A few weeks ago, Patrick (Gryph) responded to Bruce’s surprise at Log Cabin’s decision to feature Andrew Sullivan at its “convention” later this month, by providing a list of conservative and libertarian policy proposals that Andrew claims to support, a list of proposals which, to a large extent, corresponds to my own views. As I read that list, I wondered why if Andrew support these proposals, he spends so much time bashing the president and so little time promoting these things. (Perhaps he’s saving that for his book.*)
In a post today, it seems that Andrew, like many he once reviled, has become so consumed with hatred for George W. Bush that he will spin any news story to show the president in the worst possible light. Today, he contends that the latest revelations in the investigation of former Vice-Presidential Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby indicate that Bush is “Nailed”. But as Tom Maguire (Just One Minute) puts it, “Either Andrew Sullivan can’t read, or he can’t write.”
I agree with the New York Sun‘s Josh Gerstein that this “disclosure could be awkward for the president because it places him, for the first time, directly in a chain of events that led to a meeting where prosecutors contend the identity of a CIA employee, Valerie Plame, was provided to a reporter.” (Via Powerline.) But, this does not nail the president in the least. It merely shows him authorizing the release of information which would serve to discredit a dishonest critic — former Ambassador Joe Wilson.
In his piece, Andrew attempts to rewrite history by asking, “Who really cared about Joseph Wilson’s op-ed?” Um, Andrew, the MSM and the Democrats were all over the story. Or as an astute GayPatriot reader noted, this was “the major media story of that summer.” Wilson worked for a presidential candidate, the man Andrew would endorse in ’04 — John Kerry. (To be fair to Andrew, after the Senate Intelligence Committee discredited Wilson, that dishonest man lost his job for the Democratic nominee. So Wilson was not working for Kerry when Andrew issued his official endorsement of Wilson’s one-time boss.)
As Tom Maguire puts it:
we *don’t know* what Cheney and Bush discussed before Bush authorized the partial disclosure of the NIE. President Bush may have been vitally interested specifically in discrediting Joe Wilson (and rebutting one’s critics is not a crime); he may not have heard that name, and simply authorized the disclosure to help with the White House side of the press coverage.
All we have here is the president doing what he has the “legal right” to do — declassifying information which shows that the “consensus estimate” of intelligence agencies in October 2002 was at odds with Joe Wilson’s posturing. While Andrew may think the president has been “nailed,” in reality all he was trying to do was get the facts out. And thus quite the opposite of someone feeling, as that blogger puts it, that “he had a lot to hide.” To some, it seems the president is always trying to hide something even when he authorizes the release of documents upon which the president based his past decisions.
But, I guess to those who (the facts notwithstanding) believe that “Bush Lied,” any disclosure which contradicts their dogma amounts to having something to hide.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
WELCOME INSTAPUNDIT READERS! While you’re here, take a moment and browse around to what has been called “probably the most reliably conservative gay blog on the Internet.” And you might want to check out my latest where I take issue with Log Cabin for preferring the rhetoric of the gay left to the ideals of conservatives and libertarians.
* I will be trying to get review copy of this book and hope it’s as good as his previous book
Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex, and Survival which I recommended here. I may well experience Andrew’s next book as I experienced that one. I recall souring on Andrew’s writings in the mid-1990s; he seemed then so caught up in the ethos of gay culture that he was losing his iconoclastic (and insightful) voice. I all but stopped reading his stuff. Then, one day, in a D.C. bookstore, I picked up this book, started reading and found Andrew’s prose so engaging, I ended up buying it so I could, as Glenn Reynolds would say, read the whole thing.
UPDATE: In a post I read just after I finished writing this one, Powerline’s Paul writes that the information which the president agreed to release “was not about Valerie Plame.”
UP-UPDATE: Captain Ed explains why the President released the information:
Because Joe Wilson had busied himself by spreading misinformation via leaks to Nick Kristof and Walter Pincus, and then finally under his own by-line at the New York Times twelve days prior to the release of the NIE information. The media had demanded answers to the charges leveled by Wilson and his supporters, and those answers were found in the NIE. The decision to declassify it and publish it came as a result of that demand. Once the decision is made to declassify information, it can be released in any number of ways. This was both leaked and openly presented in the same fortnight.
Adding that the president
declassified the NIE so that everyone could see what exactly the intelligence services had told him about Iraq’s WMD programs. Now everyone wants to proclaim George Bush a criminal for releasing the information that the entire media establishment demanded he reveal.
UP-UP-UPDATE: Austin Bay: “The flap is yet more evidence that the national press is more interested in playing ‘gotcha’ with the Bush Administration than reporting the news.” Via Glenn with whom I agree: Read the whole thing.