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Bush defends disclosure of secret Iraq intelligence

[JURIST] President Bush defended his decision to declassify intelligence regarding the Iraq war Monday, responding to allegations of wrongdoing revealed during the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive]. Addressing students and foreign policy analysts at Johns Hopkins University, the president explained that he declassified portions of an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate [Wikipedia backgrounder; definition] to defend his pre-war claims that Iraq posed a nuclear threat to the US. He stated, "I wanted people to see what some of those statements were based on. I wanted people to see the truth. I thought it made sense for people to see the truth." He did not, however, respond to the grand jury testimony of former vice-presidential Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense profile; JURIST news archive] that the president directly authorized Libby to disclose the information [JURIST report] to reporters.

During an interview on Fox News Sunday, US Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website] urged Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney [JURIST report] to publicly explain their roles in the CIA leak case. Reuters has more.

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