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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Chris Dodd and Democratic leaders criticize Bush and Cheney over CIA leak

I'm still in a state of shock over the positive comments President Bush had towrds "Scooter" Libby Friday. Here's a person who was just indicted on five counts and the President says that he was a "patriot" and doesn't criticize him over his involvment in the leak.

Well, the Democrats were in full force on the Sunday shows ripping into Bush and Cheney and demanding that the Vice President come clean about his role in the matter.

From The Hartford Courant
The Senate Democratic leader said Sunday that presidential adviser Karl Rove should resign because of his role in exposing an undercover CIA officer, and a veteran Republican senator said President Bush needs "new blood" in his White House.

Rove has not been charged, but he continues to be investigated in the CIA leaks case that brought the indictment and resignation Friday of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, an adviser to Bush and the top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said he is disappointed that Bush and Cheney responded to the indictment by lauding Libby and suggested they should apologize for the leak that revealed the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.

"First of all, the vice president issues this very terse statement praising Libby for all the great things he's done," Reid said. "Then we have the president come on camera a few minutes later calling him Scooter and what a great patriot he is. There has not been an apology to the American people for this obvious problem in the White House," Reid, D-Nev., told ABC's "This Week."

Meanwhile, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said Cheney should "come clean" about his involvement and why he discussed Plame with Libby before Libby spoke to reporters about her.

"What did the vice president know? What were his intentions?" Dodd asked on "Fox News Sunday."

"Now, there's no suggestion the vice president is guilty of any crime here whatsoever. But if our standard is just criminality, then we're never going to get to the bottom of this," Dodd said.

Democrats appearing on Sunday talk shows portrayed Libby's indictment as one of many serious problems surrounding the White House and one of several allegations raising questions about Republican ethics. Republicans repeatedly said the charges have been made against only one individual and that Libby should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Public opinion appears to be running against Bush. Almost half the public, 46 percent, say the level of ethics and honesty in the federal government has fallen with Bush as president, according to an ABC News-Washington Post poll. That's three times the number who say ethics and honesty have risen during that time.


A grand jury charged Libby on Friday with five felonies alleging obstruction of justice, perjury to a grand jury and making false statements to FBI agents. If convicted, he could face a maximum of 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.

Libby was not charged with the crime that the grand jury was created to investigate -- specifically, who leaked the name of Plame to reporters in 2003. Libby and Rove were named by reporters brought before the grand jury, but it was unclear whether they knew that she was a covert agent.

Reid said Rove should resign or be fired for even discussing Plame. He recalled that Bush once said he would fire anyone involved in the leak, although Bush later amended that standard to say he would fire anyone convicted of a crime.

"If he's a man of his word, Rove should be history," Reid said on CNN's "Late Edition."


Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged an internal investigation and that Bush, "if need be, take the vice president to the wood shed."

"The real question for President Bush is going to be: is he going to be like Nixon -- hunker down, get into the bunker, admit no mistakes," Schumer said, "or like Reagan, who actually admitted mistakes, did a midcourse correction and brought in new people, bipartisan people, people above ethical reproach, into the White House."

You can see the video here (via crooks and liars)