BIG BUSH NEWS: Does the President Plan to Fire Himself?

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bushmtp.jpg
I was writing a post on Cynthia McKinney’s theatrics, but the news has been gushing in that President Bush authorized the “leaking” of secret information to the media.
From my quick review, the most authoritative and I think the first writer to break the news was Joshua Gerstein at the New York Sun.
So, I scratched the McKinney post.
Suffice it to say, however, that if she was this Palestinian Minister, she might have something to complain about.
I have to dig in further to what is actually factual about the Bush leak authorization and will do that later.
What is important to recognize now, however, is that our secrecy-obsessed President got cavalier with state secrets and sent his staff to pump cherry-picked material into the nation’s biggest and most respected news operations.
I have not read the statute carefully about whether the President has the automatic ability, in his person, to declassify material and authorize its release. That needs to be looked into.
In the Plame case, Bush said that he would fire anyone involved with leaking national security information. I can hear Jon Stewart asking the key question tonight, “So President Bush, do you plan to fire yourself?”
But it does demonstrate something about the culture of the White House, particularly with regard to the Valerie Plame leak.
I wonder how Russ Feingold’s censure measure is going to fare now. I think things just improved for the Wisconsin Senator’s initiative.
More to come.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

58 comments on “BIG BUSH NEWS: Does the President Plan to Fire Himself?

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  3. JS says:

    Why no comments on McKinney?
    It must be because shes black.

    Reply

  4. Steambomb says:

    ~~~~Speaking of Russ Feingold’s censure proposition, what did Arlen Specter mention about adding a “bad faith” clause? Sounds appropriate here.~~~~
    No a “bad faith” clause is not appropriate here. What Spectre is after is an “out” for the president of any criminal accountability. Then Spectre would be happy to jump on board. A “bad faith” clause would conclude that the president simply made a mistake. Thus, since the president acknowledged that the knows what he is doing and will continue to do it, would then mean that no mistake on his part is being made. He is simply going to do as he pleases regardless of the constitution or the law. So I say FUCK Spectre and FUCK any “bad faith” clause that he seeks.

    Reply

  5. LeeB says:

    This quote was posted upthread:
    http://mediamatters.org/items/200507150002#20050719
    “The following day, Bush echoed McClellan’s statement by promising to take “action” against the leaker:
    Q: Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it —
    BUSH: Yes.
    Q: — have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him —
    BUSH: Listen, I know of nobody — I don’t know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I’d like to know it, and we’ll take the appropriate action.”
    ——————
    My question is this: If we are to believe that the pResident properly declassified the information prior to the leak, why didn’t he just say so?! “WHAT classified information? I DE-classified it back on _______, 2003. Next question . . . .?”
    I think he just made the whole thing up — yesterday (or mebbe just this morning) — because he’s been caught lying. Again.
    I can’t wait to see what Mr. Fitzgerald is still holding close to his vest.
    Pass the popcorn.

    Reply

  6. Dons Blog says:

    Even if there were a law against leaking the information, Bush would just issue a signing statement of some sort of Gonzales fronted edict giving him permission to go ahead.
    Unless there’s some type of enforcement, Bush can do anything he wants, legal or not.
    I still haven’t heard anything about revealing the identity of Brewster Jennings and the damage that did to the suppression of WMD.

    Reply

  7. Marky says:

    Republicans Presidents have the inherent authority to crush your child’s testicles (exactly that scenario was clarified in Senate testimony some time back). Democratic Presidents have the authority to follow the lead of a Republican Congress—and nothing else.
    GOP—All your balls are belong to us.

    Reply

  8. hillary says:

    and “classified information” is the new “sexual relations”….

    Reply

  9. bill clinton says:

    in effect, bush is saying that he did not inhale…

    Reply

  10. jawbone says:

    Remember, oh, back in the late 90’s, when all sorts of Republicans repeated the mantra of “The president is not above the law!” and “The president must obey the laws as any other citizen does.”
    Well, if there is an executive order, whether issued by Bush or an earlier president, which Bush does not like, Bush cannot abrograte that executive order on whim or some sort of fingers crossed behind his back or for some undisclosed time period of “suspension”; he must issue another executive order ammending the one he wishes to “change” or make inoperative.
    Bush issued several exec orders on his first day in office which negated Clinton exec orders. He knows how it’s done.
    C’mon, folks. High School Civics–we are a nation of laws, not of men. We are a representative democractic republic, based on a constitution, and even the current elected or selected president must obey those laws.
    There is no article or sub-article in the Constitution giving the executive the right to break some laws as he might wish.
    Have we gone so far down the road to a dictatorship that this BushCo argument has wings strong enough to fly?

    Reply

  11. Borderline Retard from Hicksville says:

    Wilson had written an op-ed in which he said he knew first-hand that the Bush administration had deliberately lied when it claimed Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium in Africa. (The CIA had sent Wilson, a one-time ambassador, to the African country of Niger for little more than a week in 2002 to check out the uranium story.)
    Wilson was certain he could demonstrate that Libby had told Judith Miller of The New York Times about Valerie Plame’s CIA employment at a meeting between the two on July 8, 2003. But Libby told the grand jury, in effect, that he met with Miller that day to give her information to discredit Wilson’s op-ed that was far more potent than simply pointing out Wilson probably got the gig because his CIA wife was throwing the diplomatic has-been a bone.
    According to Fitzgerald’s court filing, Libby “testified that he was specifically authorized in advance of the meeting to disclose the key judgments of the classified NIE to Miller on that occasion because it was thought that the NIE was ‘pretty definitive’ against what Ambassador Wilson had said and that the vice president thought that it was ‘very important’ for the key judgments of the NIE to come out. [Libby] further testified that he at first advised the vice president that he could not have this conversation with reporter Miller because of the classified nature of the NIE. [Libby] testified that the vice president later advised him that the president had authorized [Libby] to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE.”
    Also lost in the mists of recent memory is the reason we’re talking about this in the first place. Fitzgerald is involved in this story because he was asked to investigate whether the public exposure of Mrs. Wilson’s CIA employment was a crime. For it to be a crime, she had to be a covert CIA operative who had served in that capacity at some point in the five years prior to her exposure – and the person exposing her had to be doing it consciously and with knowledge that she was covert.
    Fitzgerald did not indict Libby or anybody else on those grounds. Even so, there’s been a lot of harrumphing about the idea that the White House might have sought to discredit Wilson at all – that somehow doing such a thing was manifestly horrible.
    But Wilson had claimed that he had inside knowledge that the White House knew Saddam had never sought to purchase uranium and that it went ahead and told a cock-and-bull story anyway – that, in other words, Bush had deliberately lied us into war.
    That charge was so explosive that the Bush administration had no choice but to answer it in some fashion. By authorizing the release of some classified material to a reporter, Bush was fighting back against a slander.
    And slander it was, no more and no less. The Senate Intelligence Committee specifically said Wilson came back from Niger and offered up some information suggesting Saddam had been pursuing nuclear material in Niger in 1999.
    Wilson’s appalling lies were revealed in 2004. And yet, here we are, in 2006, fighting the same old battles. Guess this is what happens when you don’t win a war quickly enough.

    Reply

  12. jonst says:

    The President may indeed have the power to declassify documents. However that power is only granted so long as he is acting within the scope of his official duties. Once he starts acting OUTSIDE the scope of his duties, his legal power to anything stops. The moment that agent (the President)starts doing things that are harmful to the Principal’s (the people) interests, he is acting outside the scope of his duties. Its fairly simple agency-principal, black letter law.
    Now we can argue if what he did was harmful to the people’s interests, in this case exposing the undercover agent, and her contacts, and network to public scrutiny. Fine…..but if it IS deemed harmful to the principal, the agent is guilty of a legal violation. I would argue anyway.

    Reply

  13. Punctuation-challenged Red Neck Idiot says:

    The plame game resumes — sort of
    The Bush-hating side of the blogosphere is buzzing about the latest Plame-related news — that Scooter Libby is said to have told the grand jury that he was authorized by President Bush, via Vice President Cheney, to leak “certain information” that was contained in the National Intelligence Estimate. That information was not about Valerie Plame. Nonetheless, Andrew Sullivan thinks that President Bush is “nailed.” Tom Maguire thinks that Sullivan “can’t read.”
    Andy McCarthy points out that there’s no reason to believe that the “certain information” in question was even classified. According to McCarthy, “Almost certainly, what Libby was permitted to do was preview for certain reporters some of the highlights of what was shortly going to be made public in the NIE. That is, NOT disclose the classified information, but talk about what was going to be in the public domain.”
    JOHN adds; I’ll repeat what I wrote this morning, for the sake of those lame liberals who keep emailing us to ask why we aren’t talking about this “blockbuster” story.
    This is the same “scandal” the press tried to sell a few months ago. I wrote about it here. The Sun article (unlike some other press accounts) explains clearly what was going on. Intelligence insiders like Joe Wilson were leaking a combination of falsehoods and minority views to the press in order to challenge the administration’s decision to go to war with Iraq. This was deeply unfair. In October 2002, the intelligence agencies presented to the administration their “consensus estimate” with regard to Iraq’s WMD programs. The consensus of all of the agencies (CIA, DIA, etc.) was, with a “high level of confidence”:
    Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.
    We are not detecting portions of these weapons programs.
    Iraq possesses proscribed chemical and biological weapons and missiles.
    Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons grade fissile material.
    The Bush administration naturally relied on the consensus of the intelligence agencies in making decisions about Iraq and in describing the dangers of Saddam’s regime to the American people. This is why the “Bush lied” theme is so foolish.
    In the summer of 2003, as noted above, the administration was besieged with leaks from liberals in the CIA and elsewhere, as well as op-eds by the likes of Joe Wilson, that misrepresented the state of the intelligence prior to the Iraq war. In order to deal with these false claims, the administration declassified the 2002 intelligence estimate. (It didn’t help; the estimate remains a closely guarded secret among most MSM types.) The “leak” that you’re reading about in headlines today was simply the permission given to Scooter Libby to describe the contents of the consensus intelligence estimate a few days before it was officially declassified [I think it would be more accurate to say, before it was made public]. So in the MSM, the liberals’ false leaks are noble, while the administration’s declassification of the report that shows them to be false, in response, is a scandal!

    Reply

  14. Marky says:

    DoubleUPus Rex should poke his own eyes out.

    Reply

  15. vaughan says:

    Jerome:
    I think TDS is omedays filmed a day ahead of time–good chance that the show aired last night was really filmed on Wednesday. I think once I heard him say they shoot two days’ shows at once.

    Reply

  16. Jerome Gaskins says:

    Well, Jon Stewart missed the boat. He focused instead on “Rice-a-Rongi”, talking once again about the SOS’ “thousands of errors”. I wonder why he’d pass up such an obvious spotlight?
    …maybe he’s hoping it’ll be bigger by next Tuesday?

    Reply

  17. parrot says:

    The President may have the ability to verbally declassify documents. However, what gives him the right to declassify those documents in secret and to only disseminate the declassified information as he sees fit. Further, what gives him the right to declassify them to anyone he wants to? The Executive of the United States is answerable, in theory, to the US Congress and the People of these United States for the Security and Safety of these self-same people. So, how was the Security of the United States and the People of the United States helped by this so-called, rumored, declassification? We were not. Further, a CIA agent whose job it is to help us prevent a WMD attack on the United States was made inoperable because of this. What national security argument can be made in favor of this.
    Either POTUS and gang knew that Ms. Plame was an active CIA agent or not. If this was a question of malfeasance, why was she not fired? Instead, the “President” and his minions choose to take the cowards way of handling a national security issue? They decide to slander someone in the press rather than make sure that the actual safety of the United States and its citizens is safe guarded? This is a political crime. It is a crime against individuals and a crime against the People as a whole. It is the assumption that someone is so right in their mission, their vision, their venality, and their perfection that the People do not matter. That the safety of the People is secondary to maintaining power by the “President’s” goons and cronies. That you can say or do anything, anything, as long as you stay in power. It seems that the morality of the country and its leaders has seen better days. Let us now hope that the high water mark has not been long past seen when it comes to taking a strong stand against tyranny and the tyranical.
    Yes, some may stand behind the President. But let us hope that many of these self-named “patriots” stand behind bars sooner rather than never.
    A crime is a crime if it is an abuse of power that threatens the legal standing of the Constitution and the political body under it. In this case, the people supposedly in charge of the legal Executive, are using the powers of the Executive to harm individual citizens such as Ms. Plame and her family, as well as to intimidate critics.
    The legal fiction that the President can declassify anything and not be responsible to the People for declassifying things in a rational manner, a manner commiserate with the RESPONSIBILITY of the EXECUTIVE under the CONSTITUTION is absurd on its face. It is time that the Congress act to stop this so-called President from just doing whatever the so-called President wants whenever he wants. That is not how the law works and it is not how the Constitution was written to work. It is, however, how those who believe themselves right above and beyond the Constitution, right above and beyond the health and safety of the citizens they are supposedly legally responsible for serving want the law to work. They do not care about the People but only themselves. They are deluding themselves and others into believing that what they do is right and legal and just…much like a King and his Court might make such assumptions…not how someone who actually cares about the law and the Constitution would behave at all.
    Let’s call for Impeachment under several articles, including the international treaties signed by the United States and abused by the Executive. The laws passed by Congress and ignored by the Executive. The specific national security and other laws violated. The abridgement of rights granted to the people under the Constitution. The list does not seem to be getting smaller. It is only growing. Until it stops growing, the cancer continues to grow on the Republic and the Constitution…

    Reply

  18. Pissed Off American says:

    “Does the President Plan to Fire Himself?”
    Maybe if we all sent the pathetic buffoon a bag of pretzels, he wouldn’t have to bother. One things for sure, fired, impeached, or done in by a pretzel, his exit would save one hell of a lot of lives. The crazy SOB has two more years.

    Reply

  19. steambomb says:

    “Does the President Plan to Fire Himself?”
    He will undoubtedly try. However, I am sure he will fuck that up too. So he doesn’t have to worry.

    Reply

  20. Mythbuster says:

    billyjoe: We get these “troll” blasts all the time in Texas. It usually follows this sequence: First, they riducule you for being “liberal,” since everyone “knows” that liberals are ignorant; second, they pity you for not respecting the president, as if everyone “knows” that he deserves respect; and, third, they get angry when you refuse to fall into line. I think you can hear this sequence play out every day on hate radio. My sense is that all they really “know” is that the Bush jig is almost u and panic is setting in; hence, the troll blasts. I got one particular blast last year for criticizing Bush from a nice, Christian woman who told me to stop mocking the president because her pastor told her we should respect our leaders. When I asked her if that applied to Clinton, she stomped off. I guess St. Paul’s advice doesn’t apply when the President is a Democrat.

    Reply

  21. billyjoe says:

    The troll postings have an entertaining quality that transcends their belligerent pro-Bush dogma: poor grammar, poor sentence structure, and atrocious punctuation.

    Reply

  22. pete says:

    why don’t you jackasses go find yourself a new whine. This Bush Lied one is getting old. The President can and does declassify things all the time for realease to the press.
    If you are going to try and impeach him why don’t you do it with something factual instead of your intense hatred for him.
    Grow up this is the real world.

    Reply

  23. wisewon says:

    Here is the most important question:
    Fitzgerald has interviewed both Bush and Cheney as part of this investigation. Did they say anything in the course of those interviews (i.e. no information was leaked according to my knowledge) that contradicts Libby’s statement?
    If so, obstruction of justice is within the realm of possibilities.

    Reply

  24. Mythbuster says:

    I wonder if even Ann Coulter would embarrassed by Karen’s posts?

    Reply

  25. Betsy says:

    Once again my spelling gets the best of me: “recieve.”

    Reply

  26. Betsy says:

    liesbeth,
    In gramma school, I was taught that some nouns, i.e. names and titles, recieve a capital letter, no class-warfare agenda involved. That said, I do believe that some presidents deserve the “P” more than others.

    Reply

  27. liesbeth says:

    Somewhat off topic, but this ongoing referring to The President instead of ‘the president’ reminds me of how classed based a society the US really are.
    In a meritocracy, The President of the United States would be, at most, the president of the United States. The Presidancy would be the presidancy. In a meritocracy there would be no Ivy League school system which does nothing more than prevent the common people from entering a higher education based on merit. Le Grande Ecols in France, OxBbridge in the UK and the Ivy Leagues in the US do nothing more than provide a very happy few with a road to power and influence.
    There’s and old saying, which states that if one would like to change England one would have to close Eton.
    While France will not close its Grande Ecols, the UK will not close OxBridge and the US will not close it’s Ivy League Universities, could you at least adjust to the term ‘president’ without a capital P.

    Reply

  28. marky says:

    Is this the real Karen Hughes?
    If so, I just want to say that you’re just as persuasive on the blogs as you are on TV, and just as informed.

    Reply

  29. Dons Blog says:

    Karen,
    That whole story is so inaccurate I wouldn’t even know where to start.
    But beyond that, to me the real crime wasn’t that Valerie Plame was outed, but that the shadow corporation that she was working for was. The one that was monitoring nuclear weapons proliferation in the Middle East. And probably several if not dozens of covert contacts needed for that monitoring.
    This investigation was requested by the CIA, not Joe Wilson, and a judge determined that there was enough evidence of a crime to move forward.
    So while the policy that BushCo was supporting, the invasion of Iraq, only profited US contractors, the real fight against WMD was being sabotaged.

    Reply

  30. Karen says:

    So, Joe Wilson is sent to Niger by his wife, part-time CIA worker just back from a two year leave of absence after post-partum depression. Now is this a secret mission about WMDs, or is it a drinking tour for the unemployed Joe? So, Joe comes back because he wants to sign his next check to the DNC (of course the administration would send a DNC operative), writes an editorial for the NY Times after leaking the info for weeks to Nick Kristof. He claims Cheney sent him to CIA (lie) and his wife had nothing to do with him going (lie). the Administration reads this, then watches the dope on Meet the Press, and of course they have to rebut what he says. Do you honestly think foreign policy was decided by Joe Wilson and it wasn’t a classified trip. If it wasn’t classified, it was not going to have the results he said. The NIE was being leaked in drabs by other sources at the CIA, so it was appropriate to be given to rebut the loser Wilson. So, I read the “cabal” “neocon”, that he knew about 9/11, that he should be censored and impeached, and I wonder if you liberal wonder why you have never gotten a majority vote. Your fringe comes out, and Americans like me who would have voted for my great democratic congressman, would rather vote for a horrible republican because of the anti-American undertones of all things liberal and democrat.

    Reply

  31. mainsailset says:

    I guess we should be thankful to the Mousaouii (you’d think I’d know how to spell that by now) trial by now because if we apply the logic of giving him the death penalty that certainly would also apply to Mr. Bush at this point as he certainly had foreknowledge of 9/11 and did not act on it and lied when asked. I’m sure he’s working on a technical answer to give all of us dumb Americans to show his good faith on why he declassified what he didn’t declassify in order for Mr. Libby to give Judith a story regarding our National Security during a time of war so that his bad faith directives would remain unscathed by the truth.

    Reply

  32. Nitnorth says:

    I think everyone may be jumping the gun in assuming Bush personally approved the leak. Every report I’ve seen has the prosecution saying:
    “Defendant testified that the vice president later advised him that the president had authorized defendant to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE.”
    That is, Cheney told Libby that Bush authorized the disclosure. If true, that’s hearsay evidence. Who actually lied, Bush or Cheney? …Or Libby?

    Reply

  33. Alan Lewis says:

    dantonj:
    Does anybody remember Clinton looking squarely into the TV camera lens and, pointing with his finger, say: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” While the pundits later parsed it as not exactly a lie, because of the way Clinton had defined “sexual relations” in his deposition testimony, the voters got a very different message – it was deceitful, just like Bush was deceiving the American people when he said he would take action against anyone in his Administration who was found to be leaking classified information. It was an inflection point, politically, for that Administration, as this should be for this one. If only we had co-equal branches of our tri-partite government that were willing to fulfill their their respective constitutional roles, this nonsense, and the domestic spying scandal, and the unitary theory of the executive, complete with its “signing statements” etc., and the other Bush bullshit would be confronted squarely for what it is. One can’t help thinking of that amazing line from, I think, Yeats’ poem, ” . . .as the beast slowly slouches towards Bethlehem” as we slip further and further toward the dictatorship that former Justice O’Connor warned us about so recently. If only . . .

    Reply

  34. vaughan says:

    Re: Posted by dantonj at April 6, 2006 02:32 PM
    Sorry, dantonj, I mis-read your comments’ implication/intention. I’m a bit irked by this news, to put it lightly, and can’t seem to see beyond the consequences of this Administration, instead of the details. I guess this is how frequent comment POA feels most of the time 😉

    Reply

  35. Dons Blog says:

    Interesting press conference about this with Senator Schumer on CNN.
    Why is it when Dick mugs about shooting people at a dinner there’s not one interruption, but when a Senator talks about possible High Crimes and Misdemeanors we immediately get cut to commercial?

    Reply

  36. p.lukasiak says:

    Well, it’s obvious that Bush first declassified the NIE data, then he released it. What he released was therefore no longer classified.
    sheer nonsense.
    Bush “authorizing” a leak is not the same as declassifying information. Its closer to a bank president authorizing the embezzlement of funds by an underling.
    Because it is clear that subsequent to the authorization, an effort was made to declassify the information that was leaked, it is clear that the information remained classified — you can’t “declassify” information that is already declassified.

    Reply

  37. p.lukasiak says:

    talk about win-win-win situations… This is something that Libby testified to under oath, but
    Libby might be lying — or Cheney might have lied to Libby.
    What’s fun about this whole thing is that Fitz doubtless knows whether Bush and Cheney confirmed Libby’s account — and will disclose that information when he feels like dropping ANOTHER bombshell….

    Reply

  38. Carroll says:

    I don’t know, I just can’t work up any outrage or get interested in discussing Bush’s right to classify or declassify….or nitpicking the law on whether or not he can be gotten.
    Trying to get these theives and traitors is turning into the longest running DC legal soap opera in history.
    They entire cabal will all be dead of old age and beyond justice at this rate.

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  39. Marky says:

    Man, but doesn’t Bush’s latest haircut make him look like a pimp? Check that man’s ID pin!

    Reply

  40. Dan McIntyre says:

    Well, it’s obvious that Bush first declassified the NIE data, then he released it. What he released was therefore no longer classified.
    But isn’t it standard operating procedure before someone declassifies a document for them to get the permission of the entity who classified it, so as to ensure that no one gets hurt?
    Neglecting this requirement for clearance may set a precedent that invites others to declassify documents on their own.
    The Times can only become more interesting.

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  41. dantonj says:

    ]Posted by vaughan at April 6, 2006 02:10 PM
    ]Does Dandonj support this obfuscation regarding our country’s long-term security and international relationships?
    Whatever gave you that idea? I was just pointing out Bush’s pathalogical ability “to disassemble — that means not tell the truth”.

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  42. Ian Kaplan says:

    Security classification and the authority to classify
    flows from presidential executive orders. As a
    result, the president has authority when
    it comes to classification and declassification.
    It is an open argument about whether the Vice
    President has such authority. But when it comes
    to the president’s authority to declassify, I’ve
    never seen any question about this.

    Reply

  43. vaughan says:

    Sorry, this is really bothering me. So what if Bush can declassify stuff? If he did, then he is caught re-handed in a horrible smear of Ambassador Wilson. A smear made only for political reasons, when our entire military and the lives of Iraqis were at stake. A smear made despite the ending of the important work of secret agent Plame and others she worked with. To me this is completely reprehensible, and people arguing for it have the burden of proof to show it is anything but craven.

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  44. vachon says:

    Here’s the interesting part: it sounds like this issue was discussed either before or immediately after the leak. That is, someone or somebodies gamed the “God forbid” option of being caught. The only option that would keep them all out of jail is to blame the one person who could, theoretically, declassify anything: Bush. This isn’t come-to-Jesus testimony. This is coordinated cya stuff. Which tells me that it’s entirely possible Bush was and still is an active member of the coverup.

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  45. vaughan says:

    So this argument from dantonj et al–looks like people are pushing back fast on this.
    If Bush really meant to be oh-so-clever here by putting in that “classified” adjective, then we know he said this to hide the fact that he destroyed government security assets (Valerie Plame and her cover corporation–reportedly working on halting the spread of nuclear weapons in Iran). Bush then did this because he wanted to confuse the public about the truth regarding his faulty claims of nuclear weapons in Iraq.
    Does Dandonj support this obfuscation regarding our country’s long-term security and international relationships?

    Reply

  46. Thugmonster Intifada says:

    Impeach…impeach…impeach…
    For the love of God and little children, IMPEACH!

    Reply

  47. Betsy says:

    How many lies does this man get to make before he gets censured or impeached? Clinton’s lie was under oath, but it was for something frivolous. I can see Congress refusing to swear Bush in so that he can continue to lie.
    If the republicans try the “it’s declassified” defense, then the democrats should go for the “What about the war on terror?” offense. I would love to hear the reasons the repubs come up with for outing a working CIA agent who was trying to was looking for evidence to build the case for invading Iraq.

    Reply

  48. dantonj says:

    Steve, You always have to listen to exactly what Bush says. You can’t read things into what he says or assume what he “really” meant to say.
    From Meadiamatters.org:
    http://mediamatters.org/items/200507150002#20050719
    “The following day, Bush echoed McClellan’s statement by promising to take “action” against the leaker:
    Q: Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it —
    BUSH: Yes.
    Q: — have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him —
    BUSH: Listen, I know of nobody — I don’t know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I’d like to know it, and we’ll take the appropriate action.”
    So, since Bush authorized Libby to leak the infomation, that information automatically became declassified. Therefore, Libby did NOT leak any “classified” information and Bush is under no obligation to “take appropriate action”.
    And, yes, as president, Bush has to power to declassify documents.

    Reply

  49. MV says:

    Cheney will say that he never really got permission from Bush (well, Cheney is the real president after all). The WH will argue that the VP has the authority to declassify information. It follows that Bush did not lie to the American people.
    This will be Bush’s excuse to fire Cheney. Libby will be pardoned no matter what, and Cheney if the need arises.

    Reply

  50. sandoz says:

    Would someone (with the time) please cross-reference some of this with the timing of the changes to the Executive Order covering the classification/de-classification authority of the POTUS & VP. I know the timing was “suspicious” at best based on what was known at the time (June or July 2003???), but I would very interested to see it in the context of this new info.

    Reply

  51. Cali4nian says:

    Speaking of Russ Feingold’s censure proposition, what did Arlen Specter mention about adding a “bad faith” clause? Sounds appropriate here.

    Reply

  52. dan says:

    Hello!? That’s the problem: he said he did not authorize the leak of “classified information.” We’ve seen this logic before so stopped being so surprised: it wasn’t classified because he can declassify at will (as Cheney has maintained recently), so anytime the president is speaking he can never, as such, “leak” something classified, because his talking immediately declassifies it….

    Reply

  53. fiat lux says:

    I’m quite sure they will claim the “if the President authorized it, it’s OK” defense.

    Reply

  54. Mark says:

    Add it to the list of other lies. What’s interesting about this is not that Bush knew and approved- I think many/most figured that out already- but that Libby’s case sucked so bad that he out-right fingered Bush while Bush is still in office. Couldn’t Bush give more cover to an indicted loyal aid than that? Is this the end of omerta?

    Reply

  55. clb72 says:

    If I were Iranian I’d be very worried about this news.

    Reply

  56. libo says:

    Yeah, whether or not he was able to ad-hoc declassify certain portions of the NIE is a matter for debate.
    What is not up for debate is this …. he was involved in the pushback against Wilson. And when he said he knew of no one in his administration who would leak classified information ….
    HE LIED.

    Reply

  57. erichwwk says:

    “Does the President Plan to Fire Himself?”
    After all he is pressuring Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari to resign, on the basis that his election victory was marginal, and his continuation as leader is devisive to a unified government.
    But then, cabal decisions are not made on the basis of what’s good for America, but on what contributes to their power per se, and their ability to loot and plunder.

    Reply

  58. Alan Lewis says:

    Steve:
    This is important news, of course, but I disagree with you regarding why it is important. It is significant because the President of the United States LIED to the American people on national TV. Not that such a tactical choice by this, or perhaps any, President should surprise us at this point. Particularly in light of this Administration’s fast and loose affiliation with the facts. But it ought to have political implications going forward in the mid-terms. It further cements the public’s lack of trust of what comes out of this Administration. Legal question, if the POTUS “authorized” it, then was the material de jure de-classified when it was leaked? Not that it ought to make any difference politically, but that is where the Repubs will go with this.

    Reply

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