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Hoekstra’s Leaks/Cheney’s Leaks

Steven Benen writes most of the post I was going to write (thanks Steve!) in response to the news that Pete Hoekstra is a big fat hypocrite about intelligence leaks. Steve links to Justin Rood’s coverage of Hoekstra leaking details about the supposedly secret intelligence budget; RawStory first noticed Hoekstra’s leak. And then Steve provides a chronology (how could I not love that?!?!?!) of Hoekstra’s wingnuttery:

Given Hoekstra’s hackish history, this week’s alleged disclosure ispar for the course. After all, Hoekstra has had a series of recentintelligence-related embarrassments.

  • In November 2006, Hoekstra pushed the administration to publishonline a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. Theidea was to let far-right bloggers "prove" that Saddam had WMD, butHoekstra’s plan led to the accidental release of secret nuclear research, including a basic guide to building an atom bomb.
  • In October 2006, Hoestra "stripped the credentials of a Democraticcommittee aide he believed may have leaked a then-classified documentto The New York Times. A month later, he quietly reinstated the aide’s access."
  • In July 2006, Hoekstra called a humiliating press conferenceto announce, "We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq" –despite failing to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
  • In June 2006, Hoekstra and Rick Santorum wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed, alleging that some officials in the intelligence community are attempting to destroy the Bush administration — and America itself.

I would add just one event to this chronology: In July 2006 Hoekstra wrote what was perceived as a critical letter–but was actually one solidly supporting some of the Cheney-Rummy moves to keep DOD in charge of certain areas of intelligence.

I raise that–and link to Steve’s post–because I think it important to understand Hoekstra as more than just an unmotivated hack. Rather, each step of his hackery can be understood largely as a move in a Neocon chess game over information, largely doing the bidding of Cheney.

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Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.