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Paladin Elspeth
Bugging the White House about Valerie Plame

QUOTE(Salon.com The War Room)
As we reported Wednesday, Robert Novak said earlier this week that people should stop "bugging" him to reveal the name of the senior Bush administration official who first leaked Valerie Plame's identity to him. "I'm confident the president knows who the source is," Novak said during a speech in North Carolina. "I'd be amazed if he doesn't. So I say, 'Don't bug me. Don't bug Bob Woodward. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is.'"[emphasis mine]

Cue taken. According to the New York Daily News, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer has sent a letter to the White House in which he asks Bush to reveal the identity of Novak's first source. "You are in a position to clear this matter up quickly," Schumer writes. "Also, unlike Mr. Novak, who can claim an interest in maintaining the confidentiality of his sources, there is no similar privilege arguably preventing you from sharing such information."

<snip>

Hume didn't ask Bush whether he knew who the original Plame leaker was, but the subject did come up at the White House press briefing today. Asked about Novak's charge that Bush knows, Scott McClellan said: "I don't know what he's basing that on."


If you feel like making some comments, here are some questions:

Did you find the indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby a realistic outcome after so many months of investigations, or does he seem like a scrawny, "sacrificial lamb" offered up by a resistant administration?

Should the President be compelled, under oath, to divulge who is really involved in "Plamegate"?

Should the American public contract their members of Congress to compel the President to testify?

In your opinion, is the White House still deliberately hiding information? (Optional question: Should Bush's "Turd Blossom" Karl Rove be worried?)


(Edit: I've evidently forgotten some vital component in making a poll. I have PM'd both Mike and Jaime, and hopefully one of them will be able to straighten this out for me! blush.gif )
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Cube Jockey
Did you find the indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby a realistic outcome after so many months of investigations, or does he seem like a scrawny, "sacrificial lamb" offered up by a resistant administration?

I have an alternative thought on this. Libby isn't the person responsible for the leak and he also isn't a sacrificial lamb. He was indicted on charges of purjury and I believe something else similar because he did in fact lie to investigators and I'm sure that Fitzgerald and his folks will hope to use those charges to compel him to reveal more information about this case.

I look at this like a big mafia trial, you get the little guys to flip on smaller charges so you can catch the boss.

Fitzgerald hasn't given any indication from his press releases and press conferences that this investigation is over or that he has made his last indictment. I'm sure he has a theory of the crime that includes people more powerful than Libby and he is working to find the truth.

It is my opinion that the real leaker was someone who is part of the "White House Iraq Group (WHIG)" and others may be damaged with conspiracy charges up to and including Cheney. Wikipedia describes WHIG as:
QUOTE
The White House Iraq Group (aka, White House Information Group or WHIG) was the marketing arm of the Republican Party whose purpose was to sell the 2003 invasion of Iraq to the public. The task force was set up in August 2002 by White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and chaired by Karl Rove to coordinate all the executive branch elements in the run-up to the war in Iraq. One example of the WHIG's functions and influence is the "escalation of rhetoric about the danger that Iraq posed to the U.S., including the introduction of the term 'mushroom cloud'"[1].

Similar in name and function, was the 1967 White House Information Group under President Lyndon B. Johnson.


Some of the activities these people were responsible for was the sabotage of anyone in the administration or otherwise that criticized the war before or during the invasion. Joe Wilson would certainly fall into that category and would have made their radar so it is very logical to suggest this group might be behind the whole thing.

Time will tell what Fitzgerald can actually prove but I personally don't think Libby is the end of it.

Should the President be compelled, under oath, to divulge who is really involved in "Plamegate"?

I don't think that he can be, the President is protected by executive privilege. Once again wikipedia has a good writeup:
QUOTE
Executive privilege is a claim asserted by the President of the United States and other members of the executive branch to justify withholding of documents and information from other branches of government. As Presidents since George Washington and Thomas Jefferson have argued, the separation of powers embodied in the United States Constitution implies that each branch will be permitted to operate within limits free to some degree from the control or supervision of the other.


Now whether that is right or not is a different story. Nixon tried to use this during his presidency but it took the Supreme Court to rule on it before he was forced to comply. I'm not sure if the information Bush may or may not have is serious enough to justify this.

Should the American public contract their members of Congress to compel the President to testify?
I'd certainly encourage everyone to put pressure on their Congressmen and Congresswomen about this issue, it may not ultimately result in Bush being forced to testify but it will certainly show Congress that the American people will no longer tolerate this kind of behavior. The corruption being exposed in our government right now is simply astounding.

It also, of course, makes for good political ammunition since the President claimed he'd fire whoever the leaker is and he clearly hasn't fired anyone.

In your opinion, is the White House still deliberately hiding information?
I'm certain they are, but what I think isn't very important in this situation. What is important is what Fitzgerald can prove. I don't think he has enough to make anything stick to the person ultimately responsible, but I do think he has enough to charge other people and compel them to reveal what they know. That seems to be the strategy he is using.
Ol Sarge
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Dec 15 2005, 07:25 PM)
If you feel like making some comments, here are some questions:

Did you find the indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby a realistic outcome after so many months of investigations, or does he seem like a scrawny, "sacrificial lamb" offered up by a resistant administration?

Should the President be compelled, under oath, to divulge who is really involved in "Plamegate"?

Should the American public contract their members of Congress to compel the President to testify?

In your opinion, is the White House still deliberately hiding information? (Optional question: Should Bush's "Turd Blossom" Karl Rove be worried?)



*


I thought the entire episode was a farce to support Nancy P's assumption the Republican Party is a party of corruption. Libby will skate....

I think the president did already testify for about an hour under oath on the issue according to Brit Hume on this evenings news cast.

I thought this site was above such terminology as Should Bush's "Turd Blossom" Karl Rove be worried?

Your questions seem to rank right down there with mine on my post Call me insensitive....

Actually I'm not that sensitive so you can call me insensitive...

The question I would add is since Robert Novack broke the news on "Plamegate" so did the prosecution question him? If not why? Why is Robert not in jail if he didn't cooperate? Did Bob tell the prosecutor what broke today?


Edited to add comments in green.
Paladin Elspeth
QUOTE(Ol Sarge)
I thought this site was above such terminology as Should Bush's "Turd Blossom" Karl Rove be worried?

I was just quoting our born-again President. When President Bush changes his nickname for Karl to a more acceptable one, I will use it. thumbsup.gif

This is a "PG"-type site, but if any readers found offensive my "leaking" the President's nickname of (arguably) his best "asset," please accept my apologies. innocent.gif

Cube Jockey, I suspect that you are right about using little fish to get the bigger one(s). Maybe Libby is more "chum" than "sacrificial lamb".

But I suspect Bob Novak is right, that President Bush is aware of who it is who leaked the information. That's probably why he backpedaled on the statement that he would fire whoever had done it.

Edit: I am sure that Bob Novak sang like a bird, unlike a couple of other journalists, while he was being deposed. But I also do not know what tune he sang.
Ol Sarge
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Dec 15 2005, 11:21 PM)
QUOTE(Ol Sarge)
I thought this site was above such terminology as Should Bush's "Turd Blossom" Karl Rove be worried?

I was just quoting our born-again President. When President Bush changes his nickname for Karl to a more acceptable one, I will use it. thumbsup.gif

This is a "PG"-type site, but if any readers found offensive my "leaking" the President's nickname of (arguably) his best "asset," please accept my apologies. innocent.gif

Cube Jockey, I suspect that you are right about using little fish to get the bigger one(s). Maybe Libby is more "chum" than "sacrificial lamb".

But I suspect Bob Novak is right, that President Bush is aware of who it is who leaked the information. That's probably why he backpedaled on the statement that he would fire whoever had done it.

Edit: I am sure that Bob Novak sang like a bird, unlike a couple of other journalists, while he was being deposed. But I also do not know what tune he sang.
*


Paladin Elspeth I apologize for not having known that was Karl Rove's nickname; it appears you are well educated on Karl, the president and that circle of people.

If the president and Robert Novak both were interviewed under oath then I don't see the news of this recent release by Novak?

Let's just assume then it was General Collin Powel that accidentally leaked the socialite's name and the prosecutor couldn't just shut down the investigation. The whole scandal was silly since it was created to support Nancy P’s talking points and to remind the Senate Minority Leader to take his high blood pressure medicine.
AuthorMusician
I don't have a clue.

Plamegate is just another example of rampant corruption in our government. What is much more important to the American public is whether the President says Merry Holidays or Happy Christmas.

huh.gif

'Cept that ain't true. Can't even say nice try because it is pathetic.

So Novak thinks he's being bugged. Oh well, irrational paranoia isn't anything new to the right wing. But wait, the left wing has this problem too from the FBI and other law enforcement organizations that watch the masses. Gee, you'd think we live in a totalitarian country with all this watching of each other going on.

1984 was 21 years ago. Anyone surprised? I am, sort of. Just when you think the turd blossom can't stink any worse, it surprises me. Maybe I'm entering the stage of aging where all things seem new again.

My clueless position causes me to suspect the worst. They are all turd blossoms. I don't see workable alternatives out there either. Maybe we need an election.

Oh, wait. We tried that a couple of times. Seems we are in a canoe without a paddle on a certain creek.

Happy Merry!
nebraska29
Did you find the indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby a realistic outcome after so many months of investigations, or does he seem like a scrawny, "sacrificial lamb" offered up by a resistant administration?

QUOTE
Should the President be compelled, under oath, to divulge who is really involved in "Plamegate"?


If he knows, then yes, it would be the right thing to do. He claims to be a man of moral scruples and high ethics. If he truly represented those values, he would be very honest and upfront about it. Not only that, but he's made enough speeches along the lines of "getting down to the bottom of the issue" that if he were truly interested in that, he would say something. He either knows nothing about the issue, which is why he ordered everyone else to comply with the investation, or he is lying. ermm.gif

QUOTE
Should the American public contract their members of Congress to compel the President to testify?


I don't know if this would work or if Congress would really have the guts to compel the president to speak out about what he knew and when he knew it. I really don't see such an effort workign at all, though it would probably force him to address the topic in public more-it certainly wouldn't hurt.

QUOTE
In your opinion, is the White House still deliberately hiding information? (Optional question: Should Bush's "Turd Blossom" Karl Rove be worried?)


Is the negative nickname for Rove truly necessary? sad.gif I do believe that they are balking when it comes to being honest about the issue. He claimed that he would fire anyone remotely involved in it, and it's clear that Libby was gabbing with reporters and the man perjured himself. That alone, especially on the president's moral values of not lying, should can Libby. It seems that when members of the administration are investigated on this that rather than throw these guys out or isolate htem, they wrap around them and defend them. What gives with that? ermm.gif wacko.gif

Paladin Elspeth
QUOTE
Is the negative nickname for Rove truly necessary?

Probably not. But when it comes to the President, I become iconoclastic. This man campaigned on bringing values to the White House after Clinton's hanky panky. This man invokes God as easily as he breathes when making speeches before hand-picked audiences for nationally-broadcast soundbites. This man, until recently, was the Religious Right's poster child.

This man, just yesterday, revealed that he authorized the NSA spying on our own citizens, claiming that it was lawful. (We'll see about that.) Under this man's administration, American citizens are being held indefinitely without being charged with a crime (What happened to writ of habeas corpus?) Bush cares more about expediency than our personal liberties in a nation reputed to be a democracy.

In summary, I am all for exposing George Walker Bush for who and what he is. He certainly deserves neither the aura of religious virtue nor the pedestal some try to put him on. I'm sorry you asked that question, because I felt compelled to answer, and that takes it off the topic of the thread.

But to bring it back on topic: When George W. Bush as President said that he would fire anyone involved with the outing of a CIA agent (which carries the consequence of endangering the agent's contacts), he should have done so. Either he is one of the stupidest, most uninformed Chief Executives we have ever had, or he is devious while cunningly hiding in a cloak of stupidity--take your choice. For a born-again man, Bush's moral relativism is a real contradiction.

If Bush is holding back the identity and protecting the one who outed Plame as a cheap form of revenge for former ambassador Wilson's debunking of the Niger yellowcake document, he should be made to testify to the Congress, in open session, what he knows. And maybe somebody can soften him up with the "non-torture" they allegedly use with persons of interest. After all, isn't Bush the "First Citizen"? What's good for us should be good for him as well, and isn't it claimed that those interrogated "the U.S. way" aren't damaged by the interrogation techniques?

And they talked about "Slick Willy..." At least Bill's fellatio sessions with Monica, and not violation of our privacy, were his crime. When sexual misconduct with a consenting adult on company time is perceived by Americans as more damaging to the country than willfully violating the privacy of our citizens and protecting a staff member who blew a CIA agent's cover, something is definitely wrong with this picture. mad.gif
Curmudgeon
QUOTE(Ol Sarge @ Dec 15 2005, 09:39 PM)
I thought this site was above such terminology as Should Bush's "Turd Blossom" Karl Rove be worried? 
*

QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Dec 17 2005, 07:39 AM)
Is the negative nickname for Rove truly necessary? sad.gif  
*

hmmm.gif Is the term really negative or derogatory? Some things seem to be common knowledge, and then I am totally surprised by hearing them questioned. So, I tried a simple Google search for "Turd Blossom" and I found there were 85,400 links such as:

QUOTE
Oh yeah, he's a man who compromised national security, putting lives of American agents in danger. Wait, I forgot a word there. What was it? Oh, I remember! Allegedly.

<snip>

In a high point of Time Magazine's history of powerful journalistic coverage, a 2001 report revealed that George W. Bush's pet name for Rove is "Turd Blossom."

A biography of Karl Rove

And a campaign 2004 article in a British publication about Karl Rove:

QUOTE
Bush's other nickname for the Boy Genius is "Turd Blossom" - a Texanism for a flower that blooms from cattle excrement.
The Guardian, March 9, 2004

Google found only 85,400 references spread over a period of 4 or 5 years, and not all of them were stories in American publications; so Rove's nickname may not be as common knowledge as I thought.

Back on topic...

Optional question: Should Bush's "Turd Blossom" Karl Rove be worried?

In a fictional world, Superman defended "Truth, Justice, and The American Way." In a real world, my 12 year old daughter exploded at a CNN report that the President had authorized the NSA to read e-mails. "NO WAY!" She shouted. "My e-mails are only meant to be read by the person that I am sending them to!" Then I heard congressmen saying that the President is not above the law, simply because his advisors are telling him that his actions are legal...

Perhaps there is hope yet that Congress will develop a spine and say that search warrants need to be approved by judges and courts, not the President. If the President were impeached before he issued a blanket pardon for Karl Rove, a real investigation into the source of the leak might be able to focus on the nation's no. 1 "person of interest."
Paladin Elspeth
In your opinion, is the White House still deliberately hiding information?

Yes, I do I think Robert Novak is right about the President knowing just who outed Ms. Plame and the White House putting up as many barriers as possible to getting at the truth. Otherwise, why would Bush initially say that if he found out who did it, he would "fire" the person, only to back off from that sentiment after the investigation got underway?
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