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10.17.2005

Big trouble in little DC 

It looks like the probe into the Valerie Plame outing may be the crack that breaks the Bush administration's corruption wide open.

Remember it was the Whitewater investigation that led to Bill Clinton's messy wet facial with the chubby intern, which in turn led to impeachment for lying under oath. Lying under oath, we were told by conservative radio talk show hosts, was about the worst thing a person could do, other than get a blowjob from a fat unpaid volunteer.

It is beginning to look like the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame may be the intro into much more devious acts by the Bush administration.

Evidence is building that the probe conducted by Patrick Fitzgerald, special prosecutor, has extended beyond the leaking of a covert CIA agent's name to include questioning about the administration's handling of pre-Iraq war intelligence.

From The Financial Times

According to the Democratic National Committee, a majority of the nine members of the White House Iraq Group have been questioned by Mr Fitzgerald. The team, which included senior national security officials, was created in August 2002 to “educate the public” about the risk posed by weapons of mass destruction on Iraq.

Mr Fitzgerald, who has been applauded for conducting a leak-free inquiry, has said little publicly about his 22-month probe, other than that it is about the “potential retaliation against a whistleblower”, Joseph Wilson. After Mr Wilson, a former ambassador, went public with doubts about the evidence that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons, the name of his wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA official, was leaked to reporters.

The prosecutor has given no indication whether he will charge anyone in the case. At the weekend Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter jailed for 85 days after refusing to testify, provided new details about the scope of Mr Fitzgerald's investigation. She was asked “repeatedly” how Lewis “Scooter” Libby, chief of staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney, “handled classified information”.

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