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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Open Topic Sunday ... The WaPo Chastises Detractors

Captain Ed brings this up from the WaPo. It seems as though the WaPo is the only news outlet who seems to be defending President Bush regarding the news story from Friday that he had authorized the release of classified information.

PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons. Presidents are authorized to declassify sensitive material, and the public benefits when they do. But the administration handled the release clumsily, exposing Mr. Bush to the hyperbolic charges of misconduct and hypocrisy that Democrats are leveling.

Damn, now that was a slap in the face, wasn't it? Yes it was, and in more ways than one. First off, President Bush, as Commander-in-Chief, has the right to declassify anything he wants to. Everyone made a big deal about this when President Bush granted this power to Vice President Cheney. Of course, the uproar lasted about a day as the dogs known as the MSM found a new chew toy to gnaw on. And yes, the release was clumsy. The administration has taken that beating from the pundits for the last couple of days once the dots were connected. But, the WaPo continues.

The affair concerns, once again, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and his absurdly over-examined visit to the African country of Niger in 2002. Each time the case surfaces, opponents of the war in Iraq use it to raise a different set of charges, so it's worth recalling the previous iterations. Mr. Wilson originally claimed in a 2003 New York Times op-ed and in conversations with numerous reporters that he had debunked a report that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from Niger and that Mr. Bush's subsequent inclusion of that allegation in his State of the Union address showed that he had deliberately "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraq threat." The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.

OK, so where was the WaPo and other outlets when Joe Wilson wanted to see Karl Rove "frog-marched" out of the White House in handcuffs telling Joe Wilson to shut the hell up? This has been a point of contention for us for quite some time. It is very simple: Joe Wilson lied. He told the Senate committee that Iraq had been making inquiries for uranium, but his New York Times piece told an entirely different story.

Mr. Wilson subsequently claimed that the White House set out to punish him for his supposed whistle-blowing by deliberately blowing the cover of his wife, Valerie Plame, who he said was an undercover CIA operative. This prompted the investigation by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald. After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson's charge. In last week's court filings, he stated that Mr. Bush did not authorize the leak of Ms. Plame's identity. Mr. Libby's motive in allegedly disclosing her name to reporters, Mr. Fitzgerald said, was to disprove yet another false assertion, that Mr. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger by Mr. Cheney. In fact Mr. Wilson was recommended for the trip by his wife. Mr. Libby is charged with perjury, for having lied about his discussions with two reporters. Yet neither the columnist who published Ms. Plame's name, Robert D. Novak, nor Mr. Novak's two sources have been charged with any wrongdoing.

As we have maintained since this occurred, the only person who should be testifying is Joe Wilson. Fully under oath, and preferably before a grand jury to get to the bottom of this. His wife's name was leaked by him a full year prior to this whole mess. Bob Woodward knew about who she was a couple of months before Robert Novak did. She didn't have NOC status when her cover was supposedly blown, and she hadn't been doing anything with the CIA for almost a year before her name was put out in the open. And to top it all off, she was an analyst. Rarely do analysts have NOC status at all.

As Mr. Fitzgerald pointed out at the time of Mr. Libby's indictment last fall, none of this is particularly relevant to the question of whether the grounds for war in Iraq were sound or bogus. It's unfortunate that those who seek to prove the latter would now claim that Mr. Bush did something wrong by releasing for public review some of the intelligence he used in making his most momentous decision.

The Libby indictment never had anything to do with pre-war intelligence. And since the release of the Saddam documents, our pre-war intelligence looks like it was pretty sound. As far as I'm concerned, the president didn't break the law. He was well within his constraints, and so was the veep. I said it when this whole fiasco erupted that the only people who would have egg ojn their face when this was all said and done was the MSM and the Left.

Publius II


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