NY Times article failed to report GOP senator's criticism of Bush administration intelligence leaks

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

A New York Times article noted that Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), appearing on the February 12 broadcast of Fox News Sunday, criticized the Bush administration for allegedly authorizing the leaking of classified information. However, it failed to note that -- during the very same segment of the program -- Sen. George Allen (R-VA) also criticized the administration's leaking of classified information.

In a February 13 New York Times article, reporter Neil A. Lewis noted that Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), appearing on the February 12 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, criticized the Bush administration for allegedly authorizing the leaking of classified information. Lewis failed to note, however, that Sen. George Allen (R-VA) also criticized the administration's leaking of classified information on the same program -- indeed, during the same segment.

Lewis's article dealt with the February 9 revelation from special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby -- currently under indictment for perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements related to Fitzgerald's investigation into the 2003 leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity -- testified that his superiors authorized him to leak classified information to the press to bolster support for the Iraq war.

In his article, Lewis noted:

The disclosure of portions of the intelligence estimate before it was declassified -- even if it did not deal with Ms. Wilson [Plame] -- produced other criticism. Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, described more precisely than did Mr. Dean the nature of last week's news reports in an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."

"I think it's inappropriate. I think it's wrong," Mr. Reed said. He added that the disclosure of the intelligence report should be part of Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation.

Lewis failed to report, however, that immediately after Reed made these comments, Allen joined in criticizing the leaks. From the February 12 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:

CHRIS WALLACE (host): Well, there doesn't seem to be any legal issue here. The issue seems to be more of kind of a political issue as to how you feel about the possibility that the vice president, because he would seem to be the obvious superior who was authorizing Scooter Libby, was telling him to release information which, as far as we know, was at that point still classified.

ALLEN: I don't think anybody should be releasing classified information, period, whether in the Congress, executive branch, or some underling in some bureaucracy.

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