Thanks to Washington Monthly for tracking down this information. As Kevin Drum says in his commentary. It appears that they White House isn't denying that Bush was the source of the leak:
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.
GOI: So this is basically the Nixon defense of saying that "Well, if the President does it that means it is not illegal." And that if he felt that it was justified to keep America brain washed with his war message. War by any means necessary in other words.
Nixon went on to say something eeriely similar to W's comments lately regarding the NSA spying controversy. As well as the above comment from a senior White House official saying Bush sees a difference between an illegal, treasonous leak and what he is alleged to have done regarding the Valerie Plame affair. His defense being that in a time a war a President can break the law through acting unilaterally in authorizing the leak of the ID of a CIA operative.
The ironic thing here is that Plame was a WMD specialist and of course we know that we did not find WMD in Iraq. The damage was especially expensive as not only was Plame working on WMD issues but that she was working specifically on WMD issues in regards to Iran whom we are now in a stand-off with.
The following are excerpts from an interveiw between David Frost and President Richard Nixon:
FROST: By Definition.
NIXON: Exactly. Exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president's decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they're in an impossible position.
GOI: This is the problem with a unitary executive which should actually be called monarchy.
UPDATE: Scott McClellan is now blaming the Democrats for making a big deal out of Libby saying Bush authorized the Plame leak via Cheney!! Of COURSE they are going to make a big deal out of this! This is huge and possibley daming information that alleges our President of treasonous behavior!! How are the Democrats at fault for talking about something which was said by a former, top White House senior aide??? This is a matter of national security being jeopardized by OUR SITTING PRESIDENT and the Dems are not supposed to talk about it??? Get real Scott.
Now he is saying that Bush had to leak this information because it was harmful to our national security and yet in exposing a top, under cover WMD agent (who was working on Iran) that is not harmful to our national security??? He also said that the President doesn't have a credibility problem but rather it is the Democrats on this issue!! Get real Scott. I'm really starting to wonder about your sanity.
They can't even keep their lies straight. They are lying about their lies!!
This is classic Bush attack mode when accused of wrong doing.
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