April 8, 2006

Democrats' Hopes Dashed. Again.

Hatched by Dafydd

In a stunning setback, Democrats have had to come to grips with the terrible news that court documents in the I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby trial do not, in fact, show that Bush authorized the release of Valerie Plame's name, identity, or body weight:

Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in Libby's case, wrote that Libby "undertook vigorous efforts to rebut" the ambassador's attack on Bush's argument for war.

Fitzgerald wrote that Libby told a grand jury that Vice President Dick Cheney told him that Bush had authorized the release of portions of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq.

The court documents do not suggest that Bush approved the release of Plame's identity, and the NIE did not contain references to Plame.

Scrambling for a scandal, crestfallen Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) latched onto the best he could get: sure, the president had the authority to declassify intelligence from the NIE; and yes, Reid agrees that Bush indeed set that ball in motion. But the background briefings began a few days before the declassification was formally completed -- and that makes President Bush a criminal:

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, speaking on the Senate floor Friday, called it "shocking news" that Libby "may have acted on direct orders from President Bush when he leaked classified intelligence information to reporters."

"It is an understatement to say that this is a serious allegation with national security consequences," he said. "It directly contradicts previous statements made by the president. It continues, in my opinion, a pattern of misleading America by this Bush White House. It raises somber and troubling questions about the Bush administration's candor with Congress and the American people."

I'm not precisely sure what the "national security consequences" are of telling reporters that Lyin' Joe Wilson had fabricated the story he was retailing around the talk-show circuit. But the interesting point is that Reid seizes upon the idea that, since the background briefings started (according to Libby) on July 8th, 2003; and since the formal declassification procedure wasn't complete until July 18th; that therefore Bush was "leak[ing] classified intelligence information."

I mean, isn't that like saying that if you mail in your tax return on April 17th (this year's deadline), but the Post Awful doesn't deliver the mail until April 20th -- that you're therefore a tax evader?

This is a tempest in a mole hole. The president clearly decided to declassify portions of the National Intelligence Estimate, and he so ordered. He told Vice President Dick Cheney to get the process started. It's as irrelevant as irrelevant can be how long the dang CIA took to shop the order around for all the relevant department heads to sign, because it's the president who has the authority.

By the way... has Sen. Harry Reid ever condemned those in the NSA who leaked information about an ongoing intelligence operation -- the NSA al-Qaeda intercepts -- with much more chilling "national security consequences" than the NIE? Did he ever rail against anyone at CIA who leaked information about our alleged secret terrorist prisons in Europe? His outrage seems just a tad selective....

So why would Sen. Reid make such a big to-do out of this? Well, two reasons:

  • First, the Democrats had already reacted to the initial CNN report that falsely claimed the documents showed that Bush approved the leak of Plame's name -- so now they were committed to being outraged about the issue. They had to say something!
  • Second, I reckon it's one more day that the Democrats don't have to come up with an election agenda.

Never underestimate the power of positive stupidity: it's one of the few things we have going for us in this election. The congressional GOP may be lazy, off-course, even suicidal; but it's never beyond the Democrats' reach to snatch defeat from the jaws of apathy.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 8, 2006, at the time of 3:38 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/642

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Democrats' Hopes Dashed. Again.:

» While You Were Cursing the IRS... from Big Lizards
...Tearing out the few strands of hair you had left, sticking two-inch nails into your Gender-Neutral Tax Auditer voodoo doll, and calling down the wrath of heaven upon anyone who would ever vote for a tax-hiking liberal, you might have... [Read More]

Tracked on April 10, 2006 5:53 AM


The following hissed in response by: 2Hotel9

I heard this screeching and crowing at 05:45, when my radio came on. Took all of 3 minutes worth of reading once I had the laptop running to see it was more nothing. All this ground was covered before Scooter even got the finger. Even the liberal leaning KDKA-AM radio talkingidiots figured it out before the Pittsburgh rushhour was over. At least it got everyones attention for the 3/10ths of a second it took Cynthia"I hates me some Honkies" Mckinney to apologise. Would have been embarassing if anyone had actually listened to that lame ass crap.

The above hissed in response by: 2Hotel9 [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 8, 2006 3:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dick E

I may be wrong, but doesn't the President have the authority to declassify anything he wants, with or without investigation? Ergo, isn't it an oxymoron for the President to leak, or authorize the leak of, "classified" information?

The above hissed in response by: Dick E [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 8, 2006 4:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Dick E:

What Reid is saying, I think, is that the president has that power... but since it still has to go through channels (even if the end is predetermined), if the prez releases the intel before the red tape is fully unwound, he's a criminal who can't be trusted.

It's asinine, but I think that's Reid's argument.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 8, 2006 4:43 PM

The following hissed in response by: RBMN

It's kind of like saying that Bob Dylan infringed on Bob Dylan's copyright, because Bob Dylan lifted a melody from an old Bob Dylan song, and published that melody in a new Bob Dylan song, perpetrating copyright infringement for a whole week before acquiring written permission from Bob Dylan. So, Bob Dylan needs to take himself to court, after a lengthy congressional investigation on the matter. Will Bob Dylan ever be able to trust Bob Dylan again? Hard to say.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 8, 2006 11:45 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Will Bob Dylan ever be able to trust Bob Dylan again?

The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind....


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 9, 2006 12:37 AM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

Bush said he would fire anyone found to be leaking sensitive information. But if Bush leaked it...then he'll fire himself?

This is what passes for deep political thinking by the Democrats. Wishful, pathetic, and based on someone screwing up rather than they themselves making decisions. So sad to see the Democrats fall into their own dependency pit....

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 11, 2006 2:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Big D:

While I agree with the overall thrust of your comment, it's not correct that Bush "said he would fire anyone found to be leaking sensitive information." This is liberal disinformation that they spread all across the MSM.

What he actually said was that he would fire anyone in his administration who broke the law.

But as I said, your post makes a good point: the Democratic strategy up to this point appears to be wishin' and hopin' that the Republicans screw up so royally, the Democrats are swept into office even without any positive agenda for America.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 11, 2006 5:04 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for hissing in, . Now you can slither in with a comment, o wise. (sign out)

(If you haven't hissed a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Hang loose; don't shed your skin!)

Remember me unto the end of days?

© 2005-2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved