THE BIG STORY: STILL WAITING TO BE TOLD. Before this point gets lost in the din of the latest leak disclosures, it needs to be said, as loudly as possible, that the big story has yet to be told, and in that regard, Murray Waas's previous scoop about Karl Rove is even more important -- and more deserving of mainstream media attention -- in light of the new revelations.
In that piece, Waas reported that a classified one-page summary of the now-notorious National Intelligence Estimate was given to Bush, which says that some intelligence officials had serious doubts about the claim that Saddam wanted aluminum tubes for nukes -- and that Bush was given this summary before repeating the tubes claim in his speech.
Let's state this as clearly as we can: Wass says there is a piece of paper out there which constitutes hard evidence that Bush withheld critical info from the American public as he made the most critical decision a president can make -- the decision whether to go to war. Jaded DC hands will say, "Old news -- everyone knew there was dissent within the bureaucracy." Fine. But Wass's story says more than that -- he says there's proof of the extent to which Bush knew of that dissent, that he deliberately concealed it from the public, and that Rove thought this fact could "severely damage" Bush's reelection prospects if it surfaced.
The latest Libby revelations suggest, yet again, just how spooked Bush and his advisers were about the possibility that the truth about the runup to the war would come out. They suggest, yet again, that there's a great deal we don't know about the biggest story of this presidency. Waas's piece gives us a key chapter in that story. His piece finally did get attention from a big news org today: The Times cited it in an editorial, demanding a "thorough accounting" of the selling of the war. But it hasn't yet been mentioned in The Times's news pages -- or, for that matter, by the Washington Post, L.A. Times, Boston Globe or many others.
Memo to the nation's premiere investigative reporters: When are you going to get your hands on that piece of paper?