E.J. Dionne: Bush Plotted 'Journalistic Shield' All Along

The Bush administration created a journalistic shield to stall investigation into the CIA leak case until after the 2004 election. So proclaims the Washington Post in a column by E. J. Dionne Jr. on Tuesday, November 1, 2005.

The writer claims that “As long as Bush faced the voters, the White House wanted Americans to think officials such as Libby, Karl Rove and vice president Chaney had nothing to do with the leak campaign to discredit its arch-critic on Iraq, the former ambassador Joseph Wilson.”

The writer claims that to assure a delay in the inquiry the administration had Libby state his information concerning Wilson’s wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame was provided by a number of reporters.

The Post article further asserts, “The journalistic ‘shield’ was converted into a shield for the Bush administration’s cover-up.”

As often happens in the major media outlets today, guilt is automatically assumed and the presumption of innocence is out the window. Even though I. Lewis Libby is facing a trial, based on charges in a Grand Jury indictment, nothing has been proven in a court of law. There is also no charge of a “cover-up” and Karl Rove, Vice President Dick Cheney and the Bush administration have been charged with nothing. But, the Post assertions continue. They claim is the White House plan to present Libby as a lone operator and pray he will be the only official charged.

“You can tell the president worries this won’t work”, writes Dionne. “…Yesterday he did what he usually does when he’s in trouble. He sought to divide the country….” Nominating Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court created this division according to the article.

The article continues with the same liberal mantra that has been repeated for the past two years. It states the president needs to tell what he knew and when he knew it. It demands to know what transpired in meetings between Libby and Cheney. It wants an answer to the question, “Did Cheney set these events into motion?”

Ignored is the hard set of facts offered up by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgearld that the two year investigation into a claimed CIA leak which disclosed the name of an undercover operative resulted in no indictments for that alleged offense. There was nothing in the investigation, which reflected the involvement of President Bush.

Further, any mention of Valerie Plame to Libby by the vice president was perfectly legal, because both individuals had the security clearances that would have allowed such a conversation.

Remember, there has not even been a trial and there has only been a single indictment. It was for making false statements to a Grand Jury, not engaging in an administration cover-up. But, this article wraps everything into one tight observation that a “journalistic shield” was created to protect a guilty White House.