Saturday, April 8, 2006

Time to support our president!

Stepping out of character, I’d like to pause for a moment of support for our president. Back in 2003, he was in denial about the possibility of someone in his Whitehouse leaking information about Valerie Plame. If it did happen, he’d be outraged, he indicated, and there would be consequences – implying that people would be fired and possibly indicted.

I fully support our president in following through on that pledge. Here, courtesy of CNN, is a timeline of events:

January 28, 2003

With a U.S. invasion of Iraq looming, President Bush tells the nation in his State of the Union speech that, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

July 6

Nearly three months after the fall of Baghdad, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson writes in The New York Times that he investigated the Niger uranium report for the CIA in 2002 and found it "highly doubtful" such a transaction could have occurred.

July 8

Bush approved the release of the information about Joseph Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, 10 days before the White House said the information was declassified.

July 14

Syndicated columnist and CNN "Crossfire" co-host Robert Novak writes that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA operative and suggested sending him to Niger. Novak cites "two senior administration officials" for the report.

July 18

McClellan told reporters "this information was just, as of today, officially declassified."

September 26

At the CIA's request, the Justice Department launches a criminal probe into the leak of Plame's identity. A 1982 law makes knowingly disclosing the identity of a covert agent a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

September 30

Bush says he welcomes the investigation and is outraged that someone would leak information. Bush tells reporters, "I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take appropriate action."

October 28, 2005

Fitzgerald announces that he has indicted Libby on five counts: One of obstruction of justice, and two each of perjury and making false statements. Libby immediately resigns.

April 6, 2006

Documents released this week by prosecutors in a CIA leak case contained an assertion by I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's former chief of staff, that Bush approved the release of information from a classified national intelligence estimate in 2003.

Mr. Bush, by all means, hold those guilty accountable. Fire them. Send them to jail. Live up to your word.

Everyone behind me in supporting the president in this matter of national security?


Marty said...

You betcha. Only problem is, this president has never lived up to his word. I don't expect him to start now.

Pam in Tucson said...

Nicely researched timeline, Dan. You can add my name to your movement.

Dr. Mike Kear said...

I'm behind you, Dan. Let's support our president in this effort!

Dan Trabue said...

Look at all the patriots stepping up! Where are all those Bush haters who'd not support our president in this matter?

Greg said...

Constitutional Authority to Declassify=No Leak.
No Leak= No Crime
The President has Constitutional Authority to Declassify.
Therefore the President has not committed a crime.
Pretty simple, really.

This from a NY POST article:

The president has the legal power to declassify information, and Mr. Libby indicated in his testimony that the president’s decision — which he said was conveyed through Mr. Cheney — gave him legal cover to pass on information contained in a National Intelligence Estimate.

And this "leak" wasn't a leak in any case. A "leak" is the unauthorized release of government information. The leak of classified information is a crime. But according to Scooter Libby, the former chief of staff to the vice president who gave the information from the NIE to a reporter, he only released it because he was authorized to do so by the president himself.

Constitutionally, the authority to declare documents "classified" resides with the president. So, under the terms of an executive order first drafted in 1982, he can declassify a document merely by declaring it unclassified.

The language of the executive order reads as follows: "Information shall be declassified or downgraded by the official who authorized the original classification, if that official is still serving in the same position . . . [or] a supervisory official." In the executive branch, the president is the ultimate "supervisory official."

Read More Here:

Dr. Mike Kear said...

I'm reading a book right now about passion week based on the Gospel of Mark. The authors point out that as Jesus was processing in from the Mount of Olives surrounded by peasants and riding a colt, Pontius Pilate was processing in from the west with an imperial entourage. "Jesus' procession proclaimed the kingdom of God; Pilate's proclaimed the power of empire. The two processionals embody the central conflict of the week that led to Jesus' crucifixion."

I would posit that this same senario is playing out in our nation today.

There are many religious people who believe that George W. Bush and his doctrine of empire is the kingdom to which they should bow the knee. They see the President in a messianic light and America as the chosen nation. Others believe that Christ with His Gospel and His Kingdom is the only deity to which a believer should bend the knee. This conflict may well have the same kind of outcome it did in the early Church. It certainly contains the same questions: Who is lord? Is Caesar lord? Or is Jesus Lord?

The world cannot be expected to believe a gospel which justifies lying, stealing, and killing in the name of God. Until the evangelical right wakes up from their somnambulant Bush worship and returns to the focus and teaching of the Holy Bible, no one should be expected to believe a word they say. Culture is not lord. Bush is not lord. DeLay is not lord. Jesus is Lord!

We need a fresh reformation in this country. We need a revival of biblical purity and focus. We need to look once again at the Red Letters. We need to pull our glazed eyes from the political powerbrokers and look to Him who alone is Lord, King, and God.

Dan Trabue said...

Amen and amen, Mike.

Welcome to Paynehollow, Greg.

for the record, I never said anything about crimes (although I fully believe some were committed). All I said is that I support what Bush said three years ago when he promised consequences to the people who leaked Plame's name.

Bush was the one calling for action. I merely support that call.

Greg said...

Ok. But if the President released the information it legally consists of a declassification and declassiied information can't be leaked. So... no leak.

At least that's my understanding of the law. I could be wrong. If I am, I'm willing to listen?

Dan Trabue said...

So Greg, given what the president said and giving him the benefit of the doubt that he didn't break any laws, do you think that he lied or merely misled the nation when he pretended to want to bring to justice the person responsible for releasing the names, when he knew all along it was himself?

And, assuming you think it's okay, why?

Greg said...

Well sure. If he knew all along it was himself and he acted like he didn't know who did it that certainly constitutes deception. And if preacticed deception he ought to suffer the consequences in some way. What is the most disturbing to me is if the release of the woman's identity was done for political gain. Which seems like it is probably the case. Well, then that sucks. I might be tempted to cut the president slightly more slack if the release of information and susbsequent deception was "necessary" for a time due to matters of national security or whatever. You know the whole concept of "spies and espionage" is based on deception, so I'm not sure how you could really interact in that world at all without moral culpability. But I'm also not sure i think the US should be completely out of the espionage business.

One thing is for sure: Things are not as they ought to be.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, now yer talking!

Anonymous said...

I have read enough of Mike Kear's and Bruce's posts to detect a sense of awe and reverence that they pay to the Democrat party and anything that they deem "good causes" as being next to "holy". I'm a former Democrat myself so this is not political on my part, but the blindness exhibited by some people toward anything and everything that Democrats do is breath taking.

Dan Trabue said...

Hey Marilyn,

Perhaps you haven't followed Mike and others' comments closely enough. Amongst the more progressive voices that I hear here (Mike included), there is near universal contempt for the Dems we have in office.

They lack the spine to stand up to a warmongering, law-breaking president and we hold them responsible for the mess we're in as well.

Having said that, we do tend to think that the Republicans currently in charge are not merely contemptible, we think they're dangerous to US ideals and to the world at large.

So, it might make some sense that you tend to hear more against the Republicans than you do against the Dems, given our position (whether you agree with it or not - if that is our position, then clearly we must stand up to the greater evil).

And I say this as a former Republican who recognizes plenty of blindness to go around.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dan Trabue said...

Marilyn, I reckon the larger question I have is: Will the right hold Bush accountable for lies/deceptions? The Dems awful-ness does not give Bush a green light to lie, does it?

Marty said...

The only blindness around here is in those who continue to support George Bush. I agree, Dan, there is no love of democrats here, at Emmaus, or at Mainstream. If Bush were a democrat, we would all still feel the same way. It's not his political affiliation that we're against, it's his lies and deceit.

Dan Trabue said...

Thank you for the testimony, Sister Marty! Can I get a witness?!

Dr. Mike Kear said...

Wow. I don't think I've ever been the subject of controversy on someone else's blog before. I'm honored (I think) ;)

Franklin Graham recently said that his dad, the Rev. Billy Graham is a "yellow dog democrat." Now, for those of you who don't know what that means, a yellow dog democrat is a person who, if the candidates are a qualified republican and a yellow dog who happens to be a democrat, will vote for the yellow dog.

I personally am not as democratic as Billy Graham. When I went to the polls in 2004 I voted for qualified people from both major parties (and one libertarian who lost big time).

My rant above did not mention republicans as a party, simply a couple of bad apples. There are several high ranking republicans that I like and have a lot of respect for, even when I don't always agree with them. There are bad apples in every party. There are some decrocrats that, should I see them walking up the street towards me, I would cross to the other side.

Anyway, they say that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Since the GOP has the power in every branch of government, the corruption is lop-sided right now. So, in speaking truth to power, that spoken truth may appear to be lop-sided as well. But that isn't the intention.

My main objective in pointing out corrupt politicians isn't really even political. It's religious. I was amazed when preachers and churches excused Clinton's infidelity and lies. I yelled. Loudly and often. And now I am amazed that evangelical and fundamentalist Christians seemingly cannot distinguish between the Great Commission and the Bushian political agenda. For me, it boils down to, not which party you belong to, but which Lord.



Wasp Jerky said...

Actually, Greg, this makes the President's crimes far worse. As Greg Palast recently noted:

"Now the pundits are arguing over whether our war-a-holic President had the legal right to leak this national security information. But, that's a fake debate meant to distract you.

OK, let's accept the White House alibi that releasing Plame's identity was no crime. But if that's true, they've committed a BIGGER crime: Bush and Cheney knowingly withheld vital information from a grand jury investigation, a multimillion dollar inquiry the perps themselves authorized. That's akin to calling in a false fire alarm or calling the cops for a burglary that never happened -- but far, far worse. Let's not forget that in the hunt for the perpetrator of this non-crime, reporter Judith Miller went to jail.

Think about that. While Miller sat in a prison cell, Bush and Cheney were laughing their sick heads off, knowing the grand jury testimony, the special prosecutor's subpoenas and the FBI's terrorizing newsrooms were nothing but fake props in Bush's elaborate charade, Cheney's Big Con.

On February 10, 2004, our not-so-dumb-as-he-sounds President stated, "Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing. ...And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it."

Notice Bush's cleverly crafted words. He says he can't name anyone who leaked this "classified" info -- knowing full well he'd de-classified it. Far from letting Bush off the hook, it worsens the crime. For years, I worked as a government investigator and, let me tell you, Bush and Cheney withholding material information from the grand jury is a felony. Several felonies, actually: abuse of legal process, fraud, racketeering and, that old standby, obstruction of justice.

Greg said...

If that's the case, then then he should be prosecuted, in my opinion. If that means impeachment, then so be it.

Recently, there has been info that says Bush & Cheney didn't release the info.

Now who knows if it is accurate info or not? I've made a determinied effort to be less cynical in general and to give everybody the benefit of the doubt from now on. Ironically I made this determination not based on any thing political or even explcitily "relgious". Rather, I made the decision based on my increasing distaste for and alarm over epistemological hermeneutics of suspicion and postmodern critical theory ala derida and foucault, etc.

I found that even as a Christian I was esentially approaching all of lilfe (texts, etc) with the same hermeneutical suspicion as the post-whaetever derrida and foucault guys. A Chrsitian should have a disticntively Christian way of approaching all of life inculding texts and hermeneutics, etc.

See Kevin VanHoozer's "Is there Meaning in this Text?" and his argument for a hermeneutic based on Augustine's principle of charity. I am becoming a different person for it.