PLAME-GATE: SO IT REALLY WAS BUSH AND CHENEY
According to official court document released Thursday by federal prosecutors, indicted former Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby told the grand jury he leaked the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame to a newspaper reporter based upon instructions from President Bush, as passed to Libby through Vice President Cheney. The leak was intended to undermine the credibility of former Ambassador Joe Wilson -- Plame's husband -- who had become a vocal critic of the Bush Administration and the Iraq War. According to the court documents, Libby testified under oath that Cheney told him the President "specifically had authorized" Libby to "disclose certain information in the [classified documents]." This point is central to Libby's defense, as he maintains the President has the ultimate authority to declassify any information -- and, if instructed by the President to share the information, then the document became unclassified as soon as the President approved the release of it. This appears to establish what the Democrats had alleged during the 2004 Presidential campaign -- that the leak traced back to the highest White House officials -- but also provides a legal defense. So, when President Bush vowed to get to the bottom of the leak allegations in 2003, was he seeking help to discover that it was he himself who authorized the leak. Will the same Congressional Republicans who made such a big deal out of President Clinton dissembling the meaning of "is" display at least equal concern with this seemingly worse lapse in honesty?
From Politics1.com - Friday, 7 April 2006