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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Big Time Trouble

Cheney is not in the clear just yet:

Vice President Dick Cheney makes only three brief appearances in the 22-page federal indictment that charges his chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby Jr., with lying to investigators and misleading a grand jury in the C.I.A. leak case. But in its clear, cold language, it lifts a veil on how aggressively Mr. Cheney's office drove the rationale against Saddam Hussein and then fought to discredit the Iraq war's critics.The document now raises a central question: how much collateral damage has Mr. Cheney sustained?


Although Mr. Cheney makes only three appearances in the indictment, the episodes tell a story of a vice president directly involved in an effort to learn about Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former diplomat who emerged in 2003 as a critic of the way the administration used prewar intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. The episodes do not shed light on the action that set off the special prosecutor nearly two years ago: who first leaked the name of Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Wilson, an undercover officer at the C.I.A., as an attempt to denigrate Mr. Wilson's trip as a nepotistic junket arranged by his spouse.

Mr. Cheney's most interesting appearance in the indictment is on Page 5, where he is described as telling Mr. Libby, on June 12, 2003, that Mr. Wilson's wife worked at the C.I.A. in the counterproliferation division. "Libby understood that the vice president had learned this information from the C.I.A.," the indictment states.

Mr. Cheney also appears on Page 8, when he flew with Mr. Libby and others on Air Force Two on July 12, 2003, to Norfolk, Va. On the return trip, the indictment states, Mr. Libby "discussed with other officials aboard the plane" what he should say to reporters in response to "certain pending media inquiries," including questions from Matthew Cooper of Time magazine.

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