Chi Trib's Mark Silva has Bush dead to rights in Trib's on-line-only "The Swamp," B. having leaked classified info when he said no one would leak such in his administration -- dated quote is supplied. But wait. B. and Cheney can de-classify what they want for a good reason, Silva admits and it says here. Gotcha, Silva -- who should have better things to do than lie in wait for the Great Satan in the White House, so as to catch him in his speech.
The sudden press flap over Scooter Libbys alleged revelation that President Bush declassified intelligence information related to Iraq is silly but all too predictable. The entire flap relies on mixing terms and misunderstanding by innuendo a technique of demagoguery, not journalism. The flap is yet more evidence that the national press is more interested in playing gotcha with the Bush Administration than reporting the news.
That's Austin Bay, who gives chapter and verse on the what and why of this. He's hereby recommended to Silva and swamp-like colleagues.
So whats the story here? That someone who worked in the White House selectively passed properly declassified material to the press? Thats not a scandal; thats Beltway business as usual. Id love to hear that reported its not news per se, but it would be refreshingly open and honest media analysis.
Bay is a retired Army reserve colonel who won a bronze star for service in Iraq in 2004, writes novels and non-fiction, consulted in war games at the Pentagon, and has a booming media career at this point. Quite a source for any enterprising Washington reporter.