Latest Revelation Underscores Bush Administration’s Manipulation of Access to Information for Political Gain

April 7, 2006

Latest Revelation Underscores Bush Administration’s Manipulation
of Access to Information for Political Gain

Statement of Joan Claybrook, President, Public Citizen

The latest revelation in the Valerie Plame investigation underscores the Bush administration’s perversion of the government’s control over information for political gain. This is an unethical administration that changes the rules to help campaign contributors and manipulates information to score political points.

Now we learn of testimony that President Bush himself authorized the leak of information in a National Intelligence Estimate for a political reason – to discredit former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson. This is ironic, because the Bush administration has been one of the most secretive in history, even re-classifying information that has long been in the public domain. Whether it is removing information from Web sites, silencing government scientists about global warming, changing the rules to limit the availability of information or shielding information for “national security” purposes so the public can’t find out how inadequately prepared we are for another terrorist attack, this administration has been positively Nixonian in its obsession with hiding facts from the public.

Public Citizen condemns the White House for exacting retribution against Wilson for telling the truth about the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Bush said he would take action against the leaker of the information that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative, yet he apparently was the leaker-in-chief of sensitive and classified national security information, even if   Bush himself did not authorize the leak of information about Plame’s employment status.

Bush needs to come clean with the American public and stop abusing his office. He acts like a King George, rather than the president of a democracy who is bound to follow the rule of law.

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