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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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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The New York Post Suggests Cheney's Direct Involvement In Plamegate

The right leaning New York Post lives up to its reputation with the following nauseating opening line:
Dick Cheney has a long and wonderful record of service to America. As vice president, he's helped carry forward the Reagan focus on making support for freedom central to our foreign policy.
But surprisingly, they raise some good questions about Cheney's role in the outing of Valerie Plame to their readers:

1) Did he discuss with "Scooter" Libby whether to release Valerie Plame's name to the media?

2) When her name did surface in the press, did he ask Libby if he was the source?

3) When a probe was ordered into who leaked the CIA operative's name to the press, did he ask Libby if he was the source?

4) Since he himself had twice told Libby about Plame, what did he say to Libby when he read media reports that Libby had told a federal grand jury that he learned about Plame's role from a reporter?

And even more to the point, for those who need to be held by the hand...

Here we have a vice president sitting quiet while a special prosecutorial inquiry swirls around the White House — and the president demands to know who leaked. A vice president who remains silent about his own role in telling his top aide about his job. It is simply beyond believability that Cheney — with national attention on the matter ratcheting up day by day — never asked his chief of staff about what he'd done, or about the inconsistencies between what Cheney knew and the story Libby was telling.

Cheney's silence is especially hard to understand when we consider the media battering that Bush — his boss — was taking on this. When the president asked for a special counsel, would it not have been reasonable for Cheney, Bush's loyal No. 2, to call in the group that was working on the Wilson/Plame matter to check if any of them was responsible for the leak?

That Libby may have lied before the grand jury came as a surprise to most of us. But it was no surprise to Cheney. He knew full well that his aide was being disingenuous in telling a grand jury that he first learned about Plame from Tim Russert. Cheney knew because he knew that he was the one who had told him, not some journalist.

Once Cheney realized that his top aide may have committed perjury, did he call Libby to account? Demand an explanation? Press him on whether he was, in fact, the leak? And if he didn't, why not? Was his silence a signal that it was OK for Libby to continue to cover up his role?

It's just a hunch, but I'm guessing this is more deflection to insulate Bush from any accountability — just in case the investigation goes that far. But ironically, depending on which way the wind is blowing, and just how hard, it may do just the opposite. Or maybe, just maybe, they have realized defending this administration is a lost cause, and if they continue to shill, they will lose readership. We shall see.

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