FBI Notes: Dick Cheney’s Amnesia and His Shameful Dark ‘Cloud’

October 31, 2009

(ChattahBox)—“There is a cloud over the vice president . . . And that cloud remains because this defendant obstructed justice. There is a cloud over the White House. Don’t you think the FBI and the grand jury and the American people are entitled to straight answers?” Those were the now famous words uttered by lead prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald in his closing remarks during the Scooter Libby trial, which led to his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice, in the Valerie Plame outing investigation.

Yesterday, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, released notes from Cheney’s FBI testimony, which the group obtained after suing the Justice Department. The documents reveal Cheney’s feigned amnesia about the events leading up to the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson’s covert CIA identity. And how close Cheney came to wearing a bright orange prison jumpsuit, were it not for his top aide, Scooter Libby taking the fall for him.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW said, “For years the American people have wondered what role Vice President Cheney played in outing former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. While we may never know the whole story, with the release of these documents we are one step closer.” Sloan continued, “In his closing statement at Scooter Libby’s trial, Special Counsel Fitzgerald said a cloud remained over the vice-president. Mr. Cheney’s near total amnesia regarding his role in this monumental Washington scandal – resulting in the conviction of his top aide – shows why.”

The Libby investigation, illustrated what lengths the Bush/Cheney administration took to mislead the public and manipulate intelligence to make their case to invade Iraq. Valerie Plame’s identity was leaked to the media in July 2003, by the Bush/Cheney administration after her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of misleading the American public about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction

Throughout his interview with the FBI in 2004, Cheney responded with his stock answer that he couldn’t recall, even though the events in question occurred just one year earlier. It seems even then, Cheney was a dithering, mean old man suffering from Alzheimer’s, or there is the other possibility that Dick Cheney was lying through his teeth.

Nick Baumann of Mother Jones lists “22 Things Dick Cheney Can’t Recall About the Plame Case.” Below are a few examples of events Cheney could not recall:

“* Whether the Wilson trip was discussed during any of the visits he made to the CIA with his Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby.
* Any reaction he had to Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times’ article about the Wilson visit at the time the article was published.
* Whether he discussed the Wilson situation with George Tenet at their meeting on June 10, 2003.
* Who he spoke to about Joe Wilson’s July 6, 2003 editorial (he did remember speaking to someone, but not who it was).
* What happened to the Joe Wilson op-ed after he wrote on it suggesting that Valerie Plame Wilson had sent Joe Wilson on a “junket,” and put it in his outbox.
* Any specific advice he gave his press people in the May-June 2003 timeframe regarding the Wilson trip to Niger.
* Whether he discussed the Wilson situation with Eric Edelman, one of his national security advisers.
* Whether Cathie Martin, his press secretary, entered his office while both he and Scooter Libby were present and advised both of them that Joe Wilson’s wife was employed by the CIA.
* Discussing Joe Wilson or Wilson’s wife with his former press secretary Mary Matalin, although he said it was possible.
* Ever discussing Valerie Plame Wilson with Libby prior to the publication of Novak’s column.
* Whether Scooter Libby knew about Valerie Plame Wilson on July 12, the day before the publication of the Novak column.
* If Libby ever told Cheney he had independent knowledge of Valerie Plame Wilson’s covert identity
* Dictating notes to Libby on July 12, 2003 that Cheney said looked and sounded like something he might have dictated to Libby.
* Discussing the Novak column or any of its contents with anyone at the time it was published.
* Whether he discussed the Wilson trip with Libby as a sort of “boondoggle” or “junket,” although he believed it possible that he had such a conversation.

See Mother Jones for more instances of Dick Cheney’s amnesia.

The transcript of the interview can be found here. The FBI’s leak investigation notes can be found here and here.


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