Libby and the Senate
See the Senate Summary for April 6 for Durbin's whack at the issue, and just now we were treated to Senator Reid's version of demanding the President personally explain what Reid casts as hypocricy. Senator Reid said that President Bush should have a plaque on his desk, "The Leaks Start Here."
I think Senator Reid is cruising for a bruising, but I suspect that sound bite will be making the rounds.
Mr. REID. 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 information to reporters. It is an understatement to say that this is a serious allegation with national security consequences. It directly contradicts previous statements made by the President. It continues a pattern of misleading America by this Bush White House. It raises somber and troubling questions about the Bush administration's candor with Congress and the American people.
Today, I come to the floor to request 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 record clearly, 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 appropriate action.
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.
Harry Truman had on his desk in the Oval Office a plaque. It said: ``The buck stops here.'' In George Bush's White House, perhaps he should put one that says: The leaks start here.
He, the President of the United States, must tell the American people whether President Bush's Oval Office is a place where the buck stops or the leaks start. This is a question he alone must answer, not a spokesman, not a statement, only the President of the United States.
I yield the floor.