From today’s Gaggle:
QUESTION: The important question is here, separate and apart from the case is, at what point was that considered to be a declassified document? Well, I’m just discussing the executive summary — because I know at a number of times a number of us asked for it and were told that we couldn’t have it because it was classified.
Scott McClellan: Right. That doesn’t change what I just said.
QUESTION: That’s right. At some moment there must have been a — when things are declassified there’s usually a stamp put on it, a date written on it, you know, "declassified as of" — you’ve seen this many times. Could you find out for us what the date is of that declassification?
Scott McClellan: No, David, because you’re asking me that in the context of the legal proceeding.
This is a very good question. I think a lot more people should be asking it. It clearly made McClellan very uncomfortable.
As one commenter over at The American Prospect said today, "Using legitimate presidential powers (declassification) for illegitimate purposes (to make a political attack) is the very definition of abuse of power.
Calling Russ Feingold…
Update: Kynandog in the comments points us to the 7/18/03 White House Briefing :
Q Scott, why did the administration put out all the information that the senior administration official put out today on the intel –
MR. McCLELLAN: No, well, we always want to share facts with the American people. And this information was just, as of today, officially declassified, and it was an opportunity to share with them some information that showed the clear and compelling case that we had for confronting the threat that Saddam Hussein posed.
I think Dubya has some ‘splainin to do.