Wayne Madsen Reporting from Washington, D.C.
October 30, 2005 -- Judge assigned to Libby case has links to Republican Right. US District Judge for DC Reggie Walton has been assigned the Lewis Libby case. It is noteworthy to point out Walton's past and current links to the Republican Right and to elements in the Bush administration who have covered up important details about 911. Walton was appointed to the DC Superior Court in 1981 by Ronald Reagan. In 1989, he was appointed by George H. W. Bush as the deputy drug czar under Bill Bennett. Walton was reappointed to the DC Superior Court by the senior Bush. George W. Bush nominated Walton to the US District Court for DC in 2001. Walton was the judge who, under pressure from the Justice Department, placed a gag order on former FBI translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds and cleared his courtroom of the public and media in Edmonds' hearing in her case against the FBI. Edmonds brought to light important information about how the FBI failed to translate important wiretap intercepts before and after 911.
Judge Reggie Walton assigned to Libby case: Recusal of judge appointed to the bench by two Bush presidents should have been sought by prosecutor
November 1, 2005 -- Bush White House Circling Wagons for a Long Siege. After being identified in the Patrick Fitzgerald indictment of Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby, Cheney's counsel David Addington has been named as the replacement for Libby as Chief of Staff. Also, John Hannah, who is said to have been "flipped" as a cooperating witness early on by Fitzgerald, has been named as Libby's replacement as Assistant National Security Adviser to the Vice President. This "in your face" reaction to the Libby indictment indicates the White House is preparing for a continued investigation and are preparing a strategy to stonewall the prosecutor and the court that will deliberate the charges against Libby.
Addington was cited in the Fitzgerald indictment as follows:
"Also on or about July 8, 2003, LIBBY met with the Counsel to the Vice President in an anteroom outside the Vice President’s Office. During their brief conversation, LIBBY asked the Counsel to the Vice President, in sum and substance, what paperwork there would be at the CIA if an employee’s spouse undertook an overseas trip."
Hannah was likely one of the two "other officials" who accompanied Cheney and Libby on a trip to Norfolk:
On or about July 12, 2003, LIBBY flew with the Vice President and others to and from Norfolk, Virginia, on Air Force Two. On his return trip, LIBBY discussed with other officials aboard the plane what LIBBY should say in response to certain pending media inquiries, including questions from Time reporter Matthew Cooper.
Hannah has been linked to a discredited Iraqi defector tied to Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC) who fed bogus intelligence on Iraqi WMDs to the Vice President's office and the Pentagon. The CIA determined that the INC defector was a liar. Hannah was the chief interlocutor for the bogus intelligence in Cheney's office while then-Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Plans Douglas Feith is believed to have served as the conduit at Defense. The bogus intelligence was transmitted via a Pentagon-funded program called the Information Collection Program. The program was used by the INC to channel bogus intelligence to the intelligence services of the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Germany, and Denmark.
Bush White House not apologizing for leak or firing leakers. It is circling the wagons for a long siege
Porter Goss's CIA is also continuing to deny that the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson and her Brewster Jennings Non-Official Cover (NOC) company resulted in severe damage to America's clandestine intelligence gathering capabilities. Two former CIA officials, obviously coached by the Bush administration, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the damage was not all that severe. Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA case officer who is currently with the neo-con American Enterprise Institute, said of the leak, "that kind of thing has happened innumerable times with journalists. This has really been blown egregiously out of proportion." Andre Le Gallo, a former CIA Operations Directorate official and the current head of the San Francisco chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), said of the violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, "If he [the leaker, note the singular use] said it like, ‘I think’ 'Wilson’s' ‘wife works in the agency,’ without knowing if she’s in science or technology or a logistics expert, that’s a pretty tough call." LeGallo is a former competitive analysis executive for Enron, the energy company that collapsed following its massive financial and logistics support for the Bush 2000 campaign in history's costliest corporate failure.
Ex-CIA officers who are downplaying White House leak damage have interesting employers
It is also noteworthy what Al Kamen in his "In the Loop" column revealed in yesterday's Washington Post about the connections between the Goss CIA and the Bush White House. Goss spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise Dyck, who worked for Goss at the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and for Cheney and Libby in the Vice President's office before she joined the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign staff, is married to Paul B. Dyck, a former associate political director Karl Rove who now works for Condoleezza Rice at State.
Millerwise's name first surfaced at HPSCI after she suddenly disappeared from the staff as public affairs spokesperson after the suspicious June 2000 suicide in a seedy motel in Fairfax, Virginia of HPSCI Executive Director John Millis, a veteran CIA clandestine officer. Millis was known to have worked on a HPSCI study of charges that the CIA was involved in transporting drugs into south central Los Angeles during the 1980s and early 1990s. Goss was trying to divert Millis's investigation away from implicating the CIA in the drug business. Consequently, Millis clashed with Porter Goss, the then-chairman of the HPSCI and before his death he delivered a blistering attack on then-CIA Director John Deutch at a public speech at the Smithsonian. Millis maintained close links to ranking HPSCI member Julius Dixon and Clinton White House Counsel Charles Ruff. Both Ruff and Dixon died of heart attacks at the end of 2000.
CIA's Millerwise Dyck: Quite a history of shilling for the GOP
Millerwise Dyck's sister, Molly Millerwise, works in the public affairs office at Treasury. Both Millerwise sisters worked as aides on the Bush 2000 presidential campaign and are close to former White House Press secretary Ari Fleischer, who remains under investigation concerning his July 2003 conversation with the White House from Africa-bound Air Force One in which he is believed to have revealed the contents of a Secret State Department report on Mrs. Wilson's CIA status. Millerwise Dyck was also interviewed by the Special Prosecutor concerning what she knew about the leak while she worked for Cheney and Libby.
October 31, 2005 -- Did Rove cop a last minute deal with Fitzgerald? Newsweek is reporting some last-minute two-steps by Karl Rove and his attorney during the early morning of Oct. 28, just before Patrick Fitzgerald indicted Lewis Libby, Cheney's Chief of Staff. But none of this reportage should be taken that the storm at the White House has passed.
On Oct. 25, Fitzgerald and chief Leakgate FBI Special Agent Jack Eckenrode visited Rove's attorney Robert Luskin at his law firm Patton Boggs. Luskin apparently proffered some new evidence to Fitzgerald and Eckenrode. The new evidence, said to be a July 11, 2003 email from Rove to then-media aide Adam Levine, reportedly gave Fitzgerald "pause." The email, timed at 11:17 am, moments after Rove talked to Matt Cooper about Valerie Plame Wilson, asked Levine to come to Rove's office to discuss a "personnel issue." This email may be a red herring.
The question is why a relatively insignificant email that did nothing to absolve Rove, given to a hardened prosecutor who has taken down a GOP administration in Springfield, Illinois and who is going after the Daley machine in the Chicago City Hall and the corporate neo-con barons of Hollinger, would cause Fitzgerald to "pause?" There is an answer but hold on a second.
Early in the morning, Fitzgerald paid a visit to James Sharp, President Bush's personal attorney at his DC office. Newsweek is reporting that Fitzgerald told Sharp that Rove would not be charged.
The editor believes there is another explanation for these public Fitzgerald visits. During a week when Fitzgerald's every movement, including a visit to a shoeshine parlor, was being reported by the media, he had to realize that his visits to Luskin's office at Patton Boggs at 2550 M St. and Sharp's office at Sharp & Associates at 1215 19th St. -- -- both heart in the middle of Washington's "see and be seen" business area -- would be picked up by media outlets.
Unlike Newsweek, the editor believes that while Fitzgerald could have picked up the phone to talk to either Luskin or Sharp, he chose to pay personal visits to send a message to the media and to other targets. That message is that he has enough on Rove to engineer a cooperation agreement from Bush's "brain." Just as Fitzgerald convinced Lewis Libby's assistants John Hannah and David Wurmser to cooperate against the indicted former Chief of Staff, Rove is a target for outright indictment or cooperation in lieu of indictment. Newsweek, owned by the Bush-friendly Washington Post and home to Bush hand puppet Bob Woodward, is misreading the Fitzgerald visits to the two attorneys.
Now that Libby has been indicted, Fitzgerald's modus operandi will be to try and get even Libby to implicate others. That obviously includes the person whose criminal defense attorney -- Terrence O'Donnell of Williams and Connolly-- was not afforded a personal visit. O'Donnell's client is Cheney.
The GOP spinmeisters are claiming that the outing of a covert CIA agent and her network was not a conspiracy and was no big thing. However, a last minute visit by the prosecutor to the President's criminal defense attorney after Rove's attorney gave the prosecutor new evidence that caused him to "pause" means one thing -- Bush is also a target of the criminal probe. Bush's last words in Leakgate may very well be, "Et tu Karl?"
Et tu Karl?
Bush's Supreme Court pick, Samuel Alito (or "Scalito," since he's an ideological twin of Opus Dei adherent Antonin Scalia), is engineered by Karl Rove as a way to change the songsheet in DC. Now there will be discussions about invoking the Senate "Gang of 14" to filibuster this extremely conservative 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals judge who is anti-Roe v. Wade, anti-privacy, anti-civil rights, and pro-corporation. However, the special prosecutor is singing from a different songsheet.
Alito nomination: A Karl Rove diversion
Another diversion, engineered by neo-con Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman, was to recently refer Senate testimony by British MP George Galloway on the UN Oil-for-Food program to the Department of Justice, US Attorneys for DC and Manhattan, and the Manhattan District Attorney for criminal investigation. It would be surprising if any law enforcement official takes seriously Coleman's charges or those of former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker that Galloway benefited from oil concessions from Saddam Hussein. The "evidence" Coleman proffered was based on crude forgeries obtained from circles associated with bank embezzler and known prevaricator Ahmad Chalabi, who is now, not coincidentally, Iraq's Oil Minister. The neocons are still upset that Galloway trounced one of their own, Labor's Oona King, a pro-Likud shill, in east London's largely East Asian Bethnal Green and Bow constituency.
October 31, 2005 -- Last night, CBS 60 Minutes aired a story on the damage the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson and her Brewster Jennings & Associates non-official cover (NOC) firm caused for the ability of the United States to track weapons of mass destruction proliferation. Former CIA agents spoke about the severe consequences the leak caused for the CIA's Counter-Proliferation Division's official and non-official cover operations. New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, would not comment on whether CIA agents were arrested or executed as a result of the leak. WMR has previously reported that at least one NOC was executed in a Middle Eastern country as a result of the leak.
WMR can report that the leak damage also included exposure of covert agents, both official cover and NOCs, involved in a series of extremely sensitive maritime interdiction operations in Southeast Asian waters dating from the early 1990s. The editor was requested not to go into details to protect sources and methods.
CIA leak: exposed extremely sensitive CIA maritime interdiction operation in Southeast Asian waters
October 30, 2005 -- The Washington Punditocracy is Wrong As Usual. This morning, many pundits are spinning for the White House that Karl Rove, "Official A," in the indictment of Lewis Libby, is off the hook. Au contraire. One must look back at another Fitzgerald indictment and an "Individual A." In April 2003, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald indicted two aides to Illinois Governor George Ryan for corruption. During his press conference announcing the indictments of the two corrupt aides, Fitzgerald would not comment on "Individual A" because he was not charged in the indictment. Fitzgerald said the same thing when asked about "Official A" in the Libby indictment. On December 17, 2003, former Governor Ryan was indicted by a grand jury in Chicago. It turned out that Ryan was "Individual A" cited in Fitzgerald's earlier indictment of the two Ryan aides. Fitzgerald started out his criminal investigation of corruption in the Ryan administration by one indictment. Ryan was Fitzgerald's 66th indictment in his criminal probe. No, Karl, you're not quite off the hook yet.
Gov. George Ryan ("Individual A") was 66th person indicted by Fitzgerald grand jury in Chicago. "Official A" (Karl Rove) is not off the hook yet
October 27, 2005 -- Bush White House Meltdown. As Supreme Court pick Harriet Miers "withdrew" her name from nomination early this morning, there are more indications that the Bush White House is in free fall. There are reports that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has postponed announcements of indictments until tomorrow because of a number of developments. First, negotiations between Fitzgerald and Karl Rove's attorney Robert Luskin on a plea agreement apparently broke down and Rove will be indicted on up to five counts. Those negotiations likely postponed the announcement of indictments. Second, yesterday, Fitzgerald spent 45 minutes discussing the case with US District Court presiding Judge Thomas F. Hogan who has been hearing the case.
Hogan is a no-nonsense judge who, in September 2003, quashed a legal maneuver by convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard's lawyers to have his espionage case reheard. What is noteworthy is that Fitzgerald may have sought Hogan's approval for a new grand jury after the current one expires tomorrow.
White House Meltdown: Miers: Out for SCOTUS. Rove, Hadley, Libby indictments said to come tomorrow
It is being reported that Fitzgerald's prosecution team has received significant evidence from the US Attorney for Eastern Virginia and Deputy Attorney General nominee Paul McNulty that dovetails Fitzgerald's probe with McNulty's own probe of espionage involving Pentagon officials and staffers of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). During the 2003 hearing, Hogan was unsympathetic to Pollard's protestations that his 1987 trial was unfair. Classified documents prepared at the time of Pollard's trial described the severe damage Pollard's transmittal of highly-classified intelligence to Israel caused for U.S. national security. The Pollard case is still radioactive for the US Intelligence Community. In 1998, CIA Director George Tenet threatened to quit if President Clinton released Pollard. Interestingly, it is believed that Pollard's omission from Clinton's 2000 pardon list was compensated by the addition of fugitive financier Marc Rich's name. The Rich pardon was partly negotiated by I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Rich's attorney and now, a prime subject of the Fitzgerald probe.
Third, Fitzgerald has reportedly leased office space at 1401 New York Avenue, directly across the street from the Bond Federal building (see Oct. 25 story below) where his offices have been housed. The recent establishment of a web site for the special prosecutor and the office lease deal indicates that the prosecution team intends to remain in operation for the foreseeable future.
The latest speculation is that Fitzgerald's sealed indictments were delivered to Judge Hogan yesterday and that they will be announced tomorrow.
October 26, 2005 -- Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald quickly departed the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Court House at 1:00 PM EDT. The Grand Jury met again in a court room in the new annex to the court house. Fitzgerald had no comment in response to several questions asked by a throng of reporters who huddled around him as he walked to his waiting car, which drove him from the court house to his New York Avenue offices. One question was whether Fitzgerald has requested an extension of the grand jury, which is due to expire on Friday.
There is informed speculation that Fitzgerald may have requested an extension of the current grand jury. Others have speculated that Fitzgerald delivered sealed indictments on Leakgate today and will ask for a new grand jury in order to seek further indictments outside the scope of the original leak probe because of additional evidence that other crimes were committed related to the use of forged documents by the Bush administration.
Some details have emerged about the makeup of the grand jury. There is a majority of African-American women, a large number of which are employed by the Federal government.
There are also unconfirmed reports that Fitzgerald met with Karl Rove's attorney yesterday. A deal was reportedly offered to Rove in return for his cooperation. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby reportedly also reached a deal with the prosecutor in return for his cooperation against Vice President Cheney. Fitzgerald reportedly met with Cheney's lawyers last Friday. Monday a questionnaire was reportedly delivered to Cheney by the prosecutor's staff seeking additional information on Cheney's knowledge of the CIA leak.
Fitzgerald entered the Court House this morning with a number of documents. Fitzgerald departed without the documents he he had in his possession when he entered the court house, giving rise to speculation that he delivered sealed indictments as WMR reported yesterday.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (foreground with rain coat over his arm) leaves US Court House at 1:00 PM EDT.
An expressionless Fitzgerald (third from left) had no response to questions from huddled reporters
Fitzgerald leaves the US Court House early this afternoon for his New York Avenue offices at the Bond Federal building (see article below)
October 26, 2005 -- The Grand Jury in CIA Leakgate is meeting again today at the US Court House in DC. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald entered the US District Court House at 9:00 am EDT. There are reports that sealed indictments will be returned against up to five individuals involved with the leak of classified CIA information to the media and criminal conspiracy to carry out and cover up the crime.
October 26, 2005 -- It is expected that up to five counts will be handed down against at least five individuals associated with CIA Leakgate. The counts include the organic crime (Intelligence Identities Protection Act and/or the Espionage Act, and/or mishandling classified material), perjury before a Grand Jury, making false statements to a Federal law enforcement official, obstruction of justice, and civil rights violations.
October 26, 2005 -- More details are emerging from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica concerning the backdooring of forged Niger documents into the White House and the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans by a special cell operating inside the Italian intelligence agency SISMI. The essential element of the Italian revelations is that Nicolo Pollari, the head of SISMI, went around CIA Director George Tenet to establish a personal liaison with then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Plans Douglas Feith, Pentagon and National Security Council consultant Michael Ledeen, and Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
Pollari bypassed his own SISMI chief in Washington, Admiral Giuseppe Grignolo, an expert on WMD proliferation, to ensure forged Niger documents and other tainted intelligence on Iraqi weapons went directly to Rice and Ledeen through the Italian ambassador to Washington, Gianni Castellaneta, a Pollari loyalist. During the summer of 2002, Castellaneta set up a meeting between Pollari and Rice, a meeting at which phony intelligence on Iraqi WMDs was allegedly transmitted by the Italian official.
Grignolo had excellent relations with the CIA's Deputy Director for Operations James Pavitt (who was Valerie Plame Wilson's ultimate boss). The outing of Plame, Brewster Jennings & Associates, and the emaciation of the CIA's Counter Proliferation Division by Porter Goss loyalists is seen by intelligence officials in Washington and Rome as a blatant attempt to expose and ruin an untainted source of intelligence on WMD proliferation, thereby setting the stage for more phony WMD intelligence "finds" and a possible nuclear terrorism event.