Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Parsing Trent Lott

Yesterday, when speaking to reporters about the secret prison story in the November 3rd edition of the Washington Post written by Dana Priest, Trent Lott mentioned a luncheon for republican Senators attended by Dick Cheney held on the 2nd where information similar to the Post story was disseminated by Cheney to those in attendence and suspected that the leak about those prisons came from that luncheon. From Democracy Now:

"Information that was said in there, given out in there, did get into the newspaper. I don't know where else it came from…. It looked to me that at least one of those reports came right out of that room."

That doesn't make sense to me, at least on the surface. I don't think that Priest received the leak on Tuesday afternoon, wrote her article, fact checked it, and then confirmed it with other sources in time to make deadline for Wednesday's paper. I could be wrong, I'm not privy to the inner workings of the Post, but it seems difficult.

What I believe actually happened is this. Someone leaked to Cheney that Priest was working on the story and Cheney used the luncheon to prepare a response. After all, Cheney wasn't talking about these prisons with the full intelligence committee, just select republicans. Why else would he be discussing these prisons at all?

So, that brings us around to motive for revealing that the luncheon happened at all. Lott has been at odds with the White House for some time now, and I believe that Lott is really making this statement to cut Dick Cheney's throat. In other words, he is laying the prisons directly at the Vice President's feet. Unfortunately, the media took Lott's statement that a fellow Senator may have been the leak at face value.

Whatever the truth is, I have to think that Lott has now had his secret torture meeting club card revoked.

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