Wow. This could be a lot bigger than we all thought.
Libby’s meeting notes essentially tell the story that Cheney told him that Plame was a C.I.A. agent. However, Libby has never told the prosecutors anything about this. That’s probably why he’s facing perjury charges.
From NY Times:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick CheneyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.
Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. LibbyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.
The notes, taken by Mr. Libby during the conversation, for the first time place Mr. Cheney in the middle of an effort by the White House to learn about Ms. WilsonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was questioning the administrationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s handling of intelligence about IraqÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s nuclear program to justify the war.
Who told Cheney? Oh, only a Medal Of Freedom Winner:
Mr. LibbyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s notes indicate that Mr. Cheney had gotten his information about Ms. Wilson from George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, in response to questions from the vice president about Mr. Wilson. But they contain no suggestion that either Mr. Cheney or Mr. Libby knew at the time of Ms. WilsonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s undercover status or that her identity was classified. Disclosing a covert agentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s identity can be a crime, but only if the person who discloses it knows the agentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s undercover status.
They didn’t know Plame’s status? I’m willing to believe this, but I’d like to hear this come from George Tenet. If he gave Cheney the name, one would think that he would also tell him she still had covert status.
One last thought. This basically means that Cheney has known about this all along. So why, if he was trying to bring respectability back to the office, hasn’t he come out and said that he told Libby before now? None of this means he’s going to get charged with a crime, but it certainly concerns me that he hasn’t spoken out.
One last, last thought. I’m over on memorandum checking out this story, and the conservabloggers are nowhere to be found.