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February 10, 2006 09:00 AM UTC

Toss the White House Under the Bus Day

  • 27 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

It’s a Friday for piling on the White House, apparently. Three scandals, three different players, one theme: toss the White House under the old bus.

1. Scooter Libby and Plamegate

From The Washington Post: Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff testified that his bosses instructed him to leak information to reporters from a high-level intelligence report that suggested Iraq was trying to obtain weapons of mass destruction, according to court records in the CIA leak case.

2. Jack Abramoff and “Pay for Play”

From Reuters news service: Jack Abramoff said in correspondence made public Thursday that President Bush met him almost a dozen times, disputing White House claims Bush did not know the former lobbyist at the center of a corruption scandal.

The guy saw me in almost a dozen settings, and joked with me about a bunch of things, including details of my kids. Perhaps he has forgotten everything, who knows, Abramoff wrote in an e-mail to Kim Eisler, national editor for the Washingtonian magazine. Abramoff added that Bush also once invited him to his Texas ranch…

Abramoff pleaded guilty to fraud charges in early January and is cooperating with prosecutors in a corruption probe that could implicate lawmakers and officials across Washington. Bush has said he never had a discussion with Abramoff and does not remember having his picture taken with him.

3. Michael Brown, FEMA and Hurricane Katrina

From CNN: Former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown told a Senate panel Friday that he feels he’s been made a scapegoat for the government’s sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina.

“I certainly feel somewhat abandoned” by the Bush administration now, Brown said in testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs…

…He also contradicted comments by Homeland Security officials that they were unaware of flood dangers in New Orleans, Louisiana, the day that Katrina made landfall. “For them to now claim that we didn’t have awareness of it, I think is just baloney,” he said. “They should have had awareness of it because they were receiving the same information that we were.”

Comments

27 thoughts on “Toss the White House Under the Bus Day

  1. Bush & Co…  When you try to run a government like a business, their is only one rule associated with the game:  Republican Majority/Stock Holder investments are the only criteria for success.  Sissies or girly men need not apply.  Just win baby!

  2. Funny – today Michael Brown threw Bush under the bus, too.  Maybe someone marked the bus tires as “exclusively for use by POTUS”.

    Says Brown to Congress: We’ve done a great job as Republicans of adding more bureacracy.

  3. The Washington Post report doesn’t tell the whole breadth of the Libby-Cheney testimony.  Like many of the Plamegate stories, this one originated with National Journal reporter Murray Waas.  Waas’s article paints a much broader picture of Cheney’s authorization to Libby to release classified information to the press.

    Vice President Cheney and other senior Bush administration officials had earlier encouraged and authorized him to share classified information with journalists to build public support for going to war. Later, after the war began in 2003, Cheney authorized Libby to release additional classified information, including details of the NIE, to defend the administration’s use of prewar intelligence in making the case for war.

    The more that comes out, the more it looks like VP Cheney is skating on thin ice.  According to evidence in the case, it was Cheney who told Libby of Valerie Plame’s involvement with the CIA.  It can be deduced from other evidence that Libby knew that Plame was covert (that he knew which part of the CIA she worked in).  We don’t know the exact wording of Cheney’s authorization to Libby, but if it was broad enough, it could be said that Cheney could reasonably expect that Libby would leak Plame’s name and status to the press.  That standard – reasonable expectation – is a standard used in the Espionage/IIPA laws, and that could spell trouble for Cheney.

  4. Awww, poor Bush. I feel sorry for him, it sounds like the press is heaping it on and that’s not cool.  It’s like when they unfairly quizzed him on world leaders in 2000 and he didn’t have a clue… that was so mean, would *you* give a pop quiz about science and stuff to a retarded child?  I felt so bad for Bush then that I happily voted for him against that know-it-all Gore.  And again in 2004 against Kerry, who exaggerated about Vietnam and stuff.  Can we re-elect Bush again in 2008 and give him a fair shake?

  5. I’ll be the first to admit Abramoff was in tight with multiple high ranking Republicans, including Bush.  But why won’t folks take note of how Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was bribed as well?

    From the AP yesterday:

    “Democratic leader Reid aided Abramoff clients
    By John Solomon and Sharon Theimer

    The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON ? Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, who has led efforts to portray the Jack Abramoff case as a Republican scandal, wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Abramoff, and the senator’s staff regularly had contact with the Abramoff team about legislation affecting other clients.

    The activities, detailed in billing records and correspondence, occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff’s firm, lobbying partners and clients…”

  6. BMR Everyone’s Dirty in DC,

    The lobbyist in the article was contacted (not by AP – that would be the appropriate thing to do when writing an article); he states that the contact with Reid was so that the lobbyists could learn more about the timing of the Marianas legislation; Reid opposed the bill and Abramoff’s firm expected nothing different.  No quid pro quo.

    I’ve already gone over the other allegations and won’t do so again except to say that they were within Reid’s normal voting patterns.

  7. Awww, poor Bush. I feel sorry for him, it sounds like the press is heaping it on and that’s not cool.  It’s like when they unfairly quizzed him on world leaders in 2000 and he didn’t have a clue… that was so mean, would *you* give a pop quiz about science and stuff to a retarded child?  I felt so bad for Bush then that I happily voted for him against that know-it-all Gore.  And again in 2004 against Kerry, who exaggerated about Vietnam and stuff.  Can we re-elect Bush again in 2008 and give him a fair shake?

  8. Your quadruple posts are getting a bit wearisome,  beast.  Please read this notice:

    After you finish writing your comment, please click POST only once. When traffic is particularly high, the comment system can slow down; your comment IS being processed, however, so please be patient. If you don’t want to wait, open a new window and return to Colorado Pols while your comment is being processed.

  9. Awww, poor Bush. I feel sorry for him, it sounds like the press is heaping it on and that’s not cool.  It’s like when they unfairly quizzed him on world leaders in 2000 and he didn’t have a clue… that was so mean, would *you* give a pop quiz about science and stuff to a retarded child?  I felt so bad for Bush then that I happily voted for him against that know-it-all Gore.  And again in 2004 against Kerry, who exaggerated about Vietnam and stuff.  Can we re-elect Bush again in 2008 and give him a fair shake?

  10. Dammit!  Sorry about the repeat postings everyone.  For some reason my browser just hangs like it hasn’t posted and then I re-send.  My apologies!

  11. Voyageur: thanks, I already saw that information.  However I have never once had my browser (I’m using Firefox, that’s prolly the problem) stop hanging after posting something.  From now on I’ll post once and then refresh. My apologies, again.

  12. A Colorado Pols dog pile! Wasn’t Bush also thought to be the second shooter on the grassy knoll?  I know he was pretty young but in Texas kids get guns and bottles at about the same age.

    These stories (and others) bring me back to the Clinton years when Richard Mellon-Head and the Repubs dogged Clinton endlessly. Conspiracies theories were perpetually in bloom but few stuck. (No pun intended) 

    Can’t we all just get along?

  13. Oh, wait – are those 1st-person accounts I see?  Those darned conspiracies and their primary sources.

    No, we can’t just get along – not this time.  Bush’s actions are ruining the stability of this country at all levels, including financial, military, and Constitutional.  That last goes against the Presidential oath, and that’s not acceptable.

  14. I’m happy to see Libby, Brown, and Abramoff (especially Abramoff) having so much credibility with the left.  All these “first hand accounts” may be true, or may be people trying to divert attention from their own problems.  I don’t know,  but I’m willing to reserve judgement and give the President the benefit of the doubt.  Something I did during the Clinton years as well. 

    One thing I think we can all agree on, PR, your photographs are fabulous.  I especially like the Capitol Reef National Park photo.  Those orange colors are quite striking.

  15. A knitting blog?  Now that’s one I didn’t think of.  The point of my posts relates to the demonizing of elected officials, especially Presidents.  If you filter each accusation, report, or innuendo through the prism of “he’s evil”, all roads will lead to accepting all negative reports as true.  It happened with Clinton and now with Bush.  That is not to say that all reports are false, both men made mistakes, I just choose to reserve judgement until all the facts are in.

    I may be wrong about one or both men, but I choose to give them the same thing I’d want if I walked in their shoes.  (I believe there’s a Golden Rule in their somewhere.)

    Now, back to my knitting…..

  16. A knitting blog?  Now that’s one I didn’t think of.  The point of my posts relates to the demonizing of elected officials, especially Presidents.  If you filter each accusation, report, or innuendo through the prism of “he’s evil”, all roads will lead to accepting all negative reports as true.  It happened with Clinton and now with Bush.  That is not to say that all reports are false, both men made mistakes, I just choose to reserve judgement until all the facts are in.

    I may be wrong about one or both men, but I choose to give them the same thing I’d want if I walked in their shoes.  (I believe there’s a Golden Rule in their somewhere.)

    Now, back to my knitting…..

  17. Maybe I have a more negative personality then ;).  I thought Clinton had some major issues and I was willing to call him on it.  Same now, with the caveat that Bush has done more and greater things for which he deserves criticism, and less to buoy up his reputation.  I hold to the words of Theodore Roosevelt and others who spoke of the duty we as citizens have to question the actions of our leaders; speaking truth to power, questioning authority – these are the duties of a patriot to me.

  18. Very good points PR.  I could probably be more critical, but when I see a dog pile I don’t want to jump on…too quickly.

    I took a look at all the photographs on display, beautiful.  Those are two of your newer works, right?  I especially like the flowers.  I showed your pics to my son, an professional graphic artist and amateur photographer, and he was VERY impressed (and a little jealous I think:)  I’ll bet you’ve had some great trips in some beautiful areas to get such great shots.

  19. I’d eagerly sign up for more of those great trips – most of it’s on my spare time.

    Good to see the display’s getting some foot traffic (not that I had any doubts with its location), and thanks muchly for the recognition.

  20. Not to belabor the point, but the Abramoff part of this story became more interesting today with the publication of the first Bush-Abramoff picture by TIME Magazine.

    The image was given to TIME by Raoul Garza, a former Kickapoo Indian chief and Abramoff client.  The article notes that, in a gathering of about two dozen people, Abramoff was in a room with the President and at least three other people who were his clients – Garza, a second Indian tribal chief, and Beningo Fital, the governor of the Northern Marianas at the time.  (And in a sad testimony to the quality of this group, Abramoff and Garza are now under indictment for fraud, and Fital’s administration is under investigation after a reprieve caused when Bush removed a previous attorney.)  The article also notes that Abramoff has a picture of he and the President from that meeting taken just after the Garza image, with he and the President standing right at the window where Abramoff appears in the TIME picture.

    Yet, for all of that, the White House still insists it didn’t know Abramoff was there.  That strains credibility.

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