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Bush said he had authorized the release of the documents because some Americans questioned his reasons for going to war.
"So I wanted people to see the truth," he said. "And I thought it made sense for people to see the truth."
Bush had authorized the release of portions in the National Intelligence Estimate.
The court documents do not suggest Bush approved the leaking of the agent's identity.
Ignoring Bush administration officials' willingness to discuss the CIA leak investigation, involving the outing of former CIA agent Valerie Plame, when it serves their purpose, NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell falsely claimed, on the April 10 edition of NBC's Today, that "[e]ven days after the president became publicly entangled in the CIA leak case, his long-standing, no-comment policy has held." O'Donnell was referring to the disclosure by special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby testified that he was told by Cheney that President Bush authorized the disclosure of portions of a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to rebut former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV's claim that the administration "twisted" the intelligence to make the case for war in Iraq.
O'Donnell's claim that Bush's "no-comment policy" on the CIA leak case "has held" overlooks several instances in which Bush -- or other administration officials -- have discussed the investigation.
On the April 6 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, chief White House correspondent Carl Cameron adopted a false claim by Victoria Toensing, a Republican attorney and former deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration, that President Bush's alleged authorization of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then-vice presidential chief of staff, to leak of portions of a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) "has nothing whatsoever to do with the Valerie Plame matter."
Libby is accused of giving false statements to federal investigators regarding his role in leaking the identity of Plame, a then-undercover CIA agent, to reporters. Introducing the statement by Toensing, whom he identified only as an "expert," Cameron reported: "In court documents, special prosecutor [Patrick J.] Fitzgerald doesn't question the president's authority to declassify the NIE, which experts point out is not related to Libby's perjury and obstruction case." In fact, the very court documents Cameron cited state that the NIE leak is "relevant to show the importance that defendant [Libby] and his boss [Cheney] placed on the conversation concerning which he [Libby] later testified," potentially undermining Libby's defense that his false testimony was a result of simply forgetting about the conversations.