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February 16, 2006

Comments

maryrose

This White House is within their rights and privledges under the law and is NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG. They have full authority and Fitz needs to brush up on constitutional law.

kim

Hey, what's the big idea here, anyway? Who put Bush and Cheney in charge?
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jerry

An Executive Order eh, written afer the fact perhaps?

Also, here's and interesting post on KOS:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/2/16/32934/9980

p.lukasiak

having read this executive order, and the relevant statutes concerning classified materials, it would appear that while Cheney may have the power to "classify" materials as "secret", (and possibly the power to declassify those personally classified), he does not have the power the declassify whatever the hell he feels like at any given point in time.

kim

Who's this 'it' that appears to have read the executive order and the statutes. What's 'it' got to say that's pertinent? Can 'it' point to the meaning 'it' has had appear?
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Appalled Moderate

Does anyone know exactly what Libby declassified per Cheney's order?

clarice

kos is still in business after it's apparent he's just a tool of the DLC? This statement made the left go bonkers BTW..they are still waiting for blood..anyone's--they had too much invested in this.

Jeff

I haven't been able to find the part where the VP is given declassification, though I'm sure it's there. March 2003, let me think, what was going on then? Wasn't there a war or something? Oh, I can't remember. It's all just a big coincidence anyway, I'm sure. It is interesting to note that Waas' article from last week reported, without much detail on this point, that

Vice President Cheney and other senior Bush administration officials had earlier encouraged and authorized him to share classified information with journalists to build public support for going to war.

Presumably this was before March 25 2003, when the executive order was amended. So it would be interesting to know whether Cheney was allowed to authorize declassification of the relevant material before then, and whether Cheney did so unilaterally, or whether he was backed up by other superiors who did have the authority to do so.

Jeff

sorry for the italics.

Dwilkers

Ah, Pluk returns from calling us insane to grace us with his wisdom.

kim

Just as a minor side issue, what is Tenet's authority to declassify CIA stuff? Might he be considered a superior of Libby's in certain circumstances?
===============================================

kim

Some people keep falling for the wild and crazy ones.
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Wonderland

Unless someone can point out some legal document giving the VP declassification authority, I don't buy it.

The policy reasons behind giving certain high-level officials authority to classify documents in the first instance are materially different from the policy reasons behind preventing a single high-level official from unilaterally declassifying information in the second instance.

And, in any event, even if VP did have unilateral declassification authority, there'd have to be some sort of procedure, most likely involving a written record, or some type of certification, that the VP would have to go through before he could declare a document with a big red "CLASSIFIED" stamp on it to be public information.

Does anyone here think that any records like that exist? Come on.

cathyf

There's a new wikipedia article on the VP and the March, 2003 EO 13292. link. One thing that is misleading about this is that this latest article implies that the 2003 EO and the 1995 EO that it replaces are the only two EO's dealing with the matter. As in Bill Clinton invented the classification system and George Bush modified it.

Here is an excerpt from a short history of the classification system in a Congressional Research Service article

Although formal armed forces information security orders had been in existence since 1869, security classification arrangements assumed a presidential character in 1940. The reasons for this late development are not entirely clear, but it probably was prompted by desires to clarify the authority of civilian personnel in the national defense community to create official secrets, to establish a broader basis for protecting military information in view of growing global hostilities, and to better manage a discretionary power of increasing importance to the entire executive branch.

Relying upon a 1938 statute concerning the security of armed forces installations and equipment and “information relative thereto,” Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first presidential security classification directive, E.O. 8381, in March 1940. However, the legislative history of the statute which the President relied upon to issue his order provided no indication that Congress anticipated that such a security classification arrangement would be created.

Other executive orders followed. E.O. 10104, adding a fourth level of classified information, aligned U.S. information security categories with those of our allies in 1950. A 1951 directive, E.O. 10290, completely overhauled the security classification program. Information was now classified in the interest of “national security” and classification authority was extended to non-military agencies which presumably had a role in “national security” policy.

Criticism of the 1951 order prompted President Dwight D. Eisenhower to issue a replacement, E.O. 10501, in November 1953. This directive and later amendments to it, as well as E.O. 11652 of March 8, 1972, and E.O. 12065 of June 28, 1978, successively narrowed the bases and limited discretion for assigning official secrecy to agency records.

Shortly after President Ronald Reagan issued E.O. 12356 on April 2, 1982, it came under criticism for reversing the limiting trend set by classification orders of the previous 30 years by expanding the categories of classifiable information, mandating that information falling within these categories be classified, making reclassification authority available, admonishing classifiers to err on the side of classification, and eliminating automatic declassification arrangements.

With the democratization of many eastern European countries, the demise of the Soviet Union, and the end of the cold war, President Clinton, shortly after his inauguration, initiated a sweeping review of cold war rules on security classification in general and of E.O. 12356 in particular with a view to reform.

Many began to suspect that the security classification program could be improved when the Department of Defense Security Review Commission, chaired by retired General Richard G. Stilwell, declared in 1985 that there were “no verifiable figures as to the amount of classified material produced in DoD and in defense industry each year.” Nonetheless, it was concluded that “too much information appears to be classified and much at higher levels than is warranted.”

The cost of the security classification program became clearer when the General Accounting Office reported in October 1993 that it was “able to identify governmentwide costs directly applicable to national security information totaling over $350 million for 1992.” After breaking this figure down — it included only $6 million for declassification work — the report added that “the U.S. government also spends additional billions of dollars annually to safeguard information, personnel, and property.”

Established in April 1993, the President’s security classification task force transmitted its initial draft order to the White House seven months later. Circulated among the departments and agencies for comment, the proposal encountered strong opposition from officials within the intelligence and defense communities. More revision of the draft directive followed.

As delay in issuing the new order continued, some in Congress considered legislating a statutory basis for classifying information in the spring of 1994. In the fall, the President issued an order declassifying selected retired records at the National Archives. After months of unresolved conflict over designating an oversight and policy direction agency, a compromise version of the order was given presidential approval in April 1995.

The last paragraph of the document reviews Bush's modifications:
Further amendment of E.O. 12958 occurred in late March 2003 when President George W. Bush issued E.O. 13292. The product of a review and reassessment initiated in the summer of 2001, the directive, among other changes, eliminated the Clinton order’s standard that information should not be classified if there is “significant doubt” about the need to do so; treated information obtained in confidence from foreign governments as classified; and authorized the Vice President, “in the performance of executive duties,” to classify information originally. It also added “infrastructures” and “protection services” to the categories of classifiable information; eased the reclassification of declassified records; postponed the starting date for automatic declassification of protected records 25 or more years old from April 17, 2003, to December 31, 2006; eliminated the requirement that agencies prepare plans for declassifying records; and permitted the Director of Central Intelligence to block declassification actions of the ISCAP, unless overruled by the President.
Ok, that was today's history lesson...

cathy :-)

kim

Is the Vice-President extended the authority to determine classification? I'd say yes, and part of the clue is the word 'originally'.
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Sue

OT...democrats are calling for Gonzales to appoint a SP to investigate the Abramhoff scandal. Just what we need, another SP.

maryrose

Gonzales is not going to appoint an SP for the Abramoff no matter how much the dems squeal. We did not get our money's worth with the last one Fitz who couldn't get a conviction on any statute or law being broken.

maryrose

By the way Wonderland, Luk and Appaled Moderate, Jeff et al .. The VP has the authority so did Libby -GET over IT.

Gary Maxwell

Oh this is funny. The looney libs all say Cheney is wrong and he does not have the pwer he says he has. I am in the words of the infamous AB, laughing my ass off.

Soylent Red

I should think that as a member of the executive branch, the VP would at minimum have the power to declassify under direct authority of the Pres.

At maximum, as the second highest Executive in the land, he would be free to act at his own discretion within the confines of the Constitution and EO's.

Wherever this falls between the two ends, the simple fix is for Bush to simply state that Cheney was acting under direct orders, and that the whole Libby/Plame affair was an unfortunate byproduct, since her status was technically not classified.

Gary Maxwell

Dont you see? the lump of coal the Looney got for Fitzmas is about to be subjected to factory recall. the morons got nothing for Fitzmas. NOTHING. And Kos is over selling them out for a few DLC dollars. At least they still got Al Gore to speak truth to power.

topsecretk9

Gary
And Kos is over selling them out for a few DLC dollars.

Gawd, no doubt. Talk about passive aggressive misplaced self doubt denial obsessing.

clarice

That's about it Gary..And I wonder what's going down in the SP's brain trust today..(And my "brilliant" article on why the Obstruction count must fail still sits in the queue).

kim

Oh yes, executive power: I'm allowed to not tell, but I'm not allowed to tell. Sure, sure.
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kim

It really is an argument reduced to absurdity.
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Jim E.

Contrary to TM's headline, I don't see that Cheney himself (as opposed to the AP writer) says that the VP has DE-classification powers.

kim

Here's an eminently progressive notion, the New Order Theory, or NOT.

The NOT executive, cannot say things, but can say nothing.

The NOT legislator, Rocky says it all.

The NOT judge say we cannot have laws different from elsewhere.


All for naughty.
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Dumbledore

The WSJ ran a pretty good article on this a few days ago. (I especially like the bit about the president being able to _secretly_ declassify things).

For what it's worth, I think that even absent the inherent authority, the VP was probably explicitly granted it as per EO1392 [6.1 (l)(4)].

From:

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB113962394427971509-4nyoE0q5oTejTPe9cRHBg_om6mM_20070211.html

The president can declassify anything," William Banks, a Syracuse University law professor and expert on national-security law, said. While the president would have to amend his own executive order governing secrets in order to declassify something on the fly, that can be accomplished very informally, even orally and in secret. "He could do it on a cocktail napkin," Mr. Banks said.

The vice president's authority to declassify is less clear. Some legal scholars believe that Mr. Cheney would share in the president's authority, as an elected official. Alternatively, the president could delegate his declassification authority to the vice president.

"The classification system is rooted for the most part not in statute but in executive order. ...In the case of the NIE, the White House was free to declassify it at a moment's notice," said Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists

KM

Indeed, I'll repeat the point raised by p. lukasiak, Jeff and Jim E.

What exactly is this post trying to claim?

It's not news that EO 13292 amended Clinton's 12958 in order, among other things, to give the VP original classifying authority.

So what? What does that have to do with declassification?

Notice that Cheney only plays the usual Admin game of suggesting that he's got such general declassifying authority without actually saying it. Reread what he says. Of course, he precedes the deceptive-but-literally-true statement about the VP having original classifying authority as a result of 13292 with lots of random statements about "declassification", thereby doing his best to ensure that the reader will assume his statement says something it actually does not.

maryrose

KM - Wishing the VP doesn't have the authority doesn't make it so. Get your own guys elected and then they get the authority too!

KM

Yup, and claiming you have an argument doesn't make it so. I never said the VP doesn't have the authority ... I don't pretend to be a national-security law expert. But I do know that you can't derive such authority from sloppy reading of the relevant Executive Orders. And those, at least, in my opinion, do not give the VP any such authority. I welcome actual reasoned arguments to the contrary.

My own guys? Whatever. You know nothing about me or my politics.

Jeff

Wait - so is the current rightwing talking point that Cheney ordered a political hit on the Wilsons, but it was all legal because he can declassify anything he wants at any time, so he just declassified her status, told Libby to reveal it to reporters, and everything is ok in the world? Is that it? Or that if he did, it's all okay? So it's ok for the VP of the U.S. to declassify the status of CIA agents in order to counter political opponents?

Bob

Look at Section 6.1:

"(l) "Declassification authority" means:

(1) the official who authorized the original classification, if that official is still serving in the same position;
(2) the originators current successor in function;

(3) a supervisory official of either; or

(4) officials delegated declassification authority in writing by the agency head or the senior agency official."


Wouldn't the VP be a "supervisory official" of everyone in the executive branch but the President?

kim

And what is the point of an executive who can determine what is not said, but not what is said?
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SPQR

Its more than a bit bizarre that Jim E and p.luk would actually believe that someone with the power to classify something could not "classify" it unclassified.

Appalled Moderate

Hey. All I want to know is what was declassified. I'm just curious.

(TM -- If Plame's status was one of the things declassified by Cheney, we wouldn't be having this Libby trial, as there would be no crime for Fitz to investigate. Unless there is some Byzantine plot to protect Cheney which involved Libby getting indicted. That idea just involves more tinfoil than I have at hand right now.)

Ranger

The Headline says:

Cheney Says He Has Power to Declassify Info

Yet, nowhere in the article is Cheney ever quoted as saying that. In fact, all he is quoted as saying is that "I have certainly advocated declassification. I have participated in declassification decisions." He does say that he has the authority to classify information, but no where does he expressly say what the headline claims. More quality journalism from the AP.

Further, lets look at the chain of the investigation and see what this adds. We know that the President was interviewed, we also know now that Libby has stated he was authorized to give parts of the NIE to the press. This declassification thing would explian why the President was interviewed as part of the discussion.

The NIE was a CIA product and George (Slam Dunk) Tenant's baby, therefore, Tenant, as Director of Central Intelligence had the authority to declassify, if Chaney wanted something declassified and Tenant didn't agree, then it goes to the President to make the final determination.

My take is that Tenant was just as eager to get the NIE into the press because he was the one pushing the intel on WMDs as a "Slam Dunk" case. This statement: "I have participated in declassification decisions" indicates to me that there was probably a discussion about what parts of the NIE to give to reporters and what parts to keep classified, and that Chaney was part of that discsussion with the President making the final call.


kim

Got a safety net under some of those leaps of logic, Jeff? And be offended, KM, it's easier than explaining your absurdities.
=========================================

TM

Jerry - I know Jason Leopold is a lot of fun, but IMHO he is not even credible enough for Raw Story.

For the legal literalists out there - please, if the Executive Branch is unilaterally capable of declassifying things (Hint - they are), and Dick Cheney is the "real" President (Hint - he's not), he can declassify things.

For the rest of us, if the VP says he intends to get something declassified, the fact that the specific procedures may oblige him to work with the President or agency heads is not exactly the same as saying "he can't do it". I doubt many agency heads have made a long career of crossing Dick Cheney, who is by all accounts a very powerful force in the White House.

From Jim E:

Contrary to TM's headline, I don't see that Cheney himself (as opposed to the AP writer) says that the VP has DE-classification powers.

Good point. I think I'll change my headline to include "AP -".

Martin A. Knight

KM,

I'm under the impression that we're talking about the declassification of the 2002 NIE - this is in relation to the Waas story in which Waas was trying to prove that Libby leaked classified information on the orders of his "superiors" i.e. the Vice President.

Unfortunately for Waas, Cheney apparently does have the power to classify information. From my reading on National Security laws, classification authority includes the power to declassify, or, in other words, raise or lower the level of classification of a document or some other bit of information.

At the end of the day, I don't think Plame is an issue here.

PS: I think it is very obvious what your politics are. It really doesn't seem to be much of an enigma.

jerry

Upon reflection it looks worse that they wrote the VP into that Executive Order, what's the reason for doing it?

Is this a pre-meditated strategy to allow leaking classified info for political purposes? I don't see a good national security rational behind that. And what is the protocol for declassification, a momentary twinge of conscience on a talk show?

cathyf

Hey, AM, I don't think that Libby's lawyers are going to try to argue that Cheney declassified Plame's statue and directed Libby to leak it to reporters. I think that they are going to argue that Plame occupied very little of Libby's attention, and that's why his memory of Plame trivialities differs slightly from reporters. And the NIE is what they will claim that Libby was concerned with.

Now as to the question of whether Plame's CIA employment was, in fact, classified, Cheney could be completely irrelevant. If Plame's status satisfied Sec 1.7 (a) (1), (2) and/or (4) then her employment status was not classified no matter who was trying to make it so.

cathy :-)

Martin A. Knight
    I don't see a good national security rational behind that.

Would you believe that it's not really that important that you don't actually see what it is you don't see?

kim

Jerry, is conscience what provokes disclosure in your case?
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Jim E.

In an update, TM writes: "I expect he has enough influence in the White House that if he tells his staff that something will be declassified, they believe it, and he can get it done."

Perhaps, but with this reasoning, your links to executive orders and quoting of laws becomes virtually irrelevant, doesn't it? Karl Rove has a lot of influence, and gets stuff done, too.

kim

The stereotactic strawman: I can't see it so it doesn't need demolishing.
=================================================

cathyf

Posted by: jerry | February 16, 2006 at 06:31 AM

An Executive Order eh, written afer the fact perhaps?
Posted by: jerry | February 16, 2006 at 10:03 AM
Upon reflection...
While you were reflecting, did you notice that March 2003 came before June, 2003?

cathy :-)

Anne

There is NO way the VP would have the authority to declassify the status of an undercover agent. Get real morons. She was undercover working on WMD and Iran. She had other agents in the field and contacts. He doesn't have the authority to undermine the efforts of the CIA. He's smoking funny cigarettes and so are you to believe this horse shit.

Jim E.

Here's a link discussing the same topic, with a bit more context: http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/

TM,
It turns out that the AP was correct with its headline. In the relevant portion of the transcript (see above link), Cheney does claim that the VP the authority to declassify. Doesn't mean he's correct, but it does mean the AP was accurate.

clarice

Not on the calendar Kos distributes to his readers.

The EO was published in the Federal Register without a peep of protest. Byron York compares it with the Clinton EO and shows how much more power the VP was given under Bush.

cathyf

Anne, I suggest that you put down whatever you are smoking, and read Executive Order 13292. Just follow that there link up there in Tom's original post.

On second thought, given your rich fantasies about Valerie's secret agent life, maybe you could send over some of what you're smoking. Looks like it might be fun.

cathy :-)

cathyf

The wikipedia article which I referenced above was written this week, and its last link is to the Byron York article that I'm pretty sure Clarice is refering to.

cathy :-)

Specter

Jerry said:

Is this a pre-meditated strategy to allow leaking classified info for political purposes?

OMG - yet another conspiracy theory. I mean - here we go with another "Scandal du Jour" from the Society of Subversion.

It is almost unbelievable the lows they theorize - everything is a conspiracy. All of you had better look under your beds, in your closets - and take every single electronic component in your homes apart and search for bugs. We are everywhere.....

lazerlou

With all due respect to you wingers, even if this provides a legit excuse for Scooter, doesn't it bother any of you that the White House explicitly denied any role in outing Plame, and the President ahs called such actions reprehensible and worthy of criminal investigation? Do you not see how badly the whitehouse lied if this is indeed the strategy the Bush administration takes? Do you see how this only changes the legal implications and not the ethical ones? The fact is, even if "legal" Cheney still outed a CIA operative and teh Bush administration lied repeatedly about it? Does that casue any of you wingers concern? I hope some of you have a shred of intellectual integrity and can see how disgusting it is for teh Whiote House to have covered up its roled and actively lied to the public, and undermined our intelligence community for the sake of politics.
Also, doesn't it give rise to any concern that this was all part of a coevrup of the Bush administrations lies about its reason to go into Iraq? It saddens me that you people are debating the merits of this legal argument without adressing its ethical implications.

kim

Yeah that Brewster, Jennings was a jumpin' juke joint.
================================================

clarice

I think we should capitalize on this widespread paranoia, instead of just fruitlessly attacking it.
I'm takin out ads on Kos advertising a surgery free implantation of an off swith people can push to block the Bushitler/Rove mind rays.Post surgery, just press the magic spot and be Patriot Act and NSA surveillance free.(Saves a ton on tin foil and doesn't muss one's hair.)

cathyf

Jim E., you have an interesting point. I suspect that giving the VP classification powers in 2003 was about not having to have the president micromanage the paperwork for the things that he has delegated to Cheney. It is interesting that this excited so little comment at the time, because illustrates that Chaney has a pretty unique role as far as VPs go, at least in recent history. I suspect that if in a future presidency the VP job goes back to "bucket of warm spit" mode, then that president will issue a new EO and take away the VP's authority in classification.

cathy :-)

kim

Hey, lazerlou, take a look at the ethical implications of Tenet and the White House responding to an illegitimate political attack from liar Joe Wilson and the practically useful idiots in the press?
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clarice

lazer--there are so many leaps in your logic--we should string wires around you and call you a suspension bridge.

I know how disappointing it must be that none of these "scandals" have paid off and swept the loonies into office. But we had that with Carter, and that putz' foul taste cannot be erased.

Instead, perhaps you might consider pitching the papier mache head parades--with their tempting prospects of free joints and easy lays--and actually work to get candidates and a platform some sane person could support.

kim

A Paper Monicamache.
===========================

Other Tom

Bulletin for Jeff: No one has said that Cheney declassified the status of Plame's wife, although he clearly had the power to do so.

David M.

First of all, the Executive Order only grants Cheney the power to declassify information "in the performance of executive duties", not to settle personal political vandettas.

EO 13292 (2003)

[1.3 (c) (3) ] "Secret" or "Confidential" original classification authority may be delegated only by the President; in the performance of executive duties, the Vice President;

Bear in mind that the GOP talking points have always maintained that this was just a case of political 'hardball'. They freely admitt that this was a political act that served no executive function. So if Cheney admitts that he declassified the intel, it is a clear cut impeachable offense.

Second, the legal defense strategy of "I pretty much did it, but it wasn't a crime, because my superiors had declassified the intel" isn't going to help Libby out one iota. He faces Perjury, and Obstruction charges. To say, yeah I lied and obstructed, but since there was no underlying crime, it's o.k., will land him in jail guarenteed. Don't believe me? Go ask Martha.

Finally, if the EO was signed by the President, and he had knowledge of what the modifications were going to be used for (it was 2003 after all), then that too is an impeachable offense.

David.

kim

Tenet had the authority to declassify, too. In fact he had the authority to defend his agency against illegitimate political attack by the lying spouse of a subordinate.
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clarice

How interesting that the left regards honest responses to Wilson's lies that the administration falsified the facts about Iraq as the invasion was underway as "a personal political vendetta".

I cannot imagine an act which was more damaging to the nationa's credibility at a time when it was important to keep Allies onborad, keep up morale and maintain trust in the Administration.

But it certainly confirms my belief that you folks think it's find to sling shit and should nevertheless be allowed to do so without reproach or consequences.

lazerlou

That y'all can equivocate Cheney's outing of Plame with Wilson's op-ed shows how little integrity you wingers have. The guy just called Bush out on his selective use of intelligence and his scare tactics. This has been corroborated by other CIA officials very recently, as I'm sure you are aware. Even if Joe Wilson was a politically motivated liar (and he so obviously wasn't, he was a man who felt compelled to expose Bush administration lies), you still can't respons to the fact that even if thsi provided a convenient legal excuse, it does not absolve the White House of its repeated assurances that it had no role in the outing of plame and that it takes the investigation seriously. Coming back with ad hominem attacks like "your party has no platform" or "your logic has holes" without identifiying such holes, just shows the lack of intellectual ability and intergrity you people have in your blind defense of the most corrupt administration this country has ever seen.

So really though, how do you explain away the white house's previous denials of involvement and its lies that it takes this criminal investigation seriously and is cooperating? I hope you all have more intergity in the rest of your lives or its eternal hellfire for all of you.

clarice

Should read:
How interesting that the left regards honest responses to Wilson's lies that the administration falsified the facts about Iraq as the invasion was underway as "a personal political vendetta".

I cannot imagine an act which was more damaging to the nation's credibility at a time when it was important to keep Allies onboard, keep up morale and maintain trust in the Administration.

But it certainly confirms my belief that you folks think it's fine to sling shit and should nevertheless be allowed to do so without reproach or consequences.

kim

Whew, David M., where to start? Remember, Joe lied, peaple are still dying.
==============================================

Other Tom

Here is what Fitzgerald says about Libby's testimony: "We also note that it is our understanding that Mr. Libby testified that he was authorized to disclose information about the NIE to the press by his superiors." For those of you in the slow reading group, that means he says he was authorized to disclose information contained in the National Intelligence Estimate, not information about Valerie Plame's employment. Keep your eye on the ball. And keep dreaming about your "impeachable offense." FDR imprisoned thousands of Americans without trial because of the color of their skin--impeachable offense? Jimmy Carter authorized warrantless wiretaps of those suspected of spying--impeachable offense? Bill Clinton authorized a warrantless invasion of Aldrich Ames's house--impeachable offense?

kim

And Lazerlou,
Where are you?
Like Valer Who,
I feel for you.
=================

David M.


"I cannot imagine an act which was more damaging to the nation's credibility at a time when it was important to keep Allies onboard, keep up morale and maintain trust in the Administration."

No, well let me help. How about the fact that the whole WMD thing was a pile of shit to begin with, and we invaded another country in order to steal it's oil? Do you think that might damage our credibility a smidge more than someone who was expossing those lies?

Extraneus

Can anyone out there explain the legal implications of an Executive Order? Since it's not a law, and the President apparently has the authority to issue, modify or rescind it at will, how could any related action by anyone who had the support of the President be legally problematic?

Appalled Moderate

Look, folks. Cheney did not declassify Plame's name. He may have declassified other things, but not that.

Otherwise, Libby and Cheney could testify that -- yep -- they leaked the now non-classified name, and nobody would have ever known, because Fitz would not have disclosed it. Also, even if Libby did lie, he would have the defense that there was no crime because the name was not classified and Fitz knew it.

Since this didnt happen, I'm wondering what Cheney did declassify. And I guess we don't really know.

clarice

I think that like most of the left you've grown intellectually vacuous and cannot carry on a reasonable debate because for decades the cultural and media elites have shielded you from actually having to defend crap ideas and baseless charges. And that day is over.You have entered a highly competitive marketplace of ideas with rotting, third rate merchandise and are not making many sales.

David M.

Yes, impeachable offense. Saying, "other presidents have done worse", doesn't absolve this President, oops I mean Vice President, of his. If you want a few more, consider...

1. He lied about WMD to start an illegal war.

2. He covered his lies by abusing the power of his office to defame those who questioned him.

4. He authorized the indefinate imprisonment of two americans, without the writ of habeus corpus being suspended by Congress.

5. He authorized the toture of detainee's in contrevention of internation treaties, which, once signed by a president and approved by congress, become the law of THIS country.

6. He authorized spying on Americans in direct contravention of established laws.

7. Because the war is illegal, every person killed by the U.S. military in connection becomes a case of murder for hire, and at last count that amounts to at least 30,000, by the Presidents own admission.

Impeachment falls short of justice, but its a start.

clarice

My remarks were addressed to David M and his last post makes it as applicable to his first.

Extraneus

At the time, I thought it was a dumb move to impeach Clinton, but the more I realize the effect it had on the left, the smarter it appears in retrospect, at least politically. I wonder if Rove was actually behind that.

clarice

I have it on good authority he's been behind everything since the Hundred Year War. And he looks so young!

kim

David M, for a clearer picture get that Moore film formatted to Betamax.
============================================

David M.

Sorry clarice, but I'm a card carrying Libertarian.

clarice

David--How dreadful it must be to have to express yourself in tired bumper sticker and T-shirt slogans and think you are making reasoned arguments..

clarice

Libertarian, is it? For legalization of drugs I think.

Otherwise as jejeune and sophomoric as all the rest of the left.

TM

With all due respect to you wingers

The logic is downhill from that low starting point.

From the Other Tom:

Here is what Fitzgerald says about Libby's testimony: "We also note that it is our understanding that Mr. Libby testified that he was authorized to disclose information about the NIE to the press by his superiors." For those of you in the slow reading group, that means he says he was authorized to disclose information contained in the National Intelligence Estimate, not information about Valerie Plame's employment.

Shhh, don't spoil their fun.

From AM:

Look, folks. Cheney did not declassify Plame's name.

Hard to dispute that - here is Fitzgerald from his October press conference:

FITZGERALD: Let me say two things. Number one, I am not speaking to whether or not Valerie Wilson was covert. And anything I say is not intended to say anything beyond this: that she was a CIA officer from January 1st, 2002, forward.

I will confirm that her association with the CIA was classified at that time through July 2003.

And to Jim E - I had the great idea of looking for a transcript, cleverly hidden at Fox. That is now in an UPDATE, and the AP was right.

Barney Frank

Hey clarice, regarding that 11:13AM post; its brilliant. Are you married? Do you want to be? Oh wait a minute, forgot who I am for a minute. Sorry. Disregard proposal. :)

kim

A 'Libertarian' enslaved to Michael Moore's vision. He regrets that he has but one mind to give for his political phlilosophy.
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windansea

who who who who
who let the tards out

Sue

This guy is on Rush trying to convince Rush that Cheney was drunk and that Rush just needs someone on his show, like this guy who 'knows' Cheney was drunk, that is willing to just tell the truth.

I swear, I am not making this up...

::grin::

clarice

Barney, thanks. It's the thought that matters.

lazerlou

Clarice do you understand why saying things like
"I think that like most of the left you've grown intellectually vacuous and cannot carry on a reasonable debate because for decades the cultural and media elites have shielded you from actually having to defend crap ideas and baseless charges. And that day is over.You have entered a highly competitive marketplace of ideas with rotting, third rate merchandise and are not making many sales."
is intellectual cowardice and hypocrisy?

If I wasn't sure you are one of the lower middle class Americans duped by fear and religion into voting for your elite Republican masters, I might fault you more. As someone who knows what elitism is, who runs with the old money blue bloods who have successfully manipulated poorly educated suburban and rural people like yourself with social policies that appeal to your religious ignorance and hate, I can safely say to you, you know not of which you speak. The funny thing is, hick repubs really think the "elite" are the upper middle class intellectual eliet who are intelligent enough to talk truth to power, not the actual finacial elite who compromise less than 1% of our popoulation but control over 90% of the wealth. Its like you don't even understand that you have been used to justify granting oil companies rights to oil without paying royalties to the government. Have you ever wondered why Bush never shows up to the anti-abortion rallies, but calls in? He doesn't really care. He is a blue blood patrician new englander, and y'all don't seem to process that.

David M.

You've called me a lefty a bunch of times, but you haven't refuted anything I've said. You've called me sophomoric and vacuous, but you haven't backed it up with any substance.

You may not believe it, but I liked the Bush tax cuts. I would throw a party if the entitlement programs were privatized.

I just think that liying to start a war is evil, and am not willing to sell out my morals because it might reduce the GOP's grip on power.

I am a Libertarian, and I believe what Ben Franklin said, "those who would trade liberty for safety deserve neither".

When you start making cogent points, and not just insulting me to gain an a priori superior debating position, I'll listen. Until then you're just being a schill.

AB

I think that like most of the left you've grown intellectually vacuous and cannot carry on a reasonable debate because for decades the cultural and media elites have shielded you from actually having to defend crap ideas and baseless charges. And that day is over.You have entered a highly competitive marketplace of ideas with rotting, third rate merchandise and are not making many sales.

If the left is intellectualy vacuous, how to describe the current situation on the right - maybe endstage Alzheimers?

These people have abandoned ALL principle. All of it. They no longer stand up to even try and defend a single Conservative value - not limited government, not fiscal responsibility, not government accountability, not transparency, not the Constitution, not separation of powers, not the rule of law, not even respect for fundamental law and order. Nothing. They stand now for one thing, and it's really a shocking exercise in human psychology - they stand for complete, abject, unquestioning obedience and worship of an Authoritarian Cult.

Any non-wingnut who wanders into this site will notice that there is no wavering from the following:

1. The Repub administration is always right, we just have to find a way to twist the law enough to prove it.
2. We don't need a Constitution, checks & balances or separation of powers. We are at "war" for the rest of time, and all we need is unquestioning "trust" in our leader, with no oversight...um, at least while we still have absolute control over the gov't. Then we'll just find a way to twist the law back the other way.
3. "Personal" should never be "political" ...unless it involves a Democrat, in which case, Part-ay! if it's a Clinton all the better. (Clinton also serves as a nice escape hatch, as in "Clinton did it TOOOOOOOOOOO!")
4. Even though it is incredibly easy to prove that the media is now dominated by Republican propagandists whine, bitch, moan and otherwise caterwaul about the mythical "liberal media" the instant your side gets any unfavorable coverage.

There's a little bit more to learn about Wingnuttia Cultism 101, but this is a good start. It's going to be quite a spectacle watching them try and transfer this Authoritarian Cult to someone else once their papier mache king has to step down.

[Ed. note - for folks who don't remember, don't want to remember, or (in the case of repressed memories) can't remember - "AB" is posting from the same IP address as the talentless hack formerly known as "JayDee"]

TM

From Jim E:

...but with this reasoning, your links to executive orders and quoting of laws becomes virtually irrelevant, doesn't it? Karl Rove has a lot of influence, and gets stuff done, too.

Well, what is "virtually irrelevant"? (The answer I am *NOT* looking for is "JustOneMinute").

I would think that context counts - if Rove gave someone at an agency an "order" invoking Bush's authority, and the last 100 times he had done that, the appropriate paperwork (or whatever) had followed, I would give the agency head a pass if he fell into a Rovian plot on the 101st phone call.

Or if Cheney's chief of staff took the position that he did not demand to see it in writing from his boss, well, a jury might very well buy it (aided, in this case, by the fact that a chunk of the NIE *was* declassified in July).

Of course, Libby wasn't charged with that, anyway.

clarice

I'm quite rich, well-educated and live in one of the most "progressive" areas of the country,Washington, D.C.

But I like regular people and think they are smarter than your "blue bloods"--dunces like Gore and Kerry,Rockefeller and Pell come to mind. But you might want to consider, lazer, if your contempt for the majority isn't picked up by them and accounts for your regular trouncing in the polls.
Just a thought.

Jeff

Bulletin for the Other Tom: In fact, I pretty much covered your own position when I said: Or that if he did, it's all okay?

clarice - I see you're on a real pot-kettle jag today. It's a sight to behold.

cathyf

David, your arguments or laughable because, a) you don't know what the word "lie" means, b) you don't know what WMDs are, and c) what is in those international conventions is not what you think is there.

cathy :-)

AB

It's also instructive to remember that the ONLY thing one has to do to be called a "looney lefty" by these cultists is to say something, anything at all, that is offensive to the Object of Worship.

Since they themselves have no ideological principles, they don't need to understand anyone else'. There is simply "Us" and "Them"...and we're not talking about foreign enemies here. These folks would much rather fight their own countrymen than try and find a common ground upon which to strengthen our Union and defend against any outside dangers.

David M.

Kim,

I like your "guilt by association" attempts. I've got one for you. Bill O'Reilly called, he wanted to thank you for how you did that thing with the loofah with him.

AB

For anyone who didn't understand the obvious, clarice is a blueblood elitist herself, who finds the concept of 'regular folk' very charming. Her encounters with them probably extend no further than listening to the most pathological of them on Cultist radio. She'd be shocked (and appalled!... and scared shitless) should she ever venture out amongst us true "unwashed masses" and hear what we really are saying about her King.

topsecretk9

AB

Are you the authority on such matters?

David M.

Cathy,

I know what a WMD is, do you?

Pop quiz. If dropped in a football stadium during a game, it could kill upwards of 50,000 people. It is definately a 'weapon of mass destruciton'. The U.S. Airforce has used them in Afghanistan, and Iraq during combat. What is it?

Answer: A daisy cutter. See also Mother of all bombs.

How about chemical weapons, you know, like White Phosphorus?

And still people attack me, saying that I don't know what I'm talking about, but you don't refute anything. You just call me stupid.

kim

What's the Matter with Lazer Lala Land, that David M can't fix? AB, go read Groseclose and Milyo. Spot quiz in the AM.
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Wilson/Plame