George Bush announced today that he would only fire Karl Rove if he is found to have committed a crime.
That is yet another step back.
In 2000, George W. Bush campaigned for the Presidency and pledged to 'restore honor and integrity' to the office. Once he was elected, he told his Senior staff to 'avoid even the appearance' of ethical violations.
Obviously, that was many Halliburtons ago.
However, in a June 10, 2005 news conference, he was asked if he stood by his pledge made last year to fire anyone who was found to be the source of the leak, Bush answered, 'Yes. And that's up to the U.S. attorney to find the facts.'
So now, it is not any longer whether Rove was the source of the leak (that is now known and is common knowledge) but whether he 'committed a crime.'
Even if we ignore the sheer hypocrisy of this, coming from people who spent $50 million and occupied nearly all of 1998 trying to remove President Clinton from office for the 'crime' of lying about sex, it is clear that George Bush will do anything to protect Mr. Rove.
What's more, Matt Cooper says in a piece this week in Time magazine,
Cooper recalled that Rove told him, “I’ve already said too much” after revealing that the wife of the former ambassador apparently was with the CIA.
Hmmm. So, if Mr. Rove 'accidentally' let this slip out in his conversation with Mr. Cooper, then why did he also get on the phone to Judith Miller, Bob Novak and at least three other reporters and let the SAME THING 'slip' out? And in the process do something that Bill Clinton NEVER did-- intentionally damage our intelligence capability, and in time of war at that.
For an administration that was supposed to restore 'honor and integrity' to the office, we have had more scandals, not about the little things, but about big things like national security and the right of Federal agents to break into your home without telling you, than any administration I can remember.
And the irony, is that this whole scandal was completely unnecessary. It was motivated by a personal desire to get 'even.' Period.