N.Y. Times on Bush: A Bad Leak
Posted on Apr 16, 2006
President Bush says he declassified portions of the prewar intelligence assessment on Iraq because he “wanted people to see the truth” about Iraq’s weapons programs and to understand why he kept accusing Saddam Hussein of stockpiling weapons that turned out not to exist. This would be a noble sentiment if it actually bore any relationship to Mr. Bush’s actions in this case, or his overall record.
Mr. Bush did not declassify the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq—in any accepted sense of that word—when he authorized I. Lewis Libby Jr., through Vice President Dick Cheney, to talk about it with reporters. He permitted a leak of cherry-picked portions of the report. The declassification came later.
And this president has never shown the slightest interest in disclosure, except when it suits his political purposes. He has run one of the most secretive administrations in American history, consistently withholding information and vital documents not just from the public, but also from Congress. Just the other day, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the House Judiciary Committee that the names of the lawyers who reviewed Mr. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program were a state secret.