Is Cheney Blocking Rice's Testimony on Yellowcake Hoax?
June 19, 2007 (LPAC)--Despite having been served with a subpoena, Secretary of State Condi Rice is still refusing to testify in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the Niger yellowcake hoax and how the infamous "16 words" got into the President's 2003 State of the Union Address. Rice was President Bush's National Security Advisor at the time, and frequently trumpeted Vice President Dick Cheney's propaganda line that Saddam Hussein was on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons.
Rice's appearance before the committee has been scheduled a number of times, including for today, with the White House stalling, and even using the excuse of Rice's trip to Moscow, to postpone her appearance. Observers believe that it is Dick Cheney who is insisting that the White House refuse to permit Rice to testify. The next step would be for the full House of Representatives to vote to find Rice in contempt of Congress.
Committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman disclosed last week that committee investigators are continuing to interview witnesses and examine documents relative to the Iraq/Niger claim. In recent weeks, the committee has taken depositions or conducted interviews of former CIA Director George Tenet, Tenet's deputy John McLaughlin, and former CIA anti-proliferation official Alan Foley; plus retired Army Col. Larry Wilkerson (Colin Powell's former chief of staff); and the former head of State Department intelligence, Carl Ford.
The Hill reports that committee member Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) also wants to talk to Rocco Martino, the shadowy Italian businessman who allegedly passed the forged Niger documents to an Italian journalist.