Saturday, January 28, 2006

More on the Super Secrets of the Imperial Palace

Occasionally the media complains about not getting straight answers from the White House. Occasionally even Congress (both sides of the aisle) complain about not getting fully briefed by the White House. Most of the time, however, both the press and Congress go along with this regime, primarily just to get along. The result? One of the most secretive administrations in American history.

This week both Congress and the press has been pressing the White House for information at the same time, a clear signal that this is an election year and polls suddenly have some relevance. An editorial in today's Washington Post takes a fairly mild jab at the White House for its non-cooperation.

There are any number of matters of legitimate inquiry and public concern involving Mr. Abramoff and his White House dealings that might not rise to the level of a criminal prosecution. Mr. Abramoff has admitted bribing public officials. He collected at least $100,000 for Mr. Bush's reelection. He took David H. Safavian, then the chief of staff at the General Services Administration and later the administration's top procurement official, on a luxury golfing trip to Scotland; it was, as Mr. Abramoff said in an e-mail, a "total business angle."

The president himself attended a White House meeting with some of Mr. Abramoff's clients. How did that get set up? The White House acknowledges that Mr. Abramoff had some "staff-level meetings" there. With whom, and about what?

Republicans didn't tolerate this kind of behavior from the Clinton White House in the midst of its fundraising scandal...
[Emphasis added]

Interestingly, the WaPo editorialist overlooked the fact that Mr. Abramoff garnered a spot on the 'transition team' following the 2000 election. That aside, I also find it interesting that the Post noted that the GOP pushed hard on the Clinton White House on the "fundraising scandal," something the press also highlighted at great length at the time. It has taken the press five years to start looking hard at the Imperial Palace and demanding answers. Better late than never, I guess.

I hope the press continues its charge against the massive stonewall erected around the palace. Most Americans have decided they need more information about such things as how we got lied into the illegal invasion of Iraq, why a CIA operative was outed, how an entire city was destroyed by a hurricane without even the most minimal attempt to mitigate the disaster, when the illegal spying on Americans by the NSA began, and a host of other issues. That's supposed to be the job of the press.


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