Cheney to be “taken care of”
Now that we know Vice President Dick Cheney likely authorized Libby’s leak about an undercover CIA agent’s identity, it might be worth examining again the Bush administration’s policies about how to deal with leakers.
First, here is White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, speaking on Septemer 29, 2003, just a few months after the scandal broke, declaring that anyone found to have leaked classified information “would no longer been in this administration.”
Second, Bush’s remarks the very next day, at a press conference in Chicago:
Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There’s leaks at the executive branch; there’s leaks in the legislative branch. There’s just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.
When a guy who talks with a cowboy twang says someone will be “taken care of”, one assumes that said care involves at least a severe thrashing, which is the least of what Cheney deserves. But our president is incapable of irony — at least the intentional kind. His words should always be taken literally. And so, a prediction: Cheney will resign on the pretext of health concerns, and despite the growing body of evidence that suggests otherwise, he’ll be lauded as a “great American” and praised for his integrity — just a short while before the words “Cheney indicted” appear on front pages worldwide. That’s how Republicans take care of their own.