Friday, April 07, 2006

Talking out of both sides of the mouth

Everyone surprised by "Scooter" Libby's testimony to the Grand Jury please stand up. Now that everyone is seated, let's discuss the implications of that testimony. Libby claims that "the President specifically had authorized" him to disclose information in the (previously classified) National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to Judith Miller.

When the president authorizes disclosure of information, it is no longer classified. Does that exonerate the president of criminal activity? Perhaps it does on this one matter. However, it does not exonerate the president of extreme hypocrisy. Don't forget Bush's statement in September 2003: "if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of."

With this clear stance against leaks from the White House, Bush should be declaring mea culpa and apologizing to the American people. Of course, after five years with this administration, America knows better. Instead, Bush trotted out his official liar, Scott McClellan, to hold a press briefing.

True to form, he diverted blame to those making "irresponsible and unfounded accusations ... against the administration, suggesting that we had manipulated or misused that intelligence." McClellan stated that declassifying the NIE "was very much in the public interest." That's right, he's claiming that disclosing sensitive intelligence to the press is the right way to combat public debate about the administration's shaping of intelligence to justify invading Iraq.

Under Bush logic, exposing a sensitive NIE to the press is the right way to respond to certain facets of the public discovering his perpetration of fraud against the American people. Yet, when someone in his administration leaks the existence of NSA espionage of American's phone lines and email that he approved, Bush claims that national security was put at risk, as if al Qaeda operatives would never have otherwise suspected that intelligence agents might be eavesdropping on their communications.

1 comment:

The Progressive said...

In the above post, I referred to Scott McClellan as Bush's "official liar." Those are harsh words that could call into question my objectivity. Therefore, I should include grounds for that claim about McClellan. I challenge anyone who considers my claim to be unobjective to read the remainder of the press briefing I cited. If you read the Q&A that followed the quotes I used in this post and still think that McClellan is not Bush's official liar, come back and post a Comment here. You can call me out, make ad hominem attacks against me, and support Bush all you like and I promise to leave your Comment intact. Just be sure to include in your Comment a statement that you read the press briefing and you still believe McClellan is not a liar so that readers of your Comment will understand your intellectual integrity.