Friday :: Apr 7, 2006

White House Doesn't Challenge Fitzgerald's Court Filing

by Steve

The White House is not challenging Patrick Fitzgerald’s court filing from late Wednesday night, letting stand his assertion that Libby claimed authorization for leaking classified information from Bush through Cheney. The White House is also not saying when Bush decided to declassify the relevant portions of the October 2002 NIE. By not challenging the court filing, the White House has two choices. They are either going to challenge Libby’s grand jury testimony and claim he is lying about what Cheney authorized him to do in Bush’s name, which would require the White House to testify to that effect at Libby’s trial. Or they know they are caught red-handed here, and will argue semantics, like Scottie McClellan did today.

But Bush’s spokesman, Scott McClellan, appeared to draw a distinction about Bush’s oft-stated opposition to leaks. “The president would never authorize disclosure of information that could compromise our nation’s security,” Bush’s spokesman said.

So, is the White House now arguing that our national security wasn’t compromised by Bush’s authorization for Libby to leak the relevant then-classified portions of the October 2002 NIE? If so, then Stephen Hadley’s summary in the summer of 2003 of when Bush knew the WMD claims were suspect similarly cannot be hidden behind a national security firewall any longer, can it, since release of the source document (the NIE) does not compromise national security?

(As BooMan23 shows us over at DailyKos, someone inside the Bush Administration could have been leaking classified information to Judy Miller as far back as the fall of 2002. So it wasn't until the administration was being publicly challenged on its credibility months later that Bush decided to formally declassify what he wanted to put out there, and they now want to hide under a "it didn't compromise national security" justification.)

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Steve :: 10:37 AM :: Comments (65) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!