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Bush tries to block Democrat witch hunt
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Bush tries to block Democrat witch hunt Ralph Bristol March 21, 2007

President Bush is right to try to protect members of his White House staff from having to testify under oath to House and Senate committees who want to rake them over the coals about the firing of U.S. Attorneys. House and Senate committees are expected to approve subpoenas today.

There's no doubt about the Democrats' motives. They want to bring perjury charges against Karl Rove and any other Bush aide on which they can train their sights.

"But," you might ask, "What do they have to fear if they just tell the truth." Oh, I don't know. Maybe we should ask Scooter Libby. Did he lie under oath? A jury found that he did. He said he didn't remember things the same way some members of the news media did. He lost. The whole affair cost him his job, a lot of money in attorney fees, his good reputation, and maybe a few years of freedom.

Why would someone from the Bush White House not want to answer questions under oath from members of a hostile Congress with campaign fire in its nostrils? Gee, I can't think of any good reasons.

The president has offered to have several key members of his administration submit to informal interviews by House and Senate members of both parties, but not under oath. He understands, and is peeved, that some of the answers given to questions initially were wrong. That doesn’t mean they were lies. They were more likely misinformed answers. Mistakes are generally not criminal, but Democrats in Congress have their sights set on accusing President Bush's aides, especially Rove, of a crime.

The president should take the subpoena fight all the way. Doing anything less would be throwing loyal aides to the wolves – and for what purpose? The only effect would be to increase the appetite of the Democrats for more blood. This crowd has a single purpose – to destroy President Bush and anyone who stands with him. They will stay on offense as long as they can, because they believe it's the key to victory in 2008. They have their sights set on a Democratic sweep in '08 and they believe destroying the credibility of the head of the Republican Party is the key to that plan.

They don't have any palatable plans for the country, so their only hope is to destroy the reputation of the opposition. That's their game plan for victory in '08. They will sacrifice victory in Iraq for victor in the 2008 elections, and they will sure as heck try to brand innocent people as criminals for the same purpose.

There is nothing abnormal about the firing of the eight U.S. Attorneys. They serve at the pleasure of the president and he can replace them for no other reason than he wants someone else to have the chance to have the job. That is what he did. All presidents have done the same.

Attorney General Gonzales made a mistake when he initially said that the eight were fired for performance reasons. That was simply not true. He may have believed it was true, or he may have given a reflexive answer to what he construed as a politically motivated question that needed a non-political answer. Whatever the case, there is nothing criminal or unethical about the way the matter was handled.

The Democrats in Congress know that, but they also know that if they can get high profile Bush aides under oath and grill them with hostile questions, they may fall into a perjury trap – and that is the Democrats’ only wish.

President Bush is rightfully protecting his aides. It will be shameful if he gets no help from his Republican colleagues in Congress.

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posted by Jack Mercer @ 3/21/2007 10:09:00 AM  
  • At 3/21/2007 01:01:00 PM, Blogger Smorgasbord said…

    To me, Bristol's argument is predicated on the notion that "There is nothing abnormal about the firing of the eight U.S. Attorneys." How does he know that? How will the Democrats know if they can't be assured that the answers to their questions aren't lies? Typically the only way to get any politican to tell the truth is to let them know their lies will be punished.

  • At 3/21/2007 01:30:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Hi Smorg,

    I guess it is a precedent that has been used many times before. In other words, what is supposed to be a "scandal" is not really--the Democrats are just taking every opportunity they can to make the other side look bad. (And wasting a lot of time and money in the process).

    Bottom line is, that if they just come out and say that they fired them to replace them with friends there is nothing that they can do about it. There have been no improprieties (although I don't think its something that is particularly nice to do).

    I do think that Ralph hit the nail on the head. Libby was indicted for everything other than what they had been fishing for--seems like they just want to get Rove in there so they can get him in court. Truth is, I think Rove is smarter than all of them put together.


  • At 3/22/2007 11:55:00 AM, Blogger Smorgasbord said…

    Rove is a smart man, I'll give you that. Otherwise the American public probably would have realized their emporer isn't wearing any clothes a long, long time ago.

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Miriam Webster defines Snipe as: to aim a carping or snide attack, or: to shoot at exposed individuals (as of an enemy's forces) from a usually concealed point of vantage.

Miriam Webster defines Snippet as: : a small part, piece, or thing; especially : a brief quotable passage.

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