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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt

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Monday, October 24, 2005

The Wingnuts On Treason

According to the National Review lies regarding national security are just as trivial as lies about sex:

"At the end of the day," a former intelligence official told National Review last week, "this could end up being a situation where there wasn't a crime until there was an investigation."

So what? say the president's adversaries. Isn't that what happened in the Lewinsky scandal? "During the Monica madness, Clinton's champions argued that lies about sex are not really lies — or, at least, don't merit prosecution," David Corn of The Nation wrote on his blog on October 14. But now, Corn argued, things are different. "What about lies about leaking classified information? No one should get a pass for that."


"Sex with Lewinsky was not a crime," says a former Starr prosecutor. "But I would think that the answer is that there was, at the core, an underlying crime, namely the Whitewater offense for which Tucker and MacDougal were convicted, and thus that the Hubbell cover-up stuff was a real crime."

That was Lewinsky. So what about the current CIA leak investigation? Certainly there are no background crimes, like the convictions of Hubbell and the McDougals, from which any suspected crimes by Karl Rove, Lewis Libby and others could derive. If Fitzgerald charges that Rove or Libby or other officials violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act or the Espionage Act, then there would be an allegation of an underlying crime, and all the discussion of lying about non-criminal activity would be moot. But if Fitzgerald does not bring any charges of betraying the identity of a covert agent or misusing classified information, but does bring charges of perjury, false statements, or obstruction of justice, then the case, unlike the Lewinsky matter, would be a classic cover-up without a crime.

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