Pick Wayne's Brain

June 2, 2008

Scott of the Anti-Architect

Scott McClellan has finally published his tell-all book, “What Happened”. The reaction from the White House was, predictably, well-organized and “on message”. If you’ve been watching any of the coverage since McClellan’s first appearance on the Today Show, you know that the White House was both “puzzled” and “sad”. And, apparently, aliens have taken over Scott McClellan’s body because, almost to a person, they all said, “This is not the Scott I knew.” I’ve got news for them. It’s not the Scott we knew, either.

I do want to thank McClellan for, once and for for all, publicly revealing what we all knew, but which the White House refused to acknowledge that they knew, and that is that Karl Rove, “The Architect”, was heavily involved in the leaking of Valerie Plame’s name to the press, for the sole purpose of discrediting her husband, who truthfully reported that the “famous sixteen words” had no basis in fact. One of the motivations for McClellan leaving the White House was the way in which he was used by them to perpetuate a falsehood. President Bush had plainly told everyone that anyone in his administration who leaked classified information would no longer be a part of his administration. [Check out the Sept 29, 2003 Press Briefing. It’s notable for two things: 1) The amount of misinformation regarding the leaking of Valerie Plame’s name, including the reluctance to admit that she was, in fact, covert; and 2) the announcement of the president signing the “Do Not Call” bill. If you’ll recall, this was the legislation begged for by most Americans (except the telemarketing industry, of course), but it was ruled by a federal judge that the FCC did not have the legal authority to enforce it. Congress remedied that by passing legislation granting them that authority in one day! Congress can move fast when they want to.] And yet when it became apparent that Karl Rove was definitely “involved”, the White House argument for keeping him on seemed to revolve around the idea that no one could prove he was lying about hearing her name from Tim Russert, so he must not have done anything wrong. And when it became known that Vice President Cheney was also involved, it was more and more obvious that McClellan was being sent out there every day to lie to the press. Even Cheney reportedly expressed disapproval over the fact that his guy, Scooter Libby, was being left out to hang while Rove walked away totally free of even charges being filed against him, when they all knew that he lied. They knew because they told him to. McClellan says he wanted to believe in his friend, George Bush, and that’s why he refused to see what was happening. But with these revelations, maybe they can finally nail Karl Rove, and put the Architect behind bars once and for all. Preferably, a maximum security, federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. Rove deserves no less.

But this what happens when we allow a president to require loyalty to himself above loyalty to the Constitution and to the Nation. Everyone who works for the government, at any level, in any capacity, must take an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, including the president of the United States. To require that all administration employees (whose salaries are paid for by the taxpayers, let us not forget) put loyalty to the president above loyalty to their oaths of office is not only reprehensible, it is impeachable. Of course, try proving that. All the circumstantial evidence in the world (including the way the White house rips apart the integrity of anyone saying anything that is against the official White House version of the truth) will not convince some people that the man is a habitual liar. And a bad one at that. He seems to keep forgetting about the existence of easily portable video and audio recording systems.

But what I want to know is, what about Richard Armitage? Why is he still roaming around free? Richard Armitage, it turns out was the first administration official to tell Bob Novak that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. Supposedly, Armitage was not a part of the Cheney-Libby-Rove side of the government, so it is not generally believed he did it on orders from Cheney (like Libby anfd Rove did). He told prosecutors that his revelation that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA was “inadvertent” and Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald decided not to prosecute him. This was, again supposedly, because Armitage didn’t know that her status was covert. (But I’m sure Rove and Libby did.) Still, intentional or not, Armitage revealed something he was not supposed to do, and I find the reasons for his remaining free unacceptable. In the end, he tried to excuse himself by claiming that he is “a notorious gossip.” Now, if this is true, I have one question: Why was Richard Armitage ever given a security clearance in the first place, if he was “a notorious gossip”? Gossips are, with good reason, often deemed a “security risk”. It makes no difference how dedicated Richard Armitage is to Republican politics, he has no business being around classified information if he can’t keep his mouth shut. And if they want to argue that he would know enough not to reveal anything to foreigners, I would say: How do you know he wasn’t overheard by a foreigner? And why is it okay that he would keep secrets from foreigners but still reveal classified information to Americans? This whole thing still stinks.

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