Friday, April 07, 2006

The president would never...


Scotty McClellan: “The president would never authorize disclosure of information that could compromise our nation’s security.” Compromising Valerie Plame’s security is another matter entirely, though. I’m unclear on whether the case against Scooter Libby goes away if this is true. It certainly is true that the president has the authority to declassify information (so when Bush denounced people who “leak classified information,” he was speaking of an act that by definition he and he alone cannot do). But the Philip Agee act criminalizing the naming of CIA personnel is presumably another matter.

McClellan is still using that “can’t talk about things about which there is a legal proceeding” line, but usually it’s bullshit. Of course he shouldn’t try to influence the trial by saying “Scooter is totally innocent,” but here he claims that he can’t tell us the exact date that the NIE which Libby disclosed was declassified. That’s a simple factual datum, of course he can reveal it.

Ambassador Khalilzad admits that he is holding talks with insurgent groups, but not the really bad ones, just “people who are willing to accept this new Iraq, to lay down their arms, to co-operate in the fight against terrorists.” Now those are the people you want on your side, the ones who will lay down their arms and then fight terrorists, bare-handed, mano a mano, using nothing but the noble art of fisticuffs and the somewhat less noble art of bitch-slapping.

Another bombing of a Shiite mosque, the Buratha mosque in Baghdad, which has a well that can cure the sick. 51+ dead. The Baghdad city council is requesting that Iraqis donate blood. Preferably their own.

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