"There's a lot of leaking in Washington, D.C. It's a town famous for it. This investigation in finding the truth, it will not only hold someone to account who should not have leaked — and this is a serious charge, by the way. We're talking about a criminal action, but also hopefully will help set a clear signal we expect other leaks to stop, as well. And so I look forward to finding the truth," - President George W. Bush, October 7, 2003.
"Q: But can you confirm that the President would fire anyone on his staff found to have leaked classified information?
McClellan: I think I made that very clear last week. The topic came up, and I said that if anyone in this administration was responsible for the leaking of classified information, they would no longer work in this administration." - White House press conference, October 6, 2003.
The president's self-defense at this point must be that if he, the president, decides to leak classified information, like the NIE assessment, then, by definition, it isn't a classified leak. POTUS gets to decide what is and isn't classified. And so he cannot commit the wrong or crime he decries in others. He can break no secrets because the secrets are his to break. He is above the law because, in terms of executive privilege, he is the law.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.