Friday, March 23, 2007

The White House belongs to the people, not the President

Former White House insider Beth Nolan, who served under Clinton, pens an opinion piece for the Washington Post that in general supports the premise Rove and Miers should testify under oath, but I call BS on this quote.
Out of respect for the separation of powers, Congress should not ordinarily call on such officials for testimony but should leave such officials to devote their attention to their duties for the president. This rationale no longer has force for those who have left the White House, such as Harriet Miers, but even then, communications with the president or internal White House communications about the president's decision to dismiss his appointees should usually be shielded from disclosure. Presidents need candid advice from their counselors, and respecting the privilege enhances the likelihood of such candor.
I'm getting really tired of hearing how the advisors won't be able to give candid advice about personnel matters if they're called on to justify it later. This idea that executive privilege covers such a wide scope is what's wrong with our government today. The insiders have forgotten they work for us. We pay their salaries, dammit, and they're answerable to us for their decisions on how they're running the nuts and bolts of our government.

The President doesn't own the White House, or our country. He's our tenant and our property manager. The taxpayer foots the bills and as such is the landowner and boss, with every right to know what our employees in the White House are doing in our name -- and that includes the President and his ministers.

We've allowed both parties to take the concept of executive privilege too far and it must be stopped here and now. There are certainly some matters of state where secrecy is necessary and advisable. The attorney purge is not one of them.

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2 Comments:

Blogger whig said...

On a somewhat unrelated tangent, my father likes to tell the joke about the lawyer who would object on the grounds that something was devastating to his client.

It's funny because it happens, though its usually not quite so obvious. This administration has now backed itself into the obvious corner.

5:13:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL Whig. Bush is definitely cornered. At the moment I'm thinking this scandal could be the straw that finally breaks the unitary theory's back. At least I'm hoping.

9:11:00 AM  

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