Indefensible Behavior As A Legal Defense

Thanks to court papers (.PDF via Tom Maguire) that somebody apparently decided to leak, we now know that Scooter Libby says that Cheney told him that the President told Cheney to go ahead and leak info from a highly-classified NIE (presumably, although not explicitly, including Plame’s identity). The S-J Mercury-News has the developing narrative in a nutshell:

The president had the legal authority to declassify information by releasing it, a government authority and outside experts say, but the alleged episode raises a more pressing political problem. It has increased demands for the White House — which was refusing to comment on the investigation Thursday — to publicly address a conflict between Bush’s criticism of leaks and his own alleged leaking.

“This is a very significant disclosure. This is big,” said Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., a Bush ally who refrained from commenting on Libby’s testimony but maintained that the White House would be compelled to comment.

“They’re going to have to comment on it,” he said. “They owe all of us an explanation, all of us who trust him, and they owe the American people an explanation.”

Rightie bloggers are perfectly right to point out that if accurate this allegation does nothing to implicate the president criminally. That means everything if we are debating impeachment, but in the real world nobody is talking about impeachment. As Rep. LaHood points out the legal defense adds up to a pyrrhic victory if it also shows us that the administration has been lying through its teeth for going on three years now.

For example:

“There’s been nothing, absolutely nothing, brought to our attention to suggest any White House involvement, and that includes the vice president’s office, as well,” said Scott McClellan, Bush’s press secretary. He said that “if anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.”

Sounds like a slam-dunk denunciation of anybody who mishandles sensitive information, doesn’t it. Leaked Plame’s name? Boom! You’re gone. Except, wait, Rove’s still there. Events forced McLellan to define his statement down to the point where somebody had to be convicted of a crime before they reached the firing threshold, which would basically mean that Scotty stood there and said nothing at all. In another bit from the same story, you assume that the president is grateful that he was not quoted directly:

A senior official quoted Bush as saying, “I want to get to the bottom of this,” during a daily meeting yesterday morning with a few top aides, including Rove.

Assuming that he does not deny the quote, Bush’s quest to get to the bottom of the Plame leak makes more sense now – he was already there. No workaholic he.

More helpful quotes from Editor & Publisher.

Of course no Plame thread will be complete without a chorus of Wilson-haters. Did the Wilsons conspire with Iran to spike the Iraq war? Was she preparing a CIA coup? Are indictments just around the corner? Find out in the comments.






241 replies
  1. 1
    p.lukasiak says:

    Although its true that a President has the authority to declassify information, there is a difference between disseminating information that is classified to those not entitled to it (leaking) and declassifying that information entitling everyone to see it.

    Bush authorized the leaking of classified information (a crime). There is no evidence that he actually declassified the information — indeed, the fact that an effort was made to truly declassify the information subsequent to Bush authorizing the leak demonstrates the distinction. When the meetings were held to declassify the NIE info, Libby didn’t say “well, we don’t have to discuss these paragraphs, because the President declassified them already.”

  2. 2
    Tim F. says:

    Thanks Paul, I’ll mull that over.

    Congrats on the Koufax, BTW. I’m a bit miffed that John and I didn’t get nominated this year (/snark)

  3. 3

    Thanks, p. lukasiak. It seemed like the “time machine defense” (that it was eventually declassified) was included in mainstream reporting of the NIE last night. Sort of like some of the questioning of FISA’s constitutionality at this late date for the purposes of saving Bush’s ass.

    Too bad he can’t just declare bankruptcy and move on.

  4. 4
    Marcus Wellby says:

    It is not a lie if Big Daddy Bush says it. Everything our Saviour says is Truth. Long live our Beloved Republican Jesus, amen.

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    Yeah. I’m a bit foggy on this.

    So the President – as Chief Executive – has the right to declassify anything he sees fit (which seems reasonable), but if he doesn’t offically declassify it, can he be charged with releasing classified information that he could just as easily have declassified if he wanted to? In short, is the President immune from being tried for crimes he could have done legally if he so choose?

    Oh, and why do you all hate America?

  6. 6
    Andrew says:

    The Democrat party would like nothing better than laws to stand in the way of our safety.

  7. 7

    Wouldn’t you like to see what Bush told Fitzgerald now? You know, you don’t have to be under oath to be charged with lying to a federal investigator. That’s one of the charges against Libby.

    We’ve still got the question of whether or not the President can be charged, but he can still be an unindicted co-conspirator. Right now the Administration is hoping Cynthia McKinney does something else worthy of blocks of FOX News coverage.

  8. 8
    yet another jeff says:

    Nothing better than laws to stand in the way of our safety from lawlessness.

  9. 9
    tBone says:

    Did the Wilsons conspire with Iran to spike the Iraq war? Was she preparing a CIA coup? Are indictments just around the corner?

    I wouldn’t put anything past the Wilsons. I suspect that they were in cahoots with Cynthia McKinney – that entire incident was manufactured to deflect attention from their inevitable indictments.

    Really, how can anyone still believe Plame was covert when she and Joe used to gallivant around Washington parties wearing “Boris” and “Natasha” nametags?

  10. 10
    Blue Neponset says:

    You are a fraidy cat Andrew. Stop being so scared. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    We managed to keep the Communist hordes at bay for 40 years without wiretapping domestic calls. My guess is we can do the same with the Islamofascists.

  11. 11
    yet another jeff says:

    Aha! The Wilsons are actually KGB!

  12. 12
    don surber says:

    What is so hard to figure out? He declassified the information. Therefore, leaking it was not giving away any secrets

    Looks like the whole thing is one big rope-a-dope with Fitsmas being the biggest dope of all

    Real question is: Why did the CIA send Wilson on this junket and why did he report to the NYT rather than the CIA? I thought the Church commission’s purpose was to rein in a rogue agency. Looks like the CIA is freelancing again, rather than serving the Duly Elected Official

    Ever since I found out Deep Throat was J. Edgar’s right hand man I have been very leery of these “media heroes” who leak stuff they ought not

    If they did this to Hillary, I would still bitch. We’re a democracy, not a CIA-cracy

  13. 13
    Andrew says:

    Uh oh, surber’s back to wingnut mode. He had a streak of reason going there for a few weeks, but all good things…

    Happily, Scooter is not charged with leaking classified information, so it is irrelevant whether or not he did leak. He can still be found guilty of obstruction and perjury-related charges because he obviously did lie and obstruct justice.

    The only real question now is how many dozens of end-of-term pardons will Bush issue?

  14. 14
    Stormy70 says:

    Wilson’s lies were so bad, Kerry had to kick him off his campaign. Nice try at swinging an election, CIA.

  15. 15
    Mr Furious says:

    Don, the White house was still going through the motions of declassifying that information long after the leak. Which means either it hadn’t been declassified yet OR it was and they were just “declassifying” it again for show or to cover their asses.

    Either way, Bush, the Administration as a whole and McLellan were lying their asses off. Bush will pretty much be legally immune, but if you want to see what approvals in the 20s look like, we’re about to find out.

    Also, this whole “Declassification power” is subject to some interpretation. Bush and cheney have been pushing the envelope and changiung the rules on this stuff as they go. It was Bush’r executive order that gave Cheney that power at all (convenient) and previously it has been the agency that classified the information that had final say on declassification. In other words, Bush can declassify whatever floats his boat if the White House classified it, but he shouldn’t be declassiying info classified by other agencies or braches.

    That’s what he did here. Wrong? Certainly. Illegal? Not necessarily. Did he lie about it? Yes. Repeatedly.

  16. 16
    Mr Furious says:

    Why did the CIA send Wilson on this junket and why did he report to the NYT rather than the CIA?

    Is this what you actually think, or are you just taking a page from the FOX strategy off throwing out complete bullshit to see if it sticks?

    Wilson reported to the CIA, he went public to the NYT months later when the Administration continued to disregard and/or misrepresent his findings. He went to Niger before the War started. He wrote his Op-Ed after the invasion.

  17. 17
    ppGaz says:

    History will record that the Shrubmonkeys, rather than do the mentally healthy, and honorable, thing, on the day after this revelation, and just sit quietly and contemplate the sad events and the latest humiliation of this amazingly dishonest and inept government ….. instead, ran to their keyboards to provide verbal covering fire for these assholes. Who could invent them, and their bullshit?

    These are the kinds of people who wept at Nixon’s funeral, and will someday declare the little alcoholic lying prick we have for a president now to be a “great man,” I predict.

    That’s what makes America great … the diversity and the range of worldviews we can incorporate into our body politic and still function. It’s quite amazing, really.

    Remember what we are talking about here, folks: Declassifying information for the sole purpose of covering up their own ineptitude. Nothing more, or less. Not to “protect America.” To protect themselves.

    That’s why this is such a big deal. That’s why this presidency is now over, even if the legal occupation of our government goes on for three more years. It’s over.

  18. 18
    BumperStickerist says:

    contra-ppGaz, history will record differently.

    But so long, pp, as you feel ‘good’ about yourself, and ‘bad’ about all the other stuff, you’ll be fine – mentally balanced, full of vim and vigor, not given to hyperbolic catastrophization or needless demonizing. Bravely commenting in blogs about other people who comment in blogs.

    Big Stuff, that.

    So, let’s get this out of the way:

    Of course all Bush-supporters are shrubmonkeys.

    Of course we’re okay with being lied to by Chimpy McHitlerburton cartel.

    Of course, yours are the only plausible explanation for events.

    And Bush is the Worstest.Most Evilist.Dumberest. President.Ever.

    There. We agree.

    Feel better?

    Cheers.

    .

  19. 19
    Mr Furious says:

    Type it a thousand times and i’ll feel better, Bumper. And maybe it will start to sink into your head…

  20. 20
    Ryan S says:

    So the President – as Chief Executive – has the right to declassify anything he sees fit (which seems reasonable), but if he doesn’t offically declassify it, can he be charged with releasing classified information that he could just as easily have declassified if he wanted to? In short, is the President immune from being tried for crimes he could have done legally if he so choose?

    Thats like saying,” Since I qualify for a drivers license, I won’t get one and drive anyway.”
    Yeah, I’d like to see you explain that to the cop that pulls you over.

  21. 21
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    More bad news for Leaky George. Looks like being caught lying about leaking state secrets is only one of his many problems.

    Bush, GOP Approval Ratings Hit New Lows

    WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush’s approval ratings hit a series of new lows in an AP-Ipsos poll that also shows Republicans surrendering their advantahe on national security – grim election-year news for a party struggling to stay in power.

    “these numbers are scary. We’ve lost every advantage we’ve ever had,” GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio said.

    There is more at stake than the careers of GOP lawmakers. A Democratic-led Congress could bury the last vestiges of Bush’s legislative agenda and subject the administration to high-profile investigations of the Iraq war, the CIA leak case, warrantless eavesdropping and other matters.

    embed your links, Paddy

  22. 22
    Mr Furious says:

    Declassifying information for the sole purpose of covering up their own ineptitude. Nothing more, or less. Not to “protect America.” To protect themselves.

    I’m not even sure I’d give ’em that much credit/excuse. They did it as a reprisal against Wilson. Period. I would argue that it wasn’t even to cover up ineptutude—I don’t think they felt any. They just wanted to punish a critic. In fact it was inept to even bring it up. Do you think any of this would even have heard of Josph Wilson, much less be talking about it three years later if they had just left the story alone?

    They fucked up and made it a story. Good. They deserve to go down for a thousand reasons, that it takes a stupid, arrogant personal one to set off the chain is fine by me.

  23. 23
    Remfin says:

    I’d just like to point out that no one has proven the President has any authority to declassify things. There are 2 Congressional laws that I know of that create/control classification (there is no inherent power, only that which Congress granted). They tell you to refer to an Executive Order for how it’s done, #12356 (or any that succeed it), and the creation of a Citizen’s board that has the power to declassify things

    The EO at the time that set the rules is AFAIK this one. If you read it careful you’ll notice 3 things:

    ALL optional procedures to declassify things are delegated to Agency Heads – The President is not left ANY declassification powers – he only has the power to continue classification of certain material set for AUTOMATIC declassification, and some emergency powers to lower the level/ignore “need to know”, but NOT to remove classification entirely

    Information must be marked appropriately before it can be declassified – until done so it is NOT declassified
    Declassification must be registered with a guy that basically runs a database before something is declassified or it can’t be declassified

    There is another law that makes CIA agents under the purview of the CIA by statute. So this means they had to do at least 2 things of paperwork, and Tenet or someone he designated had to sign off on it. Makes you wonder why exactly he got that medal huh? You can be pretty sure they didn’t do the REQUIRED paperwork in any case

  24. 24
    capelza says:

    If Bush released this inofrmation legally, etc…why go through all the back doors and whispers. Why didn’t he just call a fucking press conference and tell us what he wanted to say? If this was to refute Wilson’s charges, why not do it openly?

  25. 25
    OCSteve says:

    So the President – as Chief Executive – has the right to declassify anything he sees fit (which seems reasonable), but if he doesn’t offically declassify it, can he be charged with releasing classified information that he could just as easily have declassified if he wanted to? In short, is the President immune from being tried for crimes he could have done legally if he so choose?

    I think that is a great question. Where I am fuzzy (can’t find a definitive source) is exactly what constitutes presidential declassification? Would there be a document signed by Bush? An “I hereby declassify this specific information…” type paper trail?

    p.lukasiak says, “There is no evidence that he actually declassified the information” but what would that evidence be?

    If the president says, “I want you to put this information out to the press” is that enough?

    The fact that a committee later declassified the document does not prove that the president had not previously declassified portions of the document.

    If anyone has a cite to what actually constitutes presidential declassification I would be interested to read it.

  26. 26
    Par R says:

    Talk about a whole lot of misinformation!

    There is absolutely nothing in this document, or in any other form that you can produce, that suggests that Bush authorized the disclosue of Plame’s identity. As a matter of fact, on page 27 of the court document, Fitzgerald writes that as late as September 2003, “the President was unaware of the role that the Vice President’s Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser had in fact played in disclosing Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment…”

    As for leaking portions of the National Intelligence Estimate, yes, it was classified, although it would shortly thereafter be fully declassified. But it should be remembered that when the president decides to make something public, then it can be made public. It is also worth noting that the portion of the NIE authorized for release to Judith Miller was of such unimportance in her view that she didn’t even bother writing a story about it! In the Plame case, there has been much discussion of the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. Would anyone argue that this disclosure was unauthorized?

    As Cliff May summarizes it, “In other words, there is no hint of a scandal here. There is not even any news here, except that we have now learned something that Libby testified. But the fact that Bush authorized the release of secrets is about as surprising as would be a headline saying: “Police Chief Authorized Arrests.”

  27. 27
    AFAIK says:

    In the initial post, Tim refers to someone deciding to “leak” the Special Prosecutor’s court filing that refers to Libby’s grand jury testimony. I believe that this was a public court filing, no leaking required. For some time Libby’s defense team has been railing against Fitzgerald for so many of his filings being under seal; he may have decided that it was time to let them know to be careful what they wish for.

    Although I like Ryan’s response, I think it’s very unlikely that Congress or the Courts are going to conclude that the President broke the law when he authorized the dissemination of the information–there’s a difference between being eligible for a privilege and having inherent authority.

    Rather, as Mr. Furious says, the problem for the administration will be yet another hit in the court of public opinion, disgusting still more of the Republican and Democrat bases, depressing republican turnout and raising Democrat turnout in ’06. After Bush’s sanctimonious statements about too many leaks in Washington, and how he wants anyone with any information about any leaks to come forward (see today’s Editor and Publisher), the revelation that he authorized officials to funnel some (but not all) of a highly confidential document to friendly reporters to help shore up public support for a war that we now know was initiated on pretense—if the Democrats don’t grow a pair and tie Bush (and DeLay) around the neck of every Republican candidate in the midterms, we don’t deserve to be a majority party.

    Don and BumperStickerist, I respect that you still support the President — but I hope that you encourage every candidate your party fields to ally themselves with him and run on his record, because the number of people who feel the way you do is shrinking with every passing day.

  28. 28
    ppGaz says:

    Of course, yours are the only plausible explanation for events.

    Gotta love this stuff. In your entire post, that’s the only sentence that isn’t basically just a raspberry.

    And the problem you have is …. do you really think that “plausible explanations for events” is going to work as a defense here?

    Here we are in the middle of a war, no WMDs are found, and these guys are cooking up these little games to get back at, or protect themselves from, critics. That’s it, there is no other explanation, and you can be assured that no other explanation is going to fly except on the righty blogs and talk radio, where people will quite literally believe … or say they believe … anything. Anything at all. Trouble is, outside of the cult, nobody is buying it.

    When you have a large backhoe digging you into a crater, maybe you should put down your shovel? Just a suggestion.

    Jesus. Wathching you guys wriggle today is really something. I knew your brains were fucked, but I am still surprised at this crap from you. Just amazing.

  29. 29
    p.lukasiak says:

    I’d just like to point out that no one has proven the President has any authority to declassify things.

    this is a good point. The 1988 Supreme Court decision that is generally cited in this area of the law recognizes the President’s inherent power to decide who (within the executive branch) can have access to classified information — it does not deal with the power to classify/declassify per se.

  30. 30
    VidaLoca says:

    Paddy —

    A Democratic-led Congress could bury the last vestiges of Bush’s legislative agenda and subject the administration to high-profile investigations…

    as our house expert on things polling-related, I have a question for you. Up to now I’ve been dubious about any proposition that begins with the phrase “Democratic-led Congress” because the House is so heavily gerrymandered toward protecting the seats of incumbents that it’s seemed unlikely that the Dems will win the 16 or so seats necessary to take the majority there (I believe I heard a story on NPR that only 30 or so seats were realistically in play out of the 435 “contests”). And on the Senate side it’s about the same thing though for different reasons. Bottom line: little chance for Democratic control of either house.

    In other words even though Bush’s popularity numbers may well fall into the 20’s the midterm elections will be decided by a few tens of thousands of voters in a few Congressional districts.

    If that’s true, it would seem that national-level polling is pretty irrelevant, what would be more interesting is the polling in the districts (or states in the Senate case) where the seat might actually have a chance of changing hands.

    Do you have any thoughts on this?

  31. 31
    Pb says:

    Par R,

    Give it up. Bush may be your king, but he isn’t mine. He does not have the power to break the law, no matter how many times you click your heels together and wish it were so.

  32. 32
    BumperStickerist says:

    Jesus. Wathching you guys wriggle today is really something. I knew your brains were fucked, but I am still surprised at this crap from you. Just amazing.

    What’s amazing to me is the ability of The Left to misread what’s been said and/or written on any given subject.

    We’ll leave the topic of actually thinking through events without the benefit of hindsight for another day.

    .

  33. 33
    Laura says:

    Let’s pretend that going to Niger is a “junket,” and that Robert Novak knows better than the CIA as to Valerie Plame’s status as an agent. And let’s ignore the little fact that Plame’s expertise was tracking WMD, and how outing her wasn’t exactly helpful with the war on terror. We now know the president lied repeatedly about the leak. Sure, he said nobody leaked “classified” information. The fact that he may have momentarily “declassified” the information to use it against his critics may satisfy his apologists, but the American public aren’t going to let him off so easily. He pretended to not know a damn thing about the leak. He even did the earnest schtick about wanting to find out who did it, and then lamented how hard it is to find leakers. While some people on this board couldn’t care less about the pure sliminess of ending careers of public servants, and they’re not bothered one bit about declassifying information for political payback, PPGaz is right. This presidency is over. No matter the legal technicalities, there’s no defending what they did. According to the AP, Bush’s approval rating is 36%, yet another record low. Joe Scarborough had a blog entry earlier this week saying Bush was losing his father, a man who had voted Republican for 40+ years. And that’s all before the latest headlines. The leak and the lies about it are ugly enough on their own, but they’re made even worst by the fact that they go back to the reason for the war, a war that most Americans now regret. Bush might not get impeached, but he may as well head to Texas for a three-year vacation. He’s done. No amount of spin about his legal authority can change that.

  34. 34
    Mr Furious says:

    Par R.,

    It may or may not be illegal to do what Bush did. We’ll see. I expect him to be legally clean on this, even if it through lack of clear precedent, interpretation or statute. but what he did was clearly petty and wrong. And you should be willing to admit that. If not, then you are hopelessly delusional and /or dishonest. Bush knows it was wrong, that’s why he fucking lied about it.

    Follow his lead on that if you can handle it.

  35. 35
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    VidaLoca – That’s what I hear as well. I honestly don’t know. What I suspect could hurt the GOP is the loss of faith among their former believers. The GOP leadership has pretty much screwed up everything, and the level of enthusiasm Republicans have shown in the past for doing things like getting off their asses and voting may have vanished. Until now Republicans had always led in the “likely voters” category. That might not be the case any more.

    And remember, in 1994 nobody believed the Democrats could be tossed out, either. The 40 year majority they enjoyed seemed like a permanent thing. I’m not sure we’re not just looking at the 2006 version of the same old myth.

    Host: I don’t know how to embed. Hell, I don’t even know how to make those goofy gray boxes everyone seems so attached to.

  36. 36

    Lying is such a nasty word. I don’t think it’s fair to say President Bush has lied to us.

    It would be more accurate to say President Bush hasn’t always told us the truth.

  37. 37
    ppGaz says:

    We’ll leave the topic of actually thinking through events

    Yeah, that’s right. This gets better for your side if you just think it through.

    You are now officially just a parody of yourself.

  38. 38
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    I’m not sure the only big issue here is regarding the legality of Bush spilling state secrets. What certainly jumps out for me is Bush’s claim of being outraged about leaks in the past, upset to the point where he has launched criminal investigations into leaks about such things as the NY Times revelations regarding his domestic spying.

    Now it turns out he leaks state secrets as well.

    If that isn’t hypocrisy, what is?

  39. 39
    ppGaz says:

    Bush knows it was wrong, that’s why he fucking lied about it.

    Precisely.

    And in this case, the “We’re doing these outrageous things because they’re not illegal, and besides, we are protecting America!” defense is not really going to work any more.

    That ship has sailed. Time for the man to just go sit quietly in the White House for a while and not bother anybody. Opening his mouth now to “defend” this behavior is only going to make his situation worse. Sometimes the only thing you can do is just shut the fuck up and stop making an ass of yourself. George, we’re talking to you.

  40. 40
    VidaLoca says:

    Thanks Paddy.

    Re goofy gray boxes. Immediately above the browser window you type into you’ll see a button with a double right arrow like this: “>>”. Click on the button. You’ll see a pullout menu of buttons; one says “B-Quote”. Click on it. On your screen will appear an opening tag to embed a block quote. Cut and paste whatever you want in the goofy gray box immediately after that tag. Now look at the B-Quote button again, you’ll see it’s changed to /B-Quote. Click on it. On your screen will appear the tag to end the blockquote, closing the goofy gray box.

    Re links: in the same pull-out menu you’ll see a button that says Link. Click on it. You’ll see a separate window appear. Paste the URL for your link into the separate window. Click OK. Your link will now will now appear on the screen, preceded by the html code to embed it. After your link, type in some text; the text will appear in your reply while the link will be invisible to the viewer but active. Now close off your link like this:

  41. 41
    Z-man says:

    And terror alert in 3… 2…. 1….

  42. 42
    p.lukasiak says:

    Both Fox and the AP have polls out showing Bush with his lowest job approval ratings ever.

    And both polls were take April 3-5. In other words, before this story broke yesterday.

    PPGaz is right… you don’t even need to stick a fork into the Bush presidency to know that its done….

  43. 43
    John S. says:

    contra-ppGaz, history will record differently.

    I see the new Rovian meme has dutifully made its way to the wingnuts. Jon Stewart did an amusing send up on the ‘history will judge us‘ mantra last night.

    I – like Stewart – wonder how that sort of defense would work in, say, a murder trial. Cue the defendant:

    I understand that a woman is dead and I am being charged with her murder, but I don’t really think we can make that determination at this point in time. Only history can judge whether or not I am in fact a murderer…

    Spin on, wingnuts, spin on.

  44. 44
    Pb says:

    I mentioned yesterday about a Gulf War I-era Star Trek episode I watched recently, that reminded me far too much of the Bush administration’s rhetoric; one last quote:

    MAXWELL: You’re a fool, Picard. History will look at you and say ‘this man was a fool’.

    PICARD: I’ll accept the judgement of history.

  45. 45
    ppGaz says:

    MAXWELL: You’re a fool, Picard. History will look at you and say ‘this man was a fool’.

    PICARD: I’ll accept the judgement of history.

    Ah yes. And to quote a great president, “Bring it on.”

  46. 46
    John S. says:

    Pb-

    Wasn’t that the episode where the captain (Maxwell, who I recall played the hypocritical warden in Shawshank Redemption) had blown up an ‘enemy’ vessel (I think it was Cardassian) though it had posed no immediate threat, and he did so in complete contradiction with starfleet regulations, chiefly because of his own personal vendetta?

    Talk about art imitating life.

  47. 47
    Ryan S says:

    Classification Directive
    abridged version Classification Directive

    I am NOT a lawyer so I hope I interpreted this right but according to Sec 3.4C The President must have the Agency head that originally classified the information (the CIA i think)do the declassification. Since that didn’t happen until at least 10 day after the leak, section 1.2c ((c Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information. ) I believe is still in effect.

    I have no law background so I don’t know if im off base or not.

  48. 48
    Mr Furious says:

    Yeah, but the Cardassians hate our freedom…

  49. 49
    Mr Furious says:

    …and they’re ugly.

  50. 50
    John S. says:

    Ah yes. And to quote a great president, “Bring it on.”

    In all fairness to Picard, ppGaz, I believe he was on the right side of the issue since he sought to bring Captain Maxwell to justice for illegally and inhumanely destroying an ‘enemy’ science vessel.

    Maxwell was arguing that Picard was a fool for not allowing him to take pre-emptive action, while Picard was steadfast in his principled application of the rule of law.

  51. 51
    Davebo says:

    It was fairly hilarious watching Maguire try to spin this news.

    Talk about the definition of “is”!

  52. 52
    ppGaz says:

    Talk about art imitating life.

    Really. Did they try to kill his daddy?

    See, when you come right down to it, you have to give Bush a pass on the whole war thing on that one issue alone. Saddam tried to kill his daddy.

  53. 53
    OCSteve says:

    I’d just like to point out that no one has proven the President has any authority to declassify things.

    It’s pretty clear from the Executive Order that the president is the ultimate decision maker on classification and declassification. Any disputes are ultimately decided by the president.

    Executive Order 12958:

    You’ll see sections such as:

    The President may direct the agency head not to exempt the file series or to declassify the information within that series at an earlier date than recommended. File series exemptions previously approved by the President shall remain valid without any additional agency action.

    And

    The Panel may direct the agency not to exempt the information or to declassify it at an earlier date than recommended. The agency head may appeal such a decision to the President through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

    Finally:

    (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.

    I’d say the president is pretty much the “supervisory official” of the executive branch.

    So I don’t think there is a question that he has the authority. I still don’t know what would constitute evidence that he did in fact declassify portions of the doc in this particular case.

  54. 54
    Paul L. says:

    Of course no Plame thread will be complete without a chorus of Wilson-haters

    Of course in Tim F’s ivory tower, there is no such thing as a Bush-Hater.

  55. 55
    ppGaz says:

    Of course in Tim F’s ivory tower, there is no such thing as a Bush-Hater.

    Uh, yeah.

    FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll.
    April 4-5, 2006. N=900 registered voters nationwide. MoE ± 3. LV = likely voters

    “Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as president?”

    Approve 36
    Disapprove 53
    Unsure 10

  56. 56
    jaime says:

    Approve 36
    Disapprove 53

    Why does America hate America?

  57. 57
    John S. says:

    Really. Did they try to kill his daddy?

    Actually, if memory serves, I believe the enemy alien race in question killed Captain Maxwell’s wife and children. I reckon on the vendetta-meter that rates slightly higher than an attempt on your daddy.

  58. 58
    Mr Furious says:

    OCSteve-

    Oh, you mean that power stems from and Executive Order? You mean the President gave it too himself? I am supposed to be impressed? Or stop my criticism because the President wrote himself a fucking permission slip?

    I’m pretty sure that Executive Orders are still subject to legal tests by the Courts and don’t necessarily overrule written law.

    Try again.

    And of course none of this defends the actions as right OR ethical, nor does it absolve Bush from his hypocrisy and lying about it.

  59. 59
    DougJ says:

    Shorter Paul L and OCSteve: if Bush does it, it’s good.

  60. 60
    DougJ says:

    Why does America hate America?

    Because they’ve been brainwashed by the librul MSM. Duh.

  61. 61
    John S. says:

    Or stop my criticism because the President wrote himself a fucking permission slip?

    Whoa, Mr. Furious. Are you trying to tell me that a President doesn’t have the power, to say, pardon himself?

    Clearly you do not understand our founding father’s intentions to bestow king-like powers on the office of President.

  62. 62
    Ryan S says:

    The President may direct the agency head not to exempt the file series or to declassify the information within that series at an earlier date than recommended.

    The key term is direct. Classified info must be declassified by the person who originally classified it. Since the NIE was classified by the CIA only the CIA can give the go ahead. George Tenet declassified the info 10 day later.
    Only info that was classified by the President himself can be declassified ‘on the fly’ as it where. Of couse if the person that the the president directs refuses, the President may fire them and appoint someone who will.

  63. 63
    DougJ says:

    I think it is time for Paul and OCSteve to take the dead kitten survey. (Note: I am unable to embed links from here.)

    http://www.xoverboard.com/deadkittensurvey/

  64. 64
    demimondian says:

    There’s no question that the President may declassify material; the only question is whether he had actually *done* so. If the material was still classified, then ordering its release is a violation of the National Security Act of 1955 (punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and up to 50 years in prison…blah, blah, blah). If the material was not classified, then the President’s later claim that it was not available to the Congress because it was classified was perjury.

    Oops.

  65. 65
    Pb says:

    John S.,

    Wasn’t that the episode

    Yes, that’s it exactly!

    Talk about art imitating life.

    Either life imitating art imitating life, or just a little bit of history repeating, or both…

  66. 66
    OCSteve says:

    Shorter Paul L and OCSteve: if Bush does it, it’s good.

    Hardly. I don’t agree with Bush on many things (spending and immigration would top the list lately). Do I think it’s good to declassify information to counter disinformation being spread by a partisan ex-ambassador, to counter CIAs spin? Yes I do.

    Oh, you mean that power stems from and Executive Order? You mean the President gave it too himself? I am supposed to be impressed? Or stop my criticism because the President wrote himself a fucking permission slip?

    Nope. Don’t expect you to do anything – certainly not change your mind. (when is the last time someone changed their mind in here?)

    Folks were questioning the authority – I tried to point out where I thought his authority originated.

  67. 67
    Nikki says:

    Do I think it’s good to declassify information to counter disinformation being spread by a partisan ex-ambassador, to counter CIAs spin? Yes I do.

    Ok, but then the question remains, was the NIE declassified when Libby leaked it to Miller? If yes, then, did the president lie when he told Congress that the NIE was classified?

  68. 68
    Remfin says:

    You’ll see sections such as:

    The things you are quoting involve CONTINUING TO CLASSIFY information, NOT declassification. No one has denied the President can make/keep information classified

    And no, as far as I know Bush would not meet the definition of a Supervisory Official. But go ahead and weasel one technicality if you like – you still haven’t shown that they did the REQUIRED paperwork

  69. 69
    Pb says:

    OCSteve,

    Executive Orders, if not contested or overturned, effectively become law, and the President is still bound to follow them, just as he is bound to follow all the other laws of the land, as are we all.

    Also, if he had declassified this document already, then there would have been no need to subsequently declassify it *again*…

  70. 70
    OCSteve says:

    BTW – for the record, I don’t think feeding it to selected reporters was the way to go about it.

    He should have just called a presser and said Joe Wilson is a damned liar and here is why…

  71. 71
    OCSteve says:

    you still haven’t shown that they did the REQUIRED paperwork

    I made that point myself.
    At 10:03:

    Where I am fuzzy (can’t find a definitive source) is exactly what constitutes presidential declassification? Would there be a document signed by Bush? An “I hereby declassify this specific information…” type paper trail?
    ..
    If anyone has a cite to what actually constitutes presidential declassification I would be interested to read it.

    And at 11:48, the very post you quote:

    I still don’t know what would constitute evidence that he did in fact declassify portions of the doc in this particular case.

  72. 72
    ppGaz says:

    He should have just called a presser and said Joe Wilson is a damned liar and here is why…

    Sure. But you see, in a contest between Wilson’s view and Bush’s view, Bush would not win. Bush couldn’t go honestly and directly at the target, because he’d lose.

    It’s the same reason he couldn’t go honestly and directly at the intelligence before the war in the first place.

    Had he made an honest and direct appeal based on all the facts, the support for the war wouldn’t have been there. Time, and information, were his enemies.

    This is not rocket science, man. It has always been about arrogance and ineptitude, combined in a that unique way that only lying alcoholics really understand.

  73. 73
    ppGaz says:

    Note to lefties: Don’t get caught up in this righty “no controlling legal authority” horsehit. That’s just a diversion. This isn’t about legalities. It’s about proprieties. Legalities are why people hate lawyers.

    But proprieties are the realm of the people. We, not they, get to decide what’s ultimately proper. Stay focussed on that, because that’s why this president is now finished.

  74. 74
    Par R says:

    Mr Furious says, in part:

    “…what he [President Bush] did was clearly petty and wrong.”

    This appears to refer to either the legally authorized release of a portion of a NIE or to Mr Furious’ presumed belief that the leak of Ms. Plame’s name was also involved somehow. The special investigator Fitzgerald knocks down the latter possibility on page 27 of the court filing Linked to in Tim’s post. And the first supposition is blatantly silly on its face. The President clearly has authority to declassify documents although many of the moonbats in this thread are unconvinced; other liberal lefties are not so stupid on this particular point, however.

    Given the unambiguous authority of the President to declassify documents, in part or whole, there is no valid reason for objecting to the release of information that would counter totally false information put into the public domain by an unscrupulous gasbag like Joe Wilson.

  75. 75
    Par R says:

    ppGaz says:

    “This isn’t about legalities. It’s about proprieties.”

    That’s an interesting slant on things….whether something is legal or not isn’t important, it’s how we feel about it…I do believe ppGaz has gone “postal” on us! I hope he isn’t permitted to possess sharp or other dangerous objects.

  76. 76
    Paul L. says:

    ppGaz/ DougJ
    So in your world, Disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as president equals Hates George W. Bush.

    BTW, here is how I remember most Star Trek Next Generation episodes battles.
    Worf: Unknown vessel has opened fire on us.
    Picard: Open Hailing frequencies.
    Worf: No response, Captain. Shields at 75%.
    Picard: Transmit the following Mr Worf “This is Captain John Luc Picard of the federation starship Enterprise. We come in peace and wish you no harm.”
    Worf: No response, Captain. Shields at 47%.
    Picard: Are they still firing at us? Mr. Worf.
    Worf: Yes, Captain that is why the ship is shaking and the shields are losing power. Shields at 31%. Should I return fire?
    Picard: No, Mr. Worf. Plot a course out of here and prepare to go to warp.
    Data: Course plotted, Sir.
    Worf: Shields at 22%.
    Picard: Engauge Warp 6.(while tugging on the front of his shirt).
    Data: Going to Worf.
    Worf: Pussy.
    Picard: What!!!! Mr. Worf?
    Worf: Permission to go to the holodeck I am going to try out program Riker 15478212, Captain.
    Picard: Oh program “Hercules and Planet of the Nymphomanics” Proceed then I’ll join you Mr Worf.
    Riker: Permission to tag along Captain?
    Picard No. You have the Conn, Number one.

  77. 77
    Paul L. says:

    “no controlling legal authority” horse$hit.

    Remember Al Gore? ppGaz

  78. 78
    ppGaz says:

    there is no valid reason for objecting to the release of information that would counter totally false information put into the public domain by an unscrupulous gasbag like Joe Wilson.

    That is correct, sir. And the correct way to do that is to go forth and make that argument. Here’s my view, here’s Wilson’s view. Here are the facts, here is my argument based on those facts. And Wilson can do the same, and then people can judge.

    But that isn’t what these assholes did. Not ever, not from the get-go. They manipulated, they spun, they cherry picked the data, they fudged, they withheld pieces of information … they did everything one would do if one were out to fool people. They did not just honestly come forth and make a straight appeal. They waved scary pictures of mushroom clouds and Al Qaeda types wearing masks. They lied, in other words.

    Time has now passed, the people have seen more of the story, and they have judged pretty much. It’s over. They don’t trust this guy any more, and never will again.

    As for you, you’re not even a worthy spoof at this point. GOP4me writes better material and has a better command of the facts.

    You guys are really done here. Sorry to tell you. Just pack it up. People are laughing at you now. At you, not with you.

  79. 79
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Paul L: What about Millard Fillmore?

    Yeah, you forgot him, didn’t you.

  80. 80
    ppGaz says:

    Remember Al Gore? ppGaz

    Do you know what “whoosh” means, you stupid shit?

  81. 81
    Paul L. says:

    Do you know what “whoosh” means, you stupid shit?

    I am just reminding you lefties of it. You seem to forget any of the shenanigans that were done by the Clinton Administration.

    So you agree the Al Gore should be in jail for his fundraising shenanigans.

    Also you did not answer: does Disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as president equals Hates George W. Bush?

  82. 82
    ppGaz says:

    You seem to forget any of the shenanigans that were done by the Clinton Administration.

    Oh lord.

    Tim, when does the beer blogging start?

  83. 83
    Mr Furious says:

    Mr Furious’ presumed belief that the leak of Ms. Plame’s name was also involved somehow

    It doesn’t matter whether Plame was specified in Bush’s “declassification” or not. Once the President gives carte blanche to Cheney, Rove and Libby to open up a classified NIE and do what they will with it, he has effectively opened the can of worms and is responsible for what falls out.

    And regardless of the specifics of Plame, he used, no, leaked classified information for politcal gain. Pure and simple. How is that NOT petty and wrong?

    And make no mistake (As Bush likes to say), slectively cherry-picking benificial information through an aid to a specific reporter on deep background as a former Hill staffer IS A FUCKING LEAK!!!! Classified, ambiguously de-classified or whatever. That’s a leak.

    Not as McLellan put it this morning, “The President thought the American people should have that information…” That’s called a press release.

    That’s what YOU do every morning, Scottie. You deseminate the information the President “wants the American public to know.” And yet you were not the conduit for that information. I wonder why?

    Got an expalnation for that, Par R?

  84. 84
    Mr Furious says:

    Tim, when does the beer blogging start?

    PaulL’s obviously got a big head start on the beer…

  85. 85
    Par R says:

    ppGaz – In my copy of the latest Webster’s Dictionary, the first listing for the word, “moron,” are the collection of letters, “ppGaz,” to which I would have added, “dumb shit,” as a modifier. With each successive post by ppGaz, it is becoming much easier to understand why he was effectively terminated for cause by the Post Office. The man is a raving luatic who could have easily went nuts and started murdering his coworkers.

  86. 86
    jaime says:

    that were done by the Clinton Administration.

    I thought, through the light of Jesus and a strong conservative morality, the Bush administration was supposed to be better. Remember “honesty and intgerity back in the White House”? Remember “avoiding the appearance” of wrong doing?

    And what are you left with? That Bush is no worse than Clinton…except he hasn’t been BLOWN yet? At least Clinton left the country in better shape than when he came into power and was smart enough not to listen to the PNAC chickenhawk brigade.

  87. 87
    Par R says:

    It would appear that the second definition appearing in the new Webster’s for the word, “moron,” is most likely a picture of Mr Furious. God, what a rant-filled hodgepodge of silliness and nonsense in his last post. I strongly suggest he ask one of his neighbor’s kids to read the 39 page filing Linked to by Tim as a starting point in his obviously long neglected education.

  88. 88
    don surber says:

    From da WaPo: “Legal experts say that President Bush had the unquestionable authority to approve the disclosure of secret CIA information to reporters, but they add that the leak was highly unusual and amounted to using sensitive intelligence data for political gain.”

    From da LAT: “Experts in national security law say a decision by President Bush to authorize the leak of classified information to a reporter probably would not be illegal.”

    (Double negative? Gawk! LAT needs copy editors)

    From da Surb: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  89. 89
    jaime says:

    Do you enjoy being lied to by your King Par R?

  90. 90
    Nikki says:

    …but they add that the leak was highly unusual and amounted to using sensitive intelligence data for political gain.

    And there is the money quote.

  91. 91
    Mr Furious says:

    Let me respond to your question for Par R., Jaime…

    It would appear that the [third] definition appearing in the new Webster’s for the word, “moron,” is most likely a picture of [Jaime]. God, what a rant-filled hodgepodge of silliness and nonsense in his last post.

  92. 92
    Mr Furious says:

    …read the 39 page filing…

    And what in that forty pages of legalese is actually going to refute the “hodgepodge” above? Bush leaked classified information and I don’t really care whether he gave himself legal cover to do it or not.

    You apparently read it, enlighten us. Or you can just insult me and pretend you were never actually challenged or asked a question…

  93. 93
    ppGaz says:

    Tim, John … isn’t it time to do something about Par R?

    I mean, really, what’s the “defensible” position that keeps him posting here?

    He’s not even decent spoof material.

    Hey, it’s your blog, do as you like, but really ….

  94. 94
    Pb says:

    Speaking of leaking and Plame…

    Now [Libby] claims, in court, that he went and got specific permission to leak these documents to Judith Miller in July. But, who leaked them to her in September of 2002?

    So many bombshells turning up, this Presidency is starting to look like a defunct WMD stockpile…

  95. 95
    Par R says:

    Mr Furious, as it is manifestly clear that you have read nothing of relevance to this discussion, and indeed are most likely incapable of processing data at more than a seven year old’s level, would you kindly blow it out your ass.

  96. 96
    ppGaz says:

    Seen this morning on a bumper:

    Would somebody PLEASE give Bush a blowjob so we can impeach him?

  97. 97
    SeesThroughIt says:

    So many bombshells turning up, this Presidency is starting to look like a defunct WMD stockpile…

    Wait, I thought they were moved to Syria?

  98. 98
    ppGaz says:

    “These numbers are scary. We’ve lost every advantage we’ve ever had,” GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio said. “The good news is Democrats don’t have much of a plan. The bad news is they may not need one.”

    Via DKos.

  99. 99
    John S. says:

    BTW, here is how I remember most Star Trek Next Generation episodes battles.

    Thanks for proving that the wingnut view of things often deviates from reality.

  100. 100
    Mr Furious says:

    …read nothing of relevance to this discussion…

    You’re right, I’ve wasted far too much time reading your bullshit.

    …incapable of processing data at more than a seven year old’s level…

    Isn’t that a bit premature? I mean you’ve only presented data at a fourth grade level, step it up and give me some middle school stuff and we’ll see how I do.

    I asked you direct questions and made specific points. You are the one unable to engage in an actual debate, and resort to name-calling and loudmouthing.

    If your objective is to chum the waters and make yourself feel “big” for throwing barbs at people on the left, I guess you’re a success. If you think you are actually engaged in a debate and contributing to the discussion here, you’re wrong. You are now passing the point of being a complete waste of everybody’s time.

  101. 101
    John S. says:

    Par R Says:

    Edited for insults, pejoratives and profanity.

  102. 102
    t. jasper parnell says:

    So wait, if the President can classify or unclassify, leak or release anything he or she wants at any time with no oversight, does that mean that the President could have declassified at the height of the Cold War previously classified information known to be in the US’ possession alone concerning nuclear weapons, or some other such, and given them to an aide to give to a journalist, who then publishes the same? This seems to be an odd notion.

  103. 103
    demimondian says:

    if the President can classify or unclassify, leak or release anything he or she wants at any time with no oversight, does that mean that the President could have declassified at the height of the Cold War previously classified information known to be in the US’ possession alone concerning nuclear weapons, or some other such, and given them to an aide to give to a journalist, who then publishes the same?

    Yes. Why would that be surprising?

  104. 104
    t. jasper parnell says:

    But surely, that cannot be the case. Surely classification, declassification, and reclassification, as some historians have succeeded in showing, invovles a process with clear guidelines and processess and as such is outside the competence of any one brance or member of the Government.

  105. 105
    Mr Furious says:

    Don’t worry, tjp. That right will expire at the end of this term…

  106. 106
    LITBMueller says:

    The entire discussion of whether Bush can classify or declassify unilaterally is moot. The document under consideration is the most important fact. We are talking about the National Intelligence Estimate. It contains the opinions, anlyses, and data gathered by our nation’s intelligence agencies. It is a highly deliberate document (or at least is supposed to be!), and contains classified information from a number of separate intelligence agencies and executive departments. The enitre document is coordinated and reviewed by the National Intelligence Council.

    The declassification of the NIE is a very deliberative process for this very reason – each department reviews the document and blacks out information that must remain classified. The declassification, in other words, is not a unilateral or willy nilly process. It is very careful.

    So, this is the problem we have here: we can debate until we’re blue in the face whether Bush or Cheney had the legal authority to declassify portions of the NIE themselves for the sole intent of being released to the press. The question is really this: should they have???

    Short answer: NO! That is an incredibly reckless act motivated by politics and not security.

  107. 107
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Obviously as a matter of policy and concern for the commonwealth, the president ought not to have; however, it cannot be the case, as some here are suggesting, that as a matter of law and the like, that the Presdent can. Mr. Surber cites journalists citing unnamed “experts” as asserting that the President can. This position makes no sense. It cannot be the case that a member of our government has a matter of law the right to destroy, for surely in some instances releasing classified or reclassifying information could amount to the same, the government of which he or she is but a part. It cannot be the case that any American would trumpet, even in the heat of petty partisan bickering, that this absurd situation is, can, or ought to be the case.

  108. 108
    Par R says:

    LITBMueller, sorry, but your whole thesis is utter nonsense. If you’re really interested, here’s the text of the legally authorized National Intelligence Estimate at issue in this whole discussion.

  109. 109
    Par R says:

    LITBMueller, I should have added that the Link in my post above contains only those portions of the NIE that the President authorized for release.

  110. 110
    Krista says:

    Bush may or may not have had the authority to release that information. We’ll all know sooner or later. Regardless, the fact that information was released via third-hand leak to Robert Novak, instead of a straightforward press release? And the fact that the White House disavowed all knowledge of the leak?

    Sorry. It may not be illegal, but it’s scummy as hell, and you guys deserve better.

  111. 111
    LITBMueller says:

    Par R, you just made my whole point! What the White House released was oly PORTIONS of the NIE! Know why? Because a lot of it remained classified.

    Specific portions, names, places, etc. are blacked out by the specific agency responsible for the classified information. By unilaterally declassifying (even if only a portion of it), Bush is circumventing that entire process.

    There is a process in place regarding the declassfication of classified material to intentionaly safeguard against the release of information that should remain classified.

    There is nothing nonsensical about that.

  112. 112
    Llelldorin says:

    So wait, if the President can classify or unclassify, leak or release anything he or she wants at any time with no oversight, does that mean that the President could have declassified at the height of the Cold War previously classified information known to be in the US’ possession alone concerning nuclear weapons, or some other such, and given them to an aide to give to a journalist, who then publishes the same? This seems to be an odd notion.

    Yes. Nothing (besides impeachment) prevents the President from acting legally in ways that threaten the security of the United States of America.

    The hope is that we wouldn’t elect someone to begin with that would abuse the powers of his office to (say) impede CIA efforts to track the efforts of minor countries to obtain WMDs for political reasons. That hope appears to have been in vain.

  113. 113
    LITBMueller says:

    BTW, more kiddie porn (via DKos):

    Two weeks after a Defense Information Systems Agency official was arrested on a charge of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s office handling the case dropped the charge. But a spokeswoman in the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the investigation is continuing.

    And last week, federal agents seized computer equipment from the desk of a NASA official, based on information developed during a U.S. Postal Inspection Service undercover investigation of Internet trafficking in child pornography.

    Ay, caramba…

  114. 114
    tzs says:

    What this means, obviously, is the President has claimed the power to be a loose cannon subject to no law providing he can claim his actions can fit “National Security.”

    And considering what has already been dragged under that umbrella I would say this means no checks and balances at all.

    Doesn’t this even give a hint of a shiver to any of the posters defending Bush here?

    Undoubtedly no, since they never think down the road. Give absolute power to someone, and he will use it, somehow, somewhere, down the road.

    “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Please look at any book of history if you don’t believe this.

  115. 115
    Krista says:

    Normalcy scale:

    Looking at porn = normal
    Looking at porn at work = risky and dumb
    Looking at kiddy porn = illegal and sick
    Looking at kiddy porn at work = government employee

    There you have it.

  116. 116
    Par R says:

    Krista says, in part,

    “…the fact that information was released via third-hand leak to Robert Novak…”

    Nothing contained in the NIE was released to Robert Novak; the issue with Mr. Novak related to the disclosure of Ms. Plame’s identity.

    LITBMueller says, in part:

    What the White House released was oly [sic] PORTIONS of the NIE! Know why? Because a lot of it remained classified.

    I’m not sure what your point is here. The President authorized the release of only those portions of the NIE that were judged to not be detrimental to our security. The major portions containing, for example, potential clues to sources and means of intelligence gathering were redacted and Not released.

  117. 117
    Mr Furious says:

    The President authorized the release of only those portions of the NIE that were judged to not be detrimental to our security.

    Wrong. The President only authorized the portions that supported his arguments.

  118. 118
    Pb says:

    Krista,

    Bush may or may not have had the authority to release that information. We’ll all know sooner or later.

    No, we won’t–I’ll tell you now, he doesn’t have that sort of authority, not without having to (a) obey the law or (b) change the law. It sounds like he didn’t do either one, and in fact likely that the document wasn’t actually ‘declassified’ but rather allowed to leak. But some people will never know, no matter what comes out.

  119. 119
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Mr. R,
    The issue, at least for me, is that on your telling the only check on a President’s declassifacatory powers are his or her own judgement. I find this position very difficult to square with the conservative nature of the Constitution, by conservative I mean its requirements of super majorities, divided government and so on.

  120. 120
    Par R says:

    I must say that I find all of this concern for protecting national security secrets very heartening, particularly from such defenders as LITBMueller, Krista, ppGaz, Pb, Kim, and others. This new position certainly represents a turnaround from the views taken by many of these same individuals when the issue related to the NYT disclosure of the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program. As I recall, those disclosures to the media by individuals acting unilaterally and without legal authorization were generally commended for their actions.

    I am glad to see all of you renounce such actions.

  121. 121
    LITBMueller says:

    I’m not sure what your point is here. The President authorized the release of only those portions of the NIE that were judged to not be detrimental to our security. The major portions containing, for example, potential clues to sources and means of intelligence gathering were redacted and Not released.

    Yes, that’s my point. Let’s back up, though, to clarify. I’m pointing out that when an unclassified version of the October 2002 NIE was eventually released, the portions that were to remain classified were blacked out and withheld.

    But, that is the point. That was done after the normal review process as part of declassification. It wasn’t done unilaterally by Bush, Rove, or anyone in the White House. Each department which contributed to the NIE had a say (especially agencies like CIA, which needs to protect sources and methods).

    Now, go to May/June 2003, when Libby says Cheney told him he was authorized by Bush to disclose information contained within the NIE to Judy Miller. That did NOT follow the normal process of declassification. In fact, as Fitz points out, other agency heads and guys like Hadley were never even made aware that Bush had made such an authorization – they proceeded with the normal process of declassification, blissfully unaware.

    THAT is the problem: whether or not the President has a legal leg to stand on, he should NOT provide such an authorization. Was he aware what exactly Libby was going to discuss? How was he to know that Libby would be careful, and not leak “too much?”

    Get my point? That is reckless. That is dangerous. And it was done all for political motivations, which it makes it all the worse.

  122. 122
    tBone says:

    Wow, some of you liberals really need a reality check. It’s really simple; I’ll go slow so you moonbats can follow along, OK? Here it is: while the President was in the midst of eating the baby, he signed an executive order legalizing baby-eating. Therefore, NO LAWS were broken. You kooks are just going to have to get over it.

  123. 123
    VidaLoca says:

    Par,

    I’m not sure what your point is here.
    The President authorized the release of only those portions of the NIE that were judged not to not be detrimental to our security to be beneficial to his own partisan goals.

    1. His authority to do that is in question.
    2. The duplicity of it is not.

    But at this point, why argue. You’ll go to any length to defend him so have it your way.

  124. 124
    t. jasper parnell says:

    “This new position certainly represents a turnaround from the views taken by many of these same individuals when the issue related to the NYT disclosure of the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program. As I recall, those disclosures to the media by individuals acting unilaterally and without legal authorization were generally commended for their actions.”

    But surely there is a difference between commending someone for exposing government behavior which one deems illegal (an issue about which, so my limited knowledge of the contemporary world and its hurly burly tells me, the jury remains decidedly out) and granting to a President the right to release material without any substantive or formal check, is there not?

  125. 125
    LITBMueller says:

    Wrong. The President only authorized the portions that supported his arguments.

    True enough. Which makes things even worse. Lest we forget, certain words and conclusions in the eventually unclassified version of the NIE were changed to remove any hint of doubt about WMD conclusions. This was reported by the Senate Intelligence Comm.

  126. 126
    Mr Furious says:

    … views taken by many of these same individuals when the issue related to the NYT disclosure of the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program. As I recall, those disclosures to the media by individuals acting unilaterally and without legal authorization were generally commended for their actions…

    It’s called cognition. Give it a try.

    There’s a difference between the partisan abuse of classified information for mere revenge or political goals, and the personal risk of whistle-blowing a potentially illegal, unconstitutional and certainly controversial program with no oversight and no other recourse.

  127. 127
    Mr Furious says:

    Or, in your parlance, it must just be “because Bush did it.”

  128. 128
    slickdpdx says:

    The ‘P’s and their crowd are in top mean girl form today!

    Rowr!

    A leak and a scoop beat a press release everytime. If you don’t understand that, well, you’re not going to understand what happened here. You can argue about whether the Bush administration made a good and partisan decision or a bad and partisan decision, but you can’t really argue that the man who is in charge of the company can’t run the company.

  129. 129
    Easyliving says:

    The information in the so-called “highly classified” document was not classified because BUSH UNCLASSIFIED IT! By Bush saying it’s okay to release this information, IT’S OKAY TO RELEASE THE INFORMATION. It’s (in effect, if not literally) no longer classified, much less “highly classified.” In any event, the information was to be made public (according to my understanding)in due time, which simply had to be sped up slightly to counter the outrageous LIES (that term has a meaning) of JW.

    What this episode makes me wonder, yet again, is what you damn people would do if Bush actually was Hitler? What if Bush was taking away rights? What if Bush was guilty of releasing the identity of a classified, undercover agent? What if Haliburton was stealing oil, killing and raping Iraq (the people, the land, the culture), and the anti-christ?

    What would you people do?

    People such as myself would use the system to throw the bums into jail where they can rot until they die. You people either aren’t capable of doing that, or are delusional, paranoid simpletons with no grounding in reality.

    Thank God, we’ll never have to worry about such nonsense as Bush being an evil opportunist hell-bent on repealing rights. In fact, we can look forward to history vindicating Bush’s leadership as it has French Premier Georges Clemenceau. You see, Clemenceau fought with President Wilson to keep Germany from getting powerful again after we saved the Europeans from WWI. President Wilson fought, yes, fought, to help Germany become strong sooner rather than later after WWI, hence WWII. If only Sen. Lodge were President, WWII would never have happened.

    Since GWB is now President, our current conficts will remain overseas for just a little while longer, hopefully (and I’m sure we can all agree on this, like many others, I don’t doubt your patriotism, just your judgement) long enough to thwart the capacity of groups like AQ to attack us.

  130. 130
    t. jasper parnell says:

    “President Wilson fought, yes, fought, to help Germany become strong sooner rather than later after WWI, hence WWII. If only Sen. Lodge were President, WWII would never have happened.”

    This is a nearly perfect concatenation of errant nonsense and counterfactual history. You ought read some of the careful work done of Hitler’s rise to power and his use of the Diktat (read Versailles Treaty) to gain votes from nationalists and others distraught at the damage done to the Germany economy as a result of the Debt repayments.

  131. 131
    jg says:

    the information was to be made public (according to my understanding)in due time, which simply had to be sped up slightly to counter the outrageous LIES (that term has a meaning) of JW.

    What lies by Wilson? He said he went to Niger, found out the Iraq/yellowcake issue was bunk, and reported that back to the WH before the SOTU in 03. Is that a lie?

  132. 132
    John S. says:

    Here it is: while the President was in the midst of eating the baby, he signed an executive order legalizing baby-eating. Therefore, NO LAWS were broken.

    Finally, someone with a proper understanding of how our founding fathers meant for this country to be governed.

    Why can’t the rest of you moonbats understand that this great nation of ours was founded on the principle of a Supreme Executive branch that has nearly monarchial powers?

    At least we have tBone here to set the record straight.

  133. 133
    ppGaz says:

    With the possible of exception of Don Surber, I don’t think we have a righty here today who isn’t a spoof.

  134. 134
    tBone says:

    At least we have tBone here to set the record straight.

    My pleasure. Somebody here needs to knock some sense into these moonbats’ heads, and Par R just isn’t getting the job done.

  135. 135
    ppGaz says:

    Somebody here needs to knock some sense

    We’ll make mincemeat of you.

  136. 136
    LITBMueller says:

    Oh, c’mon ppGaz, let’ not bring that old beef up again.

  137. 137
    Easyliving says:

    I guess you are right t. jas, WWII was the Allies (our)fault for having the nerve to make Germany pay for some of the costs associated with WWI. August 1, 1914, was just a response that any country would have to a neighbor mobilizing militarily. Germany certainly can’t be held responsible for DECLARING WAR, it was the only thing they could do right? They shouldn’t have to face the consequences and be destroyed and rebuilt (like it cost millions of lives to do after WWII by the way) in order to ensure later on they don’t destroy Europe (as of course they came damn, damn close to doing). If only we would have allowed Germany to become stronger, quicker, to the tune of $30+ Billion in the 1920’s, then Hitler wouldn’t have come to power and everything would have been peachy keen.

    Of course.

    The idea of destroying a regime that caused MILLIONS of deaths so they cannot rise again and cause MILLIONS of deaths was just silly French machismo. Too bad they didn’t have someone like you around to let them know what’s up. OH WAIT!!! They did. And, like I said originally, President Wilson fought the French and British to allow Germany to become stronger sooner, thereby helping Germany prepare for war. That’s what happened.

    I will concede that making Germany pay for its ultimately evil declaration of war on August 1, 1914, did in fact lead to some of the conditions that lead to WWII. That’s the fault of Germany however, and President Wilson for allowing it to happen against the dire advice, with predictions, by men like the French Premier.

  138. 138
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Looking at porn = normal

    Not according to some of your nuttier righty blogs. If you’ve even glanced at a softcore picture in Playboy you better repent in a hurry before you slip all the way down the slope and start driving around a molester van and offering candy to grade-schoolers.

  139. 139
    LITBMueller says:

    If you’ve even glanced at a softcore picture in Playboy you better repent in a hurry before you slip all the way down the slope and start driving around a molester van and offering candy to grade-schoolers.

    But at least you can get a job at the Dept. of Homeland Security!

  140. 140
    Easyliving says:

    jg,

    I’m sure what you say is true. That’s not why I call JW a liar though. This is why I call JW a liar:

    1.

    Wilson Said He Traveled To Niger At CIA Request To Help Provide Response To Vice President’s Office. “In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney’s office had questions about a particular intelligence report. … The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president’s office.” (Joseph C. Wilson, Op-Ed, “What I Didn’t Find In Africa,” The New York Times, 7/6/03)

    Vice President Cheney: “I Don’t Know Joe Wilson. I’ve Never Met Joe Wilson. … And Joe Wilson – I Don’t [Know] Who Sent Joe Wilson. He Never Submitted A Report That I Ever Saw When He Came Back.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 9/14/03)

    CIA Director George Tenet: “In An Effort To Inquire About Certain Reports Involving Niger, CIA’s Counter-Proliferation Experts, On Their Own Initiative, Asked An Individual With Ties To The Region To Make A Visit To See What He Could Learn.” (Central Intelligence Agency, “Statement By George J. Tenet, Director Of Central Intelligence,” Press Release, 7/11/03)

    2.

    Wilson Claims His Trip Proved There Was Nothing To The Uranium “Allegations.” “I knew that [Dr. Rice] had fundamentally misstated the facts. In fact, she had lied about it. I had gone out and I had undertaken this study. I had come back and said that this was not feasible. … This government knew that there was nothing to these allegations.” (NBC’s, “Meet The Press,” 5/2/04)

    “For Most Analysts, The Information In The Report Lent More Credibility To The Original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Report On The Uranium Deal, But State Department Bureau Of Intelligence And Research (INR) Analysts Believed That The Report Supported Their Assessments That Niger Was Unlikely To Be Willing Or Able To Sell Uranium.” (Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, “Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Assessments On Iraq,” 7/7/04)

    The Butler Report Claimed That The President’s State Of the Union Statement On Uranium From Africa, “Was Well-Founded.” “We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government’s dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that: ‘The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.’ was well-founded.” (The Rt. Hon. The Lord Butler Of Brockwell, “Review Of Intelligence, On Weapons Of Mass Destruction,” 7/14/04)

    3.

    Wilson Claimed His Wife Did Not Suggest He Travel To Niger To Investigate Reports Of Uranium Deal; Instead, Wilson Claims It Came Out Of Meeting With CIA. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “Among other things, you had always said, always maintained, still maintain your wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA officer, had nothing to do with the decision to send to you Niger to inspect reports that uranium might be sold from Niger to Iraq. … Did Valerie Plame, your wife, come up with the idea to send you to Niger?” Joe Wilson: “No. My wife served as a conduit, as I put in my book. When her supervisors asked her to contact me for the purposes of coming into the CIA to discuss all the issues surrounding this allegation of Niger selling uranium to Iraq.” (CNN’s “Late Edition,” 7/18/04)

    But Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Received Not Only Testimony But Actual Documentation Indicating Wilson’s Wife Proposed Him For Trip. “Some CPD, [CIA Counterproliferation Division] officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador, however, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip. The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador’s wife ‘offered up his name’ and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12, 2002, from the former ambassador’s wife says, ‘my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.’” (Select Committee On Intelligence, “Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq,” U.S. Senate, 7/7/04)

    4.

    Wilson Claims CIA Thought To Ask Him To Make Trip Because He Had Previously Made Trip For Them In 1999, Not Because Of His Wife’s Suggestion. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “Who first raised your name, then, based on what you know? Who came up with the idea to send you there?” Joe Wilson: “The CIA knew my name from a trip, and it’s in the report, that I had taken in 1999 related to uranium activities but not related to Iraq. I had served for 23 years in government including as Bill Clinton’s Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. I had done a lot of work with the Niger government during a period punctuated by a military coup and a subsequent assassination of a president. So I knew all the people there.” (CNN’s “Late Edition,” 7/18/04)

    In Fact, His Wife Suggested Him For 1999 Trip, As Well. “The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on the CIA’s behalf … The former ambassador was selected for the 1999 trip after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future and might be willing to use his contacts in the region …” (Select Committee On Intelligence, “Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq,” U.S. Senate, 7/7/04)

    5.

    In June Of 2003, Wilson Told The Washington Post “The Niger Intelligence Was Based On Documents That Had Clearly Been Forged Because ‘The Dates Were Wrong And The Names Were Wrong.’” (Susan Schmidt, “Plame’s Input Is Cited On Niger Mission,” The Washington Post, 7/10/04)

    However, “The [Senate Select Committee On Intelligence] Report … Said Wilson Provided Misleading Information To The Washington Post Last June [12th, 2003].” (Susan Schmidt, “Plame’s Input Is Cited On Niger Mission,” The Washington Post, 7/10/04)

    Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Unanimous Report: “The Former Ambassador Said That He May Have ‘Misspoken’ To The Reporter When He Said He Concluded The Documents Were ‘Forged.’” (Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, “Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Assessments On Iraq,” 7/7/04)

  141. 141
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Easyliving,
    You miss the point, perhaps out of some sort of misdirected anger. I did not offer a policy prescription. I was pointing out that 1) accusing Wilson of allowing Germany to rapidly regain its strength, and it is not clear if you meant military or economic, as a cause of WWII is nonsense. Weimar’s fall resulted not from an excess of strength military or economic but rather the opposite 2) your assertion that a Lodge administration would have avoided WWII is counterfactual, that is it didn’t happen and therefore we cannot know what would have happened. If counterfactuals float your boat: Had STresemann lived, Hitler would never have been elected; If Hindenberg hadn’t have fiddled around with the Osthilfe, Hitler would never have been appointed chancellor; if von Papen were not such a dolt, Hitler would never have been appointed chancelor; and so on.

  142. 142
    Par R says:

    Somebody asked for a reference concerning legalities involved in the New York Times article about the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program story published late last year. More specifically, a number of questions have arisen relative to the federal law that makes the disclosures on which the story was based a crime. The federal law is 18 U.S.C. § 798, a law that precisely prohibits leaks of the type of classified information disclosed in the story. Subsection (a) of the statute provides:

    “Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—
    (1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
    (2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
    (3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
    (4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

    Subsection (b) defines the critical terms of the statute; this is clearly applicable to the conduct of the “nearly a dozen current and former govenment officials” who spoke to the Times. Their violation of the statute is a felony. Because their disclosures to the Times were illegal, these current and former government officials sought the promise of confidentiality from the Times to protect their identity.

    As much as it must be troubling to those here who distrust or have an animus toward the President, the sad fact from your perspective is that the President has absolute power to declassify information that any and all parts of the US government may have labelled “classified.”

  143. 143
    LITBMueller says:

    The sheer genius of Scotty McClellan:

    “There is a difference between providing declassified information to the public when it’s in the public interest and leaking classified information that involved sensitive national intelligence regarding our security,” McClellan told reporters at a White House press briefing.

    Natural followup: “Scott, is there a difference between selectively releasing declassified information to the public whe its in the public interest, and using it to smear an administration critic by outing his wife as a CIA employee? How exactly was publicly discussing the CIA employment of Valerie Plame in the public interest?”

  144. 144
    ppGaz says:

    Oh, c’mon ppGaz, let’ not bring that old beef up again.

    Well, the GOP is setting records for pork. That’s my main beef. Bunch of turkeys.

    But this stuff we are talking about today? Very fishy. And the righties in here now? Just being weenies.

  145. 145
    tBone says:

    We’ll make mincemeat of you.
    Oh, c’mon ppGaz, let’ not bring that old beef up again.

    Apparently the Law of Balloon Juice Commentary dictates that every thread will eventually decay into half-assed spoofery and bad puns.

  146. 146
    t. jasper parnell says:

    “As much as it must be troubling to those here who distrust or have an animus toward the President, the sad fact from your perspective is that the President has absolute power to declassify information that any and all parts of the US government may have labelled ‘classified.’ ”

    Just to be clear, I neither “distrust” nor have any “animus toward” this president; I disagree with many of the administrations policies but not from malice or mistrust. I remain unconvinced that the President, past, presesnt, or future, has a legal and/or constitutional right to act as he or she sees fit on matters of classification or declassification.

  147. 147
    Richard Bottoms says:

    This is almost too painful to watch. I don’t think any political party in US history has faced such total anihilation.

    If people weren’t dying in Iraq right now because of all this, I would be throwing a big party to celebrate.

    The GOP is finished.

  148. 148
    Easyliving says:

    t jas, you’re second point is well taken, but I do offer my opinion because of the disagreement Lodge had at the time with Wilson. But you do have a point.

    Now, I made very clear what I was saying, but you don’t seem to be acknowledging my point: had Germany been treated as the French Premier Clemenceau or Sen. Lodge wanted, the idea they would have had the same or greater capability to start WWII is false. Germany’s power would have been diminished, significantly, for an admitedly unknown number of years, had the Allies followed Sen. Lodge’s advice or Premier Clemenceau’s advice.

    Since you seem more civil, and probably more intelligent than me, please explain what detail of my analysis you disagree with using the terms I am using, so I can understand. For instance, do you disagree with any of the following:

    1. Wilson and Clemenceau (and of course others) disagreed on how to treat Germany after WWI.

    2. Wilson wanted Germany to be treated more leniantly than Clemenceau, which includes being given more opportunities for the advancement (both economically and militarily) of German technology and resources which were ultimately used against the U.S. in WWII.

    3. Had Germany been treated more harshly, meaning had it not been allowed to become the Axix power it became through such means as severe restrictions on what it could produce economically and militarily (and where that production would go within the parameters of who “controlled” the production), German would not have had the same (or any greater) capacity to start WWII.

  149. 149
    jg says:

    Easyliving Says:

    jg,

    I’m sure what you say is true. That’s not why I call JW a liar though. This is why I call JW a liar:

    For a bunch of crap that has nothing to do with the issue? Who cares who sent him? Who cares why? He went, he reported. The opposite of what he reported was presented to the american people in the SOTU. He speaks out. Suddenly a whole bunch of nitpicking little stupid side issues arise and you use them to attack his credibilty when you admit the basic facts are true. The administration retaliates against him (for telling the truth to us) by outing his wife. A woman who has been working in the service of our country tracking down little countries trying to acquire nukes. Her previoous cover was exposed, contacts that were made are exposed, networks are compromised, her former front company is exposed. And you side with Bush and pile on with the chewbacca shit.

    I don’t get it. Why is it even a little important whether or not his wife picked him or suggested him to the people who make the picks? Why is an issue that Cheney never talked to Wilson? Why isn’t the retaliation by the administration the issue that gets you pissed?

  150. 150
    jg says:

    Germany’s power would have been diminished, significantly, for an admitedly unknown number of years, had the Allies followed Sen. Lodge’s advice or Premier Clemenceau’s advice.

    Possibly but there’s also the possibility that if Hitler hadn’t come along Wilsons move might not have resulted in WWII. Without Hitler Germany may have peacably reconstructed and never been a problem. What’s Germany’s future under the Lodge plan but without Hitler?

  151. 151
    Par R says:

    Richard Bottoms says:

    I don’t think any political party in US history has faced such total anihilation [sic].

    To which I would say, GET A GRIP. You should only live so long! Down today, Up tomorrow. And so it goes.

  152. 152
    Par R says:

    jg, you may be interested in what a growing number of Liberals are increasingly concluding about your apparent hero, Joe Wilson: LIBERALS AGREE, WILSON’S A PIG

  153. 153
    jg says:

    Wilson is my hero? I care what liberals think? Lotsa learnin goin on taday.

  154. 154
    Easyliving says:

    “The GOP is finished.”

    Yeah, we are finished. Finished winning the Senate, House, and Presidency. Do you wanna talk about Governerships? State assembly? How about local school boards, we (the GOP) might not be finished dominating those races. Yet.

    Good luck on Bush’s approval ratings by the way, I’m sure it will effect him in his next election. Wait…

    Okay, I’ll bite on this too. Weak Presidents are still Presidents, and after the tax cuts, energy bill, education bill, CAFTA, India-US relations, creation of the Dept. of Homeland Security, tort reform, Medicare Prescription Benefit, two Supreme Court Justices and many, many lower court Judges, and gains in both the black and hispanic voting blocs, I think he’ll be content to warn America about social security for two years, watching the Democrats say “nothings wrong, those evil Rethugs just wanna taky YOUR money”, all the while setting his party up for Rove’s plan of total one party domination.

  155. 155
    OCSteve says:

    Well, the GOP is setting records for pork. That’s my main beef. Bunch of turkeys. But this stuff we are talking about today? Very fishy. And the righties in here now? Just being weenies.

    FWIW – I agree with you 100% ppGaz. Wankers.

  156. 156
    jg says:

    LOL I just read the link. Wilson makes a joke that, unlike Kne Mehlman, he likes woman, some overly sensitive goofball at TNR gets offended, and now all liberals think Wilsons a pig? That’s classic. Quite the stretch to think this lends any credilbility to the rights view of Wilson.

  157. 157
    Easyliving says:

    “For a bunch of crap that has nothing to do with the issue?”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAH.

    It’s Clinton all over again. He lied, but it’s not like he lied about GOING TO WAR, so it doesn’t count.

    LOL.

    Let me connect the dots for you.

    Joe Wilson lied about why he went. He went because the CIA asked him to, not because VP Cheney’s office wanted him to. This ties in directly with his later claims and is germane to the issue. Had Cheney ordered him to go specifically to find out the credulity of these claims, then had JW come back and report the claims were bunk, that would actually show some proof that Bush/Cheney were selectively using intelligence to bolster their case for war. Since this didn’t happen, but JW wanted it to appear like it happened in this matter, this affects JW’s credibility.

    JW lied about how he was chosen to be sent. Nevermind just losing credibility because he’s a proven liar, this also goes to his motive. Why would he lie about who sent him? Could it be to give himself more credibility as an intelligence agent for the United States, not just a former ambassador with ties to the CIA via Valerie? To appear less like a political hack sent by his ideological similar WIFE to purposefully discredit an administration he doesn’t like? You tell me, why did he lie if it wasn’t important to him?

    Wilson lied about what his trip meant to the viability of claims about African yellow cake. How can you seriously claim this isn’t important? What JW said is in direct conflict with what the CIA, Senate, and British intelligence concluded, and is the ABSOLUTE MAIN ISSUE. Were it not for Joe’s erroneous claims, no one would have heard of Joe Wilson. This is the most central issue. JW tried to claim Sec. Rice, Bush, and Cheney all lied because they knew, based on Joe’s trip, that Saddam wasn’t trying to get yellow cake from Africa. This was false, therefore the administration responded with facts to dispute these obviously politically-orientated charges.

    I just realized something. Since it’s okay for Dem’s to lie all the time, as long as its not ABOUT WAR (even when it is, as in this case, and you just can’t comprehend it), you don’t expect people to defend themselves. This actually makes perfect sense. Since you assume BushCo lied, defending themselves is an almost worst crime because it’s doubly dishonest. Interesting. Cynical, wrong, twisted, pessimistic, and disheartening, but still interesting the way you liberals think.

    By the way, there is nothing wrong with being a Democrat. The rights finally recognized to all by Republicans in the 1948 and 1964 Civil Rights Bills, along with the 13, 14, and 15 Ammendments, wouldn’t have passed with such majorities without a couple of Democrats signing on, kicking and screaming.

    Just remember though, the GOP started a party to abolish slavery. The Democrats started a party (Dixiecrats) to protest equality.

  158. 158
    ppGaz says:

    FWIW – I agree with you 100% ppGaz. Wankers.

    So, you side with my beef?

  159. 159
    Easyliving says:

    jg,

    I was absolutely wrong when I said “I’m sure what you say is true.” What you said was not true, and I stant corrected.

  160. 160
    ppGaz says:

    Wilson’s a pig

    Couldn’t say, but if he is, he’s a pig who was right about Iraq and its nuclear capabilities.

    In any case, it’s not Wilson’s approval rating that the polls are looking at every two weeks. It’s the lying little alcoholic prick in the White House.

  161. 161
    ppGaz says:

    OCS, where are you? I was just giving you a good ribbing.

    I expected you to pepper me with rebuttals.

  162. 162
    jg says:

    Easyliving Says:

    jg,

    I was absolutely wrong when I said “I’m sure what you say is true.” What you said was not true, and I stant corrected.

    Its not true? He didn’t report that there was nothing to the story? He didn’t report this months before the SOTU?

    2.

    Wilson Claims His Trip Proved There Was Nothing To The Uranium “Allegations.” “I knew that [Dr. Rice] had fundamentally misstated the facts. In fact, she had lied about it. I had gone out and I had undertaken this study. I had come back and said that this was not feasible. … This government knew that there was nothing to these allegations.” (NBC’s, “Meet The Press,” 5/2/04)

    “For Most Analysts, The Information In The Report Lent More Credibility To The Original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Report On The Uranium Deal, But State Department Bureau Of Intelligence And Research (INR) Analysts Believed That The Report Supported Their Assessments That Niger Was Unlikely To Be Willing Or Able To Sell Uranium.” (Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, “Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Assessments On Iraq,” 7/7/04)

    The Butler Report Claimed That The President’s State Of the Union Statement On Uranium From Africa, “Was Well-Founded.” “We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government’s dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that: ‘The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.’ was well-founded.” (The Rt. Hon. The Lord Butler Of Brockwell, “Review Of Intelligence, On Weapons Of Mass Destruction,” 7/14/04)

    Bush says someone from Iraq tried to buy yellowcake (might be true, an Iraqi did in fact travel to Niger) claiming this as a basis for removing Saddam. Wilson and apparently others state that even if Iraq wanted yellowcake a sale wouldn’t have happened.

    ‘I had come back and said that this was not feasible.’
    ‘The Report Supported Their Assessments That Niger Was Unlikely To Be Willing Or Able To Sell Uranium’

    Again, where’s the lie? Why the anger?

  163. 163
    DougJ says:

    Easyliving — too wordy. Nobody likes a spoof who goes on for too long.

  164. 164
    DougJ says:

    ppGaz – In my copy of the latest Webster’s Dictionary, the first listing for the word, “moron,” are the collection of letters, “ppGaz,” to which I would have added, “dumb shit,” as a modifier. With each successive post by ppGaz, it is becoming much easier to understand why he was effectively terminated for cause by the Post Office. The man is a raving luatic who could have easily went nuts and started murdering his coworkers.

    Bravo! Your best work yet.

  165. 165
    LITBMueller says:

    SO, Easyliving, is it your contention then, that:

    – Before Bush’s Jan. 2003 SOTU address, and “the 16 words,” the CIA did NOT warn the National Security Council that detailed references to Iraq and Niger should not be made in the SOTU (hence the cryptic reference to British intelligence)?

    – That an State Dept. Iraq analyst did NOT email several intelligence community analysts outlining his reasons why the uranium purchase agreement “probably is a hoax.” That he did NOT point out that one of the documents was clearly a forgery, in mid-January 2003?

    – That a Dept. of Energy analyst did NOT write an email in late Dec. 2003 to a State Dept. analyst stating, ““it is most disturbing that WINPAC is essentially directing foreign policy in this matter. There are some very strong points to be made in respect to Iraq’s arrogant non-compliance with UN sanctions. However, when individuals attempt to convert those ‘strong statements’ into the ‘knock out’ punch, the Administration will ultimately look foolish – i.e., the tubes and Niger!”

    – That Bush was NOT aware before the SOTU that the UN inspectors, after having returned to Iraq in November 2002, was completely unable to find any evidence of WMD’s?

    – That the State Dept. INR did NOT identify the forged and very fake-looking Niger stamp on one of the foregeries as early as mid-October 2002?

    – That the CIA did NOT include comments in an unpublished White House paper from early-October 2002 suggesting that the White Hosue tone down the Niger allegations?

    – That the CIA did NOT send a memo to the NSC before Bush’s speech in Cincinnati in October 2002 asking them to remove the Niger allegation from the speech “because the amount is in dispute and it is debatable whether it can be acquired from the source. We told Congress that the Brits have exaggerated this issue.” (the allegation was removed, but Bush uttered the infamous “mushroom cloud” phrase)?

    – That the NIO for Strategic and Nuclear Programs did NOT testify before the Senate Select Comm. on Intelligence (SSCI) on 10/4/02 that the British White Paper “put more emphasis on the uranium acquisition in Africa than we would” and discuss some inconsistencies with the allegations?

    – That Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin did NOT tell the SSCI on 10/2/02 that the British allegations in their White Paper concerning attempts by Iraq to acquire uranium from various African locations was “stretched a little bit”? That he did NOT note that CIA believes that Iraq is pursuing nuclear weapons, but that “we’ve looked at those reports and we don’t think they are very credible”?

    – That an interagency meeting was NOT held on 9/25/02 to discuss a draft of the NIE, which included the judgment, “We cannot confirm whether Iraq succeeded in acquiring uranium ore and/or yellowcake from these [African] sources,” and that during the drafting of the NIE, there was NOT a difference within the CIA between the WINPAC and NESA analysts over the allegation that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger?

    I’m just wondering. Because all of this has been reported by the SSCI report on pre-war intelligence, and the Silbermann-Robb Commission.

  166. 166
    Pb says:

    FWIW… Although Dick Cheney is a liar, Joe Wilson isn’t. Oh, and Saddam didn’t need yellowcake–he already had 550 tons of the stuff sitting around. It was useless to him, because he had no way to enrich it (which figures in to the next administration lie–the aluminum tubes!).

  167. 167
    jaime says:

    EASYLIVING…

    #1 Dick Cheney apparently never EVER EVER EVER met John Edwards until they shared the same stage during their debate…except the three times they met in the previous two years. So your quoting of a proven (THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE) liar in Cheney doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

    Joe Wilson NEVER stated he was sent directly by Cheney, but at the request of the CIA in response to concerns from the office of the Vice President. He’s never said otherwise and if someone misinterpreted him, he immediately corrected the record.

    #2 You use the British Dossier as gospel…the same one that said it would take 45 minutes for Hussein to launch a WMD attack against the West? And what is the Dossiers’s source for the yellowcake claim? You can’t answer that because it doesn’t give one. You’re taking it on blind faith because the only real evidence provided were those forged documents.

    #3

    Wilson Claimed His Wife Did Not Suggest He Travel To Niger To Investigate Reports Of Uranium Deal; Instead, Wilson Claims It Came Out

    Its funny how you twist this. You’ve got you’re own talking point wrong. The RNC spin is that Valerie Wilson AUTHORIZED his trip. But that kinda blew up didn’t it? You couldn’t argue that Wilson-Plame was a CIA desk monkey if she’s going around authorizing fact finding missions could ya? So you modify the big lie and make it a smaller lie.

    #4

    In Fact, His Wife Suggested Him For 1999 Trip, As Well

    So? Did Wilson argue otherwise? What does it matter anyway? He was a diplomat well acquainted with the Iraqi – African dynamic. He was as qualified as anyone to make this trip.

    #5 Are you gonna provide more than just a talking point you cut and pasted from joewilsonhatesjesusandfreedomandwantsosamatorapeamericanbabies.com? It’s a bunch of headlines that don’t say anything. The FACT is the niger documents WERE forged.

    When it comes down to it, no matter what website you plagiarized your talking points from, it will never change the fact that JOE WILSON WAS RIGHT Unless you go to Iraq and find tons of Nigerian Yellow Cake Uranium from outta your ass, YOU ARE WRONG and JOE WILSON IS RIGHT.

  168. 168
    Pb says:

    jaime,

    Actually, that’s GOP.com — same difference really. Straight up bullshit partisan talking points.

  169. 169
    jaime says:

    Unless you go to Iraq and find tons of Nigerian Yellow Cake Uranium from outta your ass,

    Dang it…I really should edit more before I hit post.

  170. 170
    jaime says:

    SHORTER EASYLIVING:

    Joe Wilson says he eats mini-wheats, but he really eats Bits Size mini-wheats. Wilson is a liar…therefore…Lincoln freed the slaves.

  171. 171
    Brian says:

    Maybe Joe Wilson’s shit does stink. Would you believe it if you heard it from a fellow Lefty?

    The guy’s a lying blowhard. Stop defending the indefensible.

  172. 172
    Brian says:

    Never mind my previous post. I see that the ever-wise Par R has already enlightened you with the story on Pig Wilson.

  173. 173
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    LTB Mueller sums up the case very nicely. And Andrew Sullivan, I see, is paralelling my own thinking on the meaning of Libby’s new revelation — not that it isn’t obvious to anyone who wants to think at all (which Easyliving doesn’t — more on that in a moment):

    “In this case, we’re merely talking about the following set of circumstances. A president is challenged in his public account of pre-war intelligence. The president authorizes a selective leak of classified information to rebut the challenge. He selects only those parts of the classified information that supports his case, and omits the rest that actually show parts of the government disputing his case. He authorizes the veep to authorize Libby to give the selected information to a pliant reporter for the New York Times. Meanwhile, his public statements reiterate an abhorrence of all unauthorized disclosure of classified information.”

    More details on this from Josh Marshall:

    “The White House argument is that President made a decision that such-and-such information needed to be heard by the American people. McClellan just said it was ‘provided to the American people.’ But he didn’t provide it to the American people. He provided it to Judy Miller. Legal or not, it was by definition a ‘leak’ since it was revealed anonymously to a single reporter. How does that wash? What is the rationale?

    “Also, remember how the administration earlier refused to declassify parts of the NIE that cast doubts on the president’s assertions about Iraqi WMD. This from former Sen. Graham’s oped from the Washington Post back in November …

    ” ‘There were troubling aspects to this 90-page document. While slanted toward the conclusion that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction stored or produced at 550 sites, it contained vigorous dissents on key parts of the information, especially by the departments of State and Energy. Particular skepticism was raised about aluminum tubes that were offered as evidence Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program. As to Hussein’s will to use whatever weapons he might have, the estimate indicated he would not do so unless he was first attacked.
    Under questioning, Tenet added that the information in the NIE had not been independently verified by an operative responsible to the United States. In fact, no such person was inside Iraq. Most of the alleged intelligence came from Iraqi exiles or third countries, all of which had an interest in the United States’ removing Hussein, by force if necessary.

    ” ‘The American people needed to know these reservations, and I requested that an unclassified, public version of the NIE be prepared. On Oct. 4, Tenet presented a 25-page document titled ‘Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs.’ It represented an unqualified case that Hussein possessed them, avoided a discussion of whether he had the will to use them and omitted the dissenting opinions contained in the classified version. Its conclusions, such as ‘If Baghdad acquired sufficient weapons-grade fissile material from abroad, it could make a nuclear weapon within a year,’ underscored the White House’s claim that exactly such material was being provided from Africa to Iraq.”

    Indeed, lest we forget, Bush is still refusing to make some of the relevant NIEs available even to the Congressional committees responsible for analyzing the accuracy of his claims.

    Not that one expects Easyliving to notice this, given his level of rationality on other points: “By the way, there is nothing wrong with being a Democrat. The rights finally recognized to all by Republicans in the 1948 and 1964 Civil Rights Bills, along with the 13, 14, and 15 Ammendments, wouldn’t have passed with such majorities without a couple of Democrats signing on, kicking and screaming. Just remember though, the GOP started a party to abolish slavery. The Democrats started a party (Dixiecrats) to protest equality.”

    Puh-leese. In 1964, of course, the GOP officially switched sides and nominated a candidate furiously opposed to the 1964 Civil Rights Bill while the Dems nominated one enthusiastically for it — which, of course, is why the Dixiecrats (led by Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, and including most white voters in the five Deepest Southern states) enthusiastically switched to the GOP that year. The GOP has been playing up to Jefferson Davis sympathizers ever since — that, after all, is the essence of Nixon’s “Southern strategy” (or, as Goldwater called it in his famous statement, “going hunting where the ducks are”).

  174. 174
    Par R says:

    Re Joe Wilson, the following excerpts from a Washington Post story of 7/10/04, page A09, are of interest relative to his trustworthiness:

    “Wilson’s assertions — both about what he found in Niger and what the Bush administration did with the information — were undermined yesterday in a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report.

    “The panel found that Wilson’s report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts. And contrary to Wilson’s assertions and even the government’s previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush’s January 2003 State of the Union address.

    “Yesterday’s report said that whether Iraq sought to buy lightly enriched “yellowcake” uranium from Niger is one of the few bits of prewar intelligence that remains an open question. Much of the rest of the intelligence suggesting a buildup of weapons of mass destruction was unfounded, the report said.

    “The report turns a harsh spotlight on what Wilson has said about his role in gathering prewar intelligence, most pointedly by asserting that his wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame, recommended him.”

  175. 175
    Sojourner says:

    You guys are making this too hard.

    If the worst POTUS actually declassified this material, he needs to give a primetime speech explaining to the American people why he outed a covert CIA agent.

    I don’t watch his speeches as a rule but I’d certainly tune in to hear his explanation.

    Why the coverup if it’s all legal?

  176. 176
    jg says:

    How does that make him a liar Brian? In what way does it contradict his account of the Niger story?

  177. 177
    Pb says:

    Brian,

    I see that the ever-wise Par R has already enlightened you

    Quit trolling. :)

  178. 178
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    As for Mark Kleiman’s statment about Joe Wilson: Brian seems to have overlooked Kleiman’s shower of other posts over the last year or so on this subject, pointing out that Wilson’s willingness to call his opponents “gays” has no relevance whatsoever to the validity of the argument that Bush and company grossly and deliberately distorted the evidence of Saddam’s nuclear program. The evidence that they have done so, after all, went a very long time ago far beyond the fine details of Wilson’s own claims.

  179. 179
    jg says:

    The panel found that Wilson’s report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts.

    Wilson didn’t debunk the report. He said it didn’t amount to anything. He said the theory that the meeting would lead to massive yellowcake sales to Iraq isn’t feasible. he never said it didn’t happen.

  180. 180
    jaime says:

    Wait…Ken Mehlman is GAY???????? /snark

  181. 181
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Easyliving,

    Hitler used the inability of the Weimar Repulic to protect its own people to demand its destuction and his harping on Germany’s condition found wide resonance among German voters, at least until ’33 when the precentage of the Nazi vote began to decline.

    Germany’s internal conditions, high unemployment, hyper inflation followed by deflation, lack of international trade, etc, resulted from the twin problems of dept repayment and the “Big Slump.” By the early 3Os, under Bruening the state cut back all spending but in particular social spending, unemployment, work creation schemes and the like. This lead to growing social and political unrest. Politicized violence that has been described as an “undeclared civil war.”

    The The Weimar state had no or nearly no funds and thus rearmament was not possible and did not occur until the Nazis seized power.

    The policy of Appeasement, now rightly seen as stupid beyond all possible believing, was popular precisely because many in England had come to the conclusion that 1) the WWI was a waste of a war 2) the War Guilt Clause was in error (LLoyde George’s famous “slide into war” comment marks this change of heart) 3) Germany had legitimate complaints about its treatment.

    The constant bickering between the allies resulted that from FRance’s steadfast refusal to reconsider its maximalist position re Germany’s financial responsibilities weakened the ability of the French and British to present a united front.

    It is, thus, logical to argue that the demand for full reparations led to the Nazi state and it was the Nazi state that rearmed, remilitarized the Rhine (about which France did exactly zero, in part because the French miltary report wholly inflated numbers of German troops), annexed Austria, and so on and so forth.

  182. 182
    Pb says:

    Par R,

    That was bullshit 8 months ago when Defense Guy brought it up here; nothing has changed. Oh, and nice job omitting who the author was:

    Susan Schmidt is known, happily among DC Republicans and not so happily among DC Democrats, as what you might call the “Mikey” (a la Life Cereal fame) of the DC press corps, especially when the cereal is coming from Republican staffers.

    I suggest you troll somewhere else where the people are actually stupid enough to believe you.

  183. 183
    t. jasper parnell says:

    A final point, if the Judas Gospel is anything to go on, in terms of historical examples of new evidence calling into question previously firmly held narratives of betrayal, may Wilson is, in fact, President Bush’s bestest buddy.

  184. 184
    Par R says:

    Pb, you are one loudmouth, lying idiot. Go look at the underlying Senate Intelligence Committee report that she was reporting on and you will find that she accurately reflected to the word exactly what the bipartisan committee wrote. Joe Wilson is and was a lying sack of shit, not at all dissimilar from you!

  185. 185
    Pb says:

    Par R,

    Fuck off. That portion of the report wasn’t bipartisan. Now who’s the liar, asshole?

  186. 186
    jaime says:

    I don’t understand the argument on the right. Which one is most accurate.

    Joe Wilson is a liar thererfore there were WMD’s?

    Joe Wilson is a liar therefore outing his wife was justified?

    Joe Wilson is a liar and therefore nobody had anything to do with outing his wife?

    Joe Wilson is a liar and therefore leaking is not leaking when the President does it?

    How does attacking Joe Wilson’s credibility with cherry picked intelligence leaked selectively to the press bolster your arguments about WMD?

  187. 187
    ppGaz says:

    Joe Wilson is and was a lying sack of shit

    Uh huh. But even if he was, he was right about Iraq’s nuclear capability.

    Nothing else matters.

  188. 188
    Par R says:

    Pb, I was completely accurate in asserting that the report originated from the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee. As with most reports that touch on controversial issues, one side or the other may dissent from a particular issue that touches on the hard held beliefs of their side, in the case at hand, the belief that Joe Wilson was worth defending no matter the consequences. All other substantive data in the report concerning Niger and Joe Wilson have been subsequently comfirmed by other reports, including in particular that of the Special 9/11 Commiittee chaired by former Governor Kean.

  189. 189
    Easyliving says:

    t. jass,

    While what you say has merit, you still haven’t pointed out to me why disallowing Germany to rise to the level it did wasn’t, in hindsight, the correct course of action. The same course of action advocated by Sen. Lodge for instance. A much different course of action than what President Wilson did.

    We know what did happen. I am saying it was predicted, and preventable. It should not have happened. You seem to be saying we should have been even more leniant, and hoped everything works out okay. I differ, respectfully.

  190. 190
    Easyliving says:

    jg,

    Alright, let’s slow down a bit.

    “What lies by Wilson? He said he went to Niger, found out the Iraq/yellowcake issue was bunk, and reported that back to the WH before the SOTU in 03. Is that a lie?”

    What Wilson found wasn’t that the “Iraq/yellowcake” issue was “bunk.” What Wilson found solidified the administrations concerns that Iraq was shopping around for nuclear material. This, as many, many other things Saddam did, was in clear violation of the cease fire.

    As far as reporting back to the White House, who did he report to? I was under the impression he was a small time cog in the vast intelligence agency apparatus and talked to people in the CIA about what he observed while in Niger.
    Unless you know of a meeting between JW and a White House admin. official, I would say you’re wrong.

    “Bush says someone from Iraq tried to buy yellowcake (might be true, an Iraqi did in fact travel to Niger) claiming this as a basis for removing Saddam. Wilson and apparently others state that even if Iraq wanted yellowcake a sale wouldn’t have happened.”

    You have to know that Bush said something quite different, why can’t you be honest about this? Doesn’t it matter what Bush actually said, when talking about…what he said?

  191. 191
    Easyliving says:

    LITBMueller,

    What the hell? My contention is what I wrote. If you disagree with what I wrote, please tell me why. Stating a bunch of facts doesn’t change, or even address, my arguement (from GOP.com).

  192. 192
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Easyliving,

    The point that I have been trying to make, and it is not my point alone read any of a number of very fine books on Weimar’s collapse and on the Nazis rise and seizure of power and so on that make the same point with footnotes yet, is that the attempt to “repress” Germany led to the destabization of Weimar which led to the Nazis rise etc. In other words, Wilson was right. Weimar was a democratic republic dedicated not to militarism, because it was strangled economically it fell. The harsh treatment you continue to tout as the cure was, in fact, the medicine that transformed Weimar, a vibrant if unstable modern democracy, into Nazi Germany.

    One of the decisions made by the Allies after WWII was to banish the name of Prussia because of the conviction that there was linkage between Prussian militarism and Nazi Germany. Much like your representation of history, this decision flew in the face of the all facts. Prussians voted overwhelmingly in support of the parties that sought to protect the Weimar from extremists. The Allies inability to see this, because their preconcieved notions of Germany, German history, and the like precluded coming to grips with the facts of history.

    I’ll ask you a question, how does knowing that economic conditions, made worse by French maximalism, destabilized Weimar and gave Hitler a series of effective stump speeches change your position; if it does not change your position, what facts might?

  193. 193
    jaime says:

    What Wilson found solidified the administrations concerns that Iraq was shopping around for nuclear material.

    That wasn’t the selling point the administration used. That wasn’t what Wilson was attacking ANYWAY. He knew he had gone to Niger and found that no recent CREDIBLE evidence existed to prove Saddam could have acquired yellow cake from Niger or that a sale was even possible. Even if it was possible, there was no way for Saddam to enrich it. The aluminum tubes as part of a nuclear program for example were debunked by the state department and DOE.

    Bush of course knew all this, but went ahead and made either definitive statements or lawyered up on phraseology. Wilson shat on all that.

    Unless you’d rather take the word of proven liar Dick Cheney.

    “You know what, you (John Edwards) are a young man in too much of a hurry, I never met you before in my life until you walked on the stage tonight”
    -Proven Liar Dick Cheney

  194. 194
    BumperStickerist says:

    We’ll leave the topic of actually thinking through events

    Yeah, that’s right. This gets better for your side if you just think it through.

    You are now officially just a parody of yourself.

    Sorry for the delay in responding. I was presenting at a conference.

    Well, pp, since you’ve always been a parody of yourself, I’m glad I could join your club.

    Btw, between you and me, only one of us thinks that a former ambassador who spent one week talking to folks in Niamey could counterbalance the consensus of every US intel branch, previous US administration, along with the assessment of every foreign governmental intelligence agency, including, btw, Iraq.

    Must be the case that those Hermes ties Wilson favors *makes* people tell the truth in his presence, right?

    And, no … it did not turn out that ‘Wilson was right’, a simple reading of Bush’s speeches proves Wilson wrong, in fact, reading Wilson proves Wilson was wrong, but I appreciate your continued use of hindsight.

    I look forward to a breezy dismissal and your restatement of your vast, superior knowledge.

    Cheers.

    .

  195. 195
    CaseyL says:

    Uh huh. But even if he was, he was right about Iraq’s nuclear capability.

    Nothing else matters.

    Not quite, ppGaz. Here’s the something else that matters: Valerie Plame.

    Joe Wilson is not a “lying sack of shit,” but even if he is, how does that make outing his wife OK?

    None of the Bushbots have answered that.

    Because they can’t.

  196. 196
    Broken says:

    This is such a crock I had to respond:

    Par R Says:

    Re Joe Wilson, the following from a Washington Post story are of interest relative to his trustworthiness:

    “Wilson’s assertions—both about what he found in Niger and what the Bush administration did with the information—were undermined yesterday in a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report.

    “The panel found that Wilson’s report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts.

    Sen Robert’s Iraq Intelligence “investigation” contradicts itself about Wilson. It states that Wilson’s conclusion was in accordance with CIA CPD, the Niger embassy, a US General sent to Niger, and State’s INR group. The groups that disagreed with Wilson were CIA WINPAC and possibly the DIA.

    So most of the intel sources DID agree with Wilson, it was only Cheney’s group at WINPAC and Rumsfeld’s DIA which did not.

    Yet Sen. Robert’s conclusion is that “most analysts” disagreed with Wilson! Perhaps he is being clever: the agents at WINPAC are called analysts, whereas the agents at CPD are in operations. So Roberts is either wrong or misleading.

    And contrary to Wilson’s assertions and even the government’s previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush’s January 2003 State of the Union address.

    Don’t you guys ever get tired of spewing the same lies over and over? Not only did the CIA (Tenet) tell the White House that the Niger story was BS, they had Bush remove the Niger reference from a speech in the fall of 2002. Also, a memo was sent to the White House and the NSA (Rice) stating that the information was not reliable and not to use it.

    “Yesterday’s report said that whether Iraq sought to buy lightly enriched “yellowcake” uranium from Niger is one of the few bits of prewar intelligence that remains an open question. Much of the rest of the intelligence suggesting a buildup of weapons of mass destruction was unfounded, the report said.

    An open question my ass. The “Niger Deal” documents were FORGED. They were the source for the Italian rumors to French, British, and American intelligence. Plus, Iraq had 500 tons of yellowcake already. Iraq needed enrichment capacity, not more uranium. Finally, inspectors in Iraq found Iraq’s 500 tons untouched. This was well before Bush’s SOTU speech.

    “The report turns a harsh spotlight on what Wilson has said about his role in gathering prewar intelligence, most pointedly by asserting that his wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame, recommended him.”

    Yes, it was nepotism! After all, Wilson wasn’t qualified to investigate a Niger-Iraq link, was he? He had only served in Iraq during the Gulf War, in West Africa, on the NSC for Africa, and had been to Niger before on the very same mission in 1998. Obviously Wilson was in over his head doing a repeat of Wilson’s 1998 trip. Wilson only got the job because Valery Plame rammed him through over her boss’s and the CPD committee’s objections.

    Right.

  197. 197
    Easyliving says:

    jaime,

    As far as Cheney meeting Edwards, you’re right.

    “Joe Wilson NEVER stated he was sent directly by Cheney, but at the request of the CIA in response to concerns from the office of the Vice President. He’s never said otherwise and if someone misinterpreted him, he immediately corrected the record.”

    George Tenet made it clear the office of the VP did not ask the CIA to send someone to Niger, as Wilson claimed (as told to him by the CIA). Joe Wilson either lied when he said the CIA told him the VP wanted someone to check out Niger, or George Tenet is misinformed. Both are possible.

    2. “You use the British Dossier as gospel…”
    The British, and I, still stand by their assessment. If you don’t believe it, fine. The British did then and do now, so NOT ONE OF THE SIXTEEN WORDS BUSH SAID WERE FALSE. This is a point you can’t acknowledge without going into lala land, as it destroys your arguement.

    3.

    “Its funny how you twist this. You’ve got you’re own talking point wrong. The RNC spin is that Valerie Wilson AUTHORIZED his trip. But that kinda blew up didn’t it? You couldn’t argue that Wilson-Plame was a CIA desk monkey if she’s going around authorizing fact finding missions could ya? So you modify the big lie and make it a smaller lie.”

    What in God’s holy name are you blabbering about (ht Joel and Ethan Coen). I stole a buncha quotes from a reputable source, because I believe the quotes and their implications, and you respond with absolutely nothing substantive. You claim I am making the wrong arguement, then go ahead and prove your point by refuting something I never said. This is hillarious.

    4.

    “Who first raised your name, then, based on what you know? Who came up with the idea to send you there?(Blitzer)” Joe Wilson: “The CIA knew my name from a trip, and it’s in the report…”

    I didn’t think you had read what I had stolen from GOP.com, this proves it. WILSON’S NAME WAS RAISED BY HIS WIFE!!! That means his answer is disingenious at best, saying “the CIA knew my name.” He knew damn well his wife, in this case “the CIA” reccomended him and that is exactly what Wolf asked, and JW lied about.

    5.

    I should have acknowledged where I got my info. You’re right about that. I’m right that Wilson lied about why he went (it wasn’t, according to Tenet, because the VP’s office had directed the CIA to send someone, who happened to be JW). I’m right Wilson lied about how he got to go, it wasn’t because “they” in the CIA knew who he was, it was because his wife reccomended him. If this doesn’t matter, you tell me why he had to lie about it?
    I’m right about JW lying about what he found there when he said that Dr. Rice lied: she didn’t. What she, and Bush, said was true. What Wilson said about his report, that it had ended the whole issue (nothing to see hear) and therefore Bush is liar, is wrong (and a lie).

  198. 198
    Easyliving says:

    jaime,

    Your silliness is fun.

    “That wasn’t the selling point the administration used.”

    Tell me what selling point they used? Do you know? Do you know it’s 100% true? Do you know your points are not substantively addressing the issue?

    “That wasn’t what Wilson was attacking ANYWAY. He knew he had gone to Niger and found that no recent CREDIBLE evidence existed to prove Saddam could have acquired yellow cake from Niger or that a sale was even possible. Even if it was possible, there was no way for Saddam to enrich it. The aluminum tubes as part of a nuclear program for example were debunked by the state department and DOE”

    Wilson attacked a 100%, unequivocally true statement. Why are you still defending him?

    “Bush of course knew all this, but went ahead and made either definitive statements or lawyered up on phraseology. Wilson shat on all that”

    LOL, Bush made a 100% unequivocally true statement. Wilson attacked it as being false. Get a grip.

  199. 199
    Broken says:

    From TPM Muckrakers:

    Building on Kevin Drum’s timeline of the administration’s decision to declassify portions of the National Intelligence Estimate, here’s a more complete rendering for those of you trying to get a hold on this. It’s a mini-history of the administration’s political manipulations of this classified document.

    September, 2002 – The CIA puts together the National Intelligence Estimate, a summary of the intelligence community’s judgment of the Iraq threat. After reading it and seeing that it rebutted a number of the administration’s public claims, Sens. Bob Graham (D-FL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) ask that a declassified version be made available for the public.

    October 4, 2002 – A much shorter declassified version, scrubbed of all dissenting opinions that were contained in the original version, is released. “It represented an unqualified case that Hussein possessed [WMDs], avoided a discussion of whether he had the will to use them and omitted the dissenting opinions contained in the classified version.”

    Sen. Graham demands that the administration release the dissenting portions.

    October 7, 2002 – In response, CIA Director George Tenet writes a letter to Graham declassifying a statement in the NIE that there was a “low” likelihood of Iraq launching an unprovoked attack on the United States. Graham demands that Tenet declassify more of the dissenting opinions in the report, but the White House orders Tenet not to. (The New Republic, 6/30/03)

    July 8, 2003: Scooter Libby, acting on the President’s orders, discloses classified portions of the NIE to Judy Miller. These portions, which were not released in October, are released to counter Joseph Wilson’s statement that Iraq wasn’t seeking uranium from Africa before the war.

    July 11, 2003: Time reporter Matthew Cooper speaks with Karl Rove. Rove assured him that “material was going to be declassified in the coming days that would cast doubt on Wilson’s mission and his findings.”

    July 18, 2003: Those portions of the NIE are officially declassifiedBuilding on Kevin Drum’s timeline of the administration’s decision to declassify portions of the National Intelligence Estimate, here’s a more complete rendering for those of you trying to get a hold on this. It’s a mini-history of the administration’s political manipulations of this classified document.

    September, 2002 – The CIA puts together the National Intelligence Estimate, a summary of the intelligence community’s judgment of the Iraq threat. After reading it and seeing that it rebutted a number of the administration’s public claims, Sens. Bob Graham (D-FL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) ask that a declassified version be made available for the public.

    October 4, 2002 – A much shorter declassified version, scrubbed of all dissenting opinions that were contained in the original version, is released. “It represented an unqualified case that Hussein possessed [WMDs], avoided a discussion of whether he had the will to use them and omitted the dissenting opinions contained in the classified version.”

    Sen. Graham demands that the administration release the dissenting portions.

    October 7, 2002 – In response, CIA Director George Tenet writes a letter to Graham declassifying a statement in the NIE that there was a “low” likelihood of Iraq launching an unprovoked attack on the United States. Graham demands that Tenet declassify more of the dissenting opinions in the report, but the White House orders Tenet not to. (The New Republic, 6/30/03)

    July 8, 2003: Scooter Libby, acting on the President’s orders, discloses classified portions of the NIE to Judy Miller. These portions, which were not released in October, are released to counter Joseph Wilson’s statement that Iraq wasn’t seeking uranium from Africa before the war.

    July 11, 2003: Time reporter Matthew Cooper speaks with Karl Rove. Rove assured him that “material was going to be declassified in the coming days that would cast doubt on Wilson’s mission and his findings.”

    July 18, 2003: Those portions of the NIE are officially declassified

  200. 200
    ppGaz says:

    Well, pp, since you’ve always been a

    Sorry, by rule, the “I know I am but what are you” response is not allowed here.

    Your entire joke post is therefore rejected out of hand.

    Lefties, on another note:

    It’s clear that the lying c**sksuckers of the right here are just going to sit around these threads and copy and paste righty talking points. I vote that we just boycott this blog and watch their page views drop about 90%. Since John and Tim won’t police the place and keep these spammers out of here, why should we waste our time here?

    Half of the posters are spoofs anyway, and the other half have got nothing better than “Joe Wilson was a liar” to counter the imminent collapse of the corrupt American government they’ve given us.

    The record still shows that John Cole is voting Republican this year. So, why are we feeding this thing again?

  201. 201
    Easyliving says:

    t. jass,

    I am fairly certain I understand the facts, but I interpret them differantly than you. I believe that it is simplistic to claim that the main, or only, reason Germany became Nazi Germany was due to the repayment of war debt (don’t get defensive, yet). I would propose that the main reason Germany became Nazi Germany was because of the effects of WWI, which does include, but is certainly not limited to, war repayments. I would assume you would agree there were many other factors that contributed to the rise of Hitler than the repayment of war debt. I would think that the German people would have had issues with the French even if there were no Treaty. Hitler was a genius of course, and could have risen to power under any number of scenarios. I don’t doubt for an instance that the repayment was important in uniting the German people around a powerful leader who would rebuild Aryan pride, but I don’t believe that one issue caused the rise of Hitler. But, I digress. Please note, I don’t discount your point, I just think its less important than my point for obvious (yet ignored by you) reasons. So to sum up: yes, the repayment of war debt did hurt Germany’s pride and economy therefore helping to create conditions favorable to the rise of Hitler; no, this wasn’t the main reason Germany became Nazi Germany.

    Now, onto my point:
    Please explain how Germany could have risen up to the capability it did in such a short time if stricter measures were taken to ensure Germany would not harm its neighbors. If Wilson would have followed Lodge’s advice, for instance, Germany wouldn’t have the capability to kill millions upon millions of people.

  202. 202
    Easyliving says:

    CaseyL,

    Valerie Plame wasn’t “in.” You must be asking a trick question. Sneaky.

    Also, even if she had been in, she would have been outed twice already by the time Libby talked about her.

  203. 203
    BumperStickerist says:

    Too clever by 1/4, pp – not quite a half.

    Possibly a quarter.

    Possibly.

    So, why are we feeding this thing again?

    You(pl) have turned the Balloon-Juice comment section into a leftish echo chamber, pp. As such, you find the affirmation that you not only need, but demand.

    That’s an accomplishment … of sorts.

    Perhaps.

    But, by all means, any means necessary, in fact – continue to feel smart about yourself.

    .

  204. 204
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Easyliving,

    Please explain how limiting Germany to 100k man army, denying them a fleet, refusing to allow them to create an airforce, and hobbling their economic recovery, all of which resulted from Versailles, could have been made worse? These strictures were in place untile destroy by Hitler. This is not a matter of “interpretation” these are matters of fact. What, exactly, was Lodge’s plan? Morgethau befor Morgenthau?

    It is simply not the case, that Hitler could have risen to power under different circumstance 1) the circumstance in which he rose to power are the only circumstance in which he rose to power and 2) Kershaw, about whom someone as well informed as you ought to have read several times, summing up nearly all others asserts no WWI no Hitle

  205. 205
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Easyliving,
    One final point, you are correct that the there were other causes to Hitler’s rise. For example, the widespread hatred among the right and Communists for parliamentary democracy. The Army’s refusal to take responsibility for the debacle of WWI; Ebert’s and his successors refusal to purge the judicary, the Army, and the bureaucracy of anti-democratic conservatives, the inability to disband the Freikorps, and so on. However, the key, which is to say the most important, was the inability of Wiemar to respond effectively to the economic crises confronting Germany in the post-war era. This led the average German to lose faith in the Republic and turn increasingly to the radical right and left, i.e., the Nazis and the Communists (the “Negative Majority”), who promised to destroy the Republic. The ideal way to avoid the rise of the extremists, who were dedicated to the destruction of the Republic, would have been to rob them of the popular dispair over economic conditions, which is too say to have overcome the lack of imagination that conditioned the creation of Versaille, and for that matter Brest-Litovsk.

  206. 206
    Sojourner says:

    It’s both funny and pathetic watching these guys defend the outing of a CIA agent. Certainly an interesting contrast to their claims of the need for national security. I guess that need ends when it comes to keeping in lock step with their party.

    What patriots. For once I have to agree with Newt: “Had enough?”

  207. 207
    DougJ says:

    Easyliving — these long posts are just pissing people off. A troll should amuse people, not anger them. Take tip from GOP4Me and Par R, for Christ’s sake.

  208. 208
    DougJ says:

    Just thought I’d fill in you in on what’s going on at my new home, Protein Wisdom.

    Or how about MoDowd’s “ellipsegate”? That was broken by a Freeper hours before Sully posted the story.

    Ellipsegate? Are you fucking kidding me? I’m

  209. 209
    CaseyL says:

    Valerie Plame wasn’t “in.” You must be asking a trick question. Sneaky.

    Only Bushbots still believe this.

    But, hell, I’ll play along.

    If she wasn’t “in,” then why lie about revealing her identity?

    Why, when the CIA referred the case to the DOJ, didn’t Bush just get on TV and say, “Sure, we told journalists who and what Valerie Plame was. She wasn’t covert, so why not?”

    Why, if outing Valerie Plame is “justifiable” because her husband wrote an Op-Ed, didn’t Bush just get on TV and say, “Sure, we told journalists who and what Valerie Plame is. We had good reason to: her husband wrote an Op-Ed we didn’t like.”

    If it was all peachy keen legal and ethical and alla that, why the cover-up? Why the obfuscation and lies for, oh, 3 years now?

    Why didn’t they blow the investigation out of the water before it even started, by proudly telling the American people all about it from the git-go?

    Why did Bush even bother going through the motions of saying that disclosing a CIA agent was a bad thing and if he ever found out who did it, that person wouldn’t be working in his Administration anymore?

    Why didn’t he say, right from the start, “Valerie Plame isn’t covert. Rove and Libby and [insert other names here] did the right thing by leaking her identity to journalists. They did the right thing and I’m proud of them”?

  210. 210
    Par R says:

    ppGaz, the postal lunatic raves, as follows: “It’s clear that the lying c**sksuckers of the right here are just going to sit around these threads and copy and paste righty talking points. I vote that we just boycott this blog and watch their page views drop about 90%. Since John and Tim won’t police the place and keep these spammers out of here, why should we waste our time here?”

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, you cry baby moron.

    :

  211. 211
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    You know, the most interesting aspect of this thread’s furious spitting contest over whether the outing of Plame was justified is that the revelation yesterday didn’t even have anything whatsoever to do with Plame’s outing!

    Libby didn’t testify that Bush or Cheney gave him permission to out Plame — he testified that Bush gave him permission to leak SELECTED portions of the NIE to a friendly reporter to try to bolster the Administration’s case for war, while carefully keeping secret the other very large sections of the NIE that made a case against war. The White House’s argument today has been — so help me God — that, since there’s nothing actually ILLEGAL about the president engaging in such major information-rigging regarding how he got the nation sucked into a war, there’s nothing IMMORAL about it. (As Andrew Sullivan points out, they have not yet tried to explain why they decided to leak this information in a whispering campaign to a reporter whom they already knew to be biased in their favor, as opposed to just officially telling the public about it. But then, the White House also never explained why — if they had “proof” that Wilson was lying in his NY Times editorial about what he’d actually told the White House, as the Republicans on the 9-11 Commission insist they did — they didn’t just release that “proof”, instead of trying to discredit him by entirely unnecessarily outing his wife in another whispering campaign.)

  212. 212
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Typo in the last sentence: For “Republicans on the 9-11 Commission”, substitute “Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee”.

  213. 213
    BumperStickerist says:

    Casey,

    You illustrate my initial point, lo those 200 posts previous:

    Only Bushbots still believe this.{Plame was not covert}

    ummmmmm, sure.

    But, hell, I’ll play along.

    If she wasn’t “in,” then why lie about revealing her identity?

    There are two points to that question, but you aren’t aware of either point. There is the question of Val’s role in recommending Joe’s trip and the specifics of Val’s employment within the CIA. For example, Val working for the CIA might not be classified, but information specific to her job within the CIA might be. It’s a distinction with a difference.

    Why, when the CIA referred the case to the DOJ, didn’t Bush just get on TV and say, “Sure, we told journalists who and what Valerie Plame was. She wasn’t covert, so why not?”

    Sure, Bush .. TV … because …. oh.kay. Well, he’s the President, for starters, and what Bush and McClellan *actually said* is at odds with the Left’s rememberance of the events. That’s also a distinction with a difference, btw.

    Onward….

    Why, if outing Valerie Plame is “justifiable” because her husband wrote an Op-Ed, didn’t Bush just get on TV and say, “Sure, we told journalists who and what Valerie Plame is. We had good reason to: her husband wrote an Op-Ed we didn’t like.”

    See above.

    If it was all peachy keen legal and ethical and alla that, why the cover-up? Why the obfuscation and lies for, oh, 3 years now?

    First, there’s been no cover-up. In case you’d not noticed, there’s been no Frog-Marching of Rove or any other Adminstration official (not involved with child pron).

    Why didn’t they blow the investigation out of the water before it even started, by proudly telling the American people all about it from the git-go?

    There are a couple of reasons for this, none of which matter since … ummmmm … Bush won.

    Why did Bush even bother going through the motions of saying that disclosing a CIA agent was a bad thing and if he ever found out who did it, that person wouldn’t be working in his Administration anymore?

    We’re back to the initial point I made in this thread: Bush didn’t say that.

    Why didn’t he say, right from the start, “Valerie Plame isn’t covert. Rove and Libby and [insert other names here] did the right thing by leaking her identity to journalists. They did the right thing and I’m proud of them”?

    Well, your credentials as a Republican political strategist are out there. I’m sure that Rove&Co will be posting with a job offer for you forthwith.

    Conversely, why was Joe Wilson loathe to admit that there’s no way that information gathered during his week in Niamey could contradict the consensus of Every.Intelligence.Agency. in the world?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

    Thanks in advance for saying this is a rehash of Republican talking points, which you haven’t read, much less understood, considering that you’re not familiar with Wilson’s actual, you know, words … or Bush’s … for that matter.

    But feel free to feel smart.

    Cheers.

    .

  214. 214
    ppGaz says:

    you find the affirmation that you not only need, but demand.

    Nobody who knows me would make a stupid statement like that. I’ll start an argument with anybody at the drop of a hat. Affirmation is not my cup of tea.

    What irritates me about you guys is that you just spout insane bullshit. Delusional, crazy, nonsensical bullshit. And most of it is not even original, it’s just boilerplate righty bullshit that I can get on any righty blog. It isn’t funny, it isn’t intelligent, it isn’t informed, it isn’t truth, and it isn’t any fucking good for anything. It just sucks.

    Stop it, and go away.

  215. 215
    tBone says:

    Bumperstickerist:

    Why did Bush even bother going through the motions of saying that disclosing a CIA agent was a bad thing and if he ever found out who did it, that person wouldn’t be working in his Administration anymore?

    We’re back to the initial point I made in this thread: Bush didn’t say that.

    Bush & McClellan:

    ”If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if that person has violated the law, the person will be taken care of,” Bush said at a campaign stop in Chicago in October 2003. McClellan, speaking to reporters just before the campaign appearance, said, ”If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.”

    I guess it depends on what the meaning of “is” is, huh, BS?

  216. 216
    DougJ says:

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, you cry baby moron.

    So good.

  217. 217
    MAX HATS says:

    It was a secret declassification!

    It makes perfect sense!

    It was a special, private moment between him and Judy Miller where the president shared public, declassified information which under no circumstances was actually available to the public! We are fighting a war!

    Oh, hold on, there’s another cock and the gloryhole. These things don’t suck themselves.

  218. 218
    Broken says:

    BumperStickerist Says:

    Conversely, why was Joe Wilson loathe to admit that there’s no way that information gathered during his week in Niamey could contradict the consensus of Every.Intelligence.Agency. in the world?

    Jeezus, do you guys get overtime pay for endlessly respouting the same jibberish over and over again?

    Joe Wilson’s findings were in accordance with CIA CPD, the Niger embassy, a US General sent to Niger, and State’s INR group. The groups that disagreed with Wilson were CIA WINPAC and possibly the DIA.

    The DIA worked for Rumsfeld and WINPAC was populated with Cheney’s people, such as John Bolton’s chief of staff. Is it surprising that the only agencies who thought Niger was credible worked with Cheney and Rumsfeld?

    CIA analysts immediately agreed that the “Niger Deal” document was a very poor forgery, based on a text transcript sent received by the US Rome Embassy from a retired Italian inetlligence officer. This same bogus document was peddled to the French and British by the same retired Italian intelligence officer.

    Other country intelligence agencies never even saw the document, so “the consensus of Every.Intelligence.Agency. in the world”, as you put it, is shear fucking nonsense.

    A hard copy of the bogus “Niger Deal” document was received late in 2002, but the CIA didn’t look at it for months SINCE THEY HAD ALREADY DECIDED IT WAS CRAP, BASED ON THE TRANSCRIPT ALONE.

  219. 219
    Easyliving says:

    “It is simply not the case, that Hitler could have risen to power under different circumstance 1) the circumstance in which he rose to power are the only circumstance in which he rose to power”

    I had respect for you.

    Please tell me this is a mistake, and you meant to type something logical. If not, and you are a determinist, you could have just said so and I wouldn’t have wasted my time.

  220. 220
    Easyliving says:

    CaseyL,

    She wasn’t in. Just remember that I believe that, and you don’t. The truth will be known around January of 2007 (if Scooter even has to go to trial). You will then be stuck with only crazy conspiracy-type arguments. I will be justified in what I’ve written.

    Till then, stay cool. Take it easy. Relax. Chill out. Laugh. Breath deep, invigorating breaths. Pet animals. Smile.

  221. 221
    Pb says:

    Bruce Moomaw, MAX HATS, etc.:

    Worse, there might have been no need to leak that information to Judy Miller then if she already was told.

  222. 222
    ppGaz says:

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out

    As far as you are concerned, I am the door around here, you second-rate spoof.

    Go away.

  223. 223
    Easyliving says:

    Bruce Moomaw,

    You’re blinded by willfull igorance. For a sober assessment of what happened, see this:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....071224.asp

    Now of course this is a far-right, radical writer who surely supported GWB and probably gets paid like so many others to prop up The Administration. But, his logic, experience, and evidence puts anything you’ve written to shame. That’s why he’s a professional though, and we aren’t.

  224. 224
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Come on. Not one thing Andrew McCarthy says in that ridiculous column has any relevance at all to this affair, because the whole point is that Bush leaked ONLY those pieces of evidence that backed up the idea that Saddam had a vigorous nuclear-weapons program going, and deliberately withheld all the vastly better evidence that said he didn’t — which did indeed turn out to be correct. Lest we forget, the Niger Yellowcake documents were not only a fraud; they were an excruciatingly obvious fraud — right down to the totally outdated “official” government-of-Niger stamp. (Michael Ledeen actually proposed a couple of years ago in National Review Online that Jacques Chirac’s government deliberately concocted them so that, when their fraudulence was discovered AFTER the Bush Administration had fallen for them, Bush would be discredited in the eyes of the world. Being Ledeen, he doesn’t ever seem to have thought about what this says about the competence of the Bush Administration…)

    Which, of course, is how this case varies entirely from that of the Clinton Administration, as recounted by McCarthy — although even in that case McCarthy doesn’t explain why Clinton leaked the supposed supporting evidence, instead of simply releasing it publicly if it actually did support his Sudan intervention convincingly. But then, I don’t completely trust Clinton in that particular affair either.

  225. 225
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Regarding Ledeen’s bizarre theory to defend the Bush Administration from charges of dishonesty on the grounds that they’re really just guilty of being complete idiots, see Matt Yglesias in “Tapped” (11-7-05, 12:09 PM):

    “One of the more intriguing notions to emerge from the wingnutsphere has been the idea that France is responsible for the Niger forgeries. Michael Ledeen explains:

    ” ‘Think like a counterintelligence analyst for once. It’s an old-fashioned sting operation. You’re Jacques Chirac, okay? You want to embarrass the Americans and protect your buddy Saddam Hussein, right? The Americans are running around trying to find evidence of a covert Iraqi nuclear program. So, first you feed them some crappy information along those lines, hoping that they’ll buy it, and then you arrange — through Rocco in Italy — to have these documents surface. The documents “confirm” the disinformation and of course also what the Americans want to believe anyway. The Americans launch their accusations, then it turns out that the documents are forgeries, and bad forgeries at that, and so the Americans look like idiots and the causus belli disappears. In one move, you’ve helped your friend Saddam and hurt the Americans. Terrific. Chapeau, and all that.’

    “The fascinating thing about this theory (aside from some basic plausibility problems), to me, is what it implicitly says about the Bush administration. They were not only so gullible, so eager to hear what they wanted to hear, that they could be duped by crude forgeries, but this level of gullibility was so intense that Jacques Chirac and co. could count on it sufficiently to pass them forgeries that were DELIBERATELY made crude and unconvincing. If you get taken in by a sting that only an idiot or a fanatic would fall for, you’ve got to ask yourself whose fault that really is.”

    (You’ll notice that I was a teensy bit off about the date when I said that Ledeen came up with theory “a couple of years ago”. He actually did so in last Nov. 7’s “NRO Online”.)

  226. 226
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    And, while we’re on the subject, the single best compendium of evidence that the Bushites deliberately rigged the intelligence on grounds for the invasion of Iraq can be found on Kevin Drum’s site (last Nov. 14, 12:17 AM entry). It’s quite a lengthy one, concluding:

    “One final word on this: the issue here is not who was right and who was wrong, or even whether the overall weight of the evidence was sufficient to justify the war. It would have been perfectly reasonable for the White House to present all the evidence pro and con and then use that evidence to make the strongest possible case for war. But that’s not what they did. Instead, they suppressed any evidence that might have thrown doubt on their arguments, making it impossible for the public to evaluate what they were saying. In fact, by abusing the classification process to keep these dissents secret, they even made it impossible for senators who knew the truth to say anything about it in public.”

    His Nov. 9 entry (3:09 PM) is a useful appendium.

  227. 227
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Last but perhaps not least, we have Stephen Cambone’s handwritten notes of Rummy’s orders to his aides at 2:40 PM on the afternoon of 9-11-01 (helpfully reprinted by Andrew Sullivan in his Feb. 24 entry):

    “Judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. at same time — not only U.B.L…

    “Hard to get a good case…

    “Go massive — sweep it all up. Things RELATED & NOT.” {Emphasis in Cambone’s original, using underlining of those two words.)

  228. 228
    mark says:

    Tim,

    Just curious….what’s the difference between a HIGHLY classified document (as you wrote), and one that’s just classified?

  229. 229
    Pb says:

    Bruce Moomaw,

    That France theory is similar to the theory that Dan Rather and CBS were being set up with the forged (retyped?) documents, if somewhat less plausible. :)

  230. 230
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Easyliving,

    Pointing out that the facts of the matter are the facts of the matter is not determinism. Your arguments steadfastly elide the facts of the matter in favor of ill-informed speculation.

    Hitler was a “genius”? On what sort of factual you basis do you make this claim? His well known refusal to look reality in the face? His inabililty to process information that contradicted his ideological commitments? His idiotic notions about race? For goodness sake, the one thing he did well, ranting speeches, he stopped doing during the war despite the fact that his henchmen, particularly Goebbels, begged him to. How is this genius?

  231. 231
    John S. says:

    She wasn’t in. Just remember that I believe that, and you don’t.

    Easyliving, you may believe anything you want – like that the moon is made of cheese – but that doesn’t make you right.

    The whole notion that Valerie Plame wasn’t undercover is complete nonsense. Why? Because on September 26, 2003, the CIA requested that the Justice Department investigate the matter. The following timeline should dispel your idiotic notions:

    July 30, 2003 – A letter is sent to the Criminal Division reporting a possible crime. It also explains that the CIA’s Office of Security would be looking into the matter. The CIA files a “crime report” with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), suggesting the leak of Wilson’s wife’s name and covert status might entail criminal acts.

    September 16, 2003 – The CIA notifies the DOJ that its investigation is complete and recommends that the FBI undertake a full criminal investigation.

    September 23, 2003 – The CIA submits a standard 11 part questionnaire used by the DOJ to determine whether an investigation is warranted.

    September 26, 2003 – John Dion, Director of the DOJ’s Counterespionage section decides to pursue a criminal investigation.

    September 29, 2003 – The DoJ notifies the CIA that the Counterespionage division has also requested an investigation. The DoJ requests the FBI investigate the leak.

    The government hasn’t spent millions of taxpayer dollars and years of prosecution investigating the leak of a non-undercover agent. They established that a crime was committed – an undercover CIA agent had her identity leaked – and from that determination the rest of the matter continued on its present course. The fact that you cannot grasp that is quite frankly stupefying.

    By the way, what sort of cheese do you believe the moon is made of anyway?

  232. 232
    Sojourner says:

    There are two points to that question, but you aren’t aware of either point. There is the question of Val’s role in recommending Joe’s trip and the specifics of Val’s employment within the CIA. For example, Val working for the CIA might not be classified, but information specific to her job within the CIA might be. It’s a distinction with a difference.

    You didn’t answer the question. If Bush had supported the outing of Plame, why didn’t he simply announce it during a press conference? Why did he pretend that he didn’t know anything about it and promise to can anyone involved? How can he choose to de-classify something without knowing anything about it?

  233. 233
    ppGaz says:

    “One final word on this: the issue here is not who was right and who was wrong, or even whether the overall weight of the evidence was sufficient to justify the war. It would have been perfectly reasonable for the White House to present all the evidence pro and con and then use that evidence to make the strongest possible case for war. But that’s not what they did. Instead, they suppressed any evidence that might have thrown doubt on their arguments, making it impossible for the public to evaluate what they were saying. In fact, by abusing the classification process to keep these dissents secret, they even made it impossible for senators who knew the truth to say anything about it in public.”

    Kevin Drum is the best, and that’s an example of his best work.

  234. 234
    DougJ says:

    Hate to say this, but Par R knows what he’s doing going after you, ppGaz. Because you understand that blog commenting is a joke — you’re not going to respond with a thousand links to polling results or extended block quotes of a mammoth article from the Nation. There’s nothing worse than trying to troll and having people respond with wonkery.

  235. 235
    ppGaz says:

    Because you understand that blog commenting is a joke

    Wha ???

  236. 236
    Pb says:

    mark,

    There are levels of classification–confidential, secret, top secret, etc. Also, different parts of a document can have different classification levels, limits on dissemination, or other restrictions (code-words, special access provisions).

  237. 237
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Keep in mind that there are two SEPARATE issues here, on both of which Easyliving has been making a jackass of himself: who leaked Plame’s identity, and the newly revealed fact that Libby was under orders from Bush himself to SELECTIVELY leak those parts of Bush’s classified information that supported the case for war while withholding the (stronger) classified information Bush had that didn’t.

    Regarding the second, I’ve already commented. Regarding the first, John S. points out the obvious fact that “the government isn’t going to spend millions and years investigating a non-existent crime” — and let me add that the judges who have already looked at Fitzgerald’s case (much of which is still secret from the public) have also agreed to a man that a serious crime was committed. And let me repeat another point that should be obvious: if the White House actually had strong evidence that Joe Wilson was lying in his NY Times article about what he’d actually told the CIA upon his return from Niger — as the Republicans (but not the Dems) on the Senate Intelligence Committee solemnly claimed — then why didn’t they simply release that evidence, instead of going through the wholly unnecessary process of outing Plame through a whispering campaign, which has now gotten them into so much trouble?

    Finally, for dessert: if Easyliving is so fond of Andrew McCarthy’s opinion, maybe he’ll also be interested in reading McCarthy’s review of Fitzgerald in National Review’s “The Corner” last Oct. 23:

    “Pat Fitzgerald is the best prosecutor I have ever seen. By a mile. He is also the straightest shooter I have ever seen – by at least that much. And most importantly, he is a good man…

    “If Pat were political –- or, worse, if he somehow had it in for the Bush administration –- it was fully within his power to return indictments in the weeks before the November elections, which would almost certainly have cinched things for Senator Kerry. It is something, I am quite certain, it would never even have occurred to him to do. The only thing the guy I know would do is bring charges or close the case without charges when the facts of the investigation warranted doing so.”

  238. 238
    DougJ says:

    “Theater” is the word you used, I guess, ppGaz. And I agree completely.

  239. 239
    ppGaz says:

    “Theater” is the word you used, I guess, ppGaz. And I agree completely.

    Par, unfortunately, is just the guy in the theater who sits behind you and pops his chewing gum for two hours, while his kid kicks the back of your chair.

  240. 240
    Darrell says:

    Washington Post nails it

    PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons.

    …As Mr. Fitzgerald pointed out at the time of Mr. Libby’s indictment last fall, none of this is particularly relevant to the question of whether the grounds for war in Iraq were sound or bogus. It’s unfortunate that those who seek to prove the latter would now claim that Mr. Bush did something wrong by releasing for public review some of the intelligence he used in making his most momentous decision.

    The article also makes clear, using Joe Wilson’s own words, that Wilson is clearly a lying sack of sh*t. Makes you wonder how much longer the left can continue denying the obvious

  241. 241
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Now let’s quote what Josh Marshall had to say about that editorial yesterday:

    “Editorial pages are for opinion. But legitimate opinion journalism is constrained by facts, as nearly as we can know them as we put pen to paper. And by that measure, the Washington Post’s editorial page has skidded outside the boundaries of journalistic legitimacy on any number of issues but most glaringly on our involvement in the Middle East. Today’s editorial on the Bush-Cheney-Libby leak of classified portions of the Iraq National Intelligence Estimate is a case in point.

    “One might simply say that presidents play hardball; and they play politics. And President Bush or his untethered vice president played hardball against a prominent critic by releasing information the law allowed them to release. And get over it. Politics, like life, isn’t fair. And if you swipe at the president, expect to get hit back.

    “You may not agree with that. But it’s an opinion. And it contains an uncomfortably large element of fact.

    “But the authors of this editorial don’t appear to read the news pages of their own paper or their best competitors. The clock has simply run out on any attempt to claim the president and his key advisors weren’t acting in bad faith with their constant advocacy of an alleged traffic in uranium between Iraq and Niger. It’s over.

    “As consistent reporting both from within the executive branch and the intelligence agencies has shown, the only reason this canard ever caught any life outside the vice president’s office was not because of its credibility but rather its irrelevancy. By the time Libby came to leak more information about it months after the war, it had been still further discredited WITHIN the administration.

    “The Post also sticks to the up-is-down claim that Wilson’s trip to Niger supported rather than undermined the Niger-uranium claim. That is a viewpoint that can only be maintained if you are willfully ignorant of the backstory to the Niger canard. Wilson’s report didn’t add a lot to what most in the intelligence community already thought about the pretended Niger story. But that was because it tended to confirm the reasons why most in the intelligence community didn’t find the story credible in the first place.

    “For whatever reason, the Post has chosen to throw in its lot with the flurry of mendacious rhetoric and the white-washed investigations, all of which amount to a grand pen and paper and word game truss barely holding together the body of official lies that is still governing the capital.

    “They’ve made their deal with power. They should justify it on those grounds rather than choosing to mislead their readers.”

    As he says, the Post’s editorialist seems not to have read the Post’s own news article on the subject published the day before (“A ‘Concerted Effort’ to Discredit Bush Critic”):

    “Libby is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for denying under oath that he disclosed Plame’s CIA employment to journalists. There is no public evidence to suggest Libby made any such disclosure with Cheney’s knowledge. But according to Libby’s grand jury testimony, described for the first time in legal papers filed this week, Cheney ‘specifically directed’ Libby in late June or early July 2003 to pass information to reporters from two classified CIA documents: an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate and a March 2002 summary of Wilson’s visit to Niger.

    “One striking feature of that decision — unremarked until now, in part because Fitzgerald did not mention it — is that the evidence Cheney and Libby selected to share with reporters had been disproved months before.”

    The NY Times said the same thing the next day (“Iraq Findings Leaked by Cheney’s Aide Were Disputed”): “President Bush’s apparent order authorizing a senior White House official to reveal to a reporter previously classified intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s efforts to obtain uranium came as the information was already being discredited by several other officials in the administration, interviews and documents from the time show.

    “A review of the records and interviews conducted during and after the crucial period in June and July of 2003 also show that what the aide, I. Lewis Libby Jr., said he was authorized to portray as a ‘key judgment’ by intelligence officers had in fact been given much less prominence in the most important assessment of Iraq’s weapons capability.”

    Yep. Contrary to the Post editorial, the Senate Intelligence Committee actually concluded that Wilson’s story didn’t prove much one way or the other. Every judge who’s looked at the still-secret parts of Fitzgerald’s case has concluded that a serious crime WAS committed in the exposure of Plame, regardless of who committed it. And Fitzgerald stated EXPLICITLY, in his indictment of Libby, that the reason he hadn’t (yet) charged anyone with the Plame leak was that there was a very efficient operation in the White House to cover up the identity of the leaker — and that he had indicted Libby for perjury precisely BECAUSE Libby’s perjury was a major part of that coverup operation.

    Leaking carefully selected intelligence to support the case for war — while continuing to conceal other contrary intelligence (even from the relevant Congressional committees, who are still being forbidden to see many of Bush’s NIEs!) is bad enough. Leaking information which you actually KNOW to be probably erroneous, in order to make yourself look good, is worse.

    Question: could the Post’s increasing tendency to occasionally publish this kind of twaddle in its editorials have anything to do with the fact that the paper is now owned by Katherine Graham’s husband Richard, who’s a Republican?

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