Cheney Taps Torture Memo Author to Replace Scooter Libby
Tuesday, November 1st, 2005http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/01/1518210
On Monday, Vice President Dick Cheney appointed his legal counsel, David Addington, to be his new chief of staff following the resignation of Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Addington once wrote the war on terorrism has rendered the Geneva Conventions "obsolete." We speak with investigative reporter Murray Waas and hear former Ambassador Joseph Wilson speak out on the outing of his wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Former ambassador Joseph Wilson on Monday gave his version of events into who leaked the identity of his wife, CIA operative, Valerie Plame - and eventually led to a White House staff member being indicted for crimes committed in the office for the first time in 130 years. In July 2003, Wilson published an opinion piece in The New York Times saying that on a CIA-funded trip to Africa in 2002, he was unable to substantiate claims that Niger helped supply nuclear materials to Iraq. Despite his findings, President Bush included the claim in his State of the Union address in January 2003. Shortly after Wilson’s newspaper article was published, his wife’s identity as a CIA operative was leaked to the media. This is what Wilson had to say yesterday at the National Press Club in Washington DC. ( Collapse )
MURRAY WAAS: He was a point man on all those things, withholding information from the 9/11 Commission, withholding Enron information from Congress. He was one of the authors of a memo. He withheld stuff that he, himself, wrote, which has kind of an irony to it. The interesting thing that you pointed out was that there's an extraordinary irony here. I mean, here's a guy -- here's a vice president obsessed with secrecy , must reassert executive authority to keep things secret to withhold information from Congress and the public. Here's his Chief of Staff who was supposed to implement that, who now resigned on Friday after his five-count felony indictment, Lewis Libby. And then finally with Libby's resignation you have Addington coming in to take Libby's place, so all three of them are involved in this. Addington is the point man. Addington is the kind of action officer, whatever you want to call it, the most activist -- or the person implementing this philosophy of great secrecy. But he’s doing it on the behest of the Vice President, and he’s doing it having worked with Lewis Libby.
Well, it turns out that the indictment charges, they leaked the most sensitive and important national security secret that there is. That's the name of a covert C.I.A. operative and the leak of that particular information not only put this C.I.A. officer, Valerie Plame, at risk, it put other people at the C.I.A. at risk. It put sources and assets at risk for people both on the right and left. And, you know, we want a war on terrorism or whatever where we can at least obtain the information, where we can protect covert assets or whatever. Here was a legitimate secret. Here was something that people, conservatives and the people on the right, would be the most upset about. And despite holding back what others were saying innocuous pieces of information from Congress or things that were embarrassing and saying they wanted to reassert this authority on secrecy and privilege and stuff, most people didn't even think it was a reassertion, because it was a radical new interpretation of executive privilege.
AMY GOODMAN: That is Murray Waas, investigative reporter -- his piece appears at NationalJournal.com -- speaking about the new appointment to replace Scooter Libby by Vice President Cheney of David Addington.