Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | July 24, 2003

Bush cabal trying to smear Durbin

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has been skewering the administration for its "16-word Lie", spurring the White House smear machine into action.

According to Durbin, an unnamed staffer in the White House press office told reporters that some senators were disturbed by his public statement blaming White House staffers for not removing the claim despite warnings from the CIA. He said that the “White House press operation started floating the story that there were senators … who were asking for my removal from the Senate Intelligence Committee because [of] the statements that I made.”

But Durbin said that he never disclosed the name of a White House staffer who was involved in the preparation of Bush’s speech and that he doesn’t know of any senators who want him to be removed from the panel.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) appeared to support Durbin’s claim. He told reporters yesterday that “no one has come to me as majority leader asking that he be removed.

The smear machine tactics of this administration really do smell of desperation, don't they?

But Durbin isn't backing down. On the contrary, he's fighting fire with fire:

At Durbin’s request, the Intelligence Committee will investigate whether administration officials compromised the identity of Wilson’s wife.

Durbin said he understands that the chairman and ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), respectively, intend to call White House staffers before the committee “to ask what led up to this situation and why we’re in the position that we’re in today.”

Partisanship aside, the outing of a CIA agent harms not just the agent herself, but all her sources and any operations in which she participated. That Roberts is aboard the inquiry is quite telling.

Posted July 24, 2003 01:52 PM


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