Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bush learns from Clinton on Plamegate

Maybe it's all presidents who do it. President Bush in his press conference today used the old time-dishonored tactic when somebody brought up Plamegate, the leak of CIA employee Valerie Plame's name when her husband, Joe Wilson, criticized the administration for hinting that Saddam had been aggressively pursuing "yellowcake" uranium in Niger when former ambassador Wilson had been sent on a trip by the CIA and had decided it wasn't true.

Bush has previously said he might discuss the case, and the pretty much undisputed fact that members of his administration, including the sainted Karl Rove, had leaked Plame's employment (I'm still not sure whether she was undercover enough to have been covered by an anti-disclosure-of-name statute or not, though I would be surprised if she wasn't) after the case had run its legal course. With Scooter Libby's sentence commuted, that's happened, but Bush skipped the discussion step and went directly to the "that's old news, let's put it behind us" ploy. Clinton was a master of this technique, but it's obvious enough.

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