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Cheney on Trial

The NIE was not declassified in full, because the Senate Intelligence Committee dissent of David Rockefeller was being restricted, to the point he wrote internal letters over the matter.

Bush and Cheney thus lied to Congress about the nature of intelligence documents classification. The intelligence they pushed was itself false. Also, by the law's letter they are forbidden to selectively present the information to Congress while telling journalists about it without full disclosure and transparency.

It is an impeachable offense to present false evidence to Congress. You cannot retroactively declassify/classify. You cannot claim both apply to the same material, the method of disclosure employed is in effect a line item veto, which is also unconstitutional.

Cheney's extraconstitutional use of power through a vague negative construct of the Vice President's power restraints, which are fully worded toward the President, is yet another doctrine of tyranny. Unless his powers are expressly worded in grant he cannot assume them in any manner even with the approval of the Chief Executive if one applied the same argument literally.

The Ninth Amendment does not make the Vice President the final arbiter of law, the body of public opinion does that through elected delegates of the Congress, "or to the People."

It's quite clear that tacit grant of express law applies towards government authority, and the broad swath of individual rights are retained by vague, expanding applications of Liberty.

Chris Murphy

Blytheville, AR

Mar 9 2007 - 3:53am

Who's Afraid of Gardasil?

Does this vaccine come with the preservative thimerisolm which contains mercury... or any other mercury-containing preservative commonly used in vaccines.?

Jack Doan

New York, NY

Mar 9 2007 - 1:06am

Walter Reed Scandal: How Mainstream Media Let Us Down

The mainstream media lets us down every day.

Driven by relentless profit motive and the opression of the quarterly earnings report, big news media has been increasingly trivialized by the need to produce large earnings at the same time that its corporate owners have decreed a policy of killing stories that are overtly critical of the Bush administration - indeed of most any establishment venue.

Energy (oil) corporations, the drug lobby, agribusiness, American automakers and other spoilers have received a hall pass on some of their most horrible excesses. We, as a nation have accepted the de facto censorship of embedded reporters in Iraq and a ban on reporting the arrival of the dead and wounded here at home.

When some righteous soul uses the antique term: "the liberal media," I'm stunned by their dated view of the scene. There hasn't been a liberal media in the USA for years, maybe decades.

The media are ownwed by huge corporations, and their marching orders come from the boards of those huge corporations. We're lucky that a story like the Walter Reed scandal broke at all.

Perhaps you've noticed that there is virtually no mention of similar situations in large VA hospitals around the country. Please, let's not get carried away.

Gregory Von Dare

Los Angeles, CA

Mar 9 2007 - 12:23am

Senator Inevitable

Hillary Clinton is accomplished in her own right and she has twice been elected as a senator from New York.

I will agree to the extent that Mrs. Clinton is accomplished in her own right, but I believe that her accomplishments have nothing to do with politics. It is true that she was twice elected as a Senator for New York State. However, in the 2000 election, she received a lower percentage of the votes than Mr. Gore received. To truly consider her accomplished, I would expect that she would equal or exceed the total garnered by Mr. Gore. In 2004 the senior senator from New York, Charles Schumer, was re-elected and received 71 percent of the vote, a greater percentage than Mrs. Clinton received in the following cycle in 2006. Again, if she were so accomplished I would expect her to exceed or equal the percentage as her peer.

If Daniel Patrick Moynihan had not retired his senate seat, there would not have been any other state in the country where Mrs. Clinton would have been a viable candidate in 2000. Had Mr. Moynihan not retired, Mrs. Clinton would not be running for the White House and would not be a sitting senator.

Just my view, Mrs. Clinton may have her talents, politics is not one of them.

Tony Lynch

New York, NY

Mar 9 2007 - 12:21am

Cheney on Trial

David, you (like every other journalist on the story) have taken at face value Libby's report that Cheney was authorized by the President to release (declassify) a classified document. How do we know Bush authorized it? Only because Cheney (allegedly) told Libby so. This is first year law school stuff: The fact that Cheney claimed to be acting under Presidential authority doesn't make it so.

I haven't seen any references to any written (and non-backdated) document authorizing the Vice President to assume Presidential authority to declassify documents. If there were one, surely Libby would have mentioned it somewhere along the line. Given what we know about how Cheney operates, it seems much more likely that Cheney just took on himself the authority to declassify (or the willingness to leak it regardless), and that Bush and his side of the White House knew nothing about it until after the fact.

So please be more cautious about saying that Bush in fact authorized the disclosures. Maybe, maybe not. If not, it looks like pretty clear grounds to impeach and/or indict the Vice President (first) for improper release of classified information and abuse of power.

Betsy Cazden

Providence, RI

Mar 8 2007 - 10:58pm

Walter Reed Scandal: How Mainstream Media Let Us Down

This happened ont he watch of Tom DeLay's right hand man and chief Republican fundraiser, ironically quoted here as concerned about the matter. He, too, knew about this since 2004. He admitted as much in an article in the March 7 Congressional Quarterly.

He was too busy raising money from government contractors like IAP who won the contract for running Walter Reed. Follow the money and see they paid the money concurrently with efforts to schedule hearings before his Government Reform Committee. He would either refuse to hold the hearings or he would feed the witnesses Q&As. His wife's "job" at ICG Government is to "prepare" witnesses for hearings before his committee.

Davis won the Chair of the Reform Committee over the more senior Chris Shays (R-CT) as punishment for Shays pushing for more campaign finance reform and for more oversight.

See for example http://www.raisingkaine.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=7487and www.tomdavistruth.com

Andrea Chamblee

Silver Spring, MD

Mar 8 2007 - 10:25pm

Who's Afraid of Gardasil?

While the idea of an HPV vaccine is wonderful news for women, I would be a lot more comfortable with it if there were more control tests being done.

In the last ten years or so we've seen promising medicines turn out to be horrific nightmares. The vaccines of today are not thoroughly tested like the ones 50 years ago.

I say the federal government, along with the FDA and Deptartment of Health and Human Services, should take this approach very slowly.

I'd hate to hear 15 months down the line our young girls and young women have been afflicted and possibly die from this vaccine because the research was rushed through.

A Cook

Atlanta, GA

Mar 8 2007 - 10:06pm

Cheney on Trial

It has long been postulated that Bush will pardon Cheney and resign, Cheney will pardon Bush and resign...and the whole lot will avoid prosecution. One might think that is clear evidence that Bush's alleged Christian beliefs do not extend into an afterlife that includes judgment.

In the meantime for the rest of us, perhaps this is the second baby step away from the slide into fascism--perhaps a badly abused word. Yet we still sit in a country where one raving lunatic can start a war with Iraq or another "target of opportunity."

We can hope the retreat from madness will continue, perhaps with Karl Rove in the box next. But it will not be easy. As Cheney feels more desperate, he will become more dangerous.

Leaving him to run loose, however, is quite a bit more dangerous for us all.

David Robbins

Princeton, NJ

Mar 8 2007 - 5:40pm

Walter Reed Scandal: How Mainstream Media Let Us Down

Walter Reed is only one of many stories, the vast majority of which will never be told, concerning government waste, indifference, and poor treatment of clients. It's not news that the DOD is tied up with red tape. What's interesting is that the Post could make an ordinary situation so important. Probably it's the name "Walter Reed." If this were happening in some facility in Mississippi, I doubt that the Post would ever have picked up the story.

We are witnessing one of the occasional spasms of concern that Congress exhibits over some governmental shortcoming. The American people are no more interested in paying close attention to this over a long period of time than is Maureen Dowd.

You can't sell enough newspapers to policy wonks to pay the rent. We should be grateful to see this happen on rare occasions, without blaming the media for not making it a regular occurrence.

Rob Spooner

Florence, Oregon

Mar 8 2007 - 5:03pm

Edwards Gets a Boost

I agree. It's easy and perhaps comforting to just dismiss Coulter as a clever club act, out to make herself rich, laughing all the way to the bank, over the uproar she creates.

But the scary truth is Coulter actually believes the outrageous things she says, and as you point out--she has a very large audience who also believe it.

The bottom line is, Bush could not have gotten away with the theft of the American Republic without the consent of a large part of the electorate.

John Giarratana

Jersey City, NJ, USA

Mar 8 2007 - 3:58pm