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April 06, 2006

Libby: Bush Authorized Leaks

Not with regard to Valerie "007" Plame. But with respect to various parts of the National Intelligence Estimate Bush thought would help buttress his case for war with Iraq, and counter charges leveled at him by other leakers, such as Joseph Wilson.

Libby says that Cheney told him the disclosures were legal, as by authorizing the disclosure, Bush had effectively declassified the documents.

I'm not sure if that's correct legally, though administration lawyers supposedly approved it. Certainly it's not the preferred method of declassification, which would be to, you know, officially declassify the document (or parts thereof) and make it public, rather than selectively leaking it to reporters.

But given the nature of the war between the CIA and Bush Administration, perhaps Bush thought the CIA and other intelligence services were claiming that anything that helped him were "classified" and could not be made public, while meanwhile leaking like sieves anything that cast the Administration in a bad light.


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posted by Ace at 10:11 AM

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