Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« Hopelessly Compromised (II) | Main | Would A WASP-y Gay-baiter Incline Towards Anti-Semitism? »

April 07, 2006

Comments

topsecretk9

Mickey's right, Andrew is excitable and finds himself digging in deeper on just dumb knee-jerk positions.

Jim E.

I agree that Andrew Sullivan has a tendency to be excitable. Funny that conservatives only noticed it in 2004, and not before, when Sullivan was perhaps the biggest single Bush bootlicker among the prominent pundits.

Jim E.

With that said, Sullivan, along with TPM and Kevin Drum, have interesting points today as to why the NIE leak--while probably legal--still stinks and reflects poorly on the Bush white house.

danking70

Yeah, the NIE leak stinks because the MSM was yip yammering about it.

They asked for more disclosure and they got it.

Tom Bowler

I still can't get over this Fitzgerald quote in the Washington Post article about supposed leak of NIE information where he was arguing against a defense request for information.

"it is hard to conceive of what evidence there could be that would disprove the existence of White House efforts to 'punish' Wilson."

All along Fitzgerald has been conducting his investigation on the premise that the White House was punishing Wilson, as if it was a finding of fact. By that remark in his filing he is admitting his investigation is only about Wilson's "punishment". That would explain why there are no charges pending or apparently even intended against whoever was really the original leaker. Either the person is not from the White House, or there is no way to connect him to the "punishment". Amazing. Can we say witch hunt?

OK. I've said it twice now. I'll stop.

Lug

God this is boring!!! Less than 10 percent of Americans care about this!!!

Jim E.

Speaking of the NIE leak: can the president retroactively declassify something?

I ask for two reasons:
1. It seems out of character for Bush to be involved in pre-approving Libby's "disclosures" to Judith Miller. That's getting pretty deep into the weeds over a matter that seemed to bother Cheney the most, not Bush.

2. Libby testified that Cheney said "later" that Bush signed off on the disclosure. (It's unclear if "later" means a subsequent conversation, but before the Libby/Miller meeting, or if "later" means *after* the Libby/Miller conversation took place.) It seems that there's at least a chance that Bush didn't "declassify" the NIE until after Libby had already spoken to Miller. If so, is that legal?

clarice

Fitz has hoist himself again on the circlular merry go round --The fact that he hasn't punished UGO reveals that he believes some leaks of Plame and her job were innocent--He says there was no conspiracy in the WH to punish Wilson IIRC..the claim is that leaking her name was the way to punish Joe..around and around we go ...

AB

What's REALLY interesting is what did Mr. "restore truth and honor to the Oval Office" Bush state during his interview with Fitz? I know, wouldn't want to put a President under oath about such matters - that would only be necessary if he'd had some consensual extramarital sex, but still...Did the ever honest smirkmeister LIE to Fitz about his little shellgame playing with the NIE?

It's hard to imagine what this lame duck is even going to be able to accomplish in the next 2 1/2 years that we still have to endure his incompetence and corruption. Forget impeachment. I think he's going to just want to crawl into his cowboy sheets with a binky and a teddy bear pretty soon. He's getting his just desserts, but our country is the one that is paying the price.

Jim E.

clarice, the resident legal "expert," wrote: "The fact that he hasn't punished UGO reveals that he believes some leaks of Plame and her job were innocent."

Perhaps instead of "punished," you mean "charged" or "indicted"?

Fitz has charged no one (not even Libby) for any leak, of Plame or otherwise. Therefore, it's unfair to accuse Fitz of declaring some leaks to be worse than others.

Appalled Moderate

The NIE firestorm seems an exercise in bogosity. Bush is getting hit that a part of the intelligence he used to back up his case for war was bogus. He declassifies some data to a friendly journalist to try to show that it wasn't. What's he supposed to do, not respond? Say, whoops, my bad. You made a point so I concede? Isn't declassification to certain pet reporters before a general declassification a standard press management technique?

The problem with so many blogstorms (and anything to do with Andrew Sullivan) is that there is an instantaneous loss of perspective and any attempt to see the other guy's side of it.

maryrose

AM;
You are making a lot of sense today. If President Bush doesn't keep the msm informed he'being too secretive,if he discloses information he is letting too much out. He can't win with the biased press corps.

cathyf

And before you get too frothy-at-the-mouth, Mr. E, remember that since March, 2003, (3 months before June, 2003 if I can still count correctly) the VP has the power to declassify without asking the president.

cathy :-)

Jim E.

AM wrote: "Isn't declassification to certain pet reporters before a general declassification a standard press management technique?"

According to Libby, the method of "declassification" and disclosure to a specific reporter had never happened before in his experience. Do you know of other cases in which information was declassified for an individual reporter?

We know that it takes several hours or days to even declassify summary topics included PDBs. While the NIE probably doesn't rise to the level of the so-called "family jewels," it would seem that there would be interagency cooperation necessary for declassification purposes. From what we know so far, neither the CIA nor NSC knew that Bush had "declassified" the NIE. There is no evidence that traditional protocol was followed in this case. It might not be illegal (assuming Bush actually declassified it BEFORE Libby spoke with Miller), but it doesn't sound particularly responsible. Thus, the criticsm.

TM

I still can't get over this Fitzgerald quote in the Washington Post article about supposed leak of NIE information where he was arguing against a defense request for information.

Well, that quote was wildly out of context - Fitzgerald's very defensible point was that it is hard to prove a negative, i.e., how many document would you need to demonstrate the absence of a conspiracy? You only need one (or a few) to prove that it exists.

As the WaPo presented it, it sounds like it is unimaginable that a conspiracy did *not* exist. BS, but incredibly, I have reached my daily limit of 10 Plameposts.

Related to mark Kleiman and note to self - there was reporting (from Kaus) that Libby called Russert to complain that Chris Matthews was anti-semitic (it looked like the anti-neocon = anti-semite argument).

I thien speculated that Libby's interest in Wislon might flow from a perception that Wilson is anti-semitic.

Well, today Kleiman bashes Wilson for gratuitous gay-baiting. Not an obvious link, but might there be an overlap in the personality type that would do that?

Chants

Great link to the New Republic (i.e., The Plank), TM.

Here is what caught my eye from the KOS quote cited in Mr. Klieman's article:

[Wilson speaking] "You know when they first started trying to come up with a way to discredit me, which we now know started in March of 2003"

March of 2003? The Administration was bashing Wilson back in March of 2003? It may be hard for J. Wilson to believe, but the Administration was probably distracted by something more important than the former Ambassador at that time.

So what is important about March 2003? Cecil, do you have VIPS article handy?

Jim E.

"Today Kleiman bashes Wilson for gratuitous gay-baiting. Not an obvious link, but might there be an overlap in the personality type that would do that?"

What, bash Wilson?

Jim E.

March 2003 was when Wilson first started appearing on CNN to critique the war. Jeralyn Merritt has transcripts of his appearances in her archives at talkleft.

It's always struck me that Fitz and Libby's lawyers date everything back to Kristof's May 6, 2003 column, and not Wilson's March CNN appearances. I always thought Merritt was onto something with the March 2003 stuff. But maybe no one cared until he started leaking his Niger trip.

vnjagvet

AM:

I think there is also a certain hysteria to which Andrew is sometimes prone.

The President, of course, has the absolute right as CIC to manage classified information. This was done by Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy during WWI, WWII and the early cold war without criticism by main stream journalists, academics and so-called "opinion makers".

Only during Vietnam and afterwards did this activity become the least bit controversial.
In some ways we have Johnson and Nixon to blame for that. Both of these men had a devious, ruthless streak a mile wide and neither had much in the way of self-restraint when it came to the exercise of power.

The current left sees Bush in the Johnson/Nixon tradition. I see him in the tradition of Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy.

I believe it is now clear that Fitz has (mistakenly) bought in to the left's view of this situation. This is exemplified by his description of his role to investigate the origins of Wilson's "punishment" by the White House.

A more objective investigator would have explored whether the Wilson caper was truly authorized by the White House in the first place (as Wilson implied it was and as the Press has trumpeted), whether Wilson's descriptions of his findings in the several critical op-eds were in the main true or false, and whether the information developed by administration personnel regarding the Wilson caper after Wilson's op-eds were criminal under the circumstances.

Once he established (as we now know) that the answer to all of those legitimate questions were "no", he (or his non-existent supervisors) should have terminated his investigation.

That he has not, speaks volumes.

dorf

The media played right into the amBush. First the argued to get Fitz, then Fitz subpeoned them and they made a halfass rally towrds the other side. But since they hate W so much they can't go all the way and are now rejoicing for ten minutes over this non- sidestory. Prez can declassify anything- prewar intel, grassy knoll, Roswell, etc. Now, with the Libby team subpeoning the old flatulents (Russert, Greenspan's wife, etc) the lamestream can't even report the story because they are totally conflicted. Not bad for five years in office.

AB

Does he have the right to "manage" classified information specifically for partisan political profit? Because, contrary to AM's always generous apology for the lame duck, he also managed NOT to declassify the portion of the NIE that DIDN'T exonerate him. It's amazing the taste for slick Williness you guys have, now that you're clinging to this drowning duck for your dear (rhetorical)lives.

coolpapa

Jim E. -

"Do you know of other cases in which information was declassified for an individual reporter?"

Do you know of other cases in which the "Loyal Opposition" used the CIA in an attempt to set-up a sitting President?

cathyf
According to Libby, the method of "declassification" and disclosure to a specific reporter had never happened before in his experience.
Really? Or is it that the novelty of this particular declassification is that it came from the VP's brand-new declassification authority?

cathy :-)

cathyf
Do you know of other cases in which the "Loyal Opposition" used the CIA in an attempt to set-up a sitting President?
Well, it's not the CIA, but I see significant parallels between this operation and our buddy J. Edgar Hoover. Well, I should hasten to say that these guys come nowhere near to Hoover's power and success, but not for lack of desire.

cathy :-)

Rick Ballard

Maybe even after J. Edgar - Mark Felt clearing his throat wasn't terribly helpful to Nixon.

But that was due to hard charging, deep digging journalism wasn't it? Couldn't really ascribe it to a journojerk having the wool pulled over his eyes. Especially when he so loved the smell of lanolin that the itchiness just wouldn't faze him.

Lew Clark

George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States of America. I say that because the entire left doesn't want to believe it. To them it's just a nightmare that should go away if the click their ruby slippers together three times and say "I wish I were back in "The Peoples Republic". But he is and he gets to do stuff that no one else gets to do. He gets to sign stuff into law (no one else). He gets to veto bills (no one else, I don't care what the minority party thinks or the gang of 14). He gets to live in the White House, and he gets to be Chief Executive of the Executive Branch ( the Big Guy, Numero Uno, The Big Cheese). Everything that's classified for national security reasons belongs to the Executive Branch, belongs to the Executive Branch's Big Cheese. He can declassify/release anything he wants to as a matter of doing his job. Doesn't matter why. Just like signing laws, vetoing bills, sleeping in the White House, riding in Air Force One! He cannot be impeached, censored, yelled at, or have his green card revoked for declassifying.
And the only reason this is a story is that the Left/Dems/MSM don't accept him as President. Well tough toenails! A majority of voters made him President and all the BDS will not make it go away.
This whole NIE thing makes sense to anyone with half a brain not rotted by BDS. The left was making up stuff to challenge the President's decision to go to war. Joe Wilson (formerly of the band "Who the Hell is That?") is lying like there's no tomorrow and claiming to be the man with all the dirt about the "Big Lie" that took us to an "illegal" war. The President and his advisors, doing their jobs, decided to release those portions of intelligence that would not compromise the war effort, but would show what a liar he was. Way to go George! That's why we pay you those big bucks to run our wars! And only in the alternate universe of BDS, does challenging a traitor's lies equate to "questionable political tactics"!

vnjagvet

AB:

Your characterization of GWB's motive for managing classified information as being "for political profit" is disingenuous under the circumstances in which he found himself. His motives for the war were specifically being attacked for the purpose of undermining his electability in 2004.

Is it your position that his authority to declassify information does not permit him to blunt those attacks?

What authority (legal, constitutional, or other) do you have to support that novel proposition?

Rather than calling people names, you might try to add to the collective knowledge of the group.

Chants

To Jim E.:

Thanks. That answers the question. Good job.

AB

Actually his motives for the war were being attacked because they were FLAWED and FALSE. And there is growing evidence that he was well aware that they were...that he again lied repeatedly to the American people as he sent their kids to be killed and maimed for the geopolitical fantasies of his PNAC handlers.

It's quite amazing the scenario you feel very comfortable with...A. The President LIES to "We, the People" in order to gin up a nonexistent causus belli that sends over 2,300 American soldiers to their deaths... And then B. We're in a state of "war" (undeclared, undefined and indefinite) that now allows him to abrogate our Constitution at will.

Genius really. If it weren't such a baldfaced disgrace to everything we still teach our kids this country stands for.

Lew Clark

Damn,
I finally figured out who AB is! Saddam, they let you have internet access in that jail. How nice.

AB

Still clinging to "BDS", eh Lew? Looks like the whole country must be catching it. It's a pandemic! Even Foxy News can't get a Bush approval rating above 36%.

The tragedy of our country being entrusted to this incompetent aristocrat and his gang of miscreants and cronies is only beginning to dawn on people. It's a horror show unraveling in slow motion before our eyes.

maryrose

Lew:
I agree wholeheartedly with your posts. John Podhertz has it right today in the New York Post-"Much Ado About Nothing"

Chants

AB, you can either drop the venom or you can go.

You started out as unintersting and uninformed, and thence into decline.

Florence Schmieg

Fox News poll also had both the Democrats and the Republicans in Congress at 29% Where Bush fell 3% from the previous poll, the Republicans fell 5% and the Democrats a whopping 7%. Yet, 51% said they approved of the job their own representative was doing. This happens in almost every poll and is why it is so hard to unseat incumbents. People basically care about their own issues. Valerie Plame is unlikely to be one, except for those in the Beltway and the media where it seems to be everything.

Rick Ballard

Why continue to beat a lame meme that couldn't put 'Howdy, Reporting for Doody' over the top three years ago?

I've got to go with Clarice's supposition on this concerning a preparatory defense. Are Pinch and Bill huddled together reading their letters from the DoJ? The ones identifying them as 'persons of interest' in an investigation concerning a violation of USC 18 Section 37 - 793?

That makes a lot more sense than anything else. A summer of traitors in the dock will be more fun than the bedraggled end to Fitzmess.

Tom Bowler

As the WaPo presented it, it sounds like it is unimaginable a conspiracy did *not* exist. BS, but incredibly, I have reached my daily limit of 10 Plameposts.

That's exactly the way I took it -- that Fitz considers it unimaginable that a conspiracy didn't exist. I'll confess I haven't gone to the filing to read it in the original when maybe I should have, but Fitz continuing his investigation after learning of an earlier leaker gives that theory a little weight. I haven't heard anything yet, that provides a better explanation for the wacky direction this investigation has gone.

Sorry if I'm pushing you over your 10 Plamegate limit, TM.

clarice

FDR regularly declassified information to suit his purposes.He was da master declassifier.

Rick Ballard

Yeah, he was. He had a semi-loyal press to work with after the failure of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, too. Not so much before.

Somethings don't change.

clarice

Maybe if Iran bombs Beijing.

(So many threads. So little time. See you all later.)

Lew Clark

The same polls that have Bush at a 36% approval rating had Kerry winning the 2004 election by a landslide. So my question is, why do the pollsters even care how America feels about an ex President running a ranch in central Texas. Shouldn't they be more concerned about the performance of President Kerry?

v

I hope Hillary becomes President just so she can ram bugs up your collective asses in the name of National Security.

boris

Another Clinton co-presidency taking national security seriously for a change would be a big surprise.

Mac

Any thoughts v on what you'd like her to do with your collective asses?

Dwilkers

Cheney: Mr. President, we're taking a lot of heat in the press.

Bush: Yeah? Don't read 'em myself.

Cheney: I know. Mostly, its about "no WMD", "mushroom cloud", blah-blah, yada-yada, you know.

Bush: Yeah. Oh well. It'll turn out the way its supposed to turn out.

Cheney: Some of the staff were thinking, and I agree, it might be best to get out front on this thing.

Bush: How's that?

Cheney: Well, we might want to release some of the latest NIE, to show what we had on it. Its a fair assumption we'll end up having to do that anyway.

Bush: Why would we have to do that?

Cheney: Well, we're in a war. Inevitably there will be screw-ups, and carping. Eventually the Senate will want to have an investigation of what we went in with, what we knew, etc.

Bush: WHAT? They forgot 9/11?!?

Cheney: Well no. But politics, election year next year and all. In case you missed it, the democrats don't like you.

Bush: No kidding. So what do you want to do?

Cheney: I'd say we do some selective declassification on the NIE. Nothing involving anything at risk. Just stuff already pretty much in the public domain. We pick a few of the hot-shots and leak it to them. That way the media gets a picture of what we had at the start and they'll know to back off.

Bush: OK, handle it.

Cheney: OK Mr. President.

Bush: And Dick? Give it to someone friendly.

Cheney: Right Mr. President. There must be someone like that.

Charlie (Colorado)

I also look forward to Sully calling for the retroactive prosecution of John Kennedy and Adlai Stevenson for leaking the Russian missle photographs.

narciso79

remember in the previous administration,
Monica Lewinski had de-classifying authority. Seriously, though, considering
the fact that Wilson omitted Iraqi envoys
contacts with Nigerian officials and COGEMA
executives; was COGEMA a client of his Rock
Creek Partners firm; did COGEMA diverted
uranium end up in Iraqi nuclear sites like
the Tuweitha reactor. Which brings up how
though General Fulford and Ambassador Kil-patrick's Niger assessments were. We know
now, that a Brewster-Jennings firm was listed in the resumes of a number of
ambitious junior employees. The fact that it was the cover for a twice burned CIA
officials; ala Leila in the Harold Nicolson
based roman a clef, doesn't inspire much
confidence about CIA covert protocols.

PeterUK

narciso79,
Read this if it true then Wilson had every reason to lie,a most murky tale.

topsecretk9

I hope Hillary becomes President just so she can ram bugs up your collective asses in the name of National Security.

Nice to see V is an issues voter.

Cecil Turner

Y'know, I kinda wish I was writing Andrew's copy . . . because it'd be so easy. Here's one right up his alley:

NEWSFLASH . . . President Bush "nailed" on marriage:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush indicated Wednesday he opposes extending marriage rights to homosexuals . . . Bush added. "On the other hand, that does not mean that somebody like me needs to compromise on an issue such as marriage."
But the WaPo recently reported President Bush is married. So while he works to deny marriage to others, he partakes of it himself. Ooooh, the hypocrisy.
So what is important about March 2003? Cecil, do you have VIPS article handy?

No sweat ( March 17, 2003):
The 25-member group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, composed mostly of former CIA analysts along with a few operational agents, is urging employees inside the intelligence agency to break the law and leak any information they have that could show the Bush administration is engineering the release of evidence to match its penchant for war.

Lew Clark

And that, my friends, is called treason. We've come a long way baby! Used to shoot traitors, now we feature them on talk shows.

topsecretk9

TM

You are swamped (literally) but you'll appreciate Elected officials vs. career bureaucrats , especially this

--Follow-up - Sullivan surrenders: “The president seems to have the power to do what he did.” But he tries to save face with the argument that the National Intelligence Estimate was only “selectively leaked” so that’s not right either. Try putting that on a bumper sticker.---

topsecretk9

BTW

I love how Sully says "seems", as in "has inherent power"

Sully, is that like "sought" not "bought"?

topsecretk9

Lew
Black is white, white is black.

PeterUK

"Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity," VIPS,pretentious moi?
It should be Democratic Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, or DIPS.

kim

I about half bet some Democratic operative is pissed at Joe for continuing to run off his mouth. If he'd faded from view after Kerry dumped him, all would be well; as it is he's risking spilling the whole can of worms about Democratic Party involvement. I suspect that may have a little to do with moving the support for the meme to the tubes. Would you rather erect your political attack(and it persists) on a bulk of incredible tubes, or the lying hulk of a coward, traitor, and faithless husband?
===============================

kim

And, as a bonus, as his public speeches gradually reach a wider audience, the nexus of anti-semitism, leftist thought, and the Democratic Party is being highlighted. Pretty soon, he'll get taken out by the side he thinks he's promoting. It won't be a surprise to Val.
=============================

kim

And the next logical thought, in my Saturday morning paranoia will be that Fitz will fold, as Joe falls under the train. C'mon, journalists, All Aboard.
===================

clarice

As with Cindy Sheehan, the press heard Wilson make these comments and hid them. Never made the news. Not fit to print I guess.(Wouldn't want the readers to know that about Mr. talkin' truth to power. If you didn't read the stuff on the IT you'd never know it.

kim

You should know you're in trouble when your leading idealogues are Ward Churchill and Joe Wilson.
============================

clarice

Maybe it's time to post this--when "dual loyalty" charges bother the Demedia and when they don't. http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5037&search=clarice

maryrose

Hannity had Horowitz and Churchill on last night;Churchill really is a traitor, I can't believe in spite of tenure they haven't gotten rid of this guy yet.

kim

Small point, m; Churchill is a traitor to the truth, his students, and the University of Colorado, but he hadn't the duty to the nation that Joe Wilson had. Joe should hang; Ward should just hang around.
==============================

Charlie (Colorado)

According to Libby, the method of "declassification" and disclosure to a specific reporter had never happened before in his experience. Do you know of other cases in which information was declassified for an individual reporter?

Sheeee-it, Jim, you're getting excited about what you think was an unusual declassification of material by the one person most authorized to declassify.

Where were you when people were releasing classified information who aren't even authorized to declassify it?

kim

What, Chuck would what that chimp do?
Chuck wood unhid out the hut.
How much would could which chimp did?
When chimp is King Kong flingin' shit?
==========================

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame