The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

'Deputy assistant to the president' fails jr. high civics

White House Political Director Sara Taylor is currently sitting before the Judiciary Committee, trying to walk a line between answering the senators' questions and invoking executive privilege.

[N]ear the start of her testimony Taylor declined to answer three questions from Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the committee because of the president's assertion of executive privilege in regards to her testimony. But the committee has just returned from a recess, and when Leahy began questioning her again, things went more than a little differently.

Before the recess, in responding to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Taylor had said that she "was a deputy assistant to the president... a commissioned officer," and because of that position, she said, "I took an oath. And I take that oath to the president very seriously."

But, in fact, as Leahy pointed out after the recess, the oath that Taylor took was to the Constitution, not the president, and Taylor conceded that she had been wrong. At that point, Leahy repeated his earlier questions, and this time Taylor answered.

Those 'answers' a duds, not bombshells, but potentially incriminating in two of three cases that fail to incorporate familiar weasel words.