In November of 2011, nearly two years after Former President George W. Bush left office, he held his first interview, on NBC with Matt Lauer, http://www.today.com/id/40067472/#.UXhxomB5Eb0. As you can see, the first topic that they discussed was that Former Vice President Dick Cheney was furious with Bush for not Pardoning Cheney’s Chief-of-Staff, I. (Irve) Lewis “Scooter” Libby, in the Valery Plame case.
Libby had been convicted of four of five counts of perjury, lying to the FBI and obstructing an investigation into the leak of a CIA covert operative’s identity. (Covert Agents travel without Diplomatic Passports, and can be considered as spies by other countries.) The CIA Agent, in this case, was Valerie Plame Wilson. The FOX “News” link is as follows, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,256965,00.html#ixzz2RVTqQBOn.
There were a number of nonsensical excuses provided, by the Administration, following the Crime. The most intriguing question that I have, however, is why the Vice President and his Chief-of-Staff even knew about one CIA Agent, among perhaps thousands. This can best be explained by the Op-Ed that Ms. Plame’s husband, Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, 4th, wrote in the New York Times, in July of 2003, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/06/opinion/what-i-didn-t-find-in-africa.html?pagewanted=print&src=pm.
Ambassador Wilson was asked by the CIA, in 2002, to verify whether Saddam Hussein was buying “yellowcake uranium”, from Niger, to produce Nuclear Weapons. After his investigation, Mr. Wilson was convinced that Niger could not be the source. Our Ambassador at the time, in Niger, had also come to the very same conclusion. The country only had two small uranium mines, and layers-upon-layers of multi-national controls.
Ambassador Wilson filed his report, both with the CIA and the State Department, upon his return to Washington. He didn’t hear afterward about his report; however, he felt that that was normal Government standard operating procedure. Some time later, however, he was hearing that the Administration was pointing to Africa as the source, and then a State Department Fact Sheet cited Niger specifically. That is why Joe Wilson wrote the Op-Ed–out of frustration.
Ambassador Wilson seemed to believe that the Administration might be manipulating the facts to confirm pre-conceived assumptions. I can recall hearing of such cherry-picking of “intelligence”, at the time, to fit the goals of the Administration. So, it appears that the only way the Government could punish Ambassador Wilson, for not agreeing with them, might have been by ruining the career of Wilson’s Wife, Valerie Plame Wilson.
Rumors abound that the relationship between Bush and Cheney has cooled considerably. Perhaps that is part of the reason why, as many gathered for the Dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library today, there was hardly a mention of Vice President Dick Cheney. Perhaps that falling-out started during the latter days of Bush 43’s second term and is why the outgoing President only commuted (or canceled) Libby’s 30 year Jail Term, rather than grant a Full Pardon (erasing the Conviction). Alternatively, he could have done nothing–and let Scooter serve “hard time”.