Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm A Declassifier Not A Divider

Look, being all presidentory is hard work. Sometimes the president remembers to do things legally and sometimes he doesn't. It's not his fault. If he had more people to help him plan his vacations, these sorts of oversights wouldn't happen.

said he declassified sensitive prewar intelligence on Iraq back in 2003 to counter critics who knew the administration had exaggerated the nuclear threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

"Condi told me you're not supposed to talk about classified information, but this Wilson guy was out there spreading all these facts and stuff. Jerk. Thought he was a team player. Turns out he had scruples. Anyway, we really needed the A Bomb threat to rope in the rubes on the war, so I got out my magic declassifier wand that Dick gave me and waved it over the document," Bush told reporters in a question-and-answer session after delivering a speech on Iraq.

"Then rather than releasing it as widely as possible so the American people could evaluate it, Dick came up with the idea of having Scooter to leak it through one of our reporter bots so it would make that turncoat Wilson look bad without coming back to us...oh, dang it. Did I say that last part out loud?"

It was Bush's first comment since more detail about the release of a prewar intelligence document surfaced last week in a court filing by U.S. prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. "You didn't think he was going to say anything about this until he had to did you?" asked White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "By the way, copies of my resume are available in the lobby."

A lawyer knowledgeable about the case said that Bush declassified sensitive intelligence in 2003 and authorized it to be publicly disclosed to smear people who actually knew what they were talking about. But the lawyer said Bush did not specifically direct Libby to disseminate information about prewar intelligence to reporters. "That was all done with sign language and notes passed at lunch period."

Bush said he couldn't talk about an ongoing legal proceeding. "You're just going to have to let Mr. Fitzgerald complete his case," Bush said. "And I hope you understand that. It's a serious legal matter that we've got to be careful in making public statements about it. Well, unless we can use those statements to bash someone who doesn't agree with us. Hey, it's just politics."

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