Senate Democrats

REID: BUSH MUST EXPLAIN LEAK TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

Washington, DCSenate Democratic Leader Harry Reid delivered the following floor remarks today on reports that President Bush personally authorized Scooter Libby to leak classified information to reporters to justify the war in Iraq.

Remarks As Prepared for Delivery:

“Mr. President, yesterday the American people received the shocking news that the Vice President’s former Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, may have acted on direct orders from President Bush when he leaked classified intelligence to reporters.

“This is a serious allegation with national security consequences. It directly contradicts previous statements made by President Bush, it continues a pattern of misleading by this Bush White House, and it raises somber and troubling questions about the Bush administration’s candor with the Congress and the public.

Today, I’ve come to the Floor to demand answers on behalf of our troops, their families, and the American people.

“For years, President Bush has denied knowing about conversations between his top aides and Washington reporters, conversations where his aides – like Scooter Libby – sought to justify the war in Iraq and discredit the White House’s critics by leaking national security secrets.

“In fact, President Bush is on the record in September of 2003 as saying “I don’t know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I’d like to know it, and we’ll take the appropriate action.” But yesterday, we found there is much more to the story. According to court records, President Bush may have personally authorized the very leaks he denied knowing anything about.

“In light of this disturbing news, we need to hear from President Bush which of these is true: his comments in 2003 or the statements made by the Vice President’s Chief of Staff. Only the President can put this matter to rest. He must tell the American people whether the Bush Oval Office is the place where the buck stops, or the leaks start.

“This is a question he alone must answer. Not a spokesman. Not a statement. Only him”

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