Perhaps the biggest revelation from Scott McClellan’s bombshell book about his time at the White House is that President Bush directly authorized the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity (Emptywheel):
During the interview, Scottie revealed the two things that really pissed him off with the Bush Administration. First, being set up to lie by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. And second, learning that Bush had–himself–authorized the selective leaking of the NIE.
Scottie McC: But the other defining moment was in early April 2006, when I learned that the President had secretly declassified the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq for the Vice President and Scooter Libby to anonymously disclose to reporters. And we had been out there talking about how seriously the President took the selective leaking of classified information. And here we were, learning that the President had authorized the very same thing we had criticized.
Viera: Did you talk to the President and say why are you doing this?
Scottie McC: Actually, I did. I talked about the conversation we had. I walked onto Air Force One, it was right after an event we had, it was down in the south, I believe it was North Carolina. And I walk onto Air Force One and a reporter had yelled a question to the President trying to ask him a question about this revelation that had come out during the legal proceedings. The revelation was that it was the President who had authorized, or, enable Scooter Libby to go out there and talk about this information. And I told the President that that’s what the reporter was asking. He was saying that you, yourself, was the one that authorized the leaking of this information. And he said “yeah, I did.” And I was kinda taken aback.
Interesting.. Wow.. I do somehow recall President Bush getting in front of cameras and saying:
“I don’t know of anyone in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I’d like to know it, and we’ll take the appropriate action”.
Bush was clearly lying (once again).
This is included in this clip from MSNBC’s Hardball (October 25, 2007):
DAVID SHUSTER RECAPS OUTING OF C.I.A. AGENT VALERIE PLAME
From this same clip, George H.W. Bush, speaking at a press conference eight years earlier (April 26, 1999), expressed his anger at the damage done to the CIA when agents are outed by saying:
“I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are the most insidious of traitors”.
If this is true (McClellan’s claims, and George W. Bush actually authorized the outing of a CIA operative, in a time of war, an operative who’s job was to track WMD’s in the Middle East, resulting in the exposure of the entire operation (effectively shutting it down and endangering the lives fo all involved – plus making our nation more vulnerable and less safe), isn’t that right up there with the president committing treason? I am not just talking about his war crimes that some day he will have to account for, but actually commiting TREASON?
Isn’t anyone going to do anything about this?
Emptywheel ends his post with this:
At this point, Scottie McC is still accepting Scooter Libby’s lies, though I suspect he sees the dangerous frailty of them. With Bush’s clear admission to Scottie that he was in the loop, and the evidence that, subsequent to receiving an order from Cheney (authorized by Bush) to leak classified information to Judy Miller, Libby leaked Valerie Wilson’s identity, the circumstantial evidence shows the President was directly involved in the deliberate outing of a CIA spy. The only question now is whether Bush realized he authorized the leak of Valerie’s identity, in addition to a bunch of other classified documents.
Think of how much sense this makes. We have evidence that George Bush ordered Libby to respond to Joe Wilson on June 9, 2003. We now have Bush’s own confirmation that he authorized the leak Libby made to Judy Miller on July 8, 2003–which included the leak of Valerie Wilson’s identity. We know on July 10, Condi told Stephen Hadley that Bush “was comfortable” with the response the White House was making towards Wilson. And we know that–when Cheney forced Scottie McC to exonerate Libby publicly that fall, he did so by reminding people that “The Pres[ident] [asked Libby] to stick his head in the meat-grinder.” We know that Libby’s lawyers tried desperately to prevent a full discussion of the NIE lies to be presented at trial. And we know that–after those NIE lies did not come out, for the most part (though one juror told me that NIE story was obviously false, even with the limited information they received)–the President commuted Libby’s sentence on July 2, 2007.