So first Bush says if someone divulged classified information, he won’t work in the Bush administration. Then he says if someone outed a CIA operative they won’t work in the Bush administration. Yesterday in Washington he said, “if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration.” Today, Scott McClellan also raised the bar (check out my post below for excerpts of what his earlier statements were). Of course, this is the same McClellan who, when he gets in a jam over something he said in the past, just claims he never said it, even though most of his statements are a matter of public record. Out of the gate this morning, the Press Corps asked him about Bush’s comment and how it appeared to “raise the bar” on what it would take to get someone fired from his administration.
Q: Scott, the President seemed to raise the bar and add a qualifier today when discussing whether or not anybody would be dismissed for — in the leak of a CIA officer’s name, in which he said that he would — if someone is found to have committed a crime, they would no longer work in this administration. That’s never been part of the standard before, why is that added now?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I disagree, Terry. I think that the President was stating what is obvious when it comes to people who work in the administration: that if someone commits a crime, they’re not going to be working any longer in this administration.
And by the way, god bless Helen Thomas, who asked, “What is his problem? Two years, and he can’t call Rove in and find out what the hell is going on? I mean, why is it so difficult to find out the facts? It costs thousands, millions of dollars, two years, it tied up how many lawyers? All he’s got to do is call him in.”
Now… Let’s get back to what Bush himself said yesterday… “if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration.” Hmmmm… Last I checked, George and Dick’s DUIs count as crimes. I think they’re misdemeanors, right? What about John Poindexter, who was “convicted on multiple felony counts on April 7, 1990 for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, lying to Congress, defrauding the government, and the alteration and destruction of evidence pertaining to the Iran-Contra Affair.” Until funding was cut for the scarily-named “Information Awareness Office,” whose stated goal was “Total Information Awareness,” Poindexter was the Director of that division of DARPA.
What about Elliott Abrams, who was convicted of lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair? On February 2nd of this year, he was appointed as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy.
I’m sure I’m forgetting others.
And folks, just in case you’ve heard Hannity and El Rushbo spewing about how it hasn’t even been determined that Rove was one of the leakers, let’s not forget that Rove’s own lawyer said Rove was the one who confirmed to Novak that Plame was a CIA operative. According to the article in the Washington Post, “At the end of that 15- or 20-minute call, according to the lawyer, Novak said he had learned that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. “I heard that, too,” Rove replied, according to the lawyer, confirming the Times account.
I heard Sean talking about how one of the distinctions is that Rove did *not* call Novak to tell him this information. Does that really matter? We’re still hearing about “it depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is,” and Sean wants to parse words? This whole “parsing words” thing goes hand in hand with another right-wing Neo-Con tactic — someone says something you don’t like? Attack them. Think about what happened post-Wilson’s article. Turns out he was right, and the administration was wrong. So why is everyone even remotely involved with the RNC attacking him and his wife? Simple. Smear, smear, smear… Try to convince people Rove didn’t commit a crime, try to convince people that Wilson is a man of low moral character and that his wife was telling everyone she was a CIA agent already, so what difference does it make if Elliott Abrams and Scooter Libby and Karl Rove confirmed it. Oh yeah, and try to convince people that Wilson wasn’t sent by normal channels to check out the validity of the nuclear threat, but that his wife was somehow involved in getting him sent. Just like the Swift Boat Vets all over again. If you’re going to tell people the truth about me, I’m going to spread enough stink that some of the fallout will stick to you too. I’m not going down alone.
There is no defense here. What happened to the “administration bringing in a new era of honor and accountability” to the White House? I think we all know the answer to that question. Bottom line, Rove acted as at least a second source so that Novak could publish his column. Bottom line. Now, it also looks like Scooter Libby did the same thing. Gee. And I thought Scott McClellan said he spoke personally to these two and they assured him it wasn’t them who leaked this information? Hey Scott, what’s it feel like to be lied to? Now you know what the White House Press Corps feels like.