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Bush acknowledges declassifying Iraq intelligence, ducks questions on leak

Raw Story | April 10 2006

REUTERS BREAKING:

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President George W. Bush acknowledged on Monday he ordered the declassification of parts of a prewar intelligence report on Iraq to respond to critics.

But Bush said he could not comment on an assertion that he authorized Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, to release the information to reporters. Libby is accused of obstruction of justice and perjury in an investigation designed to discover who leaked the name of a CIA operative.

"I will say this, that after we liberated Iraq, there was questions in peoples' minds about, you know, the basis upon which I made statements, in other words, going into Iraq," Bush said in his first words on the subject since it flared up last week.

Answering questions after a speech, Bush said he declassified an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate in July 2003 for a reason.

"I wanted people to see what some of those statements were based on. I wanted people to see the truth. I thought it made sense for people to see the truth. That's why I declassified the document," he said.

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