Saturday, April 08, 2006

Yeah, if the President did it personally, then it was legal. Here's what else it was.

According to lawyers representing Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, the source of the Plame leak was the person who told Libby to leak it to the press. And it was not, has had been speculated, Libby's boss, Dick Cheney, but rather Cheney's boss, President Bush himself. The President's staff has not denied a report that he personally authorized Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Scooter Libby to leak information on Valerie Plame ten days before it was declassified (and it was declassified while the scandal was erupting-- given how hard it is to get them to declassify anything, even the timing of that has to be seriously questioned). This confirms what conservative columnist Robert Novak, who originally broke the story said last December at a luncheon of the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, North Carolina:

"I'm confident the president knows who the source is. I'd be amazed if he doesn't."

"So I say, don't bug me. Don't bug Bob Woodward. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is,"

Well, the source has been revealed.

So what is the response from conservatives? Mostly to say that if the President leaked it, then it's legal. The President has the authority to authorize the release of classified information any time he wants to.

True enough, he does have that right. So it is legal. However, to authorize (but hide behind an 'anonymous source' cover) the naming of an undercover CIA operative purely for reasons of political retaliation against a person who challenged the administration's lies on Iraq (and as we now know, correctly challenged them) can be described by a whole lot of other adjectives, I can think of so many that I have to alphabetize them: an abuse of power, appalling, cheap, childish, cowardly, craven, deplorable, despicable, disgusting, galling, grudging, gutless, lamentable, malicious, mean, nasty, pathetic, petty, pusillanimous, selfish, shameful, shocking, small-minded, sordid, spineless, stupid, timid, treasonous, unacceptable, unethical, unpardonable, and weak.

Yes, if the President of the United States authorized this personally, then it was legal so in that sense there is no scandal, but it is hardly befitting a President of the United States. But it seems to fit this one's sad, sorry little behind.


I was reminded on some other blogs of the following.

Recall what the President said about the leak:

"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is,..."If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of." -- Feb. 10, 2004

And also, that when asked in June 2004 if he would fire anyone who had leaked Plame's name, the President answered, "Yes. (Houston Chronicle, 7/19/05).

Considering these direct quotes, is there anyone at all who would today not call the President a liar? If this doesn't qualify as a smoking gun that the President is a liar, then there is nothing at all that would.


EAPrez said...

This isn't about whether or not it is technically 'legal'. This is about telling the truth - a blow job after all is not against the law but lying about it apparently warrants impeachment. Leaking information for political purposes and then lying about it seems to be much more immoral than getting a sex act between consenting adults.

Eli Blake said...


This sort of thing is disgusting, but I still don't support impeachment. Not that there aren't days when I believe that the President deserves it, but I don't quite understand the logic behind your position. People who support impeachment have to ignore the obvious pair of facts 1) that our guys don't have the votes to impeach him, so therefore it is hot air, and 2) if the President were impeached then Dick Cheney would replace him-- hard to see where that would be an improvement.)

You are right that this is more serious than what Bill Clinton did, but far better to continue to point out to people how much Congressional Republicans abused their own power when they impeached the President for lying about an affair, than to tell them the first thing we would do if we had the power to do it, would be the same thing.

Electing a Democratic Congress will in fact pretty much achieve the same thing as impeachment as Bush-Cheney will be forced to deal with Democrats who want to limit their abuses, and the Bush domestic agenda will be dead in the water.

EAPrez said...

I'm not saying we REALLY should impeach him but he should be held accountable - censuring for one - and the congress should begin doing what they haven't done since this idiot stole the first election - conduct oversight - and then in November we take his power away by voting the gang that has facilitated this nonsene out of there! Then - we re-enact some 'fairness doctrine' legislation and get to the bottom of all this stuff - its important that all the details are found out and exposed so the masses never forget what happened when they weren't looking.

Sar said...

Just because it may technically be legal, doesn't mean it was proper. Your alphabetized rant was brilliant! As was your perfect birthday comment to me. Thanks, Eli, I loved it! :)

Karen said...

eli~ of course {slaps head}!

"Well, I'm a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see.
It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin' down to take a look at me"...

Eli Blake said...

You got it, Karen.

They even have a statue and mural on 'the corner.' Unfortunately the building behind the wall burned down a couple of years ago, so now the whole thing is fenced off and they are still haggling about what to do with it.

But yeah, where I live is one of those towns where a 'shopping center' is a mechanic's shop with a vending machine in the back.

Karen said...

eli~ "where I live is one of those towns where a 'shopping center' is a mechanic's shop with a vending machine in the back"...

... my kinda town; i don't like big towns, cities, etc. that's why i live out in the *boonies*! :-)