Q The cameras weren't on this morning. You came and said one of the big stumbling blocks is you don't want to see Karl Rove with his hand up in front of a bunch of cameras flashing.Doh! Did he just admit that? But wait, there's more. Is the W, Rove and Co...
MR. SNOW: You bet.
Q -- ...dodging the oath because of the legal consequences?
MR. SNOW: We're dodging the oath because -- well, I'm not going to say we're dodging the oath, because that -- (laughter.) Yes, I know, kaboom, steel trap closes. No, it's -- this is not a notion of dodging. It's simply, we don't think it's appropriate.
Really, it's not up to you to decide what is appropriate, now is it Mr. Snow?
Q Appropriate doesn't set the scene.And, you tend to get better answers when people have to swear to their testimony, no?
MR. SNOW: The scene?
Q People are seeking the truth.
MR. SNOW: That's right, and we're making the truth available. And that's why we're kind of confused, because it seems that people are more interested in sort of seeing White House officials with their hands up being hectored, and I don't think members of Congress --"Making the truth available," sounds very different to me than actually answering questions under oath. Stepping up to make the truth available doesn't mean that you need speak the truth. In fact there is more than one way to lie, now isn't there? You can make misstatements, intentionally. And you could simply not say the truth, even though it may be "available."
Q Why do you say that? Why don't you think they really want to know --
MR. SNOW: Why don't you -- okay, I'll tell you why, because there is so much speculation about this. I opened up the newspapers today, and there are pictures of Karl Rove, many people saying, we need to -- the purpose here is to find out what happened, what the truth is.
Here's the problem:
Q So Tony, this President for years has used the Constitution as his backdrop. He said, look, this is my right under the Constitution.
MR. SNOW: Right.
Q This government was founded on a series of checks and balances. Why not, if you're going to say you're using the Constitution, just apply what she's using there to what this government was founded upon: checks and balances --
But really, why don't you want them to tell the truth under oath, Tony?
MR. SNOW: Well, yes, look, again, there's a legitimate oversight of the Justice Department and the decisions that went into this, and what we've said is since there were conversations and communications between the White House and the Justice Department, you ought to be able to see them all -- every one, every single -- every single communication available to the American public.When Tony the Snow job leans on "transparency as modus operandi of the W, Rove and Co, you know the hypocrisy abounds like molasses pours down the Whitehouse hallways; thick and slow. See the top of the post for the real reasons they don't want the oath taken.
Therefore, that -- you're talking about transparency. That's the kind of transparency that you don't normally get. So we have made an offer not only to do that, but to say to members of Congress, you want to talk to our guys, you can. And they are going to be compelled legally to tell the truth. But furthermore, the President is going to tell them to tell the truth because it's in our interest to make sure that the whole truth gets out.
Q But do you agree that transparency is something that this administration shuns?
MR. SNOW: No, I don't agree.
Q Okay, when it was time for the Vice President to give up the list of names of his energy council --
MR. SNOW: Well, as you recall, April, that was, in fact, a separation of powers case that the Vice President --
Q I understand --
MR. SNOW: -- won precisely because of the checks and balances you've talked about.
Q But secrecy, secrecy --...
...Q I'm saying how this White House seems to run from transparency.