It’s hard to believe but true. The Washington Post said in its lead Sunday editorial A Good Leak that President Bush was right to declassify the National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq and release it for public consumption:
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.
Rather than follow the usual declassification procedures and then invite reporters to a briefing — as the White House eventually did — Vice President Cheney initially chose to be secretive, ordering his chief of staff at the time, I. Lewis Libby, to leak the information to a favorite New York Times reporter. The full public disclosure followed 10 days later. There was nothing illegal or even particularly unusual about that; nor is this presidentially authorized leak necessarily comparable to other, unauthorized disclosures that the president believes, rightly or wrongly, compromise national security.
In fact, not only does the Post’s editorial say that Bush was right to release the document, but it also reminds its readers that this document proved that it was Joe Wilson who lied about Saddam’s efforts to seek uranium from Niger:
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.
Don Surber says this editorial is of particular importance because “the lead editorial in the Sunday newspaper is the Washington Post’s most important editorial.”
Dan Riehl of Riehl World View is predicting that liberals will be furious that the Post dared to praise President Bush. He’s right. The lefty bloggers are already throwing a hissy fit. Just check out The Left Coaster, who calls the Post’s editorial a lie and a piece of garbage.
Update: The libs are expressing their dismay about the WaPo Sunday editorial on the Washington Post blog.