Saturday, April 08, 2006

Brief post due to strange goings on

C.I. hollered "Save! Save now!" and only Mike immediately figured out what was going on. I'm posting briefly. I had a longer entry that I lost. It was "cute" the way C.I.'s computer goes down, then Rebecca's, then Betty and mine at the same time and there's a weird "click" on this computer. (I'm using a neighbor's of C.I.'s computer. I'm not sure if my laptop will reboot, we've split up to get things posted.)

"Bush Accused Of OKing Leak of Classified Info" (Democracy Now!):
Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff has testified that President Bush authorized him to leak a highly classified intelligence document on Iraq to the press in an effort to defend the administration's decision to go to war. This marks the first time Bush has been linked to the leaking of classified information and raises new questions if Bush was directly tied to the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's grand jury testimony was cited in court papers filed by prosecutors late Wednesday. Libby was indicted in October on charges that he lied to investigators about his role in the outing of Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson who was a vocal critic of the war. On Sept. 30, 2003, President Bush warned against anyone in his administration leaking classified information. "Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington," Bush said. "There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is." On Capitol Hill, Bush was widely criticized by Democrats on Thursday. This is Senator Charles Schumer of New York. "It is increasingly clear that this case goes far beyond Scooter Libby. At the very least, President Bush and Vice President Cheney should fully inform the American people of any role they played in allowing classified information to be leaked," said Schumer. "Did they believe they have the right to do this and if so, in what circumstances? Or is this just something that may have been done to accommodate the president's momentary political needs? According to court documents today, Scooter Libby said that the president authorized the vice president to direct him to disclose classified information to reporters in order to bolster support for the war in Iraq."

Bully Boy seems to be connected to the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to the press. I will nutshell what I'd earlier written and note that there's nothing wrong, my opinion, with the press outing. The CIA has a long history of torture, preventing democracy in other nations and spying on American citizens. I don't weep for the CIA. Whether Valerie Plame is a "good" agent or an example of the worst of the CIA, I don't know.

The problem is that what the press has a right to do in the name of watchdog duties, the administration doesn't. If Bully Boy wants to dismantle the CIA (an idea that I would support), he should do so. (He seems more eager to rearrange it and other agencies which he hands control of to Negroponte.) He didn't do that. The outing of Plame should not have come from the administration. The executive branch should not out employees. (The CIA reports to the president.) This was an attack and, since he's not attempting to end the CIA, it was such a breach of ethics that the nation should be appalled. It was a betrayal and it was done to attack Joe Wilson. There is nothing honorable in the administration's aims or their means.

I don't know Ms. Plame and she may be a wonderful person. But I've not invested myself in what should happen to Robert Novak. He did the administration's bidding but if other reporters outed CIA agents (and I think they should), it wouldn't bother me. I was bothered that he remained silent while others were attacked as surrogates.

I do not mean Matt Cooper. Matt Cooper knew Karl Rove was naming Plame because Rove named her to him. That was a little secret that Cooper only revealed when he was afraid he'd be sitting in jail. When he realized Karl couldn't save him in jail, he suddenly spills the beans. If he'd named Karl (as he did Scooter) in 2004, the public could have known about it before the election. How do you think that could have effected the election?

Matt Cooper did write about the outing before he named Karl. He never got honest with his readers. The heads up that Rove received from a co-worker of Cooper's is also very curious and the questions should go to Matt Cooper. Rove got tipped off and that's very strange for a supposed secret that Cooper, at that point, was still maintaining he couldn't reveal.

If the press comes across the names of CIA agents, I firmly believe they should print them. I do not believe that the administration should be leaking the names. What the administration did should be punishable (and depending upon your reading of the law it is punishable). Bully Boy's publicly attacked leakers but the leaks have come from the administration.

Until those who aided in the cover up come forward with the truth, Matt Cooper among them, he may get away with it. Nixon had a set of "plumbers" but he wasn't fortunate enough to have so many in the press willing to look the other way. That's one of many areas where Bully Boy's ahead of Nixon.

"Sen. Harkin Urges Democrats To Back Censure of Bush" (Democracy Now!):
Meanwhile Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa has admitted in a radio interview that he is embarrassed that more Democrats have not supported Russell Feingold's motion to censure the President for illegally ordering the NSA to conduct domestic spying.

Harkin's correct, it is shameful. As Robert Parry noted on KPFA's Living Room Friday, the Democrats need to realize that the game plan that failed them in 2002 and 2004 doesn't appear to be a winning strategy. They need to be offering bold statements, not sitting around thinking that they have a sure win due to Bully Boy's polling.

That's it for today. I did have a much longer version of this but when C.I.'s computer went down, I didn't grasp what "Save! Save now!" meant. By the time I did, my laptop was also down. I'll say that was very curious and note that, after September in DC, we did have backup plans in case similar things happened.

Please visit Mikey Likes It! for Mike's thoughts which he thinks he had saved before the laptop he was on went down.