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Bush admits cia leak came from whitehouse { July 12 2007 }

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Bush Seeks to Put Libby Issue to Rest
Thursday July 12, 2007 5:16 PM


AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush on Thursday sought to put to rest the controversy over his decision to spare a top former White House official from going to jail, saying it was time to move on. He also called on the nation and skeptical lawmakers to stand with him on Iraq, despite a new report showing only mixed progress.

``There's war fatigue in America. It's affecting our psychology. I understand that. It's an ugly war,'' Bush said.

The president also said that, while al-Qaida remains a threat to the United States, it has been hurt by his war on terrorism and is ``weaker today than they would have been'' otherwise. He spoke as a new U.S. threat assessment found that al Qaida had rebuilt its capability to mount attacks to levels not seen since 2001.

At a news conference lasting over an hour that was dominated by questions on Iraq, Bush was asked about his decision ten days ago to commute the 30-month prison sentence of I. Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Libby was convicted of lying and obstruction of justice in the investigation of the outing of an undercover CIA official, Valerie Plame, whose husband Joseph Wilson was a vocal anti-war critic.

Bush acknowledged publicly for the first time that someone in his administration perhaps leaked her name to the news media. ``And, you know, I've often thought about what would have happened had that person come forth and said, `I did it.' Would we have had this, you know, endless hours of investigation and a lot of money being spent on this matter?

Bush would not directly address answer a question about whether he is disappointed in the White House officials who leaked Plame's name.

The president had initially said he would fire anyone in his administration found to have publicly disclosed Plame's identity.

``It has been a tough issue for a lot of people in the White House, and it's run its course, and now we're going to move on,'' Bush declared.

Several Bush administration officials revealed Plame's identity. White House political adviser Karl Rove and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage were the primary sources for a 2003 newspaper article outing Plame. Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer also admitted telling reporters about her. And jurors apparently believed prosecutors who said Libby discussed Plame with reporters from the New York Times and Time magazine. Libby was the only one charged in the matter.

Bush presented a mixed picture of progress in Iraq, coinciding with an interim report to Congress by his administration that asserted progress on some fronts but not on others.

He said he understood the growing opposition to the war among the American public and recent defections by some Republicans in Congress. He said he had listened carefully to influential Republican senators who had recently been critical of his war strategy. But, in the end, he said, he was commander in chief and he would rely on advice from his military commanders.

``I value the advice of those senators, I appreciate their concern. ... I'm going to continue to listen to them,'' Bush said.

He said he still believed the war could - and must - be won. ``If we increase our support at this crucial moment, we can hasten the day when our troops come home,'' Bush said.

The administration's report said there has been satisfactory progress on eight political and military benchmarks, unsatisfactory progress on another eight, and mixed results in two other areas.

On one of the few other questions of the news conference not related to Iraq, Bush was asked whether he also had a ``gut feeling'' there might be a terror attack this summer, as Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff had recently suggested.

``My gut tells me that, which my head tells as well, is that: When we find a credible threat, we'll share it with you.''

Bush also addressed his low approval ratings and mounting public opposition to the war. ``You know, I guess I'm like any other political figure. Everybody wants to be loved - just sometimes the decisions you make and the consequences don't enable you to be loved.

``And so, when it's all said and done, if you ever come down and visit the old, tired me down there in Crawford, (Texas), I will be able to say I looked in the mirror and made decisions based upon principle, not based upon politics. And that's important to me.''

Bush opened the news conference with a tribute to Lady Bird Johnson. The former first lady died on Wednesday at age 94.

Bush called her ``an extraordinary first lady and a fine Texan. ... She brought grace to the White House and beauty to our country.''

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Appeals court upheld ruling against reporters over leak { February 15 2005 }
Ashcroft recused self from investigation { December 31 2003 }
Buchanan comments on mclaughlin july 15 05 { July 15 2005 }
Bush admits cia leak came from whitehouse { July 12 2007 }
Bush aide testifies leak probe { February 9 2004 }
Bush and lawyer huddle on CIA leak { June 2 2004 }
Bush commuted libby prison sentence { June 2007 }
Bush defends declassification of prewar report
Bush jokes to reporter about cia leak
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Bush toughens support of leak investigation { October 7 2003 }
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Cheney aide also linked to cia leak { July 18 2005 }
Cheney aide says bush approved leak { April 6 2006 }
Cheney and rove lose importance in whitehouse
Cheney may use executive privilege { October 29 2005 }
Cheney reportedly interviewed in leak of CIA name { June 5 2004 }
Cheney source of officer name to libby { October 25 2005 }
Cheney staff focus of probe { February 17 2004 }
Cheney to be defense witness in cia leak case
Cia blocks varerie plame book
Cia name leak from whitehouse { September 30 2003 }
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Colleague says armitage was cia leak source { August 29 2006 }
Did rove blow spooks cover { September 16 2003 }
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Fitzgerald calls new grand jury after woodward testimony { November 19 2005 }
Judith freed to testify about source lewis libby { September 30 2005 }
Judith miller cant remember where name came from { October 16 2005 }
Judith miller retires from the times
Karl rove testifies before federal grand jury on leak
Last day of probe keeping whitehouse jittery
Leaders express outrage for libby commuted sentence { July 3 2007 }
Leaker said wilson wife fair game { September 28 2003 }
Libby charges dont address cia leak
Libby lawyer told miller to clear scooter libby { October 16 2005 }
Libby may have hidden cheney role { November 13 2005 }
Libby perjury worse than lewinsky perjury
Libby retains 5th amendment by avoiding pardon { July 3 2007 }
Libby says white house superiors approved leak { February 9 2006 }
Libby scapegoated to protect karl rove { January 24 2007 }
Libby trial delayed right after 2006 elections { February 4 2006 }
Matthew cooper testify after rove lawyers maneuvering { July 7 2005 }
Mcclellan cant clear cheney in cia leak case { June 20 2008 }
Memo central to leak delivered to powell { July 21 2005 }
Nbc russert rebuts libby testimony { February 7 2007 }
New tork times reporter jailed for concealing leak { July 7 2005 }
New york times reporter given top security clearance { October 16 2005 }
Novak claims book was source of leak { August 2 2005 }
Novak points to cia { October 1 2003 }
Novak pokes fun at cia leak
Novak wont give up source { October 1 2003 }
Pat buchanan says neocons behind whole thing { July 15 2005 }
Powell gives testimony to grand jury
Press secretary says bush behind leak { October 2007 }
Prison fines await those leak cia identities
Probe exposing cia identity { September 29 2003 }
Prosecutor investigating coverup of leak { July 27 2005 }
Prosecutors question Bush on CIA name leak { June 25 2004 }
Reporter held in contempt
Rove and libby worked damage control { July 22 2005 }
Rove blamed libby to jury { October 20 2005 }
Rove called to testify 5th time { April 27 2006 }
Rove confirmed plame indirectly lawyer says { July 15 2005 }
Rove emailed security official about matthew cooper { July 11 2003 }
Rove fight escalates { July 15 2005 }
Rove legal team furious efforts to convince prosecutor { October 27 2005 }
Rove mclellan interviewed cia probe { October 23 2003 }
Rove told cooper wilsons wife works for agency { July 11 2005 }
Rove wont face indictment in cia leak case { June 13 2006 }
Story from two senior whitehouse employees
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Time reporters in contempt of court for cia leak
Time reporters says he first learned of plame from rove { July 18 2005 }
Valerie plame does vanity fair spread { December 3 2003 }
Whitehouse press secretary contradicts libby { December 2007 }
Wilson suggested rove leaked { September 30 2003 }
Woodward attacked by liberals { November 18 2005 }
Woodward eyed after calling fitzgerald overzealous { November 17 2005 }
Woodward was told of plame before leak { November 16 2005 }

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