Unable to contribute to the blog the past few days -- I've been perched at the spare room window, conducting surveillance on the squirrel family. I spent three days last week keeping close watch on the radiator. Slight movements there, little flashes at the corner of my eyes. I wasn't sure whether a goldfish was living in the radiator or if this was just a fleck of dust in the sunbeam. It's probably a goldfish. Autumn is the season of blood.
I've also been reading everything I can about the imminent fall of the Bush administration. From the Nov. 7 New Yorker
, a piece on Judith Miller
, hack, and her scabrous, reptilian relationship with Scooter Libby, vile NeoCon minion and pornographer
Nicholas Lemann's article begins with the worst kind of apologetic -- delivered smugly, no less -- as if this were a game of Yahtzee
rather than a flesh-and-blood criminal act that has cost (so far) the lives of 2,000
U.S. soldiers. Lemann writes:
It's probably safe to assume that nobody who participated in
the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a C.I.A. agent, in the
summer of 2003, was mindful that the result of the process
-- the publication of Wilson's name in Robert Novak's
syndicated column -- might be a federal crime.
If Lemann's fantasy of blamelessness is true, then what was Scooter Libby thinking when he signed his "Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement," a requirement for his high-level White House security clearance? Compare Lemann's fantasy -- no one's to blame, everyone's just a mischievous pixie! -- to the following excerpt from page 2 of Scooter Libby's indictment:
On or about January 23, 2001, LIBBY executed a written
'Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement,' stating
in part that 'I understand and accept that by being granted
access to classified information, special confidence and trust
shall be placed in me by the United States Government,'
and that 'I have been advised that the unauthorized
disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of
classified information by me could cause damage or
irreparable injury to the United States or could be used to
advantage by a foreign nation.'
He broke the law. He knew it. Judith Miller
helped him, just like she helped create the myths that justified the war. Maybe Lemann was too busy chasing a mouse or licking his fur when he wrote: "The people involved in the Wilson affair were [. . .] behaving as they would normally behave, and not as people cognizant of the possibility of criminal prosecution would behave." Possibly they did behave this way. But this is not the issue. Libby can behave any way he wants (the pixie!), as long as he accepts the consequences of Title 18, United States Code, Section 793, and Executive Order 12958 (as modified by Executive Order 13292), which makes it a crime to disclose classified information to those not authorized to receive it.
After all, a mouse I'm stalking can act as if nothing unusual is going on, but once I've wrapped my mouth around him, he can't say, "You're not supposed to eat me! I was behaving as I normally would behave, not behaving like a mouse cognizant of being stalked by a beautiful, dangerous cat would behave."