Jon Carroll at the San Francisco Chronicle peels yet another layer of veneer off President Pilotpants:
People with something to hide usually try to hide that something. Not a remarkable leap of logic, but lots of people are refusing to make it. The Bush administration doesn't have anything to hide, it's just, let's see, behaving prudently, or protecting executive privilege, or refusing to speculate.
That last excuse is used for the question, "How much is the occupation of Iraq costing?" The Defense Department refuses to speculate. I mean, the Pentagon brass could look at the invoices and the pay stubs and get a rough idea, but they're unwilling to do that.
Why? Because they want to protect the president. Why? Because he has something to hide. He has consistently lied to the American people about how much the war would cost -- and how long it would last, and why we were fighting it, and, gosh, just about everything.
The Bush administration is now thoroughly devoted to its black-is-white strategy. We save the forests by cutting down the trees. We preserve the wilderness by building roads into its heart. We keep the air clean by lowering vehicle emissions standards. And we always, always, stay on message.
Here's a problem that people with something to hide always have: The lies get so complicated that they get real hard to keep straight. The solution to that is to say as little as possible. When President Bush was finally embarrassed into holding a news conference, he managed to spend almost an hour saying nothing at all.
More and more, individuals in the media are pulling their heads out and beginning to ask the important questions - the kinds of questions you will not hear at President Helmethead's future press conferences. But they're still in need of serious answers.