April 14, 2005

Bush Administration Blocks Investigation of Armstrong Williams

If you did not read at Daily kos, My DD, America blog, Atrois, or Oliver Wills you can read it here.

White House Said to Impede Education Probe

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration is impeding an investigation into the Education Department's hiring of commentator Armstrong Williams by refusing to allow key White House officials to be interviewed, a Democratic lawmaker briefed on the review said Thursday.

In addition, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., said Education Secretary Margaret Spellings is considering invoking a privilege that he said would require information to be deleted when the final version is publicly released, which is expected within days.

Miller called for Jack Higgins, the inspector general at the Education Department, to delay the report until Spellings agrees not to invoke ''deliberative process privilege'' and the White House grants interviews with current or former officials familiar with the deal.

''The public's right to know is absolutely more important than any claim of privilege that the White House or the Department of Education might make,'' Miller said. ''The public has a right to all the facts about possible misconduct.''
Yes, the public has a right to all the facts about possible misconduct. Do you agree President Bush?

Q Thank you, Mr. President. We're all aware of the press issues with Armstrong Williams and the video news releases and using government funds to promote true media in journalism -- positions that you feel you need to get out. Is that consistent with your values and your First Amendment beliefs? And do you think that's deceptive to the American people?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it's deceptive to the American people if it's not disclosed. And I -- first of all, in reviewing this issue have been told this has gone on for quite a while. It makes -- that doesn't excuse the behavior here, but nevertheless it has been, in that it's a legal -- it's legal for -- to use these video news clips. But it's incumbent upon people who use them to say, this news clip was produced by the federal government.

Armstrong Williams -- it was wrong what happened there in the Education Department. But, no, I think there needs to be full disclosure about the sourcing of the video news clip in order to make sure that people don't think their taxpayer's money is being used to -- in wrong fashion.

Thank you.
Tell your administration to stop blocking investigation into the Education Department's hiring of commentator Armstrong Williams.


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