It's a crime. No kidding. But the media has it all wrong. As usual.
'Scooter' Libby finally outed 'Mr. Big,' the perpetrator of the heinous disclosure
of the name of secret agent Valerie Plame. It was the President of United States
himself -- in conspiracy with his Vice-President. Now the pundits are arguing
over whether our war-a-holic President had the legal right to leak this national
security information. But, that's a fake debate meant to distract you.
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OK, let's accept the White House alibi that releasing Plame's identity was no
crime. But if that's true, they've committed a bigger crime: Bush and Cheney
knowingly withheld vital information from a grand jury investigation, a multimillion
dollar inquiry the perps themselves authorized. That's akin to calling in a
false fire alarm or calling the cops for a burglary that never happened -- but
far, far worse. Let's not forget that in the hunt for the perpetrator of this
non-crime, reporter Judith Miller went to jail.
Think about that. While Miller sat in a prison cell, Bush and Cheney were laughing
their sick heads off, knowing the grand jury testimony, the special prosecutor's
subpoenas and the FBI's terrorizing newsrooms were nothing but fake props in
Bush's elaborate charade, Cheney's Big Con.
On February 10, 2004, our not-so-dumb-as-he-sounds President stated, "Listen,
I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked
classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like
to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is
a good thing. ...And if people have got solid information, please come forward
Notice Bush's cleverly crafted words. He says he can't name anyone who leaked
this "classified" info -- knowing full well he'd de-classified it.
Far from letting Bush off the hook, it worsens the crime. For years, I worked
as a government investigator and, let me tell you, Bush and Cheney withholding
material information from the grand jury is a felony. Several felonies, actually:
abuse of legal process, fraud, racketeering and, that old standby, obstruction
If you or I had manipulated the legal system this way, we'd be breaking rocks
on a chain gang. We wouldn't even get a trial -- most judges would consider
this a "fraud upon the court" and send us to the slammer using the
bench's power to administer instant punishment for contempt of the judicial
Why'd they do it? The White House junta did the deed for the most evil of motives:
to hoodwink the public during the 2004 election campaign, to pretend that evil
anti-Bush elements were undermining the Republic, when it was the Bush element
itself at the center of the conspiracy. (Notably, elections trickery also motivated
Richard Nixon's "plumbers" to break into the Watergate, then the Democratic
Party campaign headquarters.)
Let me draft the indictment for you as I would have were I still a government
"Perpetrator Lewis Libby (alias, 'Scooter') contacted Miller while John
Doe 1 contacted perpetrators' shill at the Washington Post, Bob Woodward, in
furtherance of a scheme directed by George Bush (alias 'The POTUS') and Dick
Cheney (alias, 'The Veep') to release intelligence information fraudulently
proffered as 'classified,' and thereinafter, knowingly withheld material evidence
from a grand jury empanelled to investigate said disclosure. Furthermore, perpetrator
'The POTUS' made material statements designed to deceive investigators and knowingly
misrepresent his state of knowledge of the facts."
Statements aimed at misleading agrand jury investigation are hard-time offenses.
It doesn't matter that Bush's too-clever little quip was made to the press and
not under oath. I've cited press releases and comments in the New York Times
in court as evidence of fraud. Bush, by not swearing to his disingenuous statement,
gets off the perjury hook, but he committed a crime nonetheless, "deliberate
Here's how the law works (and hopefully, it will). The Bush gang's use of the
telephone in this con game constituted wire fraud. Furthermore, while presidents
may leak ("declassify") intelligence information, they may not obstruct
justice; that is, send a grand jury on a wild goose chase. Under the 'RICO'
statute (named after the Edward G. Robinson movie mobster, 'Little Rico'), the
combination of these crimes makes the Bush executive branch a "racketeering
So, book'm, Dan-o. Time to read The POTUS and The Veep their rights.
After setting their bail (following the impeachments and removals, of course),
a judge will have a more intriguing matter to address. The RICO law requires
the Feds to seize all "ill-gotten gains" of a racketeering enterprise,
even before trial. Usually we're talking fast cars and diamond bling. But in
this case, the conspirators' purloined booty includes a stolen election and
a fraudulently obtained authorization for war. I see no reason why a judge could
not impound the 82d Airborne as "fruits of the fraud " -- lock, stock
and gun barrels -- and bring the boys home.
And if justice is to be done we will will also have to run yellow tape across
the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue -- "CRIME SCENE - DO NOT ENTER"
-- and return the White House to its rightful owners, the American people, the
victims of this gangster government.
Former racketeering investigator Greg Palast is
author of "ARMED MADHOUSE: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class
War," to be released in June. You can Pre-Order
the book now. Subscribe
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