“There’s just too many leaks, and if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is.” [Bush, 9/30/03]

“I want to know the truth. … I have no idea whether we’ll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers.” [Fox News, 10/8/03]

“I’d like to know if somebody in my White House did leak sensitive information.” [Bush, 10/28/03]

President Bush authorized the selective leaking of classified information to undercut Iraq War critics and bolster his own position. No one in the White House will deny this.

So how will the blogger right respond: Silence or Spin?


WitNit said:

Bush declassified documents to answer his critics. That is a power that he has as President.

Your logic here dishonors you. Beware of media bandwagons.

WitNit is extrapolating a position from my post that I haven’t made; if anyone is using faulty logic, I’d say the shoe is on the other foot.

To clarify: I’m not saying what Bush did was illegal (wiretapping = illegal, leaking to the media = not illegal). I’m saying that he’s a hypocrite. If Bush wanted to use classified information to answer his critics, he should have publicly declassified the information and made a formal defense of his policy. Of course if we’d had a full discussion of the situation in Iraq, we probably wouldn’t be there now (another discussion for a different post, I know).

What Bush did INSTEAD was secretly declassify information and then selectively leak it to the public in order to anonymously undercut his critics (one critic in particular, who also happens to be the husband of Valerie Plame), which is disingenous at best and, in my opinion, an abuse of power under any circumstances. Again, this is an administration that publicly claims to hate leaks. And again, this is assuming that Bush in fact did formally (if secretly) declassify the information in question, which in my mind is still in doubt since no one in the administration has been willing to set the date this declassification actually took place.

“Dishonored” is a strong word that I find inappropriate in this context. Beware of the knee-jerk defense. Just because you didn’t want Kerry to be President doesn’t suddenly make Bush the second coming.

Actually, your stated position was the one I extrapolated.

The evidence is clear that Valerie Plame was a desk jockey, that her husband is the one who lied, and that many loyal to the left have simply jumped aboard the bandwagon of spin that her husband and his sympathetic media friends are driving.

A President who declassifies information to clarify in the way that Bush did in this instance is not guilty of leakage hypocrisy. He’s doing his job.

Since I’m only aboard with about 30% of what Bush stands for, I’m hardly a candidate for seeing Bush as Jesus. In so many ways he is an embarassment, and the way he’s going, it may only get worse.

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