The Danish Peace Academy
Coup D'Etat : The Real Reason that Tenet and Pavitt Resigned
from the CIA on June 3rd and 4th, 2004
Bush, Cheney Indictments in Plame Case Looming by Michael
additional reporting by
Wayne Madsen from Washington
© Copyright 2004, From The Wilderness Publications
May be reprinted, distributed or posted on an Internet web site for
non-profit purposes only.
Tuesday, June 8, 2004 -- Why did DCI George Tenet suddenly resign
on June 3rd, only to be followed a day later by James Pavitt, the
CIA's Deputy Director of Operations (DDO)?
The real reasons, contrary to the saturation spin being put out by
major news outlets, have nothing to do with Tenet's role as taking
the fall for alleged 9/11 and Iraqi intelligence "failures" before
the upcoming presidential election.
Both resignations, perhaps soon to be followed by resignations from
Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage, are about the
imminent and extremely messy demise of George W. Bush and his
Neocon administration in a coup d'etat being executed by the
Central Intelligence Agency. The coup, in the planning for at least
two years, has apparently become an urgent priority as a number of
deepening crises threaten a global meltdown.
Based upon recent developments, it appears that long-standing plans
and preparations leading to indictments and impeachment of Bush,
Cheney and even some senior cabinet members have been accelerated,
possibly with the intent of removing or replacing the entire Bush
regime prior to the Republican National Convention this August.
FTW has been documenting this Watergate-like coup for more than
fifteen months, and almost everything we will discuss about recent
events was by us predicted in detail in these pages. Please see our
stories "The Perfect Storm - Part I" (March 2003); "Blood in the
Water" (July 2003); "Beyond Bush - Part I" (July 2003); "Waxman
Ties Evidentiary Noose Around Rice and Cheney" (July 2003); and
"Beyond Bush - Part II" (October 2003).
There were two things we didn't get right. One was the timing. We
predicted the developments taking place now as likely to happen
after the November election, not before. Secondly, we did not
foresee the sudden resignations of Tenet and Pavitt. Understanding
the resignations is the key to understanding a deteriorating world
scene, and that America is on the precipice of a presidential and
constitutional crisis that will ultimately dwarf the removal of
Richard Nixon in 1974.
So why did Tenet and Pavitt resign? We'll explain why and we will
provide many clues along the way as we make our case.
High Crimes and Really Stupid Moves
Shortly after the "surprise" Tenet-Pavitt resignations, current and
former senior members of the U.S. intelligence community and the
Justice Department told journalist Wayne Madsen, a former Naval
intelligence officer, that they were directly connected to the
criminal investigation of a 2003 White House leak that openly
exposed Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA officer. What received
less attention was that the leak also destroyed a long-term CIA
proprietary intelligence-gathering operation which, as we will see,
was of immense importance to US strategic interests at a critical
The leak was a vindictive retaliation for statements, reports and
actions taken by Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson,
which had deeply embarrassed the Bush administration and exposed it
to possible charges for impeachable offenses, including lying to
the American people about an alleged (and totally unfounded)
nuclear threat posed by Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Conservative
columnist Robert Novak, the beneficiary of the leak, immediately
published it on July 14, 2003, and Valerie Plame's career (at least
the covert part) instantly ended. The actual damage caused by that
leak has never been fully appreciated.
Wilson deeply embarrassed almost every senior member of the Bush
junta by proving to the world that they were consciously lying
about one of their most important justifications for invading Iraq:
namely, their claim to have had certain knowledge, based on "good
and reliable" intelligence, that Hussein was on the brink of
deploying a nuclear weapon, possibly inside the United States. It
was eventually disclosed that the "intelligence" possessed by the
administration was a set of poorly forged documents on letterhead
from the government of Niger, which described attempts by Iraq to
purchase yellowcake uranium for a nuclear weapons program.
It has since been established by Scott Ritter and others that
Iraq's nuclear weapons program had been dead in the water and
non-functioning since the first Iraq war.
Wilson was secretly dispatched in February 2002, on instructions
from Dick Cheney to the CIA, to go to Niger and look for anything
that might support the material in the documents. They had already
been dismissed as forgeries by the International Atomic Energy
Agency, the CIA, and apparently everyone else who had seen them.
The CIA cautioned the administration, more than once, against using
them. Shortly thereafter, Wilson returned and gave his report
stating clearly that the allegations were pure bunk and
In spite of this, unaware of the booby traps laid all around them,
the entire power core of the Bush administration jumped on the
Niger documents as on a battle horse, and charged off into in a
massive public relations blitz. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld,
Powell, Wolfowitz and others -- to varying degrees -- insisted,
testified, and swore that they knew, and had reliable, credible and
verified intelligence that Saddam was about to deploy an actual
nuclear device built from the Niger yellowcake.
It was full court media press and they successfully scared the
pants off of most Americans who believed that Saddam was going to
nuke them any second.
George Bush made the charge and actually cited the documents in his
2003 State-of-the-Union address, even after he had been cautioned
by George Tenet not to rely on them. In a major speech at the
United Nations, Colin Powell charged that Iraq was on the verge of
deploying a nuke, and had been trying to acquire uranium. Dick
Cheney charged in several speeches that Saddam was capable of
nuclear terror. And shortly before the invasion, when asked in a
television interview whether there was sufficient proof and advance
warning of the Iraqi nuclear threat, a smug and confident
Condoleezza Rice quipped, "If we wait for a smoking gun, that
smoking gun may be a mushroom cloud over an American city." Rice
was lying through her teeth.
By July of 2003, as the Iraqi invasion was proving to be a
protracted and ill-conceived debacle, executed in spite of massive
resistance from within military, political, diplomatic and economic
cadres, there was growing disgust within many government circles
about the way the Bush administration was running things. The
mention of Wilson's report came in July though his name was not
disclosed. It suggested corroborative evidence of criminal, rather
than stupid, behavior by the administration. The San Francisco
"A senior CIA official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said
the intelligence agency informed the White House on March 9, 2002
-- 10 months before Bush's nationally televised speech -- that an
agency source who had traveled to Niger could not confirm European
intelligence reports that Iraq was attempting to buy uranium from
the West African country."
Note the reference to an Agency source.
It was inevitable that Wilson would move from no comment, to
statements given on condition of anonymity, and finally into the
public spotlight. That he did, in a July 6th New York Times
Editorial titled "What I Didn't Find in Africa." Soon he was giving
On July 14th, Novak published the column outing Wilson's wife,
Valerie Plame. As a result, any criminal investigation of the Plame
leak will also go into the Niger documents and any crimes committed
which are materially related to Plame's exposure.
Instead of retreating, Wilson advanced. In September he went
public, writing editorials and granting interviews which thoroughly
exposed the Bush administration's criminal use of the documents,
Cheney's lies about the mission, and all the other lies used to
deceive the American people into war.
At the moment he went on the record, Wilson became another legally
admissible, corroborative evidentiary source; a witness available
for subpoena and deposition, ready to give testimony to the high
crimes and misdemeanors he has witnessed.
First Clue: James Pavitt was Valerie Plame's boss. So was George
How The Trap Was Set
Conflicting news reports suggest that perhaps several sets of the
documents were delivered simultaneously to several recipients. I
could find only one news story (out of almost 60 I have reviewed)
which indicated just when the Niger papers were first put into
play. One of the most fundamental questions in journalism, "when?"
was omitted from every major press organization's coverage except
for a single story from the Associated Press on July 13th.
"… [T]he forged Niger government documents, showing attempts
by Iraq to purchase yellowcake, were delivered by unknown sources
to Italian journalist Corriere della Sera, who gave them to the
Italian intelligence service. She then reportedly gave them to
Italian intelligence agents, who gave them to the US embassy.
Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker also offered this version,
indicating that the documents had surfaced in Italy in the fall of
The fall of 2001. That means that the documents were created no
more than three and a half months after September 11th.
The earliest press report mentioning the documents was a March 7,
2003 story in The Financial Times. On that day, Mohammed El
Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, reported
to the UN Security Council that the documents were forgeries. The
story contained a revealing paragraph.
"The allegation about the uranium purchase first surfaced in a UK
government dossier published on September 24 last year about Iraq's
alleged weapons programmes, though it did not name Niger. Niger was
first named when the US State Department elaborated on the
allegations on December 19  ..."
Canada's Globe and Mail reported on March 8, 2003:
"… [T]he forgeries were sold to an Italian intelligence
agent by a con man some time ago and passed on to French
authorities, but the scam was uncovered by the IAEA [International
Atomic Energy Agency] only recently, according to United Nations
sources familiar with the investigation. The documents were turned
over to the IAEA several weeks ago.
"In fact, the IAEA says, there is no credible evidence that Iraq
tried to import uranium ore from the Central African country in
violation of UN resolutions.
"'Based on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded, with the
concurrence of outside experts, that these documents, which formed
the basis for the reports of these uranium transactions between
Iraq and Niger, are, in fact, not authentic,' Mr. El Baradei told
the UN Security Council Friday ..."
The Chicago Tribune reported on March 13, 2003:
"Forged documents that the United States used to build its case
against Iraq were likely written by someone in Niger's embassy in
Rome who hoped to make quick money, a source close to the United
Nations investigation said."
The Washington Post gave yet a different story, also on March 8,
"… Knowledgeable sources familiar with the forgery
investigation described the faked evidence as a series of letters
between Iraqi agents and officials in the central African nation of
Niger. The documents had been given to the U.N. inspectors by
Britain and reviewed extensively by U.S. intelligence. The forgers
had made relatively crude errors that eventually gave them away --
including names and titles that did not match up with the
individuals who held office at the time the letters were
purportedly written, the officials said ...
"… The CIA, which had also obtained the documents, had
questions about 'whether they were accurate,' said one intelligence
official, and it decided not to include them in its file on Iraq's
program to procure weapons of mass destruction."
In a follow-up story on March 13th the Post reported:
"It's something we're just beginning to look at," a senior law
enforcement official said yesterday. Officials are trying to
determine whether the documents were forged to try to influence
U.S. policy, or whether they may have been created as part of a
disinformation campaign directed by a foreign intelligence service
"… The phony documents -- a series of letters between Iraqi
and Niger officials showing Iraq's interest in equipment that could
be used to make nuclear weapons -- came to British and U.S.
intelligence officials from a third country. The identity of the
third country could not be learned yesterday."
What if it wasn't a foreign intelligence service? I had been
suspicious that a Watergate-like coup was forming immediately after
reading the first few stories about the documents. I was convinced
when the AP reported on March 14, 2003 (just days before the Iraqi
invasion) that the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence
Committee had called for an FBI investigation of the documents'
origins. The Boston Globe reported two days later that the Senator
was specifically seeking to determine whether administration
officials had forged the documents themselves to marshal support
for the invasion.
The request was not nearly as significant to me as who it had come
from -- Jay Rockefeller of the Standard Oil Rockefellers. An oil
dynasty was calling for an investigation of a bunch of oil men.
Somebody was screwing up big time.
Seymour Hersh dropped a major bombshell that went virtually
unnoticed, 54 paragraphs deep into an October 27, 2003 story for
the New Yorker titled "The Stovepipe."
"Who produced the fake Niger papers? There is nothing approaching a
consensus on this question within the intelligence community. There
has been published speculation about the intelligence services of
several different countries. One theory, favored by some
journalists in Rome, is that [the Italian intelligence service]
Sismi produced the false documents and passed them to Panorama for
"Another explanation was provided by a former senior C.I.A.
officer. He had begun talking to me about the Niger papers in
March, when I first wrote about the forgery, and said, 'Somebody
deliberately let something false get in there.' He became more
forthcoming in subsequent months, eventually saying that a small
group of disgruntled retired C.I.A. clandestine operators had
banded together in the late summer of last year and drafted the
fraudulent documents themselves." [emphasis added]
Hersh's revelation provided corroboration for something I and
others, like the renowned political historian Peter Dale Scott, had
been suspecting for a long time. The CIA was fighting back. This
was a well orchestrated, long-term covert operation -- exactly what
the CIA does all over the world.
Point Of No Return
Willing disclosure of the identity of a covert operative is a
serious felony under Federal law, punishable by fine and/or
imprisonment. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982
makes it a crime for anyone with access to classified information
to intentionally disclose information identifying a covert
operative. The penalties get worse for doing it to a deep cover
Direcorate of Operations (DO) case officer (as opposed to an
undercover DEA Agent).
After John Ashcroft was forced to recuse himself from the case,
Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, was transferred
to Washington and appointed special prosecutor in the Plame
Robert Novak, rightly standing by the journalistic code of ethics,
has steadfastly refused to identify his White House source. We
would do the same thing in his shoes. The investigation is nearing
a climax with pending issuance of criminal indictments. Press
reports citing sources close to the investigation have directly and
indirectly pointed fingers at Dick Cheney and his Chief of Staff,
Lewis "Scooter" Libby, as suspects.
Second clue: The criminal investigation of the Plame leak was
investigated after a September 2003 formal request from the CIA,
approved by George Tenet.
Not only was Plame's cover blown, so was that of her cover company,
Brewster, Jennings & Associates. With the public exposure of
Plame, intelligence agencies all over the world started searching
data bases for any references to her (TIME Magazine). Damage
control was immediate, as the CIA asserted that her mission had
been connected to weapons of mass destruction.
However, it was not long before stories from the Washington Post
and the Wall Street Journal tied Brewster, Jennings &
Associates to energy, oil and the Saudi-owned Arabian American Oil
Company, or ARAMCO. Brewster Jennings had been a founder of Mobil
Oil company, one of Aramco's principal founders.
According to additional sources interviewed by Wayne Madsen,
Brewster Jennings was, in fact, a well-established CIA proprietary
company, linked for many years to ARAMCO. The demise of Brewster
Jennings was also guaranteed the moment Plame was outed.
It takes years for Non-Official Covers -- or NOCs, as they are
known -- to become really effective. Over time, they become
gradually more trusted; they work their way into deeper information
access from more sensitive sources. NOCs are generally regarded in
the community as among the best and most valuable of all CIA
operations officers, and the agency goes to great lengths to
protect them in what are frequently very risky missions.
By definition, Valerie Plame was an NOC. Yet, unlike all other NOCs
who fear exposure and torture or death from hostile governments and
individual targets who have been judged threats to the United
States, she got done in by her own President, whom we also judge to
be a domestic enemy of the United States.
Moreover, as we will see below, Valerie Plame may have been one of
the most important NOCs the CIA had in the current climate. Let's
look at just how valuable she was.
According to an April 29, 2002 report in Britain's Guardian, ARAMCO
constitutes 12% of the world's total oil production; a figure which
has certainly increased as other countries have progressed deeper
into irreversible decline.
ARAMCO is the largest oil group in the world, a state-owned Saudi
company in partnership with four major US oil companies. Another
one of Aramco's partners is Chevron-Texaco, which gave up one of
its board members, Condoleezza Rice, when she became the National
Security Advisor to George Bush. All of ARAMCO's key decisions are
made by the Saudi royal family, while US oil expertise, personnel,
and technology keeps the cash coming in and the oil going out.
ARAMCO operates, manages, and maintains virtually all Saudi oil
fields -- 25% of all the oil on the planet. All of ARAMCO's key
decisions are made by the Saudi royal family, while US oil
expertise, personnel and technology keeps the cash coming in and
the oil going out. ARAMCO operates, manages, and maintains
virtually all Saudi oil fields -- 25% of all the oil on the
It gets better.
According to a New York Times report on March 8th of this year,
ARAMCO is planning to make a 25% investment in a new and badly
needed refinery to produce gasoline. The remaining 75% ownership of
the refinery will go to the only nation that is quickly becoming
America's major world competitor for ever-diminishing supplies of
Almost the entire Bush administration has an interest in
The Boston Globe reported that in 2001, ARAMCO had signed a $140
million multi-year contract with Halliburton, then chaired by Dick
Cheney, to develop a new oil field. Halliburton does a lot of
business in Saudi Arabia. Current estimates of Halliburton
contracts or joint ventures in the country run into the tens of
billions of dollars.
So do the fortunes of some shady figures from the Bush family's
As recently as 1991, ARAMCO had Khalid bin Mahfouz sitting on its
Supreme Council or board of directors. Mahfouz, Saudi Arabia's
former treasurer and the nation's largest banker, has been reported
in several places to be Osama bin Laden's brother in law. However,
he has denied this, and has brought intense legal pressure to bear
demanding retractions of these allegations. He has major
partnership investments with the multi-billion dollar Binladin
Group of companies, and he is a former director of BCCI, the
infamous criminal drug-money laundering bank which performed a
number of very useful services for the CIA before its 1991 collapse
under criminal investigation by a whole lot of countries.
As Saudi Arabia's largest banker, he handles the accounts of the
royal family and -- no doubt -- ARAMCO, while at the same time he
is a named defendant in a $1 trillion lawsuit filed by 9/11 victim
families against the Saudi government and prominent Saudi officials
who, the suit alleges, were complicit in the 9/11 attacks.
Both BCCI and Mahfouz have historical connections to the Bush
family dating back to the 1980s. Another bank (one of many)
connected to Mahfouz -- the InterMaritime Bank -- bailed out a
cash-starved Harken Energy in 1987 with $25 million. After the
rejuvenated Harken got a no-bid oil lease in 1991, CEO George W.
Bush promptly sold his shares in a pump-and-dump scheme and made a
whole lot of money.
Knowing all of this, there's really no good reason why the CIA
should be too upset, is there? It was only a long-term proprietary
and deep-cover NOC -- well established and consistently producing
"take" from ARAMCO (and who knows what else in Saudi Arabia). It
was destroyed with a motive of personal vengeance (there may have
been other motives) by someone inside the White House.
From the CIA's point of view, at a time when Saudi Arabia is one of
the three or four countries of highest interest to the US, the
Plame operation was irreplaceable.
Third clue: Tenet's resignation, which occurred at night, was the
first "evening resignation" of a Cabinet-level official since
October 1973, when Attorney General Elliott Richardson and his
deputy, William Ruckelshaus, resigned in protest of Richard Nixon's
firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Many regard
this as the watershed moment when the Nixon administration was
Given that energy is becoming the most important issue on the
planet today, if you were the CIA, you might be a little pissed off
at the Plame leak. But there may be justification to do more than
be angry. Anger happens all the time in Washington. This is
One of the most important intelligence prizes today -- especially
after recent stories in major outlets like the New York Times
reporting that Saudi oil production has peaked and gone into
irreversible decline -- would be to know of a certainty whether
those reports are correct. The Saudis are denying it vehemently,
but they are being strongly refuted by an increasing amount of hard
data. The truth remains unproven. But the mere possibility has set
the world's financial markets on edge. Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi
came to Washington on April 27th to put out the fires. It was
imperative that he calm everybody's nerves as the markets were
screaming, "Say it ain't so!"
Naimi said emphatically that there was nothing to worry about
concerning either Saudi reserves or ARAMCO's ability to increase
production. There was plenty of oil, and no need for concern.
FTW covered and reported on that event. Writer and energy expert
Julian Darley noted that there were some very important ears in the
room, listening very closely. He also noted that Naimi's
"scientific" data and promises of large future discoveries did not
sit well many who are well versed in oil production and
[See FTW's June 2nd story, "Saudi's Missing Barrels" and our May
2003 story, "Paris Peak Oil Conference Reveals Deepening Crisis."
In that story FTW editor Mike Ruppert was the first to report on
credible new information that Saudi Arabia had possibly
If anybody has the real data on Saudi oil fields, it is either
ARAMCO or the highest levels of the Saudi royal family.
The answer to the Saudi peak question will determine whether Saudi
Arabia really can increase production quickly, as promised. If they
can't, then the US economy is going to suffer bitterly, and it is
certain that the Saudi monarchy will collapse into chaos. Then the
nearby US military will occupy the oil fields, and the U.S. will
ultimately Balkanize the country by carving off the oil fields --
which occupy only a small area near the East coast. That U.S.
enclave would then provide sanctuary to the leading members of the
royal family, who will have agreed to keep their trillions invested
in Wall Street so the US economy doesn't collapse.
So far, the Saudis haven't had to prove that they could increase
production due to convenient terror attacks at oil fields, and more
"debates" within OPEC.
Fourth clue: Bush and Cheney have both hired or consulted private
criminal defense attorneys in anticipation of possible indictments
of them and/or their top assistants in the Plame investigation. On
June 3, just hours before Tenet suddenly resigned, President Bush
consulted with -- and may have retained -- a criminal defense
attorney to represent him in the Plame case.
According to various press reports, Bush has either retained or
consulted with powerhouse attorney Jim Sharp, who represented
Iran-contra figure retired Air Force Major General Richard Secord;
Enron's Ken Lay; and Watergate co-conspirator Jeb Stuart Magruder.
All three were facing criminal (rather than civil) charges. Either
way, a clear signal has been sent that Bush expects to be either
called to testify (which was a precursor in Watergate to a criminal
indictment of Richard Nixon) or be named as a defendant. Either
way, the President's men are falling faster than their counterparts
fell in Watergate, and the initial targets are much higher up the
Cheney's attorney is Terrence O'Donnell, a partner of the Williams
and Connolly law firm. O'Donnell worked for then White House chief
of staff Cheney in the Ford administration and as General Counsel
for the Pentagon when Cheney was Defense Secretary under the first
President Bush. He has been representing the Vice President in
criminal and civil cases involving Cheney's chairmanship of
Halliburton. These include a Justice Department investigation of
Halliburton for alleged payment of bribes to Nigerian political
leaders and a stockholders' fraud law suit against Halliburton.
O'Donnell also represented former CIA director John Deutch when he
was accused of violating national security by taking his CIA
computer home and surfing the Internet while it contained hundreds
of highly-classified intelligence documents.
Springing the Trap
Now, seemingly all of a sudden, Bush and Cheney are in the
crosshairs. Cheney has been questioned by Fitzgerald within the
The CIA Director's job by definition, whether others like it or
not, is to be able to go to his President and advise him of the
real scientific data on foreign resources (especially oil); to warn
him of pending instability in a country closely linked to the US
economy; and to tell him what to plan for and what to promise
politically in his foreign policy. In light of her position in the
CIA's relationship with Saudi Aramco, the outing of Valerie Plame
made much of this impossible. In short, the Bush leak threatened
Former White House Counsel and Watergate figure John Dean, writing
for the prestigious legal web site findlaw.com on June 4th, made
some very ominous observations that appear to have gone unnoticed
"This action by Bush is a rather stunning and extraordinary
development. The President of the United States is potentially
hiring a private criminal defense lawyer. Unsurprisingly, the White
House is doing all it can to bury the story, providing precious
little detail or context for the President's action ..."
"… But from what I have learned from those who have been
quizzed by the Fitzgerald investigators, it seems unlikely that
they are interviewing the President merely as a matter of
completeness, or in order to be able to defend their actions in
front of the public. Asking a President to testify -- or even be
interviewed -- remains a serious, sensitive and rare occasion. It
is not done lightly. Doing so raises separation of powers concerns
that continue to worry many ...
"… If so -- and if the person revealed the leaker's identity
to the President, or if the President decided he preferred not to
know the leaker's identity -- then this fact could conflict with
Bush's remarkably broad public statements on the issue. He has said
that he did not know of 'anybody in [his] administration who leaked
classified information.' He has also said that he wanted 'to know
the truth' about this leak.
"If Bush is called before the grand jury, it is likely because
Fitzgerald believes that he knows much more about this leak than he
has stated publicly.
"Perhaps Bush may have knowledge not only of the leaker, but also
of efforts to make this issue go away -- if indeed there have been
any. It is remarkably easy to obstruct justice, and this matter has
been under various phases of an investigation by the Justice
Department since it was referred by the CIA last summer ...
"… On this subject, I spoke with an experienced former
federal prosecutor who works in Washington, specializing in white
collar criminal defense (but who does not know Sharp). That
attorney told me that he is baffled by Bush's move -- unless Bush
has knowledge of the leak. "It would not seem that the President
needs to consult personal counsel, thereby preserving the
attorney-client privilege, if he has no knowledge about the leak,"
he told me.
"What advice might Bush get from a private defense counsel? The
lawyer I consulted opined that, "If he does have knowledge about
the leak and does not plan to disclose it, the only good legal
advice would be to take the Fifth, rather than lie. The political
fallout is a separate issue."
"I raised the issue of whether the President might be able to
invoke executive privilege as to this information. But the attorney
I consulted -- who is well versed in this area of law -- opined
that "Neither 'outing' Plame, nor covering for the perpetrators
would seem to fall within the scope of any executive privilege that
I am aware of."
"That may not stop Bush from trying to invoke executive privilege,
however -- or at least from talking to his attorney about the
option. As I have discussed in one of my prior columns, Vice
President Dick Cheney has tried to avoid invoking it in implausible
circumstances -- in the case that is now before the U.S. Supreme
Court. Rather, he claims he is beyond the need for the privilege,
and simply cannot be sued. [Emphasis added]
"Suffice it to say that whatever the meaning of Bush's decision to
talk with private counsel about the Valerie Plame leak, the matter
has taken a more ominous turn with Bush's action. It has only
become more portentous because now Dick Cheney has also hired a
lawyer for himself, suggesting both men may have known more than
they let on. Clearly, the investigation is heading toward a
culmination of some sort. And it should be interesting."
Last and final clue: Under Executive Privilege, a principle
intended to protect the constitutional separation of powers,
officials in the Executive Branch cannot give testimony in a legal
case against a sitting President. The Bush administration has
invoked or threatened to invoke the privilege several times. Dick
did it over the secret records of his energy task force, and George
Bush tried to use it to prevent Condoleezza Rice from testifying
before the "Independent" Commission investigating September
Former officials of the Executive Branch are, however, free to
testify if they are no longer holding a government office when
subpoenaed or when the charges are brought.
[To learn more about Executive Privilege visit www.findlaw.com]
The Bush administration has proved itself to be an insular group of
inept, dishonest and dangerous CEO's of the corporation known as
America. They have become very bad for business, and the Board of
Directors is now taking action. Make no mistake, the CIA works for
"The Board" -- Wall Street and big money. The long-term (very
corrupt and unethical) agenda of the Board, in the face of multiple
worsening global crises, was intended to proceed far beyond the
initially destructive war in Iraq, toward an effective
reconstruction and a strategic response to Peak Oil. But the
neocons have stalled at the ugly stage: killing hundreds of
thousands of people; destroying Iraq's industrial and cultural
infrastructure as their own bombs and other people's RPGs blow
everything up; getting caught running torture camps; and making the
whole world intensely dislike America.
These jerks are doing real damage to their masters' interests.
But (not surprisingly) Tenet and the CIA were, and remain, much
better at covert operations and planning ahead than the Bush
administration ever was. Tenet and Pavitt actually prepared and
left a clear, irrefutable and incriminating paper trail which
proves not only that the CIA had shunned and refused to endorse the
documents -- they also did not support the nuke charges, and warned
Bush not to use them.
Where are those documents now? They're part of the Justice
Department Plame investigation -- and they're also in the hands of
the Congressman who will most likely introduce and manage the
articles of impeachment, if that becomes necessary: Henry Waxman
(D), of California. If you would like to see how tightly the legal
trap has been prepared, and how carefully the evidence has been
laid out, I suggest taking a look around Waxman's web site at:
There are a multitude of signs that the Bush administration is
being "swarmed" in what is becoming a feeding frenzy as opposition
is surfacing from many places inside the government, including the
military. The signs are not hard to find.
The June 3rd issue of Capitol Hill Blue, the newspaper published
for members of Congress, bore the headline "Bush Knew About Leak of
CIA Operative's Name". That article virtually guaranteed that the
Plame investigation had enough to pursue Bush criminally. The
story's lead sentence described a criminal, prosecutable offense:
"Witnesses told a federal grand jury President George W. Bush knew
about, and took no action to stop, the release of a covert CIA
operative's name to a journalist in an attempt to discredit her
husband, a critic of administration policy in Iraq."
A day later, on June 4th Capitol Hill Blue took another hard shot
at the administration. Titled "Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries
White House Aides", the story's first four paragraphs say
"President George W. Bush's increasingly erratic behavior and wide
mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides
privately express growing concern over their leader's state of
"In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the
President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene
tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies
as "enemies of the state."
"Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge,
increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a
public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.
"'It reminds me of the Nixon days,' says a longtime GOP political
consultant with contacts in the White House. 'Everybody is an
enemy; everybody is out to get him. That's the mood over
The attacks have not stopped. On June 8th, the same paper followed
with another story headlined, "Lawyers Told Bush He Could Order
Journalist Wayne Madsen, a Washington veteran with excellent access
to many sources has indicated for this story that the Neocons have
few remaining friends anywhere. All of this is consistent with a
Madsen reported that the Plame probe comes amid another high-level
probe of Pentagon officials for leaking classified National
Security Agency cryptologic information to Iran via Iraqi National
Congress head Ahmed Chalabi. FBI agents have polygraphed and
interviewed a number of civilian political appointees in the
Pentagon in relation to the intelligence leak, said to have
severely disrupted the National Security Agency's ability to listen
in on encrypted Iranian diplomatic and intelligence
Chalabi's leak has once again forced Iran to change equipment,
resulting in impaired U.S. intelligence gathering of Iran's
sensitive communications. The probe into the Chalabi leak is
centering on Pentagon officials who have been close to Chalabi,
including Office of Net Assessment official Harold Rhode, Director
of Policy and Plans officials Douglas Feith and William Luti,
Undersecretary for Intelligence Stephen Cambone, and Deputy Defense
Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. In addition, some former Pentagon
advisers are also targeted in the probe.
Many press reports throughout 2003 indicated that Chalabi,
distrusted and virtually discarded by the CIA, had been resurrected
and inserted into the Iraqi political mix on the orders of Donald
Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and the other Neocons listed above.
Abu Ghraib and Torture
A former CIA official told Madsen that between the Plame leak and
the Abu Ghraib torture affair, the Bush administration is facing
something that will be "worse than Watergate."
Planning for Succession
If both Bush and Cheney are removed or resign, what happens? Madsen
reported that lobbyists and political consultants in Washington are
dusting off their copies of the Constitution and checking the line
of presidential succession.
One lobbyist said he will soon pay a call on Alaska Republican
Senator Ted Stevens, who, as President pro tem of the Senate, is
second in line to House Speaker Dennis Hastert to become President
in the event Bush and Cheney both go.
It is one of the greatest ironies of the Plame affair that the Bush
administration, spawned and nurtured by oil, might have committed
political suicide by vindictively, cruelly and unthinkingly
exacting personal retribution on an intelligence officer who had
committed no offense, and who was, quite possibly, providing the
administration with critical oil-related intelligence which the
President needed to manage our shaky economy and affairs of state
for a while longer to squeak through to re-election. In our
opinion, nothing better epitomizes the true nature of the
That being said, they have to go. FTW wishes that it was as certain
that what will come after them will be better.
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