tuned in to watch Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director George Tenet deliver a passionate defense at Georgetown University of the official intelligence community's performance in the runup to the Iraq war, only to find himself a target, if only inferentially.
[...]
WHACK [...]
While Tenet didn't say anything explicitly about Cheney, he certainly didn't do much to dispel the increasingly strong impression in Washington - among Democrats, it's become a conviction - that, of all of Bush's senior advisers, Cheney and his staff worked hardest to hype what the intelligence community was saying about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction programs.
[...]
WHACK [...]
While the intelligence community had concluded that Saddam wanted nuclear weapons, Tenet declared, it also made clear as of late 2002 that Saddam had none, and that he probably would not have been able to make one until some time between 2007 and 2009, at the earliest.
[...]
WHACK [...]
That assertion, of course, raises a major question. If the intelligence community agreed that Saddam had no nuclear weapons, where did Cheney get the information that would substantiate his statement on the very day that the US launched its invasion last March: "And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
[...]
WHACK [...]
The answer, according to Democratic members of the Congressional intelligence committees, who have become increasingly outspoken in recent days, is that Cheney and his staff had an independent source of "intelligence" outside the formal intelligence community. Lodged in the Pentagon's policy shop under Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith, the now-notorious Office of Special Plans "cherry-picked" raw intelligence, interviewed "defectors", and produced its own talking points and analysis that were "stovepiped" straight to Cheney's office, notably John Hannah, his top Mideast staffer, and I Lewis "Scooter" Libby, his powerful chief of staff.
[...]

BUT .... hold on ... didn't we just hear those two names in regard to the
outing of Valerie Plame?

WHACK [...]
But if Cheney felt displeased by Tenet's performance, things only got worse - much worse - - later in the afternoon when United Press International (UPI) reported what has been rumored ever since Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself from the investigation into the "outing" as a CIA officer by "two senior administration officials" of Valerie Plame, shortly after her husband, retired ambassador Joseph Wilson, had published an article in the New York Times charging that the administration knew that its reports of Saddam's alleged attempts to buy uranium yellowcake in Africa were bogus.

Quoting "federal law-enforcement officials," UPI's intelligence correspondent Richard Sale reported on Thursday that the two main suspects were none other than Libby and Hannah. One official reportedly told Sale that Hannah was being advised "that he faces a real possibility of doing jail time" in order to pressure him to implicate higher-ups - presumably Libby, if not, perhaps, Cheney himself.
[...]
WHACK [...]
According to recent polls, Cheney's approval ratings, hovering around 20 percent, are already far below Bush's, which have themselves sunk below 50 percent for the first time in his presidency. Even Halliburton, whose public image has become so tarnished that it has launched a controversial television ad campaign to boost its image, last week listed Cheney's association to the company as a "risk factor" for its shareholders.

Republicans in Congress, particularly on the intelligence and foreign relations committees, find themselves having to devote more time and political capital to defending the vice president, and even some influential Republican donors have privately suggested that Cheney bow out. Speculation about possible replacements - most recently, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (the Republican convention is in New York City, August 30 to September 2.) - is growing steadily. Of course, there's always another day.
[...]

WOW and Whack-A-Ducky
Granny

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