Over at Slate, John Dickerson has a great article arguing that the most important point to focus on in the is-it-a-leak-if-Bush-authorized-it debate is that regardless of the answer, the whole situation makes clear how hypocritical our President is, and how little we can trust the words that come out of his mouth. (Remember, Scooter Libby’s grand jury testimony only confirms something that’s been discussed out in the open for a while now.)

Since the beginning of the Valerie Plame investigation, Bush has been firmly on-record as saying that leaks of information will not be tolerated. With quotes like “If there’s a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is,” “somebody in our government wanted to show off to his family, or her family, in between Christmas and New Year’s by leaking information in the press that he or she thought would be helpful to the government,” and calling the NSA wiretapping leak “a shameful act” that is “helping the enemy,” it’s hard to then argue that Bush’s choice to authorize his staff to leak information from the National Intelligence Estimate is anything but pure hypocrisy.

The sum of everything that we’ve learned about the Bush Administration — the deceit in the run-up to the war in Iraq, the approval of use of torture in our treatment of prisoners, the authorization of warrantless wiretaps of American citizens on U.S. soil (something the Administration is now saying it can do even if both participants in a phone conversation are within national borders!), the brazen lobbyist influence within the White House, and now the authorization from the Oval Office to use classified information for political ends — is so much worse than anything which occurred during Clinton’s eight years in office, and yet it was then that we as a nation found ourselves wrapped up in impeachment hearings. It’s all just stunning.