Top Five Resignations the American People Should Demand
In the Wake of Libby’s Indictment
Apologize? Apologize? Is that all the US Democratic leadership can demand from George W. Bush after it was confirmed that his key aides and those of Vice President Cheney planned a petty campaign of retribution against a distinguished foreign service officer by outing his wife, undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson? I should think not. I should think some high-profile resignations are in order. Although Senator Reid did ask for one resignation, I have a better idea.
1. Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney. Dick Cheney told Irving Lewis Libby about Plame working for the CIA. Although both Cheney and Libby had security clearances, it is not the case that any two persons with such clearances may properly share any information at will. Classified information is disseminated on a need to know basis and for specific security-related purposes. For Cheney to bandy about classified information merely as a form of office gossip or for partisan political purposes, even with other government officials, is unethical and poor tradecraft at the very least, and would get any junior CIA case officer fired. So surely the same should apply to the vice president of the United States at a time of war.
2. Karl Rove. The president’s adviser clearly told Matt Cooper of Time Magazine, at the very least, about Valerie Plame Wilson working for the CIA. Since this information was classified, Rove learned it from someone with a clearance. If he did not double check as to whether the information was classified before he released it to the press, then he was criminally irresponsible. If he released it with the knowledge that it was classified, then what he did was highly unethical and possibly illegal. Either way, no one who behaves so cavalierly with national security-related information during a time of war has any place in the White House. Rove must resign. If Bush does not request and accept Rove’s resignation, then he becomes an accessory after the fact to a possible crime, and should be impeached as such.
3. John Hannah. Hannah, a key Cheney aide, also mentioned to Libby that Plame worked for the CIA. He should not have been bandying about this information without a serious national security purpose. He should go.
4. John Bolton. Currently Ambassador to the United Nations. He has not been implicated in the outing of Plame yet, but he did visit implicated journalist Judith Miller in prison and is tightly connected to key figures in the crime. He has been a twenty-first century Goebbels of national security disinformation aimed at scaring the American public into pursuing a series of disastrous wars (beyond Iraq, he wants wars against Syria, Iran, and Cuba to start). He was not confirmed by the Senate. He is a serial liar or a serial incompetent. He has expressed himself vehemently against the existence of the United Nations and dismisses US international treaty obligations. He should not be representing the American people at the United Nations.
5. Elliot Abrams. Abrams lied to the Congress assiduously over the Iran-Contra criminal proceedings. During this period, high Reagan administration officials illegally sold off high-poweered weapons like TOWs from Pentagon storehouses to the Ayatollah Khomeini. They then took the Iranian money paid for them and put it in secret bank accounts, using it to fund rightwing death squads in Central America. Abrams was part of this unconstitutional and criminal plot. He should be in jail, but was pardoned. W. appointed him to the National Security Council, where he was in charge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for a while (he is, like Doug Feith, more ideologically so aligned to the far rightwing Israeli Likud Party as to be virtually a card-carrying member; so that was really a signal of US even-handedness!). Now he is said to be in charge of Iran! He should never have been allowed back in high office after lying to Congress and both houses should be ashamed that they did not block his appointment. No wonder there is all this criminality in the White House– they are allowing criminals to be appointed!