Thursday, March 08, 2007

 

How About Dropping the Other Shoe?

Today, Bill Bennett has further observations on Libby over at NRO.  Bennett sees what should now be an imperative for prosecuting disclosure of classified intelligence information gravely damaging to US National Security:

One simple observation about the Libby trial and the celebrations by the media, the Left, and the Joe Wilsons:  Now that we have established that no rock and no expense will be left unturned and unspent, that no reporter involved will be left unsubpoenaed for leaking or even purportedly leaking a classified agent's name, when we have some suspicion that a person who works at the CIA might be covert (but turns out not to be): Can we please begin the investigation and subpoenaing of journalists—also known as witnesses to a crime—for leaking classified national-security information in a time of war?!

 

—I'm not making a partisan point, I'm making a serious point about serious breaches of law and public endangerment; I'm not talking about disgruntled spouses with political differences with the president, I'm talking about the disclosure of the most serious war-time planning and procedures to keep our country safe.  I'm talking about disclosing the secret detention facilities of high-value terrorists, I'm talking about the disclosure of terrorist surveillance programs, I'm talking about the disclosure of the Treasury Department's SWIFT program that tracked terrorist financing—all of which are now caput because insiders leaked to the press and the press willingly published these classified secrets—-NONE of the programs that were leaked were illegal, all of them were of great value, all of them are over or changed as a result of the disclosure. 

 

—Can we please start a serious investigation of those, and by all means subpoena the witnesses, that is to say the reporters.  If you can do it to nail bit players in a seemingly innocent disclosure of Valerie Plame's name where her husband started the process, then you can certainly do it over serious anti-terrorism programs that were of the highest level of classification.

 

—As for the import of Libby's conviction and Joe Wilson's allegations?  I can't do better than Mark Steyn who wrote yesterday here on The Corner:  "an anti-war deputy secretary of an anti-war department leaking to an anti-war reporter the name of an anti-war analyst who got her anti-war husband a job with an anti-war agency is supposedly an elaborate “conspiracy” by Cheney, Rove and the other warmongers. Looked at more prosaically, it’s a freak intersection of bad personnel decisions, which is one of the worst features of this presidency. So many of the Bush administration’s wounds come from its willingness to keep the wrong people in key positions: Tenet should not have been retained at the CIA, Armitage should not have been at State."

Between Bennett and Mark Steyn, they’ve pretty much said what needs to be said. But don’t count on seeing any Democrat enthusiasm to take on real felonious and damaging disclosures of classified information, only those which can in some way punish their political opponents.

One heck of a way to protect National Security, it should be a Democrat slogan:

“We’ll do everything we can to keep America safe, as long as it gives us a chance to hurt our political opponents. If we manage to inconvenience some actual terrorists along the way, that’s just frosting on our Vengeance Cake!”

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