Mitt Romney really wants to be seen as a credible candidate on foreign policy, but finds himself in sort of the same bind that Barack Obama did in 2008: He hasn’t actually done much in terms of foreign policy, so he’s hired a bunch of people to help advise him. How about some ambassadors? Ambassadors are probably good, we think, although we haven’t read that much Henry James. So of course it makes sense that, to support his tough-guy speech on the eve of his whirlwind visit to his money in overseas accounts, Mittens would release a ponderous statement of support from one of his ambassadors on retainer. The advisor, former Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman, penned a nice boilerplate paragraph about how Romney’s Reno speech was all “Reaganesque” and stuff, blah blah no apologies for America and so on, and then the thing closes by echoing Romney’s VERY SERIOUS concerns that the Obama administration may have leaked information about the Bin Laden raid and drone attacks, back when everybody on the Right was whining and moaning that Obama wouldn’t release any intel about the Bin Laden raid and drone attacks:
The suggestion by Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, that the White House was behind recent leaks of highly classified secrets, highlights the urgent need for change.
And if anyone knows about how serious leaks of classified information can be, it’s Eric Edelman! After all, as Buzzfeed points out, Edelman worked for VP Dick Cheney’s right-hand man, Scooter Libby. In fact, Edelman was identified in the Justice Department’s indictment of Libby as the genius who suggested to Libby that it would be a hilarious prank to get back at Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson by leaking information to the press about Wilson. And then Libby went straight out and whispered to the New York Times’ Judith Miller all about how Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was totally a CIA operative, you know, and then everybody had a good laugh over how thoroughly Wilson had been punked, so we went ahead and invaded Iraq.
In the great cavalcade of tone-deafness that is the Romney 2012 campaign, it may be fairly unremarkable that the job of condemning the Obama administration for maybe allowing leaks would fall to the author of the Bush Administration’s most notorious leak. But we have to give them points for style.