Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cheney's fatal -- 'failure to deny' -- admission

It's admissible when someone fails to deny something that they should deny.

What is going on with Libby?

Someone's said he's leaked the NSA of a CIA operative. That's a crime, if true.

Here's the problem. When the Vice President was asked about it, he didn't deny that there had been a leak.

Rather, he asserted the opposite: That information is released.

Had Cheney really wanted to do something useful, he would have denied there had been either a declassification of a leak.

"I have certainly advocated declassification. I have participated in declassification decisions," Mr. Cheney said. Asked for details, he said: "I don't want to get into that. There's an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously it focuses first and foremost on the president, but also includes the vice president."Quote Source

Check the last para of page 17 of 18 in this complaint against a government employee who released classified information: CLick.

Here's Cheney's problem:

1. He's failed to deny something that should have been denied;

2. He’s revealed the White House approach in the NSA issue -- don't deny, but assert that the conduct was legal -- which it is not

3. Raises reasonable questions about the corruption in the White House, on the order of magnitude of what Cunningham got indicted for; click the TMP complaint of Cunningham -- notice the crime is against the people of the US. Click

Cheney should have refused to comment, not fatally assert that he's authorized to do what Libby has denied doing: Disclosing classified information.

* * *


  • 1. If Libby "didn't do what he's accused of, indicted for" -- revealing a CIA agents' identity, not simply disclosing classified information -- why is the Vice President saying that it is "OK" for that revelation to have occurred?

  • 2. How can Cheney and Libby's comments be reconciled -- they cannot; either

    - (a) one of them revealed classified information, after denying they did – but this is irrelevant as we’re not talking about data classification, but a CIA agent name; or

    - (b) the other approved the declassification of data they've said was never classified – again this is irrelevant as the issue isn’t data classification, but a CIA agent name; or

    - (c) they've agreed to contradict each other, and deny having done something that was what they later argue is lawful – this makes no sense, as why would two people who have allegedly violated the law agree to contradict each other, unless they’ve stopped talking because of a falling out; or

    - (d) they've both fatally admitted that they're changing the subject from the crime of revealing a CIA agent name, to an irrelevant "classification issue" – this appears most likely.

    Comment: Nobody has the lawful power, authority, or right to violate the law, and reveal a CIA agent name for whatever reason. None! It's irrelevant whether or not someone can "declassify something" -- that does not apply to a statute that makes it a crime to reveal the name of a CIA agent. The Vice President -- as the President in the NSA-FISA issue -- does not have the power, right, or "personal privilege" to violate the law, nor order others to violate the law for any lawful reason.

  • 3. If there was "no problem" with leaking Plame's name -- arguably because, as Cheney asserts it was "lawful" -- why did Libby spend all this time "not talking" about what was "not unlawful"?

  • 4. Given the assertion that the conduct was "not unlawful" -- why the "big secret" which Judith Miller couldn't reveal; rather, wouldn't it make sense to assert -- as Cheney is doing -- "hay, there's no crime here, the Vice President declassified this information." Miller should have known that -- if it occurred -- but is at odds with here refusal to discuss something that -- as the Vice President would believe -- is "lawful." Rather, we cannot reconcile Miller's refusal to disclose something about conduct which the Vice President says is lawful. Rather, it's more likely that Miller didn't know about the "declassification" because that excuse had not yet been invented.


    Cheney's comments are most likely going to prove to be another gold mine for the FBI to further investigate. Rather, the Grand Jury will be asked whether it is credible that Miller would stay in jail over something Cheney is arguing.

    Rather, the Grand Jury will most likely conclude this "declassification"-argument is fiction; and was not discussed; and was unrelated to the original disclosure.

    Cheney's assertion that he can "declassify" information is at odds with Libby's assertion that "he never revealed Plame's name." Why would Libby assert there was "no disclosure" -- the issue isn't whether the information is or is not classified, but whether he was or was not the source of Plame's name.

    Bluntly, the White House and Cheney have mixed apples and oranges. They're trying to "legalize the classification-declassification" issue; and distract attention from the core issue: Whether or not Libby and Cheney agreed/conspired to leak Plame's name.

    It is a crime to leak the name of a CIA officer. It is irrelevant whether the Vice President believes that he can or cannot declassify something. He doesn't have the power or authority to "declassify" something -- an Agents name, when that disclosure -- the name -- is a crime.