No matter how much the White House wants to keep secrets around the firings of at least eight U.S. attorneys, their silence is telling us the real story.
In the latest round of trying to keep a lid on what led to the firings, the White House has invoked executive privilege for President George W. Bush’s top political adviser, Karl Rove, and his deputy, Scott Jennings. Rove and Jennings were to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee investigating the firings Thursday.
“It is regretted that the committee has forced this action, as the president’s offer of accommodation to you and to the House Judiciary Committee could have provided information being sought in a manner respectful of presidential prerogatives and consistent with a spirit of comity,” wrote White House Counsel Fred Fielding.
Fielding said that Rove, as an adviser to the president, couldn’t be forced to tell what he knows, and when he knew it.
The White House said it would make its top advisers available as long as they were not placed under oath (so they could lie) and if there was no transcript taken (so there would be no record of what was said).
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, smells something fishy with the whole situation. Senator, you are not alone, my friend.
Leahy said that Rove had no problems with shooting his mouth off about the firings before (when it turns out he was completely, utterly, fantastically wrong), but now is going to take a vow of silence. Jennings is going to testify, but will zip his lips if he feels the answers to questions are covered by executive privilege, his attorney, Mark Paoletta, told CNN.
U.S. Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, has also taken a vow of silence (or developed a faulty memory) when it comes to the firings. He testified that he does not remember the details of the firings that took place Dec. 7, 2006.
So, in a nutshell, that means we the people won’t get the answers. It also means the separation of powers has become a thing of history.
The White House has also invoked executive privilege to block former White House political director Sara Taylor and former White House counsel Harriet Miers from testifying, as well as to block White House chief of staff Josh Bolten from turning over documents subpoenaed in the investigation.
With all this silence, it’s not hard to see what actually happened.
Allow me, your fearless commentator, to fill in the blanks: Eight judges were fired, because they were not “loyal Bushies,” people who did not share the president’s views of the world and how it works. Karl Rove put it in the president’s head that they need to go, and the president, being a loyal puppy, whispers to Gonzales that the judges need to go. Gonzales, not wanting to be out of his job as the United States’ attorney, fired them. And then, well, they all developed foggy memories.
It is the sound of silence, folks, and it’s telling us the real story of what happened.Powered by Sidelines