Check out Froomkin's excellent column today on Bush, Cheney and the LIbby mess. Froomkin argues what everyone on the left knows is true, and what everyone one on the right would love to prevent- that Bush and Cheney finally be compelled to fess up and tell the American people what they know.
The White House yesterday once again trotted out its "ongoing criminal matter" rationale. But that was never much of an excuse and at this point it is utterly pathetic. Any danger of influencing the investigation or the jury pool, to the extent that was ever a legitimate concern, is past. The chances of a retrial are almost nonexistent. In reviewing a conviction, an appellate court cannot look outside the trial record. Fitzgerald says he and his fellow prosecutors are going back to their day jobs.Let me add that Bush doesn't believe he owes anyone an explanation. In his mind, the public does not have any right to know.
And there is an enormous public-policy factor here -- something more important than the vague, theoretical possibility of influencing a fair trial. Just for example, no executive of any company would be allowed by his shareholders to remain mum on a top aide's indictment -- not to mention conviction. He'd be fired.
Why are Bush and his aides hiding behind such hollow excuses? Probably because they know that if they did talk, it might just make things worse. Arguably, they still don't think Libby did anything wrong, putting them in the awkward position of disagreeing with a federal jury's verdict. And in explaining what they say really happened, they might risk either exposing more unseemly facts or being caught in a lie.
But the main reason they are hiding behind these excuses is that they can. There's been no public cost to them from not talking.
If anyone thinks Bush didn't know what was going on, I've got a bridge out in the parking lot to sell them. Remember that Bush learned the art of dirty tricks at the knee of Lee Atwater. HIs closest aide is Karl Rove. He employs Karl simply because he is so good at trash politics.
Any claims he makes now of being above it all are lies. Lies. The tactic of 'destroying the messsenger' has been SOP for the republican party for many, many years. It's time for the congress to take these liars on. Past time.