Tuesday, November 20, 2007
White House exposed
Ah, now we're getting someplace, after four years. A former White House press secretary says in an upcoming book that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were involved in efforts to mislead the public about the leak of a CIA operative's identity in 2003, the Associated Press reported today. Scott McClellan says in an excerpt from the book that he was lying when he said at a 2003 news conference that then White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's chief of staff, were not involved in the leak of Valerie Plame's identity. The excerpt was published on the Web site of PublicAffairs. The White House has repeatedly denied that Bush or Cheney were involved in such activity, even though Libby was convicted in the case and Rove is generally considered the source of the leak to newspaper columnist Robert Novak. Bush commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence for obstructing the investigation. Plame contends her identity was revealed by the White House, ending her career as a spy, as retaliation for an article by her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, questioning the justification for the Iraq war. Bush and Cheney have never admitted involvement in the affair, despite rampant speculation at the time, and Bush said in July that he considered the matter closed. But revealing the identity of an undercover CIA agent is a crime, and maybe we'll finally find out what all the probes failed to find out -- whether Bush or Cheney or both actually were responsible for the leak.