Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I attend the White House ethics class

I tried to tell the White House lawyers that I'm a graduate of the DeVry Evangelical Institute in Waco, Texas with a degree as a Registered Divinity Assistant, so I didn't really need any training in ethics. I have the Lord guiding me.

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But the rule is that everyone who works in the Executive Branch —3,000 of us—have to attend ethics training due to the recent slip-up of Mr. Libby who accidently leaked confidential information about a CIA agent that could get her killed.

The White House counsel started the class with a talk that I found kind of boring. There were a lot of "don'ts". Don't do that, don't do this. After his talk, he opened up the class for questions. Vice President Cheney had one.

"Let me get this straight," said the Vice President. "If I do something that helps out a major corporation and that major corporation wants to shows its gratitude with a gift of some kind — a little token of appreciation — I'm not supposed to accept it."

"That's correct," the WH counsel said.

"What kind of f--king Pollyanna state are we running here," said the Vice President. "Gifts don't influence the way government is operated. If Halliburton is selected for a multi-billion dollar project without bids, it's because I know they are the best f--king people for the job and not because of a few measly million dollars."

"I realize that money would not influence you Sir but accepting a few million dollars from Halliburton gives the appearance of corruption," said the lawyer. "And we in the Bush administration do not wish to appear corrupt."

"What if the funds are held in trust until I leave office?" asked the Vice President.

"Well, in this case, you do not appear corrupt, so the answer is okay." The Vice President sat down with a big smile on his face.

"I've got a question," piped up Karl Rove. "Suppose I have some dirt on a Democratic opponent although I don't really have any evidence to back it up. Would it be wrong to expose the dirt during a campaign, even though there's a good possibility that it may not be true?"

"Mr. Rove," said the lawyer. "We're dealing today with ethics that involve an elected government. I do not believe there are any ethics in getting a government elected."

Mr. Rove sat down with a big smile.

There was a question from the back. I turned my head to see that Scooter Libby was in the class and ready to ask a question.

Mr Libby said, "Would it be considered unethical for President Bush to provide an indicted defendant with a presidential pardon prior to a trial that might reveal embarrassing information and names, on the grounds of national security?"

"Heavens no," said the lawyer.


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