Hm. The Bush administration asked three prominent people outside the administration to contact the NYT and urge them not to publish the SWIFT story. Two of the three did urge the Times not to publish, but according to Times editor Bill Keller, “not all of them urged us not to publish.” A bit later in the CNN interview with Keller, we find out who the three Democrats are: Lee Hamilton (who was a conservative Democrat when he held office and a co-chair of the 9-11 Omission), Gov. Tom Kean (also from the 9-11 Omission) and Rep. Jack Murtha.

“Not all of them urged us not to publish,” says Keller. Which means one of them green-lighted the story, or at least didn’t go to bat for the administration. The boss has the definitive answer as to which two of the three did urge the Times not to publish: Hamilton and Kean, who were the co-chairs of the Omission. They’re identified by Treasure Secretary John Snow as having weighed in with the Times against publication.

Which leaves Murtha as the one who did not urge the Times not to publish the story. Murtha greenlighted it. That’s the same Jack Murtha who has been prejudging the Marines guilty of a massacre in Haditha and trying to get us out of Iraq quick enough so we can all watch the fledgling Iraqi government collapse rather than waiting until it can defend itself.

And it’s the same Jack Murtha who was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1980 Abscam bust. Question for the White House: Whose idiotic idea was it to make Murtha your go-to guy with the Times? Who thought you could trust that senile buffoon?

(h/t moflicky)