The Leaker in Chief’s Dangerous Game
(guest blog by Taylor Marsh)
Juan Cole has discovered a new game. I think we should join in. It’s called "All Right, Not All Right." The facts of the game are something we started talking about yesterday. It began with the Leaker in Chief being able to leak classified information for political purposes. Then our Leaker in Chief gives the information to Deadeye Dick, who then dispenses the information to Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. There’s no problem with that, evidently. But when Mary McCarthy shares information about black sites where President Bush, through the permission of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, is sanctioning torture, as Cole says, that’s "not all right."
Well, let’s take this game a step further. Enter the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Larry Frankllin is now in jail for passing documents to AIPAC, which then got to the Israeli embassy. But when Dr. Rice discusses the same documents that put Larry Franklin in jail with Steve Rosen, it’s just hunky-dory. As Larry Johnson said yesterday, something smells.
Bush administration officials, including Condoleezza Rice, reportedly will be asked to testify in the Virginia espionage case of former Israeli lobbyists.
U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis allowed the defense of former staff members of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee to subpoena Secretary of State Rice, along with former Middle East envoy Anthony Zinni, former assistant Secretary of State for Near East William Burns and Burns’ former deputy David Satterfield, The Jerusalem Post reports.
Burns is now ambassador to Moscow and Satterfield the deputy chief of mission in Baghdad.
Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman are accused of passing on U.S. defense secrets to Israel.
Former Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin pleaded guilty to giving the information to the two and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
But Rosen and Weissman said the information was the same that was passed to them from Rice and the other four, and not an anomaly.
When I think of Condoleezza Rice testifying only one image comes to mind. You might remember it as well. It was that moment in front of the 9/11 Commission when Richard Ben-Veniste asked her about the now infamous PDB: BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE IN U.S. One has to wonder if Dr. Rice will have a similar moment during her upcoming testimony, which has yet another member of the Bush administration hauled into court for some dubious shenanigans in which they’ve been engaged.
The convergence of Dr. Rice, the bombshell that she was also may be a leaker, along with yet another tape of Osama harkens back to the question I still don’t understand. Why is Osama bin Laden still alive? No, his death — because he will never allow us to capture him alive — won’t stop terrorism. It’s not that his death will solve our problems either. It’s that punishing this man is finishing the chapter on 9/11, though the book will forever remain open. Instead we went into Iraq. That we’re still being taunted by yet another edition of Osama’s greatest hits makes Bush’s incompetence on national security all the more dangerous. It’s not a game we’re playing, unfortunately, but the Leaker in Chief hasn’t a clue.