Although not a crime, both Libby and Rove falsely gave their personal assurance to President Bush and the public that they had nothing to do with the affair. It is now clear that the two had everything to do with the blowing of Plame’s cover.
And what does it say about the character of officials who would attempt to secretly punish an opponent’s spouse rather than openly defending their policy, in this case their stated reasons for going to war in Iraq?
No matter how their lawyers spin it, this is unacceptable behavior for high officials entrusted with national security secrets. If President Bush is serious about his often professed desire to get to the bottom of the Plame leak, he should demand the resignations of those who had any role in leaking her identity, regardless of whether they are indicted or convicted.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that the CIA operates secret prisons in eight countries. The network, the Post reported, spread after 9/11 and includes complexes in Thailand, Afghanistan and two “democracies in Eastern Europe.” More than 100 prisoners reportedly were funneled into secret detention camps.
The Washington Post story drew in part on accounts by CIA personnel who reportedly had grown weary of the moral and practical compromises secret detention creates. The officials’ concerns echo in a debate in the Senate, which is considering a $445 billion defense bill. One provision, which the Senate overwhelmingly passed, bans “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” of any detainee of the United States. But Vice President Dick Cheney insists that Congress exempt the CIA from this ban.
Ahhhhh, accounts. Otherwise known as leaks.
Funny how the wording can change on a dime like that.