By David Edwards on 5/17/2006, 7:33am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of

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Hidden amongst the smoke and mirrors of Bush's plan to boost sinking poll numbers, pander to his base enact immigration reform, the media largely missed revelations that Vice President Dick Cheney has been directly implicated in the CIA leak case.

MSNBC's Countdown managed to sneak in this short report about the new details of Cheney's involvement. My apologies for not posting this video sooner but the issue is still relevant and deserves further scrutiny.

A recent court filing by Patrick Fitzgerald includes Cheney's handwritten notes on a copy of Joe Wilson's July 6, 2003 New York Times op-ed. According to Fitzgerald, the handwritten notes show "the contemporaneous reaction of the vice president". In his notes, Cheney writes talking points that are later leaked to the press and used to smear Joe Wilson.

Christy Harden Smith of Firedoglake writes,

At the time that Cheney is writing these margin notes, he has already been informed of the answers to these questions --- so the big question becomes, are these Dick's talking points --- his marching orders to Scooter and others --- as to what the Administration's push-back on Wilson ought to be? And if so, doesn't it sound awfully familiar in terms of what was said to Judy Miller, Matt Cooper, and Bob Novak, at a minimum?

I don't need to tell all of you that this is potentially HUGE.

In an interview on MSNBC, Richard Wolfe of Newsweek, went even further by leaving no doubt that Cheney's notes on Wilson's opinion article were actually "an order" directing his staff to push Cheney's loaded questions to friendly journalists...

OLBERMANN: There's a timeline problem now, isn't there? I mean, the prosecution said that the vice president and Mr. Libby had started putting together this full workup on Joe Wilson trip and that started in the middle of June 2003 and that's a couple of weeks before the op-ed was published. The ambassador [Joe Wilson] was supposed to be shopping [the op-ed] around. Why would Mr. Cheney be jotting down questions on the printed copy of the article... when he was supposed to have already known the answer to those questions?

WOLFE: Because the questions are an order. He's prompting his own staff to go and spin those lines. In fact, that's some of the language --- the "junket" language --- was exactly what was spun out to reports about the op-ed, about Joe Wilson. So, its' not so much a question to be answered, it's a question to be put out there to particularly favored reporters and columnist. And that's exactly what's happened. That the conspiracy here and I expect that's why people like Libby were trying to cover it up. Because they knew this was a smear tactic.

Emptywheel of The Next Hurrah has compiled a list of Cheney's smoking guns. Jeralyn at TalkLeft suggests that Rove may be providing evidence againse Cheney.