We were re-reading an article regarding the FBI's investigation of John Hannah and Scooter Libby, who worked at the time for Dick Cheney. Writing up some impressions about this, including information about the Plame memo.
INC Memo number one- written by INC Lobbyist Entifadh Qunbar to a Senate committee lists John Hannah
as one of two “U.S. governmental recipients” for reports generated by an intelligence program being run by the INC and which was then being funded by the State Department. Under the program, “defectors, reports and raw intelligence are cultivated and analyzed”; the info was then reported to, among others, “appropriate governmental, non-governmental and international agencies.” The memo not only describes Cheney aide Hannah as a “principal point of contact” for the program, it even provides his direct White House telephone number.
The other person mentioned in the memo was William Luti, who worked for the OSP (Office of Special Plans)
Cheney's office had said that the VP didn't bypass US intelligence channels to get reports, but this memo shows that, in fact, his office did. Beyond that, the INC was feeding intelligence reports about weapons of mass destruction and ties to terrorism to one of Cheney's aides.
In 2004, an article came out that said the Feds believed Scooter Libby and John Hannah were behind the Wilson leak. That was in February, 2004
Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney's office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer's identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said.
According to these sources, John Hannah and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, were the two Cheney employees. "We believe that Hannah was the major player in this," one federal law-enforcement officer said. Calls to the vice president's office were not returned, nor did Hannah and Libby return calls.
The strategy of the FBI is to make clear to Hannah "that he faces a real possibility of doing jail time" as a way to pressure him to name superiors, one federal law-enforcement official said.
In September, 2004, Juan Cole wrote that he believed that the White House, due to the election, put pressure on the FBI to postpone the case until after the election. He mentions Larry Franklin also, who not only had ties to Italian military intelligence (who were said to be the ones forging the Niger documents)but also highly networked with AEI.
It has been being leaked for many months now that the FBI believes the leak came from persons in Cheney's circle, possibly John Hannah and/or Scooter Libby. The FBI could well be ready to move in the case. But I have been told that it has orders from the White House to back off until later this fall.
There has likewise been no arrest of Franklin, though one was expected by now. This is not, as the Neoconservatives and their supporters in the press are beginning to allege, because the case against Franklin is week. Rumors are flying in Washington that the FBI found a whole cache of classified documents in his house. If this is true, it was illegal for him to keep them there. We know that the evidence against Franklin was so air tight that Franklin was turned by the FBI, and was attempting to gather incriminating evidence against other Neoconservatives on their behalf. At some point the FBI as a courtesy let Franklin's boss, Douglas Feith, know of their investigation, and apparently soon after the story was leaked to the press.
Is it possible that Franklin hasn't been charged yet not because the case is weak, but because the White House does not want to anger the powerful AIPAC lobbying organization just before an election, and does not want to risk alienating Neoconservative voters in swing states like Florida? Indeed, isn't it likely that the Franklin investigation was leaked to the press by persons in the Pentagon who feared they were under investigation, and who knew very well that such a story leaked in late August before the election would get the investigation squelched or much delayed?
March, 2005 brings in information about John Bolton, who was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, from Henry Waxman, in which he says that the State Department concealed the role John Bolton had in the Niger Uranium Claim. We certainly note how the White House stonewalled on supplying the Senate Committee looking to confirm or deny Bolton's appointment to the UN with documents regarding Bolton's requests for intelligence information.
Concealment of a State Department Official's Role in the Niger Uranium Claim
In April 2004, the State Department used the designation "sensitive but unclassified" to conceal unclassified information about the role of John Bolton, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control, in the creation of a fact sheet distributed to the United Nations that falsely claimed Iraq had sought uranium from Niger.
On December 19, 2002, the State Department issued a fact sheet entitled "Illustrative Examples of Omissions from the Iraqi Declaration to the United Nations Security Council." (9) The fact sheet listed eight key areas in which the Bush Administration found fault with Iraq's weapons declaration to the United Nations on December 7, 2002. Under the heading "Nuclear Weapons," the fact sheet stated:
The Declaration ignores efforts to procure uranium from Niger.
Why is the Iraqi regime hiding their uranium procurement?
It was later discovered that this claim was based on fabricated documents. (10) In addition, both State Department intelligence officials and CIA officials reported that they had rejected the claim as unreliable. (11) As a result, it was unclear who within the State Department was involved in preparing the fact sheet.
On July 21, 2003, I wrote to Secretary of State Colin Powell, asking for an explanation of the role of John Bolton, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, in creating the document. (12) On September 25, 2003, the State Department responded with a definitive denial: "Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, John R. Bolton, did not play a role in the creation of this document." (13)
Subsequently, however, I joined six other members of the Government Reform Committee in requesting from the State Department Inspector General a copy of an unclassified "chronology" on how the fact sheet was developed. (14) This chronology described a meeting on December 18, 2002, between Secretary Powell, Mr. Bolton, and Richard Boucher, the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Public Affairs. According to this chronology, Mr. Boucher specifically asked Mr. Bolton "for help developing a response to Iraq's Dec 7 Declaration to the United Nations Security Council that could be used with the press. According to the chronology, which is phrased in the present tense, Mr. Bolton "agrees and tasks the Bureau of Nonproliferation," a subordinate office that reports directly to Mr. Bolton, to conduct the work.
This unclassified chronology also stated that on the next day, December 19, 2003, the Bureau of Nonproliferation "sends email with the fact sheet, 'Fact Sheet Iraq Declaration.doc.'" to Mr. Bolton's office (emphasis in original). A second e-mail was sent a few minutes later, and a third e-mail was sent about an hour after that. According to the chronology, each version "still includes Niger reference." Although Mr. Bolton may not have personally drafted the document, the chronology appears to indicate that he ordered its creation and received updates on its development.
The Inspector General's chronology was marked "sensitive but unclassified." In addition, the letter transmitting the chronology stated that it "contains sensitive information, which may be protected from public release under the Freedom of Information Act" and requested that no "public release of this information" be made. (15) In fact, however, the chronology consisted of nothing more than a factual recitation of information on meetings, e-mails, and documents.
We don't know the status of the current FBI investigation into Hannah, Libby or Franklin, although Franklin was arrested on May 4, 2005 and additional charges were brought in June, 2005.
An indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria charged that Franklin met with a foreign diplomat last year at a coffeehouse in the District and provided classified information about a Middle Eastern country's activities in Iraq. Court documents do not identify the diplomat or the country, but sources familiar with the case said he works for the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
The indictment, filed May 26 and unsealed yesterday, revealed that another Defense Department employee is involved in the investigation into whether classified U.S. information was provided to the government of Israel. The employee, the indictment said, was present at a separate meeting at which Franklin is accused of disclosing national defense information to two people, identified as former employees of a pro-Israel lobbying group. It is unclear if the Defense employee is also a target of the probe.
Yesterday's charges mark an escalation of the government's case against Franklin, an Iran specialist who was first charged in Alexandria last month with disclosing classified information related to potential attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. Court documents did not reveal who received the information, but federal law enforcement sources have said it was Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential lobbying organization.
Under the original charge -- a single count of disclosing classified U.S. national defense information to a person or persons not entitled to receive it -- Franklin could have received up to 10 years in prison. If convicted of the six new counts in the indictment, which include conspiracy to communicate classified information to an agent of a foreign government, he faces up to 55 years in prison.
In a related case, Franklin was charged last month by federal prosecutors in West Virginia, where he lives, with possessing classified documents concerning Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and Iraq.
We would hope it would go better than the status of the Senate Intelligence Report Part 2, which was to come out, at Pat Robert's insistence, after the presidential elections, but was then cancelled from ever being done earlier this year.Justin Raimondo says that perhaps all these aspects are being drawn together into a large Neocongate crisis that will finally and irreversibly show the lies of this admiinistration re: the Iraq War. Additional comments by Justin Raimondo Rove-Gate: Who Leaker to the Leakers,
Finally, tying this back into the Plame memo. DailyKOS diary shows that John Hannah worked for John Bolton. Who was the head of the INR from 2001-2003? Carl Ford, Jr, who says that Bolton tried to get him fired. He's also the one who prepared the Plame classified memo for Marc Grossman. The Daily KOS diary cited above also, because John Hannah worked as an aide for John Bolton in Cheney's area, makes the point that it may well have been John Bolton who, working with the INC and who was promoting the false story of Niger's uranium, got the classified materials or in some other way leaked Valerie Plame's identity to Hannah, who then told coworker Libby, who then told Rove.
All of this makes these two memos much more important than someone accidentally talking about Valerie Plame at a cocktail party or discussing her status as part of a gossip reporting circuit. If in fact, Patrick Fitzgerald, in conjunction with the FBI who are investigating Larry Franklin, is investigating a much more serious breach of classified information that leads both to Cheney's office and to John Bolton, it calls into question the entire integrity of the Bush White House.