Steven Benen writes most of the post I was going to write (thanks Steve!) in response to the news that Pete Hoekstra is a big fat hypocrite about intelligence leaks. Steve links to Justin Rood's coverage of Hoekstra leaking details about the supposedly secret intelligence budget; RawStory first noticed Hoekstra's leak. And then Steve provides a chronology (how could I not love that?!?!?!) of Hoekstra's wingnuttery:
Given Hoekstra's hackish history, this week's alleged disclosure is par for the course. After all, Hoekstra has had a series of recent intelligence-related embarrassments.
- In November 2006, Hoekstra pushed the administration to publish online a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The idea was to let far-right bloggers "prove" that Saddam had WMD, but Hoekstra's plan led to the accidental release of secret nuclear research, including a basic guide to building an atom bomb.
- In October 2006, Hoestra "stripped the credentials of a Democratic committee aide he believed may have leaked a then-classified document to The New York Times. A month later, he quietly reinstated the aide's access."
- In July 2006, Hoekstra called a humiliating press conference to announce, "We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq" -- despite failing to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
- In June 2006, Hoekstra and Rick Santorum wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed, alleging that some officials in the intelligence community are attempting to destroy the Bush administration -- and America itself.
I would add just one event to this chronology: In July 2006 Hoekstra wrote what was perceived as a critical letter--but was actually one solidly supporting some of the Cheney-Rummy moves to keep DOD in charge of certain areas of intelligence.
I raise that--and link to Steve's post--because I think it important to understand Hoekstra as more than just an unmotivated hack. Rather, each step of his hackery can be understood largely as a move in a Neocon chess game over information, largely doing the bidding of Cheney.
All of which suggests that Hoekstra's leak is probably yet another move in Cheney's informational campaigns. (What a surprise! The Vice President's allies are once again leaking classified information!!! And does anyone want to bet that Cheney was behind Boehner's leak, which made it easier to push through the FISA BS?) So it merits a close look at the leak, partly, to get a true appreciation for Hoekstra's cynicism and hypocrisy. Here's the context:
- Leaks to the news media have seriously undermined anti-terrorist intelligence programs. Instead of condemning these leaks for the damage they have done to our national security, Democrats have tried to exploit them to attack the Bush administration for spying on Americans, a charge that has been repeatedly proven untrue.
- The Democratic 9/11 bill that passed Congress last month included a clause to declassify the top line of the U.S. intelligence budget - a move that will give our foes more information on our activities, but do nothing to protect us from terrorists.
- The 2008 Intelligence Authorization bill cut human-intelligence programs but directed U.S. intelligence agencies to study global climate change.
In other words, Hoekstra leaked details of this year's intelligence budget in the same breath as he criticized the media and Democrats for striving for more transparency in intelligence!!
But we ought to consider how this leak benefits Cheney for its content, as well. Someone--and Cheney's a safe bet--wanted to push back against Democratic efforts to fund a study of global climate change (and presumably to understand how that will contribute to instability in the world). I'd suggest there are probably two things at issue. BushCo doesn't want a study of global warming they can't control by politicizing NASA. Such a study would show that global warming presents as urgent a threat as terrorism.But all of this is in a content where BushCo again flogs the terror terror terror as the issue that will allow it to accumulate unchecked power.
I've suggested in the past that the appropriate response to global warming would require the roll-back of the imperial presidency. It would require cooperation and a good deal of transparency. No wonder Cheney's allies are using corrupt ways to push back against such an effort!