Investigating the O’Neill document leak

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall

Number of days between Novak column outing Valerie Plame and announcement of investigation: 74 days.

Number of days between O’Neill 60 Minutes interview and announcement of investigation: 1 day.

Having the administration reveal itself as a gaggle of hypocritcal goons … priceless.

Here’s the thing: Democrats were all in a tizzy when the Plame affair hit. If you cut through the partisan BS, it boiled down to a political opportunity that the Democrats seized.

Now those same partisans are largely silent on the breach of confidentiality argument, because this time it (conveniently) helps make their case.

Am I surprised? Nah. Disappointed? Sure. Howard Dean’s statement on the matter correctly pointed out that O’Neill’s comments reinforce Dean’s position from day one, but miss the larger opportunity to establish some intellectual consistency on the topic. This was a perfect opportunity to create a Sister Souljah Moment — by reiterating his opposition to the war, slamming the Bush Administration on its reckless run-up to the war, yet still decrying the potential breach of national security that may have revealed confidential information. (At this point we don’t know whether confidential information was revealed. But that’s the point of an investigation. And if the Plame affair merits an investigation, then surely this situation does?)

Would this play into the Bushies’ hands? To a degree. But the larger point — that a principled stand on the issues doesn’t heed partisan gain — would not be lost on voters or on leaders within the party.

One response to “Investigating the O’Neill document leak”

  1. Let's see O'neil who isn't and wasn't ever a Defense Secretary but instead a Treasury Secretary that signed our Bills on the lower right hand corner is upset about not getting a big piece of the Iraqi War decision pie?And so.. When he gets all flustered about the Iraqi War he decides to bad mouth the Bush Tax Cuts! Rofl. And thus President Bush fires him. After all he can't have a Treasury Secretary that is going to go against Supply Side Economics, which is modern Republican Economic Philosophy. I.E. the Laffer Curve (There is a tax marginal rate at which Government earns the most income and the American Working Class can live their lives best). So.. He gets fired. And he is a little mad about it. So… During the election year (not 2002, or 2003, but 2004!) He decides to go in an interview with a well known Wacko Liberal Nut Job.And what does he say to attack President Bush? “I have a document here that shows that President Bush's administration had plans to remove Saddam Hussein and reconstruct Iraq prior to Sept. 11th.”Last time I checked it was the Iraqi People that attacked the world trade center (first bombing in 1996). It was Saddam Hussein that tryed to assassinate former president Bush. It is Saddam Hussein that the United Nations and UNMOVIC and other agencies have claimed had a vast WMDs program.It was Saddam Hussein that Clinton and Tom Dashle all thought were America's #1 enemy. All thought needed to be removed back in the Clinton Administration. With all of this… How on 'EARTH' does a liberal call 'Plans to remove Saddam Hussein' a *Scandal!?*How's that a *bad* thing? How? If our Pentagon did not have plans to go to war with North Korea over 10 years ago… I would tottaly be pissed off about our American Foreign Policy.America should OF COURSE have plans to deal with our enemies DECADES in advance. It is the Pentagon's job to develop plans to deal with unforseen hostilities. It is the Pentagon's job to deal with evil dictators in the world to ensure peace for Americans and our Allies!Even Rick Klaw knows that the Bush Administration had plans to deal with Afghanistan's Taleban prior to Sept. 11th. I would have hoped that did as Osama Bin Laden is as EQUAL an enemy to civilization as Saddam Hussein was. So? Where's the scandal? There isn't a scandal. There is just a spastic emotional spasm from the lefties. (Am I on topic?)

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