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Libby: Bush, Cheney Authorized Leaks


President Bush told Vice President Cheney to tell the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, to disclose highly classified information regarding Iraq intelligence in order to try and discredit legitimate criticism of the administration.

What's this? The latest line from proponents of impeachment?

No, according to court records that became available Thursday, it is what Libby testified was the scenario that played out before he began contacting reporters in an effort to undermine the reputation of former Ambassador Joe Wilson.

According to a National Journal report on the documents: "I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby testified to a federal grand jury that he had received 'approval from the President through the Vice President' to divulge portions of a National Intelligence Estimate regarding Saddam Hussein's purported efforts to develop nuclear weapons, according to the court papers. Libby was said to have testified that such presidential authorization to disclose classified information was 'unique in his recollection,' the court papers further said."


The Journal report, which is based on both the court papers and interviews with senior government officials familiar with the investigation of Libby's actions by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case, suggests that a fast-and-loose approach to the release of classified information was authorized by Bush and Cheney before the war as part of an effort to "make the case" for the invasion of Iraq.

After the invasion, when Wilson raised questions about the validity of claims made by the president, the Journal report suggests that the gloves came off, and the weapon of choice was classified information.

"Bush and Cheney authorized the release of the information regarding the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) in the summer of 2003, according to court documents, as part of a damage-control effort undertaken only days after former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV alleged in an op-ed in The New York Times that claims by Bush that Saddam Hussein had attempted to procure uranium from the African nation of Niger were most likely a hoax."

The White House initial response Thursday was to refuse to comment on Libby's testimony, which has called into serious question the president's October, 2003, assertion that: "I don't know of anyone in my administration who has leaked. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."

But if the president is not now in a position to take appropriate action, members of Congress are.

U.S. Representative Maurice Hinchey, D-New York, who has been the most determined Congressional watchdog with regard to the administration's misuse of intelligence information, says that, "If what Scooter Libby said to the grand jury is true, then this latest development clearly reveals yet again that the CIA leak case goes much deeper than the disclosure of a CIA agent's identity to the press. The heart and motive of this case is about the deliberate attempt at the highest levels of this administration to discredit those who were publicly revealing that the White House lied about its uranium claims leading up to the war. The Bush Administration knew that Iraq had not sought uranium from Africa for a nuclear weapon, yet they went around telling the Congress, the country, and the world just the opposite. When Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Valerie Wilson's husband, publicly spoke out with proof that the administration was not telling the truth on uranium, the administration engaged in an orchestrated plot, which now reportedly includes President Bush, to discredit Ambassador Wilson and dismiss any notion that they had lied about pre-war intelligence."

Hinchey, one of the rare members of the House who has made it his business to monitor and police abuses of executive powers, wrote the 1999 amendment to intelligence reauthorization legislation that forced the declassification of documents that revealed the role played by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and other members of the Nixon administration in the illegal 1973 overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende.

The congressman is one of 33 cosponsors of Representative John Conyers' resolution calling for the creation of a select committee to investigate, among other issues, the Bush administration's manipulation of pre-war and retaliating against critics. That committee would be charged with making recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment, which would, of course, require a finding that high crimes and misdemeanors had been committed by the president and vice president.

Hinchey's says that Libby's testimony adds to the mounting body of evidence that rules, regulations and laws have been bent far beyond the breaking point.

"It is an absolute disgrace to the institution of the presidency that President Bush authorized members of his administration to disclose select parts of highly classified information from a National Intelligence Estimate in order to make political advances and gain public support," says Hinchey. "How dare President Bush and Vice President Cheney say they want to prosecute those who leaked the NSA domestic surveillance program when they themselves authorized the disclosure of information from some of the most highly sensitive documents in the government. The White House opposes leaks when the disclosed information hurts them politically, but supports leaks when information advances their political cause."

Hinchey has for months been urging Fitzgerald to officially expand his investigation to include an examination of the motives behind the leaks by Libby, focusing in particular on the question of whether the administration's intent was to discredit Ambassador Wilson's revelation that Iraq had never sought uranium from Niger or other African countries. If that is proven to be the case, Hinchey has argued, "President Bush and other top members of his administration knowingly lied about uranium to the Congress, which is a crime."

"It is my belief, as well as the belief of my 39 House colleagues who signed my original letter to Special Counsel Fitzgerald, that he has the authority and obligation to expand his investigation to investigate the lies about uranium, which are the true heart of this case," Hinchey explained Thursday, in a statement outlining his intention to step up efforts to press for the expansion of the investigation.

The congressman is laying down the line that members of Congress, be they members of the Democratic opposition or honest Republicans who are beginning to recognize the extent to which they have been deceived by Bush, Cheney and their aides, will need to embrace at a moment when the administration and its media echo chamber will be doing everything in their power to constrain Fitzgerald's investigation.

Says Hinchey: "The heart of the CIA leak case cannot and must not be ignored."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I have not always been right, but I have always been sincere." ~ W.E.B. Du Bois ~~~~~~~~~~~
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Vermont Democrats call for Bush impeachment
53 minutes ago



Democratic Party leaders in Vermont on Saturday passed a motion asking Congress to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush.

In an elementary school cafeteria strewn with American flags and copies of the U.S. Constitution, some 100 state party officials agreed to make the request to the U.S. House of Representatives.

"You know in your own hearts and minds that something is terribly wrong in this country," said Margaret Lucenti, a Democrat from Vermont's capital Montpelier.

The measure asks the Republican-controlled House to pass articles of impeachment against Bush for misleading the nation on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and engaging in illegal wiretapping, among other charges.

Democratic state committees in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada and North Carolina have taken similar steps.

With a population of just 621,000 -- only Wyoming has fewer people -- the rural New England state is considered far left of mainstream American politics.

Last month residents of the Puritan-founded town of Newfane passed a resolution calling for the Republican president's impeachment. Since then at least six other Vermont towns have followed suit.

In 1999, more than two dozen towns called for a reduction in nuclear weapons. In 1974, one Vermont town meeting drew national attention when officials voted to seek the impeachment of then-President Richard Nixon.

"This is far bigger than a fringe movement on the left," said Dan DeWalt, a 49-year-old woodworker who drafted the Newfane impeachment resolution. "Vermont has a long tradition of speaking out on issues beyond our borders."

(Additional reporting by Jim Finkle)



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yes he does but he does not have the right to lie about it. he swore that if anyone in his administration was involved with the leak, they would no longer be working for his administration. he also said no one from his administration was involved with this leak. it's all on video/tape. he's a freakin liar but we already knew that.
furthermore, if he was so sure if his inherent rights, he would have just admitted it when all this came about in the first place. instead, he sat back and allowed this investigation to go on costing millions of dollars. he thought Libby would cover everyone's behind but, that didn't happen. Why didn't he just own up to it in the first place?
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quote:
Originally posted by telltruth:
I don't know whether you or the people in the State of Vermount know it or not, but the President of the United States have the inherent right and authority to de-classify classified information.


This is the same president who uses "national security" as an excuse to do whatever he damned well pleases... including spying on citizens without a warrant (which IS illegal)... The fact that he didn't think twice to out a CIA agent - thus potentially exposing her and her family to danger - just to score political points against a civil servant who was raising valid criticisms against the phoney case being made for an illegal war (by international law) in which, as we have subsequentlty learned, illegal tactics (i.e., torture) have been used shows just how seriously he really regards national security and says to me that this lieing asshole dictator in training is unworthy of his office... He may have the authority to de-classify such information - but was it de-classified at the time of the leak? No!!!... Therefore, that was illegal too...

Look at the big picture, people
quote:
Originally posted by telltruth:
I don't know whether you or the people in the State of Vermount know it or not, but the President of the United States have the inherent right and authority to de-classify classified information.


Furthermore, I don't know if you know this but the President does not technically have to break the law in order to justify impeachment.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by UppityNegress:
On second thought, I hope Bush is impeached (and removed from office) only if Dick Cheney drops dead first. I don't want to wish death of anyone, not even Cheney, but the thought of that guy unning the country disturbs me more than even Bush.


Isn't it just like a Dick to leak? Big Grin


lol
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
Since Bush OKed the leak then the information was automatically declassified since the prez has that power so no crime was committed. lol

umbra


I think the crime is him denying that his administration was involved in the leak. That's a flat out lie. Also, an even bigger crime that people seem to be finally getting is the fact that he manipulated intelligence to justify war. This case should be bigger than Plame. I have a feeling that it is.
quote:
Originally posted by keylargo:
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
Since Bush OKed the leak then the information was automatically declassified since the prez has that power so no crime was committed. lol

umbra


I think the crime is him denying that his administration was involved in the leak. That's a flat out lie. Also, an even bigger crime that people seem to be finally getting is the fact that he manipulated intelligence to justify war. This case should be bigger than Plame. I have a feeling that it is.


By the standards of international law,

W is for "War criminal"...

Is that enough reason to impeach him?
quote:
Originally posted by UppityNegress:
They impeached Clinton for lying about a blowjob. Surely lying about leaking classified info on an agent, lying to the American and international community to start a war, and conducting illegal wire taps is more serious than fibbing about an extramarital affair?


I'm still trying to wrap that around my head. If either Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein was blowing Clinton, then THAT would've been a reason to impeach him. Other than that is nothing short of bs.
quote:
Originally posted by telltruth:
I don't know whether you or the people in the State of Vermount know it or not, but the President of the United States have the inherent right and authority to de-classify classified information.


Whoa now. Wait a minute. NO, THE PRESIDENT DOESN'T HAVE THE RIGHT OR AUTHORITY TO DE-CLASSIFY INFORMATION. This is another one of those rightwing half truths that go unchallenged by the masses, the rightwing hanger-oners, and the intellectually lazt Left.

According to the National Archives, the president can only declassify White house originated information. The information that Bush authorized to be leaked can only be de-classified by the Director of the CIA. http://www.archives.gov/about/regulations/part-1260.html

But don't let a little thing like the law detract from the rightwing's defense of Bush's treason. td6
The CIA works for the President. The CIA is also a federal Department that has no jurisdiction in these United States. It is an oversea's operation protecting USA interest. The President of the United States is the "BOSS" the Commander in Chief and when he spits out information it is no longer a leak, and if it was confidential info, it is no longer, because he is the "BOSS"!
quote:
Originally posted by telltruth:

The CIA works for the President. The CIA is also a federal Department that has no jurisdiction in these United States. It is an oversea's operation protecting USA interest. The President of the United States is the "BOSS" the Commander in Chief and when he spits out information it is no longer a leak, and if it was confidential info, it is no longer, because he is the "BOSS"!


Sorry - but "the BOSS" is bound by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America. This is no monarchy. nono
quote:
Originally posted by telltruth:
The CIA works for the President. The CIA is also a federal Department that has no jurisdiction in these United States. It is an oversea's operation protecting USA interest. The President of the United States is the "BOSS" the Commander in Chief and when he spits out information it is no longer a leak, and if it was confidential info, it is no longer, because he is the "BOSS"!



Look, brotha.. this here is a Constitutional Republic. We don't have no KINGS in this mutha. The President of the United States is bound by the law just like the rest of us. And when the President shows utter contempt for the law (and our freedoms) as this President has done consistently, the Framers of the Constitution themselves provided us with a means of removing his @$$.

He might be the boss... but he works for us... and we can fire him if he breaks the rules or proves himself to be incompetent...
Last edited {1}
Telltruth, since you obviously did not hit the link, I'll post the pertinent part:

quote:
§1260.26 Who is responsible for issuing special procedures for declassification of information concerning intelligence or cryptography in NARA's holdings?

(a) The Director of Central Intelligence is responsible for issuing special procedures for declassification of information concerning intelligence activities and intelligence sources and methods.


Now where does the law of the land provide the President with the authority? Oh Yeah, that "Unitary Executive" "Imperial Presidential" thing, that the framers explicitly wrote out of the Constitution and addressed in their writings such as the Federalist Papers [specifically, #47].

But then, "We are an empire now ... we create our own reality", Right?

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