Andrew Kaczynski, following BuzzFeed’s pattern of BenSmithing on behalf of President Obama, tweeted today that Mitt Romney’s attacks on the Obama administration national security leaks are unjustified. Why? Here’s what Kaczynski had to say:
Mitt Romney hasn’t always been so tough on leakers. He defended Scooter Libby in 2007.
He then linked to a piece in which he claimed:
Romney’s past defense of Scooter Libby in the Valerie Plame leak case shows he hasn’t always taken a hard line against suspected leakers. Asked in two 2007 debates if Libby should have been pardoned, Romney called the investigation of Libby a “political vendetta” and “prosecutorial indiscretion.”
Only one problem: the Libby case was a political vendetta and prosecutorial indiscretion. And Libby wasn’t responsible for leaking anything.
As you’ll recall, the case began with Joe Wilson claiming that he had been sent to Niger to investigate the possibility of yellowcake uranium being trafficked there. He said that the fact that his wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA, had nothing to do with his trip. This was apparently a lie. Then Wilson came back and claimed, without evidence and after spending most of his trip lazing around the hotel pool, that he knew conclusively that Niger was not trafficking in yellowcake.
Then it leaked that Plamed worked as an analyst – not covert – for the CIA. The leaker was Richard Armitage of the State Department. Everybody in town knew it. Libby told a reporter that Plame worked for the CIA, all right – but only after everyone in DC knew about it. Libby then allegedly committed perjury in saying that he hadn’t discussed Plame’s status with reporters. But there was no underlying crime.
So is backing Scooter Libby – who didn’t break the law, or leak anything of importance, or anything everyone else in town didn’t already know – just as bad as backing leaks that threaten national security, as Obama has done? Of course not. But BuzzFeed is doing what it does best: defending their president.