Finally, Someone Asks The Right Question
The Salt Lake Tribune is on the right track.
What did the president want us to know,
when did he want us to know it and what, if any, resemblance did it bear to the truth as he knew it?
The American people deserve an answer to that question. And they should not have to wait for the publication of Donald Rumsfeld's regretful memoirs to get it.I'll say. Then need to answer these, and many more.
Since before the invasion of Iraq, there has been widespread suspicion that the arguments used by the Bush administration to win the support of Congress, the United Nations and the American people for the war were, at best, mistaken, at worst, falsified or, at least, filtered to justify a preconceived plan to dethrone Saddam.
Wednesday, in court papers filed in the case of ex-White House official Lewis Libby, there was more to suggest that the White House was improperly, if not illegally, leaking facts and theories justifying the war while continuing to sit on key data that might undermine the administration's position.
Libby is charged with lying to a grand jury investigating the outing of a former CIA operative, Valerie Plame, allegedly in revenge for the public assertion by her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, that the president's claim that Iraq had sought a supply of African uranium was false. Part of Libby's defense is that information supporting the uranium claim, information he secretly fed to an insufficiently skeptical New York Times reporter, was not illegally leaked but had been selectively declassified by the president himself.
This puts Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, on the record as claiming that both the president and vice president were part of a campaign to leak classified information so selectively and so far in the background that they could manufacture consent for their invasion plans from a world kept in the half-light.
If it is legal for a president to treat classified information in such a politically motivated manner, an idea that even made Libby uncomfortable, it shouldn't be.
Friday's White House protestations that such selective leaks can be in the public interest are feeble at best, and make previous statements about how the president deplores leaks of national security information ring disgustingly hollow.
Congress needs to come out of hiding and get to the bottom of these questions.