Why is this man still president? Why, also, is Cheney still vice? Doesn’t this make you crazy, too? Doesn’t this tell the world the president and his minions can do anything and get away with it? Better get them out of there now, before they invade Iran and leave a mess for the next Dem prez. Just a thought, y’know, ounce prevention/pound cure, etc.
(‘Course bush has dissed every judge in the country, whatever good that does down the road.)
“News bulletin: George W. Bush doesn’t give a flying fandango what you peasants think. If commuting Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby’s prison sentence for obstruction of justice and perjury proved nothing else, it’s this president’s sheer contempt for the rule of law, not to mention for his own easily duped supporters. Neither do many in the nation’s esteemed political press. During a recent on-line ‘chat’ with readers, Washington Post national political reporter Shailagh Murray responded: ‘YAAWWN. That’s my view of the Libby flap. What on earth did people expect Bush to do?’ Gee, I don’t know. Maybe stand by his public vow that whoever exposed CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity would be punished? Do his constitutional duty to see that the laws be faithfully executed?”
Disinformation, by Gene Lyons, July 11, 2007
The rest of it behind the jump.
“This would be the same Washington Post, incidentally, that gave more headlines to Bill Clinton’s lies about playing slap-and tickle with Monica Lewinsky than to Hurricane Katrina and the invasion of Afghanistan combined. Too bad Clinton didn’t use the Libby defense: ‘Oh, that Miss Lewinsky. I thought you meant somebody else. I was so busy I forgot.’
“As Salon’s Glenn Greenwald sarcastically notes, ‘What could possibly be more boring or irrelevant than the president of the United States protecting one of his most powerful aides, now a convicted felon, from going to prison, thereby ensuring that that aide has no incentive to disclose what he knows ?’
“But what might Scooter know? See, that’s where things get interesting. Obviously, the secondary purpose of exposing Plame wasn’t simply to punish her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, for challenging Bush’s claim about Saddam Hussein’s attempting to buy uranium for nuclear bombs in Africa; it was to intimidate anybody else in the CIA who might think about blowing the whistle on the propaganda concocted to sell Americans on invading Iraq.
“The African uranium story first exposed by Wilson in July 2003 proved to be based on crude forgeries. However, it was very far from being the only bogus intelligence capable of being exposed. Virtually all the evidence for Saddam’s nonexistent nukes was similarly dubious. Reportedly, many intelligence professionals knew it. Wilson, therefore, had to be discredited.
“Wrecking his wife’s career was no mere side-effect; it was the very essence of the plot. Neo-con loyalists must have known that honest conservatives would be horrified if they understood; hence, one of the most brazen disinformation campaigns in recent American history, directed against Wilson, Plame and Patrick Fitzgerald, the Republican career prosecutor appointed by Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate.
“Thus the endlessly repeated assertion that Plame was not a covert agent, but a bureaucrat. (Her beauty, ironically, helped in this deception. ) In fact, documents produced at Libby’s trial established that Plame was operations chief for the Joint Task Force on Iraq, part of the Counterproliferation Division. She’d conducted several undercover foreign missions in recent years, making her unmasking a serious act. Plame gave sworn testimony in Congress to this effect.
“Yet major national newspapers, TV and radio news outlets have allowed this falsehood to be promulgated without contradiction by pundits and political operatives who certainly know better.
“Another effective bit of disinformation was that since the State Department’s Richard Armitage was, to his embarrassment, columnist Bob Novak’s original source for Plame’s outing, Fitzgerald had no cause to look further—as if only one person could commit this crime.
“Trial testimony showed that Libby had improperly discussed Plame with a half dozen government employees and several reporters, including The New York Times’ Judith Miller, weeks before Novak broke the story. So who told Libby about Plame? Cheney, who then instructed him to leak the information to the ever-helpful Miller.
“Presented at trial was a handwritten note by Cheney protesting the ‘sacrifice’ of a loyal subordinate ‘this pres asked to stick his head in the meat grinder.’ When the time came to testify in Libby’s defense, however, Cheney was in distant Afghanistan. And because Libby won’t get his pardon until some time late next year, he still retains Fifth Amendment rights and can’t be forced to testify. Slick, ain’t it?”