Rich Galen
Friday Stuff

Lots of things for a Friday morning.

This week marked the first day of summer in Your Nation's Capital. We had a temps in the high 90's to mark the occasion. A lovely young woman from the office said we missed Spring. I said, "No we didn't. We had Spring in January."

I got that kind of look that 65 year-old-man gets from a 20-something woman who is begging the elevator to go faster.

As you know all too well, two of my major shortcomings are legal issues and arithmetic.

On the legal front, all I know about Presidential claims of Executive Privilege is that they result in screams of "Cover up!" from the opposition party and "Your Guys Did it, Too" from the President's party.

Both are correct.

Executive Privilege is the concept that a President has to have the ability allow his subordinates to freely express themselves without fear of their words (or their differing positions) to become the subject of public debate (read "ridicule"). The first time it was used was by George Washington.

The President claimed Executive Privilege to stop Attorney General Eric Holder from handing over the documents that the GOP-led House of Representatives wants to see concerning certain aspects of the horribly stupid "Fast and Furious" operation that resulted in the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The part of that decision that I don't understand is this: The scandal was effectively contained within the Departments of Homeland Security and the Justice. This claim doesn't just lay Fast and Furious at the front door of the White House, it puts a pile of documents smack on the President's desk.

Like most Presidents, Obama (and the people around him) are very careful to leave room for "plausible deniability." Saying that the documents that Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has asked for contains intimate discussions among and/or between the President and/or his closest advisors removes any future assertion that Obama knew nothing about the operation.

Conservatives are making a big deal about the fact that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney couldn't remember the name of the Agent that was killed in the operation.

I don't see that as Carney, or the White House, dissing Agent Terry. I see it as another example of how inept this White House is.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at