Everyone surprised by "Scooter" Libby's testimony to the Grand Jury please stand up. Now that everyone is seated, let's discuss the implications of that testimony. Libby claims that "the President specifically had authorized" him to disclose information in the (previously classified) National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to Judith Miller.
When the president authorizes disclosure of information, it is no longer classified. Does that exonerate the president of criminal activity? Perhaps it does on this one matter. However, it does not exonerate the president of extreme hypocrisy. Don't forget Bush's statement in September 2003: "if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of."
With this clear stance against leaks from the White House, Bush should be declaring mea culpa and apologizing to the American people. Of course, after five years with this administration, America knows better. Instead, Bush trotted out his official liar, Scott McClellan, to hold a press briefing.
True to form, he diverted blame to those making "irresponsible and unfounded accusations ... against the administration, suggesting that we had manipulated or misused that intelligence." McClellan stated that declassifying the NIE "was very much in the public interest." That's right, he's claiming that disclosing sensitive intelligence to the press is the right way to combat public debate about the administration's shaping of intelligence to justify invading Iraq.
Under Bush logic, exposing a sensitive NIE to the press is the right way to respond to certain facets of the public discovering his perpetration of fraud against the American people. Yet, when someone in his administration leaks the existence of NSA espionage of American's phone lines and email that he approved, Bush claims that national security was put at risk, as if al Qaeda operatives would never have otherwise suspected that intelligence agents might be eavesdropping on their communications.