Reckless Rockefeller?

Saturday, February 04, 2006
Hugh Hewitt is one of those sites I'm unlikely to link, as while he's sometimes interesting, the information content is low — I can usually predict what he will say about any topic.

This, however, is interesting: "The American Spectator's Jed Babbin was on John Batchelor's radio show yesterday, and stated that the intelligence community believes West Virignia Senator Jay Rockefeller is the leaker who illegally supplied the New York Times with the details of the NSA program."

It fits several ways: we know Rockfeller knew about the program, he's shown himself willing to be quite ruthless about using the Intelligence Committee for political purposes, ... and he seemed quite upset about the implication that the leak had caused major damage and ought to be investigated. (In fact, he came up with the interesting tu quoque that the Administration was talking about it too, conveniently ignoring the fact that the Administration only talked after the program had already been blown.)

Now, the First Law of Intelligence Leaks comes in here too: this revelation is most likely from people who don't actually know anything, and it's most probably motivated by a desire to damage Rockefeller. At best it's an interesting hypothesis. But it seems to me to have enough support to be worth watching.


Fresh Air said...


Like you, I am skeptical. But the probability that Rockefeller either knew who the leakers were or that he put them up to it, seems at this point no worse than a coin flip. As the FReepers thread points out, Rockefeller said something idiotic about the administration leaking the information, which is obvious nonsense.

Regarding Babbin, though I don't think his source is at a high enough level to really know everything. For instance, the comments Babbin relayed about whether they should "indict a sitting Senator," or whether it would cause a "constitutional crisis," strike me as amateur hour for gimlet-eyed, out-of-the-loopers.

There would be no constitutional crisis, plainly. The matter should simply be referred to the DoJ for handling. At that point, like the Plame matter, it would be out of the administration's hands--where it properly belongs.

On the other hand, just merely disclosing Rockefeller's involvement in the matter, done properly, would have devastating consequences without requiring any legal action at all.

In that sense, there is no downside for the administration here, and the press couldn't very well ignore the story. More likely, they'd act like the Republic itself was crumbling if the third- or fourth-most liberal senator was exposed as a traitor.

We can only hope, it it was him, that such a fate awaits.

David Thomson said...

“...and it's most probably motivated by a desire to damage Rockefeller.”

Nope, Jed Babbin would not jump onto this bandwagon unless he thought the evidence to be strong. He is not a slime artist.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Another good candidate for term limits. Yet Another Rich Guy who's doing it or the little people.

Since Senators can get away with murder, why shouldn't they be able to get away with treason?

terrye said...

It would be a huge risk for a sitting Senator. But then again people were saying they thought McCain might have been the leak on the socalled secret prisons which no one can seem to find any evidence of.

Seneca the Younger said...

David, it wouldn't have to be Babbin who's motive it is to harm Jay Rockefeller.

(This leads to the interesting question: who slimed JR? Catchy phrased.)

Nishizono Shinji said...

too risky, imho.
only eight congresspersons briefed?
couldn't hide in the crowd.
unless he thought he protected himself with a layer of indirection, some CIA droid that wouldn't ever tell that was cross-briefed to the program.
or a defens con or a feeb.

tefta said...

Rockefeller is arrogance personified. He couldn't imagine anybody or anything that could touch him.