Tuesday, June 05, 2007

When the vice president does it, it's legal

Since it's now conclusively established that the CIA identity of Valerie Plame was classified information, Dick Cheney's statement of support for the convicted and sentenced Scooter Libby, in referring to Scooter as "a man fully committed to protecting the vital security interests of the United States and its citizens", makes clear his view that there is no such thing as classified information as such, but only secret information that can be made public when it supports the political priorities of the incumbent administration.

Incidentally, one interesting thing about the judge who sentenced Libby today is that he also sits on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the court that issues warrants for telephone taps related to international intelligence gathering. This is the court that George Bush decided to ignore when setting up his own warrantless surveillance program -- an experience that may have have given the judge an appropriately jaundiced view of the administration's commitment to the rule of law. Hence the tough line on Libby?