Water Man Spouts

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stephen Hadley & the Plame Scandal

{1} "I've also seen press reports from White House officials saying I am not one of his sources. .... It is what it is." -- Stephen Hadley's non-answer to journalists asking if he was Bob Woodward's source on Valerie Plame's identification, 11-'05.

When the news that Bob Woodward had known about Valerie Plame approximately a week before Lewis Libby told Judith Miller, administration supporters claimed this could destroy the case being made by Patrick Fitzgerald. Surely, there could have been no conspiracy to out Plame as a CIA operative if Bob Woodward of Watergate fame was involved. However, as soon as the question was asked, "Who told Woodward?", things went downhill for the administration.

The majority of media sources reported that Woodward's source was unknown. They speculated who it might not be, and flashed Dick Armitage's photo on the tv screen, but very few sources reported who actually told Woodward about Valerie Plame.

However, the Sunday Times reporters Michael Smith and Sarah Baxter reported that lawyers close to the case said that Stephen Hadley was Woodward's source. They noted a NSC spokesperson denied that Hadley was involved. Raw Story's Larisa Alexandrovna and Jason Leopold also reported that Hadley was indeed Woodward's source; they based their report on attorneys connected to the case, and an intelligence source.

Woodward has joined Judith Miller in the journalists who have betrayed their co-workers and the public. They deserve the contempt of everyone who is concerned about the Bush administration's outing of a covert CIA agent. It is important, though, to focus as well on the man who exposed Valerie Plame's identity to Bob Woodward.

{2} "To say that a security policy based on nuclear weapons was 'irresponsibile' and 'immoral' from the outset is to accuse the United States government of pursuing a policy that was irresponsible and immoral. Such serious and false accusations against a democratic government destroys public confidence in our constitution and our leaders."
--Stephen Hadley; Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law

This little quote from Mr. Hadley may surprise some readers who are not familiar with him, beyond the rather mild and unassuming fellow seen a bit more frequently since Scooter Libby was indicted. But that is pure Hadley, a man who was advocating that the U.S. be prepared to use nuclear weapons against Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. Hadley felt we could take no chances with a mad man like Saddam, and was convinced that Iraq's WMDs were reason to strike the Iraqi capital city with a nuclear weapon .... for security's sake.

President Bush1 opted for a more sane policy, however, and did not invade Iraq, much less conduct a nuclear strike on Baghdad. However, there remained a group of people within the Bush1 administration who were still convinced that Saddam's WMDs were a threat to our national security. In my last essay, I wrote about Dick Cheney, and traced his relationship first with Donald Rumsfeld, and then the two's association with the "neoconservatives" who came to power in the Bush2 administration. Stephen Hadley is a central player in this.

In a June 12, 2003 article in the New York Review of Books, Elizabeth Drew noted that Hadley was one of two "principal allies" of VP Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby's core group. The other was John Bolton. Hadley had been associated with these people for decades. He was also a co-worker and close friend of Elliot Abrams, who pled guilty to lying to Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal.

{3} "The challenges facing our great country, from within and from without, demand that 'we, the people' scrutinize with utmost care anyone who would be so bold as to ask to shoulder the colossal task of leading the United States of America."
-- Senator Robert Byrd; Losing America; 2004; page 18.

Let's take a look at some of the history of this quiet workaholic, who Dick Cheney learned to rely upon in the Bush1 administration. Hadley was a graduate of Yale in 1972. From there, he became an analyst for the Department of defense in the Nixon administration, from 1972-74.

From 1974 to '77, he was a member of the NSC under President Ford. He would then be connected to Shea & Gardner, a law firm representing Lockheed and Martin. There he was closely associated with James Woolsey. Hadley would also serve on the National Security Advisary Panel to the Director of the CIA.

In 1986-87, Hadley was a counsel for the Tower Commission, investigating the illegal sale of arms to Iran. Considering his close personal friendship with Elliot Abrams, among others, one might question if Hadley should have recognized a possibility -- however slight -- that he might not be entirely objective.

From 1989 to 1993, Hadley served Dick Cheney in the Defense Department in the Bush1 administration. His title was Assistant Secretary for International Security Policy. In my essay on Cheney, I noted that Dick was not among the founding members of the neocon movement; rather, like Rumsfeld, he would become closely associated with them in the 1980s, bringing his ability as a "systems man" who fronted for the oil and defense industries. Hadley, as we see, was among the neocons with an intelligence background, who schooled Cheney.

{4} "It was getting a little too heated for the kind of meeting Steve Hadley liked to chair ...."
-- Richard Clarke; Against All Enemies; 2004; page 232.

The NSC's counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke would brief a number of the in-coming Bush2 officials about the threat posed to the USA by al Qaeda. Among those that he and Sandy Berger would meet with were Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, and Stephen Hadley. Clarke has told of his attempts to focus the new administration on Usama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

In part, Clarke asked Hadley, who he had been friends with since the Bush1 administration, to call meetings of cabinet-level principals. This led to what was known as the "deputies group," which included Hadley and Paul Wolfowitz,Dick Armitage, John McLaughlin, and Scooter Libby. From the beginning, Wolfowitz disagreed strongly with Clarke and Armitage's belief that al Qaeda was the greatest threat to US security, at home and abroad. Wolfowitz would start a number of arguments, stating that too much attention was being paid to bin Laden, and not enough to Saddam and Iraq.

It was in these meetings that Hadley would attempt to find a compromise. Hadley noted there was a "cluster" of hot-spots in the Middle East, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and also India's selling weapons to potential enemies of the USA.

Between 5-31 and 7-26-01, the deputies group met four times to discuss a "phased strategy" for dealing with Iraq. It included the no fly zones; economic pressures; and support of opposition groups within the country. It did not make any plans for regime change, which was clearly Wolfowitz's goal.

When Hadley testified before the 9-11 Commission, he stated that he did not believe that Rice and he had the job of coordinating domestic agencies before the 9-11 attacks.

{5} "Hadley saw the process as makeshift. 'Come as you are.' They were making it up as they went." -- Bob Woodward; Bush At War; page 182

Hadley worked closely with Donald Rumsfeld on the war in Afghanistan. In the book "Bush At War," it is also evident that Hadley had a close relationship with author Bob Woodward. Hadley explained to Woodward that he felt Rumsfeld was frustrated by a lack of communication and coordination with the CIA. Hadley spoke about his beliefs to his boss, Condi Rice, who advised him to approach Rumsfeld. Hadley felt that Rumsfeld should take a more direct approach to CIA director Tenet. Woodward's text indicates a manipulative, behind-the-scenes approach by Hadley.

Part of Hadley's other responsibilities in the Bush1 administration included working closely with Michael Gerson, a presidential speech writer. Gerson had been with Bush since he was the governor of Texas. A self-desribed "evangelical Christian," Gerson felt that Bush was destined to play a central role in American politics, and he wanted to be part of what he believed was God's will.

An example of Hadley and Gerson's work is the infamous "Axis of Evil" speech. Gerson had started with "axis of hatred," which Hadley molded to "axis of evil." There was pressure from the neocon forces to focus on Iraq; others advocated including others, so that it would not be as obvious that the administration was planning to attack Saddam. Hadley did not want to include Iran, because he believed that the US would use the progressive influence of people like Ahmad Chalabi to change Iranian politics. The president insisted on including Iran with the other two.

Hadley's thoughts on the correct way to use the CIA, and his speech-writing skills, would continue to play a significant role when the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq.

{6} "I don't know where the neocons came from .... Somehow, the neocons captured the president. They captured the vice president."
-- General Anthony Zinni, USMC (ret.); Centcom Commander, 1998-2000

Stephan Hadley was connected to three groups that were involved in the Iraqi invasion. The first, known as the Executive Steering Group (ESG), was geared for integrated coordination of efforts on Iraq. Hadley selected Frank Miller of the NSC to head up the group. Miller, a former Navy officer, had worked at Defense for Dick Cheney in the past. Woodward, of course, has a Naval intelligence "background."

Hadley also worked closely with Douglas Feith, who ran the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans (OSP). Feith did intelligence evaluations for Hadley and Scooter Libby. From James Bamford's "A Pretext for War," (page 317), we know that Feith had set a goal of not simply showing the administration "how to fight Saddam Hussein, but also how to fight the NSC, the State Department, and the intelligence community ...", indeed, anyone who doubted that Saddam was the greatest terrorist threat in the world.

Hadley was the individual who convinced Dick Cheney that Mohamed Atta met in the Czech Republic with an Iraqi intelligence officer before 9-11, even though this theory was discredited. Hadley had gone to CIA HQs to attempt to find links between Iraq, WMD production, and terrorists. He was, with men like Feith, Libby, and Bolton, among those who convinced Cheney and Rumsfeld that the OSP intelligence was superior to the CIA's or State Department's.

When President Bush was preparing an address for Cincinnati on 10-7-02, CIA Director Tenet sent Hadley two e-mails, followed up by a phone call, specifically telling him to remove the Niger yellow cake reference.

A week later, Joseph Wilson had an op-ed on Saddam in the San Jose Mercury News. Brent Scrowcroft reportedly took a copy to the White House, where he shared it with Condi Rice and Stephen Hadley. The following spring, Rice would deny that anyone near her was aware of Wilson, his mission to Niger, or the concerns about the yellow cake. She first attempted to blame Tenet, and soon blamed Hadley, for this being in Bush's State of the Union Speech.

Hadley was among the members of the WHIG that met in VP Cheney's office from March of 2003 onward, preparing a "work-up" on Wilson.

{6} "The devil begins with froth on the lips of an angel entering into battle for a holy and just cause." -- Grigory Pomerants; dissident Russian philosopher; (from Patrick Buchanan's "Where the Right Went Wrong.")

This essay provides information on Stephen Hadley. Keep it in mind as Patrick Fitzgerald goes foreward with his investigation of the Plame scandal.

1 Comments:

At December 7, 2006 at 10:40 AM, Blogger Ed said...

Waterman,

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