How many times can Bush lie without being held accountable?

Excerpts from recent reports by Jason Leopold, writing for, show that President George Bush directly and intentionally lied to the American people and to federal investigators in order to protect members of his administration who violated national security – with his authorization – in an act of revenge against former ambassador Joseph Wilson after Wilson exposed the false justifications for invading Iraq.

In early June of 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney met with Bush and told him that CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson was Wilson's wife and that she was responsible for sending him on a fact-finding mission to Niger to check out reports about Iraq's attempt to purchase uranium from the African country. She was not responsible, although she did recommend her husband to her superiors, and Cheney knew that his attempts to portray her as the person responsible were untrue.

According to Leopold, the meeting with Cheney and Bush included former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, her former deputy Stephen Hadley, and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove.

Cheney advised his chief of staff, Lewis Libby, in mid-June of 2003 that the President had authorized Libby to disclose the classified identity of Valerie Plame, Wilson's wife, using a classified National Intelligence Estimate.

Three months after Plame Wilson's CIA status and identity were unmasked in print by columnist Robert Novak, President Bush said publicly that it was unlikely that the individual who leaked her name would ever be found, but that he welcomed a Justice Department investigation to find out who was responsible for it.

"I mean, this is a town full of people who like to leak information," Bush said during a press conference on Oct. 7, 2003. "And I don't know if we're going to find out the senior administration official. Now, this is a large administration, and there's lots of senior officials. I don't have any idea."

He did, actually – Bush knew exactly who had leaked Plame's name and status, because he gave explicit approval for an act that could be called treason. He knew he was in trouble a few months earlier when he retained legal counsel in case this ugliness came back to smack him in the face.

It did, and it continues to do so. Bush did not disclose to special counsel Patrick Fizgerald that he was aware of the campaign to discredit Wilson. Bush also said he did not know who, if anyone, in the White House had retaliated against the former ambassador by leaking his wife's undercover identity to reporters. Bush was not under oath at the time, but a lie is a lie whenever it's told.

The fact that much of this information was revealed by Libby and his lawyers in order to provide some kind of defense against perjury and obstruction of justice charges makes it difficult for anyone to blame a non-existent "liberal media" for the information, or to claim that the charges are politically motivated.

How long, America? How many lies must be revealed before we decide that Bush must be impeached? Have we given up so completely on the concept of honest government that we will continue to allow mean-spirited, confirmed liars who have committed criminal acts to occupy the White House?

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