In today’s New York Times an anonymous source reveals that Cheney was directly involved in the strategy to discredit former ambassador Joe Wilson:
A lawyer who knows Mr. Libby’s account said the administration efforts to limit the damage from Mr. Wilson’s criticism extended as high as Mr. Cheney. This lawyer and others who spoke about the case asked that they not be identified because of grand jury secrecy rules.
On July 12, 2003, four days after his initial conversation with Ms. Miller, Mr. Libby consulted with Mr. Cheney about how to handle inquiries from journalists about the vice president’s role in sending Mr. Wilson to Africa in early 2002 to investigate reports that Iraq was trying acquire nuclear material there for its weapons program, the person said.
This is an effort by the White House to reveal more details about Cheney’s role on their own terms. The information was leaked to the New York Times on Saturday, the day when the fewest number of people read the paper. Also, it is presented in a way that makes Cheney’s involvement sound innocuous as possible.
Now, when more details about Cheney’s involvement are released by the special prosecutor or another source, the administration can dismiss it as “old news.” Remember, the first details about Karl Rove’s role were released by his own lawyer.
Nevertheless, the fact that this scandal reaches all the way to the Vice President – at a minimum – is very big news.
“Federal auditors said on Friday that the Bush administration violated the law by buying favorable news coverage of President Bush’s education policies, by making payments to the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams.”