I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.
Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby's testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.
The notes, taken by Mr. Libby during the conversation, for the first time place Mr. Cheney in the middle of an effort by the White House to learn about Ms. Wilson's husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was questioning the administration's handling of intelligence about Iraq's nuclear program to justify the war.
Lawyers involved in the case, who described the notes to The New York Times, said they showed that Mr. Cheney knew that Ms. Wilson worked at the C.I.A. more than a month before her identity was made public and her undercover status was disclosed in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak on July 14, 2003.
[. . .]
It is not clear why Mr. Libby would have suggested to the grand jury that he might have learned about Ms. Wilson from journalists if he was aware that Mr. Fitzgerald had obtained the notes of the conversation with Mr. Cheney or might do so. At the beginning of the investigation, Mr. Bush pledged the White House's full cooperation and instructed aides to provide Mr. Fitzgerald with any information he sought.
The above is from David Johnston, Richard W. Stevenson and Douglas Jehl's "Cheney Told Aide of C.I.A. Officer, Lawyers Report" in this morning's New York Times. We learn that on June 12, 2003 (when the Washington Post runs a story on Wilson's trip to Africa, without naming him), Dick Cheney and Scooter Libbey discuss Wilson and that Cheney learned of Valerie Plame from George Tenent. We learn the claim that Scooter learned about Valerie Plame from the press is false. (A claim put forth by Scooter.) Flash back to KBH's Meet the Press performance that Billie noted yesterday and ask yourself if Karl Rove's finding time to issue talking points? Is the administration that won't comment in the midst of an ongoing investigation (when it suits their own purposes) directing the spin?
In other news the fatality count for US troops in Iraq now stands at 1999 according to Iraqi Coalition Casualities. (Sixty-six for the month.)
Which takes us to Melinda e-mails to note Norman Solomon's "Iraq is Not Vietnam, But..." (CounterPunch):
Iraq is not Vietnam. But the United States is the United States.
War after war, decade after decade, the U.S. news media have continued to serve those in Washington who strive to set the national agenda for war and lay down flagstones on the path to military intervention.
From the U.S. media's fraudulent reporting about Gulf of Tonkin events in early August 1964 to the fraudulent reporting about supposed Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in the first years of the 21st century, the U.S. news media have been fundamental to making war possible for the United States.
We need to confront the roles of the corporate media in helping to drag the United States into one war after another. In a country with significant elements of democracy, it matters what people think. The propaganda functions of media are crucial for the war makers.
There are exceptional news reports. By definition, they're exceptions. What matters most is the routine coverage that bounces around the national echo chamber. Repetition is the essence of propaganda. And the messages of the warfare state are incessant.
Several decades ago, Dwight Eisenhower warned about a "military-industrial complex." He was the last president to acknowledge its existence. The more that the military-industrial complex has gained strength, the less it has been acknowledged in media and politics.
Lloyd e-mails to note Ruth Conniff's "The White House Waits" (Ruth Conniff's Weekly Column, The Progressive):
Special council Patrick Fitzgerald is expected to announce indictments in the Valerie Plame case this week, and the Republicans are having a very jittery time, as they wait to see if Scooter Libby or Karl Rove will go down. To help you keep up with all the dirt flying around in Washington, Fitzgerald has just launched a new website: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/index.html.
As the Washington Post points out, the website is not the sort of move one expects from a prosecutor who is about to fold his tent and go home. Keep an eye on new postings there relating to the bogus-WMD-story coverup/spy betrayal connection.
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
richard w. stevenson