WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- U.S. Vice
President Dick Cheney had directed his former top aide to leak classified
material to discredit a critic of the Iraq war, The National Journal reported
Court papers released last week show that I. Lewis Libby
was authorized to disclose the identity of a female CIA agent to media by "his
superiors," in an effort to counteract her husband's charge that the Bush
administration twisted intelligence on Iraq's nuclear weapons to justify the
2003 invasion, according to the report.
The National Journal, a U.S. weekly magazine, citing
attorneys familiar with the matter, reported that Cheney was among those
"superiors" referred to in a letter from prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to
A lawyer for Cheney had no immediate comment.
Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, faces perjury and
other charges in the leak of the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent who is
the wife of war critic and former U.S. diplomat Joe Wilson, a move that
effectively ended her career at the spy agency.
Libby has pleaded not guilty to five counts of perjury,
making false statements and obstruction of justice.
Cheney's name has surfaced in other court documents as
According to an appeals-court decision made public last
Friday," the vice-president informed Libby 'in an off sort of curiosity sort of
fashion'" that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA one month before her identity was
Both documents cite testimony Libby made to a grand jury.
U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, said Cheney's efforts to
discredit Wilson could have risked national security.
"The Vice President's vindictiveness in defending the
misguided war in Iraq is obvious. If he used classified information to defend
it, he should be prepared to take full responsibility," Kennedy said in a
The White House declined to comment on the issue.