Monday, October 03, 2005

Thank God we got a New Court Nominee

Because everything else is getting a bit on the 'juicy' side in scandal-ville. Salon does a nice capsule of what ABC, the NYTimes and the Post have found over the weekend:

Maybe Bush planned all along to announce Miers' nomination this morning. But the Plamegate revelations over the weekend gave him plenty of reason to move quickly. After New York Times reporter Judith Miller broke her silence and testified before Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury Friday, the Times posted a story suggesting that Vice President Dick Cheney played a direct role in deciding how the White House would respond to Joseph Wilson's damaging op-ed piece about Iraq. Relying on a source familiar with the testimony of Scooter Libby, who is Cheney's chief of staff and the man identified as Miller's source, the Times says that Bush administration "efforts to limit the damage from Mr. Wilson's criticism extended as high as Mr. Cheney."

Libby and Miller discussed the Wilson op-ed on July 8, 2003. Four days later, the Times' source says, Libby "consulted with Mr. Cheney about how to handle inquiries from journalists about the vice president's role in sending Mr. Wilson to Africa in early 2002 to investigate reports that Iraq was trying acquire nuclear material there for its weapons program." Cheney's advice: Libby should "direct reporters to a statement released the previous day by George J. Tenet, director of central intelligence." In that statement, Tenet said that Wilson had been sent to Niger by CIA counter-proliferation officers "on their own initiative."

On Sunday, there was word that Plamegate could extend to the president himself. During ABC's "This Week," George Stephanopoulos said that a source told him "that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were actually involved in some of [the] discussions" about how to respond to Wilson's op-ed piece.

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