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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Arrogant hypocrisy

Should anyone really doubt that W. authorized Scooter to slime Joe Wilson -- and out Valerie Plame?

I wish I could say the release of Scooter Libby's grand jury testimony comes as a shock. While it's not a smoking gun, Scooter told a federal grand jury that W authorized him to disclose classified intelligence information about Iraq as a way of rebutting criticism from the agent's husband.

There is no direct allegation that Bush said that Libby should reveal that Plame was an undercover CIA agent. Even W is too smart for that.

But the testimony -- given under oath -- shows that Bush once again considered himself above the law. In a 2003 executive order he authorized himself to declassify and disclose secret information. Deadeye Dick, Scooter's erstwhile boss, claims the same right.

The reasons are not specified The high-minded could claim that it would allow them to reveal, for example, the sins of Saddam -- as Colin Powell purported to do before the United Nations.

But let's be serious. In this administration, the wielding of that sort of power falls into the category of "because I can." Sliming an opponent would be exactly the sort of reason the Bushies would consider valid.

Bush apologists will come up with a thousand and one contortions to justify how this was a vital act to save the Republic from the threat of the Sunni Menace. But let's be very clear.

How would they react if the Clinton administration had done something similar? The impeachment resolution would have already been filed.


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