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We’ve Found the Leaker in the White House! By John Dickerson

April 7, 2006

It’s the president.

President Bush has always made his view of leakers perfectly clear. Before, during, and after the Valerie Plame and NSA wiretapping leaks that have bedeviled his presidency, Bush has insisted that leakers thwart the proper functioning of government. In certain cases, they commit “treason.” He has described leakers as low-level, frustrated bureaucrats who feed their own egos by passing along juicy tidbits to mangy reporters. As Bush told reporters in December 2001, “somebody in our government wanted to show off to his family or her family in between Christmas and New Year’s by leaking information in the press … I don’t know why people do that. I guess either to make you [the press] feel good and/or to make themselves feel good.” Uriah Heep would have been a leaker.

Now we learn that the president himself is a leaker. We’ve always known that the commander-in-chief’s distaste for leaking didn’t stop it from happening (as it has in every administration), but this is the first time we appear to have direct evidence that Bush had his hand on the siphon. Documents filed yesterday by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald report that Scooter Libby told a federal grand jury that President Bush authorized him to leak information from a classified National Intelligence Estimate. Libby testified that Vice President Cheney told him that Bush “specifically had authorized” him to “disclose certain information in the NIE.” The leak strategy was part of a larger administration effort to counter claims they had distorted evidence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction during the march to war.

Bush didn’t authorize Libby to say anything about Valerie Plame, but when the leader of the free world says go ahead take a joy ride with classified information, can we be surprised that Libby or Karl Rove then went further? In the cut and thrust that surrounded those hectic days in July 2003, when CIA officials were leaking about faulty prewar intelligence, how could White House officials resist going too far once the president himself had diddled with the classification during a fracas?
[snip to my favorite line in the whole piece]
All presidents engage in this hypocrisy, but Bush has made it Texas-sized by putting on such a show about leaks during his time in office.

There is a bit more in the article that is all good. I’m optimistic that John Dickerson is getting a clue. It seems like everytime I hear him on Al Franken’s show on Air America, he gives some [ex] White House Reporter stenography, and total buying of the propoganda (euphemism for what the white house is really selling), and it consistently irritates me. Not to mention 3 Wanker honorifics bestowed by Atrios.
We’ve Found the Leaker in the White House! By John Dickerson


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