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Privileged Information?

It may take a couple of weeks for the White House to hand over all the documents requested by Justice Department lawyers investigating the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to conservative columnist Robert Novak and other journalists,  the Los Angeles Times reported. Why the drawn out process? Some suggest it's because the White House might be considering invoking executive privilege to protect some of the materials. "They will read through everything that is provided, and make an assessment whether there is anything in there that is potentially privileged," Beth Nolan, a White House counsel in the Clinton administration, told the Times.

The Justice Department is looking into allegations that a senior Bush administration official leaked Plame's name to get back at her husband, former envoy Joseph C. Wilson IV, for criticizing Bush's Iraq policy. Wilson disproved the administration's claims that Saddam Hussein had tried to obtain African uranium. Bush cited the allegation anyway in his State of the Union address in January.

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