Obama Justice Dept. Wants to Keep Cheney CIA Leak Interview Secret for 5-10 Years

Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby

Continuing to argue that former Vice President Dick Cheney’s interview with prosecutors in the Valerie Plame leak case should not be publicized, the Obama administration pleaded with a federal judge last week to keep the transcript locked away for the next five to ten years. The Department of Justice’s argument all along has been that revealing Cheney’s words would “chill” other government officials from coming forward in future investigations.

It may turn out, however, that the details of Cheney’s conversation with special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may be equally chilling if they reveal the conspiracy to expose the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame involved not only the vice president, but the commander-and-chief as well. In fighting the release of the transcript, the Obama administration has indicated that President George W. Bush and Cheney discussed the scandal in a “confidential conversation.”
Judge Emmet Sullivan has reportedly been skeptical of the government’s argument for keeping the interview a secret. But even if he does reject the Justice Department’s rationale, he has said he will stay his own ruling so that government lawyers can appeal the decision to a higher court, thus keeping the transcript hidden for the immediate future.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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