THE WEEK IN RESTORING HONESTY AND INTEGRITY TO GOVERNMENT

If Roberts’ nomination was supposed to push perjury and the outing of an undercover agent off the front pages, it hasn’t been entirely successful. We now know that Ari Fleischer (don’t you miss him?) had the memo identifying Plame, that it was marked as secret information, and that he told the Grand Jury he never saw it. And we now know that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are both under investigation for perjury over their own Grand Jury testimony. And now Time is casting further doubt on claims that Rove heard about Plame from media contacts and reporting one official’s account of “general discussion with the National Security Council and the White House and State Department and others” about Plame.” But they’re not the only ones failing to tell the truth under oath on an issue of urgent public concern. Turns out John Bolton falsely disclaimed having been interviewed about the original Niger forgeries which inspired Rove and company to smear Joe Wilson in the first place. Bolton’s truth problem, unsurprisingly, seems not to have given any pause to President Bush in his plan to bypass the Senate with a recess appointment.

As for Roberts himself, looks like he’s been less than upfront about his role in litigating Black Floridians’ votes out of existence in the name of equal protection. Same goes for his Federalist Society membership, which makes you wonder what other groups he doesn’t remember joining. And most troublingly, he may have told Dick Durbin that he would recuse himself from casting votes to uphold laws or rulings in accordance with the constitution and opposition to his faith, an especially eerie argument in light of his callous, anti-pluralistic advice that students who don’t feel comfortable with sectarian religious observance at their graduations just stay home.

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LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO RUN THE COUNTRY

The Associated Press finally states the obvious: the White House hasn’t told the American people the truth:

The vice president’s chief of staff, Lewis Libby, was a source along with the president’s chief political adviser for a Time story that identified a CIA officer, the magazine reporter said Sunday, further countering White House claims that neither aide was involved in the leak…Until last week, the White House had insisted for nearly two years that Libby and Rove had no connection to the leak…The White House refused last week to repeat its denials about Rove’s involvement.

And as Matt Cooper’s account of his testimony demonstrates, Rove’s apologists are still lying on his behalf:

I recall saying something like, “I’m writing about Wilson,” before he interjected. “Don’t get too far out on Wilson,” he told me…I did not learn her name until the following week, when I either saw it in Robert Novak’s column or Googled her, I can’t recall which. Rove did, however, clearly indicate that she worked at the “agency”–by that, I told the grand jury, I inferred that he obviously meant the CIA and not, say, the Environmental Protection Agency. Rove added that she worked on “WMD” (the abbreviation for weapons of mass destruction) issues and that she was responsible for sending Wilson. This was the first time I had heard anything about Wilson’s wife…I have a distinct memory of Rove ending the call by saying, “I’ve already said too much.”…Rove may have testified that we had talked about welfare reform, and indeed earlier in the week, I may have left a message with his office asking if I could talk to him about welfare reform. But I can’t find any record of talking about it with him on July 11, and I don’t recall doing so.

So much for claims that Joe Wilson came up in passing in an interview on welfare reform, or that Rove didn’t leak anything new about his wife.

LET’S REVIEW

In the wake of a vicious terror attack on American soil, the President of the United States, citing dubious intelligence “fixed around the policy,” led this country into a destructive and unjustified war war which has left Americans less safe than before.

When a US diplomat publicly disputed an intelligence claim later retracted by the White House itself, someone working for the President of the United States broke the law by leaking his wife’s identity as a covert operative to a reporter, blowing her cover in retaliation for her husband’s criticism.

Two years ago, the White House Spokesman told reporters that whoever made the leak would be fired, and that Karl Rove, now Deputy Chief of Staff, was “not involved in this.”

Yesterday, after revelations that Rove was a source for the story, and his lawyer’s weak defense that Rove didn’t mention Plame “by name” (Joseph Wilson only has one wife), the White House announced that it would refuse to answer any questions about the scandal, indefinitely, “as part of cooperating fully with the investigation.”

Among the journalists’ questions McClellan declined to answer yesterday:

Does the President stand by his pledge to fire anyone involved in the leak of a name of a CIA operative?

Do you stand by your remarks from that podium, or not?

When did they ask you to stop commenting on it, Scott? Can you peg down a date?

Can you walk us through why, given the fact that Rove’s lawyer has spoken publicly about this, it is inconsistent with the investigation, that it compromises the investigation to talk about the involvement of Karl Rove, the Deputy Chief of Staff?

Does the President continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?

Has there been any change or is there a plan for Mr. Rove’s portfolio to be altered in any way?

I presume that the prosecutor did not ask you not to take action, and that if he did, you still would not necessarily abide by that; that the President is free to respond to news reports, regardless of whether there’s an investigation or not. So are you saying that he’s not going to do anything about this until the investigation is fully over and done with?

Who is Karl Rove as it relates to this current administration?

Now, are you concerned that in not setting the record straight today that this could undermine the credibility of the other things you say from the podium?

Scott, at this point, are we to consider what you’ve said previously, when you were talking about this, that you’re still standing by that, or are those all inoperative at this point?

When the leak investigation is concluded, does the President believe it might be important for his credibility, the credibility of the White House, to release all the information voluntarily that was submitted as part of the investigation, so the American public could see what the — what transpired inside the White House at the time?

Scott, was it — who in the investigation made this request of the White House not to comment further about the investigation?

Yes, in your dealings with the special counsel, have you consulted a personal attorney?

These are questions we all deserve to have answered.