President George W. Bush got another chance Monday to prove he was as a good as his word. Once again, he failed to keep a promise made to the American people.
In September 2003 Bush said he would fire “anyone” in the White House caught leaking the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame to the media. He repeated the promise in June 2004, saying flat out that any administration official found to have talked to the press about Plame would be dismissed immediately.
That, however, was before his closest advisor, Karl Rove, got caught giving the information to Time Magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, who also identified Vice President Richard Cheney’s chief of staff as the secondary source for the leak.
Now Dubya’s singing a different tune, upping the standard by staying he will fire anyone “convicted of a crime.” Anyone who knows the double standard of justice in Washington knows there is little chance of Rove or anyone else in the administration getting hauled into a courtroom, much less convicted.
So Bush, who promised Americans “the most ethical administration in history,” gives Rove and the rest of his gang a walk for leaking classified information to a reporter as part of a planned White House plot of revenge against a public critic of the President.
“It appears that an administration that came to office promising ‘honesty and integrity’ and to avoid ‘legalisms’ is now defining ethical standards downward,” said Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. “In this White House, apparently no aide will be fired or forced to resign unless and until the jail cell door is locked behind him.”
Bush has a long history of association with criminals from Enron con-man Kenneth J. Lay to scandal-ridden House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. His Vice President is still under investigation in Europe for bribery and payoffs while serving as CEO of Halliburton, the same Halliburton that has ripped off the U.S. government with millions of dollars in overcharges through its no-bid contracts in Iraq.
Honesty is a foreign concept to Bush. He lied to Congress and the American people to try and justify an illegal invasion of Iraq, order the Environmental Protection Agency to lie to New Yorkers about toxic substances in the air after the 9/11 attacks and lied again when he promised to fire anyone caught leaking information on the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a career diplomat whose only crime was looking objectively as the administration’s hyped claims about Iraq uranium purchases in Africa and saying the President cooked the facts.
A new poll from ABC News says only about 25 percent of the American people believe Bush is being honest about the Plame affair – down from 50 percent when the investigation began.
Think of it. Only a quarter of Americans out there think the President of the United States is honest. That means three-quarters of them know Bush for what he is – a liar.
I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I don’t much like the idea of a liar occupying the White House. I don’t like the fact that a liar who did everything in his power to avoid serving his country in a war zone now sends Americans to fight and die in a war based on lies.
If Bush is not going to keep his word and fire Karl Rove and any other administration official caught in this shameful Valerie Plame affair, there is still one thing left he can do to serve the best interests of the American people.