WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney’s former top aide told prosecutors that President Bush authorized the leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq, according to court papers filed by prosecutors in the CIA leak case.
Before his indictment, I. Lewis Libby testified to the grand jury investigating the CIA leak that Cheney told him to pass on information and that it was Bush who authorized the disclosure of information to reporters about prewar intelligence on Iraq.
The authorization came as the Bush administration faced mounting criticism about its failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the main reason the president and his aides had given for going to war.
Libby’s participation in a critical conversation with Miller on July 8, 2003, “occurred only after the vice president advised defendant that the president specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the National Intelligence Estimate,” the papers by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald stated. The filing did not specify the “certain information.”
Curioser and curioser, no? Not that this is any news to most of the reality-based community who suspected all along that Libby was merely carrying out the wishes of his higher-ups.
BRAVO! BRAVISSIMO, Fitzy! And to Congress, I say: Can we go ahead and start those impeachment hearings now, please? Let's put on that rare opera in which the ending is not tragic; instead, we'll have an Act II in which the villains get taken out and the hero is hoisted onto the shoulders of a grateful, cheering people.
(Hat-tip to my pal Lisa in DC, who sent me the AP lowdown on this story hot-off-the-wire, before it even hit MSNBC et al.)