Apparently, some of the mainstream media is tired of cowering in fear of Dick Cheney:
Nicholas Kristof, whose New York Times column in May 2003 helped set in motion the "Plamegate" scandal, called today for Vice President Dick Cheney to explain his role in the matter or resign.
It was an unexpected proposal from Kristof, who has long been skeptical about criminal wrongdoing in this case. In fact, he opens today's column with an apology to federal prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald.
The column E&P refers to is available here, only through Times Select, so you can pay for it if you want. E&P continues to quote from Kristof's piece:
"Since Mr. Libby is joined at the hip to Mr. Cheney, it's reasonable to ask: What did Mr. Cheney know and when did he know it? Did the vice president have any grasp of the criminal behavior allegedly happening in his office? We shouldn't assume the worst, but Mr. Cheney needs to give us a full account.
"Instead, Mr. Cheney said in a written statement: 'Because this is a pending legal proceeding, in fairness to all those involved, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the charges or on any facts relating to the proceeding.'
"Balderdash. If Mr. Cheney can't address the questions about his conduct, if he can't be forthcoming about the activities in his office that gave rise to the investigation, then he should resign. And if he won't resign, Mr. Bush should demand his resignation.
"It's not that there's a lick of evidence that Mr. Cheney is a criminal. There isn't. But the standard of the office should be higher than that: the White House should symbolize integrity, not legalistic refusals to discuss criminal cover-ups. I didn't want technical indictments of White House officials because they inflame partisanship and impede government; for just the same reason, it's unsavory when a vice president resorts to technical defenses and clams up."
No shit. When someone runs for president on the promise that he's going to bring decency and integrity back to the White House, it's kind of unseemly that your new standard for that is that, technically, you didn't actually get indicted.