Cheney’s memory ‘hazy’ on Plame CIA leak

Citing faulty memory, former Vice President Dick Cheney told federal investigators in a 2004 interview he had no idea who revealed to reporters that Valerie Plame, the wife of a Bush administration critic, worked for the CIA.

Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was convicted of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI in the probe of who leaked the former spy’s identity to the news media. At the end of Libby’s trial, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said “there is a cloud over the vice president” regarding the leaking of Plame’s identity.

A summary of the FBI’s interview with the then-vice president reflects that he had deep concern about Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador in Africa who said the administration had twisted prewar intelligence on Iraq.

In the FBI’s interview, Cheney’s memory of key events appeared hazy.

The 28-page interview summary was released Friday to the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sued to get the material under the Freedom of Information Act.

Cheney told FBI agents that he did not recall discussing Wilson’s wife with Libby before her CIA employment was publicly revealed by conservative columnist Robert Novak on July 14, 2003. Libby’s own notes produced at his trial reflect that Cheney told him about the CIA employment of Wilson’s wife in mid-June 2003, a month before Plame’s CIA job became public knowledge.

Following Libby’s conviction, President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s 30-month prison sentence but rejected Cheney’s appeals to pardon Libby.

In the interview, whose participants included Fitzgerald, the vice president said the identity of Valerie Wilson and her employment were not high on his radar screen and that her employment with the CIA and relationship to Wilson did not figure prominently in his thinking. Cheney also told agents that he did not recall having a conversation about either Plame or her husband with Bush.

The vice president said he probably discussed Wilson with Bush’s top political adviser, Karl Rove, but told the FBI he would not have talked to Rove about Wilson’s wife.

Cheney’s occasional denials that he talked about Plame to various people at the White House are among the few things in the lengthy interview with the FBI that Cheney appeared certain about.

According to courtroom testimony, Rove was one of Novak’s sources for his column disclosing Plame’s CIA identity and Rove and Libby were sources for Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper, who also wrote a story identifying Plame.

Cheney said he was not aware of any discussions Libby may have had with Rove about Wilson or Wilson’s wife, and Cheney said Libby did not tell him about any such discussions.

The vice president advised the agents that he had no idea what Libby knew in the days before Plame’s CIA identity was publicly revealed. Cheney said he did not recall if Libby revealed to the vice president his independent knowledge about the fact that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA.

In a New York Times opinion piece on July 6, 2003, Wilson accused the Bush administration of twisting intelligence about Iraq’s efforts to buy a uranium “yellowcake” in the African nation of Niger. Bush referred to the yellowcake during his Jan. 28, 2003, State of the Union speech to Congress as he was trying to rally support for going to war with Iraq. Yellowcake is a powdered form of uranium that could be used in a nuclear weapon if purified and enriched.

The year before, the CIA had sent Wilson to Niger to determine the accuracy of the uranium reports. Wilson brought back denials of any sale and argued such a sale was not likely to happen.

In his FBI interview, Cheney said his initial reaction to the Wilson article was his sense that it was “amateur hour” out at the CIA.

Cheney said The New York Times piece was disturbing. Cheney said he was most disturbed because it was now being made to look as though the vice president had personally sent Wilson on the trip. The vice president said that all he had done was to make a legitimate inquiry of a CIA briefer in February 2002 about Niger and Iraq.

Plame was outed in Novak’s column as a CIA employee eight days after Wilson attacked the administration in The New York Times piece.

Cheney said it was then-CIA Director George Tenet who told him sometime before the July 6, 2003, publication of Wilson’s opinion piece in The New York Times that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA, but Cheney said he was uncertain when that was.

Cheney said he could not recall if he mentioned the content of his conversation with Tenet to Libby, but the vice president said that if he would have shared it with anyone, it would have been Libby.


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  1. bryan mcclellan

    Just like the Dick’s mind, here is another another twisted and convoluted entry in the encyclopedia of Bush administration revisionist history.
    How can we move on to correct our nations problems when prosecution of this criminal is left hanging in the wind. He flouts his guilt right in our faces daring the law to hold him accountable.
    Sandra Price has offered that we are lacking focus here at CHB, but it is my contention that a clear national direction cannot be plotted before we reckon with the despots in our own midst. Here and here only is the starting point to regaining our country.We cannot and must not leap ahead of justice..HACK!

  2. Sandra Price

    Bryan, if we have to go over and over the mistakes the voters have made in their choices of leaders, we will never have time to come up with even minor fixes. If anything we should learn from the mind set of the people in America and figure a way to bring them back to an honest government.

    I receive a copy of the Congressional Handbook updated every 2 years and the same people who we identified as liars, hypocrites and eithics violaters are voted in time after time. We don’t have enough interested workers even here at CHB to contact their own representatives so we continue to spin our wheels.

    I’ve been involved in this stuff for over 50 years and managed to get some pretty good representatives elected in California. It changed when Bush 43 bought the religious right. I want that separation of church and state brought back so that nobody can campaign on their religious beliefs.

    Next weekend I am meeting with the “Freedom from Religion” group to see what I can accomplish in my last years of political action. This is my action and I will stick with it.


  3. bryan mcclellan

    Please give us an update Sandra and lay out the agenda so that we may join in if we so chose, and please, I and many others here are screaming at the top of our voices so leave the accusations of inaction for others than those of us here at CHB.

    I will harp on the fact that we cannot leapfrog over justice if we wish to put a scare into the corrupt and duplicitous politicians. As it is now we are stuck with the Go to Jail card while criminals in our midst have passed GO with impunity.We need teeth in our justice to replace the over drilled dentures in place now. There is no other viable starting point.

  4. Carl Nemo

    Hear hear Mr. McClellan! Justice delayed is justice denied. These mattoids have tested the very limits of our evolving system of “injustice” to the very limits and more than likely the perps will “skate”!

    Why should Americans obey any law at this time other than those infractions that might get you tagged immediately; ie., speeding, blatant income tax evasion, stupid violent crimes etc.?!

    If you can get it away with it, then just do it, seems to be our modern survival based paradigm. Our leadership has displayed their predisposal to criminality in high places so why not us in order to simply “survive”?!

    This type of criminally disposed, “let’s not point fingers”, “everybody wins” apologia on the part of our leadership has led to seemingly the imminent destruction of our Republic.

    By example they set our measure which tells me that if it comes to us vs. them, then f**k’em…! Do whatever you need to do to protect yourself and your family; obfuscate, connive, cheat and steal (non-violent preferred) when necessary in these times. “We the people” have a right to survive and their laws be damned; ie., no rule of law or mandate created by these criminally disposed Congressmen shall prevail. They only prevail if you continue to play their game. So if they pass a personally invasive, draconian healthcare bill. Simply don’t enroll. Put them on ignore. Millions of scofflaws doing so will totally wreck their plans for a NWO; ie., of grand oligarchical collectivism administered by a world controlled, socialist construct. : |

    Seemingly, being a scofflaw is where it’s at in this newly evolved gray to black market times no different than modern day Russia and their former Eastern bloc countries. It’s going to be a “dog eat dog” world to come with seemingly only the cunning and strong will survive.

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. Sandra Price

    The best way to support justice is to elect law-respecting legislators. Why not declare a list of what we demand of our government? Personally I am offended by the concept that America is a Christian Nation. It changes the interpretation of the justice we all want.

    Our Constitution is not a set of rules and laws to control the people but rules and laws to control the government. This relies on a solidly intelligent voter base who understand why the Constitution was written.

    I am not inactive and am pursuing what I consider to be a movement to return the nation to individuals of all colors, religions, sexual preferences who share a desire for individual freedoms. I was told off by a member of CHB and several other sites that unless I am willing to declare America as a Christian nation, I do not belong. Okay. I will be a citizen of the world until my nation declares itself above the need for any God, but to uphold the U.S.Constitution. I will never declare that women, gays, terminally ill people are not to be equal to any white Christian straight man.

    We know that many Presidents and their Administrations have ignored the Constitution. Where were we when this began? We were coming out of two world wars and damn glad to be alive. Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan never were declared wars. That is against the Constitution.

    If there is a way to restore American respect not just abroad but at home, lead the way and millions will follow. In the last 20 years we are at war between the right and left and both parties have taken control of our banks, Wall Street and the Corporations. It is not the money from the lobbyist that is illegal but what the Congress does with the money. They use it to destroy the other party. The only way to stop the corruption is to stop electing corrupt men and women. While you are trying to do that I will take on my own private fight for individual freedoms for every damn American citizen; not just those who obey some declared ghost. I’m not asking for people to give up their religion but to keep it out of our laws on all levels.

    Bryan, for 14 years I have yelled at the mountain tops to throw the bastards out of D.C. Asking people what they want from their government comes back simply as free things. American values disappeared years ago

    Being the oldest member of my family generation I would love to stop fighting human nature of greed and bigotry. Where the hell did the love of others go? The world of the internet is based on who can have the last word of filthy suggestions.

    This does not happen at CHB but I heard a complaint from one who has the freedom to use the most disgusting language elsewhere and CHB does not. I like the freedom here not to be trashed by classless fools who know no other language.

    There is no honest debate unless we all respect each other and the forum we choose. Bryan I am more than willing to work for any planned teamwork but until one is found I will work my own plan under a team who wants the freedoms that I want. I do not want a fight here and am willing to stay away rather than be a diversion to others.

    I think Greger understands being he visited an openly free site.

  6. bogofree

    Hazy? This reminds me of Bill and Hillary and their collected “I don’t recall.” Does it seem to you as it seems to me that most of the cookie jar crowd are a bunch of lying sacks of s**t?

  7. Carl Nemo

    Dick Cheney reminds me of “The Penguin” from the Batman series of comics. Just as the Penguin, he’s not only the arch enemy of B-man, but the nemesis of Gotham City. Nothing good can be said of the Penguin as Cheney.

    Hell, Dick doesn’t even need makeup to pull off the role. I’ve always been fascinated by his corner of the mouth sneer. He also talks out of the same too in hushed, swallowed, tones no different than a yard bird at Ft. Leavenworth or any other “big house” situation. He’ll do just fine with his back against the wall, eyes darting left and right with him giving instructions to prison cutouts from the corner of his mouth…no?! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  8. bryan mcclellan

    Pardon me Carl but don’t forget the most influential of those among us;
    Our Scofflowettes who bear our existence by bearing the children.

    Dare I say with every legal means, we will all regain our country and our souls not by the mirage of wars finality, but from a firm and honest grasp of the journey by two one legged men/women with one pair of shoes and the path they walked together as equals.

  9. Carl Nemo

    Bryan, I dare say that I do not see our government being changed within the laws of the land, but only through outright, old fashioned revolution in the end. Our government is not only terminally corrupt but has become the enemy of the people, their tenure indemnified by the power of the MIC along with a nationwide militarized police force all armed with an inordinate number of “killtoys” to unleash against a recalcitrant, stiff-necked citizenry. It’s too bad most of our homes aren’t made of stone, brick etc. as in third world regions, they make far better cover in a firefight. Stick-built crackerboxes regardless of their price don’t hold up well to chain gun fire.


    “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.” …George Bernard Shaw


    Carl Nemo **==

  10. hologram5

    Can we really trust this blood sucking vampire to say anything that is truthful? I find that highly dubious.

    To Boldly Go…
    Anywhere there is sanity…