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More questions than answers

March 08, 2007

Re "Libby's guilt in CIA leak case a setback for the White House," March 7

For five years, the standard White House response to any question involving the CIA leak case has been that it is inappropriate to comment on investigations in progress. Now that the investigation and trial are over, it is time for the White House to comment.

Valerie Plame was a covert CIA operative working on nuclear proliferation issues in the Middle East. The American people have a right to know what effect outing her had on our national security and the war on terrorism, and we deserve an answer from President Bush to the following questions:

Was Plame's identity intentionally leaked by the administration to retaliate against her husband, Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV?

Who authorized the leak?

Why wasn't the responsible administration official(s) fired?

How has this leak affected our national security and ability to gather information about the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East?

The only way Bush will answer these questions is for the news media to directly ask him. Leaking Plame's identity may or may not have been legal, but it was at least questionable from a national security perspective. I urge you to continue pressing Bush for answers to these important questions.

IRA PULVERMAN

Lake Forest

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It is indeed great that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, has finally gone down. He subverted our American way of life, attacked the foundations of a liberal democracy and spit on our Constitution. Perhaps, however, he was just taking the fall for the likes of Cheney and presidential advisor Karl Rove. I wouldn't put it past them.

ADAM OLSON

Morris, Minn.

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The Libby verdict just goes to show once again that if you stand too close to Cheney, you are going to get hurt.

W.L. SIBLEY

Northridge

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Re "Talk floats of a possible pardon," March 7

It is laughable for The Times to suggest that a pardon for Libby might undermine Bush's credibility. What credibility?

BRUCE R. FELDMAN

Santa Monica

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Re "Libby's fibs," editorial, March 7

Your editorial leaves out perhaps the most important reason the verdict failed to satisfy: It let Cheney walk. Only a fool would think that the vice president could not have been entirely in control of the attempt to discredit Wilson. He was determined to justify the invasion of Iraq and wasn't going to let a nettlesome report that didn't fit his needs derail his plans. The manipulation of prewar intelligence was necessary to sell the plan of the neoconservatives, and he was the high priest of the group.

This trial was not about Libby lying to the grand jury but about Cheney's attempt to take us to war no matter who was trampled in the process.

Cheney should resign, but that would be a bigger fantasy than the weapons of mass destruction.

JAY SLATER

Beverly Hills

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