Bush Cites Need For Proof, Video To Axe Staff
Says Position Hasn't Changed; Also Laments Not Making Goldberg List
President Bush, making remarks at a White House press conference, appearing with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, says he now needs "irrefutable proof … videotape … getting caught red-handed" in order to fire anyone from his administration.
The President was addressing a question about his Chief Strategist Karl Rove, as mounting evidence points to Rove as being one of the leakers, exposing CIA Agent Valerie Plame as retribution for her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, writing a Op-Ed article at odds with the President contentions for going to war in Iraq.
President Bush defended his remarks, firmly stating that "they are not a shift, or anything different than I have said before".
Over the past months, Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary, has indicated, and articulating he was speaking for the President, that the President " promises to fire anyone who played a role in the disclosure".
Recently, Mr. Bush's stayed with that statement, but adding that criminal conduct would have to be involved.
In 2003, soon after the identity of Ms. Plame was leaked, President Bush stated that anyone in his administration who had "violated law" would be dismissed
The latest shift in his policy came after consultations over the weekend, with his immediate staff and with Senate Leader, Bill Frist.
Sources close to the White House say the Senator Frist was adamant about demanding that videotape be a requirement. Frist advised the President of his countless examinations conducted by videotape, including his famous pronouncement on the state of health of the late Teri Schiavo, and the finality of proof that videotape offers.
"If this was happening down in Crawford", the President joked, "I'd set a few leg traps to catch the leaker. I'd like nothing better than to find out who in my staff is potential leaking information and even better, if I can catch them red-handed".
The President refused comment on Lewis Libby, Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, who has surfaced with new evidence as the second source of the leak to Time Magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.
"I wouldn't want to be a lizard on the wall for that one" stated Mr. Bush. "Dick, on a good day, is pretty ornery".
The President was then asked if he has read the Bernard Goldberg book, '100 People Who Are Screwing Up America'.
"Geez … What's a guy got to do to get on that list? I think I have a pretty good resume to qualify for it, don't you think".
Rumsfield Said To Be Exploring Gitmo Options
Believes Love In Action Group Can Convert Enemy Combatants
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield, after months of hearings and criticism over the detention and treatment of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, is said to be close to a controversial deal that will turn over a certain number of the detainees to the group Love In Action International, based in Memphis, Tennessee.
Love In Action has gained worldwide recognition as a leading authority on healing from sexual brokenness. Founded in 1973 by Frank Worthen, one of the groups' boasts is that "there is a way out of homosexuality!"
Love In Action runs a religion-based program, with the intention to change the sexual orientation of gay men and women. Known as reparative or conversion therapy, such programs took hold in fundamentalist Christian circles in the 1970's. The group is often used as a referral by ministries such as Focus on the Family and The 700 Club.
Rev. John J. Smid, the executive director of Love in Action, himself once gay but now renounces homosexual behavior, believes the principles of the various Love In Action programs would work "quite well" in converting enemy combatants and terrorists into "more civilized members of society".
"And, if they happen to be gay", stated Smid, "we can take care of that as well. Our experience in this field tells us many of these people are dealing with quite a few repression issues".
Rumsfield is optimistic that the Love In Action program will be effective.
"Goodness, it better be", smiled the Secretary. "I'm signing the contract today. I suppose it could all go wrong … Blow up on us and we get back some sort of Muslim version of the Village People.
Representative Duncan Hunter, a staunch supporter of Rumsfield and the current Gitmo policies, was holding back on his endorsement of the Love In Action deal, pending an on-site inspection of their cafeteria and food services.
"We have a standard to preserve. The lunches .. food at Gitmo is fantastic".
'If it does work", said Rumsfield, "I'm sure the President will be interested. It might be something for him to cure all those leakers with".
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Bush Cites Need For Proof, Video To Axe Staff