April 6, 2006

Bush implicated in leak of classified information in Plame scandal

The wheels are coming off the Bush battle wagon. The arrogant gang that thought they were untouchable are beginning to get touched in a rude way. One can only imagine what it would be like if there were a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. Bush and Cheney would probably end up doing a perp walk with raincoats over their heads. (You may pause here to enjoy that mental image.)

Scooter Libby has given testimony that Bush authorized the release of classified information from an intelligence briefing. The chain apparently went from Bush to Cheney to Libby, who then leaked the info to disgraced N.Y. Times reporter Judith Miller, who was a prime mouthpiece for White House propaganda in the phoney justification for invading Iraq. International felon and proven liar, (and now head of the Iraqi Oil Ministry) Ahmad Chalabi was her prime source of false information.

More of the emerging story at Editor & Publisher.
NEW YORK Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby testified to a grand jury that he gave information from a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq to New York Times reporter Judith Miller in 2003 with the specific permission of President Bush, according to a new court filing from the special prosecutor in the case.
...
"The court papers from the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, do not suggest that Mr. Bush violated any law or rule," the Sun's Josh Gerstein observes. "However, the new disclosure could be awkward for the president because it places him, for the first time, directly in a chain of events that led to a meeting where prosecutors contend the identity of a CIA employee, Valerie Plame, was provided to a reporter."
...
Murray Waas, who has broken several key stories about this case, analyzes the latest twist at the National Journal's site today. He adds this: "Although not reflected in the court papers, two senior government officials said in interviews with National Journal in recent days that Libby has also asserted that Cheney authorized him to leak classified information to a number of journalists during the run-up to war with Iraq. In some instances, the information leaked was directly discussed with the Vice President, while in other instances Libby believed he had broad authority to release information that would make the case to go to war.

"In yet another instance, Libby had claimed that President Bush authorized Libby to speak to and provide classified information to Washington Post assistant managing editor Bob Woodward for 'Plan of Attack,' a book written by Woodward about the run-up to the Iraqi war."

Waas also relates: "One former senior government official said that both the president and Cheney, in directing Libby to disclose classified information to defend the administration's case to go to war with Iraq and in formally declassifying portions of the NIE later, were misusing the classification process for political reasons.

"The official said that while the administration declassified portions of the NIE that would appear exculpatory to the White House, it insisted that a one-page summary of the NIE which would have suggested that the President mischaracterized other intelligence information to go to war remain classified."

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5 Comments:

At 4/06/2006 12:47 PM, Anonymous paulenator said...

No wonder Bush was so confident that they would find the leaker. Now, what about the punishing part? Maybe he like punishing himself?! That could explain a lot.

 
At 4/06/2006 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is actually legal to release it if it came from the President. I'm not positive, but I think it is.

 
At 4/06/2006 3:56 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon above... No one is saying Bush did anything illegal... yet.

And yes, they seem to operate from a viewpoint of "If the President does it, that means it's not illegal".

In this case, the president has the power to declassify whatever documents he wants.

This does not, however, make it in any way proper to do so, and if there's any justice, Bush should pay heavily for this in public opinion.

 
At 4/10/2006 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't this a far worse tale of lies than anything done during the Clinton admin??

 
At 4/10/2006 3:31 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Absolutely. No one was put in jeapardy of being killed from Clinton lying about sex. And he didn't compromise national security just to help himself politically.

 

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