WARNING: This Liar Is Being Believed
I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Mr. Libby was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice in the investigation, though not with illegally exposing Plame’s identity.
A private briefing
It was in Libby’s grand jury testimony, revealed publicly for the first time in the government filing, that the former White House official stated that Bush had approved Cheney’s instruction to reveal portions of a classified prewar National Intelligence
WARNING: This Liar Is Being Believed
Q Let me ask you another question. Is it your view that a Vice President has the authority to declassify information?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: There is an executive order to that effect.
Q There is.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Q Have you done it?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ve certainly advocated declassification and participated in declassification decisions. The executive order —
Q You ever done it unilaterally?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don’t want to get into that. There is an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously focuses first and foremost on the President, but also includes the Vice President.
WARNING: This Liar May Be Misleading
Q Back when the NIE was released on July 18, 2003, you were asked that day when that had been actually declassified. And you said in that gaggle that it had been declassified that day. And if that’s the case, then when the information was passed on to the reporter 10 days earlier, then it was still classified at that time.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you’re referring — a couple of things. First of all, it was publicly released that day, so that’s when a portion of the National Intelligence Estimate that we were making available to the public was released. The second part of your question is referring to an ongoing legal proceeding, and referring to a filing in that legal proceeding. We have had a policy in place, going back to the October time period of 2003, that we are not going to comment on an ongoing investigation or an ongoing legal proceeding. That policy remains unchanged.
But let me point out a couple of facts, step back from this legal proceeding. The President of the United States has the authority to declassify information. I also indicated to some reporters earlier today that the President would never authorize the disclosure of information that he felt could compromise our nation’s security. Now, the National Intelligence Estimate was declassified — portions of it were declassified. We made sure that we did not — that we continued to protect sensitive sources and methods within the National Intelligence Estimate.
And because of the public debate that was going on and some of the wild accusations that were flying around at the time, we felt it was very much in the public interest that what information could be declassified, be declassified. And that’s exactly what we did.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we always want to share as much information as we can. There is some classified information that — well, there’s some information that remains classified for national security reasons. But we felt that this information — which is what the State of the Union statement was originally based on — was important to share with the American people, because it could be declassified.
Q When was it actually declassified?
MR. McCLELLAN: It was officially declassified today.
Q Just today?
While it cannot be proven yet that the Vice President HIMSELF UNILATERALLY authorized the declassification of sections of the NIE in July, 2003 — I am struck by context of all of this information leading me to that conclusion.
1. Scooter Libby may have been lied to or is lying for the Vice President. (He is already being accused of perjury and obstruction of justice by a Federal Prosecuter — why should he stop now?)
2. The Vice President has publicly stated that he has the authority to unilaterally declassify information.
3. Executive Order 13292 (signed into law on March 25, 2003) gives the VP significantly more power for the classification of top secret material.
4. Scotty McClellan NEVER says that “The President” declassified parts of the NIE. NEVER. He only uses the word “President” when DESCRIBING his powers. This is very odd and makes loud alarm bells go off in my head.
Then again, I could be wrong.
Whatever the case, I believe the American Media is once again taking the bait (for whatever reason) and is not seeing the forest for the trees. There is a CLEAR pattern of deception here, once again.
And it’s not just about “when” the documents were declassified.
Of course, there IS an easy way for the American media to find out if Scotty is misleading Americans…
ASK THIS QUESTION:
Can you say, without equivocation, that President George W. Bush authorized the declassification of portions of the NIE in 2003? Or, was it the Vice President who did so, unilaterally? And if the Vice President authorized the declassification, was the President aware at that moment he did so?