Cheney Should Step Down NOW!
***Texas Cops Release Cheney Shooting Report (SECOND)*** (story link)
Click Here For Cheney's Youthful Indiscretions (story link)
WAS ALCOHAL A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR, AND REASON FOR THE DELAY???? We will never know.
Cheney Takes Full Blame for Shooting (link story)
By NEDRA PICKLER and LYNN BREZOSKY,
Associated Press Writers1 hour, 1 minute ago
Vice President Dick Cheney took full blame Wednesday for shooting a hunting companion, calling it "one of the worst days of my life," but he was defiantly unapologetic about not publicly disclosing the accident until the next day.
"You can't blame anybody else," Cheney told Fox News Channel in his first public comments since the accident on a private Texas ranch Saturday. "I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend."
Cheney said he had had a beer at lunch that day but nobody was drinking when they went back out to hunt a couple hours later. Law enforcement officials have ruled out alcohol as a factor.
The vice president has been under intense political pressure to speak out about the accident, which has become a public relations embarrassment and potential political liability for the White House. Senior advisers to President Bush worried that Cheney's silence had suggested a possible cover-up, and Cheney acknowledged that he delayed an announcement over the advice of Bush's press advisers.
"We really didn't know until Sunday morning that Harry was probably going to be OK, that it looked like there hadn't been any serious damage to any vital organ," he said. "And that's when we began the process of notifying the press."
Cheney was soft-spoken and appeared shaken as he described seeing 78-year-old Harry Whittington drop to the ground after he pulled the trigger on his 28-gauge shotgun while aiming at a covey of quail.
"The image of him falling is something I'll never ever be able to get out of my mind," Cheney told Fox's Brit Hume. "I fired, and there's Harry falling. It was, I'd have to say, one of the worst days of my life at that moment."
Cheney defended his decision not to publicly disclose what happened until the next day, when he agreed to the suggestion of ranch owner Katharine Armstrong to have her announce it to a local newspaper. "I thought that was the right call. I still do," the vice president said.
Armstrong has suggested that Whittington was at fault in the shooting because, she said, he failed to announce himself as he returned to the hunting line after breaking off to retrieve a downed bird. But Cheney, who has been hunting for at least 12 years, said in no uncertain terms that Whittington was not at fault.
"You can talk about all of the other conditions that exist at the time, but that's the bottom line and — it was not Harry's fault," he said.
Texas officials said the shooting was an accident, and no charges have been brought.
Cheney said the accident happened after Whittington stepped out of the hunting party to retrieve a downed bird in deep cover. Cheney said he and a third hunter walked about 100 yards away to where another covey had been spotted. He said immediately after he shot at a bird flying to his right, he saw Whittington in his line of fire.
He said Whittington was dressed properly in orange and the upper part of his body was visible, but he was standing in a gully with the sun behind him, which affected his view.
"I saw him fall, basically. It had happened so fast," Cheney said. "He was struck in the right side of his face, his neck and his upper torso on the right side of his body."
He said Whittington was conscious and breathing but stunned silent.
"I ran over to him," Cheney said. "He was laying there on his back, obviously, bleeding. You could see where the shot struck him."
Cheney said he had no idea if he hit a bird because he was focused on Whittington.
"I said, `Harry, I had no idea you were there.' He didn't respond," Cheney said.
Whittington was in stable condition Wednesday at a Texas hospital, a day after doctors said one of the pellets traveled to his heart and he had what they called "a mild heart attack."
Cheney said he had agreed that Armstrong should be the one to make the story public because she was an eyewitness, because she grew up on the ranch and because she is "an acknowledged expert in all of this" as a past head of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He also agreed with her decision to choose the Corpus Christi Caller-Times as the way to get the news out.
"I thought that made good sense because you can get as accurate a story as possible from somebody who knew and understood hunting and then it would immediately go up to the wires and be posted on the Web site, which is the way it went out and I thought that was the right call," Cheney said.
"What do you think now?" Hume asked.
"I still do," Cheney responded. "The accuracy was enormously important. I had no press person with me."
Cheney said he was concerned that if the story broke Saturday night when information was still coming in, some reports may have been inaccurate since it was a complicated story that most journalists had never dealt with before.
"I've been in the business for a long time and never seen a situation quite like this," Cheney said. "We've had experiences where the president has been shot. We've never had a situation where the vice president shot somebody."
Cheney said he personally first told the White House about the accident Sunday morning in a phone call to Chief of Staff Andy Card. He said he didn't discuss it with Bush until Monday when he was back in Washington.
Cheney said White House press secretary Scott McClellan and communications strategist Dan Bartlett urged him to get the story out quickly, but he made the decision how to handle it.
"I had a bit of the feeling that the press corps was upset because, to some extent, it was about them — they didn't like the idea that we called the Corpus Christi Caller-Times instead of The New York Times," he said. "But it strikes me that the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is just as valid a news outlet as The New York Times is, especially for covering a major story in south Texas."
Lynn Brezosky contributed to this report from Corpus Christi.
Was Cheney Drunk? (story link)
By: Lawrence O'Donnell
The L.A. Times is edging closer to the most likely reason for the 18 hour delay in reporting that the Vice President of the United States shot someone:"This was a hunting accident," said Gilbert San Miguel, chief deputy of the Kenedy County Sheriff's Office. "There was no alcohol or misconduct."
How do we know there was no alcohol? Cheney refused to talk to local authorities until the next day. No point in giving him a breathalyzer then. Every lawyer I've talked to assumes Cheney was too drunk to talk to the cops after the shooting. The next question for the White House should be: Was Cheney drunk?
I have never gone hunting with ultra-rich Republicans on a Saturday afternoon, but I have seen them tailgating at Ivy League football games, so it's hard for me to believe that any of their Saturday lunches are alcohol free.
Cheney Talks, the Coverup Continues (story link)
By: Arianna Huffington
Watching Dead-eye Dick Cheney break his silence on Fox, I kept thinking:
This is what it looks like when a man who is used to getting away with covering up the truth finally has to explain himself.
He did a lousy job -- especially on the key question of why it took so long to let the public know.
He offered a host of reasons for the 18 hour delay:
he was more concerned with taking care of his friend than about notifying the press; he wanted to make sure Whittington's family got the news before it hit the airwaves;
he "didn't know for sure what kind of shape Harry was in... and you need to really wait and nail it down";
and he wanted to make sure the "complicated story" was given to a reporter with "some degree of understanding" (as opposed to the first reporter Katharine Armstrong spoke to who "didn't now the difference between a rifle bullet and a shotgun").
Of course, none of these explanations explains the 18 hour delay or would have precluded the release of a simple announcement. Even Brit Hume was having a hard time buying into the vice president's justifications.
Hume: The one thing that we've all kind of learned over the last several decades isthat if something like this happens, as a rule sooner is better.
Cheney: Well, if it's accurate. If it's accurate. And this is a complicated story.
Hume: But there were some things you knew. I mean, you knew the man had been shot, you knew he was injured, you knew he was in the hospital, and you knew you'd shot him.
Nevertheless, Cheney insisted that keeping the story under wraps for so long was "the right call" and that he's "comfortable with the way we did it, obviously."
Obviously. One good thing about your conscience no longer functioning is that you are comfortable with everything. Especially with whitewashing the truth.
So, taking a page from Orwell, Cheney assured us -- again and again -- that by keeping the story hidden he was only trying to make sure the truth got out. Indeed, he used the words "accurate" and "accuracy" 8 times in his short chat with Hume.
Never has accuracy been invoked more in the name of inaccuracy.
Watching Cheney continue the shooting story coverup, reminded me of my own experience with being stonewalled by the Vice President and his staff this summer when I stumbled upon the story that Cheney, while in Vail for a speech, had been taken to the hospital for an EKG.
Check out the four posts I did on the story here, here, here, and here and you'll see a similar pattern to the way the much bigger shooting story has been handled.
In Vail, over the space of 48 hours, I got three different stories:
First, denial that Cheney was ever at the hospital.
Second, an acknowledgement that he was at the hospital after all, but only for an old knee injury.
Third, that after he was checked for the knee injury, he was taken to the cardiac unit to have an EKG, but only prophylactically.
In Texas, Team Cheney went from saying nothing to having the story brought out in a way that maximized the administration's control over it to another round of silence to, finally, giving an exclusive -- though far-from-forthcoming -- interview to a partisan outlet.The constantly shifting explanations and multiple levels of denial are utterly familiar -- as is the refusal to level with the American people.
P.S. The Hume interview contained a pair of TiVo-worthy moments that left me wondering "Did I really hear that?" and reaching for the replay button.
TiVo Moment #1: After Cheney walked Hume through the specifics of the shooting, including a cataloguing of Whittington's injuries ("He was struck in the right side of his face, his neck and his upper torso on the right side of his body"), Hume inexplicably followed up with this jaw dropper: "And I take it you missed the bird?"The VP has just painted a verbal picture of blasting his friend in the face and Brit is wondering about... the bird?!
TiVo Moment #2: Hume asks Cheney if the shooting will "affect your attitude toward this pastime you so love in the future?"
Cheney: I can't say that. You know, we canceled the Sunday hunt. I said, look I'm not -- we were scheduled to go out again on Sunday and I said I'm not going to go on Sunday, I want to focus on Harry.
How many guys out there would be willing to cancel a Sunday hunt to focus on the fate of the man they just blasted in the face with birdshot? Not many. Self-sacrifice in the face of overwhelming temptation. That's Dick Cheney for you.
Democrats blast Cheney secrecy after shooting (story link)
Tue Feb 14, 8:18 PM ET
Democrats in Congress accused Vice President Dick Cheney of a pattern of secrecy, and demanded that he "level" with the public, after keeping mum about accidentally shooting an associate over the weekend.
Cheney has been criticized for waiting a day before disclosing a hunting mishap Saturday in which he shot his 78-year-old hunting companion, Harry Whittington, in the neck, chest, and face.
Asked at a press conference for her reaction about how the White House has handled the incident, US Senator Hillary Clinton called the Bush administration's failure to be more forthcoming "troubling."
"A tendency of this administration -- from the top all the way to the bottom -- is to withhold information ... to refuse to be forthcoming about information that is of significance and relevance to the jobs that all of you do, and the interests of the American people," Clinton said.
"Putting it all together, going back years now, there's a pattern and it's a pattern that should be troubling," she said at a press conference calling for a more robust federal response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
The former first lady continued: "The refusal of this administration to level with the American people on matters large and small is very disturbing, because it goes counter to the way our constitutional democracy ... is supposed to work."
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid at a press conference Tuesday said the secretive tendency goes beyond Cheney, pervading the entire Bush White House.
"I think the reason it took the vice president a day to talk about this is part of the secretive nature of this administration," the top Senate Democrat said. "They keep things pretty close to the chest."
"I think it's time the American people heard from the vice president, in a real meeting just like we're having here," said Reid, who called the George W. Bush presidency "the most secretive administration in modern history."
"In the last many, many decades, there's no administration more secretive than this," he said.
Cheney has not commented publicly about the accident, which took place on the 50,000-acre Armstrong Ranch in Texas on Saturday.
Allegations that he is obsessively secretive have dogged Cheney since the early days of the Bush presidency, including his refusal during the administration's first term to reveal the participants on an energy task force he led.
The vice president also has been criticized for a possible role in helping craft the administration's controversial secret domestic wiretapping policy.
Meanwhile, his chief of staff, Scooter Libby, has been implicated in secretly leaking the name of a CIA officer to discredit her husband -- an action some recent news accounts suggest may have been sanctioned by Cheney.
Senator Chuck Schumer said Tuesday the time has come for the vice president to hold a press conference -- which Schumer said would be Cheney's first in some four years -- to clear the air.
"In light of the recent shooting accident and all the questions surrounding his role in the leaking of classified national security information through his Chief of Staff Lewis Libby, there are many questions that Americans have for VP Cheney," Schumer said in a press release.
Cheney says he may be witness in CIA leak case (story link)
Wed Feb 15, 6:53 PM ET
Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday he may be called as a witness in the case of his former aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who faces perjury and other charges in the leak of a CIA operative's identity.
Cheney refused to comment on reports that he directed Libby to use classified material to discredit a critic of the Bush administration's Iraq war effort, saying: "It's nothing I can talk about."
"I've cooperated fully, including being interviewed, as well, by a special prosecutor," Cheney said in an interview on the Fox News Channel. "I may well be called as a witness at some point in the case and it's, therefore, inappropriate for me to comment on any facet of the case."
Court papers released last week show that Libby was authorized to disclose classified information to news reporters by "his superiors," in an effort to counteract diplomat Joe Wilson's charge that the Bush administration twisted intelligence on Iraq's nuclear weapons to justify the 2003 invasion.
The National Journal, a U.S. weekly magazine, citing attorneys familiar with the matter, reported that Cheney was among those superiors referred to in a letter from prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to Libby's lawyers.
Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, has pleaded not guilty to five counts of perjury, making false statements and obstruction of justice in the leak of the identity of Wilson's wife Valerie Plame, which effectively ended her career at the
Cheney's name has surfaced in other court documents as well. According to an appeals court decision made public this month, "the vice president informed Libby 'in an off sort of curiosity sort of fashion"' that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA one month before her identity was made public.
Cheney Could Face Charges in Shooting (story link)
By MATT CURRY, Associated Press Writer 20 minutes ago
If the man wounded by Dick Cheney dies, the vice president could — in theory at least — face criminal charges, even though the shooting was an accident.
Dallas defense attorney David Finn, who has been a state and a federal prosecutor, said Wednesday that a Texas grand jury could bring a charge of criminally negligent homicide if there is evidence the vice president knew or should have known "there was a substantial or unjustifiable risk that his actions would result in him shooting a fellow hunter."
To indict Cheney, the grand jury would have to conclude that a reasonable person in the vice president's place would say to himself, "I am not pulling the trigger because this other guy might be in front of me," Finn said.
The charge carries up to two years behind bars, but with no previous felonies Cheney would be eligible for probation, the former prosecutor said.
Manslaughter, a more serious charge, would require a prosecutor to prove Cheney was reckless, which would be "virtually impossible under the facts we know today," said Michael Sharlot, professor of criminal law at the University of Texas at Austin.
"With recklessness, the defendant has to be aware of the risk, but choose to ignore it. With negligence, he doesn't have to be conscious of the risk, but a reasonable person would have been," Sharlot said.
As vice president, Cheney has no immunity from prosecution.
Mark Skurka, first assistant district attorney of the three-county area where the shooting took place, said prosecutors did not have an investigation under way.
"If something unfortunate happens, then we'll decide what to do, then we'll decide whether we're going to have an investigation or not," Skurka said.
If District Attorney Carlos Valdez decided to pursue charges, he would forward the matter to a grand jury, which would determine whether to indict Cheney. Valdez, a Democrat, is best known for his prosecution of Yolanda Saldivar, who was sentenced to life in prison for the 1995 slaying of Tejano singer Selena.
Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old lawyer, was struck in the face, neck and chest with shotgun pellets over the weekend while Cheney was shooting at quail. Whittington suffered a mild heart attack Tuesday after a pellet traveled to his heart.
On Wednesday, hospital officials said he had a normal heart rhythm again and was sitting up in a chair, eating regular food and planned to do some legal work in his hospital room. Doctors said they are highly optimistic he will recover.
In a TV interview Wednesday, the vice president accepted full blame for the shooting and defended his decision not to publicly disclose the accident until the following day. He called it "one of the worst days of my life."
If Whittington recovers, Cheney could still face a felony charge of negligently causing injury to an aged person, Sharlot said. But he said such a charge would be "quite unusual" in the case of a hunting accident.
In the only other case of someone being shot by a vice president, Aaron Burr was indicted on murder charges in New York and New Jersey for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804, but he was never tried and finished out his term in office.
Analysis: Cheney Becomes Unwitting Focus (story link)
By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer
Wed Feb 15, 10:57 AM ET
At the start of the Bush presidency, Dick Cheney was viewed as the grown-up, the seasoned hand to guide an inexperienced president. Now, he's the center of controversy.
His accidental shooting of a hunting companion and the administration's fumbles in getting out the word underscore the secrecy and near independence under which the vice president operates — and it all sent the White House scrambling on Tuesday to find the right tone when the victim's condition took a turn for the worse.
After first defensively fielding questions on why disclosure of the Saturday shooting was delayed until the next day, Press Secretary Scott McClellan joked about the situation with reporters at his morning briefing. Later, he turned somber after doctors in Corpus Christi, Texas, said the Austin lawyer shot by Cheney — Henry Whittington, 78 — had suffered a minor heart attack after birdshot from Cheney's blast migrated to his heart.
"If you want to continue to spend time on that, that's fine," McClellan told reporters pressing him on the shooting incident. "We're moving on to the priorities of the American people. That's where our focus is."
The shooting presents a new problem for the White House as it seeks to repair damaged credibility in a midterm election year in which continued GOP control of Congress hangs in the balance.
Cheney, 65, whose "favorable" rating was just 24 percent in a recent CBS-New York Times poll, has found himself in other storms swirling around the Bush presidency.
His strong insistence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction helped build the case for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He also has played the role of point man in the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program in the war on terror.
And, more recently, his indicted former chief of staff — I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby — testified to a grand jury about being authorized to disclose classified information to the press in the CIA leak case "by his superiors," according to court documents. Democrats have demanded to know whether Cheney was one of those superiors.
"These things become symptoms of a broader disquiet with Cheney," said Paul C. Light, professor of public service at New York University.
Among moderate and liberal Americans, "there is such an anger toward Cheney," Light said. "There are people who believed he pulled the trigger figuratively on a lot of things. Vice presidents can get away with hitting people with golf balls, but they can't get away with shooting people with shotguns."
Questions linger over why so much time passed before Saturday's shooting was made public and before Cheney and members of his party were interviewed by local law enforcement.
Cheney himself has uttered no words publicly about the mishap, avoiding reporters during a visit to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for meetings with lawmakers. His office issued a terse, unsigned statement describing Whittington's condition and saying that Cheney had phoned him from the White House.
Whittington's "spirits were good, but obviously his situation deserves the careful monitoring that his doctors are providing," the statement said.
Unlike the president, who is accompanied by a news media pool whenever he travels in public, Cheney repeatedly makes unannounced trips around town and around the country — as he did with his weekend hunting excursion in south Texas, and again on his trip to the Capitol on Tuesday.
Cheney remains popular with the GOP conservative base. Ed Goeas, a Republican pollster and strategist, said that all vice presidents have to overcome the fact that "you never get the benefit of the doubt for the good things you do, and never any lack of blame for the bad things."
He said he expects the controversy to pass, especially if Whittington makes a full recovery.
If the shooting victim's condition worsens, that could increase the seriousness of the incident, and bring more scrutiny to bear on what exactly happened on the private Texas ranch.
"But if somehow the president considers Cheney gets to be a liability, I think that getting rid of him or encouraging him to step down would cause problems for the Republicans with their base," said Ross Baker, a Rutgers University political scientist.
"And Cheney is like a member of the Bush family. The president would no sooner push Cheney overboard than he would Jeb," Baker said, referring to Bush brother Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida.
Cheney Says He Has Power to Declassify Info (story link)
By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer 29 minutes ago
Vice President Dick Cheney disclosed Wednesday that he has the power to declassify sensitive government information, authority that could set up a criminal defense for his former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
Cheney's disclosure comes a week after reports that Libby testified under oath he was authorized by superiors in 2003 to disclose highly sensitive prewar information to reporters. The information, about Iraq and alleged weapons of mass destruction, was used by the Bush administration to bolster its case for invading Iraq.
At the time of Libby's contacts with reporters in June and July 2003, the administration including Cheney, who was among the war's most ardent proponents, faced growing criticism. No weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, and Bush supporters were anxious to show that the White House had relied on prewar intelligence projecting a strong threat from such weapons.
When Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald revealed Libby's assertions to a grand jury that he had been authorized by his superiors to spread sensitive information, the prosecutor did not specify which superiors.
But in an interview on Fox News Channel, Cheney said there is an executive order that gives the vice president, along with the president, the authority to declassify information.
"I have certainly advocated declassification. I have participated in declassification decisions," Cheney said. Asked for details, he said, "I don't want to get into that. There's an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously it focuses first and foremost on the president, but also includes the vice president."
Cheney added a ringing endorsement of Libby.
"Scooter is entitled to the presumption of innocence," said Cheney. "He is a great guy. I worked with him for a long time. I have tremendous regard for him. I may well be called as a witness at some point in the case, and it is therefore inappropriate for me to comment on any facet of the case."
Libby is not charged with leaking classified information, and Libby's lawyers said last week there was no truth to a published report that Libby's lawyers had advised the court or prosecutors that he will raise a defense based on authorization by superiors.
A legal expert said Cheney's TV appearance could nonetheless foreshadow a Libby defense.
Former Whitewater independent counsel Robert Ray said Cheney's ex-chief of staff could point to authorization from his superiors as part of his strategy at trial.
"If it turns out that Cheney was actively involved in decisions related to the disclosure of a CIA officer's identity and if the truth of it is that he was orchestrating the disclosure of information to the media, it seems to me that's a fundamentally different case than one centered around the activities of Libby," said Ray.
On Oct. 28 of last year, Libby was indicted on five counts of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI about how he learned of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame and what he told reporters about it.
In July 2003, Plame's CIA identity was published by columnist Robert Novak eight days after Plame's husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, accused the administration of twisting prewar intelligence to exaggerate the Iraqi threat. Wilson concluded that it was highly doubtful that a purported sale of uranium yellowcake by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990s had ever taken place.
A defense that Libby was authorized by superiors to leak sensitive data about Iraq would not appear to provide any help to the former Cheney aide for making false statements.
But some lawyers point out that setting up defenses before a jury involve more than simply constructing legal arguments.
"You're trying to present a persuasive case that your client should not be found guilty," said Ray, the former Whitewater prosecutor. "You're saying that even if my client did it, this is not a case that warrants conviction."
An authorization defense in the CIA leak case would mean that "much of what Libby was trying to do was aid and protect his boss Cheney," Ray suggested. The downside to employing such an approach is that it "almost comes with a defense that I did it."
UPDATE: PREPACKAGED NEWS (story link)
Tuesday, February 14, 2006; A13
How much is good press worth? To the Bush administration, about $1.6 billion.
That's how much seven federal departments spent from 2003 through the second quarter of 2005 on 343 contracts with public relations firms, advertising agencies, media organizations and individuals, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.
The 154-page report provides the most comprehensive look to date at the scope of federal spending in an area that generated substantial controversy last year. Congressional Democrats asked the GAO to look into federal public relations contracts last spring at the height of the furor over government-sponsored prepackaged news and journalism-for-sale.
Armstrong Williams, the conservative commentator, had been unmasked as a paid administration promoter who received $186,000 from the Education Department to speak favorably about President Bush's No Child Left Behind law in broadcast appearances.
Around the same time, a spat erupted between the GAO and the White House over whether the government's practice of feeding TV stations prepackaged, ready-to-air news stories that touted administration policies (but did not disclose the government as the source) amounted to "covert propaganda." The GAO said that it did. The administration disagreed, saying spreading information about federal programs is part of the agencies' mission, and that the burden of disclosure falls on the TV stations.
Congress sided with the GAO. Lawmakers inserted a provision into an annual spending bill requiring federal agencies to include "a clear notification" within the text or audio of a prepackaged news story that it was prepared or paid for by the government.
The new report reveals that federal public relations spending goes far beyond "video news releases." The contracts covered the waterfront, from a $6.3 million agreement to help the Department of Homeland Security educate Americans about how to respond to terrorist attacks; to a $647,350 contract to assist the Transportation Security Administration in producing video news releases and media tours on the subject of airport security procedures; to a $6,600 contract to train managers at the Bureau of Reclamation in dealing with the media.
"Careful oversight of this spending is essential given the track record of the Bush administration, which has used taxpayer dollars to fund covert propaganda within the United States," Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), ranking Democrat of the House Government Reform Committee, said in a statement yesterday.
-- Christopher Lee
© 2006 The Washington Post Company