A LEAKY PRESIDENT RUNS AFOUL OF 'LITTLE RICO'
by Greg Palast
9, 2006 It's a crime. No kidding. But the media has it all wrong. As usual. 'Scooter' Libby finally outed 'Mr. Big,' the perpetrator
of the heinous disclosure of the name of secret agent Valerie Plame. It was the President of United States himself -- in conspiracy
with his Vice-President. Now the pundits are arguing over whether our war-a-holic President had the legal right to leak this
national security information. But, that's a fake debate meant to distract you. OK, let's accept the White House alibi that
releasing Plame's identity was no crime. But if that's true, they've committed a BIGGER crime: Bush and Cheney knowingly withheld
vital information from a grand jury investigation, a multimillion dollar inquiry the perps themselves authorized. That's akin
to calling in a false fire alarm or calling the cops for a burglary that never happened -- but far, far worse. Let's not forget
that in the hunt for the perpetrator of this non-crime, reporter Judith Miller went to jail.
Think about that. While Miller
sat in a prison cell, Bush and Cheney were laughing their sick heads off, knowing the grand jury testimony, the special prosecutor's
subpoenas and the FBI's terrorizing newsrooms were nothing but fake props in Bush's elaborate charade, Cheney's Big Con. On
February 10, 2004, our not-so-dumb-as-he-sounds President stated, "Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration
who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate
action. And this investigation is a good thing. ...And if people have got solid
information, please come forward with it."
Notice Bush's cleverly crafted
words. He says he can't name anyone who leaked this "classified" info -- knowing full well he'd de-classified it. Far from
letting Bush off the hook, it worsens the crime. For years, I worked as a government investigator and, let me tell you, Bush
and Cheney withholding material information from the grand jury is a felony. Several felonies, actually: abuse of legal process,
fraud, racketeering and, that old standby, obstruction of justice.
If you or I had manipulated
the legal system this way, we'd be breaking rocks on a chain gang. We wouldn't even get a trial -- most judges would consider
this a "fraud upon the court" and send us to the slammer in minutes using the bench's power to administer instant punishment
for contempt of the judicial system.
Why'd they do it? The White
House junta did the deed for the most evil f motives: to hoodwink the public during the 2004 election campaign, to pretend
that evil anti-Bush elements were undermining the Republic, when it was the Bush element itself at the center of the conspiracy.
(Notably, elections trickery also motivated Richard Nixon's "plumbers" to break
into the Watergate, then the Democratic Party campaign headquarters.)
Let me draft the indictment
for you as I would have were I still a government gumshoe: "Perpetrator Lewis
Libby (alias, 'Scooter') contacted Miller; while John Doe 1 contacted perpetrators' shill at the Washington Post, Bob Woodward,
in furtherance of a scheme directed by George Bush (alias 'The POTUS') and Dick Cheney (alias, 'The Veep') to release intelligence
information fraudulently proffered as 'classified,' and thereinafter, knowingly withheld material evidence from a grand jury
empanelled to investigate said disclosure. Furthermore, perpetrator 'The POTUS' made material statements designed to deceive
investigators and knowingly misrepresent his state of knowledge of the facts."
Statements aimed at misleading
grand jury investigators are hard-time offenses. It doesn't matter that Bush's too-clever little quip was made to the press
and not under oath. I've cited press releases and comments in the New York Times in court as evidence of fraud. By not swearing
to his disingenuous statement, Bush gets off the perjury hook, but he committed a crime nonetheless, "deliberate concealment."
Here's how the law works (and
hopefully, it will). The Bush gang's use of the telephone in this con game constituted wire fraud. Furthermore, while presidents
may leak ("declassify") intelligence information, they may not obstruct justice; that is, send a grand jury on a wild goose
chase. Under the 'RICO' statute (named after the Edward G. Robinson movie mobster, 'Little Rico'), the combination of these
crimes makes the Bush executive branch a "racketeering enterprise."
So, book'm, Dan-o. Time to
read The POTUS and The Veep their rights. After setting their bail (following the impeachments and removals, of course), a
judge will have a more intriguing matter to address. The RICO law requires the Feds to seize all "ill-gotten gains" of a racketeering
enterprise, even before trial. Usually we're talking fast cars and diamond bling. But in this case, the conspirators' purloined
booty includes a stolen election and a fraudulently obtained authorization for war. I see no reason why a judge could not
impound the 82d Airborne as "fruits of the fraud " -- lock, stock and gun barrels -- and bring the boys home. And if justice is to be done we will will also have to run yellow tape across the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue -- "CRIME SCENE - DO NOT ENTER"
-- and return the White House to its rightful owners, the American people, the victims of this gangster government.
********** Former racketeering
investigator Greg Palast is author of "ARMED MADHOUSE: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War," to be released in
June. Subscribe to the new podcast of our columns at www.GregPalast.com