updated 10/20/2005 10:50:28 AM ET 2005-10-20T14:50:28

The top search on Technorati right now is John Hannah.  This, at first, seemed to me like one of those random moments when something strange makes the top of the list, like when the National Kidney Foundation of Singapore hit number one and then dropped like a hot potato.

I clicked on the name, and got linked to literally thousands of blogs all talking about this man.

Who is he?  He's a senior national security aide to Vice President Cheney.

The catalyst for the spike in his popularity is an article from The Raw Story.  That blog is reporting that a source close to Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald has revealed that Hannah is cooperating with the prosecution in the CIA leak investigation.  The website speculates that Hannah has turned snitch to avoid indictment.  No mainstream media sources have confirmed any of this.

Now for a quick primer on why this is significant.  First of all, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, husband of outed operative Valerie Plame, fingered Hannah as a possible source of the leak in his book "Politics of Truth."  Interesting, but perhaps a coincidence or lucky guess if it is true.

But, as it turns out, this isn't Hannah's first time under an investigator's microscope.  He is apparently being investigated for his role in some controversial evidence gathering regarding Iraq's WMD's.  You may recall the name Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the ex-pat group Iraqi National Congress.  He and his cronies had been providing information to the U.S. about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs, now known to be a fraud.

At the time, Hannah was working in John Bolton's office.  Bolton was then the Undersecretary of Arms Control and International Security Affairs.

Hmm.

Now for another piece of the puzzle.  After Judy Miller's incarceration began in July, she was visited by a list of assorted A-list characters.  Some, like journalist Tom Brokaw, seemed like naturals and raised no eyebrows.  But one -- John Bolton -- remains a mystery.  What did he want with her?

And, while we are on the topic of mysteries, why was Judy Miller involved in this mess in the first place.  We know that she had never reported Plame's name nor was she writing about the leak.  So what's the deal?

Well, what she did write about extensively was Chalabi's "evidence" of WMDs in Iraq.  She, like many others, was duped by this slick mover.  The information provided by the Iraqi National Congress was among the most important evidence provided in the case for war with Iraq.

Now it seems to be coming together.  Wilson was sent to Niger to investigate claims that Saddam was trying to buy yellowcake for enriching into potential weapons grade uranium.  His conclusion-nothing to see there folks, move on.  Still, it was provided -- in the State of the Union address, by the way-- as another significant reason for going to war.

Could Fitzgerald's investigation be less about Valerie Plame and more about the case for war?  I don't know.  Just a theory.

Today on the show:  Hurricane Wilma has intensified to unprecedented strength.  We are watching it closely.  We'll also talk to author Tony Blankley about the war in Iraq and Saddam's trial.  Later, Jack Burkman and Craig Crawford on the Miers nomination and Plamegate.

Today's blog links:
Saddam trial
Iraqi Special Tribunal

Human Rights Watch

Saddam Trial Blog

CIA leak investigation
Rawstory

Talk Left

Reading A1

Daily Kos

AlterNet

Email me: Maciulis@msnbc.com

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