Bush Leaks, Honestly
Bush's Search for Leakers Leads to His Mirror: Margaret Carlson [Bloomberg Op-Ed]
"The president wasn't unaware of the leaks; he was on top of them. And he isn't just a leaker, but a hypocritical one. He calls leakers of intelligence treasonous and vows to prosecute them. "My word! While it's easy to be fatigued by the polls that trace the downward trending of Pres. Bush from "I've got a mandate" and "I'm going to spend my political capital" to "I'm a lame duck", I'm still quite shocked by the bald impunity of actions such as these.
Margaret Colson goes on to muse about abuse of executive powers during a time of war: the president through secret fiat does not "leak" but rather selectively "declassifies" information so that an aide, through his vice president can share such information with a NY Times reporter. Unbelievable!
But, this is the same president who wiretaps without warrant and can hold prisoners indefinitely without charge. "It's all of a piece, " she writes. "Since Sept. 11, Bush has acted as if he can do anything he wants because we're at war. How extensive are his war powers and when do they end? When Osama's captured? When the Iraqi Army ``stands up''? Before his term ends? He doesn't say."
Meanwhile, we seem to still be doing his dirty work unwittingly, by reflecting on the ill-conceived war in Iraq and giving credence to the outlandish and also ill-advised sabre-rattling about military (including nuclear) options against Iran.
The NY Times today shared at least two different stories about the sagging tide of democratization in the Middle East and the radicalism of U.S. military options in Iran. While one may argue that there should be no misunderestimating here because we should be able to see this time around who this maverick is, I'd prefer to see it in these simple terms: A loss of credibility.
I think of the SNL caricature of Mr. Bush fumbling over the maxim: "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, you can't fool me again."
Credibility. And just plain stupidity.
- Democracy in the Arab World, a U.S. Goal, Falters (NY Times)
- Yes He Would (Paul Krugman, TimesSelect)*
- Leaker in Chief (Newsweek)
*Unfortunately, TimesSelect is a subscription service, so you may only be able to read the summary.