Wednesday 17 September 2003 Representatives Kucinich, Maloney and Sanders are members of the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations. ÊÊÊ The Honorable Dick Cheney ÊÊÊ Vice President ÊÊÊ Office of the Vice President of the United States ÊÊÊ Eisenhower Executive Office Building ÊÊÊ Washington, DC 20501 ÊÊÊ Dear Mr. Vice President: ÊÊÊ On July 21, 2003, we sent a letter to you inquiring about your role in the dissemination of the disinformation that Iraq purchased uranium from Niger. We asked you ten questions relating to your direct personal visits to CIA's Iraq analysts; your request for an investigation of the Niger uranium claim that resulted in an investigation by a former U.S. ambassador, and your several high-profile public assertions about Iraq's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons. To date, we have not received your response to our inquiries. ÊÊÊ Since our last letter to you, you spoke at the American Enterprise Institute and once again made reference to the already proven false assertion that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. In order to legitimize the war, you cited findings listed in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), some of which had been refuted months before you cited them. ÊÊÊ Most recently, on September 14, 2003, after almost a year of repeating the claim, you finally admitted the inaccuracy of your previous assertions on Iraq's nuclear capabilities when you appeared on Meet the Press. The chronology shows that you knew or should have known that the claim was false when you first made it on Meet the Press in March 2003. We would like to inquire as to why your admission took so long to be made publicly. We would also like answers to our previous questions about your role in the dissemination of the nuclear uranium claim. ÊÊÊ I. Concerning "unusual" personal visits by the Vice President to CIA analysts. ÊÊÊ According to The Washington Post, June 5, 2003, you made "multiple" "unusual" visits to CIA to meet directly with Iraq analysts. The Post reported: "Vice President Cheney and his most senior aide made multiple trips to the CIA over the past year to question analysts studying Iraq's weapons programs." ÊÊÊ These visits were unprecedented. Normally, Vice Presidents, yourself included, receive regular briefings from CIA in your office and have a CIA officer on permanent detail. In other words, there is no reason for the Vice President to make personal visits to CIA analysts. According to the Post, your unprecedented visits created "an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration's policy objectives." ÊÊÊ On 'Meet the Press' on Sunday September 14, 2003, you dismissed The Washington Post article by suggesting that your frequent trips to the CIA were because of a longtime interest of yours in the field of intelligence. You also denied that your visits to the CIA had any impact on the changing of intelligence: ÊÊÊ "In terms of asking questions, I plead guilty. I ask a hell of a lot of questions. That's my job. I've had an interest in the intelligence area since I worked for Gerry Ford 30 years ago, served on the Intel Committee in the House for years in the '80s, ran a big part of the intelligence community when I was secretary of Defense in the early '90s Shouldn't be any pressure. I can't think of a single instance. Maybe somebody can produce one. I'm unaware of anywhere the community changed a judgment that they made because I asked questions." ÊÊÊ Questions: ÊÊÊ 1) How many visits did you and your chief of staff make to CIA to meet directly with CIA analysts working on Iraq? ÊÊÊ 2) What was the purpose of each of these visits? ÊÊÊ 3) Did you ever meet with CIA analysts working on other intelligence matters, such as Al Qaeda? ÊÊÊ 4) Did you or a member of your staff at any time request or demand rewriting of intelligence assessments concerning the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? ÊÊÊ II. Concerning a request by the Vice President to investigate intelligence of Niger uranium sale, revealing forgery one year ago. ÊÊÊ This alleged sale of uranium to Iraq by Niger was critical to the administration's case that Iraq was reconstituting a nuclear weapons program. During the period of time you reportedly paid visits to CIA, you also requested that CIA investigate intelligence that purported to show Iraqi pursuit of uranium from Niger, and your office received a briefing on the investigation. According to The New York Times of May 6, 2003, "more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. Ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger." ÊÊÊ The ambassador "reported to the CIA and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged," according to the Times. Indeed, that former U.S. Ambassador, Joseph Wilson, wrote in The New York Times, July 6, 2003, "The vice president's office asked a serious question. We were asked to help formulate the answer. We did so, and we have every confidence that the answer we provided was circulated to the appropriate officials within our government." ÊÊÊ Moreover, your chief of staff, Mr. Libby, told Time magazine this week that you did in fact express interest in the report to the CIA briefer. Our understanding is that Standard Operating Procedure is that if a principal asks about a report, he is given a specific answer. ÊÊÊ On Meet the Press on Sunday September 14, 2003, contrary to Ambassador Wilson and Mr. Libby, you denied receiving Ambassador Wilson's findings in February, or March of 2002. You also denied sending Ambassador Wilson to look into the claim. ÊÊÊ "I don't know Joe Wilson. I've never met Joe Wilson... I get a daily brief on my own each day before I meet with the president to go through the intel. And I ask lots of question. One of the questions I asked at that particular time about this, I said, "What do we know about this?" They take the question. He came back within a day or two and said, "This is all we know. There's a lot we don't know," end of statement... And Joe Wilson -- I don't who sent Joe Wilson."