Friday, February 10, 2006

Blow Back Mounting

[Let's see if Matthews and Imus can make some on-air chit chat jokes about these little items]

It is always fascinating when disgraced former administration officials finally have had enough of playing patsy for the White House and wend their ways back into the headlines with whistleblowing on their lips and vengence in their hearts. That always makes for a good show.

Interestingly, two such officials have popped up in the headlines today. Former FEMA bumpkin, Michael Brown and Cheney's sword-faller, Scooter Libby, have both apparently decided that they just won't take it anymore. Brown is now assuming the claim that had been previously noted by many administration critics, that FEMA efficacy had been subverted by the DHS in favour of focusing on terrorism:
Brown also told senators that decisions and policies by the parent Homeland Security Department doomed FEMA to "a path to failure" that led to the government's slow response to the storm. He said that because of a focus on terrorism, natural disasters "had become the stepchild of the Department of Homeland Security."

In an appearance before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee that blended an atmosphere of both cooperation and confrontation, Brown went far further than he had previously in blaming other elements of the Bush administration for the government's halting reaction to the massive storm.

And Libby, oh this is good, has come forth to say that, as any realist knew or strongly suspected, it was Cheney who authorised the leak of Valerie Plame's CIA identity:

Libby had testified to a federal grand jury that Cheney and other White House "superiors" had "authorized" him in mid-2003 to leak classified information to defend the administration's prewar intelligence assertions in making the case to go to war with Iraq.

Libby also argued that Cheney authorized him to release details of the classified National Intelligence Estimate....

Though the Plame leak is not strictly mentioned, this statement actually reveals that more, and probably much more, classified information was leaked than just Plame's identity. And with Libby's claims, there now exists testimony that the vice president, the man who has howled that it is the Bush administration that knows best how to protect America, has leaked classified information for their own desperate purposes. This would be the same administration that claimed leaking classified information about the NSA program was a treasonous act. Well, Dick, just when is leaking classified nformation okay and when isn't it?

Of course, almost anyone critical of this administration was perfectly expecting that it was Cheney who had orchestrated the Plame leak. Now there is confirmation from a man who was thought to be a Bush/Cheney loyalist through and through. Looks like the White House is going to have to recalibrate their petard-hoisting strategy, for it now looks like even the loyalists are reconsidering the wisdom of their affiliations with these dark-hearted buggars.

Of the two blowback stories, the Cheney/Libby edition obviously has the potential for the most fireworks. Brown is simply blaming the big bad Department for all his failings; nothing new there. But I await with bated breath to hear what Cheney is going to say to this.

Man, oh man, this is going to be good.


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