“They will no longer work in my administration.”

Back in July of last year, facing criticism in the CIA Leak case, George W. Bush vowed to fire anybody in his administration who had leaked classified information.

Whoops.

Turns out that Scooter Libby has now testified that authorization for the leaking of classified information came from Dubya himself….a claim that the White House is not denying.

(Here’s a link to a 39-page PDF of court papers, filed by the prosecutor — read it for yourself.)

“They will no longer work in my administration.”

Well, we’re waiting, Mr. President.

11 Replies to ““They will no longer work in my administration.””

  1. Was it a shitty thing to do?

    Yes.

    However, by law, it’s impossible for the President to “leak” classified information. The President is the only person in the gov’t who can declassify anything just by saying it’s declassified.

  2. Doesn’t change the fact that he bald-face lied — he gave that bullshit pledge to fire those responsible when he knew that he was the one who had done it…..

    But thanks for giving me an advanced look at the bullshit conservative spin on the subject that will inevitably follow.

  3. I would think that if he had actually “declassified” the information, public statements to that effect would have been made by the President, rather than the tap dance about “finding those responsible for the leak” that was done to appease the press and the public.

    The whole thing would have gone away if he had said publically, “I declassified the information and directed members of the staff to give interviews”.

    Will he have the defense? Yeppers. Will it still be a crock of shit? Absolutely.

    D.

  4. It already Started. They had the press liason guy making a speech to that effect today to reporters in a mini news clip a few hours ago. Basically they are going with a “it’s not a leak, it’s declassification.”

    My brain hurts. Orwell was right, just 20 years early.

  5. when it comes down to it…

    he doesn’t even HAVE to admit it. Libby’s testimony is just that- his word. It’s not like it’s in writing, is it?

  6. I don’t mean to disrespect you in your own house Gareth, and I apologize if this post isn’t welcome. I just think the news has done a bad job reporting what’s been said, and as a result the wrong issue is being discussed. Libby claims Bush authorized was the release of information from part of the National Intelligence Estimate. All of that has now been declassified. It doesn’t mention Plame, at all.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=1815938&page=2

    “There is no evidence, in Libby’s testimony or elsewhere, that either the president or the vice president authorized the leaking of Plame’s identity, however. “

    And, of course, the President has the authority to declassify the NIE. Now, if you want to hammer him for doing a piss-poor job with the paperwork, or mock him for choosing to declassify something for political gain, you’re on solid ground. If you want to call him a hypocrite for speaking out against leaks while using the media’s desire for them for his own ends, that’s at least defensible. If you feel he didn’t actually declassify it until the executive order was filed, even though he could, and thus violated the law by doing things in the wrong order I think you’re on shaky ground, but I’m not an expert and you might be right.

    But this story isn’t about Bush authorizing the release of Plame’s identity, since that’s not what anyone has said -in this particular event-.

  7. If you want to call him a hypocrite for speaking out against leaks while using the media’s desire for them for his own ends, that’s at least defensible.

    That’s pretty much exactly what I’m saying. Solemly vowing (swear ta Jeebus!) to fire anyone in his administration involved in leaks when he’s the one who authorized the leaking is yet another example of the underhanded bullshit that is this administration’s stock in trade.

  8. From Prospect.org in response to a similar assertion made by John “J-Pod” Podhoretz:

    1) The leak wasn’t really a leak because it was authorized by the president, and a “leak” is the “unauthorized release of government information.”

    This one’s easy to knock down. First, a leak doesn’t suddenly become a non-leak because it was secretly “authorized” by a higher-up. Plenty of info is leaked with tacit authorization from above, and we all agree to call that “leaking.” This info certainly was leaked, in the sense that it was passed on confidentially by Libby to a reporter who wasn’t supposed to reveal the source of it. In other words, the info was supposed to get out — without anyone knowing where it came from or who authorized it. By contrast, if the info had been “released,” to use Pod’s preferred word, the administration would publicly own up to being the source for it. So yes, it was a leak.

    As for Pod’s argument that the president “can’t leak” — another pushback rapidly gaining currency — keep in mind that the president isn’t the one who is accused of doing the leaking. Rather, Bush is accused of authorizing the leak. Libby carried it out.

  9. From Prospect.org in response to a similar assertion made by John “J-Pod” Podhoretz:3) Pod’s final argument is that much or all of the National Intelligence Estimate was public already, so it couldn’t have been leaked. Pod says:

    On Oct. 7, 2002, nine months before Bush’s supposed “leak,” the administration released an unclassified version of the very same NIE at the urging of Senate Democrats.

    This is startlingly flimsy. Pod is talking about the fact that in October 2002, then Senator Bob Graham demanded the declassification of parts of the CIA’s NIE before the congressional vote on the war. Graham subsequently said some parts had been declassified — but by no means was the whole NIE, or even much of it, declassified. How do we know this? Because on July 18, 2003 — after Bush authorized the leak — a senior administration official held a press briefing in which he declassified key portions of the NIE. Pod can read the briefing itself right here. It was also covered the next day in The Times, Washington Post and elsewhere. So why would this senior official have held this declassification briefing if, as Pod says, an “unclassified version” of the NIE had been declassified “nine months” earlier? Answer: He wouldn’t have.

    What’s more, it’s obvious that whatever was declassified in October 2002 wasn’t the portion that Libby says Bush authorized for leaking. Why, if Pod were right, would Libby have needed to ask Cheney lawyer David Addington if leaking the info was kosher, as he had testified? Answer: He wouldn’t have. And why would Addington have opined that the president’s authorization effectively declassified the info if, as Pod says, it was already declassified? He wouldn’t have.

    So to recap: Libby has revealed that Bush authorized a leak of classified info for political purposes. End of story.

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