There can be no doubt after multiple witnesses and now audio recordings from Libby himself that the White House was hopping mad about Joe Wilson’s assertion that the administration cherry-picked intelligence to make the case for war. On the tapes, Libby describes the vice president as “upset” and “disturbed” over what he considered a political assault.
Vice President Cheney and other senior White House officials regarded a former ambassador’s accusations that President Bush misled the nation in going to war in Iraq as an unparalleled political assault and, early in the summer of 2003, held daily discussions about how to debunk them, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby told a federal grand jury.
In grand jury audiotapes played yesterday during Libby’s perjury trial, the vice president’s then-chief of staff said Cheney had been “upset” and “disturbed” by criticisms from former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV that Bush had twisted intelligence to justify the war. And Libby said that Karl Rove had been “animated” by a conversation with Robert D. Novak, in which the conservative columnist told Rove he “had a bad taste in his mouth” about Wilson and was writing a column about him.