Monday, September 29, 2003

American Squirm 

Josh Marshall and others have been rolling around the idea of asking the White House to continue with the precedent established in their earlier half-baked efforts to smear Wes Clark, and check the phone logs for calls to Robert Novak shortly before his now-infamous story. Since the press clearly knows (or should know) that it's being played once again for the kind of saps that the Bush Administration has been able to stonewall with impunity in the past, they might appreciate additional lines of questioning calculated to raise the discomfort level. Some ideas:

  • "According to a White House source for the Post, the same leakers shopped the Plame story to at least 6 other journalists, all of whom presumably are under promises of confidentiality to the leakers. Pursuant to President Bush's call for those with knowledge to cooperate with Justice, will he direct his staff to publicly disavow any such pledges so that the journalists can come forward with what they know? If not, why not?"

  • "If a member of the President's staff refuses to disavow any pledge of confientiality on this matter, will that staff member be subject to sanction? If not, why not?"

  • "Clearly Robert Novak knows who leaked to him, and Mr. Novak is an admirer of the President and a patriot concerned about preserving intelligence methods and assets. Will President Bush ask Mr. Novak, as a patriot, to reveal who leaked to him? If not, why not?"

    Jump in with your own ideas. After all, journalism is too important to be left to the professionals.

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