Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

December 4, 2003

by J

Bush Muzzles Clark

The Bush Administration wants Wesley Clark's testimony before the war crimes tribunal of Milosevic to be kept secret. The Seattle Times says this is unprecedented.
But for a high-profile public figure, the secrecy surrounding Clark's testimony is unprecedented, especially in light of the fact that Clark has written a lengthy book and numerous articles on NATO and the Kosovo war, and has freely given his opinion on these subjects as a TV commentator and presidential candidate.

"We are concerned about the perception, especially in the countries that were involved (in the war)," said Hartmann. "If you do things in a closed session, people think you are hiding something and that it is not a fair trial."

The reason the department wants a 48-hour delay to vet Clark's testimony "is not to discourage or hinder reporting but to allow for the maximum provision of information by General Clark to the Tribunal while at the same time protecting against the inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information," said Lou Fintor, a State Department spokesman.
So, the subtle implication is that the Bushies don't trust Clark to know what's sensitive and what's not? Come on. The article goes on to note that Albright has testified in public, but that the Bushies also squawked about letting Holbrooke testify openly. Dunno about the Holbrooke thing, but somehow I have the feeling that the fuss about Clark's testimony is more about Presidential politics than anything else. Hopefully it will backfire on them. [via Marshall]
Posted by J at December 4, 2003 07:21 AM

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