I wonder if the lecture by CIA Director Porter Goss in the Opinion section of Today’s New York Times applies to Vice President Dick Cheney?
Goss came out blazing today against the leaking of classified information to the nation’s news media. Criticizing those who do so Goss said those who “go straight to the press are not noble, honorable or patriotic. Nor are they whistleblowers. Instead they are committing a criminal act that potentially places American lives at risk.”
Pressing his case he added, “these disclosures can tip the terrorists to new technologies we use, our operational tactics, and the identities of brave men and women who risk their lives to assist us.”
Strong words, but the timing is either interesting or comical depending on your interpretation. Because just this morning the nation’s newspapers are running a new story reported first by the National Journal that Scooter Libby, the indicted former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney testified that he was “authorized by his superiors” (apparently meaning Cheney) to disclose the highly classified National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq to reporters. Libby reportedly did so in a meeting with former New York Times reporter Judith Miller during a period in which the White House was seeking to rebuff charges by former ambassador James Wilson that the White House was trumping up its case for the war. It was during this time that the identity of Valerie Plame, “one of those brave men and women who risk their lives to assist us” was disclosed as a CIA agent.
Goss goes on to say that he takes his “responsibilities seriously” and that “unauthorized disclosures undermine our efforts.” Goss also tells us that since becoming director he has “filed criminal reports with the Department of Justice because of such compromises.”
Does that mean that Goss will file a criminal report regarding the intentional leaking of a highly classified document to the press at the order of the vice president?
My guess is no. And i would bet that Goss is in for a little lecture of his own. Doesn’t he know that Vice President Cheney and President Bush are above the law?