U.S. Restores Diplomatic Ties With Libya
In other foreign news, the U.S. has announced it will restore diplomatic ties to the oil-rich nation of Libya for the first time in over 25 years. Two years ago the Bush administration lifted economic sanctions against Libya to allow U.S. oil companies to do business in the country which has one of the ten largest oil reserves in the world.
- U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton: "Libya's renunciation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism has now led to this result. So it was a piece of good news in the Security Council, resulting in part from earlier Security Council actions and I think shows what is possible for countries that do give up the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and do give up complicity in international terrorism, certainly from the perspective of the United States."
- Bert Ackerman: "A horrendous decision. I have stated for almost fifteen years now that we should normalize relations with Libya, once Gaddafi is out of power. What a message to give to leaders of the world that support state sponsored terrorism that you can kill Americans and innocent citizens and then eventually because of big business or oil, our government will find a way to normalize relations."
Prosecutor Focuses on Cheney in Valerie Plame Probe
More questions are being raised about Vice President Dick Cheney’s role in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Last week prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald filed paperwork that he says shows Cheney became acutely focused on Wilson after the publication of Wilson’s article in the New York Times that questioned the Bush administration’s claims about Iraq weapons of mass destruction program. Included in Fitzgerald’s filing are Cheney’s handwritten notes on a copy of the Wilson article about how he determined Niger was not supplying Iraq with yellowcake uranum. In the notes Cheney personally asked whether Wilson had been sent to Niger by his wife on a "junket" to Africa. Days after Wilson’s article appeared in the New York Times, his wife was outted as a CIA operative. Newsweek reports that the newly released notes appear to make Cheney an even more central witness than had been previously thought in the criminal probe.