PEEK

Bush White House Embraces A "Middle Finger" Policy

Steven Rosenfeld: In less than 24 hours, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Gonzales will show their contempt for Congress and the rule of law yet again.
The White House apparently has a new policy of giving the middle finger to Congress.

When asked to testify on the Hill or present information requested by Congressional Committee, the Bush Administration has flat-out refused. What will become of this game of political chicken remains to be seen, but the temperature surrounding the test of political wills isn't cooling off. It's only rising.

Consider these examples. Today, the White House refused to comply with a request from a Republican Senator, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, for information about Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' conflicting testimony on a secret domestic spying program. The Attorney General's leadership style apparently has created an example at Justice.

Last week, the department's Voting Section Chief, John Tanner, also refused to appear at a House Judiciary Committee Committee hearing that was going to explore selective prosecution of election laws.

Also today, Vice-President Dick Cheney is expected to snub a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on how his office has influenced environmental policy.
Steven Rosenfeld is a senior fellow at Alternet.org and co-author of What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election, with Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman (The New Press, 2006).
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