The president's selective intelligence

What Comey alleged? Can't talk about it. What bin Laden is doing? Here's what we know

Published May 23, 2007 6:36PM (EDT)

Can anyone explain this to us?

The president won't say whether he sent his chief of staff and White House counsel to the attorney general's hospital room in order to obtain reauthorization for his warrantless wiretap program because, he claims, doing so might provide "sensitive" and "highly classified" information to the enemy.

But when the president needs to drum up support for his war in Iraq and make the case that his "war on terror" is succeeding, it's fair game for him to declassify information that suggests U.S. intelligence officials know what Osama bin Laden was plotting with Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq?

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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