Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 7, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

CHERRY PICKING THE TRUTH....It turns out Andrew Sullivan had already written my previous post about presidential leaking an hour before I did. That's what I get for being on West Coast time. Here's his version:

In this case, we're...talking about the following set of circumstances. A president is challenged in his public account of pre-war intelligence. The president authorizes a selective leak of classified information to rebut the challenge. He selects only those parts of the classified information that supports his case, and omits the rest that actually show parts of the government disputing his case. He authorizes the veep to authorize Libby to give the selected information to a pliant reporter for the New York Times. Meanwhile, his public statements reiterate an abhorrence of all unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

....It shows a conscious capacity to mislead people by selectively disclosing data that skews for a while the public's understanding of the facts. It proves that this president is capable of deliberately misleading the American people as a gambit in a Beltway spat

This gets to a point that I've made once or twice before: national security is different because the president controls all the information. If George Bush spins the truth about Social Security reform, there are dozens of analysts with access to the numbers who can spin back. When it comes to national security, though, the president holds all the cards. If we have a president willing to cherry pick intelligence and release only the parts that support his case, there's no one who can fight back.

Scott McClellan, it turns out, not only agrees, but thinks this is just fine:

The unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to a program like the terrorist surveillance program is harmful to our nation's security....So there's a distinction...between declassifying information that is in the public interest and the unauthorized disclosure of classified information that could compromise our nation's security.

Translation: the president decides what's in the public interest, and that's what the public gets to hear. Everything else is harmful to national security.

And of course, as Laura Rozen points out, Pat Roberts feels the same way. Apparently Republicans are of one mind about this: A powerful, unaccountable executive is fine as long as it's their powerful, unaccountable executive.

Kevin Drum 12:57 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (137)

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Comments

See, the whole problem here is that Bush's authorization to declassify parts of the NIE so Libby could leak them was itself classified.

If the declassification of a secret document is itself secret, is the document really declassified?

Posted by: Derelict on April 7, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Will there be snacks?

Posted by: IOKIYAR on April 7, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

This gets to a point that I've made once or twice before: national security is different because the president controls all the information.

Wrong again Kevin. This is not about national security because the information Libby leaked WAS NOT CLASSIFIED. And the reason why it was not classified was because George Bush determined it should not be. How can leaking information be damaging to national security when the leaked information isn't even classified?

Posted by: Al on April 7, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK


So does this mean Hillary can declassify all the crimes of The Burbling Bush in 2008?

Posted by: y on April 7, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

y -

This is exactly what needs to be said, over and over. If these guys think this shit is just fine, wait until they are sitting on the wrong end of it.

Posted by: craigie on April 7, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Translation: the president decides what's in the public interest, and that's what the public gets to hear. Everything else is harmful to national security.

Serious question, Kevin: If it isn't the President who is to decide which information should be disclosed (as in the national interest) and which information should not be disclosed (as harmful to the national interest), then who else should make that decision?

Posted by: Joe on April 7, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Such a long post for something Nixon conciserly stated in a single sentence:

If the president does it, it's not illegal.

Posted by: SavageView on April 7, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Y Yes she can,What the righties did was open the flood gates and in the end they will regret this move.

Posted by: Right minded on April 7, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Does it hurt when you stop and realize the Amrican public doesn't care? Go ahead and quote all the polls you want about Bush's approval rating. No one cares about this story outside of a bunch of rabid liberals. And the general public is right, because nothing illegal happened -- the President can declassify at will (like the VP, which is why the Plame thing won't touch Cheney). You may disagree with motives and wisdom of declassifying certain information, but (in a phrase I'm sure you're familiar with) there is no controlling legal authority.

Posted by: Tom on April 7, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

One big Borg hive-mind.

SO who is Bush in all of this, seven of three?

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on April 7, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Translation: the president decides what's in the public interest, and that's what the public gets to hear. Everything else is harmful to national security."

Kevin is absolutely right! The President of the United States has no right to decide what is in America's public's interest. That is the job of the UN.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK
This is not about national security because the information Libby leaked WAS NOT CLASSIFIED. And the reason why it was not classified was because George Bush determined it should not be. How can leaking information be damaging to national security when the leaked information isn't even classified?

Very easily, if the decision to declassify it (a) was not made, as classification decisions are supposed to be, on the grounds of evaluating the risk to national security, or (b) if the decision was made on grounds of such an evaluation, but the decision makers judgement was faulty.

Either incompetence or abuse of discretion can result in harm to national security through unwise declassification.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

The point here is not about whether he had the right to declassify....the point is...he KNEW for the last couple of years who the leakers were and let the investigation go on.

Obstruction of justice in the crime.

Posted by: lilybart on April 7, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

This sure ain't my father's Republican party anymore. Bush has broken more laws and abused the public trust in more ways than Nixon ever did. Yet there isn't, apparently, a single Republican who cares enough about the country to do anything about it.

Then again, since the NYT,the WaPo, and network news are shadows of their former selves, there is no public pressure being generated that would put the heat on Congress to act.

Posted by: Jeff II on April 7, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Serious question, Kevin: If it isn't the President who is to decide which information should be disclosed (as in the national interest) and which information should not be disclosed (as harmful to the national interest), then who else should make that decision?"

The UN of course, or maybe the some sort of international court.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

You see, things are only important to national security when the President is in the mood for them to be important to national security.

There is no objective reason why things should or should not be public. If George Bush wants to release the nuclear codes, then it's not a matter of national security anymore, becuase he's the President and if he releases them, they're not classified. And how can anything that's not classified be a matter of national security? Becuase if it was, then wouldn't it be classified? Duh!

National security is determined by whether or not the President thinks people knowing about the information will help him or hurt him, or if he's in the mood to tell people about stuff. Sometimes he just doesn't feel like talking, and that's your tough nuggies! Maybe he'd rather just go on a bike ride! Bike ride! Yeah!

Being President must be so cool.

Posted by: theorajones on April 7, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK


Of course, now the Repukes have much to fear as their loyalty to the master is monitored. Gotta keep the sheep in line.

Of course, some will be Trotskied.

Posted by: j on April 7, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Does it hurt when you stop and realize the Amrican public doesn't care?"

The American public can be made to care - the repugs spent millions of taxpayer dollars and hours on a presidential BJ, and the American people still gave Bill Clinton high approval ratings. Bush's ratings are in the crapper, pile on the poo and let's flush the whole bunch of idiots!

Posted by: CParis on April 7, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know how the WH Press Corp can sit there and take the ongoing McClellan BS.
I would have called BULLSHIT after the first series of questions and walked out.
What a load of crock.

Posted by: DontDrinkTheKoolAid on April 7, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

"It proves that this president is capable of deliberately misleading the American people as a gambit in a Beltway spat."

-Sullivan puts this nicely, showing Bush's small mindedness. Add in using sensetive intelligence material in a bletway spat and we see that he's reckless as well as small minded and hypocritical.

Mclellan's (& ergo the white house's) defense of this only works IF the President is assumed to always be right. Of course, this is exactly not what our constitutional government is predicated on. If we assumed such an exectutive could exist, why bother to seperate powers?

Posted by: URK on April 7, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'd argue that there are legal requirement that even the President must follow before declassifying a document (as per http://www.tpmcafe.com/node/28646), but that obviously won't sway any Bush followers; the unitary executive, I imagine, needn't follow that law, either.

Posted by: adam on April 7, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

"In this case, we're...talking about the following set of circumstances. A president is challenged in his public account of pre-war intelligence. The president authorizes a selective leak of classified information to rebut the challenge."

Isn't a leak by definition selective release of information to serve your political purpose? Is this the crux of this brouhaha? I can't wait for this year's Fitzmas!

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK
The point here is not about whether he had the right to declassify....the point is...he KNEW for the last couple of years who the leakers were and let the investigation go on.

That's not as clear as many people want to present it; what he is supposed to have authorized, per Libby, was not the leak of Plame's identity, but the selective and deceptive release of portions of the NIE.

So its not clear that he knew who committed the specific leak under investigation. It is clear (assuming Libby's testimony is accurate) that he created an environment of a casual approach toward national security-related information where political retaliation was concerned, and directed a campaign of retaliation against Wilson. Its not clear that he knew every tactical detail of that campaign.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand. If its not a leak, then why did he say there should be an investigation? If it was not a leak, then why bother saying he would fire whoever's involved? Flip and flop.

Posted by: TOTL on April 7, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Kevin, but isn't this about the truth? If I follow the argument, it sounds to me you would have been ok that the President got underminded by Joe Wilson, whose story was later shown to be a bunch of crap (I know you've seen the Senate report). So if this hadn't of been Bush, but Clinton or Kerry, you'd be ok that opponents can make shit up and the President is supposed to ... what? Just let it be done? Say what you want about Bush (I'm not going to defend him), but why does Joe Wilson get a pass? Shouldn't a President be able to make a case for something as important as war and be able to respond to critics? Would you have been ok w/ this if it was Clinton and Elliot Abrams instead of Bush and Joe Wilson?

Posted by: Charles on April 7, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter, maybe you fell asleep in civics class, but pretty much the central organizing principle of American government, "The really important stuff shouldn't be subject to the whims of just one guy. Becuase, um, what if that guy isn't up to the job?"

It's like they knew another fellow named George who really, really sucked at being in charge and so they set up a system to make sure that if another guy like George got in charge, that there would be people around to say, "You're doing WHAT? Seriously, dude, you CANNOT do something that stupid. We will not let you."

I think the fact that you'd defend a government official's right to compromise national security in order to score points against his political enemies is a pretty good example of why the founders were much, much, much smarter than you.

Posted by: theorajones on April 7, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Look, proto-fascists like FF simply believe that if the Bourbon Bush does it, it's not illegal. I don't understand why anyone is trying to make this any more complicated.

Posted by: SavageView on April 7, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't understand. If its not a leak, then why did he say there should be an investigation? If it was not a leak, then why bother saying he would fire whoever's involved? Flip and flop."

The reason you don't understand is becasue this has nothing to do with the Plame leak. The issue is being muddled to make it appear Bush personally authorized the Plame leak. I love how liberals always set themselves up for disappointment every time.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

What the administration lacks is a sense of right and wrong. I guess the old guy was right, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 7, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK
Look, proto-fascists like FF simply believe that if the Bourbon Bush does it, it's not illegal.

Its probably not illegal (in the sense of "a violation of statute law") if Bush actually declassified information; there may somewhere in law be procedures limiting the declassification of material that were violated, but its clear that Bush, in general, as President has the authority to do that.

Whether selective declassification based on political rather than national security offenses to stifle political opposition with misleading and deceptive partial releases of information while the evidence that calls the released information into question is held back is a grave political crime whose nature requires remedy is a question for Congress in the context of impeachment proceedings, if it chooses to take the matter up.


Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Freedom Fighter, maybe you fell asleep in civics class, but pretty much the central organizing principle of American government, "The really important stuff shouldn't be subject to the whims of just one guy. Becuase, um, what if that guy isn't up to the job?""

So, why did you vote Bush into office but not let him actually do anything? That's like saying the CEO of a company shouldn't be allow to make any decisions because, um, what if the decision is wrong?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Charles,
Explain why anyone should credit the senate report re Wilson that you cite. Its authors/contributors were all Republicans, whom no one has accused of having integrity.

Posted by: Mr. Flibble on April 7, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK
The reason you don't understand is becasue this has nothing to do with the Plame leak.

I wouldn't say a campaign organized by the President and Vice President to deceptively and selectively release national security related information to smear Joe Wilson, employing the same actor who later lied about his involvement in the leak concerning Wilson's wife, and during the time of which the leak concerning Wilson's wife occurred, really can be said to have nothing to do with that leak.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Sorry, Kevin, but isn't this about the truth? If I follow the argument, it sounds to me you would have been ok that the President got underminded by Joe Wilson, whose story was later shown to be a bunch of crap (I know you've seen the Senate report)."

Sorry Charles, but it would seem you're the one full of crap.
But thats okay, cause I'm sure since you and Al are very comfortable with a republican as an imperial president that you'll feel just as comfortable with a democrat as an imperial president.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on April 7, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter, maybe you fell asleep in civics class

Go easy, in his school they may not teach civics yet in the eighth grade.

Posted by: trex on April 7, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Just wondering:

What are the "checks" on the "cherry-picking" the news media does with classified information illegally obtained from "anonymous intelligence officials" or "sources who decline to be identified since they are not authorized to release this information?"

The New York Times doesn't post these "obtained" documents for anyone else to see. They don't send copies to other newspapers to see what their take would be. I doubt they even spread them around to see if other writers in their own organization might see things differently.

Basically, the only other ones who know if the newspapers are lying or not, are the people who are actually privy to the classified data. What are they supposed to do about it if the newspaper is slanting this information, or outright lying about it?

Posted by: tbrosz on April 7, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Whether selective declassification based on political rather than national security offenses to stifle political opposition with misleading and deceptive partial releases of information while the evidence that calls the released information into question is held back is a grave political crime whose nature requires remedy is a question for Congress in the context of impeachment proceedings, if it chooses to take the matter up."

You mean politicians would actually leak declassified information for political purposes? The horror! Congress should impreach Bush immediately. This will be the best Fitzmas yet!

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

How many Republicans are going along with the unaccountable executive for gain, how many out of fear of retaliation, and how many out of stupidity?

Posted by: ferd on April 7, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK
What are they supposed to do about it if the newspaper is slanting this information, or outright lying about it?

Well, they could deny the accuracy of the report; if they've established a degree of trust with the public, that will hold some weight.

Or they could go through the document again, review from the ground up what parts would be damaging to the national security to release in the new context that exists, and openly declassify and release that information.

Of course, its interesting that tbrosz thinks that government action is needed to check the "power" of unrestrained public debate, whereas the founders had pretty much the reverse concerns.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

If the declassification of a secret document is itself secret, is the document really declassified?

It is if it's double super-secret declassification.

Posted by: Stefan on April 7, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Explain why anyone should credit the senate report re Wilson that you cite. Its authors/contributors were all Republicans, whom no one has accused of having integrity."

That right! Since Joe Wilson is a Dem, his integrity, just like Cindy Sheehan's moral authority; is absolute.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

We're not dealing with rational actors.

We're dealing with people whose entire 2004 Presidential campaign was predicated on the theory that the single biggest national-security threat facing the United States today isn't Al Qaeda, isn't loose nukes, isn't Wahabi fundamentalism, isn't China, isn't the fall of Musharaf's government in Pakistan.

No, in their minds the single biggest national-security threat to the United States is instead the prospect of the Democratic party returning to power in this country.

And that must be forestalled by any means necessary, within and without the law.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 7, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

The post by lilybart is right on: you can go around for hours about whether the president can declassify or, as in this case, not really declassify but just release classified information and whether in some hypothetical universe it might be understandable for him or her to do that, but what Bush is going to get caught on is that he knew about the whole thing when he denied knowing anything about it. He said that anyone involved in this leak would no longer be in this administration; doesn't that suggest that he is acknowledging that a wrong had been committed? And the fact that he really knew all along means he kept that information from the very investigation that he said ought to be carried out. It's obstruction of justice; it might be perjury, but I don't think Bush swore to his testimony. That's the legal case that matters now.

Posted by: bloglogger on April 7, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK
You mean politicians would actually leak declassified information for political purposes?

There is a difference between selectively pointing to information that has been declassified, and selectively declassifying information based on political rather than national security concerns. Of course, the "everyone does it defense" is always lame, particularly when no parallel examples are ever raised.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

36% and falling guess he's doing something right. That's sarcasm for you wingnuts out there.

Posted by: babe on April 7, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Tom, right now we're discussing Presidential abuse of power, try and stay focused.

We can muse about other issues on a slower news day.

You yourself said:

"I'm pretty sure our laws on classified information don't include a clause that says "unless I personally decide it should be passed to the New York Times."

which, funnily enough, is exactly what happened in this case.

Posted by: trex on April 7, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

{snark}
By declassifying only the portions of the NIE that supported their previously made claims about WMD in Iraq, Bush was protecting America by showing a unified front and a wall of resolve. To have any doubts or to have an open debate about the uncertainties of intelligence would just "embolden our ememies."
{\snark}

Posted by: meander on April 7, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

As much as it pains me to give credit to Andrew Sullivan, he's on the right track. He's not just focused on the legal technicalities, but also the moral and ethical underpinnings of this whole affair.

Isn't W. supposed to be born-again? Wasn't he going to retore "honor and dignity" to the White House? Aren't the Republicans always yammering on about values?

So, as with so many things this administration has done, the legal underpinnings may be murky but the morality and ethics behind them is crystal clear -- they don't have any.

Do you think the public finally understands this?

Posted by: Greg VA on April 7, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

What are the "checks" on the "cherry-picking" the news media does with classified information illegally obtained from "anonymous intelligence officials" or "sources who decline to be identified since they are not authorized to release this information?"

Still banging the "liberal media" gong, eh, tbrosz?

Shorter tbrosz: Everyone else is as much of a dishonest partisan hack as me.

Posted by: Gregory on April 7, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

So why did the President authorize to leak the information secretly? Why not use the full panoply of Presidential authority and make the disclosures himself, in a serious speech to the public? He could still cherry-pick the NIE for the good bits.
Why didn't he do that?
Two reasons---because Rove didn't want Bush associated with the blatant falsehoods Libby was disseminating, or possibly Bush's credibility was already so low at that time that they had to carefully sneak the "truth" out to a reporter with an impeccable reputation like Judy Miller.

Posted by: marky on April 7, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter is so cute when he is caught up in a conondrum like this,The spittle just flies off there lips trying to justify Bush's stupidity.So go on keep believeing no one cares please keep up the comments always need a good laugh.

Posted by: Right minded on April 7, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Of course, its interesting that tbrosz thinks that government action is needed to check the "power" of unrestrained public debate, whereas the founders had pretty much the reverse concerns.

You really think the motives of the New York Times over the past year or two has been "public debate?"

In any case, the "government action" you're talking about is releasing more information to the public, not shutting down the New York Times.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 7, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't he going to retore "honor and dignity" to the White House? Aren't the Republicans always yammering on about values?

The Republican Decalogue consists of "No Blowjobs", repeated ten times.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 7, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

FF sez: "That right! Since Joe Wilson is a Dem, his integrity, just like Cindy Sheehan's moral authority; is absolute."

*Thwack!*

Hit that strawman, FF!

*Twackity thwack!"

Hit it!

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on April 7, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter: "So, why did you vote Bush into office but not let him actually do anything? That's like saying the CEO of a company shouldn't be allow to make any decisions because, um, what if the decision is wrong?"

No, that's like saying the CEO of a company is answerable to the shareholders for any decision he or she makes. And the president is an elected representative of the people, not someone we hand the keys of the kingdom to.

Posted by: bloglogger on April 7, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

FF, again: "You mean politicians would actually leak declassified information for political purposes? The horror! Congress should impreach Bush immediately. This will be the best Fitzmas yet!"

Dude, do you *ever* make actual pertinent points, backed up by evidence? Is there anything in your arsenal *besides* logical fallacies?

It's a serious question.

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on April 7, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

"No, that's like saying the CEO of a company is answerable to the shareholders for any decision he or she makes. And the president is an elected representative of the people, not someone we hand the keys of the kingdom to."

So are you saying he broke laws, or are you simply unhappy with him? You could have voted him out in 2004... obviously you aren't THAT unhappy with him.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK
You really think the motives of the New York Times over the past year or two has been "public debate?"

No, I think the motive of all most private media outlets, since before the time of the founder, has been a combination of (a) private profit, and (b) advancing the publisher's ideology.

Its the combination of different and disagreeing sources trying to do that that constitutes "public debate".

In any case, the "government action" you're talking about is releasing more information to the public

Yes, the government action I would suggest (and, in fact did, in the very post you are responding to) is responsibly releasing additional information consistent with the responsibility of the government to classify and declassify based on the national security implications of release of information.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

News Item:
BUSH SETS OFF NUKE AND BLOWS UP WASHINGTON

Right wing response:
Someone was bound to blow up Washington sooner or later, so its good it happened now. Washington is a fast growing town and a few years down the road more lives would have been lost. And hey, building the city back will create lots of new jobs for lower paid construction workers. Thats what you liberals want isnt it? We say Mr. Bush is a hero for being so far-seeing. According to the doctrine of Presidential Infallibility, which we just discovered in the constitution, he cant be touched, anyhow, so go cry in your liberal milk.

Posted by: James of DC on April 7, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Isn't W. supposed to be born-again? Wasn't he going to retore "honor and dignity" to the White House? Aren't the Republicans always yammering on about values?"

I always thought he was Hitler McChimpy. You guys really need to make up your minds.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of Joe Wilson...

Posted by: tbrosz on April 7, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Al: "How can leaking information be damaging to national security when George Bush determined it would not be?"

Precsiely. Much like the Pope, a Republican president cannot be incorrect when making official pronouncemncts. Kudos to Al for recognizing it.

I think that ends the discussion.


Posted by: HeavyJ on April 7, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Come on over and join us, Kevin.

I'm reading what you write, and you're almost here:
Censure . . . impeachment . . . the sane options are getting fewer and fewer.

Posted by: alligator on April 7, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

The banality of evil is displayed once again. My prediction is this will end the Bush Presidency because the curtain has been thrown open, exposing Bush as the despicable person he really is.

Posted by: Hostile on April 7, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I'm glad that Bush is taking the tack that it's OK to leak whatever you want for whatever reason you want just because you're President.

I think the American people need to get a very strong taste of what Bush's concept of "unitary executive" is really going to amount to in practice.

"L'Etat, c'est moi" really doesn't rub most Americans the right way, however much Bush and his lackeys may push for it.

I don't think most Americans are real comfortable with the idea of a dictator President, and this is a very nice issue with which to drive home that point.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 7, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

And the reason why it was not classified was because George Bush determined it should not be. How can leaking information be damaging to national security when the leaked information isn't even classified?

{yes i realize this is the Albot and not to be taken seriously, but it brings up a question that's been nagging at me since yesterday}

supposed Bush, {or another Prez} is at a state dinner, and discloses a national secret? like, we're in the middle of some covert op in Khazikstan somewhere and asks someone to get him an update on it in someone else's earshot. or mentions this great new technology we've got for listening in on terrrorists. according to AlBot et al's logic, this has now been declassified, and is fair game to be reported on. the Prez speaks about it, and therefore it's declassified unilaterally.

isn't that why there's a process which includes the DCI {or whatever Goss's job title is these days} to determine whether something can be declassified, and needs to be declassified?

it's not like Prez candidates have to get a security clearance before they can file to run for office.

Posted by: e1 on April 7, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

You really think the motives of the New York Times over the past year or two has been "public debate?"

Yes, as a byproduct of their reporting -- at least when they weren't using Judy Miller as a mouthpiece for the adminstration's case for war.

Experts agree that this has been the most secretive administration ever, something that started the day they came into office and not after 9/11. When a government decides to limit public debate by restricting data that's previously been available and at the same time tries to silence dissent through preventing access to public events and smearing political opponents, then it is the duy of the press to call attention to this.

Also, keep in mind that the leaks to the press that you haven't liked (as opposed to the ones that have thrilled you) have come from people inside this administration who believe they are protecting the American people by exposing government malfeasance.

In other words, the administration's own people have been ratting themselves out and your concern is about what the NYT does with that information. Forgive us if we don't follow that red herring instead of looking at the substantive issue.

Posted by: trex on April 7, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

"And the president is an elected representative of the people, not someone we hand the keys of the kingdom to."

BTW, unless they break laws, they are given the keys to the kingdom.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

In the late 1990's you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a pundit whose brow was furrowed and who was uttering the phrase "constitutional crisis". Whatever happened to that phrase anyway? Or is it actually just a slang term for oral sex?

Posted by: rk on April 7, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

You really think the motives of the New York Times over the past year or two has been "public debate?"Posted by: tbrosz

T-Bone, T-Bone, T-Bone. Why are you such a tool? How is it that someone who is supposedly a "rocket scientist" so stupid about everything else?

Shouldn't you be asking yourself that question about the Times? Do you really think that the NYT was showing the least bit of responsibility to the public with the way it allowed Miller to stonewall about her sources? Then there is the whole issue of running her whisper-thin pieces about Iraq, knowing full well that her primiary source was Chalabi, someone that both the CIA and DIA had discarded a couple years previous because nothing he told them proved to be at all valuable? The very fact that they played along for so long (timing things nicely for the 2004 election) shows just how deep paper had burrowed into Bush's pocket.

Come on. Are you really so stupid, lacking any political subtlety, that you can't tell when a news source is, at the very best, not working against the administration? Do you really think the Judith Miller was so powerful than no one in management could control her reporting?

Posted by: Jeff II on April 7, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II:

"Past year or two" has an exact meaning.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 7, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

"The banality of evil is displayed once again. My prediction is this will end the Bush Presidency because the curtain has been thrown open, exposing Bush as the despicable person he really is."

But I thought the Iraq Civil War was going to end his term... or was it Katrina, Cindy Sheehan, Plame, Dick Cheney, NSA, etc...? Why do I have a feeling your batting average will remain at zero?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush and company think that it's actually legally OK to release information whose confidentiality has already been deemed important to the national security to discredit a critic, where does it stop, given the powers he has pronounced?

Why not SPY on those critics, if he pronounces it important? Isn't that based on the identical principle? Bush has already declared that he can engage in domestic spying, if he, as President, declares it important to the national security. If exposing a critic is legitimate enough a reason to release classified information, why not use our spies to uncover information that will discredit the critic?

Where does it stop, on what principle?

In fact, there are NO such principles left, in the "unitary executive" concept of the Bush WH.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 7, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

What this all boils down to is that there no longer any such thing as 'National Security'.

There is only Bush Security - whatever makes him secure against his enemies.

Posted by: JB (not John Bolton) on April 7, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:Speaking of Joe Wilson...

Yeah so? Curt Weldon said something much more despicable just the other day and he's in a position of power. Joe Wilson is speaking his mind, he's understandably angry and he's spot on. What's your point?

Posted by: ckelly on April 7, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

"In the late 1990's you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a pundit whose brow was furrowed and who was uttering the phrase "constitutional crisis"."

And the liberal response to the POTUS lying under oath is: moveon.org already! But of course now, the liberal line is: the President shouldn't have the authority to determine what America's interests are.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

The great thing with this revelation is the timing.

If Bush had had this exposed back when his popularity was high, he could actually get people to back the crazy idea that it's OK for him to decide to release confidential info to discredit a critic -- and THAT would be a very bad precedent for the US.

Instead, he's as popular as ticks and when he argues for an extreme position like this he only brings his negative capital to it, damaging both him and the position he argues for.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 7, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II:

"Past year or two" has an exact meaning.
Posted by: tbrosz

It sure does, asshole. Two years ago at this time we were in the middle of the 2004 presidential election. And Miller was deciding whether she wanted to spend some time in jail as a faithful servant to the Bush administration or be a decent human being. She, unfortunately, chose the former. Had she decided that the future of her country was more important than helping to protect the worst U.S. administration since Nixon, we'd have a new administration now.

Posted by: Jeff II on April 7, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK
If Bush had had this exposed back when his popularity was high, he could actually get people to back the crazy idea that it's OK for him to decide to release confidential info to discredit a critic -- and THAT would be a very bad precedent for the US.

Yeah. Bush would be a more effective autocrat if he weren't a cowardly autocrat.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, unless they break laws, they are given the keys to the kingdom.

And since they get to determine if they broke the law or not, we win either way! Ein! Zwei! Drei! Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Partei! HEIL BUSH!

Posted by: Fascist Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

the President shouldn't have the authority to determine what America's interests are.

He does not.

I do.

And from time to time I delegate that authority.

I gave it, I can take it back again, I can bitch about how it is used.

It's called a 'republic'.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 7, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

But of course now, the liberal line is: the President shouldn't have the authority to determine what America's interests are.

Whereas the fascist line is: Only Die Partei has the authority to determine what America's interests are! HEIL BUSH!

Posted by: Fascist Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:
I wouldn't say a campaign organized by the
President and Vice President to deceptively and selectively release national security related information to smear Joe Wilson, employing the same actor who later lied about his involvement in the leak concerning Wilson's wife, and during the time of which the leak concerning Wilson's wife occurred, really can be said to have nothing to do with that leak.

C'mon, give the American people some credit. They love nuance! They love teasing apart the strands of a complex situation! They will enjoy analyzing various reports and transcripts, weighing different narratives, finally coming to the conclusion that the two leaks involved the same people, with the same agenda, and were done from the same motives, but they weren't leaks of the same identical information. Therefore Bush gets a pass. Not.

Posted by: cowalker on April 7, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

"But of course now, the liberal line is: the President shouldn't have the authority to determine what America's interests are."

You are so right, Freedom Fighter. Those bad, bad liberals! They would have us believe that our government is of the people, or worse yet, for the people--or, gulp, BY the people.

Posted by: bloglogger on April 7, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

"If George Bush spins the truth about Social Security reform, there are dozens of analysts with access to the numbers who can spin back."

Oh yeah? Access to numbers that aren't released according to statute, such as the mandated April 1st release of the SS Trustee's Report? I think Bush will keep whatever info he can about ANYTHING out of the hands of independent analysts, even if it means breaking the laws on reporting and disclosure to do it.

Posted by: steve duncan on April 7, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

They would have us believe that our government is of the people, or worse yet, for the people--or, gulp, BY the people.

Of course it is! But the only people are Republicans, everybody else is a Muslim-loving socialist Euroweenie who should be kept in museums! Die Partei Uber Alles! HEIL BUSH!

Posted by: Fascist Fighter on April 7, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

If the leak was authorized, it wasn't a leak.

So why lie about it?

It is going to be fun watching them fabricate reality to cover all the immediate bases.

Thank god McMedia and the American people have short attention spans.

Else... they'd really be in a world of hurt.

Posted by: koreyel on April 7, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Here's an idea that I haven't heard mentioned at all: why doesn't someone, in one of these annoyingly uninformative sets of testimony by Alberto Gonzales, ask him if the Terrorist Surveillance program was ever used to wiretap Joe Wilson's phone?

One of the defenses trotted out by Bush's supporters on the wiretapping is that only al Qaeda members are being wiretapped, but I don't think anyone who looks at how the technology for this program could possibly work really believes this. But it still leaves the perception that this is really a national-security program, as opposed to being something clearly illegal that average Americans should worry about.

So on the Plamegate affair, I think it's safe to say that Bush's credibility is starting to wane for most people. So why not use that to challenge the domestic wiretapping program? Presumably, Gonzales would clam up and say that the program is classified and that he can't discuss it, which would give ammunition to show that this program is not just being used to spy of al Qaeda members. It would give more reason to worry about their own phone being wiretapped, and it would put a public face on the downside of the program, and in particular a public face that people have already been introduced to in Joe Wilson.

The downside of this strategy is that Joe Wilson would be the public face for this, and I must confess that he scares me.

Posted by: msmackle on April 7, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Josh Marshall is way right. This monarchical white house must be dethroned. They are now clearly a danger to the consitutional foundations of the country, BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION. We are reduced to the simple calculus Team Bush/Cheney or the country.

Bush and Cheney must go! Even a Hastert/Stevens ticket is a safer option at this point.

Posted by: patience on April 7, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

But of course now, the liberal line is: the President shouldn't have the authority to determine what America's interests are.

*Sigh*

No, dipshit, the "liberal line" is that the president shouldn't have the sole authority to determine what America's interests are. The president's authority to do anything solely on his own say-so should be strictly limited. This is the nature of a representative democracy.

Let me ask you this: would President Hillary Clinton have the "authority" to determine what America's interests are, in the same manner that you believe Bush has?

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 7, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

This is the prelude. Bush instructs his staff to combat Wilson by selectively leaking parts of the NIE. A short span of time goes by and Wilson's wife's name shows up in the press in relation to Wilson. Shortly thereafter Bush professes ignorance of the source. Now, which do you wingers prefer.

A) Bush is a lying Nixonian bastidge and is behind it all.

B) Bush is too stupid to recognize the connection.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 7, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

So some guy leaks shit to attack the administration and its OK? But leak shit to counteract a lie and its not OK.

Posted by: mcA on April 7, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

"The unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to a program like the terrorist surveillance program is harmful to our nation's security....So there's a distinction...between declassifying information that is in the public interest and the unauthorized disclosure of classified information that could compromise our nation's security."

Yes well that IS the way it is. Your twisted way of translating something that needs no translation doesn't change anything but just shows what you would like it to say so you can add fuel to your continual Bush Bashing.

Posted by: Lurker42 on April 7, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Whereas the fascist line is: Only Die Partei has the authority to determine what America's interests are! HEIL BUSH!
Posted by: Fascist Fighter

See what I mean???

Posted by: Lurker42 on April 7, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK
So some guy leaks shit to attack the administration and its OK? But leak shit to counteract a lie and its not OK.

There may be times when it is morally justified and good for the country for someone to openly leak information to reveal what has been deliberately concealed by those in power to serve their own interests.

There is never a time when it is morally justified for the President to exercise any legal authority he might have to declassify information to discredit an opponent without openly exercising the authority. Its worth noting that the White House is still asserting that the information was declassified when the official declassification occurred, and not earlier, even though they won't comment on whether the President somehow authorized the release of information.

If the President was declassifying information because it was in the national interest, why was it released only on "deep cover" and why is the White House still not coming clean about it?

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Cmdicely, you are operating on the assumption that
the leak he was counteracting was justified.

How come people on CIA missions get signed up without non-disclosure statements?

Sure looks like a set-up to create a Bush opponent to me.

If what you say is true, then an endless stream of agents during a Democrat Presidency revealing how the President is ignoring direct threats of genocide and is 'soft on terror' is always OK?

Posted by: McA on April 7, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: So its not clear that [Bush] knew who committed the specific leak under investigation. It is clear (assuming Libby's testimony is accurate) that he created an environment of a casual approach toward national security-related information where political retaliation was concerned, and directed a campaign of retaliation against Wilson.

If Jason Leopold's report is correct and (a) Fitz possess emails that demonstrate "President Bush was kept up to date about the circumstances surrounding the effort to discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson," (b) such information "will prove President Bush had prior knowledge of the White House campaign to discredit Plame Wilson's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson" and (c) Libby's testimony is accurate, that he had gotten "approval from the President through the Vice President" to leak portions of the NIE, then (d) we can presume Bush knew Libby was one of the leakers.

Regardless, Bush's statement in October 2003 [with emphasis]:

"I mean this is a town full of people who like to leak information," Bush said during a press conference on Oct. 7, 2003. "And I don't know if we're going to find out the senior administration official. Now, this is a large administration, and there's lots of senior officials. I don't have any idea."
...is utter horseshit if the emails Fitz possess clearly show the president was at the center of the hatchet job on Wilson.

Its not clear that [Bush] knew every tactical detail of that campaign.

Agreed, although the emails Fitz has may make how informed Bush was crystal clear once revealed.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 7, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Have a good weekend ALL

Posted by: Lurker42 on April 7, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

That President Bush authorized Scooter Libby to selectively leak portions of the highly classified October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate as part of a coordinated assault on Joseph Wilson and other debunkers of pre-war Iraq WMD claims should come as a surprise to no one. Neither should the silence of the GOP and his conservative allies.

For the full story, see:
"GOP Cornered by Bush Leak."

Posted by: AvengingAngel on April 7, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Lurker42 quotes whoever:"....So there's a distinction...between declassifying information that is in the public interest and the unauthorized disclosure of classified information that could compromise our nation's security."

Lurker42:Yes well that IS the way it is.

it comes down to TRUST. you may trust Bush and Co when he says "i leaked this info b/c it's in the national interest and that was my only motivation." i don't. i see a pattern of behavior in this situation (the run up to the invasion of Iraq) and many others, where Bush has systematically hidden some information and over emphasized other info. in my mind, this is not honest, or trustworthy. it's duplicitous, and a breach of his promise to protect and defend the people of the US.

so Bush doesn't get an automatic pass from me by saying "trust me, i didn't authorize a LeaK, i DeClassified the info in the interests of national security."

Posted by: e1 on April 7, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

What a moron you are, Kevin.

Here is an explanation by John Podhoretz for you.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 7, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

In the previous thread, Onomasticator asked the question: Can someone remind me why disclosure of the NIE, or portions thereof (whichever), somehow "proved" Wilson was a liar? To which I thought the answer was obvious. After thinking about it, I'm not sure...

From Fitzgerald's last filing (pg. 23):

As to the meeting on July 8, defendant testified that he was specifically authorized in advance of the meeting to disclose the key judgments of the classified NIE to Miller on that occasion because it was thought that the NIE was "pretty definitive" against what Ambassador Wilson had said and that the Vice President thought that it was "very important" for the key judgments of the NIE to come out.
However, nothing in the key judgments--either from the declassified excerpts released July 18 2003, or the version obtained under FOIA June 1 2005--says anything about Iraqi attempts to acquire yellowcake.

Iraq's alleged attempts to acquire yellowcake are mentioned later in the NIE (pg. 24-25, but is not part of the key judgments). Not to mention that it makes less than a compelling case. Or that the Niger connection was seriously in doubt before the start of the war. Or that all if this was very old news at the time Libby met with Miller, and would likely be of little or no interest to any reporter.

In short, the information from the classified NIE excerpts that we have seen are not a serious challenge to Wilson's claims. It's possible, but doubtful, that there is something much more significant (and wrong) that hasn't been seen, and that was thought would convince Miller to go to bat for the administration.

It's more likely that:

  • Having failed to gain any traction discrediting Wilson with the NIE excerpts, someone upped the ante and threw Valerie into the pot.
  • This was as much an attempt to preemptively pin the blame on the CIA. Especially since a week before the first Libby-Miller meeting, Cheney and Libby were briefed on the new CIA assessment, which backed off the claim that Iraq was attempting to acquire yellowcake.
  • Both of the above as a combined effort, because they are mutually reinforcing. (I can just hear Rove and Libby discussing "synergy".)
Gee, hasn't been this much speculative fun since Chernenko occupied the Kremlin.

Posted by: has407 on April 7, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Correction to previous post: the FOIA release was June 1 2004 (not 2005).

Posted by: has407 on April 7, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

...gave to a pliable jounalist for the NYTs....

The Bitch, and still is a bitch, Judith Miller!

Everything else is par for the course for people in power, Machiavellian all of them. But Miller crushed the trust citizens put into journalism to tell us what the fuck is going on.

More then a bitch, a see you next Tuesday.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on April 7, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

A powerful, unaccountable executive is fine as long as it's their powerful, unaccountable executive.

Heh, indeedy!

Posted by: E. Nonee Moose on April 7, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

powerful, unaccountable executive

Kevin, you misspelled "son of a bitch". HTH. HAND.

Posted by: Irony Man on April 7, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Wrong again Kevin. This is not about national security because the information Libby leaked WAS NOT CLASSIFIED. And the reason why it was not classified was because George Bush determined it should not be. How can leaking information be damaging to national security when the leaked information isn't even classified?

Wrong. The information Libby leaked was indeed classified at the time. According to Fitzgerald, Bush did not declassify the NIE, he gave Cheney permission to use some of the NIE.

Declassification is a process whereby the President (or other authority) can order declassification and then the appropriate intel organization reviews whether declassification is not harmful before publicly releasing the document in question. These steps were not followed by Bush or Cheney before Libby was given the go-ahead to leak the info.

NSC head Hadley did get the go-ahead to declassify some of the NIE and did so AFTER the leak to Miller. Hadley had no idea what Libby and Cheney were up to.

So, technically speaking, Bush did not break the law, since the law is somewhat vague on what is a legal declassification process. However, he did violate the standing procedure for declassification.

And yes, release of information CAN be damaging to national security, whether classified or not. For example, if the released NIE documents revealed how the information was gathered, the intel sources involved would be jeopardized. Do you think Bush or Cheney actually checked this very thick document themselves?

The real punchline here: did Bush also give the go-ahead to release the Plame info from the classified CIA document mentioned by Fitzgerald? If not Bush, did Cheney? If neither, why did Libby think it was OK to leak Plame to Miller?

Libby was very careful to get a presidential OK on the NIE data, so why wouldn't Libby have been equally careful with the Plame data, also from a classified document?

Posted by: Broken on April 7, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Whether or not the information was classified and whether or not talking to reporters about the information was a crime or not, Bush apparently lied to federal investigators about knowing who was talking to reporters.

And that, boys and girls, is the crime Martha Stewart was convicted of and served time for. Note clearly, wingnuts, that there was no "underlying" crime in her case either. No securities fraud, no insider trading. Her ONLY crime was lying to federal investigators, not under oath.

Sure sounds like the Shrub did the same.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 7, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq's alleged attempts to acquire yellowcake are mentioned later in the NIE (pg. 24-25, but is not part of the key judgments). Not to mention that it makes less than a compelling case. Or that the Niger connection was seriously in doubt before the start of the war. Or that all if this was very old news at the time Libby met with Miller, and would likely be of little or no interest to any reporter.

The Niger yellowcake story was BS from the get-go. The reason State's intel group and the CIA CPD group (Plame's group) didn't buy the Niger story was because Iraq had 500 tons of yellowcake ALREADY, dating from the 1980s. Iraq was lacking enrichment capability, not uranium.

The Wilson trip WAS a boondoggle, but a boondoggle triggered by Cheney when he asked CPD to look into rumors of a deal. CPD went along, sending Wilson to verify what the Niger ambassador, and an American general in-country at the time, had already concluded: the deal didn't exist. Wilson went to Niger and agreed.

Wilson filed a report after returning. Cheney inquired as to the results of CPD's investigation. To claim Cheney did not know the results of the investigation he himself triggered is rediculous on its face.

The CIA's pre-war testimony to Congress was the a Niger connection was highly doubtful, regardless of what the Brit's were saying, and, besides, Iraq already had those 500 tons of yellowcake in-country.

In fact when inspectors were let back into Iraq in Dec 2002, those 500 tons of yellowcake were found intact, with the IAEA seals unbroken.

Yet those famous "16 words" still made it into Bush's SOTU speech, along with the BS about aluminum tubes. No wonder Wilson, who was well aware of the real situation, was pissed. Since it was Cheney pushing so hard to validate the Niger rumors in the first place, it is no surprise he blew a fuse when Wilson's NYT OP-ED came out.

Posted by: Broken on April 7, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

No securities fraud, no insider trading. Her ONLY crime was lying to federal investigators, not under oath.Posted by: Cal Gal

Actually, she was also guilty of insider trading (as was Bush when at Harken Energy). But, like Capone, they got her on what they could.

In Bush's case, since no one in the Republican controlled Congress will move on this, it unlikely anything will happen to him unless the press dogs this story.

Posted by: Jeff II on April 7, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

I think the odds just got shorter on Shrub cancelling the 2008 election "indefinitely."

L'etat, c'est Bush.

Posted by: craigie on April 7, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Given that he authorized Libby to leak on this subject, Bush probably had a pretty good idea of how Plame's name got leaked even if he didn't authorize that directly. So there's lots more dissembling for the press to highlight if they can keep focused.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on April 7, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

One can only suppose what damage was done to national security with respect to monitoring nuclear proliferation by leaking Valerie Plame's name. It is my understanding that Bruester and Jennings, the CIA front company she was associated with, had to be rolled up. How many covert operatives working out of this company have been compromised? Were they involved in monitoring Iran's "nuclear program", such as it was? Does blinding our intelligence agencies to what is really happening in Iran open the door for more cooked intelligence?

Oh,that's right....can't talk about it....national security don't you know.

Posted by: brisa on April 7, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK
So some guy leaks shit to attack the administration and its OK? But leak shit to counteract a lie and its not OK. mcA 2:58 PM
Bush authorized a leak of false information to attempt to counter accurate information. Not only was this petty and dishonest in light of his many denials, but it was a pathetic failure to justify a pre-emptive invasion of a country for invalid reasons. Your Manichean worldview needs to be able to distinguish accurately who is the liar and who is not. Look hard at the shifty-eyed Fuhrer that is the object of your anthropolatry. When you look deep into his eyes, try not to concentrate on the back of his skull, but look at the evil in his heart.
how the President is ignoring direct threats of genocide and is 'soft on terror' is always OK? McA 3:25 PM
Why should Bush pay attention to empty threats of genocide when he ignores actual genocide in Darfurand Palestine.
What a moron you are Norman Rogers 4:10 PM
What a moron you are. Here's a refutation of jpod's spin Posted by: Mike on April 7, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal: Whether or not the information was classified and whether or not talking to reporters about the information was a crime or not, Bush apparently lied to federal investigators about knowing who was talking to reporters.

By all reports, Fitzgerald has been pretty consistent and disciplined in his focus, and his questioning, on the Plame leak.

The only reason the NIE disclosure appears to come into play is that it was the rationale for Libby's meeting with Miller. That rationale would be a matter Fitzgerald would necessarily question Libby about (and others) in an attempt to corroborate Libby's testimony. (It may also explain why Miller was so adamant about limiting the scope of Fitzgerald's questions--questions about Plame were OK, questions about anything else, such as the NIE, were not OK.)

Beyond that, it's debatable whether Bush (or Cheney) would be questioned by Fitzgerald about the NIE disclosure. And even if questioned: (1) lying about it would make no sense because the NIE disclosure did not break any laws; and (2) it was peripheral to the focus of the investigation.

All of which suggests that either:

  1. Bush has been straight with Fitzgerald with respect to the NIE disclosure. Otherwise the administration would likely be disputing the NIE disclosure, insteaf of affirming it.
  2. Fitzgerald never questioned Bush on the NIE disclosure. If that were the case, silence--instead of affirmation--would seem to be the best course for the administration.
  3. Bush is trying to keep the story straight with Libby's. Highly unlikely.
In short, there is no new evidence to suggest Bush, Cheney or Libby lied to Fitzgerald about the NIE disclosure. The Plame leak is a completely separate matter; however, recent information sheds no new light on it.

Posted by: has407 on April 7, 2006 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

In my high school civics class I learned one condition must be present for democracy to work: every person will truly believe that he must protect the rights of those with whom he disagrees as zealously as he protects own

The right wing does not have this understanding and their new strength is a danger to democracy. It they got powerful enough, they would simply outlaw every point of view but theirs.

Along with their religion, which looks back two thousand years, and their ideal social system which looks back hundreds of years, they want their government to resemble that of King George the First.

Once I thought people who thought like this were alarmists. Now I think it needs to be shouted from the housetops!

Posted by: James of DC on April 7, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

It's obvious that Bush and his cohorts believe the president--as long as he's Republican not a Democrat--should not be held accountable for anything he does--in other words, get ready for the United States's first dictator-in-the-making.

Do Bush and his Republican cohorts really believe anything they do is "constitutional," however unconstitutional their actions really are?

As I learned in public school what seems eons ago, the U.S. Constitution applies to all citizens equally, not unequally, to this day, and the president of the U.S.--that is, any president of the U.S. without exception--must be held accountable with constitutionally mandated checks and balances by Congress and the Supreme Court, if need be. Without those checks and balances we lose our democracy and become a dictatorship.

Let's restore democracy to our shores!!

Posted by: Jesse A. Weissman on April 7, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

In short, there is no new evidence to suggest Bush, Cheney or Libby lied to Fitzgerald about the NIE disclosure. The Plame leak is a completely separate matter; however, recent information sheds no new light on it.

Posted by: has407 on April 7, 2006 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

According to four attorneys who over the past two days have read a transcript of the President Bushs interview with investigators, Bush did not disclose to either investigators or the special counsel that he had authorized Cheney or any other administration official to leak portions of the NIE to Woodward and Miller or any other reporter.


Posted by: bblog on April 7, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

bblog -- I'd appreciate any references to additional information. Nothing I've seen has been very specific.

If Fitzgerald asked "did you authorize the disclosure of the NIE", and Bush was not truthful in responding, then and only then could we conclude that Bush was in deep doo-doo. (However, it's far from clear to me if or why Fitzgerald would ask such a pointed question on a matter arguable peripheral to the Plame leak investigation.) If Fitzgerald never asked "did you authorize the disclosure of the NIE", it would be correct to say "Bush didn't disclose it"--but it would also be incorrect to state that Bush lied about it.

That also seems at odds with a statement yesterday from a "senior administration" official that appears to affirm and defend Bushs' action in authorizing the NIE disclosure. However, there is still ambiguity (in my mind anyway, as I've mentioned in a previous thread). From the information in Fitzgerald's filing and subsequent statements, it's unclear whether the "authorization" for the NIE disclosure was at the direct command of Bush, or whether it was Cheney who authorized the disclosure--using his legally delegated authority, which may have been done intentionally to shield Bush from exactly this sort of problem.

I firmly believe that this administration's ethics are dubious (to say the least), and that they are dissembling at best and lying at worst (if you really want to know how I feel, see here). But that's a far cry from sufficient evidence--evidence I haven't yet seen--to put these assholes away.

Posted by: has407 on April 8, 2006 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

I got the info from Talkleft. You might wish to inquire there. Peripheral? No one can say for certain that Bush lied but it seems likely.

Posted by: bblog on April 8, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

mcA on April 7, 2006 at 2:58 PM: So some guy leaks shit to attack the administration and its OK? But leak shit to counteract a lie and its not OK.

Well, mcA, you seemed confused. So let's consult a former presidential advisor to Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton, who is far more expert.

COLLINS: And another person familiar with the art of the leak in Washington is former presidential adviser David Gergen.... We know that what [Bush] did was not illegal, but does that really get him off the hook? I mean, how much of a political problem is then left for the president?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: A significant political problem. I think it's important today that, in a testy exchange with reporters, the White House press secretary did not deny that the president may have authorized this. He sidestepped the question.
In Washington, that's interpreted as actually confirming it. Now, what that means is, as a political matter, the president's credibility has been damaged. After all, [Bush] was the one who has been making large, vociferous arguments that he hates the leaks of classified information. So, his credibility has been damaged.
It's handed Democrats additional ammunition for the 2006 elections, and the Republicans are already running a little scared about these elections. They think they may well lose seats in the House, in the House and Senate.
COLLINS: In fact, David, do you think this will have an effect on midterm elections?
GERGEN: Iraq is a very, very, very strong issue for the Democrats. And to the extent that they argue, hey, look, the president has said he's against all this classification. Not only is he himself the one who authorized the -- the -- the leak of this material, but it's -- so, it's hypocritical, but they were twisting and using classified information to advance their political agenda.
Yes, the Democrats will use that. And, yes, I think it will be helpful.
COLLINS: In fact, on that note, Democrat Senators Harry Reid, John Kerry, believe the president should justify his actions to the American people. Do you think that would help?
GERGEN: It's now clear we know less about the full story on this -- on this whole leak deal than we did -- than we thought we did.
Now, I should say one other thing. There -- there is no indication -- in fact, Mr. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, seems to be suggesting that the president did not know about the leak of the name of the -- of the CIA agent.
COLLINS: The name in particular was not in that national intelligence estimate.
GERGEN: Right.
So, I think that's very important to understand, that the president does not seem to behind the -- what has often been interpreted as a smear against Ms. Plame, and -- and outing her, in effect.
Rather, this -- the -- the leak went to the classified information about what intelligence the -- the administration had. So, I think this is a -- the president is going to have to answer questions on this. And we will have to see how he does.
I -- it's -- it's -- he's in a very awkward situation right now, because this has raised -- these -- these papers that have been filed by the special prosecutor, in effect, raise questions not only about the vice president, but about the president himself.
And any time a political story like this goes -- gets into the Oval Office, and if you're sitting in the White House, that's the last thing you want. You want this away from the Oval Office, away from the president. You want to make sure it's down in the staff somewhere.
COLLINS: It seems.
GERGEN: This is the first time we have had it into the Oval Office.
COLLINS: Yes.
And we also heard Scott McClellan, White House press secretary, said today it was very much in the public interest, this release of this information.
How so?
GERGEN: It -- it just -- it just boggles the mind that the White House is now arguing, when it's convenient for us, we will declassify information. But, boy, if there's anybody out there who declassifies something that we don't find convenient, we are going to take his head off.
Now, that's a -- that's just not an acceptable argument, you know, we will declare it when it's in the public interest and leak stuff that we want to leak. But if anybody is a whistle-blower in our administration and leaks something that is embarrassing to us, well, we are going to make -- you know, set up a criminal prosecution.
I think that that -- the American people will find that to be an unacceptable standard. [Emphasis added. Transcript]

Unacceptable indeed!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 8, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Correction. I should have said only the Special Prosecutor's office knows at this time whether Bush lied. I would be shocked if Fitzgerald did pursue this with Bush. The two lines of inquiry are inseparably intertwined.

Posted by: bblog on April 8, 2006 at 5:50 AM | PERMALINK

I would be shocked if Fitzgerald did not pursue this with Bush. The two lines of inquiry are inseparably intertwined.

Posted by: bblog on April 8, 2006 at 5:52 AM | PERMALINK

once again the christian right is neither, this admin is full of pathalogical liars, but then they can just pop down to church on sunday and wash it all away, there, all my sins have gone, thank you father have a nice day ya'll.

Posted by: H on April 8, 2006 at 7:02 AM | PERMALINK

For you moonbats who Really Believe you've caught out our President in a LIE!!!,

A Succinct Analysis from the Wall Street Journal.

Here it is, in full (so's you impoverished (and jealous-of-your-wealthier-countrymen) morons might learn some truths.

Leaky News Judgment
April 8, 2006; Page A8

In the Alice-Through-the-Looking-Glass world that passes for media coverage of the Valerie Plame-leak case, the President of the United States is said to have "leaked" classified information through the conduit of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the Vice President's former Chief of Staff. Mr. Libby now has been indicted for perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements to a grand jury.

"Leak" has always been a slovenly word, but this is absurd. No one disputes that the President has the authority to declassify documents or to authorize the disclosure of secret information. But never mind the facts. Even prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald isn't shy about using the leak-word. (See footnote 8 on page 25 of his court filing this week.) In Congress, Democrats were quick to jump on the exploitation wagon. Perpetually affronted Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called the revelation "shocking," and Jane Harman, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, branded President Bush "leaker-in-chief." Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie offered the legal opinion that "this leak led to the commission of a felony."

So what "leak" did Mr. Bush authorize? Not the disclosure of Ms. Plame's name and the fact that she was employed by the CIA -- revelations that under certain circumstances could be considered a crime. No one is accusing him of that. Nor, for that matter, is that what Mr. Libby is charged with. Ms. Plame's name doesn't even appear in the sections of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction that were later declassified. (Mr. Fitzgerald refuses to disclose whether Ms. Plame was a covert agent.)

Rather, the President is believed to have authorized the disclosure of portions of the NIE to counter illegal leaks that had distorted its contents. He did so both to correct the record and to fight back against critics such as Ms. Plame's husband Joseph Wilson, who were accusing him of lying about Iraq. As we found out later in a report from the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Wilson and the leakers were the ones who spread disinformation.

Surely the President has a right -- even a duty -- to set the record straight. In authorizing Mr. Libby to disclose previously classified information, Mr. Bush was divulging the truth. That alone distinguishes it from the common "leak."


Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 8, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers, quoting the Wall Street Journal, writes: "As we found out later in a report from the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Wilson and the leakers were the ones who spread disinformation."

There's only one teensy-weensy little problem with that sentence, Normy, dear -- it's not true. Not only was Wilson not "spread[ing] disinformation," he was entirely correct on the subject of the yellow-cake fantasy concocted by the Bush administration, as we well know from a multitude of sources. And, of course, there's the other teensy little problem that the part of the Senate report that claimed otherwise was signed off on by only three Republican Senators, not by the Committe as a whole. Not to mention that that part of the Senate report has now been shown to be almost entirely incorrect, most of its claims contradicted by a number of other sources.

Care to try again with some more "truths," Normy?

Posted by: PaulB on April 8, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

It is the Democrats who are cherry-picking, not the supporters of the liberation of Iraq.

The consensus view, across party lines, before the war was that Iraq had WMD, was a state sponsor of terrorism, and was a threat.

Citing a few contrary NIE footnotes and caveats will not change that fact.

It's fascinating the lengths the Democrats will go to, and with such enthusiasm, to defend Saddam Hussein from those charges.


Posted by: The Editors, American Federalist Journal on April 8, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Paul has a problem with reading comprehension (guess why he has been less than successful in life -- and why he wants guys like me to subsidize morons like him).

Paul can't interpret simple declarative sentences, As we found out later in a report from the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Wilson and the leakers were the ones who spread disinformation. It seems that because the Democrats went and hid -- and didn't sign the full report -- that means the report that the report "from the Senate Intelligence Committee" didn't actually come from the Senate Intelligence Committee (even tho it says so on the letterhead).

Wilson did indeed report back to the CIA that Saddam "probably" did try to buy uranium ore from Niger.

And you wonder why I think you're all morons?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 8, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

so...norman....

the bush administration argument is..(2.5-years after the fact)...

that the bush administration had to get the "truth" to the american people...

and the only way to do that was through judy miller and robert novack?

no presidential news conference huh?

lol

meanwhile, that phase-2 investigation into whether the bush administration did "fix the facts around the policy"....(and in a way verify whether the downing street memo's are true)....

is taking forever...

at this rate...bush is gonna be out of office before that is done...

Posted by: thisspaceavaialble on April 8, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, I knew the Trolletariat had been mobilized heavily for this fight, but to call back in old-timers like Norman Rogers really displays the degree of desperation and fear this issue is raising for the GOP, and rightly so. This is not primarily a legal problem for this President, at least it doesn't look that way yet given what is out there so far. Note the qualifiers in the preceding sentence because that could well change over the next several months. What is clear is that President Bush was aware of a campaign to selectively leak national security information that confirmed their worst case scenarios about Iraq, particularly in regards to Iraq's nuclear capabilities. Whether he had the legal right to do so does not alter that he did not have the moral right to do so, especially in the manner chosen.

Something that the Trolletariat are desperate to obfuscate is the relevance and importance of context in this matter. Indeed, context is at the heart of why what Bushco did here is so horrible and dangerous, both to the American public and quite honestly the rest of the world as well. This Administration used nuclear weapons to scare the American public into believing a serious threat existed from Iraq. This is confirmed by a check of the polls from June 2002-Mar 2003, particularly the difference from mid Aug to mid Oct 2002, which was when the bulk of the nuclear claims were made to the public to Judy Miller and to the Congress. Before then Iraq was not seen as a threat by the bulk of the American people, but after Cheney on Aug 26 or 28 2002 spoke about the rising nuclear threat from Iraq it was followed up with the Bush/Blair Camp David news conference on Sept 7 02 where they claimed the IAEA had issued a report stating Saddam was as close as six months to a nuclear device, a report I might add that never existed although it took three weeks for the American news media to find this out and by then the smoking gun being a mushroom cloud rhetoric had come from Rice and Cheney. By mid October there was a significant shift within American public opinion regarding the threat posed by Iraq and the need to deal with it ASAP.

This is where context comes into play. The Bush Administration wove together the worst case scenario on nukes using any intelligence that suggested it no matter how unverified or distrusted the source was, whereas they dismissed all criticisms that undercut these claims even when they were better sourced and consider far more trustworthy. Bushco even ignored their own intelligence agency that had the best understanding and expertise on nuclear issues the DOE regarding the infamous aluminum tubes. What Bushco did was "declassify" any and all intelligence that supported their case and then used that in the public to confirm that their worst case scenario was totally backed up by American intelligence and others in the world as well, that latter being about WMDs, even though the rest of the world aside from the UK only agreed on the probability that Iraq had leftover bio/chem weapons from pre-1991, and there was virtual unanimity that there was NO nuclear threat posed by Iraq whatsoever, yet this was buried because of the interchangeability the term WMD carries within it and the deliberate exploitation of same by Bushco.

So in the end the nuclear case presented by Bushco was totally reliant on suspect intelligence which in the classified NIE was demonstrated as suspect, as it was in other areas throughout American intelligence, yet Bushco claimed the exact opposite. Given he should have known that there was significant reservations on both sourcing and overall trustworthiness of this intelligence he either lied or deliberately chose to be kept in the dark about any and all dissenting views, even though those dissents for the most part were clearly more credible than the reports "declassified" by Bushco to make their case appear strong. In other words Bushco and Bush himself deliberately cherrypicked classified information which made their case appear stronger while making sure any dissents stayed classified so that the only people who would know better had security clearances that if they leaked any of it (especially those in the Congress like Durbin who was forced to keep quiet about what he knew to be misrepresentations and outright falsehoods regarding this matter at the time) they would be the ones punished severely.

As anyone who actually has any understanding of how intelligence gathering and analysis works knows one cannot develop reliable intelligence without understanding the full context it is in. When Bush decided to selectively leak in the manner he did he deliberately stripped away the context and presented a politically useful "intelligence" presentation that unfortunately had little to no connection to the actual intelligence on hand or for that matter reality generally.

Then we come to the manner in which this information was made public, not by publicly announcing it but by selective and highly private leaks to trusted journalists already sympathetic to their Administration like Miller, Novak, and Woodward to name a few. They chose to deliberate HIDE their involvement in providing this information, most likely because if it were known the leaks were authorized by Bush the question would be asked why is he doing so this way and is this a deliberate attempt to shape media coverage of the war case Bush needs to make for the American people to support this war. It also would have appeared to be a deliberate attempt to plant propaganda on Americans in their own media, something Presidents are not supposed to do, yet something this President has a long history of doing since he came to office.

All of this is actually fairly easy for the average American to get. Bush secretly leaked what helped him while suppressing anything that disagreed with his position. Bush did so on a matter of war, the most serious national security issue of all. He also repeatedly denounced ANY leaking within Washington especially from his WH while at the same time being a major leaker himself, thereby demonstrating his ability to say one thing and do another, or more simply lying to the American public about his feelings about leakers and leaking generally. Given that the general public already was starting to lean to a majority believing Bush deliberately lied America into Iraq before these revelations they will significantly reinforce this belief and likely foster increased numbers believing Bush lied America into a war which has cost so much for so little in return, well aside from GOP domestic political gains in 2002 and 2004 that is. Since the President is the one person that sees all intelligence on national security there is a need to trust that President with using that access responsibly. This shows Bush did not do so, indeed he abused it outrageously to start a war AND to silence any critics AND to help himself get reelected AND to help further GOP domination of the Congress, a Congress which has been a Bushco rubber stamp for almost everything since Bush came to power until very very recently.

This is why the GOP are so afraid of this, Bushco is so afraid of this, and why the Trolletariat is out in such force and showing such clear panic about this issue. it is why they are doing everything they can to misrepresent it and to claim it is everyone else that is misrepresenting it, yet more examples of just how duplicitous and deceitful the Trolletariat is as well as just how deep into the cult of Bush they are. Not to mention the limited ability of these to be able to process any data that does not conform to their programming.

No, this is a major political problem for Bush, and no amount of spinning it will change that, especially coming on top of all the other recent reversals for Bushco and the majority of Americans not trusting him, his honesty, nor his leadership even in issues of national security, his hole card since his failure to stop the 9/11/01 attack.

Posted by: Scotian on April 8, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

There is the question of obstruction of justice here as well. Even if Bush did not authorize the disclosure of Plame, he did authorize the disclosure of the NIE and might not have informed Fitzgerald of this under interrogation. That is an impeachable offense. He might be legally immune from the politcal ramifications but he is not legally immune from obstruction of justice charges.

Posted by: bblog on April 8, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

bblog:

You raise a point which underscores why I say this is not a legal problem yet for this President but that this is conditional on what is out there right now as opposed to what may well still be coming down that public release pike. However, I think trying to deal with this as a legal problem at this moment is to actually help the Trolletariat obfuscate the real damage done here, and that is to Bush's political credibility/power/moral authority. This is incredibly damaging for Bush at this time precisely how it feeds into his credibility issues as well as making his "trust me" bit on the NSA scandal lose credibility as well as causing people to wonder if Bush would selectively lie to them about nukes and war with Iraq why then would it be any less likely that he has done so on the domestic spying program among other such programs he has defended with "trust me". That is the thing the GOP and Bush fear from this and why I believe the Trolletariat has been so extensively deployed to spin and obfuscate this matter so as to try and prevent these linkages from forming in the minds of the general public, and especially in preventing the Dems from not only making those linkages but also politically exploiting them against Bush and the GOP.

Posted by: Scotian on April 8, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Agreed. We just have to wait. The fact of the matter, though, is that it is public record that Bush did not "disclose" to Fitzgerald that he authorized the leak. It is inconceivable that Fitzgerald did not specifically inquire about this. The conclusion seems inescapable.

Posted by: bblog on April 8, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

We're going to need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission once this administration is finished with its run. This mess runs deep. Sorting it all out will take us years.

Posted by: xark on April 8, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian has the priorities right. Whether Bush or Cheney are in legal jeopardy is still far from clear (Fitzgerald's and Libby's defense most recent filings notwithstanding--I think they add little).

However, the credibility of the administration and Bush's image as a "straight shooter" does appear increasingly in jeopardy--especially among those who don't follow the minutia. That is where the focus needs to remain.

And if that's enough to put an end to this administration, the neocons, their enablers in Congress, and their imperial ambitions, I'll be happy.

Posted by: has407 on April 8, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, but this matter needs to be watched as well. If it turns out that Bush did obstruct justice, is it conceivable that he will get a pass?

Posted by: bblog on April 8, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

bblog -- If I have the choice between: (1) sending them up to the Big House, with the neocon agenda's credibility intact; or (2) letting them off, with the neocon agenda's credibility in tatters... I'll take (2).

In short, I care less whether Bush, Cheney, et. al. get a pass from our legal system, than whether they and their agenda, means and methods are drawn, quartered, thrown on the dung heap, and never allowed to pollute our government again.

Posted by: has407 on April 9, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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