Neo-crazy media sycophant Judith Miller of the New York Times, an "embedded" reporter in Bush’s war of aggression against Iraq and in the subsequent futile hunt for the weapons of mass destruction she had frequently reported Saddam Hussein had is currently embedded in jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury.
On July 6, 2003, the New York Times published an op-ed piece by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson in which he claimed to have been sent to Niger in early 2002 by the Central Intelligence Agency in response to inquiries from Vice President Cheney to investigate whether Iraq had recently been seeking to purchase uranium from Niger. Wilson claimed that he had conducted the requested investigation and reported on his return that there was no credible evidence that any such effort had been made.
President Bush had gone to Congress in September 2002 seeking “specific statutory authorization” to invade Iraq. Bush based his case on the just-completed top-secret national intelligence estimate (NIE) of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs, which was presumably informed by Wilson’s report.
According to Bush, the NIE contained positive proof that Saddam had been reconstructing his nuke and chem-bio programs in the several years since the end of inspections by the UN Special Commission
Now, on Dec. 16, 1998, Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, had made this final assessment of Iraq’s nuclear programs:
There were no indications to suggest that Iraq was successful in its attempt to produce nuclear weapons.
Iraq was at, or close to, the threshold of success in such areas as the production of HEU through the EMIS process, the production and pilot cascading of single-cylinder sub-critical gas centrifuge machines, and the fabrication of the explosive package for a nuclear weapon.
There were no indications to suggest that Iraq had produced more than a few grams of weapons-grade nuclear material through its indigenous processes.
There were no indications that Iraq had otherwise clandestinely acquired weapons-usable material.
There were no indications that there remained in Iraq any physical capability for the production of amounts of weapons-usable nuclear material of any practical significance.
Hence, when Bush "determined" on March 19 that no “further diplomatic or other peaceful means will adequately protect the national security of the United States from the continuing threat posed by Iraq," most of us assumed Bush and our intelligence community had discovered that Saddam had somehow managed to acquire nukes.
However, in his January 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush merely stated: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
Nevertheless, Bush, Cheney, and Condi Rice all began warning of the need to divest Saddam of "the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”
Well, we learned from the IAEA just weeks before Bush invaded Iraq that the "documentary evidence" that Saddam had sought to buy uranium-oxide (yellowcake) from Niger were "blatant forgeries." Now, just weeks after Bush invaded Iraq, Wilson was telling us that high-level officials of the Bush-Cheney administration had known the accusation was baseless for more than a year before the invasion.
In particular, the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) which had been set up in 2002 to plan public statements and to control such high-level leaks about the upcoming war knew that. So, WHIG apparently swung into action, trying to make "Democrat" Wilson and his CIA covert-agent wife the issue, rather than the revelation that the White House had knowingly made false statements to us and their media sycophants.
Well, two years later, that and perhaps other WHIG activities in the prelude to and immediate aftermath of Bush’s war of aggression against Iraq may be in the cross-hairs of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald
How else to explain Judge Tatel’s opinion, which contained nine redacted pages presumably highly classified of what Prosecutor Fitzgerald has determined a person or persons, unknown, leaked to neo-crazy media sycophant Judith Miller. Quoth the judge:
"Were the leak at issue in this case less harmful to national security or more vital to public debate, or had the special counsel failed to demonstrate the grand jury’s need for the reporters’ evidence, I might have supported the motion to quash.
"Because identifying appellants’ sources instead appears essential to remedying a serious breach of public trust, I join in affirming the district court’s orders compelling their testimony."