USA: the ‘Scooter’ Libby trial and Bush’s lies to start the Iraq war


Bush and the Plame-Iraq war scandal, cartoon

By Patrick Martin:

The Libby perjury trial and the Washington media establishment

3 February 2007

A parade of journalist-celebrities to the witness stand in the perjury trial of I. Lewis Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, has put the spotlight on the incestuous connections between the media elite and the highest circles of the political, military and intelligence establishments.

Television, newspaper and magazine reporters drawn from the elite of the Washington press corps, who make six-figure and even seven-figure incomes, are all testifying in the case.

Libby is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice by lying to the grand jury investigating the unauthorized leak of the identity of former CIA covert operative Valerie Plame Wilson.

Wilson’s name and profession were leaked to the press by the Bush administration in retaliation for public criticism of White House lies about the war in Iraq by Wilson’s husband, former US ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Testimony this week by journalists and former and current White House aides confirmed that White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, Bush’s top political operative, played a leading role in disseminating the information about the ambassador’s wife.

Other testimony has strengthened the case against Libby, who told FBI agents as well as the grand jury convened by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that he had learned about Mrs. Wilson’s CIA role from the press itself, and had played no role in spreading the information.

Both claims were flatly untrue, and have been refuted by more than a dozen witnesses.

Talking about US media: why their silence on Brzezinski’s Iran war warnings?

Brzezinski book review: here.

More on Iran war threat: here.

Anti Iranian hate mongering in the Murdoch press: here.

Murdoch’s finances: here.

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15 thoughts on “USA: the ‘Scooter’ Libby trial and Bush’s lies to start the Iraq war

  1. *CBO: Iraq surge could actually total 50,000*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Fri Feb 2, 2007 7:35 am (PST)
    Has Bush EVER told the truth about anything?

    When he said he was sending “more than” 20,000 additional troops to
    Iraq, was he COVERING up the FACT that he plans to send anywhere from
    35,000 to 50,000 more troops to Iraq?

    Were we supposed to believe he meant “21,000” when he said, “more than
    20,000” troops?

    OR was he trying to leave himself safe from future criticism by saying,
    “more than” when he really intends sending tens of thousands MORE troops?

    I’ll ask it again: Has George W. Bush EVER told the truth about anything?

    The Congressional Budget Office tells us that the Iraq surge could total
    50,000

    >

    ———————————————————-
    **CBO: Iraq surge could actually total 50,000**

    /by Rick Maze

    Army Times
    Feb 2, 2007 /

    A new congressional report says the increase of 21,500 combat troops
    for Iraq proposed by the Bush administration could result in up to
    50,000 troops actually being deployed to the region.

    The report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office bases that
    projection on the fact that the Bush plan is unclear about whether the
    21,500 troops needed to quell violence are all combat troops or if that
    number already includes support forces.

    “Over the past few years, DoD’s practice has been to deploy a total of
    about 9,500 per combat brigade to the Iraq theater, including about
    4,000 combat troops and about 5,500 supporting troops,” says the
    five-page report requested by Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., the House Budget
    Committee chairman, and Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., the House Armed
    Services Committee chairman.

    Spratt, the budget committee chairman and the second-ranking Democrat on
    the armed services committee, notes that about $379 billion already has
    been spent on the war in Iraq and a request for an additional $100
    billion is expected next week.

    “An average of 170,000 military personnel has been maintained in the
    Iraq theater of operations, and this high deployment level has taken a
    toll,” he said, noting that last year, the Defense Department cut
    troops’ time at home between deployments from two years to one so it
    could have enough people to deploy.
    Spratt said the report raises the question of whether even one year at
    home between deployments can be guaranteed. “The Pentagon will probably
    have to relax ‘dwell-time’ standards even more,” Spratt said, using the
    military phrase to describe time at home between deployments.

    Skelton said the report “appears to conflict with the estimate given by
    the chief of staff of the Army in his testimony. We will want to
    carefully investigate just how big the president’s troop increase really
    is. Is it 21,500 troops, or is it really closer to 33,000 or 43,000?”

    At a Jan. 23 hearing, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker said he
    believed the 21,500 increase included four support battalions. “Right
    now, we do not anticipate there will be increased combat service support
    requirements over what is now embedded inside of the brigade combat
    teams we have,” Schoomaker said.

    Army spokesman Lt. Col. Gary Kolb said Schoomaker’s Jan. 23 comments
    before members of the House Armed Services Committee are “still accurate.”
    The support needs of the additional five brigade combat teams will be
    satisfied by the current support network in Iraq and the support units
    embedded within those teams, Kolb said Feb. 1.

    But the additional support troops included in the budget office
    estimates are based on the possibility that Schoomaker is wrong, an
    armed services committee aide said. “While Schoomaker initially said it
    wouldn’t take extra support troops, CBO doesn’t believe that is
    possible,” said an aide to Skelton.
    The key point of the report is to try to determine how much the new Iraq
    strategy might cost. The report estimates it would cost $9 billion to
    $13 billion for a four-month deployment and $20 billion to $27 billion
    for a one-year deployment of the additional 21,500 troops. Those
    expenses would be on top of the $8 billion to $13 billion a month for
    the current force of about 135,000 deployed in Iraq.

    The report says the Pentagon “has identified only combat units for
    deployment” and has not yet indicated which support units will be deployed.
    “Army and DoD officials have indicated that it will be both possible and
    desirable to deploy fewer additional support units than historical
    practice would indicate,” the report says. “Even if the additional
    brigades required fewer support units than historical practice suggests,
    those units would still represent a significant additional number of
    military personnel.”

    Under the administration’s plan, the force increase — already under
    way — will reach its peak in May. The plan calls for a three-month
    buildup with a similarly gradual decline when the mission is done. The
    report does not try to estimate how long the mission might last, looking
    at only the cost to sustain it for various lengths of time.

    Skelton said in a statement that cost is a major issue. “We were
    concerned that the full financial cost of the escalation would never be
    made clear to the American people,” he said.

    “What the CBO found concerns me,” Skelton said. Part of his worry is
    based on Schoomaker’s assertion that additional support troops are not
    needed. Skelton worries combat troops might not have the combat support
    and combat service support needed if the administration tries to hold
    down the number of deployed troops.

    Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass., chairman of the House Armed Services
    subcommittee on oversight and investigations that has launched a review
    of Iraq-related costs, said he also is concerned. “I am disturbed that
    the administration’s figures may not be fully accounting for what a true
    force increase will entail; if combat troops are deployed, their support
    needs must not be shortchanged,” Meehan said in a statement.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Staff writer Matthew Cox

    contributed to this story.
    Read this at: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/02/TNScbosurge070201/

    2.
    *Iraq at Risk of Further Strife, Intelligence Report Warns*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Fri Feb 2, 2007 8:26 am (PST)
    Bush has done his darnedest to keep the National Intelligence Estimate
    OUT of the hands of Congress and the American people (for whom he works)

    Now we know why.

    /
    /The Washington Post//
    //February 2, 2007/

    A long-awaited National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, presented to
    President Bush by the intelligence community yesterday, outlines an
    increasingly perilous situation in which the United States has little
    control and there is a strong possibility of further deterioration,
    according to sources familiar with the document.

    In a discussion of whether Iraq has reached a state of civil war, the
    90-page classified NIE comes to no conclusion and holds out prospects of
    improvement. But it couches glimmers of optimism in deep uncertainty
    about whether the Iraqi leaders will be able to transcend sectarian
    interests and fight against extremists, establish effective national
    institutions and end rampant corruption.

    The document emphasizes that although al-Qaeda activities in Iraq remain
    a problem, they have been surpassed by Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence as the
    primary source of conflict and the most immediate threat to U.S. goals.
    Iran, which the administration has charged with supplying and directing
    Iraqi extremists, is mentioned but is not a focus.

    Completion of the estimate, which projects events in Iraq over the next
    18 months, comes amid intensifying debate and skepticism on Capitol Hill
    about the administration’s war policy. In a series of contentious
    hearings over the past two weeks, legislators have sharply questioned
    Bush’s new plan for the deployment of 21,500 additional U.S. troops and
    the administration’s dependence on the government of Iraqi Prime
    Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

    [NOTE FROM ME: This NIE was written BEFORE it became known that Bush
    may be sending 21,000 additional FIGHTING troops BUT also an
    additional 15,000 to 25,000 SUPPORT troops.}

    In acid remarks yesterday to Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the departing
    U.S. commander in Iraq, Sen. John McCain
    (R-Ariz.)
    noted that “things have gotten markedly and progressively worse” during
    Casey’s 2 1/2 -year tenure, “and the situation in Iraq can now best be
    described as dire and deteriorating. I regret that our window of
    opportunity to reverse momentum may be closing.” Casey was appearing
    before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his nomination to be Army
    chief of staff.

    NOTE FROM ME: The Blame Game is going forward full tilt now. For
    McCain, and some others, the targets will be the generals (who were
    doing Bush’s bidding in Iraq and NOT asking for more troops even if
    they thought that might help), but for Bush the BLAME will be heaped
    on those pesky Iranians who are in Iraq. Nothing will ever be Bush’s
    fault. Nothing. I’m not exactly sure WHY it’s morally okay for US to
    be in Iraq, which is hardly our neighbor, but it’s not okay for Iran
    to see to its national safety or national interests regarding a
    neighboring country. Where is the morality of that? I’m not saying
    I’m fond of the idea of Iran having increased influence in the
    region, but that is what Bush “accomplished” by invading and
    weakening Iraq. If Iran is now stronger and even dominant in the
    region, it is ALL thanks to George W. Bush — unless, of course, he
    wants to put the BLAME on God for “telling” Bush to invade Iraq.
    Yeah, that’s it … it’s all God’s fault now.]

    .
    Although McCain supports the additional troop deployments, he has
    proposed a Senate resolution including stringent benchmarks to gauge the
    progress of the Iraqi government and military. McCain’s resolution and
    other nonbinding, bipartisan proposals that would express varying
    degrees of disapproval of Bush’s plan will be debated on the Senate
    floor next week.

    Legislators have been equally critical of the intelligence community,
    repeatedly recalling that most of the key judgments in the October 2002
    NIE on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were wrong. That assessment
    concluded that Saddam Hussein had amassed chemical and biological
    weapons and was “reconstituting” his nuclear weapons program. It became
    the foundation of the Bush administration’s case — and congressional
    authorization — for invading Iraq.

    [NOTE FROM ME: Of course, we NOW know that that specific NIE was the
    result of pressure from Cheney to give the White House the
    “intelligence” it wanted. Cheny and/or Lewis Libby made at least six
    trips over to the CIA to guarantee that the White House would get
    the “results” they wanted in the report. They leaned on the CIA
    analysts until the analysts brought forward as a certainty every
    unproven or unsubstantiated allegation they could lay their hands on.]

    .
    “One of the sort of deeply held rumors around here is that the
    intelligence community gives an administration or a president what he
    wants by way of intelligence,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein

    (D-Calif.) told Navy Vice Adm. John M. McConnell, Bush’s nominee to be
    director of national intelligence, during McConnell’s confirmation
    hearing yesterday.

    Without directly accepting Feinstein’s premise, McConnell replied that
    the intelligence community had learned “meaningful” lessons over the
    past several years and that “there’s very intense focus on
    independence.” McConnell and others made clear that the new NIE on Iraq
    had been subjected to extensive competitive analysis to test its
    conclusions.

    One senior congressional aide said the NIE had been described to him as
    “unpleasant but very detailed.” A source familiar with its language said
    it contained several dissents that are prominently displayed so that
    policymakers understand any disagreements within the intelligence
    community — a significant change from the 2002 document, which listed
    most key dissents in small-type footnotes.
    Sen. Christopher S. Bond
    (R-Mo.),
    vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, pointedly told
    McConnell that “we are not going to accept national security issue
    judgment[s] without examining the intelligence underlying the judgments,
    and I believe this committee has an obligation to perform due diligence
    on such important documents.” Previous committee attempts to obtain
    material to back up a 2005 NIE on Iran, Bond said, had “run into
    resistance.”

    NOTE FROM ME: Don’t you just love it when a Republican who has been
    in office throughout the Bush years gets all uppity about ensuring
    that there are FACTS underlying the CIA’s assessments and
    assertions? I think it’s hilarious … this indignation from the
    Republicans who slept through the Bush years and did NO oversight
    and asked NO questions. Hilarious but frightening. Were they afraid
    — as Hitler’s minions were –that if they asked questions of the
    White House, they would end up in concentration camps? Or were they
    just opportunistic COWARDS? Yeah, the latter.]
    .

    The outgoing director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte,
    briefed the president on the Iraq NIE yesterday, and the document will
    be made available to Congress early today. A two-page declassified
    version of its key judgments will then be posted on the DNI Web site.

    Sources familiar with the closely held estimate agreed to discuss it in
    general terms yesterday on the condition that they remain anonymous and
    not be directly quoted. But Negroponte and others in the intelligence
    community have made frequent references to its conclusions in recent
    testimony.

    On Tuesday, Negroponte referred to the NIE in testimony before the
    Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Iraq is at a precarious juncture.
    That means the situation could deteriorate, but there are prospects for
    increasing stability” that depend on the commitment of Iraqi government
    and political leaders to take steps to end Sunni-Shiite violence and
    “the willingness of Iraqi security forces to pursue extremist elements
    of all kinds,” he said.

    [NOTE FROM ME: Yeah, it is “possible” sl-Maliki will bring stability
    to Iraq, and it is “possible” pigs will fly over my house on their
    way to their vacation spot in Cancun.]

    .
    Congress, which requested the Iraq NIE last August, has pressured the
    intelligence community to complete it in time for consideration of
    Bush’s new strategy. Intelligence officials have insisted that their
    best experts were working on the project at the same time they were
    meeting the demands of policymakers for current intelligence reports.

    NIEs comprise input from across the community and are written by the
    National Intelligence Council.

    Read this at:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/01/AR2007020101152.html

    DNI website at: http://www.dni.gov/
    *Iraq National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)
    “Prospects for Iraq’s Stability: A Challenging Road Ahead”
    Unclassified Key Judgments
    http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20070202_release.pdf

    Like

  2. *The price of war*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Fri Feb 2, 2007 11:49 am (PST)
    While Bush is busy proposing a $65 Billion CUT in “entitlement” programs
    for the elderly and the sick (programs like Medicare and Social Security
    that we have paid into all our working lives — but that Bush has stolen
    to give tax breaks to the wealthy), he is simultaneously demanding
    hundreds of $Billions more for his contractor friends in Iraq who have
    already ripped off the taxpayers by Billions of dollars.

    As long as you and I have a single dollar left in our savings accounts,
    Bush will not rest … he is not through with lining the pockets of his
    friends who profit from death.

    Even at that, Bush has LIED from Day One about the money he is throwing
    away in Iraq. His contractor friends cannot even build a building that
    doesn’t leak sewage and/or have major cracks in the floors and ceilings.

    It’s the RIP-OFF of ALL TIME.

    I do not know if America can survive another two years of this criminal
    regime.

    Anyone who believes a word Bush says is a fool.

    Remember when his gang told us this Iraq war would cost us “nothing”
    That the oil revenues would pay for the war?

    Well, we’re now out about a half TRILLION dollars (with no end in sight)
    — and most of it NO one can account for.

    ———————————————————-
    **The price of war**

    by Tim Grieve
    Salon.com
    Feb. 2, 2007/

    Last July, the White House projected with “modest confidence”
    that the wars in Iraq
    and Afghanistan
    would cost $110
    billion in Fiscal Year 2007.

    Congress approved $70 billion of that money in September. And now, the
    Associated Press

    is reporting, the White House is about to ask for $100 billion more.

    If you’re quick with the math, you’ll note that $70 billion plus $100
    billion is $170 billion, and that $170 billion is, oh, about 55 percent
    more than the $110 billion the White House had projected.

    No worries, though: The White House is requesting only $145 billion for
    Fiscal Year 2008, and it’s projecting that the wars will cost just $50
    billion in Fiscal Year 2009. After that? According to the White House’s
    budget projections, at least, the wars will be free, gratis, no charge
    to you and me.

    Hey, you’ve got to balance the budget somehow.

    Read this WITH LINKS at:
    http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2007/02/02/money/index.html

    Like

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