Friday, February 17, 2006


Cheney Takes A Shot

Will this one get noticed?

The only thing I find interesting in the otherwise tragic hunting accident involving VP Cheney is that it seems to confirm my theory that it takes the administration three days or so after any crisis to figure out how to handle it. But more important by far is this little tid-bit that was reported yesterday.

"Cheney said an executive order gives him, and President Bush, power to declassify information. 'I have certainly advocated declassification. I have participated in declassification decisions,' Cheney said. Asked for details, he said, 'I don't want to get into that. There's an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously it focuses first and foremost on the president, but also includes the vice president.'"

I find this intriguing as if you put it into the political translator, what it really says is:

Valarie Plame's identify as a CIA operative was classified (thus the leak was a felony). Dick Cheney ordered it to be leaked in retribution for Ms. Plame's husband's unfavorable (yet accurate) assesment of Iraq's WMD. Even though Cheney may have ordered the leak of the identity of a covert spy (again a felony), regardless of the motivation, he has broad authority to declassify such information at will, so it really isn't a crime or a felony.

Clever really, bury the lede in the avalanche of coverage of an otherwise irrelevant story about a hunting accident. It just begs the question, even if Cheney has this reported authority to declassify information like a spy's indentity, will President Bush still fire the leaker as he promised?

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