|Bush Leaked State Secrets
And Then Blamed The Leak on Scooter Libby
Ex-Cheney aide points at Bush
WASHINGTON — President George W. Bush, who has often denounced leaks from the White House, has been named by a former official as the one who authorized disclosing sensitive information on Iraq’s weapons program.
There’s no indication that Bush directed anyone to mention the name of former undercover agent Valerie Plame in the high-profile CIA leak case that’s long plagued the administration.
But in an embarrassing revelation, Lewis Libby, who worked for Vice-President Dick Cheney and has been indicted in the scandal, told prosecutors that Bush gave the word to pass on prewar intelligence about Iraq.
Court documents made public today don’t specify what that information was. But Bush was facing growing criticism at the time over the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, the reason he gave for the invasion.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said he’d have no comment because it’s an ongoing investigation.
But Democrats demanded details of what role the two men played.
Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Bush “can no longer be trusted to keep America safe” after putting the interests of his party ahead of security.
Analysts say presidents are within their legal rights to declassify papers that serve their purposes, even as they bemoan leaks.
“But it’s embarrassing when they’re caught at it,” said political analyst Stephen Hess. “This time, we caught them leaking from the top.”
Still, Hess said it remains to be seen whether this will further damage Bush, who’s already suffering from record-low approval ratings.
The disclosure does suggest that Libby’s trial in January on five counts of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI may contain some revelations about Bush and not just Cheney, as everyone had expected.
But the trial is well after November’s mid-term elections, notes analyst Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia.
And Bush’s connection to the leak case pales in comparison to his war woes, he said.
“To the average American, this doesn’t matter. What matters is the constant daily grind of killing in Iraq.”
The papers filed by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald say Libby held a crucial conversation with New York Times reporter Judith Miller on July 8, 2003, just after the nod from Bush to release part of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq.
Miller told a grand jury that Libby told her that day about Plame’s CIA satus.
Their converation took place just days after Plame’s husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly accused the administration of twisting prewar intelligence to play up the weapons threat from Iraq.
The legal papers also describe Cheney’s involvement in Libby’s talk with Time magazine’s Matt Cooper, who was also told about Plame.
She was publicly outed, however, by conservative columnist Robert Novak.
Bush has repeatedly implied that he knew nothing about leaks from the White House.
“There’s just too many leaks, and if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is,” he said Sept. 30, 2003.
The White House has even launched criminal investigations of leaks, including one into who told the New York Times that Bush created a secret domestic spy program that doesn’t require warrants.
Death and Taxes
Just where do our tax dollars go?
Well, during an average year in the United States, over half of our tax dollars ends up supporting the US military and military research. The other 49% is our schools, transportation network, police, health services (disease control, etc), FBI, welfare system, department of commerce, etc. For a more detailed analysis during a particular year, lets look at the year 2004 below: