Murray Waas

Recent Articles

Exclusive: Plame Game Over?

The special prosecutor investigating whether any Bush administration official may have violated federal law by leaking the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak recently informed a federal court that his investigation has been “for all practical purposes complete” since October 2004. The disclosure by special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that he completed virtually all aspects of his federal grand jury investigation as long as six months ago was made in court papers the prosecutor filed on March 22. Despite the fact that the filing has been on the public record since then, it has previously been unreported. Fitzgerald made the disclosure in explaining why he considered the testimony of reporters for The New York Times and Time magazine so essential to his inquiry. Reporters Judith Miller of the Times and Matthew Cooper of Time have already been found to be in contempt of court for refusing to testify before the special prosecutor's grand jury. Attorneys for...

Curveballs to Congress

Comment Upon a first reading, the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigatory report on Iraq seems certain to be a document of seminal and historical import; even in the present day, it may transcend our penchant for 24-hour news cycles, our increasingly truncated attention spans, and our capacity to be inured to any new disclosure of deception by our government. That is because, simply, the magnitude of the deception recorded therein may have led the nation to fight a war it might otherwise not have fought had the truth been known. The Senate report concludes that every rationale advanced by President George W. Bush -- before the American people; before the Congress that authorized him to go to war; and before the international community, most notably in the February 5, 2003, address by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the United Nations Security Council -- was based on either faulty or exaggerated intelligence, outright fraud, or deception. In some instances, if the report is...

Ashcroft's Interest

Attorney General John Ashcroft received numerous detailed briefings last year regarding the criminal investigation of the unauthorized disclosure of a CIA agent's identity, during which he was told specific information relating to the potential culpability of several close political associates in the Bush administration, according to senior federal law-enforcement sources. Among other things, the sources said, Ashcroft was provided extensive details of an FBI interview of Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's chief political advisor. The two men have enjoyed a close relationship ever since Rove advised the Attorney General during the course of three of Ashcroft's political campaigns. The briefings for Ashcroft were conducted by Christopher Wray, a political appointee in charge of the Justice Department's criminal division, and John Dion, a 30-year career prosecutor who was in charge of the investigation at the time. Neither Wray nor Dion returned phone calls seeking comment for this...

Plugging Leaks

President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told the FBI in an interview last October that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists, according to a government official and an attorney familiar with the ongoing special counsel's investigation of the matter. But Rove also adamantly insisted to the FBI that he was not the administration official who leaked the information that Plame was a covert CIA operative to conservative columnist Robert Novak last July. Rather, Rove insisted, he had only circulated information about Plame after it had appeared in Novak's column. He also told the FBI, the same sources said, that circulating the information was a legitimate means to counter what he claimed was politically motivated criticism of the Bush administration by Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Rove and other White House officials described to...

Plame Gate

Two government officials have told the FBI that conservative columnist Robert Novak was asked specifically not to publish the name of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame in his now-famous July 14 newspaper column. The two officials told investigators they warned Novak that by naming Plame he might potentially jeopardize her ability to engage in covert work, stymie ongoing intelligence operations, and jeopardize sensitive overseas sources. These new accounts, provided by a current and former administration official close to the situation, directly contradict public statements made by Novak. He has downplayed his own knowledge about the potential harm to Plame and ongoing intelligence operations by making that disclosure. He has also claimed in various public statements that intelligence officials falsely led him to believe that Plame was only an analyst, and the only potential consequences of her exposure as a CIA officer would be that she might be inconvenienced in her foreign...

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