Skip to comments.Senator Asks Bush, Cheney for Explanation
Posted on 04/09/2006 8:04:29 AM PDT by digger48
WASHINGTON - President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should speak publicly about their involvement in the CIA leak case so people can understand what happened, a leading Republican senator said Sunday.
"We ought to get to the bottom of it so it can be evaluated by the American people," said Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record) of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In a federal court filing last week, the prosecutor in the case said Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, testified before a grand jury that he was authorized by Bush, through Cheney, to leak information from a classified document that detailed intelligence agencies' conclusions about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
A lawyer knowledgeable about the case said Saturday that Bush declassified sensitive intelligence in 2003 and authorized its public disclosure to rebut Iraq war critics, but he did not specifically direct that Libby be the one to disseminate the information.
"I think it is necessary for the president and vice president to tell the American people exactly what happened," Specter told "Fox News Sunday."
"There's been enough of a showing that the president of the United States owes a specific explanation to the American people ... about exactly what he did," Specter said.
Libby faces trial, likely in January, on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to the grand jury and investigators about what he told reporters about CIA officer Valerie Plame.
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald did not say in the filing that Cheney authorized Libby to leak Plame's identity, and Bush is not accused of doing anything illegal.
The investigation is looking into whether Plame's identify was disclosed to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, an Iraq war critic. Wilson had accused the administration of twisting prewar intelligence to exaggerate the threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
Wilson said Sunday that Bush and Cheney should release transcripts of their interviews with Fitzgerald.
"It seems to me that first and foremost, the White House needs to come clean on this matter," Wilson said on ABC's "This Week." "My own view of this is that the White House owes the American people and particularly our service people who have been sent into war, an apology for having misrepresented the facts."
The lawyer knowledgeable about the case said Bush instructed Cheney to "get it out" and left the details about disseminating the intelligence to him. The lawyer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case for the White House, said Cheney chose Libby and communicated the president's wishes to his then-top aide.
It is not known when the conversation between Bush and Cheney took place. The White House has declined to provide the date when the president used his authority to declassify the portions of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate.
"There has to be a detailed explanation as to precisely what Vice President Cheney did, what the president said to him and an explanation by the president as to what he said," Specter said.
But I still wish he'd just STFU
Bush and Santorum deserve the SOB, they busted their butts to get him through the primary here in PA.
Nedra Pickler....quoting the discredited liar Joseph Wilson without acknowledging his history of lying or that it was his lies that precipitated this whole manufactured "scandal". Just business as usual for the Associated Press.
That is exactly what I was going to write.
Bush and Cheney should just say exactly what their involvement was.
Any information released by the Commander-in-chief is, by definition, not classified. And Valerie Plame parked in the CIA employee parking lot every day. She was not covert and no crime was committed in discussing her inappropriate involvement in the matter.
Cheney and Bush should just say, "We did this, this and this. It was all legal and was done in the best interests of our country. Helen Thomas is an orangutan. Thank you."
Hey Sphincter, there is a criminal case going on. You expect the President and Vice-President to become involved?
Well, it was time to clean my monitor anyway!
Bingo! It cracks me up everytime Specter criticizes Bush, who got him re-elected. They deserve each other.
Oh, I thought this was from a Republican Senator, but it's just from Spector.
As always dead, well said and thanks for the new tagline.
The WH and GOP simply need to keep talking about the success in the WOT, National security, and the robust economy. They need to get on the offensive on these issues and force the DEM's to respond (or allow each factual premise to be set in the publics mind).
isn't there an investigation going on? isn't the White House supposed to honor that in order not to jeopardize same? and now they want the White House to speak out? which is it: be quiet or speak out. gee, i'm confused
YEP! Bush will soon understand you can't trust people like Specter. This RINO is bad news for the GOP and has been for years.
They want Cheney and Bush to "leak" out an explanation.
It was like this, Senator. Cheney was flying paper airplanes around his office when one accidentally one flew out the window, and unfortunately it was one he made out of a classified document ... and wouldn't you know that little rascal landed in the back seat of a convertible being driven by a secretary from the Washington Post who was returning from lunch. When she got to the office she discovered the paper airplane and decided to fly it over the cubicles as a joke ... and didn't that little rascal land on the desk of a reporter who published it in his next column. It was an extremely unlikely chain of events, Senator Specter ..... similar in many ways to your 'magic bullet' theory.
On July 18, 2003, the administration, facing criticism for the intelligence used to justify the war, declassified an eight-page part of the NIE dubbed "key judgments" and conducted a lengthy background briefing with reporters to discuss it.Key judgments" is the operative word here. They were declassified by Tenet in October of 2002, six days after the NIE was complete per the following information:
On October 7, 2002 DCI Tenet sent a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee declassifying portions of its new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq.
A 25-page version of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was released in October 2002. It made clear-cut statements about Iraq's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons capabilities in two pages of "Key Judgments."A copy of the Key Judgments document can be found here. Warning: .pdf file.
As usual, the MSM gets it wrong. Disseminating declassified info is not a "leak".