Re: Another Republican flip-flop
- From: "Jake S." <none@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 09:23:03 -0700
Jik Bombo wrote:
It was during the Klintoon days . . .
not according to REPUBLICANS!
Funny how they've changed their tune.
"George Grapman" <sfgeorge@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:ap77f.5556$BZ5.351@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Suddenly perjury has become a trivial thing.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Washington -- With a decision expected this week on possible indictments in the CIA leak case, allies of the White House suggested Sunday that they intended to pursue a strategy of attacking any criminal charges as a disagreement over legal technicalities or the product of an overzealous prosecutor.
Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel in the case, is expected to announce no later than the end of the week whether he will seek indictments against White House officials in a decision that is likely to be a defining moment of President Bush's second term. Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who is Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, have been advised that they are in serious legal jeopardy.
Other officials also could face charges in connection with the disclosure of the identity of an undercover CIA officer in 2003.
Bush said several weeks ago that Fitzgerald had handled the case in "a very dignified way," making it more difficult for Republicans to portray him negatively. But allies of the White House have quietly been circulating talking points in recent days among Republicans sympathetic to the administration, seeking to help them make the case that bringing charges like perjury means the prosecutor does not have a strong case, one Republican with close ties to the White House said Sunday. Other people sympathetic to Rove and Libby have said that indicting them would amount to criminalizing politics and that Fitzgerald does not understand how Washington works.
On Sunday, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," compared the leak investigation with the case of Martha Stewart, "where they couldn't find a crime and they indict on something that she said about something that wasn't a crime."
Some Republicans also have been reprising a theme that was often sounded by Democrats during the investigations into former President Bill Clinton, that special prosecutors and independent counsels lack accountability and too often pursue cases until they find someone to charge.
Could shape second term
The case, which traces back to an effort by the White House to rebut criticism of its use of intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq, has grown into a crisis for the administration that has the potential to shape the remainder of Bush's second term. Democrats signaled on Sunday that they would use the leak investigation to help weave a broader tapestry portraying the Republican party as corrupt and the White House as dishonest with the American people.
"We know that the president wasn't truthful with us when he sent us to Iraq," Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said on ABC's "This Week." "What got Rove and Libby in trouble was because they were attacking, which the Republicans always do, attacking somebody who criticized them and disagreed with them. They make the attacks personal. They go over the line."
Fitzgerald's silence has left much of official Washington and nearly everyone who works at or with the White House in a state of high anxiety. That has been compounded by the widespread belief that there are aspects of the case beyond those directly involving Rove and Libby that remain all but unknown outside of Fitzgerald's office. Among them is the mystery of who first provided the CIA officer's identity to the syndicated columnist Robert Novak, who published it on July 14, 2003.
The harm to Bush's presidency if his senior aides were indicted, said James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington, would be as great as the positive effects of Bush's handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"This is the most important turning point for his administration in terms of turning down and losing support," Thurber said.
A weakened White House, he said, could lead to further infighting among the conservatives who provide most of Bush's legislative, grassroots and financial support, and could leave the administration with even less political clout to sway Democrats in Republican-leaning states to back Bush's agenda. In the Senate, Bush has depended on support from at least a few Democrats to push through many of his major initiatives.
Won't affect Bush record
Republicans acknowledged the problems facing the White House but said Bush ultimately would be judged on whether he produced results in addressing the issues of most concern to the American people.
"If you look at poll numbers and things like that, we face challenges," Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said. But even in the last few months, Mehlman said, the White House has made "tremendous long-term progress" on a variety of fronts.
He cited the referendum on a constitution in Iraq, signs that the economy remains strong and what he characterized as evidence that Bush's signature education legislation, the No Child Left Behind Act, is producing measurable results.
Fitzgerald has been focused on whether there was an illegal effort at the White House to undermine the credibility of Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador who became a critic of the administration's Iraq policy by his dismissive comments over the possibility that Baghdad had sought to purchase uranium fuel from Niger.
The prosecutor has sought to determine whether the effort against Wilson involved the intentional identification of his wife, Valerie Plame. Fitzgerald has tried to find out whether administration officials violated the law that protects the identities of undercover officers like Plame or sought to impede the inquiry by misleading investigators or providing false information about their actions.
'Issues of trust and credibility'
The New York Times' ombudsman said the newspaper should review reporter Judith Miller's journalism practices to address "clear issues of trust and credibility" in her role in the CIA leak investigation. Miller's attorney called the newspaper's recent criticism of her shameless.
Times Public Editor Byron Calame wrote in a Sunday column that the Times and Miller's Oct. 16 accounts of the reporting that landed Miller in jail for refusing to testify to a grand jury "suggested that the journalistic practices of Ms. Miller and Times editors were more flawed than I feared."
Miller went to jail for 85 days rather than testify to a grand jury investigating the leaking of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity. She was released Sept. 29 and agreed to testify after her source, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, released her from a promise of confidentiality.
"The Times needs to review Ms. Miller's journalistic practices as soon as possible, especially because she disputes some accounts of her conduct that have come to light since the leak investigation began," Calame wrote.
Miller's attorney, Robert Bennett, said Sunday that the newspaper is trying to deflect criticism of its own coverage of the leak investigation by targeting the 57-year-old Miller.
"It's shameless. They should be praising her for doing what they wanted, for going to jail for 85 days to uphold an important principle, which she did," he said. "They are not treating her very well, and I think it's very disgraceful."
Source: Associated Press
-- Jake Starling czmissometimes@xxxxxxxxxx
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