Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Another Washington Leak?

Yesterday the Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R) and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R) formally requested an investigation into how the Washington Post got its information pertaining to CIA secret prisons overseas.

But also yesterday former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R) told CNN that the leak likely came from Republican senators. He explained that much of the Washington Post story was discussed by Republican senators and Vice President Dick Cheney in a meeting the day before the Washington Post story appeared.

Now isn't that interesting. Bill Frist wants an investigation into his fellow party senators apparently. The reporter on the story was Dana Priest and if this investigation takes on the evasiveness that was involved with the Plame leak case as to Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and reporters, then we might see some type of indictment in say, oh, about mid 2008.

You have to wonder how sincere Frist and Hastert really are. When a leak investigation opens up in Washington it can be difficult for Congress to conduct their own investigations into subjects that overlap a Justice Department investigation. In other words, if the Democrats would like to begin investigations into secret prisons, possible use of torture or rendition (sending of detainees to other countries to torture in place of us) then Republicans can cite the Justice Department investigation as a reason not to look into these subjects.

On another front the Council of Europe is going to investigate the secret CIA prisons that may be in their jurisdiction. You have to wonder whether the Bush Administration really wants Europe to be digging into CIA dirty laundry.

Since the Washington Post story the Bush Administration has yet to affirm or deny the story, except vaguely when President Bush claimed "We do not torture." Bush didn't say those prisons don't exist.

Added to this backdrop is the Senate bill that passed 90-9 to make the Geneva Convention the standard for War on Terror detainees. VP Cheney has come out of his undisclosed location to lobby Congress, first the Senate prior to that vote, and now the House, to allow the CIA to not have to abide by the Geneva Convention.

Yesterday I wrote of the Scott McLellan press conferences and how lively they've become since reporters distrust him now. After I wrote that, McLellan had another press conference and contention was the feel once again. Several reporters wanted an answer to Bush's statement as to "We don't torture" juxtaposed with Cheney's apparent attempt to allow the CIA to do just that. Whew! McLellan was quite agressive in avoiding this issue, coming to the point of nearly calling the front row reporters unpatriotic. Odd for McLellan to point at the front row as many reporters in other rows were trying to get an answer as well.

So you've got to wonder how long Bush is going to stand pat with people like McLellan, Rove and even Cheney. It seems almost daily that something else comes out about the practices of this administration. Bush seems so far to be teflonic as to dirt on him, the administration has been quite good at leaving him with "plausible deniability." Yet the polls show that Bush does have some egg on the face.

It's been refreshing to see the media actually delve into the many issues of accountability finally. It must be that we've not had any runaway brides, celebrity murders or disappeared white women lately.



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