Friday, August 12, 2005

The White House plumbing problem

While the occasional leak is par for the presidential golf course, leaks the magnitude found in BushCo are beyond the pale in enormity of consequence and public knowledge. Think progress has a list of 21 administration officials with known connections to the outing of Valerie (Plame) Wilson. The problems for the Bushevicks isn't so much that they opted to put cronysim and politics ahead of national security, it's the fact they've been busted with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar as well as all the other lies they've been telling. To make matters worse they just continue to lie about lying and pretend everything they said has been accurate even well past beyond being proven false (case in point: per Cindy Sheehan, Steven Hadley and Joe Hagin told her that George thinks there are WMDs in Iraq). Georgie Porgy himself may well be implicated in the PlameOut debacle based on official WH statements regarding Rove's role as well as the presidential belly-flop regarding what he would or wouldn't do to staff involved in the outing of the CIA operative. Per Guardian Unlimited [emphasis added]
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald questioned Bush a year ago and the prosecutor's office has questioned Rove repeatedly, so presumably investigators know the answer to what, if anything, Rove told Bush.

Whether Rove shaded the truth with Bush two years ago is a potential political problem. The president so far has stood by Rove's side, even raising the bar for dismissing subordinates. Two years ago, Bush pledged to fire any leakers, but now he says he would fire anyone who committed a crime.

If Rove didn't tell Bush the truth, that theoretically could be a legal problem for the presidential aide under the federal false statement statute.

Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning said the false statement law covers statements made to all members of the executive branch, including the president acting in his official capacity. In contrast, a typical false statement case involves lying to investigators or writing false information on a form to the government.
The justification to defend charge under the federal false statement statute will, of course, be that discussion between Bush and Rove were personal conversations as personal friends, not in their official capacity as administration officials. Thus far BushCo has gotten away with pretty much every bad act, this could change if indictments are issued (at the very least, Rove and Libby have admitted to conversations that are violations of executive order 12958 and their non-disclosure agreements - these are criminal offenses for which indictments could be issued). While the anticipated presidential pardons will keep the Bushevicks from any real punishment, they will cast additional aspertions not only on W's presidency but on the President himself.

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