WikiLeaks Scoop: Bush Was Right

Those of us who were paying attention already knew this, but it’s always good to have more voices and revelations corroborating the same thing. From Larry Elder:

Wired magazine’s contributing editor Noah Shachtman — a nonresident fellow at the liberal Brookings Institution — researched the 400,000 WikiLeaked documents released in October. Here’s what he found: “By late 2003, even the Bush White House’s staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction (emphasis added). … Chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddam’s toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict — and may have brewed up their own deadly agents.”

In 2008, our military shipped out of Iraq — on 37 flights in 3,500 barrels — what even The Associated Press called “the last major remnant of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program”: 550 metric tons of the supposedly nonexistent yellowcake. The New York Sun editorialized: “The uranium issue is not a trivial one, because Iraq, sitting on vast oil reserves, has no peaceful need for nuclear power. … To leave this nuclear material sitting around the Middle East in the hands of Saddam … would have been too big a risk.”

Now the mainscream media no longer deem yellowcake — the WMD Bush supposedly lied about — a WMD. It was, well, old. It was degraded. It was not what we think of when we think of WMD. Really? Square that with what former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean said in April 2004: “There were no weapons of mass destruction.” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow goes even further, insisting, against the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that “Saddam Hussein was not pursuing weapons of mass destruction”!

Bush, hammered by the insidious “Bush Lied, People Died” mantra, endured one of the most vicious smears against any president in history. He is owed an apology.

When Hollywood makes “The Vindication of George W. Bush,” maybe Sean Penn can play the lead. 

Still doesn’t make Julian Assange any less of a cretinous wretch. Throw the book at him.

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Plame….Val Plame

I guess the Democrats aren’t satisfied with the likely imprisonment of Scooter Libby. Now we apparently have to milk this invented scandal for every bit of political expediency we can.

Valerie “007” Plame, wife of liberal hatchet-man Joe Wilson, testified before Congress today that she & her husband were victims of a White House smear campaign. Over at National Review’s Corner, they’ve been keeping track of the highlights. In particular, John Podhoretz notes:

“Valerie Plame Wilson has been testifying for an hour, and while it appears on a chart, the name of Richard Armitage — the actual person who actually leaked her identity to Robert Novak (and, a month earlier, to Bob Woodward) — has yet to be spoken. Scooter Libby’s name? Ten times.”

“Valerie Plame Wilson complained that Dick Cheney — the elected vice president of the United States — made an “unprecedented number of visits” to the CIA in the run-up to the Iraq war. She’s right. It’s shocking. Evidently, Cheney actually listened to the CIA.”

“This is what Valerie Plame Wilson just said about her husband’s trip: “I did not recommend him, I did not suggest him, I did not have the authority.” An officer serving under her was upset to have received an inquiry from the vice president’s office about yellowcake from Niger and evidently, while she was comforting that junior officer, some guy walked by her office and suggested her husband should go to Niger to check it out. She said she was ambivalent about the idea because she didn’t want to have to put her 2 year-old twins to bed by herself at night. Still, she and the guy who had just happened to walk by then went to her supervisor. Supervisor: Well, when you go home this evening, would you ask your husband to come in. Then her supervisor asked her to write an e-mail about the idea. She did so. That e-mail, she said, was the basis for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence claim that she had been responsible for sending her husband to Niger for the CIA. In other words, she didn’t recommend him or suggest him. Rather, it was a guy who walked by.”
Cliff May notes: “My friend the ex-CIA officer reminds me that, in addition to Valerie Plame’s new and very creative assertion that sending Joe Wilson to Niger was the idea of a guy who just happened to be strolling by her desk one day, there also is the fact that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found that the Wilson was known to the CIA because Plame had recommended him for an earlier mission. See attached excerpt.”
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Impressive, huh?

Most importantly, take a look at this PDF file—it’s the testimony of Victoria Toensing, who, as one of the key players in drafting the final version of the law in question on “outing” “covert agents,” knows this as well as anybody.

No crime was committed. You’d never know it from the media’s ominous headlines. Or the Democrats’ hysteria. Or the White House’s cowardice.

Pardon Scooter Libby

Charles Krauthammer analyzes the pathetic trial, spearheaded by a pathetic prosecutor, that ended in Scooter Libby’s conviction:

“There are lies and there are memory lapses. Bill Clinton denied under oath having sex with Monica Lewinsky. Unless you’re Wilt Chamberlain, sex is not the kind of thing you forget easily. Sandy Berger denied stuffing classified documents in his pants, an act not quite as elaborate as sex, but still involving a lot of muscle memory and unlikely to have been honestly forgotten.

“Scooter Libby has just been convicted of four felonies that could theoretically give him 25 years in jail for . . . what? Misstating when he first heard a certain piece of information, namely the identity of Joe Wilson’s wife.

“Think about that. Can you remember when you first heard the name Joe Wilson or Valerie Plame? Okay, so it is not a preoccupation of yours. But it was a preoccupation of many Washington journalists and government officials called to testify at the Libby trial, and their memories were all over the lot. Former presidential press secretary Ari Fleischer testified under oath that he had not told Post reporter Walter Pincus about Mrs. Wilson. Pincus testified under oath that Fleischer definitely had.

“Obviously, one is not telling the truth. But there is no reason to believe that either one is deliberately lying. Pincus and Fleischer are as fallible as any of us. They spend their days receiving and giving information. They can’t possibly be expected to remember not only every piece but precisely when they received every piece.
“Should Scooter Libby? He was famously multitasking a large number of national security and domestic issues, receiving hundreds of pieces of information every day from dozens of sources. Yet special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald chose to make Libby’s misstatements about the timing of the receipt of one piece of information — Mrs. Wilson’s identity — the great white whale of his multimillion-dollar prosecutorial juggernaut.
“Why? Because on his essential charge as special prosecutor — find and punish who had leaked Valerie Plame’s name — he had nothing. No conspiracy, no felony, no crime, not even the claim that she was a covert agent covered by the nondisclosure law. Fitzgerald knew the leaker from the very beginning. It was not Libby but Richard Armitage. He also knew that the ‘leak’ by the State Department’s No. 2 official — a fierce bureaucratic opponent of the White House, especially the vice president’s office — was an innocent offhand disclosure made to explain how the CIA had improbably chosen Wilson for a WMD mission. (He was recommended by his CIA wife.) Everyone agrees that Fitzgerald’s perjury case against Libby hung on the testimony of NBC’s Tim Russert. Libby said that he heard about Plame from Russert. Russert said he had never discussed it. The jury members who have spoken said they believed Russert.

“And why should they not? Russert is a perfectly honest man who would not lie. He was undoubtedly giving his best recollection.
“But he is not the pope. Given that so many journalists and administration figures were shown to have extremely fallible memories, is it possible that Russert’s memory could have been faulty?
“I have no idea. But we do know that Russert once denied calling up a Buffalo News reporter to complain about a story. Russert later apologized for the error when he was shown the evidence of a call he had genuinely and completely forgotten.
“There is a second instance of Russert innocently misremembering. He stated under oath that he did not know that one may not be accompanied by a lawyer to a grand jury hearing. This fact, in and of itself, is irrelevant to the case, except that, as former prosecutor Victoria Toensing points out, the defense had tapes showing Russert saying on television three times that lawyers are barred from grand jury proceedings.
“This demonstration of Russert’s fallibility was never shown to the jury. The judge did not allow it. He was upset with the defense because it would not put Libby on the stand — his perfect Fifth Amendment right — after hinting in the opening statement that it might. He therefore denied the defense a straightforward demonstration of the fallibility of the witness whose testimony was most decisive.

“Toensing thinks this might be the basis for overturning the verdict upon appeal. I hope so. This is a case that never should have been brought, originating in the scandal that never was, in search of a crime — violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act — that even the prosecutor never alleged. That’s the basis for a presidential pardon. It should have been granted long before this egregious case came to trial. It should be granted now without any further delay.”
Look up “travesty of justice” in the dictionary, and you’ll see a picture of Patrick Fitzgerald.
But the Democrats don’t care. Just when you thought the Party of Babykilling couldn’t come up with fresh ways to disgrace itself, they manage to come through. They’re glad Libby’s been nailed. After all, it makes the Bush Administration look bad. When chronicling the despicable double standard for political prosecutions (and how Republicans have been “gutless appeasers” in standing up to it) this week, Ann Coulter called this exactly what it is: “a surrogate for political warfare.” It’s official: the Democrat Party will send innocent people to jail for political gain. If this is not evil, what is?
Mr. President, you have been silent on this witch hunt against one of your own from Day 1. Still you’re silent. Why haven’t you pardoned Scooter Libby already? If you’re worried about your image (which would be disgraceful), can it—your reputation is in a shambles, and the only chance you have of salvaging any of it is to start showing true courage in your leadership.
There aren’t too many people on Capitol Hill who should feel proud of themselves these days.