WASHINGTON — Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative.
In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, McClellan recounts the 2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby were “not involved” in the leak involving operative Valerie Plame.
“There was one problem. It was not true,” McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. “I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president’s chief of staff and the president himself.”
The excerpt of the book, “What Happened,” was posted on the Web site of publisher PublicAffairs.
Plame maintains the White House quietly outed her to reporters. Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, said the leak was retribution for his public criticism of the Iraq war.
@3. Headline News Briefs 14 no:Justices take up D.C. gun case
The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide whether the District of Columbia can ban handguns, a case that could produce the most in-depth examination of the constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” in nearly 70 years. City officials said the law is designed to reduce gun violence, noting that four out of every five homicides this year was committed with a gun.
@3. Headline News Briefs 14 no:FDA probes anti-smoking drug
Government scientists are investigating whether a Pfizer Inc. drug used to help smokers quit cigarettes also increases suicidal thoughts and violent behavior. The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday said it has received reports of mood disorders and erratic behavior among patients taking Chantix, Pfizer’s prescription drug used to help quit smoking.
@3. Headline News Briefs 14 no:Mideast peace talks scheduled
The Bush administration said Tuesday it will inaugurate peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians next week. Organizers said the meeting will take place Monday through Wednesday in Washington and at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., but said it was too soon to know which of the 49 invited nations and organizations would attend.
Utah: Collapsed mine is sealed
The Crandall Canyon coal mine where six workers were entombed after a thunderous collapse has been sealed, leaving expensive mining machinery inside, federal regulators said Tuesday. The miners were trapped in a cave-in Aug. 6. Ten days later, another collapse killed three people and injured six others trying to dig their way toward the trapped men.
Iowa: Bin floods home with corn
A grain bin in Hillsboro collapsed and sent a tidal wave of corn into a home, sweeping it off its foundation, trapping a family of four and shaking the ground for miles. The bin — about 100 feet in diameter, 90 feet high and containing more than 500,000 bushels of corn — collapsed Monday evening. The force of the grain broke the walls of Jesse and Jennifer Kellett’s home and sent the roof crashing down. The Kelletts and their children, Jordan Walter, 11, and Sheyanne Walter, 9, were trapped. Jennifer Kellett and her daughter crawled out, but her husband and 11-year-old son had to be rescued.
Wyoming: Yellowstone snowmobiles
Snowmobile travel in Yellowstone National Park will be restricted to 540 trips per day starting in the winter of 2008-09, the National Park Service decided Tuesday.
China: Dalai Lama’s successor
The Dalai Lama says he may appoint a successor or rely on an election before his death in a break with tradition, a Japanese newspaper reported Tuesday, following recent orders that China must approve Tibet’s spiritual leaders. According to centuries of Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the search for the reincarnation of spiritual leaders, or lamas — including the Dalai Lama — has been carried out by Tibetan monks following the leaders’ deaths.
Netherlands: Anne Frank tree
The chestnut tree that gave Anne Frank a link to the outside world while she hid from the Nazis won a reprieve Tuesday when a judge ordered Amsterdam to reconsider whether the diseased tree can be saved. Anne Frank referred to the tree several times in her diary. She could see the tree through the attic skylight, the only window that wasn’t blacked out in the apartment where the Jewish teenager and her family hid from the Nazis for 25 months during World War II.
From Herald news services