A saga of inconsistencies, distortions and outright lies

In two years of dogged investigation, he has done what the media and the Democratic Party have shied away from and unpicked a plethora of inconsistencies, distortions and apparent out-and-out lies as the administration tries to justify the war in Iraq.

Yesterday's indictment of Scooter Libby, the first of a serving White House official in 130 years, on charges of obstruction of justice and lying to investigators and a grand jury related first and foremost to the revelation of a CIA agent's identity. Valerie Plame Wilson's cover was blown apparently as revenge on her husband, diplomat Joe Wilson, who went to Niger to investigate reports Saddam Hussein was buying uranium yellowcake and concluded - to the frustration of the administration - that the reports were bogus.

But the bigger picture, which Mr Fitzgerald may be only beginning to unveil, concerns the possibility that the US government deliberately concocted part of its case for war and misled Congress on the basis of information it knew was untrue.

It has been an astonishing investigation, in which senior White House officials from the President on down have been forced to retract, tone down or massage statements which turned out, as Mr Fitzgerald's work progressed, to be untenable.

The scandal has threatened the reputation of the New York Times, whose investigative reporter Judith Miller not only provided an echo chamber for the administration's unfounded allegations about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction but also - according to the paper's own findings - lied to her colleagues and appeared to be more interested in protecting her government sources, including Mr Libby, than defending the integrity of her trade.

Ms Miller spent 85 days in jail, ostensibly to avoid discussing conversations with Mr Libby even though he issued a waiver releasing her from her obligation of confidentiality.

Over and above the actions that have led to criminal charges the scandal has thrust one Bush administration official after another into spotlight.

President Bush himself was forced to back down after saying he would fire anyone found to be involved in the leak. Mr Cheney told an interviewer in 2003 that he had "no idea" who sent Joe Wilson to Niger. According to the indictment, however, it was Mr Cheney who first suggested that Mr Wilson be sent.

White House spokesman Scott McLellan stated "categorically" in October 2003 that Mr Libby and Karl Rove, President Bush's political strategist, were not involved in leaking Ms Wilson's name. He has since pleaded that he was merely passing on the assurances of others, and did not knowingly lie.

Mr Rove himself said at the time he had no knowledge of the Wilson leak - something that now appears untrue. Although he escaped indictment yesterday, Mr Rove remains under close investigation.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# asp.net Developer - West Sussex - permanent - £40k - £50k

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Project Manager (infrastructure, upgrades, rollouts)

£38000 - £45000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments