Bush Gets Serious

BUSH GETS SERIOUS….President Bush says the Plame affair is a serious matter:

President Bush said on Monday that the unauthorized disclosure of an undercover C.I.A. officer’s identity was a “very serious matter” and “a criminal action”….

The announcement ? and Mr. Bush’s adamant words ? reflected a tougher public approach by the White House to the leak, which has been attributed to senior administration officials. Democrats have criticized the administration for not treating the disclosure of the classified information more forcefully.

But as Mark Kleiman points out, his deeds don’t seem to match his rhetoric:

White House lawyers will review phone logs and other records supplied by presidential aides before turning the documents over to the Justice Department officials conducting the investigation into who leaked a CIA undercover operative’s identity, officials said Monday.

….Administration officials said the White House counsel’s office may need up to two weeks to organize documents that some 2,000 employees are required to submit by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

So the White House is going to spend two weeks combing through the evidence before they turn it over to investigators. Just to “organize” it and “check” for national security concerns.

It looks like Bush is serious all right. Unfortunately, we forgot to ask him exactly what he’s serious about: catching the leaker or protecting his staff. Now we know.

Mark spells this out more plainly, just in case I didn’t