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Cheney Taps Torture Memo Author to Replace Scooter Libby
On Monday, Vice President Dick Cheney appointed his legal counsel, David Addington, to be his new chief of staff following the resignation of Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Addington once wrote the war on terorrism has rendered the Geneva Conventions "obsolete." We speak with investigative reporter Murray Waas and hear former Ambassador Joseph Wilson speak out on the outing of his wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame.
Former ambassador Joseph Wilson on Monday gave his version of events into who leaked the identity of his wife, CIA operative, Valerie Plame - and eventually led to a White House staff member being indicted for crimes committed in the office for the first time in 130 years. In July 2003, Wilson published an opinion piece in The New York Times saying that on a CIA-funded trip to Africa in 2002, he was unable to substantiate claims that Niger helped supply nuclear materials to Iraq. Despite his findings, President Bush included the claim in his State of the Union address in January 2003. Shortly after Wilson’s newspaper article was published, his wife’s identity as a CIA operative was leaked to the media. This is what Wilson had to say yesterday at the National Press Club in Washington DC.
* Joseph Wilson: “There remain two questions on the table: why and who put the words in the address and who ultimately will be held responsible for having compromised the identity of a CIA operative and essentially compromising the national security of this country.”
So far, the investigation into the CIA leak has lead to the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Libby was indicted on Friday on charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and false statements. He resigned following the indictments. President Bush’s chief advisor Karl Rove has so far escaped indictment for his role in the leak. He remains under investigation. Back in August of 2003, Wilson first fingered Rove saying "At the end of the day, it’s of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs." In his address yesterday, Wilson repeated his view that Rove should be fired.
* Joseph Wilson: I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't believe Mr. Rove should be permitted to resign. I believe that this is a firing offence. To be so cavalier in the handling of the secrets of this great nation really is an abuse of the public trust."
While Karl Rove remains in the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney has appointed his legal counsel, David Addington, to replace Scooter Libby. Cheney also appointed John Hannah, who had served on his national security staff since March 2001, as assistant to the vice president for national security affairs. Libby had held both positions. Addington was referred to by job title in the indictment of Libby on Friday, and appears likely to be called as a witness should Libby’s case go to trial.
* Murray Waas, investigative journalist and one of the leading reporters in the CIA leak case. He co-authored an article in the National Journal on Sunday about David Addington. I spoke with him at his home in Washington DC