This writes Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank, is the way Bush cabinet nominees have been avoiding accountability and explanation. In written answers to Sen. Ted Kennedy, Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales used the words "I am not at liberty to disclose" at least 10 times; "I do not recall" or "I have no recollection" six times; I did not "conduct a search" seven times; "I am not at liberty [to discuss certain matters]" 10 times; and "I have no present knowledge" 7 times.
During the confirmation hearing of Condoleezza Rice, Sen. Biden complained that "the questions we asked, I thought, gave you an opportunity to acknowledge some of the mistakes and misjudgments of the past four years...But instead of seizing the opportunity, it seems to me, Dr. Rice, you danced around it. You sort of stuck to the party line, which seems pretty consistent: You're always right. You all never made any mistakes."
Bruce Fein, a Reagan era administration official finds the silence "a little bit appalling," and notes that "a conservative should want greater congressional scrutiny — it limits government and it checks folly." Compassionate conservative George Bush disagrees. In a recent interview, Bush argued that "we had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 election," he said. "And the American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me, for which I'm grateful."
So much for open government, accountability and democracy. Bush can now do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. All is justified by the 118,457 vote lead he received in Ohio. But remember, the federal government spent $6.5 billion last year creating 14 million new classified documents. In order to classify one document, the government spends 459 of our tax dollars. American taxpayers are paying the Bush administration to keep information both from them and Congress, and the President is laughing all the way to the bank.
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