Saturday, April 08, 2006

Leaker-in-Chief

I wanted to write this yesterday, fresh in my head, but yesterday turned into a non-computing day.

The President should resign. He stated over and over and over that he deplored these leaks of classified information to the press, has opened investigations into who leaked the info about the illegal domestic spying program, yet he's the guy who told Scooter Libby to leak the classified Iraq National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). Libby testified to this himself in the grand jury, according to court filings.

In my mind, there is no doubt now that the President or Vice-President or both authorized Libby to leak the name of Valerie Plame. They were furious with Wilson and with Democratic criticism. They threatened Dick Durbin for talking about the same NIE that they leaked, and they were off the wall about Joe Wilson's claims.

The anger they directed was very Nixonian, and manifested itself in similar ways. The leaks are unforgivable, though. You cannot stand on a pedestal and decry leaking while doing it yourself. You cannot say a leak about a criminal action is itself criminal while leaking classified war information. You cannot claim any moral justification that because you are the President, that makes it different somehow. You cannot say with a straight face that your lies are not criminal and harmful to the United States but yet Bill Clinton's lies were, because his lies were under oath.

President George W. Bush, you cannot make these claims. You have been proven to have deliberately lied to the American people, you have abused the power of your office with your illegal spying program, and you have, by your actions, endangered not just the physical security of our nation, but its very foundations. I therefore call on you to resign, and if you do not resign, I call on Congress to open an immediate impeachment inquiry into your actions. This is the last straw. You cannot be trusted with our nation's security any longer, and you must go.

2 Comments:

Blogger E. M. Zanotti said...

One very big point has been missed in all this: Libby isn't on trial for leaking Plame's name, he's on trial for lying about, well, everything associated with covering his tracks in this non-scandal. And Joe Wilson proved himself wrong, unfortunately for him: a fact thats been lost in this snafu.

The President is authorized to declassify information labelled classified, that is not pertinent to national security--its well within the Presidents powers to do this. Nothing new, nothing special. The INIE was leaked to Judith Miller in the hopes that it would improve public relations on the war, and the documents don't mention Valerie Plame. Valeries name was most likely "leaked"by journalists telling other journalists crappy Hill rumors. It happens all the time--low level wonks pass information from and to each other and to the press at the rate of a thousand phone calls a day, without having ANY idea what they are passing on. No doubt this happened the same way. Plame was in the public eye long before her "cover" was blown. Since everyone from Robert Novak to Bob Woodward to that scruffy little deputy Secretary of State have admitted to "leaking" her name to someone, the source will probably be about a million people.

Libby is using an age old legal technique called "being a defense jerk." He's releasing this to 1) cover his own ass in the press, 2) demand three months more of discovery so that he can bury the prosecution in documents and confuse the issue, and 3) pin his own coverup on other people. Its clever, but really a non-issue. Its Scooters lawyers who are trying to deflect the press.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Zafrod said...

I'm unsure where Joe Wilson proved himself wrong, as claimed by e.m. above me here. Joe Wilson said that the yellow-cake purchase was unlikely to have happened, and as it turns out, he was right. The INIE report (which wasn't leaked in its entirty, by the way... only certain passages, out of context) stated, while there were claims of a Nigerian deal, they were dubious at best, and it turns out he was right and the claims were false.

Also, Valerie Plame wasn't in the public eye before her cover was blown... I've heard that from a lot of administration appologists, and then I ask them to show me a public document that gives her identity as an agent prior to this event, and none of them can do it. Did people know Valerie Plame as Joe Wilson's wife? Yes. Did they know her as a CIA agent? No. Big difference there.

5:01 PM  

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