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Left and Right Hypocrisy

I heard two snatches of rantings by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity today who were worked into a froth over the lack of progress in setting up a proper investigation into the national security leaks from senior Obama staffers. Both men made the same idiotic point:

CALLER: Mega dittos, Mr. Limbaugh. Hey, it is an interesting contrast between the way the Obama administration is handling these leaks as opposed to how the Bush administration handled the outing of Valerie Plame.

RUSH: That is interesting, isn’t it? Valerie Plame, which was not a leak, everybody knew where it came from. It was Richard Armitage over at Colin Powell’s office, titular head of the Republican Party. Richard Armitage leaked Valerie Plame’s name to Bob Novak, and somehow Scooter Libby went to prison for it. They demanded a special prosecutor get to the bottom of this, oh, this was a profound security leak. Poor Valerie Plame, yes, she was a CIA agent and an operative, and it was horrible, and they leaked her name. It was Armitage. He never paid a price. They wanted Bush for this. They wanted Karl Rove. I’m glad you reminded me of that. Valerie Plame. And there wasn’t even a leak. Everybody knew who had done it and yet we needed a special prosecutor.

Rush and Sean cannot be this damn ignorant. Can they?

Valerie was an undercover officer from the day she walked into the CIA back in September 1985. She, along with every other member of our Career Trainee Class, were undercover.

But don’t take my word for it. Read what Stephen Kappes, the CIA’s Deputy Director, provided in a sworn affadavit:

5. On 1 January 2002, Valerie Wilson was working for the CIA as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations (DO). She was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) at CIA Headquarters, where she served as the chief of a CPD component with responsibility for weapons proliferation issues related to Iraq.

6. While assigned to CPD, Ms. Wilson engaged in temporary duty (TDY) travel overseas on official business. She traveled at least seven times to more than ten countries. When traveling overseas, Ms. Wilson always traveled under a cover identity–sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias–BUT ALWAYS USING COVER–whether official or non-official cover (NOC)–with no ostensible relationship to the CIA.

7. At the time of the initial unauthorized disclosure in the media of Ms. Wilson’s employment relationship with the CIA on 14 July 2003, Ms. Wilson WAS A COVERT CIA EMPLOYEE for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States. . . .

11. In October 2005, the CIA, exercising its discretion under section 3.1(b) of the Executive Order, determined that the public interest in the disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s employment and cover status for a specified period of time outweighed the damage to national security that might reasonably be expected from disclosure. Accordingly, the CIA lifted and rolled back Ms. Wilson’s cover effective 1 January 2002 and declassified the fact of her CIA employment and cover status from that date forward.

12. This determination means that the CIA declassified and now publicly acknowledges the previously classified fact that Ms. Wilson was a CIA employee from 1 January 2002 forward and the previously classifid fact that she was a covert CIA employee during this period. This determination does not mean that the CIA acknowledges any other period of employment, if any, nor does it declassify the nature and details of Ms. Wilson’s cover, the cover methods employed by the CIA to protect Ms. Wilson or other covert CIA employee, or the fact, nature, and details of Ms. Wilson’s classified intelligence activities as a CIA employee at any time during her employment.

Rush is not as bad as Hannity. He at least concedes that she was “an operator.” Hannity is either insane or willfully ignorant. He insisted on the air today that she was not undercover and that the leak of her identity caused no harm.

Wrong asshole. Sean, you are a moron.

What Sean Hannity fails to understand is that both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have played politics with intelligence. I do, however, give George W. Bush some credit. Once he realized that he had been gamed by Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby, he refused to grant a pardon. What Cheney and Libby caused serious damage to our intelligence assets. There were several Non Official Cover officers affected by what they did. But I can’t tell you the story because, if I did, I would be divulging classified info.

I am not sure the different motive of Bush and Obama makes any difference. In the Bush Administration, the motive was an effort to try to discredit Joe Wilson for daring to tell the truth. Under Libby’s direction, acting on the guidance of Dick Cheney, Administration officials like Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer spread out across town and spread the lie that Valerie had sent Joe to Niger. Not true.

Obama’s team had a different, more craven motive–these clowns wanted to feed the meme that Obama is the John Wayne of the 21st Century and is kicking ass around the globe. The level of detail in recent pieces can come from no other source but John Brennan or one of his deputies.

What next? Republicans are right to demand an independent counsel. These leaks and the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity are egregious acts of treason by men entrusted with the job of protecting secrets.

  • lola828

    It is a pattern with Larry Johnson. Whenever he wants to criticize the GOP he always has to create a false equivalency and blame something on the Democrats. He just cannot say the GOP sucks and leave it at that.

    The way this adminstration has dealt with security issues, internal investigations and punishing their own is night and day with what the GOP under Bush ever did.

    Obama has played no where near anything like the playing politics with intelligence that the Bush Adminstration did. We went to war on the playing with intelligence by the Bush Adminstration. They also used their bullshit terrorist threat red or orange alert system just before Bush’s re-election to drum up the fear-mongering, etc. Guys like Powell and Richard Clarke left the Bush adminstration because of all the bullshit. Bush’s own father was disgusted.

    There have been dozens of books written about Bush playing politics with intelligence. Can you name me one substantial thing that has been written about Obama on playing politics with intelligence other than your own BS posts and those of other ideologues?

    “Republicans are right to demand an independent counsel.”

    Bullshit. There has nothing that has come out that even comes close to reaching that level.

  • jrterrier

    Sen Graham was terrific grilling AG Holder about the leaks and requesting that he appoint a special investigator, saying something like no less than what Senator Obama and Senator Biden asked for investigations that were not more important than this:

    http://youtu.be/_2PiDNT-Oew 

  • HELENK2
  • HELENK2

    maybe some old WW2 posters should be brought back to remind the msm and the people to SHUT UP bout national security

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:INF3-270_Anti-rumour_and_careless_talk_Keep_mum_-_she%27s_not_so_dumb.jpg

  • HELENK2
  • HELENK2

    how is this different than what bradley manning is on trial for doing??
    how is this  different than what julius and ethel rosenberg for executed for doing????

  • TeakWoodKite

    Sorry for the OT: but …leaky lies and Hypocrisy. This would be ironic funny considering the source of reporting until one considers the content of lies and deception from the Obama administration.

    WASHINGTON — A critical document from President Barack Obama’s free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises.

    Leaked Trade Document

  • Flop_Flipper

    A pox on both their houses. Better yet, may they get shingles on their ass.

  • http://www.alexlogic.com AlessandroMachi

    This is way below the parallel foreclosure armageddon presently being inflicted on over a million homeowners in terms of importance. It’s the media making us look over there when we should also be looking right under our feet.

  • HELENK2
  • foxyladi14

     Good grief.

  • jrterrier

    OT — this seems to be a blockbuster and from HuffingtonPost no less:

    “SECRETS AND LIES
    Leaked Documents Show Obama Team Wants Radical New Powers For Multinational Corporations”

    Under the agreement currently being advocated by the Obama administration, American corporations would continue to be subject to domestic laws and regulations on the environment, banking and other issues. But foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings.”

    Makes little sense.  So American corporations would have to abide by our laws but not foreign corps operating on American soil?  WHAT?

  • ehuntert

    another excellent piece–and where is the mainstream press on the special prosecutor issue? as usual carrying water for the president who is too smart to be appreciated properly by the unwashed masses!

  • KenoshaMarge

    Until Hannity and Limbaugh admit that “outing” Valerie Plame was wrong they have nothing to say about “leaks.” Hypocrisy is ugly from both persepctives. And they are two very ugly hypocrites.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/355NZSQ5KXLSGEJARE6XIFIPRE yahoo-355NZSQ5KXLSGEJARE6XIFIPRE

    So after reading this I am sitting here thinking, there is absolutely no way that the average citizen, let alone, heaven forbid, the un-average citizen, has any idea what is going on in this country, what to believe and, worst of all, how to find out anything resembling the truth. That, in our age of supposed technology and intelligence….nowadays, phones are smarter than we are!!!

    • Popsmoke

       You are very correct….

  • Popsmoke

    By the way, we also know that the NY Times is not stupid and has been through the washing machine on these types of stories. Sanger is also no dope and knew he would light a fire here and had to have advise from the Times legal staff before he went to print.

    I hate to ask this question and for those who do not under the question just humor me and maybe LJ or someone else can answer it. I have a reason for asking it.

    Before we investigate anything here.

    Here is the question…. Who said this material was classified? What agency or person classified it  and is there paper to show that (and that might be classified too) ? LJ you know what I am asking…

    My reasoning? Why classify something you going to use as a political tool in the first place? So not only do you get around any investigations. You make those calling for one look stupid……

    Get the drift?

    • HARP2

       One would think that Dianne Feinstein and others on that committee  would know what is and what isn`t classified.

      • Popsmoke

        You would be surprised what the committee does and does not know…. or should I say does not want to know….

    • Hokma

      From experience, just to respond to:

      “had to have advise from the Times legal staff before he went to print.”

      I don’t have a lot of respect for the legal profession as is (any D student can get a law degree today) mostly because I have seen far too many abuses of their profession.

      In the case of the news media, the role of staff attorneys is not as much to protect their company from legal risk as it is to find loopholes to support their company’s abuse of the law.

      • Popsmoke

        Well whether or not its to find a loophole or protect makes no difference. By the way, its the loophome I am looking at.

        But I can tell you from experience that even if they are staff attorneys.  Something like this story which is way to hot will go all the up to Sultzberger, Canady, Abramson and Richieri. Not some junior staff attorney….

        The Judith Miller case is something the Times will never forget…..

        • EllenD818

           You made a good point, Pop. If stuff is planned to be leaked these days do they omit making it classified in the first place? If that is the case, it’s a worse situation than what is being discussed.

          • Popsmoke

             Your getting the picture…..

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

       Divulging that the US and Israel cooperated in launching the STUXNET attack is (or was ) classified.  Also, revealing that a double agent had penetrated AQAP was classified.  Identities of human sources is highly classified.  You’re overthingking this “POP”

      • HARP2

        I thought so Larry, but what if Obama declassified them ?

      • Popsmoke

        LJ… I am not talking about the AQAP penetration or releasing identities of human sources.  We agree on that.

        What I am not sure about nor am I convinced of (yes my sources are no where as good as they once were) is who or what “organization” decided that the “cyber war” or “cyber offensive” against Iran was even capable of being classified?

        We are talking two different subjects here. The worm was a “classified instrument. OK that is not a issue. But how does one classify a war or offensive operation against a foreign country?

        Got to remember this cyber stuff is new material. I am not over thinking…..

      • Popsmoke

        “It must be acknowledged that there is no comprehensive statute that provides criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of classified information irrespective of the type of information or recipient involved,” wrote Attorney General John Ashcroft in an October 2002 report to Congress.

               http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/dojleaks.html

        Significantly, AG Ashcroft added that “The President has the power under the Constitution to protect national security secrets from unauthorized

        disclosure. This extends to defining what information constitutes a national security secret and to determining who may have access to that

        secret.”

        Likewise, according to the Congressional Research Service, “there is no one statute that criminalizes the unauthorized disclosure of any classified

        information…. It is possible that some of the government information…does not fall under the express protection of any statute, despite its

        classified status.”

               http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/R41404.pdf

        Some types of classified information are specifically protected by law, including that pertaining to communications intelligence, identities of

        covert agents, and nuclear weapons design information.  But the Espionage Act statutes that have been used to prosecute most leak cases (18 USC 793, 794) do not mention “classified information” at all.  Rather, they apply to

        “national defense” information, an imprecise term that is not coextensive with “classified” information.

        Even when “national defense” information that is clearly covered by the Act is disclosed to an unauthorized person, it does not necessarily follow

        that a crime has been committed.

        Courts have interpreted the convoluted language of the Espionage Act to mean that only those with the requisite criminal intent will have violated the law.

        In order to convict someone of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information (not involving disclosure of documents), Judge T.S. Ellis, III, the presiding judge in the AIPAC case, ruled in 2006 that it would be necessary for prosecutors “to demonstrate the likelihood of [the] defendant’s bad faith purpose to either harm the United States or to aid a foreign government.”

        If White House officials disclosed classified information to reporters without authorization, it is doubtful that they intended to harm the United States or to aid a foreign government by doing so.

        For these reasons, it is not true that “everyone agrees [this] is criminalconduct.”

         ”It must be acknowledged that there is no comprehensive statute that provides criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of classified information irrespective of the type of information or recipient involved,” wrote Attorney General John Ashcroft in an October 2002 report to Congress.

               http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/dojleaks.html

        Significantly, AG Ashcroft added that “The President has the power under the Constitution to protect national security secrets from unauthorized

        disclosure. This extends to defining what information constitutes a national security secret and to determining who may have access to that

        secret.”

        Likewise, according to the Congressional Research Service, “there is no one statute that criminalizes the unauthorized disclosure of any classified

        information…. It is possible that some of the government information…does not fall under the express protection of any statute, despite its

        classified status.”

               http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/R41404.pdf

        Some types of classified information are specifically protected by law, including that pertaining to communications intelligence, identities of covert agents, and nuclear weapons design information.

        But the Espionage Act statutes that have been used to prosecute most leak cases (18 USC 793,

        794) do not mention “classified information” at all.  Rather, they apply to “national defense” information, an imprecise term that is not coextensive with “classified” information.

        Even when “national defense” information that is clearly covered by the Act is disclosed to an unauthorized person, it does not necessarily follow

        that a crime has been committed.

        Courts have interpreted the convoluted language of the Espionage Act tomean that only those with the requisite criminal intent will have violated the law.

        In order to convict someone of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information (not involving disclosure of documents), Judge T.S. Ellis, III,the presiding judge in the AIPAC case, ruled in 2006 that it would be necessary for prosecutors “to demonstrate the likelihood of [the]defendant’s bad faith purpose to either harm the United States or to aid a foreign government.”

        If White House officials disclosed classified information to reporters without authorization, it is doubtful that they intended to harm the United

        States or to aid a foreign government by doing so.

        For these reasons, it is not true that “everyone agrees [this] is criminal conduct.”

        Note: It get even murkier with this new cyber stuff….

        • EllenD818

           Wow. What a mess. This really needs an overhaul, Pop.

  • getfitnow

    Why did the Senate block McCain’s effort to appoint a special prosecutor? I guess they think these security leaks are “fine.” 

    • Popsmoke

       Again the question is… Rather than appoint a special prosecutor. Why not  amend the 1917 espionage statute?

      Ask Senator McCain and Graham that question… Two jackasses that need to go back to private practice or what ever they did before getting elected.

      • whizzbang

         Whilst I realise that wikipedia is hardly a reliable reference, it’s all I have to go on in this regard. It would appear to be extremely difficult to amend that particular Act, or am I missing something?

        • Popsmoke

           Congress attempted to amend the act back in 2000 and Clinton vetoed the legislation because it hammered whistle blowers as well..

          The Ashcroft did not want to touch it it after 911….

          So since then no one has moved to amend it with any form of realism…..

  • Popsmoke

    LJ….We both know Hannity…. You know as well as I do that ole Sean is not just an asshole but a conceited asshole at that. He preys on the idiot minions that listen and believe his garbage.

    But brother you also know as well as I do that leak investigations normally end up going no where. What I find really appalling and hypocritical of those calling for an investigation is that  none of them are willing to amend the 1917 espionage statute. Which by the way is the bases for any legal actions.

    Remember Scooter did not get convicted for leaking anything (and he did leak). He got convicted for perjury. This shows just how difficult going after someone for leaking classed materials really is.

    So where is Mr. National Security Senator Lindsey Graham  on updated the espionage act?  He is to busy spinning political bullshit….

  • KenoshaMarge

    One more reason why I don’t watch Hannity. A blowhard POS is a blowhard POS no matter if he/she/it is left or right. Hannity is a blowhard POS. Still trying to smear Valerie Plame in order to make the right look good/better. Only the die-hard base will buy this crap.

    If we start to buy the “moral equivalency” bullshit both parties and their surrogates try to sell then we become as venal as they are.

    Wrong is wrong. Comparing what they did to what we did as if that somehow made it right is pure bullshit.

    As for Limbaugh? Just because he makes a good point once in a while doesn’t make him worth listening to the other 95% of the time. He makes my ears bleed.

    • foxyladi14

       I don’t watch Hannity either for the same reasons Marge..

  • HELENK2

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/holder-refuses-provide-testimony-kagan-s-involvement-obamacare

    here is another holder refusal to provide testimony
    kagans involvement with obamacare.

    since when does the attorney general have the right to stonewall congress on everything he is asked about

    fast and furious
    obamacare
    and you know with him in charge we will never have the answers to the leaks.

    I am with Senator Cornyn, holder should be forced to resign or be fired and if backtrack is unwilling to do  so start impeachment proceedings against him.

  • DianaLC

    I didn’t hear Rush–that’s always too hard for me to stomach–but caught a bit of Hannity.  Hannity is such a smug know-it-all.  I just shook my head when he went on about how the Valerie Plame incident didn’t really matter for some reason. 

    I am getting too old, as I am growing so tired of elected officials lambasting and investigating each other for political gain rather than spending their time trying to work at governing wisely.

  • Justine00

    Not really “on topic”, Larry, but what do you think about the Pakistani doctor (now sentenced to ~30 years) who facilitated the raid on OBL’s hiding place?  Seems like we ought to be a little more supportive of him…
    .

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      Pretty much like any other whore as far as our current administration is concerned.  We got our use out of him and now he’s been discarded.  Who cares?  We just need to get a bigger bus to accomodate all of those who are and may soon be under it.

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    I notice that Attorney General Holder has charged his two attorneys to investigate throughout the intelligence community.  Nice move, Eric.  The leaks didn’t come from the intelligence community, they came from the White House/NSC.  That, however, is outside the scope of the investigation because President Obama might be offended.

    And they wonder why no one takes them seriously anymore.

    By the way, Attn. Gen. Holder made a point of saying that he and the FBI Director had already been investigated by his lawyers.  Since neither Holder nor the FBI Director had access to a considerable portion of the information leaked, that seems like a wise precaution.  And since, if the investigation is limited to the intelligence community, the actual leakers will never be questioned, it merely enhances the farcical nature of Holder’s “investigation.”

    Holder has stalled Fast and Furious for two years.  He only needs five months of stalling for this one and he is home free.

    • lola828

      “stalled Fast and Furious for two years. ”

      More BS from you. Do you even pay attention to these issues that you seem to think you are qualified to comment on.

      There has been plenty of cooperation by the Attorney General on “Fast and Furious”.

      There have been tens of thousands of documents released, numerous hearings, etc. etc. etc.

  • TeakWoodKite

    Sangers recent NYT excerpt states that there were “dozens” of people who “spoke on the condition of anonymity” for his book.
    I think it was only a few hand picked folks. The number of people has been inflated as to muddy the waters investigatively.
    I think Sanger should experience “the Aspens”.

  • TeakWoodKite

    I have heard both of them ignore the damage done by Cheney and his minions, while jumping on the bandwagon or faux righteousness of these most recent treasonous acts.
    The results are the same.
    Peoples lives were destroyed, they who leaked this should be taken out and “judged”. Since the recent NDAA proclaimed that the US is now a war zone then people who commit seditous acts of treason can be ” detained” as an enemy combatant. The SCOTUS just signaled it will not look at anymore GITMO case for the time being.

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    Outing Valerie Plame was treasonous, I was still a dem back then and wanted people who did this to be prosecuted.

    Now, all these secrets being leaked out by the WH to make Barry look like some damn superhero, people who did this need to be prosecuted!

    Don’t care who does it, whether its a dem or a repub WH, they are just temporary occupants, the military, intelligence communities are American, not dem or repub, and they are not to be outed, their methods are not to be outed for the political gain of anyone!
    Absolutely there should be an independent counsel, what a bunch of hypocrites dems are!  screaming when Bush was in office, but shielding Barry when even worse outing has now happened.

  • BronwynsHarbor

    Thank god you wrote this, Larry.  It’s been as painful to listen to the GOP as the Dems on the leak scandals.

    Just wish you could set those people straight once and for all.  There is such a thing as fealty to country (national security) above all else, especially politics.

    Just one other thing:  What I’ve heard from the Rep/Dem talking heads the past couple days makes me more disinclined than ever to call myself a member of either party.  They eat each other alive 24/7 these days.

    Had a great listening experience this past weekend.  Former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton was on BookTV with the author of his biography and a veteran newspaper columnist.  They reminisced about the more collegial, bipartisan days in D.C. minus so many nasty games along with impossible gridlock. Gorton is NOT happy about the White House leaks.  

  • EllenD818

    Cheney was/is a creep. Bush’s time in office would have been so much better if he had picked someone else.
    One of the pluses for Bush was not granting Scooter a pardon. I wonder if Bush Sr having been head of the CIA had anything to do with that.

  • FormerLiberal9

    I hope that Americans can catch a break and get a President who does what is good for the country and not what is good for their political career. Bush(Cheney)—Obama what a pair of fools. Our enemies must really get a laugh at what some of our politicians do to hurt this country.

  • Dissentispatriotic

    Larry, besides Brennan, several bloggers have mentioned Tom Donilon as ‘the leaker’.   I’ll wager that we hear no more leaks to build up Obama.  Someone told them to STFU.  Still hoping that the truth comes out and the guilty party is held accountable.