Saturday, April 08, 2006

"But, Mom, All the Kids Do It!"

That excuse didn't work for me as a twelve-year-old, and it shouldn't work for the Emperor in Chief, allegedly an adult, and one charged with the security and safety of an entire nation. The excuse was toted out in a really sappy "analysis" piece in today's NY Times.

That President Bush authorized an aide to disclose classified intelligence on Iraqi weapons, as asserted in court papers, comes as no shock to official Washington. The leaking of secrets has long been a favored tool of policy debate, political combat and diplomatic one-upmanship.

...But the accusation that Mr. Bush, through Vice President Dick Cheney, authorized the aide, I. Lewis Libby Jr., to fight back against critics of the war by discussing a classified prewar intelligence estimate comes at a particularly awkward time for the administration.

...Scott McClellan, the president's spokesman, disputed the charge of a double standard on leaks. "There is a difference between declassifying information in the national interest and the unauthorized disclosure" of national security information, Mr. McClellan said Friday. Of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, part of which Mr. Libby shared with Judith Miller, then a Times reporter, Mr. McClellan said, "There was nothing in there that would compromise national security."
[Emphasis added]

The article goes on at length to point out the Democratic Presidents who have leaked classified information to gain some kind of political or diplomatic advantage, which the writer seems to feel somehow justifies the Emperor's and Vice-Emperor's release of information to Judith Miller in order to discredit a critic of the regime's push to the invasion of Iraq.

Let's be clear here. The regime engaged in this ploy so that they could cover the lies which had been used to convince Congress, the nation, and the world to invade Iraq. As a result of this invasion, nearly 2,400 American soldiers have been killed, thousands wounded grievously, and tens of thousands Iraqis have been killed. Billions of dollars that could have been better spent on education and health care (or, at the very least, used to bring the budget nearer to balance), have been poured and continue to be poured into this misadventure with no end in sight. The Republican regime played a petty game of "gotcha" just so the Liar-in Chief could get re-elected.

Here is where Mr. McLellan's distinction-without-a-difference breaks down. "Declassifying information in the national interest" is most assuredly not the same as declassifying information for the sole purpose of hiding a lie. What Bush and Company did was not in the national interest, it was in a single man's political interest. The result of the action was actually detrimental to the national interest by every standard imaginable.

What was in the national interest was the whistleblowing of information that the government was engaged in an illegal program of spying on Americans. Obviously Mr. McClellan and his bosses have different standards of morality than the rest of the world. That others have engaged in similar behavior is no excuse.

The NY Times should be ashamed of itself.

1 Comments:

Blogger QL in NY said...

First!

I still don't believe w knew about the leak. I think he gave some kind of Picard like directive to fix the political problem and Dick et al. went too far. Remember all the rumors when Libby got indicted that w had stopped consulting anyone but the women around him. Then things started to go terribly wrong and w kind of made up with KKKarl. This is nothing more than a feeble attempt to avoid jail time.

5:17 AM  

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