President Bush has legal Executive authority to declassify and release documents & defend integrity of the Presidency & Executive Offices
They have set up, for their convenience, a false premise that those presidential powers do not exist and liberally lie to push their hard-left political agendas. When they are called out for doing so, they run and hide behind First Amendment freedoms---that we all know are not without limits.
President George W. Bush has the legal right to de-classify and release documented information that sets the record straight and corrects the hard-left's and MSM's deliberately-disseminated
false information that serves their continuous political assaults in their war against GWB and his entire administration.
The following are excerpts from a *****Five Star, must read column by James S. Robbins
here. Included is information about how Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton utilized this very Executive power. Glaringly obvious is the fact that the Democrats and MSM didn't complain about it and challenge Johnson's and Clinton's power at those times.
"Legitimate Leaks: Fighting back with facts."
"....It is odd that the president's critics are taking umbrage that this release of declassified material was intended to discredit Wilson. Of course it was. What else could it be? Wilson was defaming the administration by saying that the president was a liar, in particular regarding the claim in the 2003 State of the Union address that Saddam Hussein's regime was seeking to acquire uranium in Africa.... He (Wilson) considered his information dispositive, and went public in July 2003. So the administration chose to fight back with the facts. They really had no other choice.
Since the summer of 2003, we have learned more about Wilson's credibility. His mission to Niger was doomed from the start. It was cursory, unsystematic, and most importantly overt — everyone he spoke to knew he was working for the U.S. government, thus would hardly be likely to admit they were engaging in illegal activities. The CIA report on Wilson's mission stated that it "did not provide substantial new information."
Wilson gave the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence investigating prewar intelligence an exaggerated sense of the significance of his findings, but admitted that he "mis-spoken" to the press about what he had learned.... The Senate committee concluded that it was not wrong of the CIA to try to exploit Wilson's alleged access in Niger, but considered it "unfortunate" that given the vast array of tools available to the Agency, spouse-on-junket was the "only option available."
So if the administration had information in an NIE that demonstrated conclusively that President Bush was not twisting the facts, and declassifying portions of it did not endanger ongoing operations (and how could it, three months after the fall of Baghdad?), then why should it not be declassified and released? The president had the legal authority to do so, either through Executive Order 13292, or the powers inherent in the office (the LBJ standard). ....the motive, to prove Wilson's charges groundless, was completely legitimate. It was not, as some have charged, a political purpose, it was defending of the integrity of the executive office.....
One hopes the president's team will seize the high ground on this issue. If he authorized the release of the information, he should come right out and say so. President Bush is at his best when he takes the offensive. And when a man is calling you a liar, you are never required to just sit there and take it...."