There's an article in The New York Times about the expanding scope of the Plame investigation. The FBI is apparently looking into a possible cover-up of the leak. But the graf in the article that really got my attention was this...
Republican lawyers worried that the leak case, in the hands of an aggressive prosecutor, might grow into an unwieldy, time-consuming and politically charged inquiry, like the sprawling independent counsel inquiries of the 1990's, which distracted and damaged the Clinton administration.
There is nothing like a bit of turnabout. The Republicans have been up in arms about resisting independent investigators, that there is no conflict of interest in a sitting justice refusing to remove himself from a case dealing with a good friend. When the Republicans have the ball, there is no problem with investigation after investigation weighing down a sitting administration to the extent that it can not enact any policy without more accusations. The Republicans have no problem hog-tying the Clinton administration, but to do it to the Bush administration is an attack on America, tantamount to treason.
The Republican's attacks against Clinton hamstrung an administration that was actively seeking out the terrorist groups we are now ignoring. The Republican's were more than happy to prevent the Clinton administration from enacting its policy in order to further their own political aims. Its impossible to know what the actual ramifications of their continuous attacks in the 1990's.
Now, of course, the administration is selectively releasing files from the Clinton archive dealing with the war on terrorism. As the Political Animal notes, perhaps they are worried that they might release information that shows that the Clinton administration was "on the ball". One of the commentators on Washington Week commented that one of the former Clinton officials who was notorious for keeping documents under lock and key has been asking for the complete release of all relevant files.
No one is going to blame the Bush administration for not stopping the 9/11 attack. Even though there was a great deal of information, including the names and locations of some of the individuals involved, the organization was problematic enough that the information was never put together in time.
As I noted before, this is not a blame game, this is an investigation to make sure this won't happen again. Yet the administration reacts to every comment and question like a kid who just nabbed a cookie from the cookie jar.
The administration needs to come clean. They need to say, mistakes were made and we were not prepared. Then say we have worked hard to fix that and we continue to do so. That would be the best play...but not the one they have chosen.
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