Fortunately, the mainstream media are covering the Leaker-in-Chief story, but unfortunately and predictably, they are narrowly fixated on whether or not Bush broke one law concerning the presidential right to declassify intelligence. The media, as usual is slow on the uptake and misses several very crucial points. To name a few: Bush has consistently lied to the American people on many issues. The leak story is glaring proof of this administration's disingenuousness and willingness to do run rough shod over the Constitution to accomplish their political and ideological agenda. Bush has routinely misled both the Congress and Americans on Iraq, beginning with the phony rationale for going to war in the first place, to our being greeted as "liberators" to "mission accomplished," and you know the rest. Finally, according to a former federal investigator, Bush and Cheney did indeed break the law, the Rico law, (see post below on Mr. Greg Palast), by withholding crucial information from a grand jury investigation. I guess the mainstream media are still too fearful or in awe of the Bush people to do their jobs. Or maybe it is simply too difficult for the media to overcome 5 years of both complicit and tacit Bush cheerleading.
That being said, below are a few very interesting stories on the leak, Bush's fleeting power and Iraq. LS
THE LEAKER IN CHIEF
Michael Isikoff and Evan Thomas of Newsweek have written a great article for the April 17 edition entitled "The Leaker in Chief?" LS
NEWSWEEK ON "THE LEAKER IN CHIEF"
AN ADMINISTRATION OF STAGGERING FAILURE AND INCOMPETENCE
From the New York Times courtesy of THE HUFFINGTON POST
THE NYT: POWER IS FLEETING
TOP GOP OFFICIAL ARLEN SPECTER TELLS BUSH TO COME CLEAN WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON THE LEAK
(Don't hold your breath, Senator. LS)
SPECTER PUSHES BUSH FOR A LEAK EXPLANATION
NIGER EMBASSY IN ROME SAID TO HAVE FORGED DOCUMENTS ON IRAQ'S ACQUISTION OF URANIUM
I found this story via Raw Story.com. These forged documents were used by the Bush Administration to make a case for going to war with Iraq. When Wilson smelled a rat and went public with his first hand knowledge that Niger had not shipped uranium to Iraq, Bush authorized Libby to leak the fake intel to the press to both discredit Wilson and to mislead the American people. What a stand up guy our President is. LS
LONDON SUNDAY TIMES REPORTS NIGER EMBASSY IN ROME FORGED IRAQ WAR DOCUMENTS
WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS WERE DISPUTING VALIDITY OF INTELLIGENCE LEAKED BY BUSH
And, while Bush was busy authorizing Libby to leak exaggerated if not completely inaccurate information to the press, sources within the White House were disputing the validity of the intelligence among themselves. What a great group of leaders. Ken sent this great article from the New York Times today. LS
THE NEW YORK TIMES ON DISPUTED AND INFLATED INFORMATION ON IRAQ
BUSH - THE CRIMINAL IN CHIEF
This is a great article written by Mr. Greg Palast, a former investigator for the federal government, on Buzz Flash.com.
GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: LEAKY PRESIDENT RUNS AFOUL OF RICO LAW
It’s a crime. No kidding. But the media has it all wrong. As usual, 'Scooter' Libby finally outed 'Mr. Big,' the perpetrator of the heinous disclosure of the name of secret agent Valerie Plame. It was the President of United States himself -- in conspiracy with his Vice-President. 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.
If you or I had manipulated the legal system this way, we'd be breaking rocks on a chain gang. We wouldn't even get a trial -- most judges would consider this a "fraud upon the court" and send us to the slammer in minutes using the bench's power to administer instant punishment for contempt of the judicial system.
Why'd they do it? The White House junta did the deed for the most evil of motives: to hoodwink the public during the 2004 election campaign, to pretend that evil anti-Bush elements were undermining the Republic, when it was the Bush element itself at the center of the conspiracy. (Notably, elections trickery also motivated Richard Nixon's "plumbers" to break into the Watergate, then the Democratic Party campaign headquarters.)
Let me draft the indictment for you as I would have were I still a government gumshoe:
"Perpetrator Lewis Libby (alias, 'Scooter') contacted Miller; while John Doe 1 contacted perpetrators' shill at the Washington Post, Bob Woodward, in furtherance of a scheme directed by George Bush (alias 'The POTUS') and Dick Cheney (alias, 'The Veep') to release intelligence information fraudulently proffered as 'classified,' and thereinafter, knowingly withheld material evidence from a grand jury empanelled to investigate said disclosure. Furthermore, perpetrator 'The POTUS' made material statements designed to deceive investigators and knowingly misrepresent his state of knowledge of the facts."
Statements aimed at misleading grand jury investigators are hard-time offenses. It doesn't matter that Bush's too-clever little quip was made to the press and not under oath. I've cited press releases and comments in the New York Times in court as evidence of fraud. By not swearing to his disingenuous statement, Bush gets off the perjury hook, but he committed a crime nonetheless, "deliberate concealment."
Here's how the law works (and hopefully, it will). The Bush gang's use of the telephone in this con game constituted wire fraud. Furthermore, while presidents may leak ("declassify") intelligence information, they may not obstruct justice; that is, send a grand jury on a wild goose chase. Under the 'RICO' statute (named after the Edward G. Robinson movie mobster, 'Little Rico'), the combination of these crimes makes the Bush executive branch a "racketeering enterprise."
So, book'm, Dan-o. Time to read The POTUS and The Veep their rights.
After setting their bail (following the impeachments and removals, of course), a judge will have a more intriguing matter to address. The RICO law requires the Feds to seize all "ill-gotten gains" of a racketeering enterprise, even before trial. Usually we're talking fast cars and diamond bling. But in this case, the conspirators' purloined booty includes a stolen election and a fraudulently obtained authorization for war. I see no reason why a judge could not impound the 82d Airborne as "fruits of the fraud " -- lock, stock and gun barrels -- and bring the boys home.
And if justice is to be done we will also have to run yellow tape across the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue -- "CRIME SCENE - DO NOT ENTER" -- and return the White House to its rightful owners, the American people, the victims of this gangster government.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Former racketeering investigator Greg Palast is author of "ARMED MADHOUSE: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War," to be released in June. Subscribe to our new podcast of these columns at GREGPALASTMEDIA.RSS