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July 17, 2005

Obama on Rove

Through one of those online activist sites, I sent letters to my Senators about Rove. Didn't really remember sending the letters, but I do remember thinking the man needs to get booted out of the West Wing for good. (A girl can dream, no?)

Obama emailed me back (or his staff did; or his electronic mail computer processor did). In any event, here's the email:

Dear Cynthia:

Thank you for contacting me regarding White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's involvement in the leaking of a CIA operative's name to the press, possibly as retribution for the administration's anger at her husband's report on Iraq's nuclear weapons program. This is an extremely serious matter, and I appreciate hearing from you about it.

It certainly appears from recent news reports that the independent investigation of this incident is nearing its conclusion, and I have confidence in special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald's determination to get to the bottom of the case no matter where the facts lead. I also appreciate that President Bush continues to insist that he will fire any White House staffer who leaked classified information to the press. Like you, I expect him to make good on this pledge.

I continue to be troubled, however, by partisan posturing over this issue which seems to reflect an unhealthy willingness on the part of members of the President's party to allocate greater priority to protecting the President's chief political advisor than to addressing the very real security threat posed by leaks of classified information. While a federal judge has authority over the legal fate of those involved in this particular situation, Congress does have a duty to assure the American public that their security is not threatened by leaks of classified information.

In its July 13th edition, the Washington Post reported that, "The emerging GOP strategy -- devised by [RNC Chair Ken] Mehlman and other Rove loyalists outside of the White House -- is to try to undermine those Democrats calling for Rove's ouster, play down Rove's role and wait for President Bush's forthcoming Supreme Court selection to drown out controversy, according to several high-level Republicans." Is this really how the American people expect their government leaders to act?

During Senate consideration of the FY 2006 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 2360), Senator Harry Reid offered an amendment that would prohibit federal employees who disclose classified information to unauthorized persons from having a security clearance. This amendment simply revokes the security privileges of those who have violated the rules of their clearances. Yet, it was defeated by a 53 to 44 vote. No Republican senator voted for this amendment.
Thank you again for writing, Cynthia. It is my and their expectation that Mr. Fitzgerald's independent investigation will get to the bottom of this story and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.


Barack Obama
United States Senator

P.S. Our system does not allow direct response to this email. However, if you would like to contact me again, please use the form on the website: http://obama.senate.gov/contact/

Yeah, he was the right choice for Illinois. Glad I voted for him.

Posted by cj at July 17, 2005 3:53 PM

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