An Ethics Fig Leaf for the White House: Is Vice President Cheney Going to Enroll?


According to AP:

President Bush, reacting to the indictment of a high-level White House aide, has ordered a refresher on ethics rules for his staff.
In a memo sent to all White House aides Friday, the counsel’s office said it will hold briefings this week on ethics, with a particular focus on the rules governing the handling of classified information. Attendance is mandatory for anyone holding any level of security clearance.
The week after, there will be sessions on general ethical conduct for the rest of the staff.
“The president has made clear his expectation that each member of his Executive Office of the President (EOP) Staff adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of all rules governing ethical conduct for EOP Staff,” the memo said.

It’s always good to instill some sense of ethics among the staff, but the real question is whether Vice President Cheney, the source of so much that has gone wrong in the administration’s national security behavior, will also enroll in the course.
Another question is that when it became clear that prisoner and detainee abuse was pervasive at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and elsewhere — why didn’t the Pentagon do exactly the same and instill a more clear understanding among the troops of the moral code and human rights responsibilities of soldiers?
The answer is clear, the problem has been at the top.
Traveling today. More later.
— Steve Clemons