King George Watch

A reader notices something interesting:

"The Executive Order allowing Cheney to declassify classified information is Executive Order 13292. Bryon York at the National Review actually has a good article on it this morning. I found the date of the Executive Order, March 25, 2003, to be the most astounding part.  According to Wikipedia, the time line of the Plame Affair goes like this.  On March 3, 2003 Joseph Wilson writes an article in the Nation in which he claims that "America has entered one of it [sic] periods of historical madness."  The Executive Order 13292, giving the Vice-President explicit authority to declassify information, is issued on March 25, 2003. On July 6, 2003, Joseph Wilson writes his article in the New York Times disputing the intelligence that Saddam Hussein attempted to acquire nuclear materials in Africa, which is followed by Robert Novak's article ousting Valerie Plame on July 14, 2003."

The York article is indeed very helpful. York will no doubt soon be called a liberal. More to the point: the circumstantial evidence seems pretty clear to me that the president gave the vice-president constitutional authority to smear Joseph Wilson. It also seems to me that this is a big deal.

UPDATE: Wikipedia appears to be wrong, although my reader read it correctly. The quote from Wilson was actually by John le Carre. The first print mention of Wilson's dissent from the White House line was in May 2003. So the time-line for a clear connection doesn't work. All we can say is that Cheney's new authority to leak classified information came at a time when the administration's claims about WMDs were beginning to look weak. Not long thereafter, Plame was outed.