Friday, April 07, 2006

So, the White House now has "declined to challenge" Scooter Libby's claims that the leak of Valerie Plame's covert CIA agent status was authorized by Dubya himself.

With that, cast your mind back to the hoary days of 2004, when Dubya's comment on the affair was this:

"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is," Bush told reporters at an impromptu news conference during a fund-raising stop in Chicago, Illinois. "If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.

"I welcome the investigation. I am absolutely confident the Justice Department will do a good job.

"I want to know the truth," the president continued. "Leaks of classified information are bad things."

He added that he did not know of "anybody in my administration who leaked classified information."

And if you read the statement carefully, absolutely nothing about that statement is inconsistent with his current claims. He never said that he didn't already know who authorized Plame's outing. And his remarks about the sanctity of classified information then are entirely consistent with the position his administration is taking now --- that once Dubya had decided to throw Plame under the bus, exposing an entire team that was working to restrain Iran's nuclear program, the information was no longer classified.

In short, he never said that there was anything wrong with the leak at all. Just like he never actually said that Saddam Hussein was connected to the 9/11 attacks.

Furthermore, he continues to preserve the dignity of his office by engaging in no disputes about what the meaning of the word "is" is.