Monday, October 17, 2005

WHIG and Dick: Targets from the Start?

With reports last week from Raw Story and WSJ that Dick Cheney may be a target of Fitzgerald's investigation, there has been much attention on the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) .
As ReddHedd of firedoglake says.....
You see the term WHIG thrown all over the blogosphere these days, hear the pundits say the words "White House Iraq Group," and you wonder -- what the hell is that all about, anyway?
What has changed at this juncture is the fact that Patrick Fitzgerald appears to be turning his laser gaze to this group as a whole -- and not just to its members Karl Rove and Scooter Libby....

I think it should be remembered that the WHIG notes were given over to the Justice Dept long before Fitzgerald was brought on the case. Murray Waas reported in July,2004 that......

In addition, sources said, Ashcroft received a briefing regarding copious notes maintained by I. Lewis Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. The notes, later turned over to investigators, detailed the inner workings of the White House Iraq Group.

In fact the WHIG notes played a major role in Fitzgerald's appointment. Again from Waas....

A federal law-enforcement official said that "there was serious discussion at the highest levels of the Justice Department" as to whether it was "proper" or a "good idea" for Ashcroft to receive briefings not only regarding what Rove had told the FBI, but also what other evidence existed, such as Libby's notes, that might corroborate or contradict Rove's account.
The briefings for Ashcroft abruptly came to a halt last December, several officials said in interviews, when Ashcroft, bowing to political pressure from congressional Democrats and responding to concerns raised by career Justice Department officials, named a special counsel to take over the Plame investigation.

It appears that the WHIG group has been a focus and perhaps the driving force of Fitzgerald's investigation from its genesis. Given that Libby took "copious notes" of WHIG meetings and that "some of those notes described efforts to discredit Wilson by the White House Iraq Group", the possible involvement of WHIG members in Plame's outing must have been a focus of investigators approximately 2 years ago likely seeking who in WHIG may have been involved and to what extent? Given WHIG "operated out of the Vice President’s office" I think it could be argued Dick Cheney has been a potential target from the inception of Fitzgerald's investigation. We are just learning of it now.

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