Today's topic is credibility -- specifically, recent claims by certain high-ranking present, former and perhaps soon-to-be-former Bush administration officials. The aim is to answer a simple question: Should we believe these three Bush loyalists if they tell us that rain falls down instead of up, or should we look out the window to make sure?
The present official is political czar Karl Rove, long regarded by friend and foe alike as some kind of cutting-edge genius, who seems to have the darnedest time figuring out this newfangled e-mail stuff.
Richard N. Perle can sleep at night.
If "The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom" is any guide, this former chairman of the Defense Policy Board who so fiercely lobbied for the invasion of Iraq enjoys the deep, flannelly slumber of infants and the well medicated.
In an hourlong, first-person tour of his thinking, Mr. Perle admits neither mistakes nor regrets. The war is not even his main concern. Instead, Mr. Perle, a leading neo-conservative, uses much of tonight’s segment of the weeklong PBS series "America at a Crossroads" to argue that the United States should foment regime change in Iran, regardless of what Iran and other nations think.
In October of last year, President Bush had a conversation with Gonzales about
attorneys. According to the White House's public statements, the conversation was a broad one, about voter fraud in three districts. Gonzales has said publicly that he doesn't remember such a conversation taking place. U.S.
But that's not what Kyle Sampson told congressional investigators this past weekend. . . . Sampson said that . . . Gonzales told him about a conversation he'd had in October with Bush that was specifically about U.S. Attorney for New Mexico David Iglesias. Remember that the White House was getting heavy pressure from Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and other New Mexico Republicans to can Iglesias.
Lawyers involved in the case said that beginning more than a year ago, federal prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents interviewed Mr. Abramoff and other cooperating witnesses at length about numerous contacts between Mr. Abramoff and White House officials, including presidential adviser Karl Rove.
One focus of the Justice inquiry has been whether Mr. Abramoff obtained official favors in exchange for giving Bush administration officials expensive meals and tickets to sporting events and concerts. The White House has denied this.
The appointment of Rachel Paulose to be the
attorney for U.S. continues to be a source of puzzlement. Stung by the resignation of four of the top administrators in her office, Paulose agreed to an interview with the Star Tribune and professed to have been completely out of the loop on the Minnesota attorney purge: U.S.
So how did a 33-year-old Republican lawyer go, in less than two months, from private practice in
to senior counselor to the deputy attorney general in Minnesota and then back to Washington as an interim Minnesota attorney? U.S.
The drums have begun sounding for the long-awaited book by former CIA director George Tenet, in which he gives his take on pre-9/11 days and on Saddam's huge cache of weapons of mass destruction.
And the drums are saying that Tenet is not going to get too many Christmas cards from Vice President Cheney's office after they read At the Center of the Storm. Folks from down the river at the Pentagon, including former deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz-- a guy who's already going through a rough patch -- and former defense undersecretary Douglas Feith, might also get some heartburn.
Former secretary of state Colin Powell comes out fine. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was President Bush's key adviser in engineering the Iraq invasion, doesn't come out so fine. Not fine at all.
-- AL KAMEN
Bob Schieffer: “Does this administration have a credibility problem?”
Vice President Cheney: “I don’t think so, Bob.”
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
Cartoon by Tom Toles/Enterprise Press Syndicate