Was the Bush "declassification" a leak coverup?
When Libby raised the problem of discussing the NIE with Miller because of its classified status, the filing reports that Libby "testified that the Vice President later advised him that the President had authorized" Libby to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE. (Emphasis added.)
The word "later" here, in the filing, is crucially ambiguous: Did the President authorize Libby's actions before Libby actually revealed the classified information to Miller, or afterward? The distinction may make a large difference in Libby's defense: If the authorization was retroactive, then Libby initially revealed classified information without permission to do so; thus, he would have reason to lie.
John Dean does not push this reverse sequence as the absolute truth, and there's nothing giving this anymore validity that the current mainstream interpretation, but it does offer an interesting alternative sequence of events.
In this version, Libby REALLY leaked classified information to Miller on the 8th, and then, afterward, the Vice President realizing the mistake, got the president to declassify the previously leaked materials to fudge the illegality of Libby's leak. Now, if this is true, this would mean that the retroactive declassification by the President was, in many senses, a knowing effort by Cheney or Bush(or both) to cover up Scooter Libby's illegal leaks to Judy Miller.
And, suddenly, we're looking at a previously unknown conspiracy, involving posthumously declassifying classified materials, designed to protect Scooter Libby. That may explain why Libby has been so loyal to Cheney in refusing a plea deal and facing trial and significant jail time. Libby is just paying back loyalty to the man who tried to save him.
Now, that's interesting.