Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Wednesday, March 31, 2004  

Let's recap: a high-ranking official goes on 60 Minutes and creates a firestorm with accusations from a recently-published book that the administration mishandled policy. The White House retaliates, not by refuting the charges, but by slagging the character of the official and suggesting he may have committed a crime by printing some of the information in his book. No, not Richard Clarke--Paul O'Neill.

And as we're watching a second scorched earth campaign in an uncannily-similar scenario against a former administration official, it bears mentioning that last week O'Neill was cleared of wrongdoing (in news I completely missed):

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, who painted an unflattering portrait of President Bush in a book in January, received 140 government documents for the book that should not have been released after he left office, the Treasury Department's inspector general says.

The report Monday from Jeffrey Rush Jr. said that no federal laws had been violated in the release of the documents but that Treasury needed to improve the way it handled sensitive documents....

Treasury began its investigation in January after CBS's "60 Minutes" showed a document marked "secret" during an interview in which O'Neill promoted the new book, "The Price of Loyalty."

I have no doubt that Clarke will be cleared of wrongdoing, too. If the smear campaign works well enough to keep the Bush ship afloat and he somehow manages to win re-election, I expect to see another small report, probably by year's end, clearking Clarke of wrongdoing. But hey, that's then, right?

posted by Jeff | 7:21 AM |
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