Washington Post Editorial: Bush Was Right To Leak, And Joe Wilson Is A Liar By Ace

Pretty surprising. But then, the Washington Post has, even while being a liberal-leaning paper, attempted to be a straight-shooter and not make its double-standards too untenable. Unlike the New York Times, of course.

PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons. Presidents are authorized to declassify sensitive material, and the public benefits when they do. But the administration handled the release clumsily, exposing Mr. Bush to the hyperbolic charges of misconduct and hypocrisy that Democrats are leveling.

The affair concerns, once again, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and his absurdly over-examined visit to the African country of Niger in 2002. Each time the case surfaces, opponents of the war in Iraq use it to raise a different set of charges, so it’s worth recalling the previous iterations. Mr. Wilson originally claimed in a 2003 New York Times op-ed and in conversations with numerous reporters that he had debunked a report that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from Niger and that Mr. Bush’s subsequent inclusion of that allegation in his State of the Union address showed that he had deliberately “twisted” intelligence “to exaggerate the Iraq threat.” The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.

As Mr. Fitzgerald pointed out at the time of Mr. Libby’s indictment last fall, none of this is particularly relevant to the question of whether the grounds for war in Iraq were sound or bogus. It’s unfortunate that those who seek to prove the latter would now claim that Mr. Bush did something wrong by releasing for public review some of the intelligence he used in making his most momentous decision.

Wow. At least one major media outlet has resisted full-blown Bush Derangement Syndrome.

This content was used with the permission of Ace of Spades HQ. Also, thanks to Allah.

*** Update #1: *** Two quick notes from Hawkins on this:

#1) The liberal blogs are absolutely flipping out about this editorial. That’s because they believe they forced the WAPO to agree to hire another lefty blogger, as well as cave on the way they covered the Abramhoff story. You give the lefty bloggers an inch and they’ll take a mile.

#2) The fact that this story is getting so much linkage on the right and causing so much angst on the left just goes to show how rare editorials supporting the Bush administration on any controversial topic actually have been, which in turn just proves how liberal these big papers really are. When they actually get behind the Bush administration on something, it causes a sensation because it so seldom happens.

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