Ex-press secretary belonged on page A1

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2007

Tucked away inconspicuously on page A5 of the Nov. 21 Juneau Empire was a regrettably brief article that screams for a bold-face headline: "Ex-press secretary points finger at Bush." I am perplexed this news did not make the headline of the Empire or other newspapers nationwide that day.

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When a former high ranking official in the White House reveals that the president and vice president knowingly fed him, and thus the American people, lies about the exposure of a CIA agent, the public deserves to be notified loud and clear. Ambassador Joe Wilson courageously took exception to Bush's abundant pre-war lies, and in retribution Bush and company exposed the identity of the ambassador's wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA officer. Then they did their best to bury the story of one of the administration's most egregious betrayals of the public trust.

Scott McClellan's revelation won't shock anyone who has had his or her eyes open for the last seven years. What is shocking is that the story was on page five. Perhaps such despicable episodes have become so commonplace that both the public and the media are numb to the whole mess. But it is unconscionable that some Americans still believe that Republicans are most effective in foreign policy and better able to protect our national security, when in fact Bush, Cheney and their tools have done more to endanger our security than any administration in history. If the media does not give the matter of presidential deceit and complicity in a crime the attention it deserves, millions of Americans will maintain their blind faith in a president who is at best incompetent and at worst a dangerous liar.

The excerpts from McClellan's upcoming book should have been the main domestic news item of the day. Granted, citizens have an obligation to educate themselves and read beyond the headlines. But as conduits for critical news, editors must prioritize events that are most newsworthy. Shouldn't McClellan's disclosure that the president misled him have been given more attention?

Americans must insist that this crime not go unpunished. Congress should impeach Bush and send him to his rightful place in the outhouse of American political history. At the very least, the Empire and papers nationwide should have made this the headline.

Ian Fisk


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