Joe Conason: | The deception Bush can’t spin.

If we are to believe the grand jury testimony of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby — as reported by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in court papers (PDF) — then the president of the United States has been deceiving the country ever since the CIA leaks investigation began in 2003.

Compared with other deceptions that George W. Bush has perpetrated in the years since he promised to restore honor and integrity to the Oval Office, this one cannot be spun away as a misunderstanding, a "misunderestimate" or a mistake. From the moment that the Justice Department opened its probe of the disclosure of Valerie Plame Wilson’s covert CIA identity to the press, Bush insisted that he wanted to find and punish the culprits, especially if any of them were among his White House staff. He claimed to consider the leaking of classified information to be a matter of the utmost seriousness.

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