When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

05 November 2005

Bush Orders Staff to Attend Ethics Briefings (Washington Post)

Reminiscent of the "Boys, this is a football" back-to-fundamentals locker room speeches legendary 'Bama coach Bear Bryant used to give after ignominious defeats, President Bush is requiring White House staff to attend "refresher courses" in ethics.
President Bush has ordered White House staff to attend mandatory briefings beginning next week on ethical behavior and the handling of classified material after the indictment last week of a senior administration official in the CIA leak probe.

According to a memo sent to aides yesterday, Bush expects all White House staff to adhere to the "spirit as well as the letter" of all ethics laws and rules. As a result, "the White House counsel's office will conduct a series of presentations next week that will provide refresher lectures on general ethics rules, including the rules of governing the protection of classified information," according to the memo, a copy of which was provided to The Washington Post by a senior White House aide.
White House Counsel Miers' office will be conducting the ethics briefings, and all staffers must attend (I'm looking at you, Karl Rove.)

No word on whether the "ethics" classes will cover embarrassing topics like the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (50 U.S.C. 21 et seq):
Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Bush Orders Staff to Attend Ethics Briefings (Washington Post)

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