Statement Regarding Plame Unmasking

Los Angeles, CA, September 29, 2003

“First, we must remember the high standards that come with high office. … above all, we are all accountable to the law and to the American people. My White House counsel, Al Gonzales, is my pointman on these issues. … Second, we must remember that high standards of conduct involve not only obeying the law, but showing civility. As we go about our work, there's no excuse for arrogance and never a reason for disrespect toward others… You'll be my representative. I expect each of you, as an official of this administration, to be an example of humility and decency and fairness.” [President George W. Bush Conducts Swearing-In Ceremony for White House Staff, 1/22/01]


LOS ANGELES—Democratic Presidential Candidate Governor Howard Dean issued the following statement today: “Mr. President, on your second day in office, you called on your appointees to be 'example[s] of humility and decency and fairness.' The American people expect no less from you.

“Mr. President, it is time for you to act.

“Presumably, the 'two senior administration officials' who leaked the identity of Ambassador Wilson's wife were sworn in at the ceremony at which you delivered this high-minded message to your staff. Presumably, they joined your administration because they believed in your much-trumpeted message of bringing “honor and dignity” to the White House.

“Now is the time when the rubber meets the road. It is time – once and for all – for those who have broken the law and jeopardized national security concerns to resign and face the legal consequences for their actions. As I said in July, and as I reiterated two days ago, there is no need to wait for investigations into the matter – although an independent investigation is clearly in order. These people know who they are, and apparently others within the administration know who they are.

“But it is you, Mr. President, who should take the lead in uncovering who in your Administration is so badly serving you and the nation. These people are, as you noted at the swearing-in ceremony, your “representatives.” You should reconsider your reported reluctance to ask your staff members whether they had a role in this affair. The American people must be reassured that their President will not tolerate actions that undermine the public's faith in their government.

“This was a petty and mean-spirited action, but with far-reaching repercussions. National security interests have been jeopardized, sensitive intelligence operations have been compromised, a woman's career has been destroyed, and the lives of many of her sources could be at risk. This is a grave matter.

“Equally serious are the apparent lengths some in the White House have gone in their attempts to bolster their rapidly crumbling justifications for taking the country to war.

“The American public has been misled. Federal laws appear to have been broken. The time for accountability is long overdue.”

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