22 Things Dick Cheney Can't Recall About the Plame Case
Notes from former Vice President Dick Cheney's interview with the FBI about the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson's covert CIA identity were finally released on Friday afternoon after a lengthy legal battle. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued the Justice Department last year to obtain the interview notes; a judge finally ordered their release on October 1. In the interview, Cheney demonstrated a behavior common among Bush administration officials under investigation: he couldn't remember much of anything. Here's a non-comprehensive list of 22 things Dick Cheney claimed he couldn't recall about the Plame case, in the order they appear in the FBI's notes:
- 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.
- If Libby told him that Libby was not Novak's source.
- Libby telling him how he first learned that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert CIA operative.
- Whether he told Libby that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert CIA operative.
- Waving off Libby when Libby offered to tell him everything he knew about the Wilson matter.
- Anyone on his staff, including Libby, ever meeting with Judith Miller during the week of July 7, 2003.
- Having a conversation with Libby during which Libby said he wanted to share the judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate with Judith Miller.
- Whether Libby told him that certain material in the NIE had to be declassified before it could be shared.
For an interview conducted around a year after the events in question, the Vice President seems to have forgotten a lot, including one very crucial detail: whether he told Libby about Valerie Plame Wilson.