News Release

Leak Story: Rogue President?

The Washington Post reports today that “President Bush authorized White House official I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby to disclose highly sensitive intelligence information to the news media in an attempt to discredit a CIA adviser whose views undermined the rationale for the invasion of Iraq, according to a federal prosecutor’s account of Libby’s testimony to a grand jury.”

The following analysts are available for interviews:

LARRY JOHNSON
Johnson worked as a CIA intelligence analyst and State Department counter-terrorism official. He is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He said: “This revelation is simple and riveting — the effort to smear Joe Wilson went to the very top of the White House. This was not an operation of rogue political operators. Instead, we have a rogue President.”
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ROBERT PARRY
Parry just wrote the piece “Did Bush Lie to Fitzgerald?” which states: “Lewis Libby’s testimony identifying George W. Bush as the top official who authorized the leaking of intelligence about Iraq’s alleged nuclear weapons program raises two key questions: What did the President tell the special prosecutor about this issue in 2004 and what is Bush’s legal status in the federal criminal probe?

“Bush’s legal danger came into clearer focus with the release of a court document citing testimony from Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff who claimed that Bush approved the selective release of intelligence in July 2003 to counter growing complaints that Bush had hyped evidence on Iraq’s pursuit of enriched uranium.”

Parry noted that Bush has “vowed to fire anyone who leaked classified material. ‘The President has set high standards, the highest of standards, for people in his administration,’ White House press secretary Scott McClellan said on Sept. 29, 2003. ‘If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.’

“Yet, Bush never disclosed that he himself had a hand in planting information to discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson for accusing the administration of having ‘twisted’ the pre-war intelligence to justify invading Iraq.”

Parry’s most recent book is Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq. While at The Associated Press and Newsweek, Parry broke much of the Iran-Contra scandal. He is editor of ConsortiumNews.com.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167