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Between the Lines

October 09, 2003

A slight change of tone?

Q: Mr. President, when you meet with the congressional leadership tomorrow, will you be specific about what they can and cannot relay back up to the Hill? Or, do you just expect them not to relay anything?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I'm going to talk to the leaders about this. I have talked to them about it. I mean, when the classified information first seeped into the public, I called him on the phone and said, this can't stand. We can't have leaks of classified information. It's not in our nation's interest.

-- President Bush in 2001 after classifed information was leaked by congressmen

This is a large administration and there's a lot of senior officials. I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is …

-- President Bush this week on the Valerie Plame Wilson leak

That’s not all. The White House counsel’s office is poring over all documents requested for the investigation before turning them over to the Justice Department – and may withhold some under executive privilege if necessary.

Then there’s this hilarious exchange between newsman Russell Mokhiber and White House spokesman Scott McClellan over whether Bush’s senior political adviser said Valerie Plame was “fair game.”

Hilarious and outrageous at the same time.

And at the LA Weekly, David Corn, the columnist for The Nation who first suggested that administration officials might have committed a crime by disclosing Plame’s name, regales us with what happened when he tried to discuss the matter on “fair and balanced” Fox. If Republicans and adminstration apologists “can succeed in presenting the controversy as another one of those same-old bitter face-offs between D’s and R’s — creating a moral equivalency between the leakers and the complainants — they win. Their aim is to exploit the public’s (justifiable) cynicism toward Washington and to battle to an it’s-all-politics draw. This is a good strategy — as long as no indictments materialize.”


The depleted uranium threat

One of the least-examined consequences of America’s attacks on other nations in the last 15 years has been what role depleted uranium ammunition has played in the illness of U.S. troops and reports of increased rates of cancer in Iraq after the Gulf War of 1991 and in the Balkans after the conflicts in Bosnia and Serbia.

Cursor links to an excellent piece by Hillary Johnson in the Oct. 2 Rolling Stone, which goes into great detail about the controversy surrounding depleted uranium, or DU, which is the chief component in modern armor-piercing ammunition fired by U.S. tanks and planes.

It’s an ugly picture: cancer, deformed infants, U.S. soldiers warned inadequately if at all about the hazards of DU and, most troubling of all, a Pentagon in total denial about the possible scope of the problem.

In another disconcerting development, UPI reports that mysterious blood clots and other ailments that are killing or hospitalizing what appears to be an unusual number of GI’s in Iraq.

Posted by tbrown at 12:13 PM




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