Carol Platt Liebau: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

That's Howard Dean. He's calling for the Vice President to resign -- no, not because of the buckshot kerfuffle, but because Lewis Libby has testified that Mr. Cheney authorized him to leak Valerie Plame's identity. According to Dean, it means that "This vice president many not be vice president very much longer."

This is so silly that it's amazing even Howard Dean went with it. First, we're still waiting for any indication that revealing Plame's identity was a crime of any kind (note that the independent counsel has never alleged that it is). And if it's not, what's the problem with the Vice President authorizing Libby to reveal it?

Second, as the "president in waiting," the Vice President largely shares the responsibilities and the prerogatives bestowed on the President by the Constitution. Included within that are the "commander in chief" powers, which carry with them the responsibility to decide what information ought, and ought not, remain secret (read: classified). The President and Vice President can, essentially, declassify what they want, when they want in the course of undertaking their natioanl security duties. And so even if Plame's identity were classified -- and there's still no evidence she was covert -- what's the problem?

Episodes like this are so helpful in reminding the country that the Democrats simply aren't serious about national security, and can't be trusted with it.


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