Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Libby trial prosecutors reveal pre-war battle over Iraq WMDs

Prosecutors in the trial for former White House aide I. Lewis Libby revealed some details on the Bush Administration's "pre-war battle" over Iraq's WMDs, according to MSNBC.

Former Under-Secretary of State Mark Grossman testified that he received a request from Libby at the end of May in 2003 asking for information about Ambassador Joe Wilson's trip to Africa in which he found there was no evidence that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger, MSNBC's David Shuster reported.

Grossman testified it was just two weeks later when he had a face-to-face meeting with Libby, Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff and Assistant to the Vice President for National Security at the time, and told him, in so many words, "look, here's a report on Joe Wilson's trip and, by the way, we've learned that the ambassador's wife , Valerie Wilson, she is undercover at the CIA," Shuster continued.

In the pre-war arguments, many State Department workers had huge problems with the nuclear case that the Bush Administration had made against Iraq. That came up and was significant because at the time the Administration and former Secretary of State Colin Powell were putting up a united front, Shuster added.

At firedoglake, blogger emptywheel is "live-blogging" the trial, and relates that the judge mentioned a potential juror problem.

"We have a problem with one juror who for the first time has indicated that she has a problem being here for the length of the trial," Judge Walton said, according to emptywheel's rough transcription. "Her employer will only pay her for 10 days of the trial. I don't know why she didn't tell us this previously, but we'll just have to see."



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