Friday, May 30, 2008

Bush admitted to McClellan that he authorized illegal intelligence leak - Today Show interview

UPDATE - Breaking: RS - Lawyers working for the House Judiciary Committee are meeting with former White House spokesman Scott McClellan regarding the explosive revelations contained in his new tell-all memoir, and the committee's chairman says he may renew hearings on the administration's leak of a CIA officer's identity now that new details have been published.

In other words - Bush at the very least committed an illegal and impeachable offense. The case could be argued that this would be tantamount to treason. Instructing underlings to selectively leak information resulting in a breach of national security, damage to US counterintelligence, and the outing of a CIA agent - Plame, who was working to monitor Iran's nuclear program. This was done to undermine a critic of the Iraq war.

It had long been suspected that Bush illegally leaked 'cherry picked' information from a classified National Intelligence Estimate and subsequently feigned ignorance of his involvement, keeping the public and the investigators from being able to seek accountability. Now it has been proven by Scott McClellan in his Thursday May 29, interview on the Today Show with NBC's Meredith Viera:
McClellan: 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?

McClellan: 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 [the reporter] was saying that you, yourself, was the one that authorized the leaking of this information. And he [Bush] said "yeah, I did." And I was kinda taken aback.

Why this is illegal:

It violates specific procedures on declassifying intelligence as detailed in an Executive Order that Bush signed on March 25, '03. To see more specific info on the law violated, the time line, and the statements [lies] Bush made on the record after authorizing the leaks (according to Libby's sworn testimony on pg. 39 of his filing), SEE THIS LINK.

Scott McClellan stated today in the same interview his noble motivations for telling the truth:
"I have a higher loyalty than my loyalty necessarily to my past work. That's a loyalty to the truth and it's a loyalty to the values I was raised on. I talk about my upbringing in a political family that talked about the nobility of public service and the importance of speaking up and talking about making a positive difference. I hope that this book will help do that."

95% of people surveyed on CNN this morning believed McClellan more than Bush. It's time for Bush supporters to do a gut check. What is more important to you, authoritarian loyalty, or the truth and the rule of law? Time to take a stand, which is it? Integrity and ethics, or loyalty, lies, and abuse of power?

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