The White House refused to comment directly on the court filing, except to point out that Bush's very decision to disclose classified information means he declassified it -- an assessment shared by independent legal experts.In other words, “It wasn’t a leak, because I declassified the information before I leaked it.” Sounds like an indirect admission that he authorized the leak to me. Changing the classification of a document before disclosing it was a purely tactical move which, according to Nancy Pelosi, was a highly egregious error – not only for Valerie Plame – but for the entire country:
A senior administration official, speaking on background because White House policy prohibits comment on an active investigation, said Bush sees a distinction between leaks and what he is alleged to have done. The official said Bush authorized the release of the classified information to assure the public of his rationale for war as it was coming under increasing scrutiny.
“I served for 13 years on the House intelligence committee, and I know intelligence must never be classified or declassified for political purposes,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “One of the constants in the Bush administration's miserable record on Iraq has been the manipulation of intelligence precisely for political purposes. That has caused our intelligence—which used to be accepted without question around the world—to be viewed with skepticism by the international community.”Is the beating of the Impeachment Drum getting louder yet? I hear it off in the distance, but I'm hoping the sound will be deafening. And soon.
(Thanks to TPM for the heads up. Cross-posted at Bring It On!)