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Monday, July 18, 2005

Dean: Bush Must Keep His Word

Posted by Bob Brigham

A press release from the DNC:

Dean: Bush Must Keep His Word

Washington - This weekend, newspapers from around the country, responding to the scandal surrounding the White House, called on President Bush to keep his word with the American people and put our national security interests above his personal politics. Now that it's clear that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney's top aides, Karl Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, spoke to reporters as payback against a political opponent, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean reiterated his call for President Bush to keep his earlier promise to fire any aide who improperly disclosed the identity of an undercover CIA operative.

"Faced with a question about whether or not he will keep his promise to fire those involved in leaking the identity of an undercover CIA agent while we are at war, President Bush backed away from his initial pledge and lowered the ethics bar," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. "With several sources now citing Rove and Libby as two sources of the leaks, Bush should be prepared to keep his word, and to enforce a high standard of ethics in the White House as he promised from the beginning of his administration."

Newspaper Editorials From Across the Country: Scandal Erodes White House Credibility and Bush Must Keep His Word

Associated Press: Rove Episode A "Disgrace." "The whole episode is a disgrace. It's also a sad reminder of how this administration plays fast and loose with truth." [AP, 7/12/05]

Costa Times: Scandal "Does Not Look Good for [Rove]...Bush." "On Wednesday, Bush did not defend Rove. That does not look good for the president's deputy chief of staff, nor does it look good for Bush, who either knew or should have known about high-level leaks in the White House. [Contra Costa Times, 7/14/05]

San Francisco Chronicle: "Rove Should Be Put On Leave." "The official silence from the White House on Monday was quite disturbing...At a minimum, Rove should be put on leave while the evidence that he may have used top-secret information for political purposes is being sorted out." [The San Francisco Chronicle, 7/12/05]

Denver Post: Rove Should "Come Clean About His Role." "It's time for Bush administration power broker Karl Rove - and others in the White House - to come clean about his role in the 2003 outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame...Rove's hairsplitting is an inadequate explanation for us." [Denver Post, 7/12/05]

St. Petersburg Times: Rove's Involvement "Erodes the Bush Administration's Credibility." "The revelation that the White House aide was indeed involved with the outing of a CIA operative further erodes the Bush administration's credibility." [St. Petersburg Times, 7/14/05]

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: White House Statements "Look Like Lies." "The White House and Rove have denied for two years that he played any role whatsoever in Plame's exposure as an undercover agent. Even under the most friendly of interpretations, those statements now look like lies." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/13/05]

The Record (Bergen County, NJ): Rove "Attempted to Destroy Credibility of 2 National Security Veterans." Observed an editorial in The Record (a Bergen County newspaper), "If you can't shoot the messenger, take aim at his wife. That clearly was the intent of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove. To try to conceal the fact that the president had lied to the American public about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program, Rove attempted to destroy the credibility of two national security veterans and send an intimidating message to any other government officials preparing to publicly tell the truth... Yet what the emerging Rove scandal demonstrates is the ease with which a wily top White House official can subvert the Bill of Rights' protection of the free press to serve the tawdriest of political ends." [ The Record, 7/14/05]

Herald News (New Jersey): Administration "Owes the American People Answers." "It is ridiculous that an administration willing to let a reporter go to jail for not breaking her pledge of confidentiality to a source is stonewalling the American public on what it knew about the leak. Rove is one of the most influential advisers to the president. Whether Rove identified Plame by name or merely suggested that she could be behind Wilson's trip to Niger, Rove's hands are not clean... Bush, McClellan and Rove owe the American people answers." [Herald News, 7/14/05]

Albuquerque Journal: Affair Puts Administration's "Credibility...Squarely at Issue." "All legal questions aside, this puts the Bush administration's credibility on this question squarely at issue... The president earlier vowed to fire anyone in his administration found guilty of leaking Plame's name. If prosecutors indict Rove, Bush will have little choice but to follow through." [Albuquerque Journal, 7/14/05]

Charlotte Observer: President Should "Get the Facts." According to a Charlotte Observer editorial, "...in September 2003 a White House spokesman said Mr. Rove had not been involved in disclosing Ms. Plame's name. The Time e-mail shows he did disclose her CIA connection... The president has the power to get the facts and tell the public the truth. He should use it." [Charlotte Observer, 7/13/05]

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Bush "Choosing to Stonewall" "The Bush administration, like many of its predecessors, when finally faced with questions of confidence and honor, apparently is choosing to stonewall the questioners - exactly the worst thing it can do." [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/13/05]

Philadelphia Inquirer: President Engaged in "Goofy Posturing." "Either presidential adviser Karl Rove wasn't telling the truth to President Bush about his role in revealing the identity of a CIA officer. Or Bush wasn't telling the truth to the public about Rove's involvement. Neither option is defensible...to contend that [Rove] had no role in revealing her identity is to engage in goofy posturing worthy of the old TV spy series Get Smart." [ Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/13/05]

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Rove "Betraying the Country." "The White House operative who blew CIA Agent Valerie Plame's cover to journalists Matt Cooper and Judith Miller was betraying the country, pure and simple." [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6/28/05]

Intelligence Journal: "Rove Deserves to be Fired." "The petty and vengeful disclosure of the identity of Valerie Plame...contrasts sharply with an administration that likes to highlight its discipline and talk about its values... The president promised to fire leakers in the Plame affair. If Coopers notes are correct, Rove deserves to be fired." [Intelligence Journal, 7/13/05]

Philadelphia Daily News: Rove "Can't Be Trusted...Must Go." "It's now clear that Rove, President Bush's chief political street fighter, can't be trusted with the nation's secrets. Not when a cheap political attack can be made... There is no easy way to explain this away. And the White House shouldn't even try. Rove must go." [Philadelphia Daily News, 7/12/05]

The Herald: Rove "Lied to President...Might Have Compromised National Security." "Rove apparently lied to the president. He publicly identified a CIA agent. He engaged in an active effort to discredit and intimidate Wilson simply because he was critical of the president. He did not volunteer information about his role in this affair to federal investigators for two years. And he might have compromised national security." [The Herald, 7/14/05]

The Jackson Sun: President in "No-Win Situation." "Of course, the question that should be answered first deals with Bush's own knowledge of Rove's activities. This is a no-win situation for the president. If he admits prior knowledge of Rove's conversations with Cooper, that suggests that he approved of his actions. If he continues to claim ignorance, that suggests something far worse: that Rove was acting on his own, without presidential authority." [ The Jackson Sun, 7/1305]

Roanoke Times & World News: "Apparent Violation of Public Trust" "The Roanoke Times Rove can stick to the story that he did not actually name Plame, and hope Bush's conservative base will overwhelm critics with howls about a media witch hunt. But a public disgusted by one president's arguments over the legal meaning of the word 'is' likely will not be buying. And in this case, the apparent violation of the public trust involves matters much more serious than presidential peccadilloes. It deals with national security and war - specifically, selling the American public on the war in Iraq." [Roanoke Times & World News, 7/13/05]

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: President Must Live Up To Earlier Promise. "The President must live up to his early promises about dealing severely with the abusive leak of Plame's identity. On Oct. 6, 2003, Bush told reporters, 'This is a very serious matter, and our administration takes it very seriously.' Unless the plain meaning of those words is not their true meaning, Bush was saying that he and other top advisers were outraged at the leak and had nothing to do with it. Now, it turns out that Rove, indeed, did have something to do with using Plame's CIA activities to attack Wilson." [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7/12/05]

Sarasota Herald Tribune: "Americans...Are Baffled By the Changing Story." "Americans who are baffled by the changing story and troubled by the partisan defenses and attacks can only hope that Fitzgerald sets the record straight." [Sarasota Herald Tribune, 7/17/05]

Miami Herald: "Rove Violated the Spirit of the Law." "Mr. Rove violated the spirit of the law and engaged in behavior unworthy a senior administration official...Is this how President Bush wants the White House to conduct business?" [Miami Herald, 7/15/05]

Capital Times: Aggravated about Rove's avoidance of accountability. "There is no longer any question about the fact that Rove was Cooper's source. So is Rove going to jail? That's far from certain. Rove's a master manipulator, and he has a long record of avoiding accountability for wrongdoing." [Capital Times, 7/14/05]

This is why Bush has a credibility problem.

Posted at 02:08 PM in DNC Chair, Plamegate | Technorati