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Libby Testimony Points Directly to Bush, Cheney
By Jason Leopold and Marc Ash
t r u t h o u t | Report
Wednesday 07 February 2007
According to trial transcripts obtained by Truthout, former White House staffer I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby testified before a grand jury in 2004 that Vice President Dick Cheney instructed him to divulge portions of a then-classified report to New York Times reporter Judith Miller. Libby testified that Cheney said authorization to leak a section of the report had come directly from President George W. Bush, the court transcripts state.
The document, titled the National intelligence Estimate, was officially declassified on July 18, 2003. However Libby testified before the grand jury in March 2004 that he had received instructions from Cheney on July 8, 2003, to release portions of the report to Judith Miller.
"The vice president instructed me to go talk to Judith Miller to lay things out for her," Libby said, according to court transcripts. Libby added that President Bush did not know Judith Miller, but authorized Libby to share the NIE with her. Miller did not publish a story based on the information Libby leaked to her.
Libby testified that the leak of the NIE to Miller was aimed at undermining the credibility of former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who on July 6, 2003, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times accusing the Bush administration of "twisting" pre-war intelligence on Iraq. Wilson's stinging rebuke of the administration led Libby and other White House officials to leak Wilson's wife's covert CIA status to reporters one week later.
Libby said, according to the court transcript, that the leak of the NIE on July 8, 2003, was a closely guarded secret and that only he, Vice President Dick Cheney, and President Bush were aware that some of its contents would be leaked.
Bush welcomes probe of CIA leak
'I want to know the truth,' president tells reporters
"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."
Bush Directed Cheney To Counter War Critic
By Murray Waas, National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Monday, July 3, 2006
Bush told prosecutors he directed Cheney to disclose classified information that would not only defend his administration but also discredit Wilson.