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Shorter Bush: I Wrote It in Invisble Ink

Kagro X says almost all that needs to be said about BushCo’s claims that Bush intended to exempt he and Cheney from rules on classification. I’ll come back later to expand on Kagro’s point about the insta-declassification theory of leaking Plame’s identity. But for now, I’d like to make a teeny tiny point. Even according to BushCo’s own flack, the Executive Order doesn’t say, in writing, what Bush is now claiming: that Bush and Cheney are exempt from all rules on classification. Here’s Tony Fratto:

"We don’t dispute that the ISOO has a different opinion. But let’s bevery clear: This executive order was issued by the president, and heknows what his intentions were," Fratto said. "He is in compliance withhis executive order."

Fratto conceded that the lengthydirective, technically an amendment to an existing executive order, didnot specifically exempt the president’s or vice president’s offices.Instead, it refers to "agencies" as being subject to the requirements,which Fratto said did not include the two executive offices. "It doestake a little bit of inference," Fratto said. [my emphasis]

So we’re to understand for this EO, at least, we’re just supposed to trust Bush. We’re just supposed to believe that Bush means what he didn’t say.

But why would we believe that, coming as it does, from an Administration that has made a point on hundreds of occasions of providing a written statement telling you exactly how Bush interprets particular laws? We’re to believe, in spite of the record of Bush’s hundreds of signing statements, that BushCo doesn’t care about letting you know precisely how he understands a law.

Nut uh. It defies all logic to suggest that Bush’s expects his own EOs to achieve only "inferential" exactitude while he strives to insist on explicit descriptions of his interpretations elsewhere.

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