Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Snow Job

Hey, someone in the WHPC is on the job.

What kinds of conversations does executive privilege protect?…What are the limits on privilege?'' a newspaper columnist wrote in the spring of 1998 on a subject strangely familiar today.

"Evidently, Mr. Clinton wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration,'' the columnist wrote. "Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything.''

"Sounds like you're reading an old column of mine,'' Tony Snow, the Bush administration's press secretary, said today, readily recognizing his nine-year-old words read back to him today at a press gaggle in which Snow was arguing for Bush's right to protect the internal deliberations of his White House staff.

In March 1998, Snow wrote for the Detroit News, in which this column appeared. Today, he is press secretary for another president confronting an aggressive Congress. It's a different situation, Snow insisted.

With credit to Olivier Knox of Agence France-Presse for a deft piece of document research, here is a copy of the column that Snow published in the Detroit News on March 29, 1998:

...CD interviews Knox.