The Note

Has Bush required that all sign a letter relinquishing journalists from protecting those two sources? Has Bush said that those involved in this crime will be immediately fired? If not, why not?

Has Albert Gonzalez distributed a letter to White House employees telling them to preserve documents, logs, records? If not, why not?

Has Andy Card named someone on his staff to organize compliance? If not, why not?

White House officials who might have legal or political exposure on this are going to have to decide whether to hire lawyers or not, and the White House counsel's office is going to have to decide what legal help they can and should provide to officials if and when the DOJ wants to talk to them.

That means that the '90s practice of every Washington bureau of calling members of the bar to see who has hired whom is about to heat back up. The first one to report someone hiring a criminal lawyer wins a prize, as does the first person who develops that lawyer as a source on all this.

A reminder that students of recusal politics will have to consider the Rove-Ashcroft history: LINK

Note to MSNBC on TV and Nightly producers who were on duty on Saturday: You really should check out the MSNBC Web site — it has good stuff, and sometimes breaks news.

All of today's stories, eating the dust of the Post 's Sunday story:

New York Times : Carl Hulse and David Sanger LINK

Washington Post 's Mike Allen, taking a second-day victory lap with a phony lead. LINK

Howie Kurtz on the media angle. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Cloud, Hamburger and Fields have a very balanced story.

The Los Angeles Times' Richard Schmitt doesn't advance the story any, but he brings his Los Angeles Times readers up to date. LINK

USA Today : Barbara Slavin LINK

Boston Globe : Mary Leonard and Bryan Bender LINK frog march. LINK

The politics of national security:

Washington Post 's Dana Priest and Glenn Kessler report that Vice President Cheney, "the administration's most vociferous advocate for going to war with Iraq," continues to suggest that an Iraqi intelligence agent met with a 9/11 hijacker in Prague, "the single thread the administration has pointed to that might tie Iraq to the attacks." LINK

"Neither the CIA nor the congressional joint inquiry that investigated the assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon found any evidence linking Iraq to the hijackers or the attacks. President Bush corrected Cheney's statement several days later."

"The vice president's role in keeping the alleged meeting in Prague before the public eye is an illustration of the administration's handling of intelligence reports in the run-up to the war, when senior officials sometimes seized on reports that bolstered the case against Iraq despite contradictory evidence provided by the U.S. intelligence community."

The Boston Globe 's Mary Leonard and Bryan Bender write that the White House "scrambled yesterday to answer fresh attacks on the credibility of its case for toppling Saddam Hussein … " LINK

"The CIA defended itself against charges by two congressional critics that there were 'significant deficiencies' in the intelligence community's ability to gather information on Iraq before the U.S.-led war," the AP reports. LINK

The New York Post 's Deborah Orin argues that the Iraq war has strengthened U.S. credibility around the world. LINK

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