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

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cheney Says He Can't Discuss CIA Leak Case - Yahoo! News

Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday he would not discuss whether he had told a top aide to give secret information to reporters to help justify the invasion of Iraq.

"It's nothing I can talk about," Cheney said in an interview with Fox News Channel. "I may well be called as a witness at some point in the case and it's, therefore, inappropriate for me to comment on any facet of the case."

Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, testified to a grand jury that he was authorized to disclose in July 2003 the contents of a classified national intelligence estimate "by his superiors," according to court documents, which did not identify the superiors. Democrats have demanded to know whether Cheney was one of those superiors, noting that there was no higher ranking aide to the vice president than Libby, who reported directly to Cheney.

Cheney said there is an executive order that gives the vice president, along with the president, the authority to declassify information. But he said, "I don't want to get into" whether he has ever done it on his own.

"I've certainly advocated declassification and participated in declassification decisions," Cheney said.

Libby was indicted last year on charges that he lied to FBI agents and the grand jury about how he learned CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity and when he told reporters. He is not charged with leaking classified information.

Plame's identity was published in July 2003 by columnist Robert Novak after her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, accused the administration of twisting intelligence about whether Iraq sought to buy uranium in Niger.


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