What the President Leaked: Authorized Leak or Declassification?


National Security Archive Update, April 7, 2006


Authorized Leak or Declassification?

The Documents Behind the Bush Administration’s Intelligence
Disclosure on Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction

For more information:
Thomas Blanton – 202/994-7000


Washington, D.C., 13 March 2006 – Only 14 of the full 93 pages of the National Intelligence Estimate that President Bush authorized Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, to disclose to New York Times reporter Judith Miller has actually been officially declassified, according to a posting today on the Web site of the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

The estimate has apparently been released in four forms:

* one, a white paper that purportedly represented the substance of the estimate but actually left out most of the dissents and caveats;

* second, an abstract that Mr. Libby apparently used to brief New York Times reporter Judith Miller on July 8, 2003;

* third, the July 18, 2003, release by the White House of the “key judgments” section and parts of the dissents;

* and fourth, a Freedom of Information Act release to the National Security Archive on June 1, 2004, that included two additional pages but left the vast majority of the estimate whited out.

The July 18, 2003, “key judgments” document was declassified and released by the Bush administration just ten days after President Bush authorized Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, to disclose similar information to Miller, according to Libby’s testimony before a grand jury.

“The ship of state is the only vessel that leaks from the top,” commented Thomas Blanton, executive director of the National Security Archive.

Also included in today’s posting is the October 2002 unclassified presentation on “Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs,” with the seal of the Director of Central Intelligence on the cover, and a version of the NIE released by the CIA on June 1, 2004, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive. The document was almost completely redacted by CIA censors. All of the text except for the two title pages and the two pages listing National Intelligence Council members had previously been disclosed in the July 2003 release.



THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.

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