Democrats & Liberals Archives

Why a Leak?

“There was nothing illegal or even particularly unusual” about Bush’s authorization of leaked information, we hear today from the WP. And there’s an obvious reason for releasing information that way - but not a very creditable one. A leak’s not a press conference - there is no back-and-forth, no followup questions. Just as a story can be distorted by extracting bits and pieces out of context, so an intelligence report can be distorted by leaking conclusions without qualifications, analysis without dissent. A leak need not be ” the whole truth”.

In fact, today's NYT has a story saying that "Iraq Findings Leaked by Cheney's Aide Were Disputed" - supporting the obvious conclusion that this leak was underhanded and perhaps ultimately misleading - hardly "good" even if is technically legal.

I can see no reason why it would bet "in the public interest" for information to be released in this way, and I've yet to see any Red Team argument explaining this. If the public should see it, it should be declassified and released properly - that's only common sense.

So come on guys - answer the question I'm asking. Nothing about Plame or Wilson or magazine covers matters here - I just want to know, why a leak and not a news conference?

Posted by William Cohen at April 9, 2006 1:42 PM
Comments
Comment #139370

Because it’s just the nature of this beast to maintain secrecy and ignore laws and the Constitutional framework that even the President is not exempt from. There again….”technically legal” is extremely misleading….and I don’t think I’m the only one who feels the need to take intent into consideration. I believe it’s this article (there are so many out there now) that also says even though the President has the right to declassify materials, there is a process by which to do that, and it wasn’t adhered to here, and therefore is quite unusual. What else can we take from this, other than the fact “we” weren’t to know about it. Don’t you think it’s pathetic that we have had to learn to accept this fools actions…..and just tolerate and learn to live with them??

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 9, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #139372

I believe, at this point, defending this man and this administration is reserved for those who are constitutionally incapable of seperating themselves from rigidly held lifelong beliefs (either religious or generational loyalty to a particular party) due to abject fear. I want to share these quotes - I’m certain most of you are all ready familiar with these.

“You don’t get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier.”

(Governing Magazine 7/98)

“If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.”

(CNN.com, December 18, 2000)

“A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there’s no question about it.”

(Business Week, July 30, 2001)

I think it is important now to continually challenge and remind ourselves and everyone within earshot that changes in the political climate must be made now, by us, with our vote. Changing the majority in congress is the first step (of course we will have to do this again in ten years when the new majority becomes aware of the fruits of tenure but - so be it). This is no longer simply Republican v. Democrat but a fight over the politcal ideology which will hold sway over this country for the next ten years - can we afford this level of corruption? Can we afford this type of Administration? These leaks and the reasons for them are clear. The answer now is action and non-stop discussion. Should we take a lesson from the far-right and now engage in shout-down rhetoric? Have we learned that this is what works? If this is so…maybe we should begin.

Posted by: Scott at April 9, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #139373

William,

Hmmmm, I can only think of two scenarios and both involve fear:

#1) What I have to say is truthful but I fear saying it because the facts might anger someone with the power and capability of harming me.

#2) I know what I want to say is either factually untrue or morally reprehensible and I fear the consequences of being connected to the statement.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #139377

“Don’t you think it’s pathetic that we have had to learn to accept this fools actions…..and just tolerate and learn to live with them??”

Sandra,

You just hit the nail on the head. What’s even worse is having to watch the absolute arrogance they display. I think we must push for impeachment proceedings. The fact that Cheney or Hastert may be left in charge is beside the point, that argument is downright sad.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #139378

Posted by: test at April 9, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #139380

Releasing in that way way a political decision. Presidents live in a political environment.

Wilson’s misleading editorial was getting a lot of currency. In a non-political environment, the best thing to do would be to hold a press conference and show why he was not telling the truth. In the political environment, however, I supposed they feared it would be percieved as a duel between Wilson & Bush. Unfortunately, this did happen to some extent anyway, but I expect that is the result they were trying to avoid. Politicans do political things.

Re Law

Things are against the law or not. We can argue about the wisdom of the decision or whether it was right. I believe the reasons above were valid. You may disagree. But you have no basis to call it illegal or treasonous because it just is not.

Remember too, that the “new” evidence specifically in NOT about Plame. Let’s not mix them up.

If I pass a state trooper and I am doing 65 in the 65 zone, he can’t say I am exceeding the speed limit no matter how much he wants to catch me speeding that day.

Posted by: Jack at April 9, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #139387


Can this bold be turned off??

Posted by: womanmarine at April 9, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #139390
But you have no basis to call it illegal or treasonous because it just is not.
You have no basis for claiming it is legal, that is just your opinion.
Posted by: Charles Wager at April 9, 2006 4:04 PM
Comment #139393

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060408/ts_nm/bush_vermont_dc;_ylt=AsGB9mLTFR5pdrTJCLZkFRJg.3QA;_ylu=X3oDMTA4b3FrcXQ0BHNlYwMxNjkz

Looks like little ol’ Vermont has bigger “ones” than most others. Go ahead Jack, and tell us how futile you believe this to be. Maybe so, but what it does mean is that people are fed up and are wanting to make things happen….and don’t forget how that longest journey starts.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 9, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #139397

WHAT THEY ARE NOT TELLING YOU ABOUT PLAMEGATE

Leaking Valerie Plame’s name took a valuable resource out of the REAL war on terror. This action approved by the President and Vice President has endangered the lives of every American citizen, both at home and abroad.

Leaking Plame’s name also blew her front cover employer, Brewster Jennings & Associates. It was Robert Novak, American traitor, and political commentator hack, who in collusion with Bush and Cheney, first published the highly classified information.

It has been suggested that there were other resources within the CIA who were also working undercover as non-official cover operative” (NOC) as employees of Brewster Jennings. It has also been suggested that once their undercover status was compromised, they were quickly captured and eliminated, thus multiplying the damage done to the CIA’s ability to gather valuable information in the Mid East.

The outing of Plame destroyed all trust the CIA had for the Bush/Cheney administration. Why would they now put their lives on the line as NOCs knowing that at any time, their cover could also be blown for political gain, thus ending their careers and possibly ending their lives as well?

But there’s more!

Plame… ‘was a long-term proprietary and deep-cover NOC - well established and consistently producing “take” from ARAMCO (and who knows what else in Saudi Arabia). It was destroyed with a motive of personal vengeance (there may have been other motives) by someone inside the White House.

From the CIA’s point of view, at a time when Saudi Arabia is one of the three or four countries of highest interest to the US, the Plame operation was irreplaceable.

Almost the entire Bush administration has an interest in ARAMCO.

The Boston Globe reported that in 2001 ARAMCO had signed a $140 million multi-year contract with Halliburton, then chaired by Dick Cheney, to develop a new oil field. Halliburton does a lot of business in Saudi Arabia. Current estimates of Halliburton contracts or joint ventures in the country run into the tens of billions of dollars.

So do the fortunes of some shady figures from the Bush family’s past.

As recently as 1991 ARAMCO had Khalid bin Mahfouz sitting on its Supreme Council or board of directors. Mahfouz, Saudi Arabia’s former treasurer and the nation’s largest banker, has been reported in several places to be Osama bin Laden’s brother in law.

ARAMCO is the largest oil group in the world, a state-owned Saudi company in partnership with four major US oil companies.

Another one of Aramco’s partners is Chevron-Texaco which gave up one of its board members, Condoleezza Rice, when she became the National Security Advisor to George Bush.

All of ARAMCO’s key decisions are made by the Saudi royal family while US oil expertise, personnel and technology keeps the cash coming in and the oil going out. ARAMCO operates, manages, and maintains virtually all Saudi oil fields – 25% of all the oil on the planet.’

http://www.oilempire.us/plame.html

Also, let’s not forget the long term friendship and business partnerships between the Bush family and the bin Laden family.

Knowing all of this, how can anyone in their right mind approve of Bush and Cheney’s treasonous behavior of outing Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings for political gain?

Posted by: KEVIN SCHMIDT, STERLING VA at April 9, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #139399

Jack’s post is what I speak of when I refer to those incapable of seperating themselves from rigidly held lifelong beliefs. I am perplexed and impatient with those whose arguments now are - “Oh, well they’re just politicians and they do what politicians do.” Or, concerning Iraq - “Well, we’re there now so let’s make the best of it.” This is simply abdication of responsibility and it is lazy. The time is high noon. The national edifice is on fire and it is time to assert ourselves to put it out and try and rebuild the world’s confidence in our abilities and beliefs. We say we want to promote democracy throughout the world and we do it ways so deceitful, with such incompetence and without real thought (not to mention bridling when groups we don’t want are freely voted into power) that the world must think democracy to be the worst possible type of government. Remember that this is the communication age - everyone across the world sees this incompetence and deceit. The word is out. Those who continue do defend this president and his actions have nothing left upon which to hang their arguments.

Posted by: Scott at April 9, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #139403

Jack:

Things are against the law or not….you have no basis to call it illegal or treasonous because it just is not.

Yes, let’s be clear about this. Outing Plame was illegal and treasonous, and Bush is not directly implicated with that.

Releasing in that way way a political decision. Presidents live in a political environment.

Wilson’s misleading editorial was getting a lot of currency. In a non-political environment, the best thing to do would be to hold a press conference and show why he was not telling the truth. In the political environment, however, I supposed they feared it would be percieved as a duel between Wilson & Bush. Unfortunately, this did happen to some extent anyway, but I expect that is the result they were trying to avoid. Politicans do political things.

Jack, is it fair if I summarize your answer as “the leak was for political gain”?

So, Jack, once again, why a leak and not declassification through the usual process? the declassification wouldn’t have to be an explicitly presidential act - so it wouldn’t have to be played up as part of a “duel”.

I hardly need to point out that there needs to be a real reason for doing this, because there’s an obviously huge down side to the leak. Bush is not only leader of but also role model for the WH staff. If he authorizes a leak of what was otherwise classified information, without any semblance of due process, for (by your account) purely political reasons, what sort of message does that send to the WH staff?

The only way I can see somewhat not recognizing this huge disincentive to leak in this “political” way is if leaking national security secrets for political gain was common practise for the WH, and tolerated by W.


All: sorry about the bold.

Posted by: William Cohen at April 9, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #139419

It goes much deeper than outing a CIA operative.

Was 9/11 perpetrated by the Bush Administration

For those that have about an hour and 21 minutes.


Posted by: Pat at April 9, 2006 6:49 PM
Comment #139423

I hear you loud and clear Kevin Schmidt!

Very good post! Thank you.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #139426

History: Back in the 1980’s Cheney and especially Rumsfeld were buddy buddy with Sadam. But, he stabbed them in the back. They wanted his head so bad they could taste it. G.H.W.Bush whimpped out on them and they had to wait 8 damn years to get back in the White House.
Even before G.W.Bush took office, Cheney was asking the C.I.A. for justifications for an invasion. These guy’s could have cared less weither the inteligence was accurate as long as it was saleable to the Congress and the American people. Tell the people about wmd’s and the yellow cake. The yellow cake documents were forged,well don’t tell that part. Most of the intelligence may be flawed, don’t tell the people that either.

Posted by: jlw at April 9, 2006 7:22 PM
Comment #139427

Oh boy, Pat, you’re a bit out there. Easy on the Kool-Aid.

William Cohen,

Every one knows the history of G.W. Bush. He’s relied on character attack his entire political career. Karl Rove is a “genius” because he has no scruples about innuendo. This has all the markings of the man at the helm and can no longer be ignored except by the rabid right who, like Pat, have sipped a little too deeply into the Kool-Aid carafe.

Even my Republicans friends recognize that Bush is a liar. He has burst his white hat cowboy image and now appears to be the manipulative rich kid whispering rumors in the school yard that he is.

I just wished it hadn’t taken 6 years and thousands of dead soldiers for the majority to realize that they were sold a Madison Avenue cowboy.

Posted by: gergle at April 9, 2006 7:24 PM
Comment #139434

Did the administration perpetrate 911? No.

Did they allow it to happen? No.

Were they preoccupied with their plans to invade Iraq? Yes.

Did they use 911 as a pretext to invade Iraq? Yes, most certainly they did.

Posted by: jlw at April 9, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #139465

I just posted this on the Red page, but perhaps it belongs here as well.

I am really confused. Do I have this straight?

Bush asked Cheney to “leak” information that ruined a woman’s career.

2.Bush actually did lie about the reasons we are at war,(I.e., that there really were no WMD).

3.When Wilson said that Bush knew there were no WMD, Wilson was essentially telling the truth.

Which lead to:

1. How many people running around trying to find the original leak, while Bush acted as if he really didn’t know and wanted to know the truth.

2. Spending money unnecessarily trying to bring charges against someone (Liddy)who has apparently been used as a dupe.

If I am essentially correct. Then it appears that:

Anyway you look at it appears that the American people were manipulated again.


Posted by: Linda H. at April 9, 2006 11:34 PM
Comment #139468

“Did they allow it to happen? No.”

After watching Condi get drilled and grilled by Bob Kerry I would actually disagree and say, “yes”. The evidence was either ignored or they chose to disregard it. Bush & Co. may not have known the flight numbers or the exact date it would happen but I truly believe they knew there would be an attack.

No amount of argument will ever change my mind about this so those who drink the red kool-aid can save their key strokes for something worthwhile.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2006 11:41 PM
Comment #139494

KansasDem:

Yes, the administration WANTED to totally disrupt the economic system of the country because … wait, I’m losing the vision. Pass me some of that blue kool-aid and I’m sure I’ll understand your reasoning.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 10, 2006 2:24 AM
Comment #139499

Kevin Schmidt:

Regarding the link you posted, www.oilempire;

I looked at some of the info there, but its all insinuation or selfserving spin speech. The inherent bias makes it totally not credible.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 10, 2006 2:44 AM
Comment #139504

vermont? since all of the maple syrup comes from canada now i forgot about vermont! wait a minute vermont vermont oh ya all those gd co opts and mutt and jeff i mean ben and jerry. vermont vermont oh yes and bernie sanders!

Posted by: jim c at April 10, 2006 3:11 AM
Comment #139663

Kevin: *Good On You*!!!!!

Badkingred: Here’s something for you to choke on (reposted from a thread in the “Undecided” Column):


(From Patrick Fitzgerald’s Indictment):

Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community. Valerie Wilson’s friends, neighbors, college classmates had no idea she had another life. The fact that she was a CIA officer was not well-known, for her protection or for the benefit of all us. It’s important that a CIA officer’s identity be protected, that it be protected not just for the officer, but for the nation’s security. Valerie Wilson’s cover was blown in July 2003. The first sign of that cover being blown was when Mr. Novak published a column on July 14th, 2003.


(From the New York Times):

But within the C.I.A., the exposure of Ms. Plame is now considered an even greater instance of treachery. Ms. Plame, a specialist in non-conventional weapons who worked overseas, had “nonofficial cover,” and was what in C.I.A. parlance is called a NOC, the most difficult kind of false identity for the agency to create. While most undercover agency officers disguise their real profession by pretending to be American embassy diplomats or other United States government employees, Ms. Plame passed herself off as a private energy expert. Intelligence experts said that NOCs have especially dangerous jobs.


(From David Ensor, Security Expert, on CNN):

Some of them [NOCs], like Plame, use loose cover, a false job. Others, under deep cover, use false names as well. Complete fictional identities with forged documents, even disguises. But NOCs are also much more vulnerable than regular spies. Intelligence sources developed by a CIA undercover officer are immediately in question if that officer is exposed. After her name appeared in Robert Novak’s column, at lease two foreign governments reportedly assigned their spy catchers to figure out whether Plame had ever worked on their soil and if so, what she’d done there. And that is where the most damage was likely done, other agents tracking down Valerie Plame Wilson’s contact and sources and shutting them down.


Now please, respond with some more Talking Points Spin and Dark Sarcasm - it’s what you’re best at.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 10, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #139765

Ms. Burke:

I saw these quotes in their original posting. They were old news then and they are older now. I have no doubts about Ms. Plame’s and her husband’s motivations. In the run up to the Iraq war, the State Department was trying to stage a coup d’etat, in protest of President Bush’s rather direct diplomatic style. Mr. Wilson was, in my opinion, predetermined to report negatively on Iraqi efforts to secure yellow cake. When the President acted on the British intelligence community’s assertion that the yellow cake evidence was good intel, then Mr. Wilson, published his editorial slamming the White House for manipulating intelligence to support the war. That seems ill advised given his wife’s occupation.

Furthermore, in Mr. Wilson’s highly imaginative expose, he claimed that the administration ignored his council about falsified documents that he claims to have examined prior to the date they were generated. When formally questioned under oath, Wilson folded like a house of cards. I thought that rather conclusive evidence should have put this issue to bed.

Furthermore, the Plame leak is incidental to the testimony offered which primarily concerns intelligence assessments. Thus far, no one has been deemed criminally culpable by the evidence presented. In fact the scuttlebutt is that there is no linkage to Bush or Cheney. I think that Fitzgerald in on a witch hunt.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 11, 2006 12:35 AM
Comment #140135

Wow.

Extra double-plus-good Kool-Aid they’re serving out there in RedLand!

:oO

I hope you have your Purple Shawl ready, and $5 in your Sneakers…

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 12, 2006 6:20 AM
Comment #140143

Similarities between the Nixon Administration and the Bush Administration:


- Nixon had a goon named Liddy who took political vengeance against Daniel Ellsberg.
- Bush had a goon named Libby who took political vengeance against Joseph Wilson.


- Nixon had a crooked Vice President who took money and ran up huge tabs in Foreign Bars.
- Bush has a crooked Vice President who made money running up huge tabs in Foreign Wars.


- Richard Nixon had Eighteen Lost Minutes on the secret Watergate Tapes.
- Bush had Seven Lost Minutes on the public 9/11 News Videotapes.


- The Nixon White House was ruled over by a foul-mouthed, secretive old man in failing health.
- The Bush White House is ruled over by a foul-mouthed, secretive old man in failing health…


- Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment for his many lies and crimes against the Constitution.
- Bush - Yet To Be Determined…

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 12, 2006 7:09 AM
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