News and events revolving around the ousting of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

United Press International - Security & Terrorism - Rumsfeld can't recall discussing Plame

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday he could not recall if he spoke to Vice President Dick Cheney about outed CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted by a federal grand jury last week for allegedly lying to federal agents and obstructing an investigation into the leak that revealed Plame's identity.

"How would I know if I ever spoke about it with the vice president over five years?" Rusmfeld said at a Pentagon press conference Tuesday. "I don't recall speaking with him about it, and I don't recall the department being involved. Is it possible? I mean, my goodness, that's -- that question is such a -- it's -- what is that game? Fish. Give me all your sevens or something. I mean, that's not for me."

Plame was an undercover CIA agent who is married to former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson. In early 2002 Wilson traveled to Niger on behalf of the CIA to investigate claims that Iraq was seeking uranium from that country. He says he found no evidence supporting this. In June 2003, Wilson wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times explaining his findings and criticizing the White House's case for war with Iraq, which was based in part on the allegations about the Niger uranium. President Bush had cited the information in his January 2003 State of the Union address as part of his case that Saddam Hussein was actively seeking nuclear weapons.

The indictment alleges that Libby and other White House officials, including Cheney, discussed "whether information about Wilson's trip could be shared with the press to rebut the allegations that the Vice President had sent Wilson," and that Libby subsequently did reveal Plame's identity to reporters, and lied about having done so under oath.

It is a crime to knowingly reveal the identities of covert CIA operatives.


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