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The Washington Post: Bush Was Right

Updated

It's hard to believe but true. The Washington Post said in its lead Sunday editorial A Good Leak that President Bush was right to declassify the National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq and release it for public consumption:

PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons. Presidents are authorized to declassify sensitive material, and the public benefits when they do. But the administration handled the release clumsily, exposing Mr. Bush to the hyperbolic charges of misconduct and hypocrisy that Democrats are leveling.


Rather than follow the usual declassification procedures and then invite reporters to a briefing -- as the White House eventually did -- Vice President Cheney initially chose to be secretive, ordering his chief of staff at the time, I. Lewis Libby, to leak the information to a favorite New York Times reporter. The full public disclosure followed 10 days later. There was nothing illegal or even particularly unusual about that; nor is this presidentially authorized leak necessarily comparable to other, unauthorized disclosures that the president believes, rightly or wrongly, compromise national security.

In fact, not only does the Post's editorial say that Bush was right to release the document, but it also reminds its readers that this document proved that it was Joe Wilson who lied about Saddam's efforts to seek uranium from Niger:

Mr. Wilson originally claimed in a 2003 New York Times op-ed and in conversations with numerous reporters that he had debunked a report that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from Niger and that Mr. Bush's subsequent inclusion of that allegation in his State of the Union address showed that he had deliberately "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraq threat." The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.

Don Surber says this editorial is of particular importance because "the lead editorial in the Sunday newspaper is the Washington Post's most important editorial."

Dan Riehl of Riehl World View is predicting that liberals will be furious that the Post dared to praise President Bush. He's right. The lefty bloggers are already throwing a hissy fit. Just check out The Left Coaster, who calls the Post's editorial a lie and a piece of garbage.

Update: The libs are expressing their dismay about the WaPo Sunday editorial on the Washington Post blog.


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Comments (10)

I'm sure it is just a coinc... (Below threshold)

I'm sure it is just a coincidence that the editor of the Washington Post knows who Bob Woodward's source was. You might even think that they are publishing the truth because, gosh, they know for a fact that any other position is untenable towards the future.

Ya think?

Hmmmm. Quite interesting.</... (Below threshold)

Hmmmm. Quite interesting.

It seems that nothing upse... (Below threshold)
virgo:

It seems that nothing upsets the left more than the truth .. why is this ? i know but im keeping it a secret..

CALL 911!!! I NEED AN AMBU... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

CALL 911!!! I NEED AN AMBULANCE RIGHT AWAY!!!! MY HEART'S STOPPED!!!!

I agree with the WaPo that the White House has handled this affair with (unfortunately) typical lack of grace. However, it seems reasonable that the media should be GLAD that the information was declassified. Haven't we heard screed after screed about how "secretive" the president is, and how he needs to be "more open" about pre-war intelligence?

Good for the WaPo for putting common sense ahead of their politics (for a change).

The liberal blogosphere is ... (Below threshold)

The liberal blogosphere is outraged at this. You almost want to just hit them over the head with the truth they have been ignoring all along. Poor suckers still think that Wilson told the truth.

Earth to moonbats: Wilson was trying to start the Democrats' political platform for the 2004 elections, which is exactly what it became. That's not just a coincidence. I mean, who else came out earlier than Wilson to claim that Bush was deliberately twisting intelligence to sell the Iraq war? Wilson was leaking that stuff to the press as early as May 2003.

Can anyone tell me who else was trying to push such a storyline earlier than that? If not, I think that shows a concerted effort by Wilson, his wife, and their Democratic pals to smear Bush to set up their "Bush misled on Iraq" platform for the 2004 elections.

Even a blind squirrel ... ... (Below threshold)

Even a blind squirrel ... ;-)

It's All About Woodward and... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

It's All About Woodward and Woodward is W's Bud, Biographer.Etc!! (jeez!) Woodward of the WaPO had already written among his notes "Joe Wilson's wife" before Judith Miller officially ever heard the name from Libby et al. This was not discovered by Fitzgerald because Woodward didn't tell his own editor (Pincus), though it later came out after Libby was indicted, EXCEPT with dates moved forward to align with the OFFICIAL leaks. However, by this time formal legal motions had effectively stymied the prosecutor through Libby's discovery motions, and other leads were not obvious post-Novak,Cooper-Miller. But NOW Fitz knows the real scoop and the earlier knowledge by Woodward of Plame. SO: it's clearly in the WaPo's interest to re-inforce the non-issue meme re: NIE, because that might make possible perjury charges against Woodward and whoever told him about "Joe Wilson's wife" not worth pursuing, politically. The WaPo is just exercising a pre-emptive "suggestion" to "wrap it up; Woodward's a good earner for us!" TA-DAH!

So when WaPo says Bush is r... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

So when WaPo says Bush is right it must be a lie and the motive has to be money. Maybe there should be an investigation to find out who paid Wilson to lie about the results of his investigation.

Editorial: " There was noth... (Below threshold)
PantsB:

Editorial: " There was nothing illegal or even particularly unusual about that;"

Fitzgerald Court Filings:"Defendant testified that the circumstances of his conversation with reporter Miller -- getting approval from the President through the Vice President to discuss material that would be classified but for that approval -- were unique in his recollection. "

Editorial: " In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium."

Front Page News: "Wilson's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger the previous year -- in which the envoy found no support for charges that Iraq tried to buy uranium there..."


Editorial: "After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson's charge."

Front Page News article: "Patrick J. Fitzgerald for the first time described a "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House" -- using classified information -- to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" a critic of President Bush's war in Iraq."


I wonder why people are annoyed at this editorial.... Could it perhaps be that its arguments are based on false information?

Whoa, did you chickenhawks ... (Below threshold)
Dan:

Whoa, did you chickenhawks catch PantsB?!?! Go to it, kids, slash, burn, slander, dissemble, misinform as you have been misinformed, do what you're good at!

Oh, and Seixon...Just one? Scott Ritter.




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