Bush administration leaks
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."
The Bush administration is generally regarded as much more secretive than many previous administrations. Even so, there have been leaks. The following is a current (?) listing of Bush administration leaks:
- Ahmed Chalabi: Fall from Grace
- Al Jazeera bombing leak
- Bush administration: duped into war with Iraq?
- Bush administration lies that led to war
- Bush administration: personal data leaks and invasion of privacy
- Coalition Provisional Authority: March 2004 Reconstruction of Iraq Memo
- Coleen Rowley
- George W. Bush's domestic spying
- Laurent Murawiec ... a Pentagon leak.
- Marwat Farhan
- Memogate (also known as Cybergate)
- National Planning Scenarios
- prewar intelligence
- Richard A. Clarke: August 2002 background briefing
- Richard A. Clarke: Post-9/11 email
- Rumsfeld Memo 16 October 2003
- surveillance drone videotape 2000
- The U.S. v. I. Lewis Libby
- Taguba Report
- Valerie Plame / Karl Rove: Outing Valerie Plame
Bush at War Leak?
The headline for the March 5, 2003, edition of the Hill News reads "Shays queries Woodward leaks". Jonathan E. Kaplan writes: "Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.), who chairs a subcommittee that oversees national security policy, has inquired whether Bush administration officials passed classified information to journalist Bob Woodward for Bush at War, his latest best-selling book."
"Morton H. Halperin, an advisor to several presidents on national security issues, said: 'Senior officials have always declassified information to advance a president's agenda or even doing it to advance their own agenda.'
"But, in two previous cases where it was alleged Congress leaked classified information, the Bush administration threatened to withhold information and launched an FBI probe in an attempt to find the leakers.
"In June 2002, the House and Senate intelligence committees investigating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks allegedly disclosed information that the National Security Agency had intercepted communications a day earlier warning of a terrorist plot.
"The FBI investigated the source of the leaks, going so far as to asking senators to take lie-detector tests.
"Concerned about leaks in the aftermath of the attacks, Bush restricted classified and sensitive information to eight key lawmakers.
"Woodward wrote that the research for his book, 'includes contemporaneous notes taken during 50 National Security Council and other meetingsâ?¦[and I have] attributed thoughts, conclusions, and feelings to the participants. These come either from the person himself, a colleagueâ?¦or the written record--both classified and unclassified.'
"As Charles Tiefer, a law professor at the University of Baltimore and former counsel on the House side of the joint committee that investigated the Iran-Contra scandal, sees it, there are two categories of leaked information.
"If classified material is leaked with authorization from such administration principals as the president or Secretary of State, 'then the officials releasing the classified info will contend that their authorization from above prevents charging them with a breach of security,' Tiefer told The Hill.
"However, he added, that if classified documents, 'marked top-secret, secret, and so forth, were leaked without [such top-level] authorization, then they must answer for an improper release of classified information and possibly for a breach of security that violates the rules.'"
Bush: "Stop the leaks"
And this headline is priceless:
On October 16, 2003, Joseph L. Galloway and James Kuhnhenn reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer that
- "Bush orders officials to stop the leaks. He warned of action if anonymous sources were quoted, a senior aide said. Visiting senators also heard a stern line."
- "Concerned about the appearance of disarray and feuding within his administration as well as growing resistance to his policies in Iraq, President Bush - living up to his recent declaration that he is in charge - told his top officials to "stop the leaks" to the media, or else.
- "News of Bush's order leaked almost immediately."
- "The ship of state is the only ship that leaks from the top." --Sir Humphrey Appleby.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Bush administration and the Enron connection
- Bush administration flip flops
- Bush administration: Project for the New American Century (PNAC members in key positions in the administration)
- Bush administration propaganda and disinformation
- Bush administration scandals
- Bush administration smear campaigns
- Bush doctrine
- Bush/Republican Initiatives
- flash media
- Loose Cannon Pentagon
- prewar intelligence
- rebranding the Bush administration
- State of the Union 2004
- Unofficial Official Secrets Act
- U.S. presidential election, 2004
- White House Iraq Group
- Dave Franklin, Langley Leaks, American Daily, September 21, 2001.
- Peggy Noonan, Loose Lips, Pink Slips. How President Bush made the White House leak-proof, OpinionJournal/WallStreetJournal, January 18, 2002: "Someone once said the White House is the only sieve that leaks from the top, but the Bush White House is, so far, famously leak-proof. Or rather almost leak-free....The Bush White House doesn't leak because George W. actively and affirmatively does not want it to."
- Anthony DiFilippo, Bush's Nuclear Weapons Policy: Where the Rule of Law Doesn't Matter, Foreign Policy In Focus, June 26, 2002: "President Bush's announcement in December 2001 that the U.S. would unilaterally withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, that it had signed with the former Soviet Union, has been viewed with much skepticism by some countries. In January, the administration dropped a second shoe. Leaks from the administration's Nuclear Posture Review revealed that the U.S. plan to 'cut' the number of its nuclear weapons relied on storing rather than destroying many of them, that underground nuclear testing in the future cannot be ruled out, and that the preparation time to perform nuclear testing needed to be reduced, perhaps to just months. ... Leaks from the Nuclear Posture Review also revealed that the Bush administration had still another shoe that it was willing to drop. The review contained language that indicated that the Bush administration has authorized the Defense Department to develop plans for using nuclear weapons on seven countries--five of which are nonnuclear nations. Significantly, these five nations--Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and North Korea--are parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) that took effect in 1970."
- FBI Investigates Congressional Security Leaks, NewsMax, July 26, 2002: "The FBI has quietly begun an investigation of national security leaks from Capitol Hill, specifically leaks from the House and Senate Select Intelligence committees, United Press International has learned. ... The investigation was requested publicly by congressional leaders after blistering criticism from the White House, but the Justice Department is not acknowledging the operation. ... The investigation was spurred in part by anger in the Bush administration over media reports last month that the National Security Agency had intercepted two messages between suspected terrorists in Afghanistan on Sept. 10: 'tomorrow is zero day' and 'the match begins tomorrow.' ... However, the messages were not translated until Sept. 12, the day after the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that claimed nearly 3,000 lives."
- Roy Mark, White House Leaks New Cyber Security Plan, InternetNews, January 7, 2003: "The White House is leaking again. As has been its habit since announcing early last year it was drafting a National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, the Bush Administration is again floating its proposals though the media before actually making a public announcement. ... In its latest trial balloon, the Associated Press is reporting an internal draft of the plan, due to be released later this month, calls for watering the down the proposals to secure the nation's computer networks even further by reducing the initiatives by nearly half and eliminates an earlier version that called for the White House to regularly consult with privacy experts from the private sector. ... According to the AP, the new draft calls for the new Homeland Security Department to develop plans for securing the country's networks. It also warns that the Administration reserves the right to engage in cyber warfare."
- Jonathan E. Kaplan, Shays queries Woodward leaks, Hill News, March 5, 2003: "Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), who chairs a subcommittee that oversees national security policy, has inquired whether Bush administration officials passed classified information to journalist Bob Woodward for Bush at War, his latest best-selling book."
- Mark Benjamin, Pentagon Papers Leaker Seeks Leaks on Iraq, UPI, March 11, 2003: "Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers, on Tuesday called on government officials to leak documents to Congress and the press showing the Bush administration is lying in building its case against Saddam Hussein."
- Two Damning Leaks in the Last Two Days, theleftcoaster, June 24, 2003.
- Jack Shafer, Making sense of the leaks and counter-leaks in Plamegate, Slate, October 2, 2003.
- Evan Thomas and Michael Isikoff, Secrets and Leaks, MSNBC.MSN.com, October 13, 2003: "In Washington, so-called leak investigations--formal inquiries by the Justice Department into the publication of classified information--are like endless replays of the movie "Casablanca": the authorities round up the usual suspects, nothing much happens, and life goes on. ... It's not likely that anyone will go to jail for outing Valerie Plame Wilson as an undercover spy for the Central Intelligence Agency. But the leak--from unnamed "senior administration officials," allegedly in retribution for her husband's accusing the Bushies of "twisting" intelligence--has stirred a scandal that casts light on a dark side of the Bush administration. All presidents deplore leaks in the strongest terms, and then wink at (or, in some cases, personally authorize) leaks that serve their purposes. No one is accusing George W. Bush of reincarnating Richard M. Nixon. Still, this administration has been particularly secretive and manipulative, at once condemning and seeking to stop "unauthorized disclosures" while putting out its own selective version of the truth."
- Jim Lobe, The truth leaks out, Asia Times, November 21, 2003: "This week's blockbuster leak of a secret memorandum from a senior Pentagon official to the US Senate Intelligence Committee has spurred speculation that neoconservative hawks in the Bush administration are on the defensive and growing more desperate. ... Both the committee and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have asked the Justice Department to launch an investigation of the leak, which took the form of an article published Monday by the influential neo-conservative journal, the Weekly Standard."
- Those Damned Leaks, Anger Management Course, January 8, 2004.
- Kevin Drum, "Leaky," Political Animal, Washington Monthly, March 25, 2004: "...what is the Bush administration's policy about leaking/releasing classified information? They seem to have no problem with routinely leaking or releasing selected portions of classified data if it helps them or hurts their opponents. Just off the top of my head, here's what they've done recently ..." See related articles: National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Testimony and Condoleezza Rice.
- Edward Wasserman, "Confidentiality becomes a con," Miami Herald, April 5, 2004: "We now have two high-stakes Beltway controversies that hinge in critical respects on the confidentiality that a journalist promises to a source. Taken together, they expose the way that this practice, which can shield the innocent so they can speak the truth without fear, has been twisted into a contrivance that turns journalists into political lackeys."
- Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, Article 15-6 Investigaton of 800th Military Police Brigade. US Army Report on Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners (posted by CounterPunch, May 5, 2004): The report "was ordered by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of Joint Task Force-7, the senior U.S. military official in Iraq, following persistent allegations of human rights abuses at the prison."
- "Leaking Standard: No pal left behind," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 21, 2005.
- Murray Waas,"Plame Game Over?" American Prospect, April 6, 2005.
- Murray Waas "Rove Assured Bush He Was Not Leaker," National Journal, Oct. 7, 2005.
- Amy Goodman, "How Dick Cheney's Top Aide Misled Federal Prosecutors in the CIA Leak Case," Democracy Now!, Oct. 12, 2005.
- Carol D. Leonnig and Jim VandeHei, "Rove Pressed On Conflicts, Source Says. Questions Said to Focus On Differing Accounts," Washington Post (PERRspectives), October 15, 2005.
- Matthew Yglesias, "Red Herrings," TPM Cafe, October 15, 2005.
- "Rice: After 9-11 'We Could Decide the Proximate Cause Was Al Qaeda'," Think Progress, October 16, 2005.
- Frank Rich, "It's Bush-Cheney, Not Rove-Libby," New York Times (TruthOut), October 16, 2005.
- Dan Froomkin "Brace for Impact," Washington Post, October 17, 2005.
- Dan Froomkin, "The Prosecutor Zeroes In," Washington Post, October 18, 2005.
- Murray Waas, "Cheney Authorized Libby to Leak Classified Information," National Journal, February 9, 2006.
- Murray Waas "Did the White House Authorize Leaks to Woodward?," Huffington Post, Feb. 24, 2006.
- "Exclusive Interview: Murray Waas on How Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to Leak Classified Information," Democracy Now!, February 10, 2006.
- "Cheney in the Crosshairs," On the Media, New York Public Radio, February 17, 2006.
- Murray Waas, "What Bush Was Told About Iraq" National Journal, March 2, 2006, and via Truthout.org.
- Dan Froomkin, "A Compelling Story," White House Watch Blog/Washington Post, March 31, 2006.
- Murray Waas, "What Bush Was Told About Iraq" National Journal, March 2, 2006.
- Murray Waas, "Insulating Bush," National Journal, March 30, 2006.
- Murray Waas "Is There a Double Standard on Leak Probes?" National Journal, April 25, 2006.
- Jane Hamsher, "Murray Waas to Join Daily Kos Panel," Firedoglake Blog, May 17, 2006.
- Ken Silverstein, "Six Senators to Negroponte: Produce a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq Now," Harper's Magazine, July 26, 2006.
- Ken Silverstein, "Followup: Senate Passes National Intelligence Estimate Amendment," Harper's Magazine, August 4, 2006.
- Karen DeYoung, "Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Hurting U.S. Terror Fight," Washington Post, September 24, 2006.
- "Intelligence Report Finds War Increasing Terrorist Threat," PBS Online NewsHour, September 25, 2006.
- "Bush to Declassify National Intelligence Estimate," NewsMax, September 26, 2006.
- Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, "Selective Intelligence. The National Intelligence Estimate doesn’t say what Bush says it does. How will he handle upcoming secret reports on Iran and Iraq?" Newsweek (MSNBC), October 18, 2006.
- Frank Rich, "When Will Afredo Get Whacked?" New York Times, March 25, 2007.
- Michael Isikoff, "The Fed Who Blew The Whistle" Newsweek, Dec. 13, 2008.
- Murray Waas,"Cheney's Admissions to the CIA Leak Prosecutor and FBI",personal blog Dec. 23, 2008.