Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wednesday 13 July 2005

McClellan Battered, Digs Deeper Hole Over CIA Leak

President Disputes Having Confidence In Staff; Cites Rove and now, Press Secretary

Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, was rebuffed by his boss, President Bush, late last night, over comments made related to the growing CIA Leak scandal.

Earlier in the day, after being battered by the White House Press Corps, over refusal to comment on the new information confirming Karl Rove as the source for Time Magazine's Matthew Cooper, McClellan was asked if the president still had "confidence in particular individuals, specifically Karl Rove."

"Any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president," stated McClellan. "They wouldn't be working here at the White House if they didn't."

Last night, addressing a small group of reporters, the president was asked the same question and advised on what McClellan said.

"He is wrong", offered the President, showing signs of annoyance. "How can I have confidence in Karl? He could be indicted at any moment. I have to have confidence my staff is going to do their jobs while I'm out planting the seeds of … freedom. I can't sit and watch them all day."

It was two-years ago, when the story first broke, after an Op-Ed column in the New York Times, written by former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson, that disputed the president's assertion, which the president included in his State-of-the-Union speech, that Saddam Hussein was seeking to purchase uranium in Niger, Africa. Wilson accused the administration of manipulating intelligence on weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq.

The White House sought to discredit Wilson, that his report was inaccurate. Later, columnist Robert Novak wrote about the story and, citing information from two "senior administration officials", that Wilson's wife, Valeria Plame was a CIA undercover agent.

A 1982 law prohibits the deliberate leaking of CIA agents' names

For nearly two years, White House officials have maintained that Rove had nothing to do with the exposure of Plame's identity. McClellan even categorized the charges as "ridiculous" at the time.

President Bush also denied the leak came from the White House and promised that, if someone was leaking information, and if a crime had been committed, that person "would be dealt with".

McClellan, who for a second straight day, faced an angry press corps, who demanded to know if he, and the White House, stood by their comments from two-years ago, or is the new information that Rove is the leaker, accurate.

McClellan continually repeated that he could not comment on a on-going investigation. He added fuel to the fire when he, whether purposefully or unwittingly, evoked Nixon Press Secretary Ron Zeigler, when he said that the statements from two-years ago are "inoperative"

"I think it was ridiculous of Scott to say it was ridiculous" offered the President. "Geez, I have my hands full with trying to find these weapons of mass destruction, now I have to go out and find the person, or persons, on my staff who are leaking classified information".

Democrats are demanding Rove's resignation or firing, including former democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry. of Massachusetts. Kerry said that Rove "ought to be fired"

Republicans, some nervous that Rove is guilty of a crime, have rallied around the man the president calls "Boy Genius"

''I support Karl Rove,'' said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The President indicated the Rove-McClellan issue would be a top priority today, following right after he gets back from his daily bicycle ride.

2 comments:

Kyle Welsh said...

Very good - I laughed out loud at this one! Keep up the good work!

The Garlic said...

Kyle

Many thanks for your generous and kind comment

Peace
JTD