A new account of the CIA leak scandal rocking the White House suggests top US presidential aides were seriously concerned about a dissident faction inside the US spy agency that appeared to work even behind the back of the CIA director to debunk the notion Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
The first-hand account, delivered yesterday by Judith Miller, a New York Times reporter at the center of the leak story, cast a new light on the byzantine world of Washington politics rife with political intrigue, backstabbing and career-ruining retribution for expressing an opposing view.
Miller spent 58 days in jail earlier this year for refusing to talk to a special prosecutor about her three 2003 interviews with Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, whose name is often mentioned in connection with the illegal leaking to the media of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
Her name was first disclosed in July 2003 by conservative columnist Robert Novak following her husband Joseph Wilson's mission to Niger the previous year, during which the former US ambassador to that African nation tried to verify reports that Iraq was secretly trying to purchase uranium ore there.
After failing to find any evidence of that, Wilson wrote a newspaper article, in which he accused the Bush administration of "exaggerating the Iraqi threat" in order to justify the war.
Miller said the article "appeared to have agitated Mr. Libby," who referred to Wilson as a "clandestine guy."
He added that the CIA "took it upon itself to try and figure out more" about the uranium allegations without informing either the White House or its own director, the journalist recalled.
All in all, Libby was concerned the CIA was engaged in a "perverted war" over the war in Iraq and resorted to "selective leaking" of information to drive its point home, according to the report.
He believed the CIA was "backpedaling on the intelligence leading to war," Miller said.
IF THE CHIPS ARE DOWN: The US secretary of state warned that a disruption to the supply of Taiwanese semiconductors would play havoc with the global economy If Taiwan were attacked, the global economy would face devastation, as that is where most of the world’s semiconductors are produced, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday. In an interview that aired on the 60 Minutes television program, Blinken was asked whether instability across the Taiwan Strait would be felt around the world. Blinken said that China has been increasingly aggressive against Taiwan, posing a threat to peace and stability in the region, while economically the world would feel the effects of such aggression. Blinken was interviewed for the program after meeting with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi
‘ABSURD’: UN Resolution 2758 expelled the Chiang Kai-Shek government without mentioning Taipei, something the Chinese minister did not acknowledge, Taipei said Taiwan yesterday criticized Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) for “intentionally misinterpreting” a 1971 UN resolution to misrepresent Taiwan’s status to the global community. In his address on Saturday to the UN General Assembly, Wang cited Resolution 2758 as a basis for Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China. He said that Beijing considers Taiwan an “inseparable part of China’s territory since ancient times.” “Only when China is completely reunified can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait... Any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history,” Wang said. General Assembly Resolution 2758
MORE ARRIVALS ALLOWED: Taiwan yesterday increased its cap on arrivals to 60,000 from 50,000 ahead of a full border opening with a weekly cap of 150,000 on Oct. 13 Travelers arriving in Taiwan from Oct. 13 would no longer be required to quarantine on arrival and visitors of all nationalities would be allowed to enter, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced yesterday. However, the number of arrivals would be capped at 150,000 per week, he added. Travelers aged two or older would be given four rapid antigen COVID-19 test kits on arrival and be asked to monitor their health for seven days, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told a news conference. Under the new arrival protocol, travelers would have to take a test on the day of arrival or the day after, followed
The UK is determined to work with its allies to ensure that Taiwan can defend itself, British Prime Minister Liz Truss said on Sunday, a pledge that drew expressions of gratitude from Taipei. “What I’ve been clear about is that all of our allies need to make sure Taiwan is able to defend itself, and that is very, very important,” Truss said in a CNN interview, when asked whether the UK was willing to match the US’ pledge last week to defend Taiwan militarily in the event of an attack by China. Truss said her government was working with its G7 allies,