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December 30, 2004

Pentagon Official Ousted For Trying to Help George Bush Politically

Wonder if Josh Marshall will begin scandalblogging this outrage?:

A Pentagon official who publicly disclosed information showing Russian involvement in moving Iraqi weapons out of that country has been dismissed.

...

Mr. Shaw said he had been asked to resign for "exceeding his authority" in disclosing the information, a charge he called "specious."

In October, Mr. Shaw told The Washington Times that he had received foreign intelligence data showing that Russian special forces units were involved in an effort to remove Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction in the weeks before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began in March 2003.

...

Reports of the Russian role in dispersing Iraqi arms made news during the final days of the presidential election campaign, at a time when the Bush administration was being criticized for failing to secure tons of Iraqi high explosives that could be used in developing nuclear arms.

Mr. Shaw went public to counter a political "October surprise" campaign designed to "crucify the president" over the missing explosives, he wrote to Mr. Rumsfeld.

"The Kerry media-driven October surprise attack on us and the president stopped within hours," Mr. Shaw wrote. "If I had not had the openly hostile environment in [Pentagon public affairs], I would have moved the story differently. Getting the truth out instantly was more important than process."

All right. Two big points:

Whether to help or hurt the administration, you can't just reveal classified information because you think it should be released. Liberals seem to have trouble understanding this; but the occasional conservative seems to as well.

As much as I'd like to know things like this, there may be diplomatic reasons for keeping it secret. Such information could, for example, be used as leverage to help secure Russian help, so long as it were actually kept secret. (Blackmail only works until you publicize the dirty pictures, after all.)

Second, since one administration-friendly leaker has been fired, it is now time to unapologetically go after the administration-hostile ones. If you sign on the line that is dotted, and vow to not release this information, it's a fireable offense if you do; and most of the time, you should be fired.

Let the purge begin. The Pentagon and CIA have to be made to understand that they simply are not the makers of this nation's foreign policy, no matter how smart they think they might be and how much better they'd handle things.


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posted by Ace at 08:20 PM

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