Friday, April 07, 2006

What a Difference 10 Days Make! With Update!

Over the past day and a half I have read a great deal of analysis about the recently disclosed Libby - Grand Jury testimony. This is not an easy case to understand for sure and I certainly cannot sift through the details as well as Firedoglake or John Dean at Findlaw have.

But for me, I think the new revelations all come down to on thing - timing.

We know that "Scooter" Libby gave information from the infamous NIE to Judy Miller of the New York Times on July 8, 2003. The information in that NIE was not "officially" declassified until July 18, 2003 - a difference of 10 Days.

Here is where the devil is in the details.

Scenario 0ne - If George Bush declassified the information prior to July, 8 - then Libby did not disclose classified material and George Bush has allowed three years of investigation, months of jail time for Miller, and has repeatedly mislead or lied directly to the American people about this entire ordeal.

Scenario two - If Bush declassified the information on July 18, 2003 knowing that Libby had already leaked it at the direction of Vice President Cheney - Well, that is one big fat conspiracy at the highest level of our government which explains why Cheney had to tag along with George when he spoke to Fitzgerald. Was Bush just covering for Cheney and Libby's mistake?

The third scenario is the only one that I think could get Bush out from under this particular cloud. Bush would have to come out and say that July 18, 2003 was the actual declassification date and that he had no knowledge of and did not authorize Libby to leak prior to that date (The Grand Jury testimony from Libby is that Cheney told Libby that Bush had authorized the "leak"). Bush could still claim that Cheney and Libby were acting alone. This would effectively throw Libby and Cheney under the Bus. I seriously doubt that Bush has the guts to do it despite all of his Texas rancher tough-guy bravado.

Bush's next move might tell us what really happened, whether it is to tell us what really happened or not.

Of course I could be completely off base, and If I am I'm sure you guys will tell me.

Update: Looks like scenario three is the one their going with. This article today says that Bush told Cheney to get the information out, but left the details to the VP which definitely puts it on Cheney - but also just makes George look detached and not interested enough to concern himself with details. Plus, he still lied many times by saying he had no idea who leaked.

This whole incident just confirms that Bush and Co. cherry picked all over the place to take us to his wanted war.


  1. Giraffe10:03 AM

    I do not see how the president having the right of declassification can get off the hook on this one. The leak outed an undercover agent and that has nothing to do with protecting the security of this nation. She was a part of our security system. It is illegal for anyone in government to leak sensitive information.
    If the president admits he did this and waited until now to reveal it, as you say, a crime has been committed.

    The question I have is what will Fitzgerald do next?

  2. From everything I've read I cannot figure out how the Plame indentity leak fits into this. I do think that Fitzgerald knows how it fits in though. So we will find out eventually.

    The other thing that I can add is that the information that Bush may have declassified and authorized Libby to dispurse was bad info and their is ample evidence that Bush and Co. knew it at the time. It was the cherry picked info that lead them to the "sixteen words" in the SOTU address that They were forced to appologize for just hours after Bush had said them.

    Any way you look at it - Bush is a liar.

  3. My initial reaction is that they all (Bush, Cheney, Libby, Hadley, etc.) got together to brainstorm all the ways they could undercut Joe Wilson. Bush probably told them to go ahead with a variety of actions, thinking the details would never come out.

    I'm sure they expected an Ascroft whitewash rather than a real investigation by Fitz. That explains the public comments made by Bush in the 9/30/03 article I referenced in my earlier post.

    They also knew that, as a backup plan, Bush could always claim presidential prerogative to declassify - essentially the Nixonian "If the President does it, it can't be a leak" defense.

    That's probably why Libby said Cheney told him that Bush authorized it. Perhaps there are similar statements in the record regarding the Plame leak, but that haven't come out yet.

    The bottom line for me right now is (aside from the obvious that Bush is a liar!) is that all the discussion of classification and declassification is only coming up now because they got caught.

    And I agree that Fitz has better card in his hand than the ones he's showing! I'd take Fitz over Bush in a game of Texas Hold-em any day of the week!

  4. Lost Wages Joe4:55 PM

    Couldn't happen to a nicer guy than Deadeye Dick!